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Ceti Alpha V

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Everything posted by Ceti Alpha V

  1. Could have been either I suppose - but I didn't notice it moving - if it was, it was moving slowly at best. It was over very quickly. However, figuring it could not be an astronomical object, it probably was a satellite or iridium flare - but, as said, it did not appear to be moving - just pulsed in, faded out, back in again and fade to nothing. Still, like I said, it was interesting to see - even if it was just a satellite.
  2. Bit unsure about something we saw while out with the scope earlier. Time - about 7:10 (1-1-2012). 3-5 degrees north north west of Dubhe. Around approx position of HIP 54064. A large star faded into view and appeared around mag 0 to -1. It rapidly faded to almost nothing then grew in intensity again to similar for about 1-2 seconds then fade to no trace. Pure white in colour. Looked with binos (scope was on Castor at the time) and could see nothing. No lights moving. No aircraft. No Chinese lantern (had a few of them in recent days). And not a meteor. Figured it may be a satellite but can't find one on Stellarium that passed at that time and the 'pulsing star' did not appear to be moving in any direction. Don't want to turn this report into a UFO hunt - just wondered if anyone had any ideas - highlight of the evening, if nothing else.
  3. Just got a Skywatcher Skymax 127 and noticed the primary mirror has some minute flecks on it. Think this has come from the paint of the tube during construction. Other than that, it looks ok. Just wonder if this is a common quality ‘problem’ with this scope and if it will cause any problems? Maybe it is just down to not top quality construction but has little impact? Also wondering if it is worth unscrewing the whole back off and blowing the few minute flecks away? But that sounds risky
  4. Thanks for all the replies. I hadn't considered a leasure battery. Found this, but how do you connect it to the scope/ devices and regulate the power? What/where do I get connections? I suppose a normal car battery type charger is used to top up the batteries.
  5. Hi SGL For all the time I'd be at a dark site, it maybe more cost effective and less maintenance to get re-charge batteries over a jump starter for powering a Skywatcher alt-az mount. Are re-charge batteries up tro the task? If so, what type? Probably for powering for 2-3 hours max at a time or are re-chargable batteries no good and only a portable power unit, like a car jump starter will do. Just thinking it would also be more convenient to charge AA batteries as and when than the almost constant charging a jump starter need and their relative short use life. You views and opinions appreciated.
  6. What is the difference in the goto motors other than it goes to over the auto flextube dob? I'd like a dob, at least auto but the £300 extra for goto seams a bit steep in price. The EQ mounts at least give better motors etc for the money - if it is just a handset upgrade (which looks much like a TV remote with about the same computing power) then, frankly, an extra £300 notes is just not worth the extra. I was going to go for a synscan az auto, like the 127 mak, 102 mak of 102 refractor to get going and see if I needed extra apeture. And, if I do, it is a heap of cash just to track yet alone goto. I wonder if the Goto is worth the rather heafty price tag?
  7. TLAO 4th Edition due for publication August 2011. As per publisher web site Search - Cambridge University Press Just in time for winter skies - I'll be getting a copy. Although I think the 3rd Edition will still be worth reading/ owning as both with cover slightly different subjects - telescopes used for example. Smaller in the 3rd edition, slightly larger in 4th (due to more people owning larger scopes)
  8. I know an 8" Dob is recommended for DSO's but, can other types show similar levels/ details as the dobs? (Without going crazy on prces). I've been looking at Maks - around 5" but could go up 6 if DSO will give some 'detail' - maybe even upto 8" but that would be pushing the budget somewhat. I suppose reflectors are out due cost and size limitations - APO's are a bit ££££
  9. I thought the programme was very good - educational and enjoyable. It was aimed at an audience not just including the Astronomy/ Science community - hence it's showing at a peak time. It is not something for the few or was made for experts or to make you an expert but, to kindle an interest in the subject and perhaps take something from it - even to go on and study it further. I don't think we will ever get prime time type learning TV - OU programmes late at night, if you are lucky. It's much like Nature programmes by David Attenborogh - you don't have to be a biologist, naturalist to enjoy them - but can learn and see things that otherwise may not be available or within ability to go and see personally. You can please some of the people.................... True statement for anything these days really. Pity so many appeared not to like it - shame as it at least promotes Astronomy and the Sciences.
  10. I've said that to a mate as well. Fishing & astronomy - similar roads, different destination. Now, if only someone could invent a rod rest/ telescope tripod combo. Tight lines - oops - I mean Clear Skies.
  11. Just a few extra questions on the 127. So far, I think it may best suit my starting requirements. Easy to transport with car full of passengers, occasional dark site, mostly inner city street light pollution, something fairly maintenance free, something easyish to set up and pack away, something to help get me to objects as I learn the ropes and something that will be able to be used by the kids. The 6/ 8" Newts are great but, I just get the feeling they are too big for us just now - but great scopes. Refractors - many advantages apart from ca. Still, I like the look of the 120 Evostar but am a bit put of EQ mounts - the thought of battling the thing to set it up and get something in view with impatient kids champing at the bit - just no. I have some info on the 127, and although not ideal, I don't have the cash for a bigger mak or apo - nice if I did. Could save for an age, but kinda want to get started sooner than later. 1) Power supplies - Tried looking at Aldi website (and Maplins too) - could not see the type of power that is needed - help appreciated. 2) Dew - don't know how much dew will be a problem and how to deal with it (don't wipe it away I think). Mate at work mentioned a camping mat cut to strips to put around business end of scope? 3) What can I get to carry the scope safely. Can't seem to find a carry case for protection. 4) In the future, I may want to dabble in some photos with it - nothing fancy - Would a Meade Deep Sky Imager 2 be ok - too much or is there a better & cheaper option. 5) I suppose, does my scope choice make sense? Or should I be thinking along other lines? Choosing a 1st scope feels like standing beside this smilie Thanks group
  12. Some great advice on what goes well with the 127. SW Super Plossls are ok then, along with the other makes mentioned Celestron, Vixen, Meade & TMB - Could not find a uk supplier of the TMB but others no problem and all within my starting budget. Think I'd go with a 9mm and a low power but don't know if 32mm is best or lower to 40mm?? I am just trying to get all the info I can on this scope as I think, so far, it may offer the best for my starting needs. Thanks
  13. Thanks, that is really useful. I think the two sizes mentioned would be good. Would a 40mm or similar (from the maker mentioned) be a benefit too? So, the Skywatcher super plossls are not very good? Assuming it is those you get with the scope and not even cheaper EP's. Thanks
  14. Hi forum Just a quick question on the eyepiece for a skywatcher 127 Mak (or even Celestron 127 Mak as the are similar. What are the quality of the 10 & 25mm eyepiece and deluxe barlow lens usually given with this scope? Are they super plossls? Or??? With a budget of up to 50 per eyepiece - which would go well with the scope? Would it be worth replacing the EP's that come with the scope? And, would the deluxe barlow be worth replacing? I also notice on some ads for the scope that the scope (by using the barlow and 10mm EP) that up to x 300 is possible but the actual usable magnification is only around 260 - So, would a barlow be pointless unless using a 'bigger' EP? Thanks for any EP info.
  15. Thanks, that is all helpful advice. I think I will next post listing the scopes/mounts I am thinking about, the viewing I hope to achieve and the conditions I will need or like. Buying a scope is much like buying a fishing rod when getting into that field. Similar ho's and hum's and trying to figure what you want and what to get. Only with eventually getting into the sport do you find out, really, what rod is suitable and all the other factors that turn the usual disappointment (of not catching much and/ or lack of casting ability). Tip to the wise, for Sea angling anyway, don't go to big or to expensive as you'll probably lack the technique and/ or physical stature for giant and/or expensive rods. That all said, I eventually got a range of rods to fear you and a vast array of reels, line, kit in general. Both astronomy and fishing share a lot of similar problems. From initial kit choice, to picking reels (simile mounts), the end tackle and bait (eye pieces), knowledge, location, species/ object hunted, clothing (keep warm!), time/ season of year and weather conditions. Similar in so many way and both expensive - astronomy more so to begin with but you always need new tackle to replace old/ lost and bait - all adds up. Both fun though and both with that wow factor! Thanks all
  16. In my scope quest, looking at dobs (and there pros and Cons). It hit the target for being reliable (in that there is no power requirement and no electronics to break down - maintenance free too I suppose) Not so great for portability as will need to travel with it (in car) but with limited space. Photography is not high on my list just now but will maybe dabble if I get hooked in the future. Dob mounts. A dob is one on the list for first scope. Planets, moon and DSO's for viewing. How good are they? Are they annoying to use due to constant moving to keep the target in focus? Would the object move by the time others took over the scope to look at the found object. Are they good for the newcomer. Will post for advise on other mounts - then scopes - just trying to weigh up the options and get something right for me to start off. Thanks
  17. Never read it, but have been told by forum folks it is a good read for the beginner. I was advised to wait until the 4th edition comes out. Can't find a date for that but on Dan Davis (author) website, it mentions a revamp and they are working on the 4th addition to be release 2011 (no date though). Didn't link it as not sure forum rulers would appreciate direct hyperlinks. It says it will contain info on bigger scopes (like 4-8" Dobs). Not sure what else. Thinking of waiting but getting both the 3rd and 4th maybe a good coverage of small to fairly large scopes plus targets. (Think I'll look out for and old 2nd hard copy or cheap paper back verion of the 3rd). Does anyone knows the release date of the 4th edition?
  18. I'll have to nip into WH SMith to see if I can find the others mentioned - Sky & Telescopes and Popular Astronomy. Tesco only had the 2 I have seed/read. What is the view on the others mags? Is Sky at Night regarded as king of the hill? I presume they all cover similar ground - perhaps with a different style or focus?
  19. Just wondered what Astronomy magazines are available? I have read Astronomy Now and Sky at Night but thought I read, in a post somewhere, that there was something along the lines of 'Scopes and Skies' Can't find it online though, except the shop that has that name. Both magazines are good and cover similar things - for the cheaper price, I'd maybe just go for Astronomy Now. Like I say, just wondered if there was any other titles available?
  20. Hi Isobelle, Thank you for your helpful advice in another post I put up earlier. It is particularly heartfelt given the message you've shared here. Wishing you a full recovery and continued engagement and enjoyment from Astronomy and the SGL. Take care, Steve (Ceti)
  21. Thanks, I think TLAO is on the list of must reads. I'll start making my own notes taken from things in a astro mag that I'd like to see. From there, post on the scopes I am thinking about to get some SGL opinion. I know there is a lot up there, but for someone new, it's a bit like tidying up the kids bedrooms - where do you start! Cheers
  22. Does Turn left at Orion tell you about equipment needed? I figure if I can build up a list of objects I 'must see' (other than generally scanning about), I may be in a better position to decide on a scope. Just now, like others, I am looking at quite a few across the range refractor, reflector and Maks. I know some of the requirements, just don't know what I will 'have to see' which knowing will help in the purchase.
  23. Like others, really looking forward to this programme. Wonders of the Solar System was great. It should be fairly easy to follow too. His way of explaining the retrograde of mars - burnt end of stick, drawing circles and some rocks - simple but made perfect sense. Roll on the 6th.
  24. New to astronomy observing, so reading what I can to get a better idea. A question that gets asked alot - what do you want to see/do? And that is where I am stuck. With the inclusion of the obvious moon and planets, I am not sure what else there is to see with modest equipment. I know there are countless object, and with a Hubble I'd be laughing but, is there an easy list with descriptions/ pictures and equipment required to view it? Of a few hundred objects? Modest meaning under 400 notes. Is there links or recommends to sites (or books) that will give that information. I am trying to work out where I will view from (mostly), space/ storage requirements, other equipmentt needed but other than the local solar system, which I want to see, I don't know much about how much and what else is available to see up there (which may help decide on eventual telescope purchase)
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