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    cnapton1981
    Latest Entry

    Can any one give an honest opinion on the national geographic 90/900 refractor telescope please as i can not find any reviews anywhere ?

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    Hi everyone

    Im buying a new telescope on friday (payday) and as a noob I have been looking at a few scopes of low end buget but decent enough viewing. I have a limit of say 400 and have been looking at a nexstar 4se and the 130sl, I like these as they have got some good reviews and I love the go-to device as I used my friends scope without this feature and could just about find Jupiter so I thought this a great way to view what I actually wanna see. I have also seen a 200 dobsonian on ebay for £250 new which seems a lot of scope for the money just no go-to on there. Am I looking at the best ones or can you recommend something else.

  1. So 2014 is now well upon us and to help motivate myself I have decided to make a public list of the things I plan to try and observe during the coming year. As i progress I will try my best to keep this list updated wth any I have managed to observe and others that I come across that I plan to observe.If any one has any sugestions for a newbie or something they feel may be a challenge then leave a comment for me! I will try to keep at least 5 active on here at any one time and any I manage to observe I will leave up but stroke off.

    1. To observe M42 The Orion Nebula (observed 4th March 2014)

    2. To observe Saturn

    3. To observe Mars

    4. To observe Andromeda

    5. To observe M1 The Crab Nebula

    6. To see the Northern Lights

    7. To get to darker skies away from the streetlights

    8. To camp in the summer with a few of my like minded friends and spend the night observing

    9. To split a double/multiple star system

  2. Just an example of a typical quick observing session for me, trying to fit it in around 'life'! I have a baby due in a couple of weeks so we are manically preparing the house and nursery for the arrival.

    I set the TV76 and PST up in the garden early on Sunday morning, and during rests from painting skirting boards had some lovely white light and Ha views. My mini giro rig is working very well now, more compact with the shorter CW bar and L bracket.

    During breaks from assembling a flat pack IKEA wardrobe (AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHH), I realised there was a double shadow transit on Jupiter last night so thought I would chance my arm at a little evening session too. I popped the PST and Herschel wedge away, put the longer CW bar on and away we went.

    It's amazing the detail visible with such a small scope. Earlier on GRS was clearly visible, with nice detail around where it nestles into the belt, whilst the Ganymede shadow transit was stunningly clear, really jet black. Nice details in the other belt too in moments of good seeing.

    I tried a variety of EPs, and settled in the 3.7 Ethos earlier on (x137) when the seeing was better. Later on the 4 mm radian gave sharper views at x120.

    I watched the double shadow transit at its mid point, Io's shadow smaller and less obvious but still very clear. That's a first for me I think. My last view was as Ganymede's shadow was about to exit the disk, but the seeing had dropped off by then.

    Packed away very quickly and off to bed. It's great to be able to view these events with minimum hassle. I know the detail is not what you would get in a larger scope, but if the choice is that or nothing, I'll take the small scope option every time.

    Cheers,

    Stu

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    Joseki
    Latest Entry

    Well they say start with the mount. - I got a AZ4 which I like and an Altair Astro 150 newt, which I also like.

    I also got fed up with ATM and not having much luck finding things, so I applied and got a 0% interest card and just bought a AZEQ6. - so spending ratio of scope to mount is almost exactly 1:10. Crazy. - but good. - but not as nice as saving up the cash for one up front (which I most likely would fail to do).

  3. PaulCH
    Latest Entry

    well there I have been sitting at home these last few nights seeing the clouds scudding across the sky, thinking that going out and setting up would be a waste of time and energy as I wont be able to see anything. Then I read DDs entry here and realise that it may not be perfect, but as i am coming from a base where i just look up at the sky with awe and dont really know what i am looking at, does it matter if it isnt exactly perfect?

    so despite the haze and thin cloud i went out last night, with a plan this time, not challenging, but it is about learning to observe as much as getting that elusive sighting at this time. Si I set my sights on the double star in the big dipper (Mizar & Alcor), a further study of Jupiter and it's moons and as it is in the night sky again, a first look at the moon.

    M & A well I didn't bother to allign the GOTO features, I could see my targets after all. One lesson to learn, make sure the red dot is turned off before i put the scope to bad at night!!! The red spot is very good and i seem to have it well alighned with the scope, looked through the low magnification EP and there they were in the middle of the field. One thing to note here is that if one doesnt set up the GOTO, the tracking wont be on but managed it fairly well using the buttons. Also need to sort out how to change the slew rates, it took for ever to go between the objects.

    The high power EPwas more difficult to use and i ended up having to go back to the low powered one to re-align, I presume that I did not need the high power for this object, but the viewing did not seem so good, ?is the high power EP not as good quality?

    Next onto Jupiter, this is my favorite at the moment, managed to see all four moons and several of the rings, no RED spot yet, will carry on

    Finally onto the moon, this was the first time viewing as it hadnt been visible in the night sky till now and i didnt get home intime to see it during the day. the detail was amazing, not really sure what i was looking at, but for a first go, wow.

    I was only going out for half an hour but ended up out there for an hour and a half, look9ing forward to tonight andromeda galaxy for sure.

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    Here is the program I am basing this off of:

    https://www.khanacademy.org/cs/challenge-modeling-accretion-disks/1180451277?qa_expand_key=ag5zfmtoYW4tYWNhZGVteXI1CxIIVXNlckRhdGEiEnBldGVyLmNvbGxpbmdyaWRnZQwLEghGZWVkYmFjaxiAgICA8a6-Cgw

    Here is my program with a few changes:

    https://www.khanacademy.org/cs/more-realistic-galaxy/5885768234958848

    In this I include all different kinds of stars and I can look up their solar mass limits.

    I also made it like a midnight blue instead of like black so that if a black dwarf evolves you can actually see it.

    I have a question.

    Okay I am trying to calculate what the brown dwarf threshold should be given that 500 in the program is = .75 solar masses. I divided .75 by 500 to get the solar masses per unit of mass in the program and it is .0015. I multiplied that by the minimum mass for a brown dwarf which is 13 jupiter masses which is = 0.0124098 solar masses. I multiplied the solar masses per unit by the minimum mass of a brown dwarf and I got 0.0000186147 units of mass for a brown dwarf. Is something wrong with my calculations? Would every star start off as a brown dwarf this way? I mean it is in the lowest luminosity of the main sequence being L, M, and T class but still would every star start off as a brown dwarf this way and is something wrong with my calculations?

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    Hi to everyone,

    My first blog, and my chance to thank many of you, for during the past 12 months I have consulted these forums many, many times

    for guidance in buying equipment. I settled on a Skywatcher Explorer 200p, and a Skywatcher Evostar 120, both sharing an EQ5,

    with a selection of BST and Meade 4000 eyepieces, plus Celestron Ultima Barlow 2.5x, and Panaview 32mm ( 2" eyepiece).

    This equipment has allowed me more than a few ' WOW' moments, such as the supernova in M82, and in the last 7days, the GRS,

    and so far I am very happy, but eager for more discoveries.

    I have begun to see the necessity of spending time at the eyepiece to capture detail, and that has been something of a revelation!

    It has been very helpful to have access to the knowledge and opinions of these forums, and I hope sometime in the future to be able to

    contribute. :huh:

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    Hi All - I've just taken up astro again after 30 years away doing physics. I hope I will be able to contribute to the lounge when I've had more experience in future. I'm mainly interested in equipment and astrophotography. Currently I have a Meade 4504 but am using the goto mount with a Canon 500D and various lenses to start.

    I have a beginner's question:

    All stars are point objects irrespective of their brightness.

    I thought the image size of a point object is the Airy Disc size and does not depend on the point object's brightness?

    Why then are brighter stars' images so much bigger in diameter than faint stars'?

    It's not just my camera because Hubble images are the same, as are the old photos on film.

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    Where can get good 2" lenes from and cheap?

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    Today I updated the handcontrol on my EQ5 & EQ6.

    Downloading the newest updates and updaters. After reading and rereading the instructions, I made a few dry runs before I jumped headlong into updating.

    EQ6 was a breese, went very fast. Then I tried to connect the h.c. and mount ...... disaster ...... "No link to mc. Stand alone mode" :eek:

    Tried several times to turn the mount on and off, same result. Hey Google is my friend here .... what I found was one thriller after another about h.c. or board meltdown. Now the sweat was pouring down my back. I dropped everything, walked away, made a pot of coffe, went outside with a cup of coffe and a few cigarettes, mulled it over for most of an hour.

    After a reread of the instructions, I found out that I could slow down the update, and presto, it worked ........ :grin:

    Tomorrow the EQ5 will get her update

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    Who remembers back on March 3rd 2012 when Mars was in Opposition. I saw it through my telescope. We have that amazing one happening on 8th April. Who will be seeing that one.

  4. Hi Guys,

    After a little while of intermittent viewing due to work commitments I finally managed to get outside for a few hours last weekend and had a decent viewing session. At the tail end of the session I hooked up my Canon DSLR to the HEQ5 mount (provides very nifty steadiness) and fired off 160 subs @ ISO 3200 and 1.3s so a totla exposure time of roughly 3.5mins.

    The image post processing (i have alot to learn here) came out as:

    blogentry-33027-0-09574900-1391898668_th

    This is compressed of course but that doesn't account for the poor quality only my astro-photography and image processing skills can be blamed for that.

    I think its a good step forward though so looking forward to thoughts on how this compares to other beginners and pointers on how to get better image's using processing?

    Koraki

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    I'm no scientist.

    I'm not even an "ist!"

    But I do have a problem when they say "Time Travel is not possible"

    They are wrong!!!

    Of course it is.

    How do I know?

    How is it that I can say this?

    How is it that I can argue with the greatest minds that have ever lived?

    Easy...

    Because I've done it!

    Yep, you heard me right...I've traveled back in time.

    Now before I tell you how I did it, let me explain something. I ask questions...of everything...I used to have a wish, and that was to be a physicist. The subject has fascinated me ever since I was a small boy. But alas, I was born without the ability to deal with numbers, in truth, they scare the hell out of me! And it always seemed to me, that whenever science was mentioned in school...numbers crept in to keep me away. So I fell in love with words!

    I heard a saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword"

    What the hell does that mean? (See...A question!)

    I started asking my English teachers. They all gave me answers, but none that a small boy could understand, or comprehend.

    Then one day, on the verge of giving up...I got an after school detention (another story, all of it's own!) Now I used to get quite a few of these, and always with the teacher who I'd slighted in some way. This time however, as I entered the classroom I got a shock...not my Drama teacher...but my most feared one...my Maths teacher...I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me, I loved detentions...it was a good time to get answers from my teachers, without them having to deal with anyone else...it was my "one on one" time...and now this!

    I sat down, got out my math book, and stared at the things on the page. They were alien to me, I thought there must be something wrong with me, because numbers became squiggles that I could not read. Then, to my surprise, my teacher asked me what I wanted to do! I said I wanted to read and was even more surprised when he said fine!!!

    Half an hour in, my teacher spoke to me...he said he had heard that I was asking all of the teachers the same question. I explained what had been going on and he laughed. He told me that I would never be able to understand their answers because they were all wrong!...How can my English teachers be wrong...they deal with words all the time?

    He asked me if I wanted to know the true meaning behind the saying...I rolled my eyes and said yes...This is what he said to me...I've never forgotten it.

    "If I take a sword, and take your life, that's it, nothing more, you're gone. Your family and friends will mourn you, then just your family. Nothing else can hurt you once I've done it, because you are not here.

    But if I take my pen, and I write on your report card, that you're a disruptive influence on all those around you, that you cannot be trusted, that you are lazy...that will follow you for years...every school you go to will see this, they will pre-judge you. If I take my pen, and tell your future employers the same thing, it can affect your hole life!

    Which one do you think will be worse for you?"

    I told him I would rather be alive...he laughed again.

    When I got home, I thought about what he had said...then, I got it...I can do more harm with what I say, I can hurt you more with a few well placed words...than I ever could just by physically hurting you. On the flip side, I can use words to make you feel so special, you'd feel like you won the Lottery...without even buying a ticket!

    So this is how I can argue with the greatest minds that ever lived...with words...they talk in ways most of us can't understand. The ones that can, are brilliant people, held back by the very thing that makes them brilliant...their minds! They want proof...or they theorize when the proof they crave is not there...this can blind them to what is right in front of their very eyes!

    Let me tell you how I traveled back in time...no...let me tell YOU how to do it!!!

    Wait until it's a clear dark night...go outside...look up.

    It may take a few seconds to happen...but very, very soon...you will be 10 years old again!

  5. kjh's Blog

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    kjh
    Latest Entry

    Hi new to this site ...I have a meade lx90 for a while now and wondering if anyone knows of a cover that would be suitable for our weather ?? rain , snow and hopefully some sunshine !! looked at a few but not really convinced if there suitable for all weathers especially the electronics that are built in i.e moisture build up.. any feed back would be grateful...

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    Hello everyone,

    i´m new in this and i have bought a Celestron Nexstar 8SE telescope, i´m having a counple of problems with the alignment process and make it work with stellarium software, i had made the 3 star alignment and when i finish the process i get that the alignment process was finished sucessfully, but when i try to go to any planet or star with the goto of the nexremote it goes to anywhere but the planet or star i want to point at, this same thing happens when i connect it to stellarium, for example i point it to the moon in stellarium and the telescope when to another place, the coordinates, time and all that im getting it from Skysync GPS so it should be accurate, anyone has any problem like this? what im i missing here? regards to everyone!

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    Christopher Davenport
    Latest Entry

    Hello Journeyman

    Of the 2000+ people who read my blog on this site, I am sure only a few noticed it had disappeared.

    But Why?

    This site is a place of sanctioned advice where people come to learn and discuss, whereas my blog is a personal journey full of blunders.

    These ideals tend to conflict and taking heed of some advice from forum members I have changed the approach and location of my Blog

    The link for those that still interested in the ongoing saga of

    Cassiopeia's Cat

    Small Print:

    The author cannot be held responsible for you breaking anything you own and tinker with.

    The opinions that are expressed are for directional purposes only.

    Please don't try this at home or without your parents consent.

    You have been warned

    Dark Skies

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    hello everyone, would like some advice please, I have just purchased a sky watcher explorer 130p a z go to telescope and would like to know if this is a good first telescope, this was pretty much at the top of my price range... ( under £300) but have absolutely no Idea what I can expect to see using it. I have read reviews from customers and they seemed pretty positive but would like to know what anybody here thinks! also do anyone meet up for stargazing close to the Portsmouth area? appreciate any and all advice... thanks..

  6. Cloudy again tonight, so put the motor drives on the scope. Got these as I hope to have a go at imaging at some point in the future, and they will be useful for observing in the meantime.

    All went well using the instructions, only confusion came when fitting the dec motor. This was caused by the fine adjust knob being where the drive should be.

    Luckily I got 4 rechargable D batteries (good ones 10,000 mAh , not the AAs pretending to be Ds) for my wifes radio which she hasn't used. Ideal for powering the motor drives. :smiley:

    blogentry-34152-0-97486900-1390091150_th

    Wrong

    blogentry-34152-0-63449400-1390091188_th

    Right

    I then decided to have a go at trying to get to grips with the polar scope. Found that AstroBaby has done an online guide for polar aligning for idiots (thats me then).

    Fantastic guide this http://www.astro-baby.com/HEQ5/HEQ5-1.htm

    All has become clear and the mystery of the polar scope and using the setting circles has been lifted.

    Just need some clear skies now.

  7. Well, after struggling for a few years in a fairly light polluted area I have moved to the edge of Dalby Forest just outside Scarborough and the sky's are just magical.

    A shame my neighbour has a security light that is permanently on as soon as a hint of darkness approaches - I offered to buy him a PIR operated one but - it is a touchy subject so best left alone !

    Anyway, just laid a concrete plinth and trimmed some top branches. Clear view to Polaris north and an uninterrupted southern view which is great.

    I have just set up an Astronomy Imaging UK group on Facebook which is a sister group to our Aurora UK group - two groups worth joining ;)

    Hope to post more soon.

    Steve

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    Hi,

    I went sea fishing at Selsey last light and took a tilley lamp to keep my hands warm. I watched the end of my fishing rod for four hours waiting for a bite. Behind the rod tip was Orion, Jupiter and also the moon. The night was cold and clear, frost was on the cars but I was well dressed and stayed warm. I never caught anything but will always remember that magical scene with the noise of the waves. I felt sorry for all those inside missing such a lovely scene on such a calm, clear night.

    Regards,

    Graham.

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    No blog entries yet

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    I currently have a zennox 70 telescope as I am a beginner in terms of stargazing. I have loved using this telescope for lunar viewing however I want to upgrade to a more capable telescope.

    I have been researching and I have found celestron's nexstar 4se, 5se and 6se scopes with go-to technology however I was interested in having a tracker to keep up to date with the alignments of sky objects.

    I was hoping if someone could tell me do these nexstar telescopes have automatic tracking systems or is this an extra, also if anyone had some advise as to other telescopes that I could look at as there is too many to know what's what. As I say I am relatively new to this however I would love to increase my knowledge very quickly and advance to a larger scope to see a greater range.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Hello all i am new to this. I live in Swindon and i'm just wondering when the next get together is to look at the stars and where please comment if you know

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    28th December 2013, 6-8.30pm

    Pleiades (M45),

    Jupiter & Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, Io,

    Orion Nebula (M42),

    Betelgeuse.

    2 meteors, possibly 4.

    30th December 2013, 6-10.30pm

    Pleiades (M45)

    Orion Nebula (M42),

    Jupiter & Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, Io,

    Betelgeuse,

    Sirius,

    Andromeda Galaxy (M31),

    M110,

    open star clusters: M35, M36, M103.

    1 meteor, possibly 2.

    2 satellites.

    2 unidentified moving objects.