Saturday, November 15, 2014

SkyLink and SkyPortal observations

Tonight I did a full set up of my Skywatcher 80ED Pro, Celestron SLT computerised mount, SkyLink and SkyPortal on my Samsung Tab2. This together with my new Canon 1200d and clear sky gave me the opportunity to do some great observing and imaging.

I am really impressed with the SkyLink wireless plug-in and SkyPortal App! I have no problem doing a 3 star alignment using the movement arrows on SkyPortal. My Tab2 has GPS to give a perfect LAT /LONG for the SLT mount and I have also set the time exactly. Once the alignment has been carried out everything I set the scope to GoTo gave me the object spot-on!
The only problem that occurs is that when the alignment has been carried out the mount does not automatically switch on the tracking. This seems to be a bug in the SkyPortal App, to get around it I have to go to settings and switch a couple of time between siderial and one of the others. Eventually, the tracking starts up and everything is fine!

I really like the 'search' function on SkyPortal, you can see all the available objects, planets, stars etc that can be seen at that time and all you do is select and press GoTo and the scope points to the object. If you use the live view, you can select any object on the skymap, centre and is so much easier than using the handset that comes with the SLT mount.
The SkyLink cost me about £100, but SkyPortal is free, the two together is a bargain and makes observing and imaging so much easier!

Here are some of my images that I took tonight...

Dumbell Nebula - 20 subs with 30s exposure ISO 800

The Ring Nebula - 12 subs at 30s exposure ISO 800

Single exposure of Uranus - 30s exposure


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