Tuesday, May 31, 2011

20110531 Saturn

Didn't really take any picture of Saturn for very long, now I only have my Ranger again and the iOptron Cube was sold, so I've to go back to hand tracking with my Manfrotto 410 geared head.

To my surprise, I can still manage hand tracking at up to 2400mm manually... guess what, tracking and focusing at the same time is not a simple trick, it takes patience and a lot of patience...

Still love the raw and small image from the eyepiece, it's lovely and enjoyable, the wonderful thing of amateur astronomy. Not even Hubble images can rival!

0010 (GMT+8), with 2x barlows at 960mm focal length:-

0014 (GMT+8), with 5x powermate at 2400mm focal length:-

Taken with my lovely 13+ years old Tele Vue Ranger!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Telescopes that you owned more than once

Equipment comes and goes, it's a matter of fact if you stay in amateur astronomy for more than a couple of years. During the buying and selling, you might find that you could actually own a telescope or a certain piece of equipment more than once. I've a few such experiences.

1. Borg 45ED

Strictly speaking, I didn't own it twice, but I owned one Borg 45ED and one Borg 45ED II. They're very similar and the only difference is the focal length but you cannot tell from their appearance.

It's unique in the sense that it should be the smallest APO in the world. It's small and it's versatile. I used them mainly for solar imaging with my Solarmax 40, and it's useful for guiding and some real wide field scanning. High power observation is not useful due to the very limited aperture. It's so portable that you have no reason to keep it at home for whatever trip.

2. Celestron C5

This is a very unique telescope. It's an unique combination of size, weight, portability and performance and price! You cannot get any better than this given its portability. You can do some really "serious" work with the advanced video cameras these days, for example, my C5 Jupiter taken with a DBK exceeded my C8 Jupiter taken with a ToUCam Pro!

It's so light that any mount would do the job.

3. Various Cameras

I have owned more than five ToUCam Pro, some keeping their life as a color camera and some were modified to black and white. I sold them all until I bought some DMK/DBK.

I have owned three DMK/DBK, and they're really very nice cameras.

I have owned many Lumenera LU070M, they're perfect for their price, and I bought them as a batch from a closed research lab. They exceed the performance of a similar DMK with the higher dynamic range, bigger chip/pixel, etc.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Items for Sales

Local (Hong Kong) buyer preferred, price also listed in HKD. If you're interested, please let me know, foreign buyers please ask:

1. Celestron C5 OTA in silver color (i.e. Nexstar) [HOLD]

with Vixen style dovetail, 1.25" visual back, 25mm Celestron Plossl

$2500 HKD, optional Astrotech 1.25" dielectric diagonal available at $300 more.

2. Lumenera LU070M with integral 1.25" adapter

640x480 monochrome 1/3" CCD (bigger than DMK 21) [HOLD]
12-bit (better than DMK 21 again)
60 fps
USB 2.0 Interface
Ready to be used with 1.25" focuser, comes with a wide field lens

$2700 HKD.

3. Canon 100mm f/2.0 USM with hood and Hoya filter, no box [HOLD]

Show sign of use, some dust inside the lens but does not affect performance, $2000 HKD.

Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 May 16 Goodbye H-alpha Solar Imaging

This morning, I packed up my Solarmax 40 with BF10 + reducer, the iOptron GPS Cube as well as the Lumenera.

They were passed to someone just a few minutes ago.

Thank you for their services, and they brought some really great moments for me. I love to play with them under the sun, and I managed to get a picture good enough to be shown in a local exhibition, and a US dealer even picked one of my pictures in their printed catalog :-)

Monday, May 09, 2011

20110509 Sun

While no one show interest in my solar gear, I will continue to use it. The sky is not very good today, we have cloud floating around and the transparency is like 7/10 when it's cleared, seeing like 3/10.

1440 (GMT+8):-

1441 (GMT+8):-


They want money from me again, and that's what I saw this morning:-

"You have run out of sponsor ads"

"Your account is required to purchase support ads to use Astromart. Click Here to go to the featured ad purchasing page."

I believe that I paid no long ago, but then I was asked to pay again... Astromart tax again? I wonder whether I will pay... so if you have response my ad. there, let me know via email or some other means. Thanks.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Why Solar Observation?

A few obvious reasons:

1. It's the most obvious object in the sky.
2. It's very dynamic.
3. It requires only moderate equipments.
4. It can be done in any place for it penetrates light pollution very well.
5. I want to sleep at night for most of the time.
6. It's simple to do.
7. It's just beautiful!