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Skymax 180 First (moon)light


AndyUK
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I guess there'll be quite a few moon images tonight (:(), but this was a first for me with the Skymax 180. Not ideal conditions as the moon was skimming across the top of the roof, so I had a LOT of shimmer but I simply had to try and get something on the laptop...

So here are my first two, the closeup with a phillips 880/flashed 900 (WX Astrocapture, 300/1000 frames @ 10fps, 1/250, stacked in AVIStack 2) and the other a DSLR prime focus image (well, sort of as I had to attach it to the diagonal - I need an extension tube - 1/100, f15 @ ISO800). I realised (too late) that I missed an opportunity to make a DSLR mosaic - Unfortunately the moon is now in "the streetlight zone", but never mind... :)

(This is the first "cat" I've owned and I was amazed at how much darker the image was and how much more difficult it is to focus - I tried capturing Saturn with the webcam, but my focus was way out :p. More practice required...)

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Cheers guys - I'm now trying to work out which crater that is (:p) so I can get a rough idea of how many km's I'm looking at... I've just had a scan right the way around a lunar map and still can't find it :) - Zucchius came close, but I know that's not it...

I was amazed that even with a 32mm eyepiece the moon was too big to fit in the FOV, but f15 is certainly going to take a bit of getting used to - Star aligning at dusk definitely wasn't as easy as at f5-6! It's certainly given me a lot more respect for the guys who get their images of Saturn / Jupiter @ f30 (or higher :(), and I'm currently a little bemused how anyone could see anything but the brightest DSO's with one of these - I'd read that cool down was a few hours, but 5 hrs should be enough (shouldn't it?)

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Nice shots Andy. The cooldown issue is overstated by some people IMHO. Don't worry about seeing DSOs at f15, the human eye doesn't work like a camera, as long as you don't overdo the magnification then the scope does a fine job on DSOs.

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Cheers both - I'm pretty sure that the scope would have cooled down in 5 hrs (probably less) so I don't think my problem was that...

The moon was very easy to focus with x10 liveview but I'm going to have to retry Saturn, although I think I may need to try it away from the back garden - As I noted, it (and the moon) skims across the top of my house... The turbulence was amazing when my daughter switched the shower on and the gas flue started blowing!

I was considering getting a TV 3x barlow (whilst they're 20% off for the next 4 weeks), but I think I've changed my mind now. Although I know I can easily try it, I have a Bahtinov mask for my MN190... Is there any chance that might work with the Mak 180 :hello2:. If so, I'm wondering about setting up the mount with a dual mount (ST102 on the other side), get the 2 OTA's aligned, slew to a star, focus the 180 with the mask and then slew back to Saturn... (and maybe I could then set up the Synguider on Saturn to lock it down even further?)

(Or am I being stupid here?)

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