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Swoop1

Don't get bogged down with the imaging!

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Recently, most of my scope time has been with a camera attached, trying to develop my basic imaging skills and gathering fodder for attempts at processing.

On Sunday evening however, after a day at work I just couldn't summon up the enthusiasm to get the mount aligned and dig out all the kit. The sky was great however so I knew I had to do something. I just deployed the Newt on the tripod with my AZ mount and engaged in a bit of moon gazing.

It was a very refreshing and joyful experience, just relaxing at the EP and wandering around the terminator for half an hour or so. For me seeing and tranparency seemed to be the best I have had for some time. After a while on the moon I just cast around the sky, seeing what, if anything I could stumble accross. No target in mind, just wandering amongst the stars.

Very relaxing and pleasurable.

Whatever your favoured aspect of astronomy, don't forget to revisit the basics occasionally.

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Amen to that! You’ll never catch me dead spending hours trying to get a PHD2 to work with an R2-D2 while synced with the jibber jabber module monitored by the doo dah lol. If it isn’t a planet or a moon, if I can’t image it in 30sec then forget it.

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I can fully relate to the op's comments....lost track of the number of times I've packed up the AP kit on a good night after achieving nothing due to some minor procedural oversight. The sheer simplicity of kit without wires or batteries is an underestimated pleasure too often forgotten.

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Agree with the sentiment.  However, different people have different interests and we need to be mindful of that 👍🏻

And I love visual as well.

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I totally agree with the sentiment of the thread.  In fact I quite like it when I know a clear period isn't forcast to last long, or there's intermittent cloud, because I don't feel the excuse to go for an imaging session. I can just tour the skies visually. 

Actually the the same sentiment might also be applied to imaging. I don't feel the need to strive on every occassion to achieve 'publishable' image  quality, let alone anything to rival the masters.  There's not much chance of that  in my case anyway. I don't have the time, the opportunity, the equipment or the skill.  Nevertheless, it's good to take even modest image as a simple record of what I've done.  I normally print a small 6x4", stick it in my A4 note book and write a few words about the object like what it is, how far away, angular diameter, description and the conditions on the night. 

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I have tried visual but never really had the equipment.  My real interest is imaging on the back of my life-long interest in photography.  Astigmatism is a problem with observing too.

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A pair of bins, a sun lounger, a Star Atlas and a good brandy make a very fine combination.

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5 hours ago, Swoop1 said:

Recently, most of my scope time has been with a camera attached, trying to develop my basic imaging skills and gathering fodder for attempts at processing.

On Sunday evening however, after a day at work I just couldn't summon up the enthusiasm to get the mount aligned and dig out all the kit. The sky was great however so I knew I had to do something. I just deployed the Newt on the tripod with my AZ mount and engaged in a bit of moon gazing.

It was a very refreshing and joyful experience, just relaxing at the EP and wandering around the terminator for half an hour or so. For me seeing and tranparency seemed to be the best I have had for some time. After a while on the moon I just cast around the sky, seeing what, if anything I could stumble accross. No target in mind, just wandering amongst the stars.

Very relaxing and pleasurable.

Whatever your favoured aspect of astronomy, don't forget to revisit the basics occasionally.

This is one thing I highly agree with and always have . Yes imaging is fun but you miss out on a lot of enjoyable viewing unless you divide your time up and give viewing ample time . Images cannot replace actual viewing .

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1 minute ago, celestron8g8 said:

This is one thing I highly agree with and always have . Yes imaging is fun but you miss out on a lot of enjoyable viewing unless you divide your time up and give viewing ample time . Images cannot replace actual viewing .

Absolutely 100%.

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I recently had that same experience.  I didnt bother with my main imaging rig, plate solving, guiding, etc, etc.  I went out to the back yard, and simply did a quick polar alignment with a Star Adventurer mount and imaged with a DSLR - no cables, no pc, just pure simplicity.  It was incredibly relaxing being outside, not in a warm room or obervatory, looking up at the sky, etc.  It doesnt do any harm to take a break from it all at all.

 

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...  this thread explains a key reason why I kept my SW Dob 300, monstrosity though it is.  Sometimes, simply CBA to be messing about with IT.  I do IT all day at work and it does my head in having to do that at night too on an hobby I am meant to be enjoying when platesolving, autofocus etc is not playing ball - and we all know that sometimes, the imaging gods are not kind to us.

Edited by kirkster501
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I have an EQ8 mount capable of taking quite a weight.  At one time I had a triple telescope imaging rig mounted on it but it could take a large Newt as an alternative.  Biggest scope I have at present is the SW 190MN - 190mm (7.5").  I may think about how big a Newt it could take and may start saving up...

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The streetlights around here make visual difficult and less than satisfying. I tend to image at the "snapshot" level and am reasonably content with results others would bin in disgust - and that's ok. I still often get out the 7x50s for a "cruise" while the imaging gear is doing its thing, and sometimes stumble upon things I didn't realise were there. So I reckon I get the best of both worlds in unsatisfactory conditions for either.

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2 hours ago, Demonperformer said:

The streetlights around here make visual difficult and less than satisfying. I tend to image at the "snapshot" level and am reasonably content with results others would bin in disgust - and that's ok. I still often get out the 7x50s for a "cruise" while the imaging gear is doing its thing, and sometimes stumble upon things I didn't realise were there. So I reckon I get the best of both worlds in unsatisfactory conditions for either.

Well said and, at the end of the day, that is all that matters.  That *you* are happy.

As I said in another thread, don't forget visual on The Moon.  Our nearest celestial body and we curse at it!  She is a wonderful thing to view and photograph.  I spent 90 mins visual on the Moon last night, it was fabulous.  No dark skies needed and streetlights do not effect.

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Well, I have been working on my ST120 / Sky-Tee "Push To"... 😉
It was undeniably FUN to take a break from my (ersatz) imaging! 
I did find myself "making a connection" between image & view...

"Modestly" priced Visual Setups are much more available now?
I used to be so KEEN in my youth... Start YOUNG is my advice! 😎

Edited by Macavity
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Or do both at the same time!

Last year my portable setup reached a degree of (reliable) automation where after setting it up it would happily run until the morning with little help required (only took 2 years to get there 😀). So now I bought myself a 12 inch Taurus travel dob to enjoy the night sky while the cameras are hoovering up the photons. Very enjoyable!

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After using "imaging techniques" for Neptune. I removed the camera...
Substituted an eyepiece. For a change my scope remained on track? lol
I glimpsed a (very) "blue dot" Neptune through an eyepiece anyway. 😎 

Edited by Macavity

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A blue dot seems to be all you can expect of Neptune - just seeing that is the business!

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Sometimes I think about relaxing in a sky viewing chair looking at the night sky through a pair of imaging specs that would show me real-time what only cameras can today capture. A great mixture of visual and imaging - what a sight that would be looking around the sky e.g. just imagine the size of the Rosette nebula!

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3 hours ago, AngryDonkey said:

Or do both at the same time!

I'm completely with you on this. I love the sense of achievement that successful imaging can bring, and I've even come to enjoy the processing side. But nothing for me matches being at the eyepiece. So I set an imaging run going and then get the dob out.

Plus I've found that once the camera is going I'm more likely to mess it up than improve things! 

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Of course, to do visual, you first have to own one of those eyepiece thingamabobs.

I think one came with @Tomatobro‘s Esprit, when I’ve taken an image or two that I’m satisfied with, I’ll put it in the end of the scope.🤩

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Last year I did both at the same time, which reminds me it's about time the Dob came out to play.

Alan

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