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A couple from last night

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Paul
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« on: September 21, 2008, 10:28:59 am »

Although the weather looked initially promising last night, as darkness fell it became obvious that the transparency wasn't particularly good, so I confined myself to experimenting with a couple of items of equipment - firstly a clock drive.

The results weren't especially good - I need to find a way of getting the polar alignment spot on.

However, here's M31 taken through a 135mm lens - 30secs at f4 ISO1600 - cropped and processed using PSE5 and the curves tool in DSS - thanks for the tip Brian!



More successfully I dusted off a Sigma 600mm f8 mirror lens that I bought cheaply a couple of years ago - I think this shot of the rising Moon is about the sharpest picture I've ever taken with it...



Things hazed over after moonrise so I gave up - there are supposed to be a few clear nights coming up so tonight it's the LXD75 with 8" setup!

P.
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Roman White
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 12:32:12 pm »

Perfect Moon image, Paul!  Smiley Looking forward to see more with your new equipment
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 03:15:05 pm »

Nicely done Paul.
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Remember:- If all else fails, read the Instruction Manual! Grin
 


Andy
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 03:28:43 pm »

Very nice images Paul. I really like the M31,32,110 capture. Plenty of detail in there. If a bright nova or better still, supernova erupted in there you would catch it easily. Good atmospheric capture of the Moon to, it has that classic Autumn or Halloween feel to it. The tracking plat form is a great tool. I would love to get one myself.

Hope you don't mind me using your thread here, but I was going to start one with the same title. Last night I had the same problem with the sky. It was clear and the sky was good at the zenith however lower down murk and dense  mist illuminated by street lights was a problem. Not to mention an area of chimney smoke from a single house which managed to spread out over a wide area destroying my attempts to track down C/2006 W3 Christensen. As soon as darkness feel I got one hour of comet hunting done in the west. Only found Messier 3 due to poor sky conds. Had a look at M31,32,110,15,27,71,57,Beta Cygni, double cluster and Jupiter. Had a scan with the binos and did a dome search. Not forgetting to check the TCrB field. Took a few terrible images of the Milky Way and Jupiter. 50% of the image was yellow due to the mist and lights so I had to adjust the levels.





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Roman White
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 03:44:29 pm »

Martin, do you always have such a terrible light pollution (2nd photo)?  Undecided

What was the camera settings for a Jupiter shot? It looks like the camera moved a bit until exposure, however I can see two Jup's satellites overthere.

You have just mentioned a Halloween. I like that holiday. But as I observed for the last few years, it is always overcast & cold on Halloween.  Tongue
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 04:30:54 pm »

Hi Roman

No, it's not always that bad. It just looks bad because of the exposure. When there's moisture in the air such as mist or fog the street lights reflect off this. This effect is greatly enhanced by a 30 sec exp at ISO 800. When there's no moisture it's a different scene. With a clean sky I can see the Gegenschein (link below) with the naked eye so it's still pretty good. The camera doesn't take to it very well though.

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080507.html

The Jupiter image was taken with a 300mm lens and I think the exposure was 8 seconds. It only trailed due to the Earth's rotation and not camera shake. Yes, at least two Moons are visible. I actually took it to show the extent of the murk. Slieve Gallion mountain is below the planet but it cannot be seen due to the muck in the sky.

I like Halloween because some of the best auroras I have seen happened during this period. Plus, I like to image the fireworks for fun  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 08:50:34 am »

Great images Paul & Martin!   Really like the Moon image Paul...  Cheesy
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Thanks,
         Steven..

Visit my Blog http://steviesskyshack.blogspot.com

Visit my Flickr  http://www.flickriver.com/photos/16671294@N07/
Roman White
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 04:35:55 pm »

With a clean sky I can see the Gegenschein (link below) with the naked eye so it's still pretty good. (...) http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080507.html
Written overthere: "an extremely dark sky". I have a rare opportunity to see a simply dark sky  Sad
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 06:59:25 pm »

Yes, many sources try to push the idea that it's a difficult object which requires a stunning sky such as Arizona. This is not true. Once you know what to look for and where, it can be surprisingly easy to see. The size of the Geg is what catches many off guard. It's bigger than they think so they overlook it. If you can see the fainter Milky Way in Gemini then you will see the Geg easily.
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2008, 07:09:12 pm »

Quote
Once you know what to look for and where, it can be surprisingly easy to see. ... If you can see the fainter Milky Way in Gemini then you will see the Geg easily.
I think it's rather variable - I once saw it projected onto the dark sky in Pisces from suburban Greenisland (granted there were a lot less lights around then than there are now) but I've often failed to see it with much better skies. I have never seen the Zodiacal Band and have seen the Zodiacal Light only a couple of times with difficulty - that requires clear transparent air right down to the horizon as well as good geometry (Spring evening or Autum morning).
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2008, 11:13:44 am »

If you can see the fainter Milky Way in Gemini then you will see the Geg easily.
On some of the best nights I can see much details in the brighter Milky Way, but the fainter parts of it are extremely hard to see them. I think I will never see the Geg from my city location.
I must to try sometimes (possibly in summer) to go away from the city in the dark rural area on a clear moonless night...  Roll Eyes
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