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Activity Blog

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About this blog

Don't really want to clog up the general discussion boards with my ramblings but would like an outlet for my enthusiasm and to note down personal astro events and activity

Entries in this blog

13/01/2022 Mooooooooon! Plus Orion and some doubles.

Bit of a delay in posting this - I'm serious considering whether or not to continue with the blog as I feel a bit conspicuous doing it! Never mind.  I'm sure very few in the UK missed the clear skies over the past few days.... Got outside about 2130 - the dob had been out there a couple of hours with dust caps on cooling.  It was cold and dry and still. No dew on grass or 'scope - weird. Moon: Peeking outside just before I went out there I'd accused LSW (Long Suffering W

cwis

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04 and 05/01/2022 Dobbist picks on Orion and Andromeda

After a couple of months of cloud interspersed with a few short sessions with the ST80 I finally got the chance to drag the 10 inch dob outside. Goodbye tiny pretty pinprick stars, hello big fat fluffy stars but so many, many more of you. Goodbye pleasant soft circular stars towards the periphery, hello scratchy coma! 04/01/2022 Clear Outside had been warning me about the possibility of two evenings of clear skies for a few days, so I was READY! I dropped the dob outside on the 4th whi

cwis

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07/12/2021. More short tube shenanigans and new kit to test on M42

More than two months after my last session, I managed to get out again for a short time (just over an hour) on M42 and the surrounding area. It's the first time this year I've looked at Orion and the first time ever with the ST80 - I didn't have the time last night to get the dob out and let it cool so I grabbed and gonned! It was windy and 20% cloud cover when I went out, so I didn't have great expectations as to transparency or seeing but with the low magnifications of the ST80 this

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05/10/2021. Short Tube 80 revelations in Cassiopeia and surrounds. I need to buy more kit...

After a frankly disappointing session with my ST80 a couple of days ago I put the question to the SGL hivemind: I received a LOT of helpful advice (lose the contrast booster filter!) and some suggested targets to try and gain some appreciation for the poor maligned thing. As last night was promising to be mostly clear I scribbled a target list down from the suggestions and grabbed the 'scope and went outside about 2130. I synced the AZGti with SkySafari for ease of use and began straight a

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27/09/2021 Circumpolar Sky and Cas, plus other earlier activities...

Three whole weeks since the last proper session due to holidays, offspring and clouds! Managed to get out sometime a few weeks ago to test this: It's a 130mm F7 newt built with an SvBony metal focuser, some mirrors from Astroboot, a plastic duct pipe and some 3D printed adapters hot glued in.  I've already got a 130mm F5 newt but I wanted to be able to understand the difference that a smaller primary obstruction and a longer focal length makes to viewing, particularly with regard

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07/09/2021 Second no sleep session. Aware there might be a gap until more clear skies so pushed through fatigue...

Day 3 of minimal sleep due to child with cough. Hey ho... Set up and cooled for 2215 and had a quick peek at Jupiter and Saturn. Very mushy at the 6mm (200 odd) setting that did so well the night before. Decided to come back later and see if it had improved. Hopped from Enif to M2 and this confirmed that the seeing was far worse than last night - couldn't really resolve any stars. Let's do a couple of doubles! Struve 2848 in Pegasus: Wide separation, split at 53x. Yellow/blue

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06/09/2021 No sleep planets session with a few diversions

Started around 2200 - proper dark at last. It was warm - shorts and t-shirt. No wind - total calm. The seeing was weird - wobbles due to the heat, but clear and transparent. Stars were points, not fuzz, but wobbled about. Larger convection cells or something? Saturn: 4mm (317x) Nirvana misted up in seconds - not impressed! May have been caught by dew - grass was wet.  Put it in my pocket to warm up.  Backed off the mag and tried the zoom at 8mm (159x) but the seeing wasn't great. A ban

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24/08/2021. Quick session before the clouds rolled in First tryout of pushto with encoders. Some doubles...

First session for 12 days. A short one because I could see clouds slowly approaching and the moon would be up shortly (but not visible from my garden). Set the telescope up far earlier than last time and allowed it to cool with the covers on. As it was still nice and light I attached the latest version of the encoder mount and zip tied the processor and power supply to it. I set up at the south south west end of the garden with the intention of looking at some doubles near and in Cassiopeia

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12/08/2021 Eyeballed Jupiter, missed Saturn, picked on Polaris again. Star hopped to Neptune (I think).  Saw a meteor...

I saw the CO was showing green for a few hours around 2300 - so took the dob and the st80 on the Azgti outside around then. I first tried the lightweight travel tripod with the st80 but the altitude clutch couldn't hold the weight - either need a new head or print a counterweight holder. Set up the st80 on the Azgti while the dob cooled. Still running it off the broken AGM battery I took off a bike - nice boat anchor for additional tripod stability! Must print a holder for it to hang undern

cwis

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