Author Topic: The moon and other astronomy stuff  (Read 15001 times)

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #25 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!

Trull

  • The settee will kill you
    • Aberdeen Astronomical Society
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #26 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.

Pedal Castro

  • so talented I can run with scissors - ouch!
    • Two beers or not two beers...
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #27 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

Trull

  • The settee will kill you
    • Aberdeen Astronomical Society
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2014, 11:22:10 pm »
What do you mean the black holes? OMG - run!!!!!

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #29 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.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2014, 01:29:59 pm »


Also handheld. ;D
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

  • SWMBO's Toy Boy.
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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2014, 03:53:42 pm »
What are the views of the illuminati on this as a starter scope for gazing and photography?
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #32 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

For purely visual use, you might prefer a simple outfit like this:
http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html
Good balance between aperture, focal length and price.

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #33 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.

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2014, 05:39:38 pm »
What are the views of the illuminati on this 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.

Trull

  • The settee will kill you
    • Aberdeen Astronomical Society
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2014, 07:02:16 pm »
What are the views of the illuminati on this 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 please visit his website as his photography is inspiring.

fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

  • SWMBO's Toy Boy.
  • Apprentice Leathery Old Git
    • The Secret Cyclist blog
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2014, 08:08:02 am »
Food for thought there gang. Thanks :thumbsup:
Quote from: tatanab
The mark of a true cyclist - prepared to try anything on offer

If it ain't bad for you it ain't worth doing

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #37 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.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2014, 02:44:25 pm »
Some simple stuff from the Beeb

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/25401782
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
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Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2014, 07:23:00 pm »
For teh lolz:


IMG_0721 by 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#

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #40 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.

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2014, 11:01:07 pm »
...and/or get along to a BBC Stargazing Live public event this week



I haz happy Cub.

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #42 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.


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.



PS - yes, I did edit his eyes a bit for comic effect

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2014, 09:39:59 am »
Cool!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2014, 11:48:45 am »
Very nice well done

Pedal Castro

  • so talented I can run with scissors - ouch!
    • Two beers or not two beers...
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #45 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.


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...

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #46 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.


Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2014, 11:45:37 pm »
Now that is impressive!
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Trull

  • The settee will kill you
    • Aberdeen Astronomical Society
Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #48 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...

Re: The moon and other astronomy stuff
« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2014, 09:59:25 am »
That is very nice well done