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Peter9
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: MHensen]
      #4853329 - 10/10/11 05:40 AM

Nice report Mike.

Jupiter and the seeing conditions can tease the socks off you some nights, but it's all part of what we enjoy doing.

Regards. Peter.


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Peter9
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #4863592 - 10/16/11 05:17 AM

Hi All,

Skies cleared last night so had another 3 hour session (21.00hrs to near Midnight) under good seeing conditions.
Spent time on double stars, open and globular clusters, before finally arriving at Jupiter.
What a treat it was. I watched Io appear from behind the disk and move away by a distance of almost half of Jupiter diameter inside an hour. Callisto was almost directly above Ganymede on the opposite side of the planet and showing a slight tan colour. There was a black "barge" feature running across the top of the N.E.B. I watched it move half way across the disk. The G.R.S was also on view. It looks to be, once again, a lot paler than normal this time round.
I could have done without the fullish Moon, but I have the advantage of being able to move the dome roof so that A..)I can not seeing the Moon in the sky and B)..light from the Moon's disk does not enter the scope directly.
Jupiter had by now, risen to about 37deg,(23.00hrs) and the detail to be seen was outstanding.
The Baader zoom again did everything I asked of it, producing wonderfully crisp images to the eye.

After another hour at the eyepiece, I headed indoors a happy man.

Regards. Peter.


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #4863714 - 10/16/11 07:52 AM

Great report Peter. I actually just came inside (6:41 am). I didnt plan on observing, but for some reason I woke up abbruptly around 5:30, so I knew Orion was out. I hurried outside and set up my SLT102 without even aligning it. Didnt plan on seeing much like you said with our moon friend out and about.
Anyways, I found M42 within a minute in the finder, and wow. The view thru a refractor is gonna be hard to get used to, but was still a sight to see. The trapezium looked like one big bright star radiating from the center of the nebulousity. Clearly see the greenish glow against the darkness. Of course just to be sure, I took the zoom down to 8 so I could see the Trap.
The only other target I HAD to check out was of course M45. So I went to the moon, slewed a little more right, then down a few degrees, and all of a sudden I had blue stars FILLING the 24mm zoom. I love the fact that the 102 will get the entire Pleiadies into the FOV. Stunning to look at.
Technically this was 2nd light, but last night was more of getting used to it. I will do a full first light report when I have a full night to align look at more objects.


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ghataa
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/20/11

Loc: Central, NJ
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #4866436 - 10/17/11 06:15 PM

Looks like a clear night on the way to New Jersey! I can't wait to get a few hours behind the scope. I have been going through withdrawal!

I picked up a used CG5-GT and looking forward to giving the GEM a go for the first time!

George


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flboy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/10/10

Loc: De Leon Springs, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: ghataa]
      #4872183 - 10/21/11 08:10 AM

Wow! what a difference in the night sky after a cold front pushes through. The night sky over the summer looked almost "milky" due to the heat & humidity, but after this current cold front, the sky last night was dark & clear.

Last night's sky was so dark that the stars were popping. It just amazes me how cold, dry air produces these fabulous skies. And even though I dread the cold air, I do love these types of nights.

Oh yeah, the Milky Way was the best I've seen in months. Tonight I plan on taking a few pics with my point & shoot attached to a camera tripod. Hopefully I'll be able to capture some stunning images


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ac1
sage
*****

Reged: 01/12/11

Loc: Utica, NY USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: flboy]
      #4878062 - 10/24/11 05:08 PM

Finally got a clear, cold night up here in Utica. Skies here are fantastic....Milky Way was clearly visible, and so many stars were popping, I had trouble identifying the ones I know. Just too many to see. Double Cluster was fantastic (yep, John, it's time to get out the small refractor and have a look), Pleaides and Hyades are coming up soon....you can see the Hyades with the naked eye and averted vision. Just stunning. HOWEVER.....I learned very, very quickly why I need dew heaters again. Took only about an hour for the corrector to completely fog over. I went to find M13, and got nothing....took a glance at the corrector plate, and it's covered in dew.

These skies are too good to pass up. It gets so dark here, if it's not for the red LED's on the scope, I'd run right into it. Getting dew shield and heater TODAY!


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flboy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/10/10

Loc: De Leon Springs, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: ac1]
      #4878318 - 10/24/11 08:14 PM

Yes, these winter skies are so much darker

Good to read that you're out enjoying the night sky!!!


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ac1
sage
*****

Reged: 01/12/11

Loc: Utica, NY USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: flboy]
      #4878447 - 10/24/11 09:49 PM

Wish some of you guys close to urban areas could see this place....I thought rural South Carolina was dark, but it is nowhere close to the blackout we get here. And, I'm only about seven miles from downtown Utica to boot. Already charted out the scope roadtrip....Wakely Mountain, the lone "black sky" site in New York State, is only about 90 minutes away. Can't imagine how great the skies will look up there.

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flboy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/10/10

Loc: De Leon Springs, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: ac1]
      #4879045 - 10/25/11 08:26 AM

I was viewing Jupiter around 1am to 3am this morning and while looking through my EP, I saw a small black speck/spot. At first I thought it was a piece of dirt on the EP lense, but then when I slewed back to Jupiter I noticed that the spot had moved. This got me thinking that maybe I was seeing a shadow of one of it's moons and according to S&T, Europa was indeed transiting. It amazes me that we are able to see this via a C8 from our own backyards.

Seeing was okay, but not prefect. I saw nice details at 154x, but lost the shadow and most of the finer detail at 222x.


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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: flboy]
      #4885295 - 10/28/11 01:30 PM

Looks like the whole of the U.K has clear skies tonight, (at least I hope so lads), so out you go.

Planning to be out there by about 20.00hrs. The dome is already open.

Regards. Peter.

Edited by Peter9 (10/28/11 02:16 PM)


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Tel
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #4886421 - 10/29/11 03:55 AM

Such was not to be for this part of the UK, Peter !

Two preceding afternoons of clear sky sunshine; (27th and 28th) followed on both occasions by total cloud cover for the entire respective evenings and nights !

Hope though, that your skies remained clear last night !

Best regrds,
Tel

(It's that "Great North South Divide" ! Must have been your turn this week) !

Edited by Tel (10/29/11 03:56 AM)


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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Tel]
      #4886531 - 10/29/11 07:34 AM

Hi Tel,
Sorry the skies aren't playing ball for you. Hope they will mend their ways in the near future.

My skies did stay clear, thank you , but seeing was not good and went down hill from there. .

Still, I made the best of what I had. Went out at 19 30hrs and had a look at M2 which was not showing much detail. On to NGC 6934, (globular cluster in Delphinus). I was pleased with that one at Mag 8.82. Despite the condintions it took X250. M15 must have been in a similar pocket of good sky, as again, at X250, I was able to see individual stars round the bright core.
With the seeing getting slowly worse, it was on to Jupiter to catch Europa immerging from (as seen in the e.p) the eastern limb. I caught it as a "lump" on the edge of Jupiter's disk (21 05hrs) and watch it put distance between itself and Jupiter by 21 25hrs.
It never fails to give my a buzz watching such events.

The clouds were now closing in, so it was time to head indoors. Not the best of nights, but at least I got another couple of hours at the eyepiece.

Regards. Peter.


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #4886540 - 10/29/11 07:46 AM

Not doing much better on this side either. Winds for 2 days, clear, but view is not good. Like looking through water...high clouds moving in now. Time for tea and breakfast here.

Stan


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #4886848 - 10/29/11 11:58 AM

When I took Rosie out this morning, once again I was surprised by how clear and steady the early morning (6:30am) skies here in the DFW Metroplex were! The air was chilly (42F) but no wind. Didn't get out the scope, but I did give myself a crick in the neck looking up! Jupiter was brilliant approaching my western horizon. Orion was breathtaking high in the south, as were Gemini, Canis Major, Taurus, Auriga, and Cassiopeia. And, in the east, Mars was very bright in Leo, right near Regulus. I wish the evening skies were as good! I don't have time to get the scope out in the morning and in the evenings, the skies are just not as good, what with the LP and haze.

Cheers all,


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Peter9
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Skip]
      #4901074 - 11/06/11 04:17 PM

Hi Guys,

Took a chance, (It's the night after "Bonfire" night and the air is quite polluted), and have been out observing (18.00hrs to 20.00hrs). It paid off as, even though re-lit fires are burning and fireworks are still being detonated, seeing was fair to good.

I played it safe by targeting the Moon and Jupiter.
My main targets on the Moon were Sharp, Gassendi, Schiller and surrounding area's. Very rewarding they were too.

Jupiter was very good at x170. I was rewarded with seeing the G.R.S and witnessing a beautiful jet black barge making it's way across the disk. Hope one of you A.P lads caught it.

I also visited a few old favorites but the fires and fireworks finally won, but I enjoyed my two hours.

Regards. Peter.


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Arctic_Eddie
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/30/07

Loc: St. Petersburg, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #4905194 - 11/08/11 08:09 PM

Well I was there looking for YU55. Had the 6SE out with the Panasonic FZ50 camera running side saddle. With zoom at 420mm and the 1.7x converter installed, I had a 3 FOV. Slewed to Altair and started shooting 15 sec subs as soon as I could focus the camera via the rear viewing screen. That part worked quite well. However, the sky glow made the early images nearly white. CDC showed the asteroid to be a little under Altair so changed the mount to aim a little low. Got five good subs before the skeeters moved in. We're still in the tropics with a retention pond along the back of the property. Performed a quick stack of the last five with DSS but could not detect anything trailing like an asteroid. Will do a complete process tomorrow with Nebulosity and include my darks and flats. The one thing that really jumped out was how good the camera and converter worked. The stars are in focus throughout the entire field. Really eager now to drag this mess to a good dark site.

Anyone else see evidence of YU55?


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Tel
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Arctic_Eddie]
      #4905721 - 11/09/11 03:39 AM

Hi Ed,

As almost always when a unique and spectacular celestial event occurs, the malevolent forces conspire against us UK residents. The one and only clear evening of late I was able to get outside for an observing/imaging session, was the 1st. November, since when all has been submerged here in Southern England under total cloud cover. Had it however have been clear last night, then no doubt the excesses of moonlight would have polluted any view of YU55 one might have had anyway ! We just don't seem to be able to win here !

Further examples of our plight relate to the full Moon rendering this year's August Perseid shower impossible to see, although, certainly on the night it reached maximum, we were as usual, clouded out ! Similarly with the coming Leonid shower on the 17th of this month; if the Moon doesn't get us, without doubt, the cloud will ! And, perhaps just to complete the picture, a reference I recently came across regarding the up and coming transit of Venus next year, indicates that it will all but be over bar the shouting by the time UK observers can even attempt to view it : i.e. at sunrise ! Still, I guess it will be back again: give or take another 120 years !

A UK observer's lot is not a happy one !

(So saying, I do appreciate that much of this applies equally to the US, but, by and large, I think you are perhaps better compensated overall by seemingly a far greater number of clearer skies than we see) !

Best regards,
Tel

Edited by Tel (11/09/11 03:45 AM)


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Arctic_Eddie
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/30/07

Loc: St. Petersburg, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Tel]
      #4905965 - 11/09/11 08:55 AM

Tel
Finished processing the photos in Nebulosity. Haven't figured out how to include both darks and flats. The tutorial in the link you sent recently covers the dark part ok but the flat doesn't work as it has to overwrite the same file and stops with an error. However, the process went ok but the dimmest star was about mag 7 and I think YU55 is about a 12. The camera performed surprisingly well so I'm now juiced. Will try something else tonight, clouds permitting.


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Tel
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Arctic_Eddie]
      #4906362 - 11/09/11 11:53 AM

Hi Ed,

Going back to basics, did you actually accompany your RAW frames taken of YU55 last night, with a smaller number of comparable "Darks" and "Flats", thereafter stacking these to produce a "Master Dark" and a "Master Flat" ?

Best regards,
Tel


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Arctic_Eddie
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/30/07

Loc: St. Petersburg, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... [Re: Tel]
      #4906508 - 11/09/11 12:53 PM

I had already obtained a set of flats with the same optics and a set of darks at the same ISO and temp and created the appropriate masters. Either one works fine using your tutorial link. However, when the second process is applied it fails because both processes try to create a set of files with the same name, pproc***.fit. There's probably a multi-process function to do both corrections on the same set of lights but I haven't found it yet. I have another tutorial by Craig that I'm reading now. The flat correction wouldn't help my image very much as the asteroid was five levels below my dim stars and the irregularity within a flat is only a 15% drop around the perimeter. That was my first attempt to use Nebulosity for a complete process. Although it didn't come out superb, I'm still impressed enough with both the results and the camera to forge on ahead. I'm now working on a bracket to mount the camera and a 50mm SV mini-scope on the SE mount. I also have an MT mount where this configuration might find a permanent home.

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