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Confusion

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About this blog

A meander into the skies

Entries in this blog

Second hand 10mm TV Radian

I recently picked up a second hand 10mm TV Radian from a fellow SGLer and have finally managed to give it a proper outing. I have been out a few times before now to try it out, but that was from my back garden and mostly curtailed work nights or nights when I have been concentrating on imaging. Last night however was a proper session with the 10'' Dob at a darker site (albeit still a 'school' night) Also at the site was a C11 so I had something to compare to. My first few uses of the TV had been

MattJenko

MattJenko

Couple of viewings

Managed to get some first lights as it appears to be called! Friend popped down to collect the 130EQ he is taking off my hands. We had a little star party in North Essex. The skies were not overly kind, so left the HEQ5 to its own crazy non aligned weirdness and concentrated on the newtonians. Saturn was found in both to great effect and we did a few doubles before the moon demanded attention. This was cloud obscured, but some great views and a very pleasant (albeit short) evening. Another d

MattJenko

MattJenko

Apology due

There seems to be a definite consensus in these forums that there is a strong positive correlation between new astronomical purchases and less than ideal weather conditions. I am hereby giving due notice and apologies for my splurging of large chunks of cash and inviting the clouds in. After much deliberation, I have decided to birthday treat myself to a full astronomy kit upgrade from my starter 130EQ. I am now sufficiently hooked and certain that this is not a fleeting affair, so have taken th

MattJenko

MattJenko

Drunken Binos

Friday night. Had quite a few drinks. Took my dog out just before bedtime and lo and behold. The stars are out. Got the sunlounger lined up at the summer triangle, got Stellarium on my MacBook in night mode, got a rug for my dog, and a blanket for me and with a set of 10x50 binos borrowed from NEAS went to work. Very enjoyable. Reminded myself that I still remembered the star names in Cygnus + the various stars around the triangle and through to Arcturus. Meandered around Hercules and spotted M1

MattJenko

MattJenko

Enlarging the Noosphere

There seem to be lots of ways to contribute to the human database of knowledge as an amateur astronomer, which is one of the main reasons I am so keen on this pastime, alongside the fact that the skies are just so mesmerizingly touching. I have just discovered another: Double Star measurements. This involves measuring the separation and angles of double stars and submitting them, and/or peer reviewing other people's submissions. This all sounds very acceptable! There is also photometry, which se

MattJenko

MattJenko

Collimation

Next on the learning list is collimation. Tried to follow the 130EQ collimation instructions without a collimating tool and ended up just fiddling around with the various knobs and screws. Managed to make all my stars a very sparkling, eggy smear. Not a perfect start, but not to be deterred. Went to the society observatory and dug out a laser collimator. Fiddled around a bit, but came to the conclusion it was out of batteries as there was certainly no laser. A kind guy there helped my try to do

MattJenko

MattJenko

Doesn't time fly...

Busy night. Installed the Atik software on the society laptop and managed to take some grainy pictures. The installer has an ordering problem in that the apps fail to install correctly as the drivers don't install before them, and the driver install that happens after doesn't work or doesn't install the right version. Using the 'update driver' feature from Device Manager and choosing the unzipped folder directly installed everything fine. A little later, after dark, I managed to get into the dom

MattJenko

MattJenko

Its like a finger pointing away to the moon.

Eyepiece arrived in the post yesterday. Baader Hyperion Mk III Clickstop Zoom. Quite a mouthful. Quite an eyepiece as well. All very well wrapped and in great condition (thanks Jim). Managed a late evening view of the moon between the clouds and was mightily impressed. Very happy with it and I now have a decent range of eyepiece strength all to myself for my scope. Happy days. As Rune commented on another post, the equivalent barlow is worth looking into methinks. Finished 'Handbook of Astronomi

MattJenko

MattJenko

New Eyepiece

And so it begins. The start of what I suspect is a never ending path of incremental upgrading. My humble stock eyepieces that came with my 130EQ were a little shown up by the eyepieces I tried when I took my scope to my society's observatory. As a result I have been looking to get some personal upgrades and got some excellent advice via this very forum : http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/217684-eyepiece-sets/ and other excellent threads started by others. As a result I have been doing rather a l

MattJenko

MattJenko

First Full Night Viewing Thoughts

After my first really decent night's viewing (weather wise, seeing wise, viewing wise) with some good people doing a variety of things, I have some thoughts to record on a slow morning after. Double Stars are great. After seeing Albireo and the colour contrast in my own scope, I think doubles are indeed great. It is worth taking way too many layers of clothes. It gets colder than you think. Zoom lens not as great as I thought it might be. Binoculars are surprisingly well worth it. Have to do

MattJenko

MattJenko

Atik 16IC nurture

This has been a bit of a post burst, but its a slow day and after this I am now up to date... The society has an Atik 16IC CCD camera. It doesn't look like it has had much use and indeed when I finally managed to get the observatory PC switched on, none of the ASCOM or Atik software worked. Driver not installed correctly was the message when I plugged the camera in and I was subsequently told that there are lots of connector errors and USB problems with it. I took it home for some TLC. First thi

MattJenko

MattJenko

Beginner Imaging Thoughts

The prospect of imaging those great views of planets, nebulas and far away galaxies in multi colour glory has been brought back down to humble earth rather quickly. This is a good thing in many ways, but means effort is going to have to be applied. Here are a list of things I learnt very fast after my first effort at strapping my Pentax DSLR to the telescope using a x2 barlow and T adaptor combo with my AstroMaster 130. The sky moves remarkably quickly Good focus is an art Stability is rather

MattJenko

MattJenko

Very confused beginnings

This is a blog describing the path from a total novice to someone who contributes to amateur astronomy here in the UK. It is by its very nature presumptuous in that I am that total novice now and there is certainly no certainty that I will be able to become what I would like to be in this field. This might be due to any number of technical, financial, motivational or even family constraints, but I intend to document each step and progression in order that others can follow, learn and hopefully t

MattJenko

MattJenko

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