First Light

Traditional or digital! Share your photos. Do you view the world a little differently through a lens? Let's discuss photos that you find interesting or worthy of discussion.
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spot
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Post by spot »

I ordered a small telescope on Friday, for extremely educational reasons.

Anyway, in order to make sure in daylight that I know what the controls do I put it on an occasional table in the back garden. 7pm this was, and total cloud cover.

The telescope is on a plywood base that allows left-right and up-down pivoting, so I pivoted to something far enough away to focus on. I checked afterwards on Google Earth, it was fifty metres away. Setting the lens to wide-angle I managed to get the image into focus, much to my surprise.

I held my extremely cheap Technology Happy Life smartphone to the eyepiece and pressed the take a picture button, and emailed the photo to my desktop and cropped it from round to square.

If that's wide-angle at fifty metres, then I'm a Dutchman.

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Snowfire
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Post by Snowfire »

That's a very good quality photo considering you held a smart phone to the eye piece
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Snowfire
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Post by Snowfire »

I have a Skywatcher telescope with an Equatorial mount but its purely for viewing the night sky.

I plan to adapt pc camcorder to do a similar thing. Fix it to the view finder and record what I find
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spot
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Post by spot »

I have, to my shame, never looked down a telescope before.

I've borrowed an entry-level DSLR (a Canon 100D) body to strap somehow to the eyepiece - people do it successfully, I'm told - so we'll see what happens.

Ah - I recall, it's called a T or a T2 adapter. That might arrive tomorrow.
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Snowfire
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Post by Snowfire »

spot;1497309 wrote: I have, to my shame, never looked down a telescope before.

I've borrowed an entry-level DSLR (a Canon 100D) body to strap somehow to the eyepiece - people do it successfully, I'm told - so we'll see what happens.

Ah - I recall, it's called a T or a T2 adapter. That might arrive tomorrow.


The telescope I have is a reflector. Strapping a camera is a bit awkward because of focal length issues. It can work but something needs to be invented that takes all that problem away.

There's still a lot I need to learn. Oh ! and some clear skies. That would help.
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

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spot
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Post by spot »

Snowfire;1497308 wrote: I have a Skywatcher telescope with an Equatorial mount but its purely for viewing the night sky.

I plan to adapt pc camcorder to do a similar thing. Fix it to the view finder and record what I find


The one I bought is solely for stars and planets and whatever else is out there, but it's daylight. Hence the tree.

It's a... it's a... let me look. It's a Skywatcher Heritage-130p Flextube. I got a zoom eyepiece on the grounds that it would always be useful if I ever make any friends and they want a go.

Do you have a clockwork motor to stay pointed with? I don't think I can put a motor on the plywood base.
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Snowfire
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Post by Snowfire »

spot;1497311 wrote: The one I bought is solely for stars and planets and whatever else is out there, but it's daylight. Hence the tree.

It's a... it's a... let me look. It's a Skywatcher Heritage-130p Flextube. I got a zoom eyepiece on the grounds that it would always be useful if I ever make any friends and they want a go.

Do you have a clockwork motor to stay pointed with? I don't think I can put a motor on the plywood base.


Yes it has a motor, though that's not been used yet. Purely set up while on a camping trip to view the moon.

Incidentally, while on that camping trip, I came across man who was viewing the sun through a Hydrogen Alpha (?) filter. I asked him if I could have a look and I wasn't disappointed. You could clearly make out the prominences.
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Post by spot »

I had a preliminary look at filters and discovered my ignorance. One gets a coloured filter and suddenly one's looking at black-and-white photos, and then a second filter for a different colour (Oxygen, apparently, to go with the Hydrogen) and you add the two black-and-white photos and they're in colour again, except nowhere near the colours they started out.

Alternatively one can get a filter to suppress reflected sodium street light and re-invent proper black where there's no star. That sounds far more believable.

I'm honestly bemused as to why anyone wants red green or blue filters. Those narrowband hydrogen and oxygen ones though, if I do get a camera attached... it's a slippery slope, this. I'd rather do it on a shoe-string than be a slave to high-tech money-no-object stuff.

I'll throw questions at you whenever I'm stuck, how's that.
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Snowfire
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Post by Snowfire »

Maybe we should learn from each other. This is a very early stage for me.

I have a moon filter. The moon is not too bright that you cant view it without but sustained viewing without one can strain your eyes
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AnneBoleyn
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Post by AnneBoleyn »

Seeing Saturn with just a "regular" telescope is one of the most astounding things I have ever seen. I have never forgotten the image, I can still see it clearly in my mind. Every year, local skywatchers with amateur equipment gather on a local beach to allow everyone a view. Unfortunately, I no longer live near this particular beach.

I'm so proud of spot for keeping busy & staying out of trouble!
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Snowfire
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Post by Snowfire »

AnneBoleyn;1497316 wrote:

I'm so proud of spot for keeping busy & staying out of trouble!


Ever since his Anti Social Behaviour Order, he's been staying in much more and the neighbourhood is much quieter
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AnneBoleyn
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Post by AnneBoleyn »

Snowfire;1497319 wrote: Ever since his Anti Social Behaviour Order, he's been staying in much more and the neighbourhood is much quieter


(chuckle)
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spot
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Post by spot »

It's so far back when I discarded all hope of staying out of trouble that I'd forgotten it was ever an option.

I have, at the moment, absolutely no idea where any planet is or whether it's close, distant or hidden behind the sun. Before the clouds clear and it's dark out I ought to at least find a website or two that can answer these obvious questions.

This woman - Sara - is absolutely brilliant. Narrowband information - Sara Wager Astrophotography

Once you work out the subtle coding in this weather predictor it might say whether there's a clear night coming up, so you can plan ahead.

Here we are - http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essential ... rn-mercury - up to date planet locations and brightnesses.
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Snowfire
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Post by Snowfire »

The Google Sky map App on my phone is perfect for showing just about every celestial body in the sky. It uses the phone's accelerometer to map out on the screen, the stars, constellations and planets, as you move the phone around the sky
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Post by spot »

That's a very useful suggestion, it's years since I last saw Google Sky and it had completely gone out of my head.
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Post by spot »

This is a magnificent paragraph from one of the three books I'm using to understand what to do.

Galileo discovered the four major moons of Jupiter (forever after called the “Galilean satellites” in his honor); he was the first to see the phases of Venus and the rings of Saturn; he saw nebulae and clusters through a telescope for the first time. In fact, a careful checking of his observations indicates that he even observed, and recorded, the position of Neptune almost 200 years before anyone realized it was a planet. He did all this with a 1" aperture telescope.

Consolmagno, Guy, and Dan M. Davis. Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope-- and How to Find Them. Cambridge University Press, Sixth printing 2011: p.18







There's still been no break in the cloud.
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Snowfire
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Post by Snowfire »

spot;1497452 wrote: This is a magnificent paragraph from one of the three books I'm using to understand what to do.

Galileo discovered the four major moons of Jupiter (forever after called the “Galilean satellites” in his honor); he was the first to see the phases of Venus and the rings of Saturn; he saw nebulae and clusters through a telescope for the first time. In fact, a careful checking of his observations indicates that he even observed, and recorded, the position of Neptune almost 200 years before anyone realized it was a planet. He did all this with a 1" aperture telescope.

Consolmagno, Guy, and Dan M. Davis. Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope-- and How to Find Them. Cambridge University Press, Sixth printing 2011: p.18







There's still been no break in the cloud.


I've never quite got my head around that. He found a handful of needles in a field full of haystacks. I just can't find adequate words to describe how wonderful that all is.
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

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Post by LarsMac »

My new back yard is a great place to view the skies. I've been watching Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter slowly march across the sky. I gave my telescope to a grandkid a few years ago, and feeling the temptation to get another.

With my 300 mm Lens on my Nikon, I can just make out a couple of Jupiter's moons. Need to stay up late and try to see Saturn's moons, too, I guess.
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