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  1. toftm

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    Home from a great holiday in the USA, finally got to tick Kennedy off my list!

    Here's a little video :-)

    http://youtu.be/hzkS6aD01RQ

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    Here is a list of a few thing i saw on the night/morning of October 21/22

    M1 The Crab Nebula in the Constellation of Taurus

    M45 also in the Constellation of Taurus

    M36-37-38 in the Constellation of Auriga

    M42 In the Constellation of Orion

    And about 15 Orionids in a short period of time before the clouds rolled over and put an early end to my obseving for the night

    mick murphy

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  2. So it's happened!

    I've got a scope.

    My initial intentions of getting a small refractor were well and truly side-swiped by RobH on here doing me a corking deal on his ST120.

    Having thrown in some extras including the dovetail and scope rings, a basic electronic focuser, an old EQ3 mount and a couple of eye pieces within the price I came away a very happy bunny.

    Obviously the ST120 is is a BIT bigger than the ST80 size I was intending and certainly not what I consider suitable to go in hand luggage but it was too good a deal to pass up and gets me started.

    So I put the scope on my new EQ3 mount and was ready to rock.

    Obviously as a result it was cloudy that night. :rolleyes:

    There was no chance to try proper polar alignment as there were almost no stars visible due to the cloud.

    I pointed the tripod leg North as indicated and pretty much winged it.

    I christened the loss of my telescope 'virginity' with a quick look see at the moon.

    It's bright isn't it!

    Someone has obviously turbo charged it in the past as it fairly rocked out of view in my eye-piece.

    Between the cloud banks I was kept happily entertained for about an hour.

    The need to get up stupid early for work on Saturday morning closed play early but the latest obsession begins.

    Bamus on here has just accepted some beer tokens for a 2" T-adaptor.

    I just need a DSLR and camera ring now and I can confuse myself even more.

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    andyin2014
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    I will be traveling by car and want to transport my telescope. I have a refractor and I understand this type is the safest to transport, any advice?

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    Jobie
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    The sky is clear tonight, looking with the naked eye I caught sight of a star and there were other twinkling stars round it and also a line, having looked on the sky at night website I realised that it might be Urser majors galaxy. Has anybody else seen this?

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    American flyer
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    Hi All

    I bought a Nexstar6 se as I have always fancied looking at the planets and stars anyway I am all set up but it's been quite cloudy.

    I have tried to focus on other things buildings etc but nothing comes into focus I know there is quite a bit turning the knob but nothing seems to happen.

    When I turn the knob is the inner mirror supposed to move because this doesn't seem to move at all , even when going from one extreme of focusig the the other.

    Can anyone advise is it me ? oris the scope faulty.?

    Best wishes

    The flyer

  3. Here is a picture of Ganymede seen through a 10" scope (NOTE THE PICTURE IS NOT MINE).

    So here is some evidence that It might be possible...

    I hope I really will see detail on Ganymede and the other moons.

    Alas Jupiter is not in the sky so i will have to wait :)

    blogentry-38322-0-92308100-1410535431_th

  4. Finally began to see something after some helpful advice from a couple of forum members. My error was not setting the white levels etc in relation to the histogram. It's all new to me - except in terms of ordinary photography, so I was in the dark - literally. I now have 'live' images which are essential for alignment and focussing. Conditions were not good, however, with an almost full moon, thin cloud and lots of dew. So I packed in knowing that I was at least on the right road and looking forward to next time.

  5. After a disappointing holiday in Devon from a clear skies point of view (great time otherwise), I returned to Essex last night to be greeted by a few stars in the sky. The view in Devon was North facing, different from my south facing garden, so I took my Dob out the front with its security lights and road junction and went hunting for the objects I had lined up for my holiday. This was to be a Cassiopeia night.

    Iota Cas. Found this after a bit of a struggle to even see the fainter end of the W! Once found however, this turned out to be a great test of my eyepiece set. Firstly, all 3 were just visible in the TV Radian 10mm. I tried a 2.25 barlow, but as usual, I struggle with barlows, maybe as I have a single speed focuser, maybe just because I struggle. I also compared the view to the Skywatcher 10mm that came with the scope and happily found the view not as crisp as well as narrower and darker, although still splittable. The barlow was pretty much unusable in this eyepiece.

    The Baader Zoom was tried, as I have not had a huge amount of joy with this EP in this scope. This was a happier experiment. The zoom is very useful at finding and then splitting and the 8mm full power (which is actually my highest power at the moment) also made the 3 way split quite easily. The barlow again was a bit of a blurry mess. I need to get some proper high power eyepieces it seems as the barlow approach simply is not working for me. Radian 10mm for the rest of the night.

    Another thing I noticed is that I am having balance difficulties with the Dob and think I need some counterweight to help prevent the forward tipping and the extreme tension required to prevent slipping.

    Next up was Struve 163 (can you tell where this list comes from!). I had already seen the triangle in my hunt for Iota Cas, so this one was pretty easy. What great colours! The C star was far enough away that it didn't even seem like part of the group. This is a mag 10.7 star, so nice to see how I can push the 10''.

    Eta Cas was a nice sight and quite easy to find and it was good to gauge how 13 arc seconds looks like in a 10mm EP. However, I could not find the next one, Burnham 1. Even with a clear guide, I just couldn't make it out and will leave to a night when I have more power and possibly darker skies.

    Struve 3053 needed a couple of restarts back to the starting star to get, doing the run from Gamma to Kappa and beyond. What a nice reward though. A littler Albireo, with a lovely and crisp orange and blue combination. From the spacing earlier, this looked a little larger than Eta Cas, and so it proves as this is a 15 arc sec difference, so getting a feel for this. To bring me back to earth, Sigma Cas completely eluded me after, and as the clouds started to roll in, I used my MaxVision 28mm to get a feel for stepping with this low power EP and judging distances between the main Cassiopeia stars (2.5 EP width for the Alpha->Gamma step by the way!).

    All in all, a very enjoyable hour or so and great to get some time and experience at the eypiece. I used a chair this time rather than a kneeling mat, and preferred it I think, although doing finder work with a straight through is a neck-cricker...

    Source: Cassiopeia Double night

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    blog-0098533001409423176.jpgThe story doesn't really start here, but I expect this is gong to be a common theme. It's cloudy.

    It's cloudy because today I decided to get rid of the red dot finder that came with my baby telescope. It's cloudy because I stuck my Telrad finder on in its place, spent a good 15 minutes making sure it was calibrated properly, and spent a further 20 minutes fashioning a homebodged dew shield for it out of a sheet of plastic.

    The Clear Outside forecast had been promising no cloud from 9pm and a six hour window, but by the time I had finished my Blue Peter job on the dew shield, this had slipped back to 11. Then midnight. The window had shrunk to two hours, and the dew risk from green to red. In the end the colours were changing so quickly I had a flashback to my first school disco...

    I managed to get out on Thursday night for my first proper sky hunting session, but dew managed to draw that to a close before I was ready for it to end. Newtonians don't need dew shields, said every source of information I could find but there was enough dew on the primary mirror to go swimming in. So I've fashioned a dew shield for the scope as well, out of an old camping roll mat. I was so ready for that six hour window...

  6. cutepetgroomer
    Latest Entry

    I am hoping that soon enough I can have my new 1.25 eyepieces. I love the format I have as well. I just want to be able to use filters as well. I know most of the time I am in light polluted skies and the use of a filter is beneficial even if by a small fraction. I still have yet to discover which telescope for me four millimeter, but that's okay. Right now , I just want to focus on getting more eps and some filters.

  7. So, the day is here! Actually, I am getting an early start. I have the scope (a little Celestron Astromaster 114) set up. The sky is still quite bright at this time. I set up early because it's been so long, I didn't think I could do it in the dark. I forgot about my neighbor's trees. My view to the south (in hopes of looking at Saturn) is significantly obstructed.

    blogentry-37794-0-47848800-1404436234_th

    Here's my Astromaster ready for action.

    blogentry-37794-0-00335300-1404436345_th

    This is my view to the South.

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  8. Good day,

    I have recently ordered a 10 inch deluxe Lightbridge since i found out the new ones are better than the old ones...

    I dont think somehow that is completely true so I ask anyone who has owned or owns a lightbridge since 2012

    (Beacause the new versions came out in 2012).

    Are there any problems with it and can u see detail on the planets,deep sky objects and so on (if u can,describe how well u could see them of course in avarage seeing conditions).

    So please tell me....

    Ofcourse with the planets asume ive bought a 15mm eyepiece and,12 mm eyepiece,2,5X barlow,5x barlow all GSO

    Or if u havent got anything like that asume how good the planets would look at 200x magnification/150x/100/400 or if u actually have got an eyepiece that magnifyes the planets enough please tell me which type of eyepiece u used and how much detail u could see again on avarage.(on the planets)/nebulea galaxyes... Jupiter through 70-700 refractor below

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    Any reviews on the new Lightbridges aspeccialy Meade LIghtbridge 10 inch deluxe

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    Hello to the whole world out there,

    this is Prabal Sharma, an amateur astronomer from India

    On this blog I will be posting astronomy tips and observation photos etc.

    I have a celestron 60 az with quality issues, Stellarium on my computer and some star charts and planispheres

    hope you enjoy my posts and images

    -Prabal s.

  9. I'm happy that Nexus works as it should do and I'm still waiting for my Feather Touch to arrive so since I have the week off work I've decided to paint the ground board and mirror box/bearings.

    Its a pretty easy scope to break down into parts, even the mirror cell is simple beyond belief. When it first arrived I emailed Sumerian asking 'wheres the rest of it??' :grin:

    Lots to do before I start spraying though, a light sand with some 600 grit flour paper, wipe with some turps and finally mask over any parts I cant take off. I think the only things that will have to be masked off is the cooling fans and connector, looks a bit of a PITA to take them all out but easy enough to hide with some masking tape.

    The paint I'm using is just black matt spray paint in rattle cans, I figure maybe 2-3 coats of that followed by a minimum of 6 coats of sprayed on matt lacquer should do it but I'm not going to scrimp on the lacquer, if it needs more I'II just keep going.

    I did a test patch on the bottom of the ground board yesterday which worked well. The colour looked almost identical to its original black satin but I'm hoping this will be more hard wearing than the original paint job.

    I'II probably update this Paint blog in a couple days with news that it all went well......What could possibly go wrong??!!! :grin:

  10. jabeoo1
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    By starting this blog at least my previous written observations can be pulled together with my future ones. This makes good sense as I am quite forgetful at using my notepad at the telescope (despite having one packed in with my astro gear). This may be down to not wanting to leave the eyepiece for long or concentrate on more than a few things at once, for whatever reason it seems sensible for a digital record here, where paper pages don't get warped and discoloured by dew and dust in the dark.

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  11. Hi and Welcome

    The ISS is visible this evening rising from the WEST at 9:50pm, rising to a height of 42 degrees (quite high) it disappears approx 4 minutes later in SSE. It appears as the 3rd brightest star in the sky, it comes towards you faster than it goes away from you. It is VERY noticeable and everytime I see it coming towards me, my tummy churns, its AWESOME. Go to NASA's site and goto SPOTTHESTATION, from there you can enter your town and country and receive a daily email informing you when the ISS is visible in the UK. This information is from my email of today 16 April 2014. Good clear skies at present so good luck. Please let me know how you get along. I am new too, I have just said HELLO to everyone on the Welcome pages. I talked to my grandchildren (11 yr old grandaughter and 6yr old grandson) the other evening and talked them through vewing the ISS as it passed, they were AMAZED and loved it! It was good to share this moment with them. In case you miss this message, I will send you tomorrows ISS details also. Take a photo of it overhead on yor phone. I did !!! It's a start :-) Happy spotting! xx

    THIS LINK SHOULD TAKE YOU STRAIGHT TO THE SPOT THE STATION PAGE AT NSA.

    http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/

    Source: Hello from Essex, UK

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    SarasotaSean
    Latest Entry

    I have high hopes that I've made the right choice out of all the telescopes out there. The 16 Lightbridge arrives tomorrow, and I have to stay home to sign for it - ugh. Talk about giddy, it's like I'm 10 and it's Christmas eve... hours of back yard preparations - from trimming huge trees to putting down a patio slab, it is a sweet spot indeed. I hear the 16 is a big beast - hard to move, won't fit through a standard door..... got that all covered. I think. Regardless of all that - what this post is really about -is that I am just grateful to have found astronomy and this whole world of stargazing - I make plans for viewing and have goals to get what I will need to see all that is out there - and those are the sort of things that keep me from losing it when work sucks, or life beats the Rubbish out of me. I get through it because the skies are gonna be clear soon....

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    chocoholicJ
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    We have a Star-Gazer reflective telescope with remote control but have not yet been able to get it to "slew" to focus on the stars/planets we have logged into the computer. We are very frustrated. We even enrolled in a beginners astronomy course but even the teacher (highly qualified) was unable to get the telescope to work. Can any one come and help us? We live in Ringwood, Hampshire.