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4 planets to see before sunrise east anyone?

http://earthsky.org/tonight Any one viewed this nice gathering of planets? little too low on my location not a good east view, reckon about 6 degree above horizon? i have got about 10 degree tops of houses in east. you will need to be up before sunrise 5.20am before there lost in the sun. Also noticed there some lovely nebula`s in Sagittarius if you get a nice dark morning.

mr saddo

mr saddo

 

Viewing - Thu 05th May 11

Decided to check out my Grab n Go gear and done some sun spotting. This is the first time for using it and it proved simple to setup, no leccy or any cables, just plonked it on the ground and a manual search for the sun. Turned out well for it's simplicity, a Meade Telestar RB60 on an EQ3, end shield off and a solar filter on, only problem is keeping track of the sun, no nipping indoors for a cuppa :) so SWMBO done the catering :). Just looking at the cloud cover on the net, doubt if there will be any clear sky tonight, but we can always live in hope :) As an afterthought, the Grab n Go gear is all secondhand and bought from various sources, recycling at it's best :).

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

Ursa Major Widefield exposure with DSLR

I had a go at just using the DSLR tonight with a 30 sec exposure, ISO of 200, and set to F3.5. Had a lot of trouble trying to get rid of the light pollution, but I'm pretty happy with the result. I managed to get through the clouds. The best result was from laying the camera flat on its back on a 10sec timer.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

Viewing - Tue 03th May 11

Not so much gazing at the sky last night, spent most of the time gazing at the handset!! With the wind playing about the last week I spent the time fixing all the cables in the obsy, bundling them neatly and moving them so not in the way during observing. Well whatever I done had a disasterous effect on last nights viewing. Each time I got align done for some reason I lost power to the handset, there was a loose connection and this caused restets. The serial connection seems to be the culprit at the moment but last night I decided to pack up rather than fumble around out there so this morn will be the time to test, shake rattle and roll the handset and see what happens, I will also see about new solar filters for the rest of the OTAs :) Well redone the serial connection, put straps in to keep it together, shook the cables and the handset and all seems well :).

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

Located M44: The Beehive Cluster

Extemly clear night tonight. I haven't seen so may stars shining since January. If I didn't have to work tomorrow, I'd be out later. I've Located M44, the Beehive cluster in cancer with my Monocular. One of the few clusters almost visible with the naked eye, as a sort of smudge. Another Messier notched up. :)

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

2nd April pics

hi all i gave up try in to get m57 with the dob,i got one pic thats so so,in the end i got the tripod and decided to just stick the camera on it and a way i went heres the efforts from last night pat http://s473.photobucket.com/albums/rr93/todd8137/2nd%20april%2001%2030hours/ the shot of lyra was stacked 7subs forgot the subs time but overdid it on the curves

todd8137

todd8137

 

Located M31 : Andromeda Galaxy

Just a smudge through the Monocular, but really pleased to finally locate it. I located Andromeda by following the line of stars out from Mirach. I can't get a better view, as the line of sight is above a 24hr Cement factory, which obliviously means lots of light polution. Pleased I finally located it, as it's the one galaxy I wanted to spot. Ok, a sense of achievement tonight, off for some sleep.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

Located M39: Open Cluster in Cygnus

I located the M39 open cluster tonight with my 10x50 Monocular. I have to admit, I'm having more luck locating objects with the Monocular than with my telescope. I looked first between Deneb (Cygnus) and Alderamin (Cepheus) for p1 Cyg and p2 Cyg and then looked to the right of p2 Cyg. Hey presto, there was the M39 open cluster, just visible with my Monocular. I also used Stellarium for the first time tonight instead of the Celestron Sky X software that came with the scope. Stellarium is much easier to use.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

Back from Holls, Great session!!

27th April 2011 This blog entry sees me travelling 300 miles north to the Scottish highlands and my father’s croft in Perthshire. This place was a big factor in me investing in my equipment as it lies in the centre of the highlands and the nearest proper town is about 40 miles away as the crow flies so light pollution is zero and the elevation is about 245m with big swathes of sky viewable at night and picture postcard views of the loch and mountains in the daytime. Weather reports promised clear skies for the next 5 days and everything was crossed for some decent viewing. After re collimating the Dob. (the last 20 miles or so sees some pretty rough roads) on the Wednesday when we arrived and having a quick look at Saturn and a few other favourites before bed I knew I would be in for some viewing over the course of my stay. Our first full day and skies were clear from the outset. We set up a horizontal viewing platform on the flat barn roof and everything was zeroed in waiting for nightfall. With the kids finally in bed, inky blackness soon flooded the sky followed by the mottled mosaics of a billion pin pricks of light and a faint river of vivid luminosity running roughly north to south. I had a list of things I wanted to see so I started with a few favourites to check everything was in line M3, M51 and M81/ M82. Everything was where is should have been except clearer, brighter and with more detail than I’d seen before. Next I moved on to the Leo Trio of galaxies (NGC 3628,M65, M66) for a short stay and then to the Virgo cluster that had annoyingly eluded me in the light polluted skies of South Cheshire. First was M85 then I began to work my way down though M100 then Markarian’s Chain and beyond ticking off all of the ‘M’ numbers as I went. This really is a stunning piece of sky and very confusing at times, there is just so much going on with fuzzies galore filling each view. After finally exhausting Virgo the battery in the finder computer decided to give up the ghost so I had a bit of a point around at stuff I could see without the scope and quickly found the stunning Beehive cluster and breathtaking Double Cluster NGC 869 (Spotted with my eyes!!) After replacing the battery and downing another Red Bull I felt I was on a roll and decided to see how many of the messier index I could find. After a quick 2 star alignment I started and M1 and went for everything above the horizon... By the end of the night I had identified and noted 55 of the 110 Messier objects (Half - Spooky), including some breathtaking nebulas and galaxies in great detail. Andromeda Galaxy was well worth the wait to appear below Cassiopeia and the beautiful and perfectly formed, tiny Ring Nebula was as clear as a bell. Frost bite, fatigue and caffeine overdose took its toll by about 4am so I had to call it a night shortly after. A quick rundown of identified objects from the night in index order: ·M3 – GLOBULAR CLUSTER ·M5 – GLOBULAR CLUSTER ·M10 – GLOBULAR CLUSTER ·M11 – WILD DUCK CLUSTER ·M12 – GLOBULAR CLUSTER ·M13 – GREAT CUSTER IN HERCULES ·M14 – GLOBULAR CLUSTER ·M17 – OMEGA NEBULA ·M18 – OPEN CLUSTER ·M27 – DUMBBELL NEBULA ·M31 – GREAT NEBULA IN ANDROMEDA ·M32 – GALAXY IN ANDROMEDA ·M34 – OPEN CLUSTER ·M39 – OPEN CLUSTER ·M40 – WINNECKE 4 (unsure as to what it is??) :iamwithstupid: ·M44 – OPEN CLUSTER ·M49 – GALAXY ·M51 – WHIRLPOOL GALAXY ·M52 – OPEN CLUSTER ·M53 – GLOBULAR CLUSTER ·M56 – GLOBULAR CLUSTER ·M57 – RING NEBULA IN LYRA ·M58 – GALAXY ·M59 – GALAXY ·M60 – GALAXY ·M61 – SPIRAL GALAXY ·M63 – SUNFLOWER GALAXY ·M64 – BLACK-EYE GALAXY ·M65 – GALAXY ·M66 – GALAXY ·M76 – LITTLE DUMBBELL NEBULA ·M81 – BODES NEBULAE ·M82 – BODES NEBULAE ·M84 – GALAXY ·M85 – GALAXY ·M86 – GALAXY ·M87 – GALAXY ·M88 – GALAXY ·M98 – GALAXY ·M90 – GALAXY ·M91 – GALAXY ·M92 – GLOBULAR CLUSTER ·M94 – GALAXY ·M95 – GALAXY ·M97 – OWL NEBULA ·M98 – GALAXY ·M99 – PIN-WHEEL NEBULA ·M100 – GALAXY ·M101 – GALAXY ·M102 – GALAXY ·M103 – GALAXY ·M106 – GALAXY ·M108 – GALAXY ·M109 – GALAXY ·M110 – GALAXY ·NGC 869/ 884 – DOUBLE CLUSTER ·NGC 3628 - GALAXY Waiting for dark.. Daytime view from platform.

mylatestwhim

mylatestwhim

 

new to all this

hi peeps just brought a skywatcher 250 goto dob, just want some advice about what eyepieces to buy apart from the 2 that come with it as standard, any help would be appreciated , thanks , crune

crune

crune

 

ISS Flyby 2159 30th April 2011

Caught another flyby tonight by the ISS. The space station was in view for about 2 minutes tonight. Still an amazing sight. I took some 0.5 sec exposures. I think I could just make out some sort of outline when I used my Minocular. Amazing ! Regards Neil

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

saturn iphone image

i was out last weekend (friday 22 april) gazing at saturn again and thought id attempt to take a picture of saturn using my iphone, and after a LOT of camera phone hovering managed this. i was using a barlowed 9mm ep at the time on my nexstar 130. i know its a crude image compared to many others on here, but its a start, i didnt even think it would work this well!

WhySoSirius

WhySoSirius

 

It arrived!

First, let me just say that I am never ordering from this company again. They said that the item was "in stock" yet I waited for 7 weeks. Sigh,...but today, IT ARRIVED! :hello2: The Orion Starblast 4.5" Altazimuth Reflector Tabletop Telescope is definitely not as grandiose and my 10" Sky-Watcher but for my camping excursions,.. it shall do quite well! It came with 17mm and 6 mm Explorer II eyepieces and a Starry Night Software. Nice little program but when one uses Stellarium,.. who needs anything else right? A review? That will have to wait for now. I am about to take the plane for a well deserved vacation and the skies will be cloudy till then. So for now,... it definitely LOOKS like it will deliver on those hot summer nights! :) Anyone out there tried one of these before? What should I expect? Isabelle

stolenfeather

stolenfeather

 

newbie

hi everyone firstly been having a look round the site and seems brilliant i very new to astrononomy and my experience is no bigger than over the last few years watching documentaries and the odd episode of the sky at night and old clips on youtube i have recently been interested in buying a telescope but after reading your comments it seems best to have a good understanding before rushing out and buying one, i was looking at ones with gotos and that sort of stuff but have decided to do things the old fashioned way was just wondering if anyone had some suggestions for the best books for novices to get me started, im 26 years old so maybe a kids one like 'my first space book' may not be suitable any help would be much appreciated thanks dan:)

rigione68

rigione68

 

Observing report 2 Part 1 - Saturn 22-4-11

So my Skyliner 200p had finally arrived, and after assembling and modding bits to it during shoddy weather, it got is first light last night. What a night it was! I checked the collimation before packing all my kit up into my car. I wasn’t going to waste a night of good seeing with my new scope, stuck in a garden filled with light pollution. I drove 15 mins to my local site, with my dad clutching onto a wooden stool and a rug. We have been trying to find a seat higher as with objects at the zenith, the dobsonian focuser was just too high for camping chairs. After setting up and taking what felt like 3 seconds to get everything ready, we set up the binos to allow the scope to cool down. We are both very pleased with the ease of use with this dob, it is exactly what I should have started with to begin my journey into serious amateur astronomy. There were 3 main environmental bonuses last night, they were that the dew didn’t come down at all, the moon hardly rose above the horizon and that the temperature was perfectly mild. This made a great difference to last time we were out and our coffee was freezing to the top of the cars! I spent 1 minute aligning the optical scope and telrad to my highest power eyepiece, centred on polaris for least movement. This REALLY helped for the rest of the night and enabled us to bath through a giant list of objects that would have definitely proved more difficult to locate. I recommend this to any new starters like me. While I was looking at polaris I also checked the collimation by defocusing and I was more than happy with the results. Firstly we zoomed to Saturn, there was still a little light in the sky so I knew it would be 3 or 4 hours before it reached its optimal height in the sky for viewing. Nevertheless my mind was blown away! For the first time in my entire life I could see the cassini divison J This beautiful gap in the rings was visible on both sides of the planet and I was so chuffed to have seen it! The 8mm televue plossl had really proved it’s worth. Obviously the contrast and sharpness was second to none, but what I am consistently impressed by is the way in which Televues make it really easy to focus into a crispness, something essential for planetary observing – buy this eyepiece! While spending around 30 mins so that my dad could also say he has seen cassini, we tried to catalogue the moons that were currently visible. We thought that we could make out 7, but I had remembered from previous sessions with my old scope that looking on stellarium afterwards had proven some of them were stars. I can now clarify that we saw Rhea and Dione very close to each other, Tethys and Titan the other side and bright. But for the first time a new moon as well, Mimas! Mimas was all but a tiny pin ***** of light, but it was definitely apparent, very close to the plane of the gorgeous rings. Through my new scope and eyepieces such lovely detail we observed. As well as Mimas and cassini being firsts, the increased detail showed horizontal shadow of the rings on the planet as a lovely thin black line. The rings were very obviously moving in front of the planet on one half of the semi circle, and moving behind the planet on the other. The rings were slightly brighter than the planets sphere so it was possible to make out them passing in front of the edges on the planet. Likewise, the planet cast a very small shadow one of the far side of rings, indicating they were behind. I mention this in depth because before my new purchases, it was impossible for me to detect which side of the rings were passing in front and behind of the planet. The current dark band on the planet was really confusing before now, it and the storm slightly above were causing a confusing optical illusion whereby both sides of the rings appeared to be passing in front of the planet. But now it was like witnessing a 3D hologram in space! Although my session featured Saturn and lots of deep sky objects, I have chosen to split it into two parts and I realised I have already droned on for far enough...!

Adz

Adz

 

WARM FUZZIES

April 25th, 2011 It was -16°C (3.2 ºF) outside so I knew that I didn't have to worry about frostbite. I was also well aware that the weather station was predicting rain for the rest of the week and I was leaving on vacation on Friday. Yeah,.. It was to be my last time outside with my telescope for a good three weeks. I didn't even think twice about it. Even if I had classes to teach the very next morning, even if I knew that it would take some time for darkness to fall,.. I brought my telescope out for some star gazing. I decided to set my sights on the constellation Leo since it seems that all one has to do in this sector of space is sneeze and one stumbles on a galaxy. I stumbled on two right away: M 95 and 96 (both spiral galaxies found over 30 million light years from where I was standing). I looked away from my eyepiece when I spotted them since a strong emotion overtook me. It's not that I hadn't seen galaxies before, it's also not because they were overly interesting,.. it was because I could see them. When I am struck with an MS relapse, my eyesight becomes blurry and remains as such for many weeks. Recovery is slow. Many times I wonder, "Is it becoming better?" or "Am I just getting used to it?",... To strain through blurriness to see what stands in front of me is one thing. To see perfectly and become excited in discovering something blurry through an eyepiece is quite another. I saw two. Nah,... they weren't blurry,... let's just call them for what they are: WARM FUZZIES. Since I was clearly able to see them, I can now officially declare that my vision has returned (no matter what my doctor says when I see him this summer). One doesn't need eyesight to have vision right? Before calling it a night I took a small detour to see my dazzling neighbour that had remained silent up till then. Saturn showed its rings proudly when I finally settled on its face. I guess we both were sharing the same tune that night: YOU CRAZY DIAMOND!

stolenfeather

stolenfeather

 

WARM FUZZIES

April 25th, 2011 It was -16°C (3.2 ºF) outside so I knew that I didn't have to worry about frostbite. I was also well aware that the weather station was predicting rain for the rest of the week and I was leaving on vacation on Friday. Yeah,.. It was to be my last time outside with my telescope for a good three weeks. I didn't even think twice about it. Even if I had classes to teach the very next morning, even if I knew that it would take some time for darkness to fall,.. I brought my telescope out for some star gazing. I decided to set my sights on the constellation Leo since it seems that all one has to do in this sector of space is sneeze and one stumbles on a galaxy. I stumbled on two right away: M 95 and 96 (both spiral galaxies found over 30 million light years from where I was standing). I looked away from my eyepiece when I spotted them since a strong emotion overtook me. It's not that I hadn't seen galaxies before, it's also not because they were overly interesting,.. it was because I could see them. When I am struck with an MS relapse, my eyesight becomes blurry and remains as such for many weeks. Recovery is slow. Many times I wonder, "Is it becoming better?" or "Am I just getting used to it?",... To strain through blurriness to see what stands in front of me is one thing. To see perfectly and become excited in discovering something blurry through an eyepiece is quite another. I saw two. Nah,... they weren't blurry,... let's just call them for what they are: WARM FUZZIES. Since I was clearly able to see them, I can now officially declare that my vision has returned (no matter what my doctor says when I see him this summer). One doesn't need eyesight to have vision right? Before calling it a night I took a small detour to see my dazzling neighbour that had remained silent up till then. Saturn showed its rings proudly when I finally settled on its face. I guess we both were sharing the same tune that night: YOU CRAZY DIAMOND!

stolenfeather

stolenfeather

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