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About ssmassey

  • Rank
    Venus Team
  • Birthday 09/16/1962


  • Biography
    Amateur astronomer, author and owner of My Astro Shop
  • Location
  • Interests
    Astronomy, Music, Electronics
  • Occupation
    Self Employed
  • Astronomy Equipment
    Sky-Watcher 10-inch Newtonian, Sky-Watcher 8-inch Dob, ProStar 127WPF refractor, EQ6 GOTO, HEQ5 GOTO GSTAR-EX camera, TO Ha Solar filter with Vixen 60

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  1. Two Jupes From The C14

    Jupiter C-14 Outstanding Ray - Lovely image Well done Steve
  2. .5x focal reducer placement?

    Hi Brett Yes... a typical 0.5X reducer is supposed to effectively halve the operating focal length - thus technically producing twice the area of sky. Depending on the size of the camera CCD, there are some good ones and poor ones around. The best focal reducers are those designed specifically to match a particular telescopes optics in order to counter coma and other distortions. Cheers Steve
  3. Fast 90mm Achro refractor OTA

    Thanks all - SOLD
  4. Fast 90mm Achro refractor OTA

    Hi Guys Yep I'm north of Brissy on the Fraser coast.. postage / courier would be only about $17.00 - Perth might not be that much more if I can get it into the right box or one of those new super sized mail bags. Cheers Steve
  5. Fast 90mm Achro refractor OTA

    Hi all In case anyone is interested I'm selling a neat little achro OTA SPECS: 90mm X 500mm f/5.5 - multi-coated objective Single Speed Crayford Focuser with tension and focus lock knobs. Fully rotatable focus assembly.Retractable Dew Shield. Tripod ready base. Includes 1.25 inch diagonal, padded canvas carry bag with shoulder strap. Can be fitted with Sky-Watcher 90mm tube rings. Perfect as a lightweight guide scope or compact grab'n'go. Used only a few times for testing - a few minor scuff marks on mounting plate. Price $150.00 plus postage Cheers Steve
  6. Sky-Watcher 10-inch Newtonain OTA for SALE

    Hi all.. sorry for the update delay - the scope has been sold. Thanks to all who enquired. Cheers Steve
  7. Hi all In case anyone may be interested, I am selling my Sky-Watcher 10-inch Newtonian optical tube. It includes mounting rings, dovetail mounting bar and 9X50 finderscope and mounting bracket. It has an excellent mirror and includes 2-inch Crayford focuser (low profile ) that I had specially machined up a few years ago so that it works with focal reducers and lumicon filter selector so that both selector and focal reducers achieve focus together with CCD cameras. It has been my reliable and much proudly loved workhorse scope for about 6 years and used to image and supply illustrations for several of my books and those of other authors over the years. It was also used to obtain widely published Mercury images (a difficult target and a testament to the fine optics). I'm only selling because I need to free up some room in the observatory for a 12-inch SkyWatcher Newt which I hope will have the same superb reflector optics as this. Price is $300 plus shipping (roughly $65 for QLD and NSW - will need to get quotes for other states). You can e-mail me ssmassey@bigpond.com if you're interested. Cheers Steve
  8. Finally Jupiter season for me

    Outstanding Paul!!! Well done mate! Cheers Steve
  9. "The Owl and the Pussycat" in HST palette

    Very nice! Steve
  10. A little HELP PLEASE

    Capture Software Hi Shane You might also want to check out GSTAR-CAPTURE - http://www.myastroshop.com.au/guides/gstar/downloads/GStar2.6.18_Installer.exe It is an Aussie developed software program written by myself and Chris Wakeman - works with most low cost cameras and has heaps of pretty useful features. Best of all in the spirit of amateur astro programmers, It's FREE!!! May be worth trying at least and if you do run in to a problem, let me know - we always like to make it more compatble where possible. Cheers Steve
  11. Saturn and Titan

    Blime.. don't know what happened there.. posted a reply and everything went blank.. must be old age:confused: Anyway, thanks all for the feedback and great to hear from some of the old forum identities I remember well from some time back. Anyway, yes it was the GStar-EX and RGB filters using stacked barlows and 10-inch Newt. I have attached a new pic from that session which is a simple composite - one showing the moons in the region at the time and the other being the Titan Saturn transit within about 10 minutes of each other. It was a real bonus to capture faint Mimas as well (I've not recorded that one before). Unfortunately Iapetus was too far out to the right of field which would have made 7 moons. But, getting Mimas kind of made up for that..all good fun Cheers Steve
  12. Saturn and Titan

    Thanks Beren - good to hear from you again too! Yes.. I'm glad to be getting some imaging time in again. Have been spending a lot more time these days just enjoying visual without getting tangled in cables and computers for a while. BTW: I have a new book out through Sringer in March called "Deep Sky Video Astronomy".. for all video users out there. Have co-authored with Steve Quirk from Mudgee NSW. It was an interesting process this time around with a different procedure of publishing but we hope it will help those interested in deep sky capable video cameras in answering a few of the most common questions we encounter. Cheers Steve
  13. Saturn and Titan

    Hi all Thought I'd throw in my two bobs worth. Finally got some cloudless sky here at last and although transapency a little poor last night the seeing was quite ok. I often find the two go hand in hand. The image shows Saturn and Titan (not its shadow but the moon itself) passing across the planet. Still need to compile a movie of the whole event before the cloud set in but it was indeed a first for me! It's only a quick slap together image and have many more files yet to process to find the sharpest reslults. Cheers Steve
  14. What is the ultimate eyepiece?

    Hi guys Well, I thought I should probably share my views here. As a long time observer and supplier as well, it has always amazed me the differences of opinion and choice. The first thing I have come to understand in the field is that everyones eye's perform differently because our eyes are indeed lenses themselves. In fact I have encountered some who find some less expensive oculars more pleasing than others. Some wear glasses and some don't. To a newbee.. the standard oculars that come with their telescope can be either dissapointing or wonderful. A wonderful response is largely because they are seeing things they've not seen before like the rings of Saturn, highly magnified details on the surface of the Moon or the Orion Nebula. On the dissapointed front, it's usually a power thing whereby they expected to see Saturn like the images produced by the HST. But as one becomes educated in the performance of an eyepiece - one compared to another, then our expectations grow. A good eyepiece is one that offers a comfortable (relaxing) view whereby we don't feel like we're squinting through the small port hole of a ships cabin window from a few metres away. The edge to edge cutoff is blackened and sharply defined. When we move our eye in to take in the full field of view we don't experience the kidney beaning effect (a black dead spot that moves around near the centre of the view with our eye). Then we need to look at the field edge sharpness..are the stars pin point right across the field of view or at least to a respectable distance from the centre so that it does not present obviously out of focus or distorted stars. Next I look at colour correction - is the ocular presenting shifted blues and reds when observing objects at reasonable altitudes. It essentially comes down to budget limitations as well as the primary optical performance of the telescope one is using. Some wide angle ocualars present poorer edge to edge correction in faster scopes than in those with longer primary focal lengths. Then.. how much sky do you want to take in at the eye. There's nothing wrong with WOW factor so long as it is truly useful to your observational work. I too have looked through an expensive Ethos and the performance was astounding and while I think they are somewhat overpriced in this country the bottom line is that you get what you pay for. On the other hand, there are a few other excellent oculars mentioned in this thread that can allow you too take in deep (slighly less wide angle views) at more reasonable prices providing excellent edge to edge and colour correction depending on the quality of your telescope. If I was wealthy I'd probably ad an Ethos 13mm into my collection for the impress everyone requirement but I would rather have two exceptional mid-range wide angle oculars like the Pentax, Baader or Vixen LVW's for example that will provide scientifically and aesthetically good results. So bottom line - Good edge to edge cut-off, internal blackening, no ghosting, no kidney beaning, good colour correction, sharp to the edge views and long eye-relief are important to me. For serious planetary observing, a narrow FOV is not a problem so long as the image is sharp and well contrasted. If looking at DSO's, I want to see pin point stars as close to the edge as possible and no ghosting reflections beaming across from a bright star just outside the field of view. Cheers Steve
  15. Neighbor's Security Lights

    G'day Sayskes Yep..know the feeling. Even when I lived in Coonabarabran N.S.W (supposed home of great dark skies) I found my self in sheer desperation after having nearly completed a neck breaking manual tracked 30min film exposure only to have the next door neighbours spot light switch on because their cat ran out into the yard. After I got to know them they were ok to switch of the light but soon forgot after a week or two of appreciated cooperation. I eventually learned to live with it and used several different locations in my yard depending on the location of the target I was photographing.