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Old 29-06-2011, 06:30 PM
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Should I take my mount to Cairns for the solar eclipse

I'm planning to head up to Cairns next year, but not sure whether to take my HEQ5 mount or not?

My FOV through the 8" is about 1 degree across, so I don't see too much point trying to shoot hi ris with my DSLR. On the other hand, I only have a nifty 50 and 2 kit lenses (18-55 and ?-200) which are likely to be a bit "wide" at decent zoom/stop settings.

Ideally I'd like to have some sort of automation going so I'm not fussing with SLR setting throughout the whole thing, which by definition means I should probably be tracking though. I've been in the astrophotography game long enough to realise there is a pretty good chance my first ever solar eclipse images are liikely to be fun and memorable, but best not to set my sights too high re complexity, HDR, etc.

Any suggestions? Should I be buying solar film for the SLR, or the 8"? Obviously a lot more gear to cart if the Newt and mount goes.
Or should I just take a deck chair and enjoy it visually?

Last edited by RobF; 29-06-2011 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 29-06-2011, 07:36 PM
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I will be taking my E6, for stability and for tracking (corona will require longer exposure and anything above 1/15 sec at 1000mm FL will result in blur - not to mention mirror flip and vibrations caused by it).
Now, how to transport it - this is the question... maybe I will go by car, and enjoy the occasion as a tourist as well.
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Old 29-06-2011, 07:41 PM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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I'll be taking my Mini Tower and eD80. I'd like to buy some more solar film, mine is a little perished now.
Rob, I'll go you halves in a sheet. The Vendors will have some at Astrofest. That will give us both more than enough to make new filters for all our optics. I like to have a filter on my finderscope as well
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Old 29-06-2011, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjjnettie View Post
I'll be taking my Mini Tower and eD80. I'd like to buy some more solar film, mine is a little perished now.
Rob, I'll go you halves in a sheet. The Vendors will have some at Astrofest. That will give us both more than enough to make new filters for all our optics. I like to have a filter on my finderscope as well

Good plan Jeanette!
That'll be one issue sorted at least...
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Old 29-06-2011, 10:40 PM
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I am driving up from SA with my CGE mount for the event. So I think your mount will be fine.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bojan View Post
I will be taking my E6, for stability and for tracking (corona will require longer exposure and anything above 1/15 sec at 1000mm FL will result in blur - not to mention mirror flip and vibrations caused by it).
Now, how to transport it - this is the question... maybe I will go by car, and enjoy the occasion as a tourist as well.
I'm hoping to get a group of people together and organise as a group to freight our mounts and gear up and back from melbourne for the eclipse. hopefully the shared costs will be quite reasonable? if anybody has leads on a good company to contact for this kind of service i'd appreciate it.

bojan and anybody else in melbourne who wants to join in, please let me know!

Phil
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by philiphart View Post
I'm hoping to get a group of people together and organise as a group to freight our mounts and gear up and back from melbourne for the eclipse. hopefully the shared costs will be quite reasonable? if anybody has leads on a good company to contact for this kind of service i'd appreciate it.

bojan and anybody else in melbourne who wants to join in, please let me know!

Phil
I am certainly interested
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:12 AM
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Yeh good idea Phil, I might try the same for Sydney/Newcastle areas.

I'll be flying up with my family but do want to take my mount.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:23 PM
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Next problem - if I set up during the morning how do I get decent polar alignment? I guess that pretty well means I'll need to be there well before day break and drift align. I suppose that's not too big a deal seeing as how we're talking a dawn eclipse, but just wondering what others have done in the past if its say an afternoon eclipse and you've just hopped off the bus in the middle of no-where.....
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:56 PM
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I think a compass will be close enough - you're not doing 5 minute exposures.

Only a second or two at most.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:32 PM
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D'oh - of course, you're right Mike
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Old 30-09-2012, 08:40 AM
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For anybody still watching this thread, checkout my post here:

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?p=899457#post899457


Phil
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Old 30-09-2012, 10:26 AM
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Although you don't want to be too far off as drift in the eyepiece will be an issue. You want it good enough to stay centred in the frame for a short while, ideally the eclipse duration. It depends on how long a focal length you are using. 24mm is no worries, 1000mm is.

I found during the Venus transit the main issue I had with my scope on a regular untracked tripod was getting framing right. Its awkward when you are using a scope and the object is moving off the frame continually.

You could easily end up with a series of poorly framed images or blurred images because you were nudging the camera to get it into position or lose an opportunity because of that.

Greg.
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Old 30-09-2012, 05:09 PM
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Yes, can relate to what your saing after chasing the transit for hours earlier in the year Greg. I've bought a shorter FL refractor however since last year, so for me at least that leaves a little more leeway versus the Newt's 1000mm. Hopefully enough to show some of the corona. Just need to get my act together practicing with software!
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:21 PM
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Using a compass will be close enough for the eclipse. For the transit I did the same and you saw the results I got. Besides if you set up in the dark you could do a basic drift align.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:47 AM
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In order to keep "the management" quiet, I'm just going to take my StarLapse, PowerTank, charger, Manfrotto 475B (hope the bigger head for it arrives in time) and 190XPROB, Sigma 150-500 (almost 2Kg), 2 DSLRs, solar filters and eclipse shades. And the regular lenses for non-eclipse photos. And the Canon monopod since I can't hand hold the Sigma.

Test drive on today's moon. Atmosphere not steady and I think the exposure got tricked even though in spot metering mode.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:51 PM
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I'm taking an eq mount and I'm glad I did a test run. It turns out that a GC 5 (ie an EQ 5 with Celestron's goto) can only be set to latitudes >28 degrees from the equator before the motor cover gets in the way. Luckily I have a Vixen Sphinx and it can reach about 18-19 degrees. I'll be at about 16.5 so I think that is close enough, especially if shorten the southern tripod leg a bit.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:31 PM
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Gee, that's a good point David. You'd be spewing to get all that way and find out on the day. Must check what the HEQ5 limits are.
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