Yet Another Cycling Forum

Random Musings => Gallery => Phototalk => Topic started by: Jaded on July 01, 2012, 12:21:27 am

Title: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on July 01, 2012, 12:21:27 am
Hand held, 630mm (equiv to 35mm - actual focal length 420mm), f4, 1/320.

About 1/4 of the frame.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/moon.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: Peter on July 01, 2012, 12:24:05 am
Impressive!
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: Wobbly John on July 01, 2012, 07:23:14 am
I remember doing moon photos in the days of film with a 400mm lens. It's suprising how bright the moon is (i'm pretty sure I used f5.6 @ 1000th sec!) until you realise that it's just an object lit by full sun and the distance away isn't important.

Good picture Jaded.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: numbnuts on July 01, 2012, 10:10:24 am
taken with a webcam and telescope

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y31/YakDiver/moon.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: rogerzilla on July 07, 2012, 10:55:54 am
I'm sorry Jaded, numbnuts just trounced your noble effort  ;D

Hey, is that a Clanger I see?
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: Peter on July 07, 2012, 12:43:56 pm
Roger, that's grossly unfair!  Jaded's was hand-held and obviously taken from much further away!

Excellent, NN.
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: Jaded on July 07, 2012, 01:39:48 pm
Quite. Numbnuts lives further north. And if he doesn't, he ought to, with a photo like that!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: Jaded on October 25, 2013, 12:13:08 am
(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/moon_2013-10-24_.jpg)

A first effort with a telescope. A hazy cloud and not long after it had risen over headland. Looking at the timings, I had about 8 minutes before the cloud completely obscured it.
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: numbnuts on October 25, 2013, 08:39:51 am
That looks good, what telescope do you have
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: clarion on October 25, 2013, 09:31:00 am
Gosh.
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: Jaded on October 25, 2013, 10:05:02 am
It is a (PPI funded) Celestron ST 8". I spent most of the time before the moon rose trying to identify stars to orient the auto-find. The moon, by contrast, was easy to find. That shot is full frame (DX) but I need to sort exposure and focussing out better. Research when I was back in the warmth says LiveView is the way to go for focussing. Also image stacking, but as I only had two good images that was out of the question.

I didn't see any deep space stuff as it is a huge learning curve and I'm on the bottom of it. Plus my night vision hadn't developed enough I think. Mainly however, because of the dashing clouds! There is obviously a knack to juggling reading glasses, a star chart, a red torch, a chair and the telescope without standing on something valuable in the dark.

There is virtually no light pollution up here, but in payback , no clear sky either.  ;D
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: numbnuts on October 25, 2013, 10:25:09 am
I have the same, but only a six inch,  I'm still learning to use mine, the web cam that I had broke so now saving up for a better one http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/ZWO-Astronomy-Camera-ASI120MM-Free-shipping/311206_647449237.html
The trouble with me I live in a flat and loads of light pollution so I have to drive 20 miles round trip so it tends not to get used so much.
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: hellymedic on October 25, 2013, 02:32:40 pm
It is a (PPI funded) Celestron ST 8". I spent most of the time before the moon rose trying to identify stars to orient the auto-find. The moon, by contrast, was easy to find. That shot is full frame (DX) but I need to sort exposure and focussing out better. Research when I was back in the warmth says LiveView is the way to go for focussing. Also image stacking, but as I only had two good images that was out of the question.

I didn't see any deep space stuff as it is a huge learning curve and I'm on the bottom of it. Plus my night vision hadn't developed enough I think. Mainly however, because of the dashing clouds! There is obviously a knack to juggling reading glasses, a star chart, a red torch, a chair and the telescope without standing on something valuable in the dark.

There is virtually no light pollution up here, but in payback , no clear sky either.  ;D

Spectacle cords and head torches are your friends.
Nobody will see if you look like a dork!
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: Jaded on October 30, 2013, 12:13:08 am
An update - no sky visible since my last post! helly - a cord for the glasses sounds like a great idea - but the headtorch, can you get a red filter for one?

numbnuts, this whole thing of DSLR vs a webcam type camera, stacking images from stills or a video it's all fascinating.

I fear that trying to take photos is running before I can walk.
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: hellymedic on October 30, 2013, 05:23:27 pm
David has a red head torch. Otherwise I'm sure you could bodge one from old bike lights.
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: Mrs Pingu on October 30, 2013, 09:40:51 pm
Cellophane?
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: andrew_s on October 30, 2013, 10:51:06 pm
but the headtorch, can you get a red filter for one?
The Alpkit Gamma (http://www.alpkit.com/gamma) and the Petzl Tikka XP2 (http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/headlamps/universal/tikka-xp) have red LED modes for preserving night vision. The Petzl has the advantage that you don't have to cycle through white when turning it on or off.

edit: there's also the Tikka Plus2 (http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/headlamps/universal/tikka-plus). There is also an optional LiPo USB rechargeable battery pack available for the Tikkas (Core).
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on November 03, 2013, 03:12:54 am
Well, after 10 days of rain, cloud, hail and wind, got home following a 12 hour journey and behold! A clear sky! No wind!

So the kids and I have just looked at the low hanging fruit of Jupiter. Banding clearly visible. Hooray! No photies as I am knackered. Later.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: BrianI on November 03, 2013, 07:40:36 am
I've always wanted a telescope!  Alas, no funds for one :-(

Great moon shots though, Jaded & numbnuts!

 :)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on November 09, 2013, 10:38:54 pm
I am toying with getting a telescope. What would I need to get in addition to use my Sony a350 DSLR to capture images?
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on November 10, 2013, 03:07:01 pm
A good tripod, for starters...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: BrianI on November 10, 2013, 04:28:17 pm
And a doobrie for aligning lens on camera on telescope eyepiece?
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on November 10, 2013, 04:30:42 pm
For my Nikon D7100 to fit on my Celestron 8SE I got:

SCT T-Adapter
Nikon T ring

The two adaptors link up and then link the camera to the telescope.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Trull on December 04, 2013, 08:15:22 pm
I was the President of Aberdeen Astonomical Society for a few years, for my sins.

I liked taking images of the sun:

(http://www.torcuill.plus.com/images/sun19may12350d.jpg)

Tech details:
Ha modded Canon 350d on Baader Herschel wedge with continuum filter and grey, on Vixen ED103swt APO refractor, mounted on a Vixen GP-DX controlled with the eponymous Skysensor 2000PC controller hooked up via a rs232/usb cable to MacBook running Starry Night Pro and AstroPlanner. Nebulosity captured the RAW sensor information and ensured FWHM focussing was cracked. Subtracted bias, flat, and dark image before colourising the result to be golden yellow rather than green. Caker!

Feel free to ask questions - I'm giving a talk at the Maritime Museum 30th Jan'14 all about stargazing around Aberdeen btw, at the invitation of the University of Aberdeen.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on December 04, 2013, 11:17:53 pm
If you ever get invited to give a talk at the Mills in Dundee then do let us know..
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on December 06, 2013, 11:00:20 am
... mounted on a Vixen GP-DX controlled with the eponymous Skysensor 2000PC controller

Hmm, I wonder how many other YACFers use that combination. 

I'd previously used a GP with the ancient and slow skysensor3 but was v pleased to be able to pick up a GP-DX with the Skysensor 2000pc after some meticulous googling to find a passing mention of "oh, I've got a couple of ancient Vixen mounts in the garage with computerised drives".  A real delight to use - if only we had some decent skies down our way!

Lovely sun, by the way!
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Trull on January 04, 2014, 08:17:07 pm
Aye PaulR the SS2K is great - I've no idea why Vixen stopped making them, streets ahead of Meade/Celestron's offerings...and bar fitting a new board battery they don't really wear out. What firmware version are you on? You can get a new eeprom to update it 2.10...

Glad you liked the image of Sol.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Pedal Castro on January 04, 2014, 10:02:19 pm
Glad you liked the image of Sol.

Shame about all those black smudges on it though, couldn't you photoshopped the out?  ;D
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Trull on January 05, 2014, 11:22:10 pm
What do you mean the black holes? OMG - run!!!!!
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on January 06, 2014, 11:48:07 am
What firmware version are you on? You can get a new eeprom to update it 2.10...

Not sure - I seem to recall the date coming up as 1995/6 when firing it up, I think that may be a version 1.06 or something.  But as I don't run it with a PC I haven't encountered the problems that I understand require the new eeprom.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: T42 on January 06, 2014, 01:29:59 pm
(http://www.pbase.com/johnewing/image/112014777.jpg) (http://www.pbase.com/johnewing/image/112014777)

Also handheld. ;D
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on January 06, 2014, 03:53:42 pm
What are the views of the illuminati on this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skywatcher-Explorer-Newtonian-Reflector-Telescope/dp/B004N0J66M/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=C4OU9TFQEVHP&coliid=I2227O7127693V) as a starter scope for gazing and photography?
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on January 06, 2014, 05:27:17 pm
Not up to the job for photography, I fear, as that mount is a flimsy one.  But the optics should be OK for visual observing. 

But much depends on what you're planning to observe and photograph: photography of faint fuzzies (yes, that's galaxies, nebulae etc) requires a solid mount, preferably with accurate motor drives and possibly even capacity for autoguiding (linking output from a guide camera through a computer that monitors the movement of a guide star and sends signals back to correct the mount) but for webcam imaging of planets or the moon you can make do with a simple motorised mount.  On the other hand, if you're doing planetary imaging, you will also want a long focal length (to deliver big enough image scale) as well as aperture (to give higher resolution) - and that is pricey.

For portability and planets and the moon, maybe this:
http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=76850 (http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=76850)

For purely visual use, you might prefer a simple outfit like this:
http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html (http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html)
Good balance between aperture, focal length and price.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on January 06, 2014, 05:29:45 pm
...and/or get along to a BBC Stargazing Live public event this week

I have five free tickets for the event at Egham on Thursday - let me know if you'd like them

Or to Astrofest in Kensington in February, or the Baker Street Irregulars meeting in Regents Park on Thursday, or to a local astro club's event - quite a few clubs are putting on public events this week.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: numbnuts on January 06, 2014, 05:39:38 pm
What are the views of the illuminati on this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skywatcher-Explorer-Newtonian-Reflector-Telescope/dp/B004N0J66M/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=C4OU9TFQEVHP&coliid=I2227O7127693V) as a starter scope for gazing and photography?
The mount has to be very very good, when I first started look at telescopes I thought £500 would get me something reasonable, but the mounts were not up to it, I only have a 6 inch scope but the legs on the tripod are 2 inch stainless steel and it is solid as a rock, they have to be a slight wobble at the mount and you could miss the planet completely.
I'm going to the Portsmouth Stargazing Live tomorrow night.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Trull on January 06, 2014, 07:02:16 pm
What are the views of the illuminati on this (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Skywatcher-Explorer-Newtonian-Reflector-Telescope/dp/B004N0J66M/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=C4OU9TFQEVHP&coliid=I2227O7127693V) as a starter scope for gazing and photography?

You knew you were not going to get one simple answer yes? You might have just asked the "wot's the best bike for Audax?" question...

I'd think about http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Classic-Dobsonians/Orion-StarBlast-45-Astro-Reflector-Telescope/pc/1/c/12/sc/13/p/102010.uts as its really easy to use and can be easily repurposed.

I'd also forget about any form of astrophotography other than to hold my iPhone up to the eyepiece of the StarBlast until I can drop at least 2k on the problem.

I'd also suggest you buy a manfrotto tripod and a reasonable Canon DSLR for 200 from fleabay and get into Night Time Photography first before venturing towards astro-photography. There's a handy ebook on this from my mate Phil Hart www.philhart.com (http://www.philhart.com) please visit his website as his photography is inspiring.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on January 07, 2014, 08:08:02 am
Food for thought there gang. Thanks :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: T42 on January 07, 2014, 02:33:33 pm
You can always build yourself a Dob, e.g. from David Kriege & Richard Berry's book The Dobsonian Telescope. Main expense would be the mirror, wedge & eyepiece carrier/focuser.  I did this in 2000 and the result was quite pleasing.  Dobs are great for visual observation, and you can get pics of the moon once you get the hang of it.

You might also find a second-hand Meade ETX reasonably cheaply. The optics on these are great and they're very transportable. You can use them as terrestrial telephoto lenses, too.

I eventually jacked it in: staying up late wasn't conducive to getting up early to ride.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on January 08, 2014, 02:44:25 pm
Some simple stuff from the Beeb

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/25401782
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Pingu on January 09, 2014, 07:23:00 pm
For teh lolz:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3678/11858741073_d2922c4e59_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_pingus/11858741073/)
IMG_0721 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_pingus/11858741073/) by The Pingus (http://www.flickr.com/people/the_pingus/), on Flickr

ETA: I think the moons are, bottom to top: Ganymede, Io, Europa, Callisto. From http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/javascript/jupiter#
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Pingu on January 09, 2014, 09:16:11 pm
Feel free to ask questions - I'm giving a talk at the Maritime Museum 30th Jan'14 all about stargazing around Aberdeen btw, at the invitation of the University of Aberdeen.

Bum - I'll miss this.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: CrinklyLion on January 10, 2014, 11:01:07 pm
...and/or get along to a BBC Stargazing Live public event this week

(https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/t1/1546164_10152069631246839_1158623518_n.jpg)

I haz happy Cub.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on January 13, 2014, 09:38:43 am
I had a delightful bike ride on Saturday from Greenwich to Mill Hill - not only was the weather and the company top notch, but we got a tour of the University of London observatory from Nic, a cycling interferometrist.  Here he is telling us about the 24" and 18" refractors in the main dome.
(http://www.lfgss.com/picture.php?albumid=1889&pictureid=16801)

We also had a chance to observe the moon and Jupiter through the venerable Fry refractor, a three metre long steampunk instrument of delight from 1862, refurbished in glorious shiny black and brass.

And here's a rough and ready shot of Jupiter from Friday morning.

(http://www.lfgss.com/picture.php?albumid=1889&pictureid=16804)

PS - yes, I did edit his eyes a bit for comic effect
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on January 13, 2014, 09:39:59 am
Cool!
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: numbnuts on January 13, 2014, 11:48:45 am
Very nice well done
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Pedal Castro on January 13, 2014, 12:23:41 pm
I had a delightful bike ride on Saturday from Greenwich to Mill Hill - not only was the weather and the company top notch, but we got a tour of the University of London observatory from Nic, a cycling interferometrist.  Here he is telling us about the 24" and 18" refractors in the main dome.
(http://www.lfgss.com/picture.php?albumid=1889&pictureid=16801)

We also had a chance to observe the moon and Jupiter through the venerable Fry refractor, a three metre long steampunk instrument of delight from 1862, refurbished in glorious shiny black and brass.


That takes me back, cycling up to Mill Hill for 8 hour practicals. Trying to expose glass plates with sodium street lights to the left, and mercury flood lights to the right...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on January 20, 2014, 09:39:49 pm
An 8 hour practical sounds tough - we were only there for about an hour and a half and it was seriously cold.

Here's a rough process of some footage I shot last night with a new camera - quite pleased with the effect.

(http://www.lfgss.com/picture.php?albumid=1889&pictureid=16856)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on January 20, 2014, 11:45:37 pm
Now that is impressive!
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Trull on January 21, 2014, 07:01:49 am
Cool obsy visit, and that's a nice Jovial shot (see what I did there?)

One of my buddies works at the RGO (Das Baskill - Outreach Officer or something like that) and he broke bits of his body after an un-scheduled meeting with a badger whilst cycling to work. He's now being ritually mocked by all and sundry down there, so if you do see him don't forget...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: numbnuts on January 21, 2014, 09:59:25 am
That is very nice well done
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: woollypigs on January 21, 2014, 02:31:11 pm
Slight side note : If you ever should find yourself in NZ near Lake Tekapo, pop up to the Mt John University Observatory. It is supposedly the place to be on the south island if you want to look at stars. Just make sure that you are there when the weather is good, I have missed out twice - 2010 and 2012 - due to bad weather.

Great photos chaps, I should get my camera and tripod in order, since we do have a rather clear sky up here.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on January 21, 2014, 03:44:43 pm
When I was over in NZ in 2010 I didn't make it as far north as Lake Tekapo but I certainly enjoyed the dark skies at Glenorchy, at the head of Lake Wakatipu.  In this early morning shot, the moon was rising behind me and my feet were frozen through.
(http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f130/PaulRide/moonlit.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: woollypigs on January 21, 2014, 06:21:28 pm
Yup near Glenorchy it was rather dark, same at Mt. Cook. What I like about looking at stars, is that even if you don't know your constellations you still recognise the sky at night. Though when down under it just looked "weird" as in not the same, you are not at home.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on January 22, 2014, 12:45:02 pm
SWMBO has just booked this years holibob. Included is an excursion to and picnic at Mauna Kea :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Trull on January 23, 2014, 06:51:31 am
There's a Supernova in M82 right now, so you really need to make the effort to try and see it, it will apparently be brightening over the next two weeks and is ripe for the picking. The M82/M81 combo of Bode's and Cigar galaxies are one of my favourite fields of view and I can't wait to see this supernova.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/01/22/kaboom_nearby_galaxy_m82_hosts_a_new_supernova.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/01/22/kaboom_nearby_galaxy_m82_hosts_a_new_supernova.html)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on January 23, 2014, 09:42:01 am
Looking forward to having a go at the supernova.  Missed the one in M101.

The thing I really like about its discovery is that it was made by a staff astronomer at the Mill Hill Observatory, the destination of a fine bike ride less than two weeks ago.  He'd been doing a normal undergraduate class when he noticed the SN.  Have you seen the earlier Virtual Star Party footage, where they had it in plain view on their screens but failed to notice it?
Title: Re: The moon
Post by: contango on January 29, 2014, 03:24:27 pm
taken with a webcam and telescope

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y31/YakDiver/moon.jpg)

Wow, proof that aliens visited the moon. How else would anyone have written Logitech on the surface - surely they weren't in business when the Apollo astronauts landed?
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: numbnuts on January 29, 2014, 04:36:17 pm
(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y31/YakDiver/clangers_zps38b3954e.jpg) (http://s2.photobucket.com/user/YakDiver/media/clangers_zps38b3954e.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Pedal Castro on January 29, 2014, 09:33:44 pm
An actual piece of the Moon (brought back by Apollo 16), as seen through a microscope last week during the stargazing evening we hosted.
(http://www.ngs-school.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/tmp_Image12554074965.jpg)

And me showing lunar samples to young visitors
(http://www.ngs-school.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Stargazing-Night-2014-007_sm.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Trull on January 31, 2014, 05:37:52 am
My talk at the Maritime Museum went off with a bang last night - full house, standing room only at the back!

And two members of the local CTC Grampian cognoscenti made it along too, nice to put a face to the names.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on March 09, 2014, 12:23:13 pm
Been mooning again.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/Moon-stack.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Trull on March 09, 2014, 01:37:01 pm
Nice terminator Jaded.

I once stood on the Earth, with a bit of the Moon in my right hand,  and a bit of Mars next to a meteorite from who knows where in my left in the sunshine. I'm not sure about the cosmic significance - but it felt pretty damn cool.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on March 09, 2014, 02:02:34 pm
Confectionary from Slough or planet?  ;)

Partner is exhausted by National Astronomy Week. There were apparently 460 people at Ruislip Lido last night and there'll probably be a similar number tonight.

He'd rather be cycling...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: nicknack on February 02, 2015, 11:34:33 pm
The moon tonight
(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y289/nicknacknick/halo_zps1e7ecaed.jpg) (http://s7.photobucket.com/user/nicknacknick/media/halo_zps1e7ecaed.jpg.html)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Wowbagger on February 03, 2015, 12:40:34 am
It was like that this side of the Thames as well.

Snow later?
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on May 28, 2015, 10:43:22 pm
My, what a lot of stars are up there when you escape from London!  I took my camera with me to West Herefordshire for a couple of days this week, and had a clear night on our friends' front lawn.

Here's Lyra set against a backdrop of many thousands of bundles of nuclear fusion
(http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f130/PaulRide/marlboroughlyra_zpsyn8wpfkj.jpg)

And here's the left hand end of Cygnus, with the North America Nebula below Deneb
(http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f130/PaulRide/marlboroughngc7000_zpslusluu9x.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on March 09, 2016, 07:42:05 pm
A we thread ressurection. Two photos, the same (jpeg) original. Top one is straight out of the camera. The lower one is after some levels adjustment to selectively reduce the light pollution. (yes, OK, I should have been shooting raw, but I wasn't)

Thoughts?

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1533/25479807032_d01e0bbe2c_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/EPyEVN)Pictish stone at night (https://flic.kr/p/EPyEVN) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1714/25258714179_de404d062c_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Eu2vJ4)pictish_edit (https://flic.kr/p/Eu2vJ4) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on May 17, 2016, 08:27:14 am
It wasn't really dark when I shot this video last night.

http://vid46.photobucket.com/albums/f130/PaulRide/moonmovie_zpskhejuypw.mp4 (http://vid46.photobucket.com/albums/f130/PaulRide/moonmovie_zpskhejuypw.mp4)

Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: sg37409 on November 17, 2016, 08:58:40 am
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap161114.html
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: T42 on November 17, 2016, 09:15:45 am
Makes a nice change from phone pics. Ta!
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: orienteer on November 17, 2016, 12:14:50 pm
I looked at the picture and thought the man in the moon was asleep.....
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on January 09, 2017, 11:47:54 pm
Whilst I was at work today, Parcelforce delivered 2 large boxes and a little jiffy bag. The two boxes contained my first scope- Sky watcher explorer 150P complete with 10mm and 25mm eyepieces, a X2 Barlow and my EQ3-2 mount. The jiffy bag was my planetary and moon filter set.

I unpacked the gear and spent some time setting the equipment up then had dinner. As soon as I had eaten, the excitement got the better of me and I was outside where the cloud had cleared and the Moon was high and bright. I aligned the mount with Polaris and used the moon to centre my finder scope with the main scope. I then set to having a look at our nearest neighbour.

Wow! I am hooked. I spent a good 40 minutes swapping between eyepieces and the Barlow, getting a feel for how they perform and the relative merits of each combination. Having fallen back in love with the moon, I decided to try for a DSO and, utilising Starlight for guidance along with some remembered tips from Stargazers Lounge over the last few days, I located the rough vicinity of Andromeda. I aligned the scope using the finder and then started to do a bit of 'fishing'. After a few minutes of using the slow motion controls on the mount, a hazy blob came into view. I centred it and, again falling back on advice from SGL, relaxed into looking through the eyepiece and averting my gaze slightly. Before I knew it, the hazy blob had resolved into a milky cloud with a brighter heart. I was looking at my first ever galaxy! Another 40 minutes exploring the effects of the optics on my view of M31 and possibly getting a glimpse of M32 and I then had to call it a night.

A great evening exploring my new toy :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on January 10, 2017, 01:20:41 am
Excellent!
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on January 12, 2017, 01:53:58 pm
Well, Tuesday night was a bit of a failure.

I rode home with Venus very bright in the sky so set the rig up outside to cool while I got hygienic and changed. On going out to observe, I aligned the finder scope with Venus and looked through the 25mm wide field eyepiece. Focus was a tad marginal and light pollution from a nearby street lamp invasive. I managed to identify a disc so upped to the 10mm eyepiece. I had to do a bit of fishing round to reacquire Venus but got there. The disc was more evident but not very clear. I thought I would give the Barlow X2 a go with the 10mm so fitted it. Despite realigning with the finder, I just couldn't get my target into the field of view.
 
I decided to abandon Venus and switched to the Moon only to be clouded out :-\

Last night was much better. Re centred the finder and got straight onto Venus with the X2 and 10mm combination. A clear and distinct 2/3- 3/4 disc.

I then went Moon spotting again and I'm sure I saw mountains looming above the edge of the disc on the upper left limb as I viewed which should equate to the lower right limb by eye :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: T42 on January 12, 2017, 02:58:31 pm
My greatest experience with my first scope - a 114 mm reflector - was seeing Saturn's rings & 4 moons. The missus and I got up at around 4:30 am to do it, and spent about an hour taking turns until it was too washed out to see; then we had an early breakfast and got on with the day. I remember being surprised, towards lunchtime, to find I felt a bit tired.

That was >20 years ago.  I wouldn't get up now.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on January 13, 2017, 11:42:27 pm
Here is a bit of DIY fettlage- an eyepiece case made from a retired deWalt drill case and some foam left laying around at work-
(http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/mattlangridge/DSC06639.jpg) (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/mattlangridge/media/DSC06639.jpg.html)

(http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/mattlangridge/DSC06638.jpg) (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/mattlangridge/media/DSC06638.jpg.html)

(http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/mattlangridge/DSC06637.jpg) (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/mattlangridge/media/DSC06637.jpg.html)

Contents are what came with the scope- 10mm, 25mm eyepieces, X2 Barlow, finder scope and a box of lunar and planetary filters. The little red disc is a filter for a mini maglight to prevent night vision disruption if illumination is needed at a dark site. This was cut from the lid of a cheese football tub.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on January 15, 2017, 10:06:00 am
I identified a clear spell last night so decided to do some observing. I set the scope up at 9:00 o.m. and left it to cool for about 20 minutes, going out at around 9:20. I used the moon as an alignment target to check the finder scope was doing the right thing and then decided to hunt down the Orion Nebula.

I was unsure of its exact position within the constellation so used the finder to try and locate anything within that was more a hazy feature than a pinpoint star. I found one in a group of points just below the belt so took to the eyepiece, set up with the X2 Barlow and 10mm EP. Bingo! An irregular cloud shape with a line of 3 stars leading into it and a trapezium of stars central to the cloud. Fuzzy was a happy dude! I spent about 20 minutes at the EP tracking the nebula across the sky. Wonderful.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on March 26, 2017, 12:39:30 am
Last night and tonight both included an hour with the scope observing Jupiter. On both occasions I was able to discern surface detail in the the disc was split in to visible bands, last night with two dark bands visible, tonight being and improvement with 3 darker bands.

The Galilean moons were also visible on both nights, with tonights being the best of the two with all 4 moons on the same plane, though one was on the opposing side of Jupiter.

I also tried out my new 10 X 50 binoculars. The planetary disc was visible with the 4 moons just discernible as very faint pinpricks of light.

Jupiter is a fabulous target for observing :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on April 02, 2017, 11:17:26 pm
Last night was Maidenhead Astronomical Societies Stargazing Live outreach event, held at White Waltham aerodrome. Being a brand new member of the society, I attended with my scope and binoculars to offer my services.

The aerodrome is a good location for this type of event as there is a bar with attached function room which was set up for lectures.  The horizon to the West and South was very distant and the view pretty good. The only slight downside was the light bleeding out form the bar/ function room. This was offset by the fact that this light meant that visitors were able to see their way around without tripping over tripods and eyepiece boxes. 6- 8 of us set up outside with a range of scopes from my 150mm Newt through to 10" Newts plus refractors and Cassegrains etc. We set up from abut 18:30 and folks started arriving shortly after. At first the cloud cover was pretty total but it soon started to break up and before too long I had a queue at my scope waiting for a view of the pre dusk moon which was looking pretty good.

For the first hour or so, the cloud kept drifting in and interrupting but before too long, the cloud breaks started to increase and the target count increased also. As the night progressed, I was able to show Mercury and Mars, both as very slight but discernible discs, followed by the Orion Nebula which for most of the evening was nice and clear. The highlight for many was the appearance put in by Jupiter and the Galilean moons- tonight all four in nice alignment, 2 each side of the disc. I coached folk through using averted vision to discern banding and many were delighted to be able to report success.

The Pleiades were also very popular, I think because of the fascination caused by discovering just what a complete bucketload of stars they could see through the scope compared to naked eye.

Apparently we had a turnout of 400 plus visitors of all ages and the night was an overwhelming success.

In addition to the targets mentioned above, I also got my first view of M56, through another members 8" Robert Miller Newt. A glorious sight through an absolute gem of an OTA.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on April 02, 2017, 11:41:45 pm
David's been not too far away at Ruislip Lido on all three weekend nights. I think attendances have been in the 2-300 mark but there were only three telescopes last night. He too had wispy cloud. Hasn't been imaging but dealt with long queues.

Great that you're enjoying your astronomy!

David is still on a bus...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on April 11, 2017, 12:34:15 pm
Last night

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_8910.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on April 18, 2017, 11:30:35 pm
Jupiter was looking pretty damn spectacular tonight. Got my first look at the Great Red Spot. Awesome :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: woollypigs on April 24, 2017, 02:46:46 pm
I know it is not a photograph bit it is cool SPACE news

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/24/525374569/astronaut-peggy-whitson-sets-new-nasa-record-for-most-days-in-space
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on May 07, 2017, 11:40:59 pm
Due to the close proximity of the moon and Jupiter in conjunction with the first clear sky for over a week, I managed to get 5 moons and one gas giant into the same telescope field of view tonight. Absolutely awesome :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on August 17, 2017, 05:47:00 am
(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_5698.jpg)

or later, and longer

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_5717%20-%20Version%202.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: tonyh on August 17, 2017, 08:13:01 am
Gasp...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on August 23, 2017, 04:41:54 pm
Lovely images Jaded.

Anyone actually see any of the eclipse for real as opposed to on the news?
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on August 23, 2017, 07:44:33 pm
My partner, who is in the USA for another 10 days.
His ancient Canon DSLR cannot speak to his iPad, so he'll wait till his return to the UK load the images onto his iMac and release them to the world.

There was a titchy partial eclipse in the UK at sundown, which was cloudy for most but it has been imaged.
British Astronomical Association has received images from both sides of the Atlantic.
https://britastro.org/node/10981 (https://britastro.org/node/10981)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on August 23, 2017, 09:01:37 pm
Lovely images Jaded.

Anyone actually see any of the eclipse for real as opposed to on the news?

Yes! We saw it all. Story to come but I'm in a diner in Green River. If I can I'll post a photo.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on August 23, 2017, 09:03:37 pm
Here you go, a repost

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3819%20%281%29.jpg)

Wow. Just absolutely wow.

No words to describe it, and this shot doesn't do totality justice at all.

I'll write a full report later...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on August 24, 2017, 11:39:31 pm
 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on August 25, 2017, 07:06:35 am
:)

A few more

Where we were

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_6287%20%281%29.jpg)

A while after first contact

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3653.jpg)

Some solar flares

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3792.jpg)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on August 26, 2017, 07:41:19 pm
I'm going through photos at the moment.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/Eclipse-Composite.jpg)

I made the sun yellow because someone said it looks better that way  ;D
Also although I took loads of photos of the stages, I haven't chosen completely symmetrical ones.

I'll write a story soon...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on August 26, 2017, 08:34:13 pm
That is seriously good!
Have you seen the BAA's page on members' eclipse submissions? https://britastro.org/node/10981 (https://britastro.org/node/10981)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: T42 on August 27, 2017, 08:43:16 am
:thumbsup:
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on August 27, 2017, 07:18:53 pm
So here is the story...

This probably started in 1999 when my son and I saw the clouds go dark in Devon. Since that experience I harboured a desire to see totality properly. In 2015 travelled up to the far NW of Scotland to see 97%, dark and weird but not total.

So a plan was hatched to take a holiday in North America, seeing a business associate in Canada, then hiring a campervan from Calgary and driving to the eclipse zone. All good, except the near £4k cost of a suitable campervan, and its associated milage and fuel charges. I phoned a school friend in Salt Lake City and next thing we were planning to stay with him and have a loan of one of their cars!

So then to choose the spot. Every piece of reporting about the upcoming eclipse said that millions of people would go to see it. I chose west of Idaho Falls, seeking out a triangle of roads, to give us a bit of a chance to change position if it was cloudy. The area East of Idaho Falls - Rexburg - was likely to be very busy. 2m 18s of totality on the central line.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/SafariScreenSnapz005.jpg)

So we left SLC at 22:30 on Sunday - I didn't want to get caught in traffic, or get there and find no space. Come 3:30 we were one of about 20 cars on a 15 mile stretch of road! Dawn showed us how isolated we were.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_6160.jpg)

We went off road and tried to sleep. A downside was that going for a pee meant walking off into the scrub, and then peeing in full view of everyone - even if you walked for hundreds of metres.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/Eclipse-Road-Panorama.jpg)

Gradually more people arrived, and we had a neighbour with a drone...

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_6287.jpg)

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_6290.jpg)

They had also come from the SLC area but had more sensibly stayed the night about 30 miles away.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DJI_0006.jpg)

The last one shows us parked up, third car up on the right.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DJI_0008.jpg)

If you look closely you can see me and my shadow by the roadside :D

Popped off for a pee and met another couple who had driven for 2 hours to get here. He said that he had chosen this spot because some clever algorithm had put it forward as the least likely to get full up. He also said that he had put the central line into his GPS, and this was it. I then had to set up the equipment and get focussed. Which was way harder then in the back yard a few days earlier.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_6314a.jpg)

I'd had to buy a tripod (mine being too big to fly out) and improvise with a jumper as blackout hood :D

Here we are in Eclipse viewing mode

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_6325.jpg)

I set up to bracket exposure, and had to reposition the camera every few minutes as the sun tracked across the sky. It had to be by camera, not telescope, as the telescope was far too bulky for air travel. As it happens my hand luggage weighed nearly as much as my hold case. Nikon DX and a 1.4 teleconverter, wth the 200-500mm lens meant an equivalent to 1050mm

and a few photos of the eclipse...

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3648.jpg)

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3707.jpg)

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3782.jpg)

I didn't get any diamond rings, or Bailey's beads. Everything happens very fast and I was hoping to get a good totality shot.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3797.jpg)

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3809.jpg)

Totality was astounding and now I realise I missed one great image - a wide shot of totality. Luckily my son got an iPhone shot.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/IMG_2748.jpg)

It was really beautiful, very, very moving and well worth all the effort. I was forgiven for the early start and sleep in the car!

As soon as totality was over there was a firing up of car engines and people began to leave. Us and our neighbours stayed to the end. It seemed rude not to - nature had put on a spectacular show.

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/DSC_3951.jpg)

Next time I shall go for the wide shot at totality too - I didn't have my full frame camera to hand at totality as the ground was so dusty and cameras hate dust.

I shall definitely plan to see another one. On our trip we stayed in a town in New York State and enthused our hosts to drive to Kentucky to see totality (on their way back they took 10 hours to do a 4 hours bit of road!) They now report that their town is in totality for the 2024 eclipse.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Peter on August 27, 2017, 08:09:51 pm
JD, this is all fabulous stuff.  Thanks for sharing it.

Peter
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on August 27, 2017, 08:26:06 pm
Reykjavik 12 August 2026 or Palma de Mallorca same date? Teatime in Reykjavik or sundown at Palma.

Palma more likely to be clear but sun very low and HOT.

Other eclipses are available but not in Europe.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on June 03, 2018, 03:44:49 pm
David's friend Martin Tweeted this Jupiter image just now.

Martin lives in St Albans.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DexgiGAX0AAt4KL.jpg:large)
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on June 03, 2018, 08:17:58 pm
Not Mr Mobberley by any chance?  I was tempted to have a go at Jupiter last night but decided instead to go for a dawn walk. I was rewarded with a lovely view of Mars to the east of the waning moon.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on June 03, 2018, 08:33:34 pm
Lewis, not Mobberley. Worth following on Twitter.
Martin tweets as @sky_inspector
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on June 03, 2018, 09:41:01 pm
Thank you - I will have a look. I could do with some inspiration from a fairly local source, rather than shots from the Canaries and such like.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on June 03, 2018, 10:03:07 pm
SnOrbens isn't exotic...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: PaulR on June 03, 2018, 10:15:47 pm
Indeed - I'm possibly in exoticker climes out west of Aylesbury!
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on September 29, 2018, 07:51:31 pm
I was in our local recycling shop today and they had this in what looked to be perfect order for what seemed a very good price.
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1979/43180631960_34b568978a_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/28MJ2uu)20180929_174355 (https://flic.kr/p/28MJ2uu) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1963/44941957432_008c6a51b7_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2btnhc3)20180929_174959 (https://flic.kr/p/2btnhc3) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1906/44273384324_5f915e925f_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2ashEGu)20180929_174411 (https://flic.kr/p/2ashEGu) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr
I'd love to fit a motor to this but have no idea what model or motor I would need.
Any suggestions from the experts out there?
My plan is to fabricate a suitable mount for a DSLR on this.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on September 29, 2018, 08:08:47 pm
I'll ask my David when he comes back home.

Looks like a decent set-up.

The value and need for a sturdy mounting is neglected by beginners far too often.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on September 29, 2018, 08:37:00 pm
It seems reasonably OK - not high quality but serviceable, and for just over a score of the britons pounds, a good catch. It has detachable slowmo controls and looks like it has had a motor attached at some point giving the mounts have good use marks on.

Certainly weighs a bit - the mount is cast and weighs more than the legs.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on September 29, 2018, 09:37:22 pm
It's obviously been home to a hefty scope in the past. Those tube rings suggest something like a 10 inch scope, which would weigh quite a lot at one end.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on September 29, 2018, 10:09:19 pm
A bit of questioning of prof google suggests it is an entry level mount -  branded as the EQ3-1 from telescop-service, e.g.  https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p5546_TS-Optics-Beginner-Telescope-150-750-mm-with-mount-EQ3-1.html

It seems like there is a motor available  https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p673_TS-Optics-Optics-stepper-motor-drive-for-EQ3-1-mount.html so I may well give that a go but would like some confirmation from someone who actually knows what they are doing.

Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on September 29, 2018, 11:34:25 pm
My David is not very impressed!

What's the tube ring diameter, roughly?

There again, you don't need a HUGE mounting if there's a relatively lightweight DSLR. HEe's gon upstairs now. I'll try and ask him more later.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on September 29, 2018, 11:37:08 pm
About 140mm. Sure it isn't a gbp1k mount. Question is whether it is usable.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: hellymedic on September 29, 2018, 11:51:31 pm
I'll ask. I may be some time...
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on September 30, 2018, 10:50:08 am
David, it does look like the EQ3-1 mount. A basic drive system for this would be similar to that which I recently purchased for my EQ3-2 mount. I can't find it on line at the moment but, there is an adaptor plate to mount a camera on an equatorial mount which costs  about £20 or so. One is on my list.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on September 30, 2018, 01:41:46 pm
The tube clamps are 180mm internal diameter, so about an 8 inch scope. Not too shabby.

The mechanics all seem good so I will take a look at drive systems.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on September 30, 2018, 08:08:48 pm
That's a big scope for that mount!
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on September 30, 2018, 11:42:39 pm
Consensus on t'interweb appears to be that the mount is OK, to a point[1], but the tripod is rubbish, especially for manual focusing. I would concur. I shall take a look at the mount and consider fabricating better legs if I do not have much joy with them. It may well be a case of adding suitable stiffeners, or replacing with something more robust as it looks like the tripod head is readily removable.

[1] That point is probably well within the intended use with a DSLR.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: T42 on October 01, 2018, 09:39:23 am
Saw a very bright object moving slowly W->E around 10:30 pm last night. Thought at first it was a plane with landing-lights on but it had no nav lights and was absolutely silent. It took about 10 minutes to traverse.

Any ideas?
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Jaded on October 01, 2018, 09:43:26 am
ISS?
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: T42 on October 01, 2018, 09:47:36 am
Possibly.  I was thinking of one of these "artistic" satellites like the Humanity Star, but that took a dive back in March.

ETA: checked the NASA sight: ISS it wasn't.

https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/view.cfm?country=France&region=None&city=Strasbourg#.W7Hf0_loS9I
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on October 01, 2018, 04:02:03 pm
The tripod is the weak point of many a mount. I suspect that the tripod illustrated would be serviceable under just the weight of a direct mount  dslr. Not that remedial action to make it stiffer won't help.

The tripod actually looks like the stock offering with many scopes. It appears to be the same as the one I got with my 150mm Newtonian from Skywatcher
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on October 01, 2018, 08:40:29 pm
It has the benefit that it is easily removable to attach a more solid foundation. I shall order the motor and think about how best to add a DSLR to the mount. Maybe drill a home and use a single bolt directly in the dovetail plate, or find a better camera mount.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on October 01, 2018, 08:47:18 pm
Don't forget that if you are considering long exposure images, polar alignment will be important.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on October 01, 2018, 09:15:06 pm
Indeed - that is why I was so keen to acquire it when I saw it.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: Vernon on October 01, 2018, 10:49:27 pm
Possibly.  I was thinking of one of these "artistic" satellites like the Humanity Star, but that took a dive back in March.

ETA: checked the NASA sight: ISS it wasn't.

https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/view.cfm?country=France&region=None&city=Strasbourg#.W7Hf0_loS9I

Heavens above can be a useful source of info.
https://www.heavens-above.com/AllSats.aspx?lat=48.5734&lng=7.7521&loc=Strasbourg&alt=141&tz=CET
gives the brightest passes for Strasbourg, you'll need to correct/update for date. There don't seem to be any obvious candidates. ISS was the brightest thing, but about an hour earlier.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: T42 on October 02, 2018, 02:41:11 pm
Yeah - must have been a plane after all, but very high if it was. Dunno why it was so bright, either.

Thanks for the site - useful.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on October 02, 2018, 09:41:22 pm
It has the benefit that it is easily removable to attach a more solid foundation. I shall order the motor and think about how best to add a DSLR to the mount. Maybe drill a home and use a single bolt directly in the dovetail plate, or find a better camera mount.

Taken a more detailed look at it after removing the tube clamps. I took the declination adjustment apart. It is solidly built but the key part that is shoddy is the internals. These have greased friction bearings (bushes with a plastic slip washer) inside the machined casting. Unfortunately the bushes for the bearings are at one end a cheap penny washer and at the other an aluminium billet that has been formed but not finished after pressing. These have a fair amount of slop. The housing itself is well done and finished appropriately. Someone with a lathe could make a very nice job of a smooth set of bearings internally. Hopefully this will be sufficient for what I want to do. It does have a very sticky grease on it - I presume a shipping grease rather than one which should be used.

So if it does not work out as it is, a bit of metal work if I can find someone keen to fettle me some new bushes, possibly even find real bearings of the right size to use.

I can see why David A was so sniffy about it, but there is the capacity to build something that works well. It is very irritating when what could be a good piece of kit is spoiled by a bit of slapdash assembly. The slop at each bearing is about 0.25-0.5mm, sufficient that if it was a headset on a bike you would be wanting to get it looked at.
Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on October 11, 2018, 11:21:02 pm
I have managed to fit the camera mount to the baseplate. The motor has arrived and appears to work. All I need now are some clear skies and time.

Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: David Martin on October 14, 2018, 11:43:48 pm
Clear skies (ish) and a small timeslot meant I could play.

Could have spent more time trying to get a perfect equatorial alignment, but got close enough for starters.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1909/44600978764_ba5085f17b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2aXeF7u)DSC_7724 (https://flic.kr/p/2aXeF7u) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1912/45323949041_0d9a6b6fc7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2c485Zg)DSC_7734 (https://flic.kr/p/2c485Zg) by David Martin (https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidmam/), on Flickr
A few wisps of cloud appearing, and I've colour corrected to remove as much of the orange glow as I can. Generally happy that it will give me good RA stability. I did try the 150-600 lens but that is notoriously wobbly. Good for checking if the alignment is right though.



Title: Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on October 15, 2018, 11:08:28 am
Not bad- nice and stable.