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It’s been almost a year since I came here looking for help to buy my wife a scope as a birthday present. At the time I had zero interest in photography or astronomy but a lot has happened since so I t

They might find that bit challenging in Aus.

My first attempt at processing   

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Honestly, I'd get her a Star adventurer, she can use her own camera and lens to dabble , she hopefully already has a sturdy tripod ?

Secondly I'd sign her up for a membership here and show her this thread, she will then realised how much effort and thought you've put into it .

Good luck with whatever you choose ... And we're all waiting to help you both ?

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I think Knobby has it, Star Adventurer and use existing DSLR and lens. There is so much to learn................

Assuming you are in Oz, there is a great Oz forum http://www.iceinspace.com.au  you may find someone local with advice, also a classified thread.

And in March a StarParty you maybe could go and chat/look at setups and see how much you will eventually spend !!!!!!!

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=164581

Good luck with it

  

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Star Adventurer and use existing DSLR and lens. 

Yup that would work too and give her a taster of widefield imaging.  Just don't get talked into buying what a retailer wants to sell you without getting it approved on here.  

i.e. EQ mount is essential for long exposure deep sky imaging.  The mount must be capable of taking the weight of the equipment (you need to halve the weight load for imaging) and must be capable of guiding.  Don't let them talk you into an Alt/AZ mount unless the only thing she wants to do is image planets and the Moon, as that uses a video system and not long exposure and probably not her DSLR. 

Don't forget we have all been down this route and know what works and what to avoid and some of us have made mistakes by buying the right thing for visual, but the wrong thing for imaging and had to buy twice. 

Carole 

Edited by carastro
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1 hour ago, knobby said:

Honestly, I'd get her a Star adventurer, she can use her own camera and lens to dabble , she hopefully already has a sturdy tripod ?

Secondly I'd sign her up for a membership here and show her this thread, she will then realised how much effort and thought you've put into it .

Good luck with whatever you choose ... And we're all waiting to help you both ?

^^^This. If she is already a keen photographer then this would be ideal. She will already be familiar with her cameras and I assume she has plenty of lenses for widefield and some longer focal lengths. An addition to this I would make would be a Polemaster camera and adapter to fit the Star Adventurer as it makes polar aligning so simple. Honestly, if you go straight down the telescope and mount road, it becomes a slippery and expensive rabbit hole!! As I am learning, it takes lots of time, late nights, lots of patience and lots of practice.

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I don't disagree that a Star Adventurer would work well with existing DSLR and lenses but...... original brief was Lunar and planets not DSOs.

So @Gavin1234 can you clarify the real interest here?

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Thanks, her original intention was to photograph the moon and Saturn/Jupiter etc. however I think after seeing photos of some nebula’s she likes those too but she told me it will take a very long time to be able to do that. So yeah planets and the moon for her first setup.

something that gives her the potential to photograph the moon and Saturn would be great while she is learning. No doubt we will need to upgrade/change parts at some point.

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Ok so I decided to take a leap of faith after talking to her a bit about the type of setup she would like. She didn’t have much of an idea of what she wanted, just something that “would let her do some basic stuff”. So after a bit more reading I ended up getting her a celestron 5se https://www.celestron.com/products/nexstar-5se-computerized-telescope

i figured the computer assisted alignment features would help make sure she didn’t get too frustrated while learning the ropes. It would also let her photograph some easier objects. It’s an Alt/Az mount but it also has a wedge to make it function a bit like an equatorial mount for tracking.

so far she loves it so I think I made a decent decision. We’ve only had a few minutes of clear sky to try it out with a lot of cloud cover and there has been no moon at all. This is our first photo, not sure what it is but I think it’s fairly close to Orion.

 

we’re now reading up on how to make it track properly so we can use longer exposures because that doesn’t seem to be working for us yet. This one was about 5 seconds.

 

once again thanks very much for the advice. Hopefully will get some better photos as time goes on.

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Tell her (and yourself ) well done, it's nicely in focus and looks like you caught a double or binary star. If you download stellarium on your PC or phone it's free, you can try to work out what youre capturing.

Align the wedge by putting the scope at home position ( aim north and level to ground) then adjust the wedge to aim scope at Polaris. Have a look on you tube .

The 5se is a very nice scope, also Google planetary imaging with a DSLR.

All the best !

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/celestial-objects-to-watch/orions-splendid-double-stars/

Possibly Rigel ?

Edited by knobby
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34 minutes ago, knobby said:

Align the wedge by putting the scope at home position ( aim north and level to ground) then adjust the wedge to aim scope at Polaris. Have a look on you tube .

They might find that bit challenging in Aus. :icon_biggrin:

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I hope you don't mind, but I ran your image through nova.astrometry.net to identify what you've captured.

 2460776.jpg.a74c22b8a0e1423043221839ac473ce1.jpg1539757.png.1704ee6c95db28634c8ba89e5b900ad0.png5aa2abf8cb7b1_1539757(1).png.e60251d65fbfb6467ea3ef8c8c7177ff.pngCoordinates.JPG.210e41f15458c9670b88723b457ae645.JPG

You've got nice separation of the double star Acrux, the brightest star in the Southern Cross constellation.

 

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31 minutes ago, knobby said:

It's only fair though, they get all the decent weather but we get Polaris ?

But for serious polar alignment we have BQ Oct! And we have all the best objects as well :happy8:

@Gavin1234 your best bet is to use a compass and inclinometer app to get aligned at first. In due course you can use more advanced methods.

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thanks once again all. I’ve been reading up on the wedge set up and tracking which seems ok so far except for one issue that confuses me.

the wedge on my mount has numbers on it. I’m at 33 degrees so I’ve tried to set the wedge at 33 but my level app says 50 degrees (see last two pics).

when I use the app to set the angle to 33 the mount indicator says 50 (see first two pics). I feel like I’m missing something really simple and this maybe a dumb question however, can anyone tell me whether I should use the phone app showing the plate at 33 or the indicator on the celestron mount? I.e. should the mounting plate itself be on an angle of 33 degrees (as measured by my phone) or should the indicator attached to my mount be at 33?

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Gavin1234
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The marking on the mount show your latitude so the angle from horizontal is 90 - latitude. e.g. at the equator  (latitude 0) the wedge would be vertical or 90 degrees from horizontal.

The markings also assume the tripod is level and that the markings are accurate - which they rarely are.

So for your latitude of 33 deg the wedge will be at an angle of 57 degrees

 

 

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Thanks Kens. Got it aligned to true south and hopefully the wedge is set properly so I’m good to go for tonight. Hopefully the sky’s are clear enough. Even marked out south on the ground to save time tomorrow.

the wedge seems like it’s on a very sharp angle. Hope I’ve done it right.

 

F611DFEF-669F-4E9D-9A05-A5BDC10C7A70.jpeg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone. Since we bought the scope we’ve had pretty bad weather and the moon has only been out at a reasonable hour twice so we haven’t had much practice yet, all up probably two hours. We’ve had a fair bit of trouble getting our alignment and tracking set up. But tonight I did manage to find the Orion Nebula. It looked like grey smoke in the eye piece so we hooked up the camera and took a few pics. We didn’t have a lot of time so we just played around with the iso and the exposure times as best we could. 

Here is a picture of the moon that we took and a few of the Orion Nebula (our first time we’ve spotted a dso).

next we’re going to learn how to process these and fine tune the camera settings. Any advice or comments on the photos would be greatly appreciated. Once again thanks so much for all of your help. Really enjoying our new hobby.

 

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