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International Space Station

Now I'm really happy. At 04:49, I spotted the ISS pass over. It was brighter than Sirius, moving fast with a luminous glow. The ISS passed across the front of my south facing house for abouth 10 seconds. Another amazing first for me. I used the link below to track the ISS, which was really accurate. http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544 Definitely worth getting up for. I also used my Minocular to track it and I think I saw some slight detail. It would be great if I could track with the telescope, but I think it's too fast for that. WOW !

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

Viewing - Tue 12th Apr 11

Well decided to put the mount on the pier, although still waiting for one part it worked. The only problem was the amount of cloud, allowed me to align Polaris but a 2/3 alignment was impossible so went for just one. With just the 6" SCT on the mount I ran it through it's paces and it went well, very little noise and the comms to the laptop work well, had some good views of the moon and Saturn but because of the alignment I stayed away from DS viewing. The dismount and clousre went well and a good night was had.

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

Saturn, 9th April....wow.

So, two weeks after getting my scope I finally got the clear night I've been waiting for! I know there's been a few clear nights lately but I've been waiting for a clear Saturday night so I didn't have to worry about getting up early for work the next day. Anyway, about half 11 last night i stuck my head out the window to see how clear it was and yes! Not a cloud in the sky. Out i went and a quick scan of the sky with my iphone app showed me saturn was in full view, just drifting over the roof of my house into perfect view from my back garden, just above and to the right of Spica. Unfortunately theres a streetlight right outside my front garden, so i have to wait until it drifts around the back before i even have a chance of decent viewing. So i hastily set up the new nexstar 130 and got it into my field of view using just the 25mm that came with the scope, just able to make out the rings i was already well impressed with what i could see. After setting up the auto tracking and centering Saturn in the eyepiece i got the 9mm lense with the 2x barlow out, slotted it into the eyepiece and needless to say, i was blown away. The clarity of the rings was unbelievable, better than i ever imagined. I also swung around for a quick look at the moon before it sank below the horizon, and again, was blown away at the amount of detail i could see just with the 25mm. Cant wait for the full moon on the 17th, just hope its clear. Anyway the moon vanished so i swung back round to saturn for one last look before calling it a night, just as my mum and brother returned home from work. they both had a quick gaze and couldnt believe it was real. we were all dumbfounded by saturns beauty. even my brother, who is the more materialistic type, not usually bothered about anything other than facebook or shopping, said seeing it 'made him feel special'. It really was an enjoyable night for me, and now im thinking of attempting some photography , i just need to buy a suitable camera. As i discovered last night, the iphone camera just doesnt suffice!

WhySoSirius

WhySoSirius

 

Basic Guidance Setup

Hello people, Just wanted to pick your brains (again!). Im trying to take a leap into astrophotography and purchased HEQ5 Pro mount and 200pds, ive also picked up(friends rate)a cannon 10d and currently in the process of the LXMod on the SPC900. Anyhow, i intend to use the scopes spotter as a guide (with the spc900 inserted into ep)and use the cannon camera for photos. Is it as simple as using the EQMOD (usb1), Camera(usb2) and spotter(spc900 usb3)using PHD to guide or am i missing something? I just wanted to know so im ready to setup once everything eventually arrives (and works). If so I do have an old refractor in the loft somewhere that could be used to aid guiding but understand I would have to change dovetail and although very light(and cheap)not sure whether the HEQ5 could deal with the weight on the mount with all the accesories loaded? Thankyou Rich T

zimzimma

zimzimma

 

Viewing - Sat 9th Apr 11

Another clear night but cold. Delved deeper into the workings of the NEQ6, seeing how it learns. Went well, will be good when the mount is on the pier and I can bring it all together.

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

the moon and jem red blues

Hi all well what a pain the jemred with sensor was last night it was about 10 degrees out, now what a do not no is this.do a zero it on Polaris ?,or on magnetic north? well after a hour or two spinning the base ect a gave up brought the dob in and set to the base attached the digi read out and spun the base no probs worked fine a may have to loosen the thing up a did all test s with out the tube on so the weight on the base may nbe the prob any way a got the 90mm goto meade out to vid the moon and ended up fetching the 12"dob that turned out great heres a link for a rather long vid http://www.youtube.com/user/todd8137#p/a/u/0/dNkxA1nKu_E if you care to take a l(.) (.)k well like a say wdere do a line up on polaris ?or on mag north ? a may have other issues with the mod if a get time a will take some pics of the mod and how that went,but the main concern for now is were to zero the jemred (with the sensor ) ?any help would be great cheers pat I'll take a few pics as that will help cheers now right a have sorted it out a drilled the bolt and the rod of the sensor was set in it with firbre glass resin the washer that sits under the nut ,was stuck to it and catch in hold of the lost so some times the whole thing would spin and not the shaft so that was the prob its still a bit out but on a full 360 turn its about 00.2so after a full turn the measurement read 359.8/398.9 so its with in .2 like the paper work says that bliddy firbre glass was the prob the beat goes on this as you all no is just one of a million headaches that keeps the fires burning,not only that but a did not follow the mod properly i modded the mod because a did not have the parts,i spoke with me dad again and he suggested that a stick it on the out side .put a wheel on the shaft and let it run on the out side we may do that, yet will give it another go tonight see what happens cheers pat

todd8137

todd8137

 

Basic Lunar Viewing

120mm F8.3 Refractor 5mm Celestron X-Cel (200x) The warmer weather and clear skies we've been getting over the past few days has tempted me to catch up on some lunar observing. To be frank, I've been avoiding the Moon for a while because I had difficulty identifying Lunar features whilst contorting myself into a convenient position to see through the refractor with a star diagonal - mirror-image and randomly rotated depending on which side of the 'scope I'm standing. But freshly armed with a copy of Virtual Moon Atlas I'm now learning to navigate my way around the Moon's face. So this will be a personal exercise in indentifying basic Lunar features and not an in-depth observation of those features... Friday 8th April, 8-9:30pm Started off in the Cauchy region, and the Cauchy crater at one end of Rima Cauchy, and Rupes Cauchy just below it. Then up to the Serpentine Ridge - Dorsa Smirnov. Right on the terminator, it was probably the most obvious feature of the night, wending it's way up Mare Serenitatis. To the east is another ridge system Dorsa Aldovandri. Just above it is Posidonius crater, with a deep shadow to it's eastern edge, and the smaller Posidonius A crater inside. Further north to Burg, a small deeper-looking crater in Lacus Mortis. From there, back down through Mare Tranquilitatis, past Maskelyne, the curiously shaped Toricelli (a dark scar to it's east, extending from Isidorus C), down to Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina, and Rupes Altai just coming into view. Below the horseshoe-shaped Fracastorius, it gets a bit confusing in the heavily crater south. Saturday 9th April, 8-10pm. Tonight I began in the south with the Rupes Altai a 250 mile long Scarp that terminates at the Piccolomini crater. Then northwards to Mare Tranquilitatis, and Sabine and Ritter, with the smaller Ritter C, B and D above. Just below Sabine, the ovoid Hypatia c, and the distorted main Hypatia crater. So back up to Ritter, Manners and Arago. To the west of Manners, the thin dark scar of the Rima Ariadaeus Rille, and the tiny Ariadaeus crater at it's end. The shadows along the terminator formed another dark, straight 'feature' along the North-Eastern edge of the large Julius Caesar crater. I found this whole area to be an interesting region, and one that I want to further explore at a later date. Pass Maclear, Ross, and Plinius and across the smooth floor of Serenitatis. Revisiting last nights favourite, the Serpentine Ridge, it was interesting to note how much harder it was to find without the shadow along it's western edge to help pick it out, and how dramatically the Lunar landscape changes in just 24 hours. To the north of Serenitatis, the convoluted edges of the Caucasus Mountains were just coming into sunlight. Buried in that edge is a small walled plain, Alexander, just 50 miles across. Onwards and upwards to the large craters Eudoxus and Aristoteles, the latter slightly overlapped by Mitchell. And finally C Mayer, and the oddly-named Sheepshanks... I wasn't taking notes, so I've probably missed a few things out... including the isolated peaks somewhere in the north-east that were casting saw-toothed shadows, but I'm enjoying getting up-close a personal will El Luna again. :)

Tantalus

Tantalus

 

How lazy am i saturn

Well had a quick go tonight with scope , Saturn was up early- ish , and our kitchen is facing east so i set up scope in the kitchen!! on work top and i viewed Saturn! nice and dark in kitchen with the door shut!, was surprised the scope looked though glass, mind you the glass in our windows is very thin!!, not magnified. saved me going out side ,cold wind tonight. Got my Saturn fix!! P.S i wish people would turn there halogen lights off!! why there on all the time amazes me, there elec bill must be though the roof!!!.

mr saddo

mr saddo

 

where is saturn?

Now i am newbie. I know that it is in virgo, porrima and spica and round it`s orbit, but where is it?. Have a good pair of bino`s and i cannot see saturn from them. please help. I living in west country and first thing virgo, if thats any help.:confused:

narcoss

narcoss

 

Viewing

A great night tonight, not a cloud in the sky and the air temp was just right. Using both scopes the viewing was good, will wait till the mount is on the pier to align the guide scope, so a successful night :) .

The Sailor

The Sailor

 

7th April 2011, Prt2

Tonight, I was really lucky. 1st I saw a meteorite fall across my line of sight fron north to south. Then I spotted a satellite around 21:20. I managed to follow this for about 30secs with my spotter scope in hand. That was quite interesting. The best thing of all, was through my 20mm eyepiece, as I was moving from East to North, a meteorite shot across the view of the scope. That was incredible. For a second it looked as if it bounced on the atmosphere. It caught me off guard, as through the eyepiece it was really bright. Great Night Stargazing.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

7th April 2011

I didn't get solar film today, maybe tomorrow. Anyway, tonight is an excellent night for Star Gazing. For the first time, I have managed to get the polar alignment correct. I have also managed to get the speed correct on my single axis drive. As a result I have managed to take my best shot so far. The picture is of Arcturus in the east tonight about 22:00. This was taken with a 30 second exposure, with and ISO of 800. The DSLR camera was mounted directly on the scope. I realise there is a lot of light pollution, but besides that problem, I'm really pleased with the image.

tibbs1972

tibbs1972

 

My First Astrophotography Pics

Here are my first Pics. Taken with my Konus 90mm and SPC900NC. I've not processed these in anyway that's my next challenge :) Thanks to all for their advice that got me this far. Flickr: justin.haylock's Photostream

hayju01

hayju01

 

Lupu Victor astronomy

Updated daily telescope images through celestron 8" telescope made with Nikon D80 and HDR camera Sony CX105 .Some images are processed with programs like registax or other programs for making mosaics or 3d animations.:) Lupu Victor astronomy

lupuvictor

lupuvictor

 

April 3rd 21:00 - 00:30 Birkrigg Common - Cumbria

April 3rd 21:00 - 00:30 Birkrigg Common - Cumbria Skywatcher 200p + EQ5 + SynScan April 3rd at 00:00 saw Saturn in opposition and at it's closest to earth for a year, at just under 750 Million miles away from the Earth. Like many other like minded imagers and astronomers I was out at a dark sky site for a few hours, taking in the spectacular wonder of our solar system! Saturn with it's truly stunning rings and Moons, Dione, Rhea, Tethys and Enceladus being the closest but Saturn has many moons, over 60 in total. Saturn will dominate the night sky this month. Still visible this month is the double cluster in Perseus, NGC 869 and NGC 884 and I checked the cluster out last night using the Skywatcher 200p and a wide FOV 32mm eyepiece, which just fits the double cluster into the field of view. NGC 869 is also know as "h Persei" is composed of over 350 stars and is over 70 light years in diameter and over 7,500 light years distant from us. NGC 884 is also know as "Chi Persei" and has over 300 stars in its group and roughly the same distance away as NGC 869. The double cluster makes for compelling viewing as it has many red giants and is a great hunting ground, I can spend hours looking at these two clusters and I always find something of interest. The constellation Perseus has many open clusters, Nebula and a Galaxy. The double cluster is a jewel in the night sky, low power shows it best and it is always one of my test objects for sky clarity. The great globular cluster in Hercules is visible and always worth a look and from a really dark site it produces some of the best views of a cluster in the night sky. My old 130mm reflector showed it well but mainly a fuzzy center with stars located around the edge. My 200mm reflector with a 10mm eyepiece fitted makes the globular cluster truly breathtaking, the detail leaps out at you, a nicely packed central core of over 1 million stars, take a second to think about that, over 1 million stars packed into this cluster! The cluster is over 100 light years in diameter and is roughly 25,000 light years distance from us. This cluster is also very old, 10 Billion years old! Nearly as old as the universe itself, which is estimated to be 13.7 Billion years. Even though the skies are getting lighter in spring, M57 in Lyra is still very good, The Planetary Nebula or Smoke Ring, is still unmissable, though losing definition as we move through the year. Two galaxies to view this month are M81 and M82 in Ursa Major; these galaxies are 8 Million light years away. M81 is a spiral galaxy and M82 is an Irregular galaxy. Using my 8" telescope and a 32mm eyepiece fits both galaxies into the field of view and from a dark sky site makes viewing these two galaxies a must this month. Another galaxy to check out is M51, the whirlpool galaxy. I checked this last night 03/04/2011 using my 8" scope and it’s an impressive sight, I found if you slightly defocused the image, the spiral arms are easier to make out. At an impressive distance of nearly 40 million light years away this galaxy is worth checking out. 2 Double stars next: 61 Cygni in Cygnus is one of the closest double stars to us in the night sky, at 11.4 light years distance. 2 Orange stars, the primary star is 5.5 magnitude the secondary is 6.4. Mizar and Alcor, magnitude 2.4 primary and secondary 4.0, an easy double for small scopes and binoculars. Ray Gilchrist

RayGil

RayGil

 

beginner telescope wanted to carry in flight one time

Hello, I wanted to buy a telescope for star gazing for my father in India. I am presently in US. When I buy it I should be able carry it with me as a checking luggage. This is my first telescope and wanted a good one for the beginner and long lasting .Please suggest me some option and let me know what I need to consider when I buy the telescope. I am looking at below $300 budget Thanks Raja

Raja14

Raja14

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