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Old 05-11-12, 08:06 AM   #15
EBE Expert

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,217
get irfanview you will enlarge much more than photo shop
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Old 05-11-12, 04:23 PM   #16

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Australia (GMT+10)
Posts: 23,737
Quote: Originally Posted by Pauz View Post
Cool pics. I have seen iphone pics of planets and they come out surprisingly ok. Just put the camera right up against the lens.
My son got incredible shots of the moon with his Ipad but Saturn doesn't put out near as much light.

I can enlarge it in several programs but it will become very pixelated and blurry, that's why I didn't over enlarge it.
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Old 05-11-12, 05:01 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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I like this one :D The moon is like a teenager but this has a ring on it and that has to be good right?

Looks good on beyonce anyway :P

Last edited by Omega_Prime; 05-11-12 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 05-11-12, 06:51 PM   #18

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Australia
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thats pretty cool
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Old 05-12-12, 07:07 AM   #19

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Australia (GMT+10)
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Not exactly, it is a computerised GOTO mount but I have to align it myself, which means identifying 3 stars within a certain time frame, across a largish area of the sky.

It does autoguide at sidereal rate (and solar/lunar) so once I have it pointing at true south (not magnetic), have the latitude set (angle of mount head) and have it perfectly level, after the alignment procedure has been carried out, it will follow the stars reasonably accurately. It takes about 2-3 hours to set up mount, scope, web cam for imaging and laptop. Focusing is a whole different ball game, my eyes are shot and I have problems trying to look through anything with my glasses on. My son drives the web cam and laptop while I use my lack of knowledge to try and identify objects in the night sky (and battle with the focus).

Planets are easy to locate because they are a constant light source, they don't twinkle like stars, they only reflect the light of their suns.

My GOTO mount can go to any one of thousands of objects in the sky with the press of a button if properly aligned, but I'm still locating planets with manual control.

Oh, I forgot to mention time to set up the tent and electric heater for my son. It's currently dropping below zero C in my location at night.

This is the scope I'm currently using till my 80mm refractor is reassembled after some mods. It's a 130mm Celestron on a Skywatcher EQ3 Pro GOTO mount. The web cam is a Philips SPC900nc modified for astronomy (lens removed, IR filter attached, upgraded firmware).
The scope I got second hand on Ebay for $130 and the mount I got near new for the bargain price of $300. It's a $1000-1200 mount. The web cam came from Ebay UK and cost $100. The son, I can't put a value on because I never remember how all this crap works.

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Old 05-12-12, 08:40 AM   #20

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eire
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Impressive g-man, well worth the patience and effort!
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Old 05-12-12, 09:14 AM   #21

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Australia (GMT+10)
Posts: 23,737
Thanks Firty!
I'm hoping to improve with time.

I have a few scopes on the want list, can't see myself having the finances any time soon, but it never hurts to dream ($15,000+). I've loaned out two of my smaller scopes, one, a 76mm reflector I was given and the other, a 70mm refractor I got off Ebay for $10.

There are many cheap scopes available in new or near new condition, people buy them based on pictures on the box and the promise of 525X magnification, absolute BS, then sell them when they can't even find the moon (quite a challenge at high power).

What they don't realise is if they purchase 2-3 reasonable quality eyepieces for $20-$30 each, the scopes have reasonable quality optics. The bigger problem is no idea how to use them. Start at low power (25-30 0r 40mm eyepiece, the bigger the better), find the object, centre and focus it, then slip in a higher power eyepiece and repeat. No one takes a scope home first time ever and gets to see much, without some sort of experience/tuition. I couldn't even see the moon when I first got one in 91.
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Old 05-18-12, 04:31 PM   #22
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Gandolph13, congratulations, they're great pics. Your inventiveness, patience and sense of adventure are totally admirable! It's 700+ million miles away, but you've captured this beautiful planet like it's at the end of your garden...using your telescope and webcam. You're like the MacGyver of astronomy! Well done, mate.
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