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About Gfamily

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    N Cheshire
  1. A zombie post, but hopefully worthwhile - Google Books has a Preview of this fantastic book https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ymt9nj_uPhwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=illustrated+guide+to+astronomical+wonders&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjFx8uU4M7aAhXpKMAKHZ0KBPMQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=illustrated guide to astronomical wonders&f=false
  2. I would suggest you get a pair of binoculars - personally, I would say that a cheap pair of Aldi/Lidl ones would do - try them out in the shop and check that they have both barrels aligned. You'll be using them just to find stars that are lost in the background glare, so you're not relying on truly great optics, and so long as they're light and don't give you a squint, you should be OK. So, use Star Walk to locate the rough area of the sky for your target, then use the binoculars to find the first star you'll use for hopping. You then know the area of the sky to point your Finder Oh, and of course, give your eyes 10 or 15 minutes to get your eyes dark adapted before you start. Avoid looking at street lights, and if you're using Star Walk, set it to Night Mode, to keep your night vision keen.
  3. Hi David My wife found Uranus with binoculars using Stellarium on her phone. She identified a bright star nearby and hopped from star to star, zooming in (on the app) as appropriate to work out where exactly to look. So, in your case, I suggest starting at Alrescha ( Alpha Psc), then hopping along to the right to see Zeta, Nu and Mu Psc. When you've moved between Nu and Mu, move about the same distance (about 2 3/4 degrees) 'up' towards the zenith, and Uranus should be the brightest thing in your field of view. If you can do this with binoculars first (while referring back to Star Walk) , you should be able to get a feel for the movement you want to make, and you should be able to see Uranus fairly obviously before you switch to your telescope. Start with the 20mm to give you the widest field of view as you're hopping, and when you're there you can then swap to the 12mm. Depending on the quality of the sky, you can probably use the 6mm, but it may be that you don't get any benefit from using the 4mm as the view may just go to 'mush'. Hope this helps
  4. Gfamily

    Bendy Ply

    You could try using Proplex or Correx board instead, it's a double wall plastic sheet that builders use to protect floors when they are working on sites. You can get it from Builders supply yards cheaply, Wickes do a 1.2m x 2.4 m sheet for about £4, though that's 2mm thick. http://www.wickes.co.uk/Proplex-Surface-Protection-Sheet-1200mm-x-2400mm/p/118670 I used it with sticky velcro pads to make my dew shields, it's cheaper and lighter than camping mat foam, and can be folded flat when not in use.
  5. A quick FYI that there's a family Astronomy Event at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff this Saturday, 13th January Those of you who know some young astronomers may be interested in taking them along. https://museum.wales/cardiff/whatson/9832/Star-Attractions-at-the-Museum/
  6. Hi John, Not sure if I was at the Mid Cheshire's stand when you were there, but you'll always be welcome at our Club Meetings (7.30pm last Friday of the month, at the Forest Explorers cabin near Go-Ape in Delamere). A possible issue with these Astronomy Festival * events is that all the clubs turn up with their 'best photos', and people can go away thinking it's all about AP - but be assured, we have a definite mix of observers (with and without scopes), sketchers in pencils, chalk and pastels, and some people who indulge in AP. We have a 'contact us' page on our website - feel free to get in touch if you want to know more, or just turn up. Cheers Owen http://www.midcheshireastro.co.uk/ * not so much at NWAF - hope you enjoyed as much as we did
  7. Rather than having to check through each individual posting about upcoming star parties, it would be useful if there was a comprehensive calendar of future Star Parties (maybe including one-off astronomy festivals). Does anyone know if anyone maintains such a thing?
  8. I'm not really sure what you mean by 'calculate its azimuth and elevation', but if you look at the text detail on the top left of the screen, the fifth row down gives the Alt/Az of Sgr A*, but of course is only an instantaneous value from when you took the screenshot.
  9. Whether it's a good combo depends on what you're used to using for finding; however, regardless of that, I'm not sure that the Celestron would fit easily on the Orion Dual Mount
  10. I'm pretty sure that the Orion Dual FinderScope Mount will take Skywatcher finders http://uk.telescope.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=109969&utm_source=google&utm_medium=comparisonshopping&utm_campaign=UK-googlemerchant&gclid=Cj0KEQjwiI3HBRDv0q_qhqXZ-N4BEiQAOTiCHgRztaK1OrTdiaUKGmxV3Kki4sruhY5_zS10BwEJWCMaApoA8P8HAQ So you could use a second 9*50 if you're happy with that as a finder.
  11. Another voice here - just a quick note to say don't be too dismissive of your 40mm, it'll give you a good way to observe some of the great Open Clusters such as the Pleiades and Hyades in Taurus and the Double Cluster in Perseus. in higher power eyepieces, these can just be a lot of stars, whereas in a lower power EP you can see how they stand out against the more sparse field of stars. It'll also be invaluable when you are star hopping to find some target or other - this is where you know that what you're looking for is a few degrees away from a brightish star; so pre-plan a route whereby you get move from that bright star to another one that's close to your target, the 40mm EP will give you a nice wide field of view that allows you to move a few degrees at a time, and hopefully a nice bright image to confirm when you have your target centred. At which point you swap to a higher power eyepiece for a 'closer view'. If you are star hopping, it can be useful to simulate it first in software like Stellarium on your PC, and taking screenshots to print out on paper can be worth doing too - often better than trying to do it on an app on a phone or tablet, because the light from the screen can spoil your night vision. Using a red light torch (head torch if you have one, or a £shop bicycle rear lamp if you don't) will let you see the charts AND the stars through the eyepiece. Here's a site that shows how you might find M92 from the nearby star pi Herculis http://www.nightskyinfo.com/star-hopping/
  12. If you are using the camera straight into the focuser/45 degree adapter, you can double or triple the magnification by getting a Barlow lens. This has the same size 1.25" eyepiece holder, so you can mount the camera to that. If you're using a 2x Barlow, you'll reduce the brightness by 4x, so you'll probably need to increase the gain on your capture software. Focusing will be more critical too, and you'll need to re-focus the scope if you swap between using the Barlow and NOT using it. Personally I'd recommend getting a Barlow that comes with a t-thread, this will allow you to mount a dSLR straight onto the Barlow which should give you a wider field image than your current Eyepiece camera Hopefully, you'll be delighted when you get your 127mm Mak, it's a lovely piece of equipment - although it has a much smaller field of view than your 70mm travel scope, the light gathering and magnification is going to give you great views.
  13. Gfamily

    Mobile Phone & App

    I tend to agree, but then again I generally I'm not at the "what is that bright thing over there" stage, which is where I assume the OP is at; that's where a compass can be of use - though it's annoying when you have to do that silly figure of eight wobble to get it 'aligned'.
  14. Gfamily

    Mobile Phone & App

    Tablets don't always have internal compasses, my first Nexus 7" didn't have one, so it's worth checking the specs online before you buy.
  15. Gfamily

    Solar Goggles?

    The AAS and NASA are not recommending Baader AstroSolar safety film as safe for making solar viewing glasses as it doesn't meet ISO 12312-2 Filters for direct viewing of the Sun. The standard use of this film is in conjunction with telescopes and eyepieces, and they contain glass that acts as an effective UV filter. However, using it as 'solar viewing glasses' will not include enough glass elements to block out the UV from reaching the retina - with the risk of damaging it due to viewing over an extended period of time. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/571667-baader-solar-film-for-direct-viewing-of-the-sun-no/#entry7789842 Although the FLO site is selling them as conforming to EG-Norm 89/686 and EN 169/92, I'm not sure whether it meets the ISO standard mentioned above.

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