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About Patbloke

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    Star Forming

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    Uk Birmingham South

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  1. Patbloke

    COMPLETED - SOLD - Vixen NPL Plossl Eyepiece - 25mm

    I've got the 20mm really clear and sharp... someone will get a good EP here!
  2. Patbloke

    Alignment Success

    Great point I forgot that, I think my old Skywatcher EQ5 had N marked on the mount? Anyway, it's great to get tips, such as yours and the simple blanket on the washing line... it all helps for a good night
  3. Patbloke

    Alignment Success

    I've been looking at those and am in the research phase of making my own... after last night I might try to repeat my success without it for now. I have rubbish knees and stiff neck so feel for you with the arthritis bloke...
  4. Patbloke

    Alignment Success

    I spent a fair amount of Wednesday afternoon centering my polar scope... Little did I realise that the polar scope requires centering before you even attempt perfect polar alignment. It appears that my AVX has been very forgiving in the fact that in the past I have more or less just got polaris somewhere near the centre of the circle before aligning. However, after watching many YouTube clips on how to centre the polar scope I finally achieved my aim in having the polar scope centered. Last night was my first serious attempt at 'Bang on' polar alignment with a well centered polar scope!! For some time I've been moaning about having to scramble around on the floor bending my knees and neck looking up for polaris through the polar scope! last night I raised my tripod to almost full extension and managed to look through the polar scope sat comfortably on a picnic chair. I started setting up early so used my compass during the early evening to point north ready for the appearance of polaris... Wow! when Polaris appeared I wasn't far out :-) I rotated the the reticule so the view through the polar scope matched what I could see in the sky with the plough above the centre circle, a quick tweak and 'Bingo' Polaris was spot on where it should be... let the fun begin!! Oops before I did that I freelanced over to the crescent moon situated between two rooftops from my observing location... stunning! I tend to always overlook how wonderful the surface of the moon looks at high mag... Whilst observing using my Starwave 102 and a Vixen NPL 20mm I could see what looked like two bright spots at the top of the crescent like tiny stars. On closer observation I figure these must of been a couple of mountain tops caught in the sunlight... That was amazing, would lover to know the name of those peaks! Here is my list of targets bagged using a combination of a Celestron 32mm, Vixen NPL 20mm, Meade 12 & 18mm, a trusty BST 8mm and for Jupiter a blue filter. Jupiter, M5, Epsilon Lyrae 1,2, Zeta Lyrae, Xi Bo, Theta 2 Can, Tegman, Kappa Bo (Loved this) Iota Cancer, Graffias, Delta Serpens, Theta Serpens, Algieba (Leo) Coma Star Cluster Melotte 111 Toward the end of the session I practised entering the RA & Dec into the handset, hitting targets pretty much bang on (very pleasing)... Although when referencing the 'Double Stars for small telescopes' book by Sissy Haas the coordinates given are not as long in numbers as the ones on the handset... I still hit the targets bang on though so was delighted. Nicks Tips No 5 - Throwing a blanket over the washing line to create a dark space removing a cluster of 3 streetlights 100m away over the neighbours fence... Genius!
  5. Patbloke

    Jupiter: 00:35 am 14-05-18

    Watched Jupiter for a while last night with my trusty Starwave 102 - 8mm BST, basic 15mm plossl and x2.5 Revelation Barlow with blue filter... lovely and clear, enjoyed the night. I watched Europa appear not long after midnight which is amazing. I have to say that since Nick advised to download the Jupiter moons app I've enjoyed studying the movements in more detail. I'm also learning patience sitting on my viewing chair, noticing that the longer you look the more you see! That sounds basic but I think it's true that the seeing does change very quickly... (unless it's my eyes drifting in and out of clear vision :-))
  6. Keep the faith Don... Seeing the pictures of the place again in the news has reminded us of what a wonderful place Big Island is. Like everyone we hope you all keep safe and that pesky volcano down the road behaves itself.
  7. Patbloke

    Never give up....

    It seems there are quite a few astro apps out there... Here are just a few of mine
  8. Patbloke

    Never give up....

    So it all went horribly wrong three times... Alignment!! how can you mess up alignment three times? Well, when you are in a hurry and have an pre planned observing list that must have been prepared for targets around at 4 in the morning!! Objects currently below the horizon... Argh I must learn more star names to make alignment easier!! Anyway, I want to let you know that despite some frustrations my advice is you should never give up on a clear night! Today for the first time in ages I was inspired by 'Nick of the Swad' to plan an evenings observing... I created a list of targets and for once decided to try my rifle finder on my Starwave 102 (relevance later) When finally aligned I picked M13 as my first target... Lovely! surprisingly detailed I thought at high mag... Then it all went wrong again, I put in an NGC target and the scope pionted below the horizon.. so fed up was I that I decided to spend some time on Jupiter instead of my target list (Nick had recommended a moons of Jupiter app so I thought I would check it out) Ok next door have a large Conifer and Jupiter was to the left of it so I used my red dot finder and hit the target perfectly... It appears the scope/mount was still tracking correctly so no rush plenty of time to observe. I read earlier today that a blue filter would be good to view Jupiter, so I set it into a BST8mm and concentrated on the nice crisp banded planet and moons. Note!! this is why you should never give up! I just witnessed a transit of Ganymede across the edge of the Jupiter!! At first I thought it was just a trick of my eye but I could clearly see the moon and a shadow on the bottom/top edge. I checked the moons of Jupiter app and sure enough this was indeed what I was watching. Unbelievable, I got so excited out there I can tell you... Almost as excited as I was when I first saw the moons in a skywatcher 114p years ago. I realise the transits must happen a lot but that's the first real clear one I've witnessed, amazing... Just had to write it down to share. How wonderful was that? The blue filter, the red dot finder... The messed up alignments all lead to that event. Thanks to Nick for the tip, and thanks to my incompetence, otherwise I suspect I would be still out there with my target list... Not sat here basking in the glory of what for me was a mind blowingly satisfying moment...
  9. Out now and just been through this list! Lovely stuff Nick and total lack of neighbour annoyance as all lovely little moves with the scope. Good news is My target for the night Jupiter has just appeared from behind next doors Conifer... Rejoice
  10. Patbloke

    Skye ,with 10" Dob

    Nice report Cobbler... Great pics! You can't beat truly dark skies fella. Whenever I've had the pleasure I just stare up and out into space taking it all in! Be careful on those mountains.... :-)
  11. I use a pair of Bushnell Trophies 8x42... I do take my Apollos when I go to Australia, but a bit heavy for general 'day out' use... Just for a simple grab and go, well made great optics I like my Bushnells :-) Come in a nice little padded bag as well...
  12. Patbloke

    Home Obsy UK Build - Yew Tree Observatory

    Wow, great idea to share on a movie clip... Love it! I just need a garden now then that building will be something to plan into the design :-) Such a shame to have to worry about all the security measures though... I suppose it's best to be prepared rather than having to react later if the worst happens... Congratulations...
  13. Patbloke

    Variable Success

    Lovely read... I really got a sense of your enjoyment under the dark sky :-)
  14. Patbloke

    The night garden guest.

    As the 'Unexpected Visitor' I can confirm that the evening was indeed superb (as usual) Here's the thing with Astronomy and Astro folk - there is a genuine willingness to share the Astro experience with everyone and anyone who shows an interest. It is true the observation platform slabs wobble a bit (especially after three hours in when I decide that jumping up and down will somehow make me warmer!) and Yes - the occasional pungent aroma in the air made me feel like I was back at the Crystal Palace Bowl back in the 70's watching Bob Marley singing his tunes before Joe Jackson appeared on stage calling us all bad names (weird fella) It's always a great evening with Nick but I wonder if the copious amounts of childish laughter at your neighbour when he/she started to grind concrete at 9 in the evening was indeed enhanced by the 'atmosphere'? For me, the most delightful observations of the night were indeed those binaries/doubles/triples.... the 'Eyes in the Forest'... Beta Monocerotis (despite me calling it Beta Monasaurus a million times were amongst the delightful targets). Your copy of Sissy Haas Double Stars for telescopes is a joy to flip through... With the hours and hours of research included together with observation notes and drawings is probably one of the wonders of the world in itself! What price would that beauty fetch at auction??? Shamefully this morning I look at my copy and feel rather flat that it's still in mint condition hardly ever opened! What to learn from the evening? - Check your weather apps every day and when you see a clear evening/night predicted make a move, mobilise yourself with some equipment, get out there and enjoy the wonders that inspired you to originally invest in your gear... Sharing the experience is a wonderful thing, especially if you can find yourself a wizard like Nick who has such knowledge, experience and laughs as often as he draws breath...................... Mind you that may be down to his observing location? :-)
  15. Patbloke

    Your best ever view through your bins

    Great work! I'll try the UHC then maybe an OIII if I can borrow or buy :-)

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