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KenG

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Everything posted by KenG

  1. Mojave, Taureg, Kalahari Bushmen as just a few representatives of successful desert dwellers. As for the ocean, we only started to seriously explore it in the early 1950's, about the same time as we began to develop rockets, so you could say that space and deep sea research are very much on a par just now.
  2. The only way we're going to get off-planet and establish viable settlements is by pooling resources - either governments or corporations, and that's only going to happen when the positives far out way the negatives i.e. when there's profit in it.
  3. Why should the speed of light be a limiting factor? There will undoubtably be ways around it - dematerialising and being recreated at a given point in space? - just an idea, but why be constrained by the present? Whatever you can think of will happen. Mars will be colonised - initially with primitive technology - but in fifty years time there'll be a thriving, self-supporting community there, and as I've already said, they'll be creating mouldable structures on site and will be increasing independent of Earth. So to get back to the original thread, what are the possibilities/difficulties of establishing colonies beyond Mars? Not only physically, but politically?
  4. Do the "innovators"not take ANY lessons from history? The transition from sail to steam was dangerous, so too was the attempt to establish a civil aviation network, so why can't the various space agencies pool resources, establish a Moon base and develop space flight to the point where accidents are rare and success is commonplace. Why on earth (pun) are we pushing to land humans on Mars? What are they going to do when they get there that robots can't do? The idea of a one way ticket to Mars is so stupid it defies belief, why do people sign up to this sort of thing?
  5. Which is why I say that we are way out of our depth at the moment. We should have pursued establishing a permanent moon base and moon/earth travel should by now be routine, which it certainly isn't. Now we want to skip a whole generation of progress and "let's go to Mars" with technology which isn't much ahead of Apollo 11.
  6. The problem with predictions is that we're constrained by our era. Progress in space exploration is going to be totally dependent on the evolution of materials that can do things we can't even begin to presently conceive. The idea of transporting structures to Mars piece by piece is primitive. We should have something - like an advanced type of polyurethane foam - that can be simply mixed up on site to create whatever shape is required.
  7. Regarding the shed and telescopes, the shed being a temporary structure should not require planning permission, but check this out with your local planning service, they'll give you an opinion over the phone. The telescopes definitely won't require any form of permission.
  8. 200 years ago Trafalgar and Waterloo were fought with sailing ships and cavalry. Who living then could have conceived aircraft and steamships, and yet, just 100 years later, in WW1 they were commonplace. Another 100 years on and we've landed on the Moon, have robots on Mars, landed on a comet and sent spacecraft to every planet in the Solar System, not to mention creating the world-wide web. Again who, living in 1915 would have thought any of this possible? In the future everything is possible. We are driven by technology and the invention/creation of substances and materials that will perform tasks we can't even dream about now, so cities in the atmospheres of Jupiter/Saturn will happen, we'll mine Venus, Mercury and the asteroids, inhabit Mars and use Pluto as a base for interstellar exploration - just for starters. Considering what we've achieved in 200 years, anyone care to predict how long it will take for any of the above to happen?
  9. Interesting thread. So how long before we're able to fly (fall?) regularly to Mars and take-off and land wherever we want on that planet? Any guesses/ideas as to when that will become routine?
  10. Just had another look. Very economical it seems - 4 litres can give up to 10 hours running. Anyway, here's the info for anyone that's interested..........Wolf WP950, 800w, 2-stroke, weight 16kg and very compact. Price £69.95
  11. Just had a look on Amazon. Small generators available for under £80.
  12. I get lower back pain if I lean forward for too long, and sitting on a stool peering into an eyepiece isn't an option for me, so instead I use a 6' length of 2"x2" timber as a support. Holding on to it as I observe not only eases my back, it also helps my viewing as I can use it to steady my head, thus ensuring that the distance from the eyepiece to my eye remains constant. If you haven't tried this, you should......it's probably the simplest, cheapest, most useful viewing aid you'll ever buy.
  13. KenG

    Typical!

    Messiers? Planets? I'd settle for no clouds. Haven't seen stars for weeks.
  14. John, I should have been more specific. Bit like buying malt whisky. When ordering Glenfarclas it's the 12, 15, or 17 after it that's the important bit! Ken
  15. John, are we talking about the same eyepieces here? Vixen LVW Lanthanums? My 17mm which is probably the one I use the most has a 65 degree apparent field of view with 20mm eye relief. Ken
  16. I use Vixen Lanthanums with my f4. I don't often see them mentioned in the forum, but they're super eyepieces and worth checking out.
  17. Wow! You sent an individual ten thousand quid on trust?! It's so easy to fly to the nearest airport, hire a car - or get the seller to collect you - inspect the item, put down a holding deposit with the balance to be released on shipping confirmation, and fly back the same day. I've done that several times when buying yachts or cars and equally buyers have flown to me to do deals. Never had a problem and never lost any money doing this.
  18. Well, for the information of anyone reading this, I used a glasses cleaning spray to put a light coating on the outer face of the filter and then gently removed it with a lens cleaning cloth and I got a perfect result. It's important of course to ascertain from the outset which face is coated with Inconel. I wouldn't attempt this on the protective film itself.
  19. Thanks for that information. I tried water as you suggested but it made no difference, however, I then read up on Inconel, which it turns out, is indeed tough - in fact it's described as being very resistant to damage - and applied to only one surface of the glass, which is important. Having examined the filter, it's quite obvious that the coating is applied to the inside face i.e. the one facing the telescope and on my filter it's the outer face that needs cleaned, so looks like I can safely remove the remaining dust using optical cleaning materials.
  20. I had some internal work done to my house recently and when I went to use my solar filter yesterday - yes, the sun was shining! - I discovered the lid of it's box was detached and there was a layer of fine dust - a mix of sawdust and plaster - on the glass. I blew most of it off with an air brush but a residue remains and I don't want to touch it without some advice. It's the outer face i.e. the one facing towards the sun that's affected. How should I go about cleaning off the remainder?
  21. I've had my 200mm Newt for over 20 years and star-hopped all that time. It's on a basic GEM mount which has performed perfectly well, but I'm thinking of upgrading (downgrading?) to a Goto mount with a budget of perhaps £800? Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations as to what I should consider? I'm a looker rather than a photographer and am more than happy with the scope itself, I'd just like something that can plant it on DSO's with pin-point accuracy. If you think I need to up my budget, then please say so.
  22. A 6" Newtonian on an equatorial is not what I'd choose for lugging around. Better with a Cassegrain on a Goto mount. Easy to store, easy to transport and easy to set up.
  23. What nobody's mentioned is ease of use. It is a universal law that the bigger/heavier/more complicated the scope is to assemble - and to take down - the less and less you'll use it. My short tube Newt needs three trips to the car - one for the tripod, one for the tube and one for everything else, whereas my ETX does it in one, and believe me, if I want to do an hour's observing after a day's work, it's any easy choice as to which one I'll choose.
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