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MarySkater

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Everything posted by MarySkater

  1. Good conditions from Dumfries. A little patchy cloud, but for most of the onset it was clear. Clouded over more after the maximum. My setup was really for watching, not imaging, but I'll do my best. I wasn't able to upload my pictures to the gallery, so I'm trying a link from Flickr. The morning sun was aimed at my garden shed. Binoculars (one side masked, no filter on the open lens) on a tripod inside the door, aimed at a white screen for the image. To view, I went inside, closed the door most of the way, and used a bin-liner curtain for the gap, leaving just enough light coming in the top to hit the bins. Just for the record, I took some pictures of my white-paper screen. This was at 0926, a few minutes before maximum: Mary
  2. During the 1999 eclipse, I projected it with one side of a cheap pair of 10 x 25s. Worked okay, nothing got hot, no damage to bins. I spent a few minutes this morning setting up in full sun with my slightly more expensive waterproof 8 x 42s. Nothing got hot, no damage to bins. So long as the light is going through the optics and on to the screen, all seems okay. My image was about 10 cm in diameter, so it's not a hot-spot. I read a suggestion that if the alignment is lost, you might focus sunlight on the inside of the tube with damaging consequences, so I covered the bins except when I was actually attending to the image. Maybe I've just been lucky, but it works for me. Mary
  3. I think that's a great idea, to go to an ancient site to watch the eclipse. I wish you clear skies. Mary
  4. I've been setting up for tomorrow's eclipse. The sun (if visible) will be shining on my back garden, but not into any part of the house. So I have binoculars (one side masked) on a tripod in the garden shed. With the door pulled nearly closed, I can dim the shed, catching a band of sunlight on the bin lens. Then project the image on to a screen of white paper in the shadowed part of the shed. I'm not sure how sharp an image I'm getting. When I last did this (1999, cheaper/ smaller bins) I could see sunspots. Couldn't detect any today, although when the sun moved behind a neighbouring tree, I could focus to a really sharp outline of the twigs. Now all I need is some clear sky around 9.30 tomorrow morning. I'm not getting my hopes up too high... Mary
  5. Great reminder that the sun is active and volatile. For a non-solar-observer, it's too easy to think "round, bright" and leave it at that. But things happen up there... Mary
  6. Very nice. I'm sure Mr Nimoy would have appreciated your work. Mary
  7. Maybe you should have made them an offer while they were still dithering? (Or maybe you still could in a few days, as they're unlikely to sell it for that.) For buying or selling almost anything second hand, I take half the new price as a sensible starting point. If it's damaged or has bits missing, go down from the halfway mark. If I'm selling, obviously I'd like to get more, but then I'll use Ebay and let the market decide. If the charity shop wants to sell to passing trade, unless they get lucky, I think they'll need to cut the price. I've never seen anything optical that would interest me in a charity shop. But some years ago, I noticed my local Oxfam had a lady's coat in pure cashmere, vey nice. At that time, such a coat new would cost about £400. The shop had priced it at £49. I waited a week or two, it didn't sell, and they reduced the price to £16. At that point I bought it. (And still have it.) Mary
  8. MarySkater

    New boy

    Hi, welcome to the forum. If you're interested in a useful book, "Turn Left At Orion" gets highly recommended. Mary
  9. This is a slight digression from the original question, but I'm sure there was once a story of someone who left their scope uncovered and uncapped on the porch. As the sun moved round, it shone straight down the tube, focused on the porch and set fire to it. (I think the scope got burned up in the ensuing blaze.) SunBear is right to be cautious about that big light in the sky Mary
  10. People used to assume that heavenly bodies were "perfect," and the only "perfect" shape for them to move in was the circle, hence all kinds of messy wheels-within-wheels theories. The moral is, forget the assumptions and look at the evidence. (But some assumptions can be so deep-rooted that we don't recognise them.) Mary
  11. Lovely catch, to get Mars, and the earthshine on the moon even though the sky isn't fully dark. Err... can I question the date on the photo?! Well done, Mary
  12. During the 1999 eclipse, which I think was >90% where I was (Oxford), I set up binoculars on a tripod, masked one side of them and projected the sun through the other side on to a sheet of white paper, getting an image about 8-10 cm in diameter. Nothing seemed to get very hot. (There was a fun moment while I was setting up, with full sun, and a plane crossed the sun, giving me a nice silhouette of one wing and engine on my screen.) I don't think I'd like to point my DSLR at the sun, though. Mary
  13. Hi Siege, welcome to the forum. First encounter with the night sky? (Apart from the obvious... it's dark and starry.) As a teenager, the first time I got my hands on a pair of binoculars, I aimed them at a bright "star" and saw that it had a family of moons, so I realised it was Jupiter. Before that, well, I'm in the northern hemisphere, so I knew how to use Ursa Major to find the pole star, but that was about all. Good luck with your stargazing, and I hope you manage to link up with like-minded people in your area. Mary
  14. Very attractive photo! I even like that little bit of con-trail, as added detail. Mary
  15. Thanks for the input, xs2man and Dr_Ju_ju. Julian, I was interested to see the gadget in your second link, as I actually have one of those, in the back of a drawer somewhere. I bought it to try to attach my compact camera to my birdwatching scope. As you say, it may not take the weight of my SLR, but it'll be something to take a look at. When you use a camera with its own lens, do you still have an eyepiece on the scope, or do you work without one? Thanks, Mary
  16. Cheaper, undoubtedly. But that means I'm entirely dependent on the object lens of my scope to capture an image. I want to find out if adding more glass to the light path (I know it will reduce the brightness) might give better results or add more flexibility. I'm not ready at the moment to get into imaging; I'm still learning very basic observing. But this thread seemed a relevant place to ask a question. Mary
  17. MarySkater

    Hi!

    Hi Andrew, thanks for the detailed reply. My kit is much less sophisticated than yours. I have a small refractor, Skywatcher Startravel 80, which came bundled with a couple of eyepieces and an EQ1 mount. I actually bought it 4 years ago, but for various reasons I scarcely used it, and packaged it up again. Only last week, I finally got it out of the boxes and put it together. I've had some problems setting up, and once I've spent a little more time with it, if I still can't do all I want then I'll ask for help on here. However there was one clear night earlier this week when I lined it up on Jupiter, with a good view of the 4 main moons, and 2 dark bands on the planet. I think that's probably about as much detail as I can expect with this scope, and I was very happy with that. I need more practice at aiming it, so I can find less obvious targets! Happy skywatching, Mary
  18. If I can move to a different moon... as an occasional ice skater, I've often wondered about the possibilities of Europa. Mary
  19. Dr_Ju_Ju, could you maybe link to a thread or a website with more info on this? I am just starting to use a small refractor. I already have a Canon 1000D with a couple of decent lenses and a remote shutter release. I'm not interested in buying any new kit at the moment, but I'd like to find out how to make the best of what I already have. Thanks for any help. (And thanks to old39, for starting an interesting thread.) Mary
  20. MarySkater

    Hi!

    Hi Comsat, welcome to the forum. Can you tell us what scope you decided on? (I'm another newbie, always interested in people's "first steps".) Mary
  21. Always the best kind of present to give someone. Have you thought about what you want for her next birthday? Welcome to the forum. Mary
  22. MarySkater

    Hello!

    Hi Mark, I'm sure you'll find a lot of useful info on this forum. Welcome. Mary
  23. Could it have been Jupiter you saw? That's south-ish, and very bright.
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