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Viewing - Tue 19th Apr 11

Nothing to write home about tonight, all went well. Concentrated on M3, M5 and M13, all went very well and am happy at with the outcome, still plenty of work to be done though :). Jim

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

The Eyeball in the Sky...

Hi Stargazers...It's been months since I had the Dob out in the back garden, what with coughs and colds and the ever present clouds...but tonight I got a good hour and a half in before the visibility went haywire again. I was really disappointed to miss most of the Winter skies so tonight I braved the bad light pollution of Sheffield and looked skyward.. The new Dual focuser worked a treat, though I still can't get on with the Telrad...I think I need to build a box to stand the Dob on to give me more hight to overcome the bending difficulties !!!...Anyway the first target was Saturn and once I found it in the scope it took my breath away...pin sharp with a 10mm ep and x2 barlow...not a deal of colour but managed to count four moons. I am dead chuffed, made the night a sucess. As I had a pause with a cup of tea, I looked up and the ISS powered across the sky and shortly afterwards another sattelite whizzed over. One more look at Saturn and the gang of four, then the visibility got worse so I packed up and came in....GREAT night, in spite of the light pollution and poor seeing. Night all....

Patrick1948

Patrick1948

 

ISS to pass over UK about 2212.

I'm going to try ang grab an image later. Probably widefield with a camera is best, as it's too fast for the scope. RE: The worst result possible. I panicked, as is obvious. Would have had more time if it hadn't ducked behind cloud. Oh well, better luck next time.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

xt8i?

i have already asked about if should get it. but if you haven't seen the blog please tell me.. is this the best telescope to get under 550$?? thanks

markvh

markvh

 

Skywatcher 200Pds eyepiece query

Hi, Just received my 200Pds and HEQ5 pro package just have a small question regarding the supplied 28mm eyepiece. I setup the mount and scope for a quick viewing of the moon with the supplied 8mm 2" ep, for about an hour I couldnt get the ep in focus. After looking at the accesories that came with the telescope I noticed an adapter that again was 2" in diameter, it appears that this allows you to put in-line filters inside. Once inserted prior to the ep and inserted into the telescope it appeared that I could now focus (actually quite amazed with what I saw). My question is does the 28mm ep need this adapter infront of it as there seemed to be no way of getting focus without it, but seems a little odd that i cant just drop the ep in the scope and start viewing. Thankyou folks. Rich T

zimzimma

zimzimma

 

Cloudy Tonight

Cloudy & a full Moon tonight, what a mix. Still, sometimes it looks like the Moons at the end of a tunnel. Definitely worth taking an image. This image doesn't do it justice, I'm afraid.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

Viewing - Mon 18th Apr 11

Day started well, decided to do some solar viewing, although I put all the OTAs on the mount I can only use the 6" SCT as that is the one with a filter :) . Put the rig on the mount, started Stellerium and sent it to the sun, bad thing to do!!! Standing at the laptop I got a blow to the back, swinging round I found the rig in my face, again I had forgot to put the counterweights on, I will have to put a small sign by the on/off switch to warn me. Anyway, tracking went well and the sunspots showed up well, so got the DSLR working, took the photos and then left the gear to track the sun for the rest of the day. Evening started late, went well, concentrated on both M5 and M13 and checked alignment by hitting other targets. The moon again caused problems with its brightness, although I could see both the Messiers it was difficult to catch on camera. A good day all round and hoping to improve on all.

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

East a bit..

Well after much hair pulling head bashing and general frustration I've finally got my hand controller communicating with the motor driver. So you choose 'slew mode' and press the east button, and the motor starts slewing east, let go and it immedaitely resumes its normal tracking, press west and it turns to the west. Might seem simple but it's been anything but. Two completly seperate chunks of code in two seperate PICs. The first PIC scanning a keypad for finger presses, interpreting modes double key presses etc., communicating down a 2meter I2C comms link, interpreted by another PIC and then the correct motor instructions sent over the same I2C wires to the motor drivers. Not straight forward.. but adding the GOTO commands will be no more than a couple of evenings work, essentially that's how the slewing is working now, it's slewing the target point and the motor is playing catchup. Autoguide port?.. childs-play. And I've just confirmed, it's hot plugable. Am I happy... of course.:D Do I expect anyone else to follow what I'm on about.. :o, maybe not. never mind Derek

rfdesigner

rfdesigner

 

Books i would recomend

THE NIGHT SKY MONTH BY MONTH BY DK (WWW.DK.COM). I was looking for the sky at night(which the WH SMITH said there five of them and they had gone). And my turn toward here have look at book, and it was brilliant 2011 it was published and it goes untill 2019. And goes month to month what you can see, It will list what saturn and the year(2011), it also where november comes around where it then!. I would recommend this book.

narcoss

narcoss

 

15/16/17 moon pics

i am do in these a few a day i took alot of video what a did with a couple was shoot 10x 3mins ,registaxed them,got 10 good pics ,then staked all ten pics which out of 10 a seven average pics some filtered some not on photobucket heres the link http://s473.photobucket.com/albums/rr93/todd8137/16%2017%20th%20APRIL%20FILTERS/

todd8137

todd8137

 

goto or no goto?

i'm wondering if i should get a goto telescope. bescause i dont think i will be able to find any objects in the night sky. should or shouldn't i???

markvh

markvh

 

Viewing - Sun 17th Apr 11

A great night, could have stayed up longer but my old bones were giving out by 0100 hrs. The moon again was a bit of a problem but I persevered and towards the end of the viewing I decided to use the tour option and went looking at the heavens, sometimes the side of the observatory but the rest was good. Alignment was spot on all night, this was due to getting Polaris in the right position and waiting for the star to appear to get a good alignment, all target appeared in the centre of the eyepiece, was good to see. Found a problem getting focus with the Canon on the Evostar, not enough travel, this has now been recified with the addition of extenders. Altogether another good night viewing, making up for the long weeks of clouds earlier :).

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

Viewing - Sat 16th Apr 11

Although a nice clear night the moon was too bright to get any good shots. I used the time to run through all the aspects of the cameras and cams on all 3 scopes and it went well, any photos or videos I took were not worth keeping but they did help. Also used the time to work out the guiding software, more to be done.

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

which scope to go for????

hi everyone. im looking at upgrading my scope soon and am after some advice. i have been looking at celestrons nexstar 6 se, skywatchers 150 evostar refracter on an eq5, and skywatchers explorer 200p also on an eq5. just cant make my mind up. has anyone on here got any of these that can give me some guidence? it would be very much appreciated. my budget is about £750-800. many thanks in advance guys and gals.

aanickmac

aanickmac

 

Webcam Video Footage

Here's my attempt to capture Sirius on a cheap Webcam through my Telescope. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c_vbVHAPkU&feature=player_profilepage Here's my first ever attempt to video the moon, again with my webcam, unfortunately upside down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwQ3qD1FLQI&feature=player_detailpage Regards Neil

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

Viewing - Fri 15th Apr 11

Cloud cleared for a couple of hours and was able to put the gear through its paces. Alignment went well and with all the gear now installed it turned out to be a nice few hours, aligned 3 scopes, 2 finders, 3 cameras, a laser and laptop and everything was great :hello2:. Most of the seeing was on the moon and Saturn, the clouds were never far away and they soon took over, so the night ended.

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

Inspired by NASA

I've just watched a documentary called Beyond the Moon for 90 minutes about NASA, which has inspired me. The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and the Columbia tragedy shown in the documentary moved me to express my thoughts tonight. I was unaware of the pressure that NASA has been under since the Apollo 11 flight. I was also unaware of the skill and commitment and dedication of the flight crew, mission control and the as stated 400,000 human beings involved in the Apollo program. I can only say the documentary I've watched has just inspired me and given me more faith in the belief in limitless future possibilities the human race will be able to achieve. Due to the issues with President Nixon and the Watergate Scandal, I was never aware of the challenges that the staff at NASA overcame to the repair SkyLab, risking their own lives in the process, repairing the faults with the solar panels and the heat shield. I wasn't aware until recently of the commitment and effort made by these amazing examples of human beings, achieving the almost impossible goal of repairing the Hubble Telescope, of which so many images are now taken for granted, by so many people.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

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