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mike.brightmore

Sky at Night Magazine October Issue

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No big deal but S@N published my letter 'Astronomy on TV' - (their title) as the Inbox message of the month in the October issue. Well it meant a lot to a beginner like me.

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Hi Mike - I read that with interest. It sounds like a good compromise between imaging and visual work. I thought your images of globs were a step up in terms of detail from visual observation. Well done for getting this published. Ed

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Hi Ed

The webcam images are quick and easy and I use them as a sort of electronic sketchpad. Plugging the webcam into a TV set reveals much more than I can see visually. For example M33 is is totally invisible through the eyepiece but its there on the TV screen. The TV is also a good way of sharing the views, especially with people who are not used to eyepiece viewing.

Mike

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Hi there - thanks for the reply - what sort of equipment are you using for this? I've got a laptop, but what are the camera specs? It seems like a very useful way of extending visual work to me. Thanks. Ed

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Hi Ed

Scope is a Celestron CPC 1100 (280 mm aperture, 2800 mm focal length, f/10 focal ratio) The camera is a Watec WAT 120N full spec on the attached link http://www.opticstar.com/Run/Astronomy/Astro-Imagers-Watec.asp?s=fa130147-af4e-43f3-ba69-6779f964f619&p=0_10_0_52_2 This is the only one I've used so there may be better ones. This one is at the pricier end. It is an amazing little camera though. I think it was developed for low light surveillance and can virtually see in the dark when used terrestially.

Mike

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I had the Mintron camera which is not as good as the Watec, all the contols were on the back of the camera and it was a real pain changing the settings in the middle of winter. The Watec has a handset for this which I would guess is invaluable. It gave great veiws though, and certainly "does what it says on the tin", it gave much better results with a focal reducer in my 10" SCT.

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Hi Dan

filesize of the copy of the letter is too big to post.

Hi Gaz

I get best results with with a f/3.3 reducer. The hand control on the camera makes it much easier. Imagine you can sit in front of a TV with the camera control handset, GoTo handset and TV remote. I'm practising for when I get really old. Its also a good way to show friends who are not used to scopes a few sights. They don't trip over the wires either.

Mike

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Yep, Mike I'd imagine its great when setup properly like that. The Mintron was a bit limited in that respect, with the kit I had you had to be outside (although I think you maybe able to get a handset?).

Shame there arn't any decent colour models...

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I think the serious point to this setup is that it would enable people with accessibility difficulties to continue to enjoy astronomy. I don't mind monochrome because that's the way it is most of the time through the eyepiece. Just out of interest I have posted a few of the webcam images on the Hull And East Riding AS web site: http://www.heras.org.uk/index.php

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I must admit that mine isn't getting used at the moment as CCD has taken over :) But I remember the first time I got the orion neb and the crab on screen :shock: and I just love the way you can start with short subs on globs and then up the length and watch lots more stars start popping up. I'd also like to get it rigged up so that my Mum who has an eyesight problem can get to see things too. Just not enough clear nights :)

Helen

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Hi Mike - this is really helpful. You letter in S@N magazine really caught my eye. Thanks for sharing it with us. All the best. Ed

Edited by barkis

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