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About KenG

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    Star Forming

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    Northern Ireland
  1. First Telescope

    I have a 120mm ETX and a 200mm reflector and the difference in what you can see is amazing. In the 120mm globular clusters are fuzzy balls, in the 200mm they are stars. The ETX is great for quick set-up and transportion, but there's nothing to beat aperature.
  2. Yippee - it's gone.

    Feel so sorry for all you guys with your leylandii. Surrounding my house are 70' pines, an 80' oak tree and an American Redwood - about 95' at present - so backyard astronomy is restricted to gaps in between the branches. Luckily, twenty minutes up the road, there are radio masts on an accessible elevated site, dark and with 360 degree field of view (apart from the masts). As they say - win some, loose some.
  3. Up There

    Okay, just to put everything in scale - this by the way is from Burnhams Celestial Handbook. If the radius of the Solar System was 7' 0'', then on this scale the distance from the Sun to the Earth would be one inch and one mile would equal one light year, therefore the distance to the Pleiades which are 410 light years distant, would be 410 miles. Earth would be smaller than a full stop on this post and the Moon would be microscopic. The nearest star would be about five miles away.
  4. What is it?

    Sounds like the Aurora. Saw a spectacular display a few years ago when it wasn't supposed to happen, and again, it was colourless, just grey shapes shifting until eventually it looked like half the hemisphere was moving. Quite wonderful.
  5. Floaters, my imagination?

    Floaters?!! Dammit! So all my e-mails to the Royal Astronomical Society about there being alien structures on the Moon were wrong ?!
  6. The British Space Programme

    British Space programme !? You must be joking ! OK, let's put it to good use, here's a little game for Christmas. It's based on the Famous Five and it's for the first manned mission to Pluto, so which five famous Brits (living) would you nominate? In other words, who would you most like to see the back of !!?
  7. A UHC filter which will enhance nebulae will not reduce light pollution and a light pollution filter which you obviously need, will not enhance nebulae, so I think you've got a problem.
  8. What sort of filter are you looking for? i mean, what do you want it to do?
  9. Very sensible. Perhaps I should have pointed out that only the lightest misting of cleaner would normally be required.
  10. You can spray the lens or the cloth, but whatever you do, don't rub the lens. Place the cloth gently on the surface of the glass and move in a clockwise (or anti-clockwise) direction around the edge with a gentle pressure. Complete a full circle and keep on doing this, gradually bringing the cloth into the centre of the glass and lift any remaining residue in the centre with a gentle twist. Never vary the direction of travel no matter how many times you clean it.
  11. Importance of collimation

    You could make a simple sling and carry the tube over your shoulder. Length of rope or fabric knotted to form a complete circle, lay it on the ground, lay the tube on top of it, gather the two opposite loops together, put your arm through them and off you go. Just need to make sure they don't slip on the tube, but there are lots of solutions for that, such as a couple of strips of old bicycle tyre incorporated into the sling. Be a lot cheaper than Tarmac.
  12. Importance of collimation

    Gee! A scope is a delicate, precision instrument, I wouldn't wheel mine anywhere. Carry it - carefully.
  13. i seem to remember reading about a guy called Lowell who got everybody worked up about Martians a few years ago. Whilst the observational data may have detected something "alien" i.e. unfamiliar, it's a fair bet it'll be a naturally occurring phenomena rather than 'civilization'.
  14. Have to invest in a more powerful eyepiece methinks............