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Not posted some images since my introduction in the welcome section. With the dark nights finally back here in Scotland I thought Id share some of the DSOs I managed to capture back in Feb-April just before the light nights rolled in at the start of May.
These were all stacked and edited in PixInsight.
1. The Running Man and Orion Nebula - less than an hour of integration time (SA pro + fuji 55-200mm lens).
2. Bodes and Cigar Galaxy - Less than an hour of integration time ( SA pro + SW 72 ED telescope).
3. Flame, Horsehead, Running Man and Orion Nebula - Less than an hour of integration time (SA pro + fuji 55-200mm lens).
4. Pinwheel Galaxy - 35 mins integration time (SA pro + SW 72 ED telescope).
5 Whirlpool Galaxy - 21 mins integration time (SA pro + SW 72 ED telescope).
6. Andromeda Galaxy - 1.5 minutes integration time (Move Shoot Move + fuji 55-200mm lens).
By Ryan Adams
I recently posted a thread getting ideas for what scope and mount I should get for beginner astrophotography.
After researching on my own and getting thoughts from others on scopes and mounts here is what I have come up with.
Mount - Skywatcher EQ5 GOTO
Scope - Sky-Satcher Explorer 130P-DS
Guide Scope - Skywatcher Evoguide ED50
Guide Camera - ZWO ASI120MM Mini
DSLR - Canon 350D
I understand that the camera I am using is fairly old but it is an old DSLR that I have at home and it saves me money on buying a new camera. All in all this setup comes to just over £1000; I just wanted to people's get thoughts on this set up and if it can be improved in any way without stretching the budget by more than £100. Also I wanted to know whether any of the equipment I have chosen isn't great.
Thanks in advance,
I recently scored a great deal on facebook marketplace and bought Skywatcher Skymax 180 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope (f/15) with EQ6R-pro mount. I understand that long focal length telescopes are more suitable for planetary imaging. However, as I am tight on budget, I would like to use the same scope for deep-sky astrophotography. I have Canon Rebel T5 DSLR camera that I am using for taking images. Without autoguiding and a decent polar alignment, I can get ~30 seconds long shots without any star trailing, but that's not sufficient for imaging objects like M51. I would like to be able to integrate longer, say few minutes, thus would like to purchase an autoguider. Here are some specific questions I have.
1). The telescope comes with an 8 x 50 straight-through finder. If I were to use it as a guidescope, what type of image integration time can I expect? Has anyone done autoguiding for f/15 scope with an 8x50 or other finderscopes?
2). If the integration time will be an issue with the 8x50 finder scope, I am open to purchasing an off-axis-guider. However, considering the narrow field-of-view of Mak-180 telescope, I am concerned about not having enough photons from guidestar for autoguiding. For instance, with my DSLR camera, I need to integrate 20-30 seconds to see the nearby stars in M51. What type of OAG and camera would I need to autoguide with my scope? Are there affordable cameras (~$200) that would do the job for me? Would ASI120MM Mini Monochrome (~$150) do the job? What about OAG?
I plan to use phd2 software for autoguiding rather than relying on the build-in guide port on the mount. Instead of integrating for hours, I am planning to do DSS stacking of few mintues long multiple shots, hopefully this will put less strict requirements on the autoguider.
In case this information is relevant: with my current setup, I have no issue pointing my scope to a desired deep-sky object, track the object within the field-of-view of my DSLR camera for hours using the mechnical tracking of the EQ6 mount. For instance following is a single raw image of Ring nebula taken with 30 seconds shot. But it is not enough for generating high-quality images.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1).
Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS.
Eyepiece: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38).
In spring 2019 I created a Sky Safari observing list of 214 highest brightness galaxies in the night sky above.
I have observed 134 of the 214 (the others have not been well placed over my garden when I have been outside).
In my first pass through these 134 galaxies, they were graded 0-3 (where 3 means "clear spiral arms" and 0 means "nothing to see here!")
I have now completed a second pass through the grade 2 and grade 3 galaxies. This has resulted in some movement between bands based on my now greater experience and having a better idea of what I expect to see.
My latest graded lists contain 38 grade 3 galaxies and 30 grade 2 galaxies (when combined this gives a list of the best galaxies to view when using military night vision technology combined with a low power eyepiece (using the TeleVue PVS-14 adapter).
[Note that lower power eyepieces give the best spiral arm results as they “increase the effective focal ratio” of the telescope/night vision system which really helps increase the detail seen at the eyepiece.]
As we are still in galaxy season 2020, now seemed a good time to re-publish my findings so others have the opportunity to observe some of these fantastic galaxies before they become “unavailable” for another 10 months…
Grade 3 galaxies (the best of the best).
M51 M61 M64 M65 M66 M81 M90 M91 M94 M95 M96 M99 M100 M101 M106 M109 NGC891 NGC2403 NGC2903 NGC3184 NGC3628 NGC3631 NGC3726 NGC3893 NGC3953 NGC4051 NGC4216 NGC4274 NGC4449 NGC4559 NGC4565 NGC4618 NGC4725 NGC5248 NGC5371 NGC5746 NGC5907 NGC6946
Grade 2 galaxies (good but the arms are not quite there…)
M82 M88 M98 M104 NGC2537 NGC2768 NGC3294 NGC3344 NGC3373 NGC3596 NGC3646 NGC3675 NGC3718 NGC3729 NGC3813 NGC3938 NGC4013 NGC4214 NGC4293 NGC4389 NGC4490 NGC4517 NGC4535 NGC4625 NGC4762 NGC5005 NGC5364 NGC5383 NGC5775 NGC6015 Hopefully someone will find this useful information, next time they plan a galaxy observing session...
Note that my dobsonian uses an Astrodevices Nexus unit which I control using Sky Safari. Here are my exported observing lists (which you can import into your Sky Safari app should you wish to do so?)
Grade 3 Galaxies.skylist
Grade 2 Galaxies.skylist
1. email them to your phone/ipad,
2. read the email on your mobile device and after clicking on the attachment, you should be offered the chance to “send to Sky Safari” by your email app…
3.Sky Safari will open and give a message “Observing List Created”.