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What a b"£$%y stupid hobby.


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18 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 

Gradually realised I had aligned on pr4ocyon, not betelgeuse and  orion was only an hour from the tree of doom.

 

Love it. :hello2: I have one of those too, the "tree of doom" need to put in my alignment library :) 

Jim 

Edited by saac
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10 minutes ago, noah4x4 said:

Sorry, I bought a load of astro' gear in January..... I have since managed only two sessions each of under one hour before clouds conspired to halt things. But frustratingly there are some clear skies daytime, so could also be "days of expectation, nights of desperation".

That's really bad luck, but I agree that 2018 has been a really poor year here in East Anglia. I've just counted back and I've managed to do some imaging on 13 nights this year so far, a few of those maybe less than 1 hour. If I didn't have the observatory I wouldn't have been able to shoot anything on several of those 13 nights and even some of those I was shooting through high hazy cloud. The best period for me was late Jan through early March, but other than getting 3x10 min subs on 20 March, there has been nothing doing since night of 7/8 March.... :-(. In fact for March, so far I've captured just 43x10min subs, i.e. just over 7 hours total for the month and its not looking likely that there'll be any more...!! I was hoping to swap over to the C14 for some galaxy close ups for galaxy season, but I'm having my doubts....

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Hi all, 

Apologies to those who were puzzled by my rant last night... it's been building for the last few days and could probably have been a bit more coherent.   And thanks for the comforting words!   I'm not fed up with AP  - the challenges are interesting and great.  To be honest it intrigues me very much since I have a background in signal processing and I've a few ideas I'd like to try out.  I need is lots of data, but with the current weather I'm not getting much opportunity to gather any.  At the moment i'd settle for a good view of polaris and a few other stars visible so I can check my tracking set-up and test that the reinstalled PHD2 is tracking the mount properly.   I don't have an observatory so I have to set-up fresh each time.     I know it will improve eventually, but I want it now... Now.... NOW!

SR.

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I have come to the conclusion that in our climate, it is a long term hobby. If be happy with 1 or 2 good imaging sessions a month. By that I mean all nighters on a Friday or Saturday. They are likely to be few and far between so I've decided on the not so clear nights or mid week to just get the gear out and do some observing. It's a shame to waste any sort of clear night even if it's not good enough for imaging. I will try some lunar imaging as well in the summer when the nights are short.

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I more than once wanted to throw my mount abd scope down the balcony because i never got guiding to work.  

at least you did get the hang of guiding and everything else, now it's just waiting for the weather. And when it's cloudy or raining do something to enjoy yourself during it  :).

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On 26/03/2018 at 23:24, david_taurus83 said:

I have come to the conclusion that in our climate, it is a long term hobby. 

This is where I am at. I haven't imaged for ages but my kit is stable, i.e. I am not buying anything new and it is awaiting use. If the weather plays along, I will either be adding data to an existing image or finding a new target.

For my first few years I made absolutely every opportunity count, but it took its toll eventually with the disappointments far outweighing the successes in relation to the weather. So now I am just waiting for good nights instead of trying to make them.

 

Edited by StuartJPP
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I have had only 3 nights since Dec 7, I do keep an observers log book, 3 nights due to bitter cold and rain, and guess what! Come April it’s rainy season here officially. 

April showers May flowers as they say, it rains and rains and then some more, so scratch April too! if you treat the hobby like it’s responsible for entertaining you when you need then I have bad news.

You’re excited to get things going and you feel like the planet isn’t cooperating and it’s frustrating as all heck yes, I get it. Retreat, and regroup,  you’ll get your chance!. Try learning to fly RC airplanes costing hundreds only to pulverize several while learning, once because I forgot to install a 33 cent screw, wasted a $300 plane, felt just like you did, be patient. 

Edited by Sunshine
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On 25/03/2018 at 22:38, sheeprug said:

Please excuse my venting, but I'm getting really fed up with the weather.  Back in the autumn, having procured a decent scope, mount and associated kit I was up and running.  Some initial sessions bagged Bodes nebula, M42, M32 etc and all was looking good. I'd got polar alignment more or less sorted, PHD2 was working OK and the mount was tracking well with RMS errors of under a pixel. I'd got the hang of using DSS and Photoshop and I even had dithering working.   In fact I was beginning to think I had found a challenge I might be able to rise to. 

Then it all unraveled.  MS updates ruined a promising session, other software problems prevented tracking working, and now it seems ages since I actually had an opportunity to even do a proper system test owing to opportunity not coinciding with good conditions.   Now we're past the equinox, the clocks have gone back and still not a decent night in prospect.  Tonight sort of looked promising (maybe), but no - too much low altitude cloud ,and Clear Outside suggests no decent nights in line for the next week.  

Ho hum - back to the books I suppose.......

SR.

Patience Grasshopper, Patience :smiley:

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I've spent some time looking at how my images have change over the last three years.

Despite starting with a very basic webcam setup, my planets rapidly improved and were quite creditable by the end of the first 'season'. Changes to my gear have given worthwhile incremental improvements.

2015's attempts at DSOs were, mostly, pretty awful aside from M27 and M57 (no surprise!)

2016 with the 450D saw progressive improvements with recognisable DSOs thanks to a 450D and later a 130P-DS and I started getting some reliable and half-decent results.

2017 started with a poor season but better results, guiding and Ha arrived in mid 17 and I have had so few evenings I'm only just getting the hang of my new setup.

Interesting to see how many day a month I managed to image - note that some of these are solar, planets, DSOs and quick grabs of the moon. There may be some double counts in the days before I kept all my original data.

The autumn and winter of 15/16 sticks in my mind as giving loads of clear nights. Of course there are other factors like varying enthusiasm etc...

image.png.78327254b4a651f3ee14a0ff86840d90.png

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If I had a true count of the past 5 years imaging time I'd probably get depressed and sell all my gear. Clear nights have been very few and far between for me. 

Maybe I should start looking into astrophotography holidays for myself.

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It certainly can be frustrating at times, especially when you have new gear or techniques to try out!

Reading this thread prompted me to look back over the last 6 months, which have seemed particularly cloudy:

Oct '17: 2 deep sky sessions;

Nov '17: 3

Dec '17: 2

Jan '18: 0 (boo)

Feb '18: 8 (wow)

Mar '18: 2

At a guess, I'd normally expect about 3 imaging nights per month, so maybe the last few months were not so bad! By the way, although I did no deep sky imaging in January I was away for an aurora-photography trip a week around New Moon.

Another thought, slightly off topic, following the discussions about PHD issues and Windows updates: am I the only dinosaur still manually guiding?
I find it a great way to relax :icon_biggrin:.

Best regards, Mike.

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On 26/03/2018 at 17:21, Knighty2112 said:

You could try some solar imaging to compensate, especially with the days getting longer. Two pluses for that; 1) you won’t lose any sleep. 2) It will be much warmer for observing sesssions! ;) 

BUT, the opportunities are just as sparse lately :)
 

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My problem here in North Carolina is it's pine pollen season!! Every thing is covered with a thick yellow green dust from April till the first of May.

When the wind blows you see a green cloud of dust swirling around.

Mike

 

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On 26/03/2018 at 17:21, Knighty2112 said:

You could try some solar imaging to compensate, especially with the days getting longer. Two pluses for that; 1) you won’t lose any sleep. 2) It will be much warmer for observing sesssions! ;) 

Just what I was going to say Gus I took up Solar as it's easy set up and made up for those poor nights I now love it it's great being able to do some sort of astronomy even if the nights are bad sometimes the days are clear at times 

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I feel this pain too!  The best bit of March just went with only two clear nights (that didn't last more than a few hours anyway) and I think I've almost forgotten how to set all the kit up.

 

I've got into the habit of turning on the controller laptop at some stage in the afternoon so Microsoft can have their wicked way.  I suffered too many times with seemingly hours-long update/reboor sessions....

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On 3/25/2018 at 16:54, bobro said:

Not sure I understand what you are on about......or why I am responding to ths post. There is this strange black tube in the corner of my living room. I'm curious about what it is for though think the weather had some connection to what I did with it. Still, I grease it from time to time in case it comes in useful.....confused. :happy72:

This here is pretty much my situation, haven't used the scope in a good 2 months...

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On 4/1/2018 at 12:11, ncmike said:

My problem here in North Carolina is it's pine pollen season!! Every thing is covered with a thick yellow green dust from April till the first of May.

When the wind blows you see a green cloud of dust swirling around.

Mike

 

Sounds bad for my allergies, never mind astronomy.

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Perhaps I'm coming closer to understanding the purpose of the black tube in the corner of my living room ...........though there are 3 of them now (plus a little baby one perched on another). Could be a modern version of plaster ducks on the wall? I hope the numbers stop increasing - there may not be enough house room if any more appear during this cloudy weather! :happy10:

 

Tubes.jpg

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