Category : General

Great Orion Nebula Image

I tried guiding again the other night for the first time in ages. I went back to imaging with the LX200 and guiding with my cheap refractor. I took this image of the Orion Nebula for 2.5mins with my Canon 450D and Astronomik CLS filter attached directly to the Meade LX200 10″ scope.

The initial image did not look that good, but once I had adjusted the separate colour levels and the brightness and contrast the image got a lot bigger and came alive.

It’s definitely one of my best so far, but I am sure I could do even better in the future.

Great Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula and Pleiades Images

Managed to get out last night at about 9.30pm until Midnight. With so many great sights in the sky at the moment in January it’s hard to know what to try and image first.

M1 Crab Nebula, M45 Pleiades, Mars, M42 Orion Nebula, Horsehead Nebula etc.

At the moment I love connecting my Canon 450D up to my £100 refractor guide scope. I just find it so easy to use and focus compare to the LX200. The worst thing on the LX200 is not seeing where you are when focusing. I like to see the drawtube on the refractor.

I ended up taking the pleiades and the orion nebula with the 70mm refractor.

Pleiades Image

Orion Nebula

How To Make a Wooden Camera Mount

Since getting my guiding telescope on top of my Meade LX200, I have run out of space to put other items around the telescope.

When you first get an LX200 telescope, you think there are lots of screws to use to add extras, but they soon get all used.

I currently have the Meade finder on the left hand side of the scope, the guiding scope in the middle on a rail and rings, on the right I have my Telrad.

The Telrad was originally stuck to the tube with some sticky padding although I wish I had never done this, so instead I drilled some holes into the Telrad base and screwed this into the tube. Because of all these items on the top of the scope, I then required weights on the underneath of the scope.

So, this means there is no space left for my DSLR camera, a bit of a pain if I want to do some normal widefield photography using my camera lenses. To get around this I decided to build a camera mount that would slot into the finder slot on the guiding telescope, which I was not using.

To do this I got myself a small piece of (1.5″ x 2″) wood which was about 2.5″ long.

I began by using a chisel to take out a line of wood where the finder mount would slide on, you could also do this with a screwdriver. The wood block will stay in place by using the screw on the finder mount on the telescope.

I then used the current metal camera mount I had and screwed this to the block of wood, between the metal camera mount and the piece of wood I did also add two rubber washers.

And that’s it, a simple way to add your camera onto your guiding scope.

Wooden Camera Mount in Finder Slot

Damian Peach No Show at FAS 2009

Hi, Just returned from a day at the Cambridge Federation of Astronomical Societies Annual Convention. It was quite a nice and quiet day at the Cambridge campus.  I arrived just after the Dr Hayley Gomez talk, to be told on the door that Damian Peach was ill and would not be presenting.

It was really strange, as I was thinking what would I do if he did not show up, on my way to Cambridge in the car. Would I just ask for my £8 back and go home and do something else? Because I had only turned out to see Damian, but I stayed anyway and had a quick look around the stalls and luckily Jerry from Loughton AS stood in and gave a good old fashioned slide presentation instead.

After lunch, Chris Lintott spoke on Galaxy Zoo, the same talk he gave at Herstmonceux, but luckily I did not attend that talk. After that I then came home without waiting for Martin Ree’s talk.

I hope that the FAS still publish Damian Peach’s talk on the web as I would still like to read it, but I was gutted he did not show up along with several other people.

Jessops Camera Voucher Codes

I don’t usually publicise this sort of thing, but I have found some discount voucher codes for Jessops cameras online:

Use code CAMERAS8 – 8% off all compact digital cameras – Ends midnight 9th Oct

Use code NIKD300 – £30 off the Nikon D300 body – Ends midnight 2nd Oct

Use code NIKD300S – £50 off the Nikon D300S body – Ends midnight 2nd Oct

You can use these discount codes at Jessops now!

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