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Everything posted by KenG

  1. Motion sensitive lights can be easily adjusted both for the distance at which they detect movement and the length of time they stay on. Speak to your neighbour about this and maybe the two of you can have a bit of fun getting them set to your mutual satisfaction. He/she might even fancy a look through your scope afterwards............could be the beginning of a great friendship??!!!
  2. Must have been quite a view through those windows, surprised they didn't melt.............?
  3. Very useful, good to know what I can't see because of the cloud?
  4. I stand, but to ease my back and keep my head steady, I've got an 1800mm length of 15 x 40mm timber which I can brace myself against. A bit of sponge or cloth wrapped around it at head height means I can hold it tight against my cheek whilst leaning against it, with the result that wobbles and shakes are totally eliminated. Cheapest and best accessory I possess.
  5. 27 months is ridiculous! Stuff the warranty and don't even think about fixing it yourself. E-mail, or better, phone Altair and absolutely insist you speak to the top guy/girl. Your scope is faulty and Altair should fix or replace it, simple as that, any procrastination and you spread the word through all the forums, send letters to Astronomy Now and Sky at Night magazines, and generally inform and warn all hobbyists about the dubious quality of Altair products. Tell him you're going to do that and I'll bet it's replaced within a week. I'm going to follow this with interest as I'm thinking about a refractor and if you don't get a positive outcome I'll not be buying anything from Altair.
  6. My son-in-law had laser surgery. He had a few months of problems before things "settled down" but now he's very happy with the result. Only ongoing issue is that he's still using eye drops for additional lubrication and will have to do this indefinitely.
  7. I took a binocular out at mid-night last night to have a look around Vega and got 15 criss-crossing my FOV in an hour. Never had that many in such a short time frame before.
  8. Both articles say that amateur astronomy involves "work" and they're probably right, but most of us already have jobs and the last thing we need when we think we've got a gentle hobby is to make it into another "job". I reckon the best description of our pastime lies in the title of this forum - stargazers.
  9. Get yourself a Telrad (red dot finder), a good star atlas and a decent 32mm eyepiece. All these will help you find your way around the sky. As all stars tend to look the same, you should also get a publication that will tell you what you're looking at, that way you'll gain knowledge and maintain your interest as you progress.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. KenG

    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.
  13. 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.
  14. Floaters?!! Dammit! So all my e-mails to the Royal Astronomical Society about there being alien structures on the Moon were wrong ?!
  15. 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 !!?
  16. 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.
  17. What sort of filter are you looking for? i mean, what do you want it to do?
  18. Very sensible. Perhaps I should have pointed out that only the lightest misting of cleaner would normally be required.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Gee! A scope is a delicate, precision instrument, I wouldn't wheel mine anywhere. Carry it - carefully.
  22. 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'.
  23. I doubt if we're confined to just four options, but I would agree with the broad scope of what you've said. We'll live where we can and change where we can't, that is, if it's worth while. As I said earlier, it's all down to investment against return. By the way, in your profile you spelt "wrench" wrongly .
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