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OK! I have officially HAD it with this stinking...

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#51 Parkit

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 05:59 PM

It may be my fault, I bought a 25" f/4 dob last month and have had one night with "just some high, thin clouds" (and a quarter moon) since then. Sorry about that.

#52 antilles72

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 07:48 PM

OK. Sunny all day and now clouds have taken over the night sky. Last night was clear but when the pots are getting knocked over and empty garbage pails are rolling around the yard, I know it won't be a good night.

#53 hammerhead

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:15 PM

Just caught this thread Dave. I feel your pain man. I'm sitting next to a new (to me) AT 102ED that's giving me puppy dog eyes. It just wants to go out and play. Last time I was out was last new moon when I went up to Northfield with the dob. I haven't had my SCT out since some time during the winter!

#54 Bowmoreman

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:32 PM

Thanks, guys! I'd watch the Sox for some consolation... but its another - the last!!! :jump: west coast road trip, which means I'd hafta stay up later than all common sense...

Heck, Shawn could watch em live for breakfast! :lol:

Ah well, it'll be clear SOMETIME...

I did totally finish my flats/electroluminescent lightbox thingy today (got the pipe insulation around the outside ala: that article in ATT back last fall...

I've pretty much run OUT of things to putter on in the WSO; now I just need clear skies!!!!!!

Else-wise, I'm gonna hafta do MORE gardening... :o ohnomrbillgraemlin: :john:



Clear enough skies

#55 Bowmoreman

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 09:00 PM

I was lucky... I was out observing from 8:30 - 1:30 last night. The wind died down by 10-10:30 but there was a cloud in the sky....

Dave, I've all but mastered the alignment/polar alignment process of the CGE. I love it. I used my illuminated EP for the alignment, and I'm not kidding, my first go-to was Saturn, I kept the Illuminated ep in, just to see how well I Polar aligned - Saturn was smack in the middle of the cross hairs. I was simply amazed. And then I did a timing test. It stayed in the center, little to no movement of Saturn for over 10 minutes - then I went on observing...

I had alignment spot on. :jump:


Glad to hear that CGE is working out for you, Randy. You deserve some breaks these days ;)

I did like the performance of that mount quite a bit... I found that when I did the alignments with my 5mm Illuminated reticle, well, the goto's were just dead-nuts on... of course I had the luxury of permanent pier mounting! :lol:

That said, I know there's those who criticize some things about Celestron. But, I hafta tell ya, the CGE is one very good mount...VERY GOOD indeed.

Now, if only I could get some kinda clear skies, SOME time... to really dial in this MI-250, and get cracking with this new QHY8... It'd be nice to shoot some spring galaxies... IN THE SPRING!!!!

I'm thinking that the next time I'm out, I may just invest in making sure I have a solid 15 minute drift alignment (I'm at 10 minutes right now)... perhaps all this waiting for a clear night is simply to TEACH me about the glories of PATIENCE... If so, doing THAT first thing ought to pay dividence, right...???

Ah well... Tomorrow (Tuesday) we have yet another Little League game (the boys team - the Astro's) are now 2 and 1 (they were winning another game that got called by rain unfortunately - this is Quite a change from last year - when they NEVER won!)...

I'm thinking I need to plan an official Star Party sometime this early summer...

But, when I do... there will be no purchasing anything by anyone within a 200 mile radius within 3 weeks of the scheduled date And I'm serious about this! :roflmao: :lol: :mad: :grin:

But, I will invite all from anywhere nearby! Fire up my Texas pit BBQ, etc... Good eats, good beer/wine (etc.), good skies... Ahhhh, yesssss!

Really serious :graduate: :4 about that purchase ban though!

clear enough skies

#56 bdjeep

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:03 AM

I'm thinking I need to plan an official Star Party sometime this early summer...


Woohoo!! Party! :yay: :thewave: :rockon: :whee: :bounce:

Sounds fun. Have scope, will travel.

#57 waassaabee

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 11:00 AM

I'm thinking I need to plan an official Star Party sometime this early summer...

But, when I do... there will be no purchasing anything by anyone within a 200 mile radius within 3 weeks of the scheduled date And I'm serious about this! :roflmao: :lol: :mad: :grin:

But, I will invite all from anywhere nearby! Fire up my Texas pit BBQ, etc... Good eats, good beer/wine (etc.), good skies... Ahhhh, yesssss!

Really serious :graduate: :4 about that purchase ban though!

clear enough skies


I sure wish I had invoked your clause above when I invited a few folks out to my place over the Memorial Day weekend...
I may still have time.

#58 Trebor777

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 01:34 PM

I'm thinking I need to plan an official Star Party sometime this early summer...


Woohoo!! Party! :yay: :thewave: :rockon: :whee: :bounce:

Sounds fun. Have scope, will travel.


Ditto.

Just make sure it's not a weekend where the Sawx & Yankees play each other. ;)

#59 Bowmoreman

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 04:06 PM

Hey Brian.. this is really weird... your CSC and my CSC are NOT identical...

Even though we live, like 3-4 miles from each other

whazzup with THAT?

clear enough skies (soon please)

#60 bdjeep

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:27 PM

Hey Brian.. this is really weird... your CSC and my CSC are NOT identical...

Even though we live, like 3-4 miles from each other


Stranger still, I think the two CSCs are more like 1 mile apart. I'm using the "Bolton" CSC, which is centered somewhere near the flashing yellow traffic light in busy downtown Bolton. That's clear across town from where I am.

#61 amys

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:18 PM

[/quote]

Ditto.

Just make sure it's not a weekend where the Sawx & Yankees play each other. ;) [/quote]

I'll come. Can I wear my Yankees attire? :roflmao:

#62 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:01 PM

Well,

I finally had a have decent night yesterday, took out the scope at 9:00 as it was still light. Set it up. Went home to get my list of items that I was going to see. Went back out, still light sky. Made a cup of coffee. Went out at 10 PM, alinged the scope. Looked for the double cluster, its behind the trees, see Saturn its behind another tree. Look at the globulars M3, m5, m15 (as I had the 6 inch I see no details, just light smudges). Look for the bright stars. They look fuzzy. I focus, everything is still fuzzy, I look up and clouds are coming in, I go to arcturus which is in the sky clear and look at it and it is also fuzzy. I look at the corrector and it dewed up. Luckily I have the dew heater, turn it on and its 11 PM and there is the moon. So I spent a little time on the moon and packed up at 11:30 as that was it. I hate spring with twilight only after 10:30 PM.

But I have a star party on Saturday. Clouds go away.

#63 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:01 PM

BTW that was the first clear night in OVER 2 WEEKS

#64 Bowmoreman

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 10:59 PM

Well, my patience... if you can call it that! :lol: has finally been rewarded... I'm out here NOW in WSO imaging for the very first time with my QHY8 and the new MI-250...

Took me a while to get my STV/eFinder to successfully calibrate (turns out that a f4 100mm finder scope for guiding needs a LONGER "move" time with the STV than the AUTO mode picks... got it working with 30 seconds MOVE time... once tracking, I'm now reporting an average error of plus/minus 2.8 arc-seconds (or is that pixels) in RA/DEC... (It's the "average error X and Y" as reported by the STV - any STV experts out there?).

I'm thinking this mount is a WINNER...

Anyways, am in the middle of a 5 capture series of 10 minute subs on M81... we'll see how they turn out...

Amazingly enough, this is the first time I've been able to even consider 10 minute subs... I'm CERTAIN there'll be lots of noob AP errors in the captures... but I am so thrilled to have a clear night (finally!)...

It is so cool to finally sit here in the warm room; watching the real-time display of tracking on the STV (through the window), listening to the slight whir of the fan on the QHY8... and using a dedicated laptop wirelessly (with Rubylith!) in my cozy warm room (while everything elsewhere is dewing up at a prodigous rate!

Thank you LORD for a nice clear, calm night... I've not even bothered with checking the seeing... I just picked the first "target" I could think of...

In hindsight, probably should have picked M51 or something... heck even the Sombrero is up now... whatever, it really doesn't matter the target... what matters is clear, moonless skies and my new KILLER mount!

Well, back to more imaging, and then I plan to capture some quick flats using my new electroluminescent lightbox that I built up (from the article/plans in the October 2008 ATT article)...

Clear enough skies to you all!

#65 hfjacinto

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 11:06 PM

I think I just should just complain all the time, I look at NOAA and it says partly cloudy, I look outside and not a cloud in the sky.I quickly grab my 6 inch and am observing within 10 minutes woo hoo (just got in). What a good night.

#66 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 11:34 PM

So my last EP (30 mm 1rpd w/ 80 degree AFOV) arrived last night and just before dark there wasn't a cloud in the sky! I get the NexStar 11 GPS all set up and look up to see if any stars are visible yet and this wall of cloud has just moved across about 80% of the sky! Best I was able to do was focus on the local cell tower and play around with bouncing my GLP off of it! Pretty cool as the beam was up to at least softball size at that range.

Tonight on the other hand, perfectly clear skies after dark but winds gusting at about 25 MPH! Certainly not telescope weather!

Ok, I'm done shopping for a while. It can clear up now. Really. At least I've been using the down time for other projects. Made an EP holder for the 11" over the weekend and am finishing up my homemade light box.

Beo

#67 Trebor777

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 11:50 PM

That dew rolled in quick tonight.

#68 Darenwh

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:13 AM

I am happy to hear some of you are getting some nice nights now. I hope you get many good nights this year.

#69 Nebhunter

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 12:01 PM

Give up beer for a week for clear nights? I'm willing to bet that a bottle of Scotch will be next on the list.

You know it's been awhile when one is trying to polar align the G11, but can't find the other 2 stars to fit into the slots. After awhile - you take a good look, and find that - umm - that's not Polaris.

#70 Bowmoreman

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:45 PM

It sure did, Randy! Everything was soaking wet by the time I called it a night just after 1AM...

But here is my very first attempt at imaging with the new MI-250 and the QHY8. A Widefield M81/82. I used the IDAS LPS filter, and did 5 subs of 10 minutes each. Guided using the eFinder on my STV (had to use a move length during calibration of 30 seconds, picked 5 seconds for guiding interval for tracking).

It didn't autoguide as perfectly as I'd hoped, but it was the first time ever doing it; I'm sure it will get better.

The STV reported an average error of about 2.5X and 2.5Y during the entirety of the process... I'm assuming that is arc-seconds/pixel (but an STV expert can, and should probably, chime in on that aspect).

All the processing with Nebulousity was actually quite easy, did it in 20 minutes this AM (never done this before!)

I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't capture more of the fainter aspects of M82 especially - I would have thought that 10 minute subs in an 8" F4 scope would have "caught more photons"??? maybe that's the IDAS - don't know...

much, MUCH more playing will be required.

But the MI-250 is a seriously sweet imaging platform. Effortless was the best descriptor for me last night. Not a single issue; once I got the STV to actually calibrate a moe that is - :lol:

The best part was, I did a warm restart from the last time I used/aligned the MI-250 (which was weeks ago)... and then did a goto Dubhe; it was almost perfectly centered in the QHY8's capture bulls-eye! Recentered it, and "synched" the Gemini... and then did the goto M82...

Perfect! Then all I had to do was much with the STV.

Anyone out there with an MI-250 also using an STV? I'd like to compare notes/settings. I'm wondering (aloud) if the eFinder (being a 100mm fl, f4 finderscope) is just SO wide angle, that might cause issues I was seeing with imperfect guiding?

Perhaps my image scale (for the ST237 guide camera for the STV) needed a different "move time" to move the requisite 10-15 pixels during calibration?

Anyways, I love this mount... It just WORKS in every particular.

clear enough skies

But then that isn't the mounts fault!

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#71 Trebor777

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:52 PM

Hey Northeastern people...we got a clear night....with THREE passings of the Space Station tonight.

1) Around 9:40pm
2) Around 11:15pm
3) Around 1:50am

http://www.n2yo.com/...44&tz=GMT-04:00

This site is great for satellite tracking

Where I am in CT, the first passing will be from the southwest and then passing somewhat to the North. The 2nd one will be in the northern sky, probably somewhat low, but passing west to east. The third one will be from the northwest traveling down to the southeast.

What a great night. 3 possible viewings of the ISS!!!! If you haven't seen it, get outside. It'll look like a bright star moving across the sky. I very easy to spot. (Note: if it's blinking, you're looking at a plane ;))






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