Search found 1321 matches

by rwilkinson
Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:32 pm
Forum: Astrophotography
Topic: Pick out planetary detail with a webcam
Replies: 0
Views: 4419

Pick out planetary detail with a webcam

One of the biggest surprises in astrophotography is the quality of planetary images which can be produced using a humble PC webcam. Of course you do need a telescope too - and an adaptor to mount the webcam (and perhaps a Barlow lens) at its focus. And given the magnification used, the 'scope needs ...
by rwilkinson
Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:18 am
Forum: Computers and astronomy
Topic: No need to say "cheese" with DSLR shutter
Replies: 0
Views: 3900

No need to say "cheese" with DSLR shutter

http://www.stark-labs.com/DSLR_Shutter.html This freeware program will provide electronic control of your camera shutter from a PC. You can set the number and duration of exposures, and any pre- or post- exposure delays required by your camera. It uses a simple interface circuit: I have built these...
by rwilkinson
Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:58 am
Forum: Computers and astronomy
Topic: Cartes du Ciel (SkyCharts)
Replies: 4
Views: 9787

Cartes du Ciel (SkyCharts)

http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/ This is a free program which will run on "any old" PC (I've even used an old Dell laptop running Windows98 ). I find it indispensible for "star-hopping" to find targets: I can set the field of view and rotation to match what I see in my finder-scope or eyepiece, so tha...
by rwilkinson
Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:43 am
Forum: Equipment - Discussion
Topic: Meade ETX-90 (90mm Maksutov)
Replies: 0
Views: 5693

Meade ETX-90 (90mm Maksutov)

I bought a share in one of these along with three of my colleagues at work back in 2001: they were quite expensive at the time! It's a very compact package, with a small optical tube in an integral fork-mount, and so can easily be carried around in a small bag or back-pack (I had it in my hand-lugga...
by rwilkinson
Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:22 am
Forum: Equipment - Discussion
Topic: Credit where it's dew?
Replies: 0
Views: 5420

Credit where it's dew?

It doesn't take long to discover one of the problems of observing in a damp climate: condensation on your optics! I well remember at Kelling Heath in 2008 one evening when it was so damp that the night air was filled with the sound of scores of hair-dryers, as the assembled astronomers tried to keep...
by rwilkinson
Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:16 am
Forum: Equipment - Discussion
Topic: Celestron 8" f/10 SCT
Replies: 0
Views: 4418

Celestron 8" f/10 SCT

I've had this since 2003, and it's still my main instrument. I already had a motorised EQ5 mount, so I purchased it as an optical tube only. I soon found that the supplied 30mm finder scope was inadequate for locating objects and star-hopping (remember that I have no Go-To on this mount), so I repla...
by rwilkinson
Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:03 am
Forum: Welcome
Topic: Hello from Ross
Replies: 0
Views: 4764

Hello from Ross

I thought I'd start the ball rolling in this new Forum... I've had an interest in astronomy from a very young age, and joined the BAS back in 1980, when I was still at school. My interest was revived around 2001, and so I re-joined the Society in 2005 when I returned to Bolton. I was delighted to fi...
by rwilkinson
Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:46 am
Forum: Astrophotography
Topic: Not seeing red?
Replies: 0
Views: 4371

Not seeing red?

Most Digital SLRs use the same CCD chips as the much more expensive astro-imaging cameras, but don't achieve the same response to hydrogen-alpha light. This is because the DSLR manufacturers fit an Infra-Red blocking filter across the front of the CCD: this improves the performance in for "normal" (...
by rwilkinson
Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:29 pm
Forum: Astrophotography
Topic: No telescope needed!
Replies: 0
Views: 4131

No telescope needed!

Yes, you can get fine astro-pics using just a camera and lens! But it should be a camera with a decent lens, which can take long exposures (30 sec or more), on a steady tripod (or even better, a rotating equatorial mount). These days, digital cameras (particularly DSLRs) are preferred to 35mm (film)...
by rwilkinson
Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:25 pm
Forum: Club events
Topic: Society meetings
Replies: 0
Views: 7349

Society meetings

The Society meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from September through to May.
A full list of our programme is here http://www.boltonastro.org.uk/calendar/
And directions to the venue are here http://www.boltonastro.org.uk/Venue