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Northeastern US (Maine) Discussion & Introductions

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#6826 Matt78

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Posted 19 February 2024 - 03:00 PM

Had a brief look at the moon last night with the Seestar and as much as it was shaking and moving around I can't help but think that some of the scenery will change Grey...  :-)  My mission last night was to try the planetary mode and that is going to require some more practice and research I guess.  It had read a recent software change had helped the planetary viewing and Jupiter was just hanging there so I mashed the right buttons and 15 seconds later there it was in mid screen.  Only one moon that was occasionally viewable.  Jupiter itself was just a white glowing orb.  I played with the manual focus control and sharpened it up a bit and I had all four moons but still not impressed.  My next step was to play with the manual exposure control and down the scale I went until the edges started to shape up and the bands popped into view.  At that point  I tweaked the focus a bit and it was a pretty good planet for a little scope like that.  The only problem is that to crank down on the brightness of the planet, the moons disappeared.  I think you need to be able to selectively narrow down the exposure to a certain area..  maybe you can but I don't know how yet.  I also couldn't figure out how to capture an image from the planetary mode...  another thing to research.  I almost wondered if it wasn't allowing the image capture because it didn't seem to want to capture any subs, I think because Saturn was also doing the same dance around the screen.  I don't think looking at a fairly steep angle through window glass was a big help on focus either.  I did take a peak at Orion Nebula before shutting down.  On a good night I think that has some potential..  flipping the filters in and out makes a remarkable difference.  Mission accomplished though, I learned there some more things that I need to learn.  Keeps me humble and interested...

That image definitely has been jumping. I guess in years past I maybe didn't bother doing anything when the breeze was up? I think once you take it out in better weather you'll be happier with the stability. My telescope has a goto mount, which I really like when I've had the chance to align it properly, but it's not exactly top of the line on build quality. You can pretty easily rattle the view when focusing (which is why I put a zip tie on it and focus with the long end of the zip tie), or if you bump it, but by gum once you get used to that and accept it, the scope has given me some great views. And you certainly won't be bumping the seestar with your when you're using it, so it's only the wind to worry about I guess.
 



#6827 Mike96

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 07:46 AM

We had some good sky last night and the seeing was much better so I played with the Seestar again looking through my window… too cold to open it and I’m with Grey, I avoid the cold when possible.  I did give the window a good washing.   Starting to learn my way around it while I’m warm and not swatting bugs etc!  I’ll be ready for outdoor stuff when the time comes.  I got a pretty decent pic of Orion Nebula with it last night and better sun pics in the afternoon.  I’ll put up a couple later when I get the pc fired up. The pics yesterday were taken from a little table sitting on carpet about 18” from closed window with me controlling it from my phone.  It’s definitely not the scientific instrument the Tele Vue was but a whole lot easier.  I do miss the first person views though.

 

sun2
Orion1

Edited by Mike96, 20 February 2024 - 09:59 AM.

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#6828 Greyhaven

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 12:19 PM

Mike,am I reading the details  at the bottom of the m42 photo correctly. 33 minutes?  If so that's amazing. Benefits of a 50mm aperture the core is not overly expose and with just a tad of processing the gas clouds are even more prominent. At first I thought a galaxy might be visible, but I think it turns out to be a lens flare. NGC 1980 (my best guess) just below the flare is bright enough to be the culprit. I also played with shadows and mid-tone  contrast a bit to shoe the gas cloud with a bit more detail. Hope you don't mind.   

 

Grey

 

mikes m42.jpg   mikes m42adj.jpg

 


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#6829 Mike96

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 01:46 PM

Yup Grey, have at it!  I thought that was a galaxy at first also then  I saw the stars in the upper right corner, same thing at the same angle and decided that was more than coincidence to have multiples at that angle  :-)

 

I didn't have any filters switched in and didn't fiddle with much of the standard settings other than to back off a little on the exposure trying to calm the brightness in the trapezium area.  The 35 minutes was right.  that was 35 minutes of 10 sec exposures and self stacked by the app.  I'm just trying to learn the mechanics of shooting in the different modes and the fancy stuff will come later.  The lens flare I'm almost certain is shooting through my 40 year old Pella window glass.  Please feel free to offer any suggestions that might come to you.  I'm a total nubie on this and you never know when anything you come up with will be an "Ahaaa!" moment for me to get over one of the humps, and I've got a few of those ahead of me..  I did some AVI and raw captures also in case I get adventurous and want to try my hand at rolling my own...  that's a ways ahead of me I think.  Your version has much sharper stars as well as being more contrasty..  is that a word?

 

Just got back from our weekly lunch at Grittys..  time for a nap, my mug holds around 25 ounces  and that and a meal means a little shut eye is imminent!


Edited by Mike96, 20 February 2024 - 01:47 PM.

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#6830 Greyhaven

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 08:41 AM

Good morning Mike

 If you want to try some planetary stuff Venus and Mars will be staging a close intimate dance tomorrow morning. 

 I plugged the SeeStar spec. into Starry Nights and it looks like it will be an easy shot for your new scope.

 

The screenshot is showing their retaliative positions about 6:17 AM they will be pretty low so you'll need a clear ESE horizon if trying is of interest.

 Grey

 

seestar.jpg

 

 


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#6831 Mike96

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 11:14 AM

just got my exercises done and a batch of Jacobs Cattle beans in the oven and saw your post...  can't do any early east from here at the house and the farm isn't plowed out (not a sap year for us) but I may think of somewhere else for that..  I'm up early anyway.  NWS says cloudy tomorrow morning but CDS looks more optimistic.  Worth a shot...  looks like I could include Pluto if the SS50 cooperates?


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#6832 Matt78

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 12:55 PM

Good morning Mike

 If you want to try some planetary stuff Venus and Mars will be staging a close intimate dance tomorrow morning. 

 I plugged the SeeStar spec. into Starry Nights and it looks like it will be an easy shot for your new scope.

 

The screenshot is showing their retaliative positions about 6:17 AM they will be pretty low so you'll need a clear ESE horizon if trying is of interest.

 Grey

 

attachicon.gif seestar.jpg

That looks like fun, but also something I'll never be able to see sadly, due to its low position. I guess being an astronomer in Iowa might have its advantages.


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#6833 Matt78

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 02:42 PM

Say, Grey, how do you like that AVX mount I've seen you have in photos?

 

I may have mentioned that, god willing and the creek don't rise, I hope to start construction of an elevated sky shed out back, maybe 3' off the ground. After I do that, my next move is probably going to be to get a new mount to keep there, probably an EQ goto. I've eyed the AVX, the Meade LX-85. It would be for the C5 at first, but do you think the AVX would respectably hold a C8 for visual only?


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#6834 Greyhaven

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 04:25 PM

Matt, I use the AVX for the 5"Celestron ( originally a single arm NexStar)  and my SW 80, so I'm nowhere near the weight limit and no balance issues. As a rule my exposures are 90 seconds or less. I don't usually do auto guiding just too many irons in the fire to really enjoy astronomizin' . I have the AVX resting on a raised deck 4X4 framing  1" X 4" decking sheathed with 3/4 plywood  that is 12" to 18" above ground level. I'm a lone observer and during a astro photo run I'll set my session up with BYEOS to delay start in 30 sec. giving me ample time to exit the Cider House where I have a scope set up for visual on a Alt Az mount on the deck.

 

There are no ground moisture problems with that amount of space under the observatory. I have a Buber indoor carpet covering the floor and its been there for at least 6 years.

 

Grey


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#6835 Mike96

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 07:23 AM

No joy this morning on the planets Gray.  I had staked out a spot on North Hill, a couple of miles from the house, great view in the right direction and it was thin overcast overhead with a thick bank of heavier clouds toward the south and east (coastal).  I didn’t even get out of the truck.  I brought a small table to set up on.  Waiting to see if the SS50 is a keeper before I spring for a tripod.  In any case the little scope is a great grab and go.  I did have a local stop and ask me if my truck was broken down.  Still a small town in a lot of ways.  


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#6836 Scott123

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 10:14 PM

I didn't get a photo of yesterday's full Moon, but went out this evening and got this, one day past full.

409010796_10229138860469584_2695339247705395391_n.jpg


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#6837 Greyhaven

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 07:19 AM

Nice capture! Great control of a surprisingly difficult target to shoot a anything near full. Thanks for sharing.

 

Grey


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#6838 Mike96

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Posted 01 March 2024 - 06:41 AM

I was up early looking for a window to get some shots of the nice waning moon this morning but no joy..  two offending pine trees that I would love to vaporize with my trusty Star Trek Phazer which I can’t seem to find now.  It would save weeks of clean up!


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#6839 clearwaterdave

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 09:45 AM

Hello my friends.,I have missed you and the great comrodery of our little corner of the forum.,

  I haven't been out with a scope for a long time but I'm hoping that will change with the improving weather and my need to do something with myself.,

 Having Miss Peg gone has left me with an empty heart and home.,I don't quite know what to do with myself yet.

Friends have been helping me with visits and I have a good day now and again but grief has its grip on me still and I'm not comfortable with getting out into the general public yet. 

 I am looking forward to the eclipse and am not sure if I want/ can travel some for the maximum time or weather I will take what I get from home.,I hope the weather will be nice and we all get to enjoy this wonderful experience. 

  I want to thank you all for your kind words and support of Miss Peg and myself over the years. I hope I can get back to being a part of this great family,.,Very best to you all from the wilds of Industry.,


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#6840 Mike96

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 10:20 AM

Dave, it's great to hear from you. Thank you for letting us know where you are at...   small steps and you will find your way back.  I'm anxious to hear of your first lobster roll of the season.  Mike


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#6841 ArizonaScott

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 10:27 AM

Dave, I'm sure that many here on CN have been thinking of you and have heavy hearts on the loss of your beloved Peg, grieving is a long process and it's understandable that you have good and bad days, take care of you and in time I hope that you'll work your way towards a "new normal" that you are at peace with.


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#6842 Greyhaven

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 11:42 AM

Dave, I have been anxiously awaiting news from you. I can only imagine the depth and breath of your feelings at this time. I'm relieved that you were able to reconnect with us and hopefully you will be able to re-enter your place here. Perhaps the eclipse will help you connect with the universe as the gradual darkening  skies and the moment of rebirth of light mirrors your recent journey. We are with you. Be well my friend.

 

Grey


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#6843 Scott123

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Posted 02 March 2024 - 03:43 PM

Hi Dave, good to hear from you. Grieving is a long and personal process, please let us know if we can do anything to help you.


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#6844 redbaron12

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Posted 03 March 2024 - 06:57 AM

I've been following this thread for years, it's one of my favorites and Dave tops the list as my favorite poster.  I've never chimed in because, well, I'm not from Maine.  I've missed your posts and especially the photos of your "inventions".  I like to tinker too.  I know how devoted you were to Miss Peg and am so sorry for your loss.  Hang in there and so glad to see you're back.


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#6845 Greyhaven

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Posted 03 March 2024 - 10:03 AM

Looks like I'll be taking a short trip to Jackman to experience totality. My son and granddaughter have invited me to accompany them on their crusade to the event horizon. My youngest son will be back from the Philippines to work here for the summer before returning to the tropics at the end of summer, so Lady Elaine will have the help she needs with Ripley. I had convinced myself that a partial eclipse would be find, but I don't think I believed me. I've been known to lie to myself about things like that.

 

 

Grey   


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#6846 Mike96

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 07:19 AM

We are still undecided on our destination..  we have an invitation to go to New Brunswick to visit friends and watch with them but not a great time of year for that. I’m still leaning toward Jackman, so maybe we will see you there Grey.  


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#6847 Mike96

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 08:42 AM

Just checked the airport “runway cam” at Newton Field and it’s amazing how little snow there is around the village there in Jackman.  Hard telling if it will continue that way.   Oh, and that Newton is another relative.. If I remember right it was my great great grandfathers brother was one of the Jackman town founders.  My branch stayed back in Bethel and Andover…. We’re flatlanders in comparison.   


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#6848 Scott123

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Posted 06 March 2024 - 08:49 PM

My mother in law passed away yesterday, a sad occasion. She was ninety three. My wife is taking care of a lot of the things that have to be done, with help from her brothers. 



#6849 Mike96

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 07:38 AM

I’m sorry for your families loss Scott.    Mike


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#6850 Greyhaven

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Posted 07 March 2024 - 08:44 AM

Sorry for your family's loss, but heartening to hear that they are acting as a family in handling the arrangements and supporting each other. 

 

Grey


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