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Gfamily

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About Gfamily

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    N Cheshire
  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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/
  6. 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.
  7. 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'.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. If you only want to have a phone to use the sky chart app, you could look for an older second hand one online or at one of the games/C-ex shops that seem to sell them on. You would need to see which ones are available and then check them for presence of a compass. For a basic star chart I use Stellarium, which costs a couple of ££ on Google play, I've tried a few alternatives (Google sky Map, Sk-eye, and Star Walk), and Stellarium just pips them for usability. However, before you get anything you might want to consider getting a planisphere. This will help you find your way around the night sky, and can help you get the feel of how stars and constellations relate to each other - both as the sky changes through the night, but also how it changes from season to season. If you've not seen one, it has two discs, the upper of which has a clear window to show details from a sky chart on the lower one. By aligning date and hour between the two, you can see the night sky and how it rotates around the pivot point that is the North Star. It won't show you what planets are visible, but it'll do a lot more, and for years and years - I've just retired one that was my older brother's that was originally bought in the 1970s. ETA - once you have a smartphone, you may well find that you will find multiple uses for having accessible internet while out and about, so you may well find yourself doing a lot more with it than checking the night sky
  11. Our Petzls (admittedly bought 3-4 years ago) switch on as red or white depending on what it was showing when it was switched off. It'd be surprised if the designs had moved backwards in that respect.
  12. Congratulations on your new scope - I've heard great things about it. Do you have a t-Mount adapter to allow you to mount your Olympus to the scope? You will need one of those for dSLR imaging. A planisphere is a good idea for identifying your alignment stars - Philips do one with the brighter stars named. The advantage of a planisphere is that it does't affect your dark adaption as much as an app might. It also gives a very clear idea of how stars move across the sky over an evening, and through the year. Speaking of dark adaption, a red light head-torch is fairly essential. For imaging, a Bahtinov Mask will be a great help for getting good focus - you can DIY one yourself, or buy one for £25 or so. It will be a great help if your dSLR has 'Live View' as it makes the initial focussing a lot quicker. Planetary imaging is pretty much out of the question for the next few months with Saturn and Mars lost in the evening skies, and Jupiter not reappearing as a morning object for a while yet. When they reappear though, a cheap webcam and a 1.25" adapter can be bought for under £20, and will give you surprisingly good results - a laptop will be needed.
  13. Bump to this thread - see you at the Mid Cheshire Astro stand!
  14. We've reconsidered and gone back to having our weekly Thursday evening meetings at the Forest Explorers cabin in Delamere Forest. The layout is better. There won't be much observing going on over the summer months of course.
  15. Mid Cheshire Astronomy Group meet in Delamere Forest (near Delamere railway station) on the last Friday of the month, and we have an informal observers group that meet most Thursdays at 8pm at The Tiger's Head, in Norley. We've only just moved to meeting in the pub, which has a reasonably dark car park - so we're not sure how well observing sessions will work. As we move into summer though, there won't be too much observing going on as it's not properly dark at 8pm and we tend to break up at 10 - 10.30 (ish). If we're not observing, we discuss techniques and follow some of the coursework exercises from the Astronomy GCSE. All ages and all levels of experience welcome. If it's clear, there are usually 3 or 4 scopes set up. http://www.midcheshireastro.co.uk/ - if you use the Contact Us form I'll get back to you in person http://thetigershead.com/