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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/10/13 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    A quick message from the powers that be (Daz and Grant), who are currently at Kelling Heath. The start date for the booking for SGL 9 is being put back a couple of weeks (exact date change will be announced when they return from Kelling). As high traffic is expected for this event, the date change is being made to accommodate SGL members who are attending star parties during the original dates announced. Apologies for any inconvenience. Steve
  2. 3 points
    However, "SGL" is not the name of this forum. The name of this forum is "Stargazers Lounge". It says so at the top of the page. "SGL" is just a common-used abbreviation for the name. I also wonder if it is actually that easy to change the name of the Yahoo group give that presumably it means the associated email addresses (which also contain the group name) will all change and that fact needs to be communicated to all the users of the list so they can do anything necessary at their end and will understand what's going on if they start getting bounces. Personally I never understood the group to be in any way endorsed by this site. I didn't even realise this site had any form of existence that could be said to endorse anything. I understood it to mean exactly what opticalpath said. I would suggest that if it is felt that there might be confusion then it would be a more than sufficient solution for the home page for the group to have some text saying something along the lines of "Though it was started by members of stargazerslounge.com, this group is not part of nor is it endorsed by or otherwise associated with that website". This is not some multi-million dollar trademark issue. No one is going to lose money, lose face, or even make money as a result of those three letters being used. No-one "owns" the sequence of letters "SGL" in this context. Let's keep a sense of proportion. James
  3. 2 points
    Tonite the forecast here was pretty lousy,except for a brief break in the cloud cover a bit north of here,so I went for a drive.I focused on just a few objects including the Veil,Carolines Rose and M31.The sky was black,but the transparency was mediocre to average-but....Using the OIII,the Veil was quite stunning,revealing twisting,thin rope like structure in the brighter Veil and the Witches Broom also provided a great view .One of tonites highlights was being able to clearly,distinctly see the "triangle"-Pickerings Wisp in the same FOV as the tip of the Broom,with the 17mm Ethos.I spent a good 45 min observing all that the Veil had to give. On to M31,the Andromeda Galaxy.The view of the galaxy was very big,bright and again revealed dust lanes,this time with a bit of mottling in the separations.The core gave a nice bright glow and the companion galaxies were excellent,esp M110.Carolines Rose revealed the structure to me that gave her the name.Now I know why some observers love this object-the 8mm Delos pulled out the stars in the "rose" pattern,filling the FOV,quite an object & I'll be visiting often. This trip I went to a site which is one of the darkest spots near to me and it paid off,now I just have to wait for one of those nights where it all comes together,with good seeing & transparent skies.At least I had the opportunity to observe on one of my days off,I can't wait to see this stuff under optimum conditions.
  4. 2 points
    -What Paul says ;-) The difference between a Heritage and a 150mm Dobsonian won't be earth shaking, especially in "urban conditions"; The Heritage is lighter, portable... The 150/1200 not so low to the ground and even cheap eyepieces will be sharp over the whole field... If you just want to use it on the deck or backyard, 150/1200... ...if she wants to use it by herself and cary it out, 130p... Leave a little budget for one or two eyepieces, especially if you want to view planets. (27-40gbp or at least a 10-15gbp 2x achromatic barlow, but barlowing the cheap-o eyepieces is by far not as good as a TMB or BST planetary eyepiece)
  5. 2 points
    In the meantime Chloe, load stellarium onto your computer, and try to borrow some binoculars - any size will do. Andromeda is worthwhile for your daughter to find with binoculars. She can do that now with some help from you. Once you find it it's easy to recognise, even with the naked eye. And when jupiter starts to appear at a more sociable time of night - she will be able to see the moons. Stellarium has a search function for planets and other objects. It helps me to navigate around with the binoculars before zooming in with the scope. Navigation is the key to good viewing. The binoculars are portable, and don't need setting up. So no time or effort is lost if the clouds roll in after 5-10 minutes (the time it would normally take to assemble a tripod scope).
  6. 2 points
    Depends who arrives first at the kill. <G> But I genuinely enjoy a reasonable (positive!) critique of these rather interesting scopes and their advertising. There is an emergent concensus? Perhaps "not off the peg", but NOT quite a violation of trade description? A little effort and a modded *steel tube* version might come some way to achieving performance of an: http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p5266_ANGEBOT-ASA-200mm-8--Astrograph---F2-8---Gesichtsfeld-D-60mm---Hyperbolisch.html (A mere snip at £6564.11) But clearly HOW MUCH is debatable! But this also depends on you objective? What are you after? An "Astrograph" for Large chip "classical" imaging? A "light bucket" for real-time video astronomy (my own purpose!). A *compact* 8-inch for visual observation... with coma corrector, maybe? etc. etc. P.S. I think the performance of a LOT of budget scopes (Not just F4 Newts) is somewhat blighted "for want of a hap'orth of tar"! But then, you can also get quite a LOT (of potential) for the money... P.P.S. Also a fan of MONORAIL focussers - Ironically part of my endorsement of budget F4 Newts. I now have one (+ motor drive) on my MAK150 too. But again, a bit of screw-twiddling, to achieve optimum results.
  7. 2 points
    One of the good things about owning a Skywatcher mount is that lots of other people have them so there is plenty of knowledge at hand..
  8. 2 points
    We can't even predict next weeks weather with any real certainty, never mind dictate the universes coarse.
  9. 1 point
    I've been involved with some interesting threads on the potential visibility of Sirius B and nebulosity in the Pleiades - now my next target- the Horsehead. It gets quite a few mentions on the forum but mainly in relation to imaging. How is it visually? Do I stand a chance with my c925? My guess is that it needs quite a bit of magnification and a dark sky. Do any of the usual filters help? Kerry
  10. 1 point
    I'd not planned to go out tonight, but when I saw it was clear tonight I thought to myself "Yes, finally a clear night where I'm up to some stargazing", I didn't feel like dragging out the 10" dob so I decided to give a well deserved first light to my Lyra 66mm F/6 'frac. Bearing in mind I was observing from my back garden, I knew I wasn't going to get much DSO spotting, and frankly I just wanted to get out under the stars. This scope would normally only be used for dark skies, where it has a lot more potential. First up was getting everything set-up, and it reminded me the main reason why this scope is last on the list of scopes I want to take out (unless cycling to dark sites), it takes the longest to set-up and has the smallest aperture... the plus side to this, is it is very very portable, everything fits in a backpack and a small shoulder bag. Anyway, next up I put in the 1.25" diagonal this time, and the 25mm TV plossl (limiting myself to my travel kit of eyepieces - the 25mm TV plossl, the 10.5mm TV plossl and the 3-6mm Nagler Zoom), and was greeted with wonderful views of so many stars. I knew I'd notice the reduction in aperture from the 10", and could easily see that the stars had lost a lot of apparent brightness, but this didn't really bother me as I've such a large collection of scopes that they all have their merits... First up was the Double Cluster - always a favourite, and I always manage to come across it by accident! Looked lovely as usual, could see some very obvious dust (or similar matter) around the stars, and the image was bright, but the cluster did seem quite small (the advantages of a 3+ degree FOV I suppose...) Next I moved around to the star fields around Cassiopeia, and was amazed by how rich the star fields were, especially considering I was using such a small scope. It even brought a tear to my eye, although part of that may have been to do with the lack of observing I've done recently... Next, I moved the scope over to M45, one of my favourite objects, looked lovely again but still small, perhaps I need to get used to these wide fields.. Next, for a challenge I swung over to M31, after a minute searching I finally found it, quite bright considering, small though, about the size of a squashed pea. Lovely though, for a laugh I put in the 10.5mm TV plossl (made it larger, didn't notice any drop in brightness), then the Nagler Zoom, it was only when I went to 3mm that M31 became any darker. Unfortunately I didn't managed the companions (M32 and M110), but I didn't expect to. The scope really does struggle through the light pollution, but as long as you view far from the horizon, you can really see quite a lot . One great thing about this combination is it was at the perfect height for me! Even at Zenith I was only slightly bending over, it made for a very comfortable session. I'm one happy chap, sorry about the lack of pictures, I think I'm going to have to order myself another camera battery charger as I still can't find it and it's been about 3 days.
  11. 1 point
    I had a 8" reflector for a while, and it was optically great. However, I always wondered as far as DSOs are concerned, what a reflector of 2" or 4" extra will tangibly give you. Let me put it this way, for example: Objects: M82, M81, M51 and M13 Light Pollution: Moderate to Low Seeing conditions: average (average differs I understand, but I'm talking good to very good seeing conditions). Realistically what will the 10" show you that the 8" won't? What will the 12" show you that 10" won't?
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    I never could stomach Eastenders. Seems no-one can even order a cup of tea without screaming threats to break someone's fingers, Even mum, who was addicted gave up some years before she died as it had stopped making sense. So yes, can Eastenders and give the slot to S @ N
  14. 1 point
    My next step will be to purchase flattener to my scope. I hope this will help a lot. As you can see stars aren't good enough. Meade 127 apo triplet+canon 1000d mod+eq6pro+astronomik cls 43x300, iso 800, f.7.5, fl 950,
  15. 1 point
    That depends on the date and time; Depending on the conditions it should be a faint "fog of stars" stretching across the sky, or under great conditions it will be hard to miss. It can be seen in Stallarium; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way "When observing the night sky, the term "Milky Way" is limited to the hazy band of white light some 30 degrees wide arcing across the sky" The long time exposures there are of course far from that what you'd usually see with your naked eye, at least when you observe close to civilization.
  16. 1 point
    Me too......I need a chicken,some burgers and a bags of frozen chips lol
  17. 1 point
  18. 1 point
    I'd refer back to my toilet roll analogy. the exit pupil is the same (that of your eye) and the sky brightness is the same with either your naked eye or your toilet scope despite the wider field of your eye. it's the aperture that gathers the light, not the eyepiece so the same amount of light is coming in no matter what eyepiece you use, assuming the same magnification, you just have more of the 'mask' removed with a wide field.
  19. 1 point
    The TV plossls should be a little better (sharper, more contrast) than the BSTs I believe (never having looked through a BST), but the BSTs will have a wider FOV and the shorter ones will be more comfortable on eye relief. Both would do well, but the TV plossls are less likely to be swapped out - the only way you can really upgrade from one is to go for a wider FOV.
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    Sorry, I know it's a lot of info, but as you say, a lot of variants available, and difficult for a beginner to make sure to buy something good (an not some weak mounted, difficult to adjust rip-off kit). Let me put it this way... Price: -130mm Telescope: 120-130£ -130mm GoTo Telescope: 285£ -70mm GoTo Telescope: 200-220£ So the GOTO Mount costs about as much as the telescope itself, the manual telescope will show the same thing though. Set-Up: Dobsonain-> Take outside, put eyepiece in, look through finder scope, point at brightest dot in the sky, observe. (Tracking is done smoothly even at 200x, and wide-angle-eyepieces with higher power start at 27gbp.) GoTo-Telescope-> Take outside, assemble with tripod, check batteries, enter coordinates, put eyepiece in, align with two stars that must be visible from your current location coordinates, acknowledge, observe, possibly correct positioning on higher magnification manually. Of course goto can be learned and is easy once you 've done it, but don't take it as the easiest solution, especially if your daughter suffers from memory issues :-( It's actually faster to set up a dobsonian, especially if you want to look at the moon and planets. I have read a nice post on here why someone went from goto to dobsonian, but I was unable to find the post now. All I am saying is that you should not buy a tiny, weak mounted telescope just to get GoTo. Again, it would be best to visit an observatory and possibly try a few telescopes if possible. At the end it's your decision, just consider all the options and don't believe all the advertising ;-) If you can spend 200£ or more, though, it is an option to consider. On the other hand, this may buy you a used 8"...
  22. 1 point
    There's also better stepper motors in the HEQ5 (the 2 best models) so that you get better tracking. That's worth it alone in my book.
  23. 1 point
    Thank you In fact I do usually have my camera(s) aligned either with the RA or Dec axis. This applies particularly with my widefield tripple imaging rig but also with the MN190.
  24. 1 point
    Scott, In short you are aiming too high with the power. You flagged up some very nice eyepieces in your list but all of them are too short. Jupiter I find is best around X180-X200 but no more really. Saturn seems to take a bit more, maybe up to X250. Though I have a few Ethos eyepieces I do not tend to use them with the LX, why, I don't know, there must be a reason. I would go for, and they may take some siffing out on the S/H market, Radians. The 14mm is very good indeed as is the 10mm but that is a little too high as well. I can only once remember using an 8mm eyepiece in the scope after I stopped being foolish, that was to see the star in the centre of the ring nebular, which took weeks of observations but I did it in the end. The Meade SWA range are very good on this scope and the 16mm is about perfect for Jupiter, these can also be bought under the name of Maxvision, there are many threads on site. So for me stick to say 18mm -12mm eyepieces for these targets. If you find a pot of gold at th e end of the garden next time it rains, then the Delos line will do a second to none job. Alan
  25. 1 point
    I normally squirt some WD40 into a clean milk or soft drink bottle cap. Dip a cotton wool bud into it, then run around both the male and female threads before joining the items together, especially filter threads when new. Seperate them. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline and use the other end of the cotton wool bud to remove any excess. I also apply Vaseline to the draw and focus tube on my TeleVue Ranger and anything else that is threaded, (ie eyepiece locking screws, etc).
  26. 1 point
    Are we being serious? The focuser project started right here on SGL (where I first learned about it) so there is at least a historical connection. It's not some kind of renegade breakaway group; it's just a very successful project which many people, including some SGL members, have contributed to or benefitted from. Why not just be proud that it started here? Has anyone been misled and disadvantaged in any way by a choice of name that just gives a nod to its origins .... really? Adrian
  27. 1 point
    12" F4 beside an 8" F4 My Dad beside the 12" F4 mounted Be prepared- they are BIG! I had to buy a NINE step stepladder in the end to safely reach the camera!
  28. 1 point
    Okay guys, thanks.
  29. 1 point
    It just all seems a bit much to me. I don't mean the price, I mean the FOV. I have a 100 degree ES and to be honest I have to move my eye around to take it all in. Does anyone know the FOV of the MK1 Eyeball? Anyhoo none of that really matters for me as I just can't justify spending that much on an EP.
  30. 1 point
    Not true, you can add a lot.. People are always grateful for kind remarks of encouragement be that with the arrival of their new gear or some first efforts at observing or imaging..
  31. 1 point
    Please bear with me here. Newbie question. I desperately want to see nebulas - but imagined that I would need to wait for the upgrade to an 8" dob. So I have some questions about filters I need to see nebulas, plus the full glow of the andromeda and triangulum galaxies. Maybe it is never going to happen with a 3" scope - I don't know. Is it worth buying an HTC filter for the 700x76mm reflector now (i.e. - will the filter work OK until I get the big-scope) Or should I wait for the 8" light bucket before spending money on a 32mm UHC. Or should I wait for the 8" light bucket, then consider the OIII filter. The back garden is sheilded from the street lights - but the viewable sky is not. At the moment I am missing a lot of the finer detail. But I don't want to spend £40 on the wrong filter, if it's the scope I need first.
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    What's more graceful and beautiful than being torn apart at a molecular level?! - Nate Birmingham, AL
  34. 1 point
    Thanx for even more warm welcomes! Glad to see other Grimberians too martin.. maybe we could meet up some time and i could get some tips on my new toy the views on here seem very different to what i got from a google search about the 127 EQ but for the price suppose i cant complain (£80)... gonna be better than the naked eye Wish i joined here first tho and startd off small!
  35. 1 point
    We'll be there on Saturday.......once we've managed to get rid of the mother-in-law, who'se been with us now for almost 3 weeks after being taken ill. I've been doing major observatory renovations, strangely enough coinciding with her arrival, so have been hiding down the garden all day every day!!
  36. 1 point
    I saw M42 for the first time in a 12" dob - only ever seen it in bins before now - I know what you mean... It's quite a sight. Likewise, I cannot wait for winter nights, with Orion at its full height.
  37. 1 point
    Welcome to SGL, Keno! Great picture! Dana
  38. 1 point
    maybe disappointed is the wrong word to use .................. maybe "enjoyment slightly limited" would be better
  39. 1 point
    8 inch reflectors, one is f/4 and the other is f/5.Optically speaking, what are the advantages and disadvantges?
  40. 1 point
    Nice area of the UK and reasonable skies. If interested there is Breckland Astro at Attleborough and the Norwich club south of Norwich at an airfield with the name Toad Lane. Mind you hauling a 9.25" SCT round will not be easy.
  41. 1 point
    It seems there's a Delos fever going on around here. I read several reviews and the eyepiece seems to cause a lot fuss and love stories. However, I am not convinced... I just wish if somebody could give a review highlighting what tangible differences a Delos would achieve that respectable yet much cheaper EPs such as the SW Panorama or Hyperion can not. I never used a Delos or compared it to a Hyperion, yet can't help but think there's an element of marketing or reputation invovled. That is just my educated guess...
  42. 1 point
    Yes, it's the learning curve. I think it has to do with the size of exit pupil. With my f5 130P, I used to be able to barlow down to 8mm for brighter DSOs, while for f7.5 ES80, 9/10mm EP works, and with f10 C8, I've used mostly 15mm or longer EP, so something like 1.5-2mm exit pupil feels like to be the sweetspot. Of course the seeing conditions play an important role too, as you mentioned in the other thread, that 10mm Luminos worked better than 8mm Delos. BTW, I think I'm going for the cheapo solution for a more complete EP set, i.e. a couple of BST+Maxvision, after reading some more reviews. More EPs with various fl of smaller AFOV should work for me, it would be more fun for e.g. splitting doubles. I'm working on solution for my EP case too, I'd like to have all the necessities in one case.
  43. 1 point
    Nice report. Hmm. Tempting. You're upgrading my upgrade... The base was good and stable? It looks a little 'tall and narrow' in some of the photos. Anything else custom, other than the upgraded focuser and optics? Did you go for the additional brakes? What are you using for dew protection? (If anything!) Any thoughts on how it would perform with cheaper eyepieces?
  44. 1 point
    Nice to hear that report Gerry ( salivates on floor while typing) . Pity they don't do a nice flex-tube version of this . It took me while to realise all those different Orion brands UK, US, the Skyquest cheaper ones, and these, I assume you are talking about these beauties ? http://www.orionoptics.co.uk/VX/vx10.html and some that swear by religiously ( not to mention one poster above my post if I am not mistaken )
  45. 1 point
    OK, well it seems Chelmsford are already switching off at 12am!! I was driving through the other night late and was heading along New London Road - this is a main road in and out, and the lights were off and the difference was incredible!! There were still a few security lights on here and there but the sky was dark! It was a bit murky up there so no Milkyway as of yet, but there was none of that horrible orange glow on the base of the clouds.. Quite spooky to be honest - absolutely brilliant! It bodes well for November!
  46. 1 point
    Hi all. Last evening (Thurs 12th) there was some patchy high thin cloud at my location, not enough to keep me in, so I went out with my tripod mounted 10x50s. Albireo was split (cannot do that hand held), Coathanger nice, star hopped down to M11 and was surprised how easy it was to see in bins from my back yard with the first quarter moon up. M27 eluded me, need a small scope for that from here. Anyway, to the point. Scanning around, I chanced on a cracking double. Went in for my charts, learned it was Alya, theta Serpens Cauda, or Struve 2417. Cambridge Double star atlas says :- Mags 4.6, 4.9, 22" separation. Check it out, a fine sight indeed. Regards, Ed.
  47. 1 point
    I would like to share with the community yet another animation of Jupiter I made this morning through my 4.5" EQ2 newtonian. This time, Jupiter is fairly overexposed, but since seeing was terrible, I decided to focus on the motion of the four Gallilean moons around Jupiter. Enojy.
  48. 1 point
    Yes, I think Rima or Rimae is the Latin for Rille and tends to be used to refer to a specific Rille or group of Rilles, eg: Rimae Ariadaeus.
  49. 1 point
    Hi Graham,some of these objects are very different to pick out as they have low surface brightness-some-not all.Object recognition is key,amongst other things.For the Veil,Johns recommendation for the Astronomic OIII was a game changer.I can even pick out the brighter Veil from my house,under light skies with it.And now that I have seen it,it becomes easier to find.What I do is practise finding the objects,leave them & come back to them over & over.After doing that I think ones brain becomes trained to find the stuff better-at this point I can find the Veil with no filter @27x in my 90mm......from dark skies.Look for a shadow wisp on this one & its HUGE.I can't see NA neb yet...I think I'm looking "thru" it,so tonite I'm gonna try to find an edge first,we'll see what happens. Those filters work within a loosely designated exit pupil range-eg. my 90mm min exit pupil to work is 2.3mm,which gives me 39X.Have you tried your 14mm ES?3.1mm exit @ 114x.I can see the Veil & the Ring,Dumbell etc with my Ultrablock UHC,with the Veil showing more nebulosity,but not as contrasted.You will get the objects you seek ,for the Veil buy an OIII-it has changed my observing so much on some objects
  50. 1 point
    Here comes my first light, much delayed - a cracked plastic clamp of aluminium tripod, a out-of-collimation secondary mirror are the main reasons. With the full moon in south-east, I've concentrated on Lyra and Cygnus. 8" has about one magnitude more light-grasping than the 130P, which shows clearly when much more stars are visible, in combination of smaller field of view, it makes me to check my star Atlas more often than before for orientation. Maybe time to get the C-set of Tri-atlas. The faint DSOs are much more readily detected than with 130P, M56 can be seen in 31mm BHA with direct vision, M27 presents no challenge either, easily seen without UHC filter, which has been very difficult in 130P. M57, which is barely visible in 130P with wide field EP, is a much more pleasant view in C8, the ring shows clearly in all EP, SCTs are not very good at splitting doubles according to what I've read, while with the scope reasonablly collimated, the double-double can be splitted in 85x, which is quite satisfactory to me. C8 with 2" diagonal, finderscope and my light-weight EPs are just at the limit for visual on EQ3-2 mount, which can be noted tthat both counter-weight are on the most outwards position. With the aluminium tripod legs, the scope feels only a little more stable than 130P on EQ2, while with the steel tube tripod from AZ4, it becomes much better, focus-shake damps away quickly without waiting. I'm very pleased with the performance of C8, and with it on EQ3-2, I think I have the best scope for me, i.e. most used.
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