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So I am new to astrophotography and was looking for some advice on what to buy, mainly the mount as I don't have a huge budget.
I am currently using a SkyWatcher 102mm Telescope (500mm Focal Length) with a Canon 550d along with a EQ2 mount, so no motors as of yet.
Any advice on what mounts to get would be great.
By Cosmic Geoff
Last night I got outside early to grab a chance to observe 3 major planets: Jupiter - could make out little in the twilight with the 127mm Mak. Saturn - seeing still poor - I imaged it but the result is not worth showing.
Mars later on was better - its apparent size has shrunk, but this was the first time this year I have had a result with Syrtis Major facing the Earth. Syrtis Major, the bright area of Hellas and the south polar cap can all be made out in the image. Altitude of Mars was about 11deg - note that the southerly declination is decreasing as it moves North - quite significant if it is roof skimming as here.
Imaged with C8 SE, ASI120MC, ADC, processed in Registax6.
I have an old StarlightXpress Frame store that hasn't been used for years.
After the order from "on-high" to de-clutter I was going to take it to the skip along with other old astro stuff, but thought I'd just check to see if it was working.
It appears to work fine so if any use can be found for it I would rather donate it to someone than take it to the skip.
For those not familiar with the SX original Framestore it is self contained and only needed a PC to save images. To do that there was rudimentary software and a card to insert into the PC. Of course, being the late 1990's it was designed for use with Windows 98. To save images would require an old desktop with Windowa 98 or maybe Windows 2000 on it.
However, for taking short or long exposure images and displaying them on a screen no PC is needed. I did use it at a star party to do just that. Showing a group of people objects they couldn't see well, if at all, through the scope directly collected quite a crowd.
In the spirit of reducing landfill, if it can be of any use to anyone who is prepared to collect it from Maidenhead I will happily give it away.
I attach images of the setup taken last week.
I purchased a GSO 6" f/4 Newtonian "Astrograph" late last year and eventually found that stars on one corner were egg shaped while taking images. I narrowed it down to improper centering of secondary mirror from the factory and resulting tilt.
Long story short, after numerous iterations, I used the Advanced Newtonian collimation technique by Astro Shed guy and ended up with the below pic of the optics. Does it look ok or do I need to do more? I will be checking with a Howie this weekend too.
All set up to go with the sole aim of getting some Saturn images!
To start off it was Jupes again to get some imaging done... The GRS superbly placed and looking Redder than a lidl tomato (subliminal advertising)
After capturing some film it was time to properly align using Polaris and that wonderful on ya knees polar scope method!!! Boom!! three calibration stars and 'GoTo' whatever you wish for!
Cygnus time - Check sheets and then give up and go and fetch Sissy Haas bible...
20 lovely doubles, not rushed just enjoyed and studied hard... working with my Starwave f/11 102 and for those difficult ones a 6.5 Meade HD and even with the 2.5 Revelation Barlow gave interesting views... 200x the recommended max mag on that Starwave, I squeezed more than that out of her.
The stars looked round and colourful the companions sometimes hard to spot... But there's a great deal of satisfaction when you see them close by.
I made some star symbol notes in the book when a true double of beauty made me smile, my top few were:
Σ 2668 Superb
26 Gyg lovely
19 Cyg Bright Red
Σ 2687 Sharp
49 Cyg Faint
48 Cyg Wide
H IV 113 Spot on (why did I write that?)
61 Cyg Nice
Also - Σ 2760, 59 Cyg, 52 Cyg, O Σ 410, Σ 2705, Σ 2588, S 726, Σ 2578, 16 Cyg, δ Cyg
So that's my haul for the night... By the time I had finished those it was 01:30 and cloud had covered what was left of Saturn. The great thing about that session was that I didn't have those long whiney scope movements around the sky, it was all within the constellation. I expect my neighbours with open windows were also grateful.
Love that 102 f/11 Starwave scope.... A lot of the comments in Sissy Haas recommend a 150mm for some of the hits I made with my 102 so I'm happy... to get the colour is special as well... Not sure my alignment was that great because after entering RA & Dec the doubles were not always centered which resulted in me having to move towards the nearest double looking star a lot of the times.
Didn't get -19 Cyg or T Cyg although I tried...
Oh and on editing my images I notice I bagged both Europa and Io.... shame Jupiter disappeared behind next doors roof before the shadow made a transit! I've had to lighten one image to show the moons so beware you professionals 🙂