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Photography night sky astronomy

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#1 Steppenwolf

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:12 AM

I have caravanned for many years and have been an avid astrophotographer since 2004 and often take a small telescope away in the caravan just for a look around the dark skies often associated with small caravan sites out in the countryside. However, this year I attended my first Star Party which firmly combined caravanning with astronomy at the Lucksall caravan park near Hereford.

Although I have a fully equipped observatory at home , I travelled really light to this party, using just a tracking mount, a DSLR camera and a telephoto lens but was delighted to capture this image of the famous 'Seven Sisters' star cluster, more officially known as The Pleiades or M45. This beautiful cluster of stars can be seen from Autumn to Spring and is a wonderful sight in just binoculars.

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#2 Lefthand Down

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:19 PM

That's great. Thank you.

Superb Photographs. Very interesting website for study.

The adaptors section is very informative. I am sure you may inspire others to follow your hobby.

#3 Steppenwolf

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:30 PM

Thank you - it is indeed a fascinating hobby and I am well and truly hooked!

#4 Lefthand Down

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:35 PM

Now all we need to do is get all the street lighting sorted properly.

I think the people who buy/install/design/authorize them should be taken to task. :rolleyes:

#5 Steppenwolf

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:20 PM

Now all we need to do is get all the street lighting sorted properly.


Please don't get me started on that one!!! Local councils are slowly getting the message though.

#6 Lefthand Down

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:08 PM

Out of interest do you use Stellarium?

I have it setup on the PC and the Laptop.

Outstanding software for the night observer.

http://www.stellariu...rium_User_Guide

#7 Steppenwolf

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:11 AM

I have indeed used Stellarium and it gives a very natural rendition of the night sky - as you say, great for the observer. However, I prefer to use a slightly more 'clunky' planetarium program called Cartes du Ciel which I use to completely control my mount from my PC - graphically it is nothing like Stellarium but from a technical viewpoint it is great.

#8 Lefthand Down

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:28 PM

Looks good as well. Bit technical for me at the moment. Thanks for publishing the link. Others may find it very useful.

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:04 PM

IF the skies are clear the ISS IS VISIBLE. This week gives a few chances to see it.

http://www.n2yo.com/passes/?s=25544

first chance today at 19.57

Click TRACK ISS (ZARYA) to follow real time.

#10 Lefthand Down

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:30 PM

Five minutes to next pass in the south. 21.37 to 21.40 Blink and you miss it. ;)

#11 Steppenwolf

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:52 AM

The ISS is an amazing sight, so bright and golden - hard to believe that it has occupants!

Ironically though, many satellite passes are a real pain as they leave a streak across my image frame! I would expect at least two such strikes over a 15 frame session of 5 minutes per frame and I usually discard them although the software that I use for stacking the individual images into a single image does remove 'outlier pixels' and satellite trails do fit into that category to some extent. Here's a typical example on one of my subframes with a satellite hit right through the middle of it. The slight smudge on the trail to the left is another galaxy too:-

Attached File  ngc_4565_150407_sat.jpg   209.92KB   29 downloads

#12 johnno

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:09 AM

really nice photo's, i've tried using my 25-75 x 90 spotting scope but its hard work, anything smaller than the moon and its hopeless trying to get in view, besides i dont know what i'm looking for or where to point it.

i was thinking of getting one of those table top 150mm flexi tube scope's as it would be a lot easier to use than my spotting scope

#13 Steppenwolf

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:15 PM

Hi Johnno,

The Sky-Watcher Flextube telescopes are excllent for portability but the largest aperture for tabletop use is the Heritage 130P (130mm aperture with a parabolic mirror) - the 150 is a standard 'Dobsonian' design and intended for floor mounting and to the best of my knowledge it is not available as a 'Flextube' but rather, it has a solid rolled tube. The next size up in Flextube would appear to be the 200.

Both 130 and 150 would give excellent views of deep sky objects.

With regard to finding objects, there is a great book called 'Turn Left at Orion' which has excellent 'star-hopping' instructions to many objects but either a good star atlas ( like this one ) or free planetarium software for your PC ( like Cartes du Ciel ) would be a good start too.

#14 johnno

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 11:18 PM

yes that's the one, 130P.I didn't notice i'd put 150 down.It has had some good reviews for a starter telescope, I've been waiting for a secondhand one to come up for grabs ,the tabletop would be a lot easier to setup and more convenient for me than the floor mounting one's .

I've just downloaded Cartes du ciel and i've just got to find my long and lat and i'll give that a try, I've already got Stellarium on my laptop but not been out and tried it

#15 Shirl250

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

Oh No ! Hubby and me have been on the edge of getting into astronomy and especially astrophotography for years. Your brilliant photos and great info are now going to tip the balance ! I don't think our Barclay Cards can stand it ...... :)

Edited by Shirl250, 07 May 2012 - 08:58 AM.


#16 Steppenwolf

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:26 PM

Oooops - be warned, astrophotography is very addictive which makes it worse than you think for your credit card!

I'm delighted that you enjoyed my photographs

#17 Steppenwolf

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:35 AM

Actually had some clear sky recently so managed to capture one of my favourite objects, Messier 13, The Hercules Cluster.

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#18 johnno

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:01 AM

well i got my hands on a secondhand one of theses at a really good price, hope i made a good choice.

Not tried it yet because of the lovely rain we've been having


Sky-Watcher EXPLORER 130P SynScan AZ GOTO Telescope

Attached File  explorer130p_synscan_az_goto.jpg   121.93KB   3 downloads

Edited by johnno, 08 June 2012 - 11:02 AM.





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