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About Patbloke

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    Star Forming

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    Uk Birmingham South
  1. Patbloke

    Pushing 200mm.

    I set up Black Beauty (120 Equinox Pro) on the AVX getting ready to rock and roll - Yep! the clouds rolled in, felt like rain almost it was that dark... Packed away then went in for a bit, came outside to clear skies, lovely!!! Got the Apollos out on the monopod absolutely beautiful views of the areas and targets surrounding Cassiopeia (No comet though) I must use those bins more often it's a fabulous way to tour the skies... Then within minutes of being outside my daughter whatsapp video calls from Oz... I go inside take the call my hilarious Grandchild showing me the car (again) I bought last time there in March... Great call! we are all getting ready to go Thursday then onto Bali for the other daughters wedding (state wedding as we had the legal on last week in London) Yes I'm filled with the usual excitement hopefully get those Apollos on those incredible southern skies!! Ok whatsapp call over back outside whereupon I was greeted by complete cloud cover! Ya gotta laugh... According to my extremeley crazy weather app there's a clear sky here from 22:00 - tonight until 01:00 tomorrow. So Apollos & monopod are on standby, and maybe, just maybe - Black Beauty will get her third outing!!!
  2. Oooooo that's a nasty injury... Had one when some muppet took me off my bike at a roundabout! The tenderness of the shoulder is seriously painful. Good luck with the repair and it's a great feeling when you are able to use the shoulder as before. Keep the Faith
  3. Could do with that on my laptop as well.... I know for that I could buy a red clear sheet I suppose. Good luck with the phone thing! Interesting to see although most of the Astro apps have a night mode...
  4. Patbloke

    Well, That Was Fun!

    Brilliant stuff... That southern hemisphere stuff is so lovely, the stars always seem so colourful. Ha ha get a beer crate to stand on, plenty down there
  5. Patbloke

    Equinox Pro 120 f/7.5

    Arghhhhhhhhhhhh... Ok I've just purchased a beautiful 'used but mint' Skywatcher Equinox 120 Pro Apo F/7.5.... Great you say! Well during some double star splitting last night (testing her out) Saturn appeared between the trees... I wasn't going to bother but I hastily fetched my new ZWO ASI120 MC and my trusty Toshiba Satellite Laptop out to see if I could capture some film for processing this morning as I have a few hours spare... I have not long acquired the ZWO and have used it a couple of times to capture some images of Jupiter which I enjoyed doing and was pleased with my first efforts. Ok so I focused my perfectly aligned AVX with the Equinox on at Saturn using a 6.5 mm EP... Then inserted the ZWO into the diagonal (only because that's the way I managed with Jupiter) and - Mmmmm black screen, lot's of black screen, focus in focus out, barlow in barlow out, focus in focus out... I spent the whole time trying to 1. find Saturn and 2. Focus... I tried upping my exposure and gain, I tried lowering it, I tried Sharpcam I tried ASICAP... I know I like to take short cuts and usually can get by without the detail, but my efforts last night were pathetic I feel! I've got every photon counts, I'm half way through it... Can someone be so kind as to help this fast failing amatuer (well, just amatuer) and describe their set up procedure when they are looking to image the wonderful Saturn please By the way - That Black Beauty Equinox Pro is some star watcher... pin sharp and wonderful colour! I might post about it separately...
  6. Not quite sure I can find you that, although I do know of a project very soon to be up and running from Spain with some amazing scopes at a dark site you will be able to book the use of remotely... but I'm afraid it will cost! I'm guessing there will be more and more of these popping up in the future as investment opportunities But they've got some pretty expensive gear going in there and they ain't a charity... In the meantime I use Slooh.com loads... You can join free but that won't allow you to book time slots to use the scopes which are in the Canaries and Chile... It will allow you to watch other peoples sessions though and you can take your own snapshots during them (not ideal but interesting) I took this snap of the lunar eclipse which is awesome (I know nothing like seeing and taking it yourself in the garden) They also have Canary5 which is a solar cam which I often run live and mirror it onto my TV in the lounge... Now that really warms the room up I can tell you!! I'm lucky now as I have moved in with my long time girlfriend who has a garden and secure brick built outbuilding (telescope manshed) What a girl for the last 8 years I've been living in a first floor flat with no garden and 24 hour daylight courtesy of the retail/leisure park I'm next to... So I've really appreciated the online remote stuff.
  7. Good luck with that... No streetlights where my son lives, it's in the countryside but it's amazing the difference it makes! but then there's the noodle who has two super bright lights either side of his front 'castle' doors! Why? you are indoors watching TV.... Noodle.... There arent any burglars it's too dark for them!!
  8. Patbloke


    I'm going to pass this book on to whoever would like to read it... Just message me your details! Only condition it must be passed on once read
  9. Patbloke


    I'll be watching that also...
  10. Patbloke


    Wow, I'll check those out...
  11. Patbloke


    If you haven't already done so, I thoroughly recommend you read this book... Longitude by Dava Sobel With a big hint of astronomy and some key historical names mentioned, this book is (quote) the dramatic story of an epic scientific quest! Whilst we all take for granted the easy identification of where we are on the planet these days, this was not always the case! The quest to solve the recording of longitude was so difficult in the past that it gave rise to many governments offering huge sums of money as prizes for the answer to the question. If you want a book to browes through on ya sunbed or deck chair at night whilst waiting for the clouds to clear, this is a good one.. It reads like a whose who in the world of astronomy - see if you get get hold of this book. I would pass it on but my partner is going to delve into it when she's completed her latest crime thriller... Although when she's finished it I may be able to let it go (although technically it is hers)
  12. Nice scope... Amazing Flickr account! Some Wow pictures and video... Congratulations Great work!!
  13. Patbloke

    Dark Wales Bonanza !

    Great report Nick... Observations! Be careful as it looks like a previous midnight visitor to that mystical Welsh garden - 'The Hedgehog' has been turned to stone!! The skies look so red and it's amazing you can see all those labels in the night sky there! I saw the old teapot and the wonder that is M24 from my balcony on the island of Kos (not Oz) when I spent an extra two weeks there after collapsing minutes before my flight back from a two weeker... Labyrinthitis! Horrific... When I collapsed with dizziness vomiting wildly, all I could hear was one of the hotel staff shouting 'Ebola' Ebola' Flipping heck 5 days in hospital, a ride in a Transit van/ ambulance journey that was something else... anyway enough about that Nick. It's certainly a beautiful place you are staying at... Enjoy the moment and those peanut eating Badgers Don't get to near the edge of those cliffs bloke...
  14. Patbloke

    A Night Of Cygnus Doubles + Jupiter

    Thanks for that Wookie, I did research these a while ago but never ended up taking the plunge.... As I've got much better at alignment, and actually re centered my polar scope not so long ago, I do quite like the effort of 'using the cushion' as I call it to align... I've not got the greatest of knees but whilst I'm still able I'll persevere for now
  15. All set up to go with the sole aim of getting some Saturn images! To start off it was Jupes again to get some imaging done... The GRS superbly placed and looking Redder than a lidl tomato (subliminal advertising) After capturing some film it was time to properly align using Polaris and that wonderful on ya knees polar scope method!!! Boom!! three calibration stars and 'GoTo' whatever you wish for! Cygnus time - Check sheets and then give up and go and fetch Sissy Haas bible... 20 lovely doubles, not rushed just enjoyed and studied hard... working with my Starwave f/11 102 and for those difficult ones a 6.5 Meade HD and even with the 2.5 Revelation Barlow gave interesting views... 200x the recommended max mag on that Starwave, I squeezed more than that out of her. The stars looked round and colourful the companions sometimes hard to spot... But there's a great deal of satisfaction when you see them close by. I made some star symbol notes in the book when a true double of beauty made me smile, my top few were: Σ 2668 Superb 26 Gyg lovely 17 Cyg 19 Cyg Bright Red Ψ Cyg Σ 2687 Sharp 49 Cyg Faint 48 Cyg Wide H IV 113 Spot on (why did I write that?) 61 Cyg Nice Also - Σ 2760, 59 Cyg, 52 Cyg, O Σ 410, Σ 2705, Σ 2588, S 726, Σ 2578, 16 Cyg, δ Cyg So that's my haul for the night... By the time I had finished those it was 01:30 and cloud had covered what was left of Saturn. The great thing about that session was that I didn't have those long whiney scope movements around the sky, it was all within the constellation. I expect my neighbours with open windows were also grateful. Love that 102 f/11 Starwave scope.... A lot of the comments in Sissy Haas recommend a 150mm for some of the hits I made with my 102 so I'm happy... to get the colour is special as well... Not sure my alignment was that great because after entering RA & Dec the doubles were not always centered which resulted in me having to move towards the nearest double looking star a lot of the times. Didn't get -19 Cyg or T Cyg although I tried... Oh and on editing my images I notice I bagged both Europa and Io.... shame Jupiter disappeared behind next doors roof before the shadow made a transit! I've had to lighten one image to show the moons so beware you professionals

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