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Everything posted by Gfamily

  1. Ahem, back to targets... The Coathanger is good fun, as it's so unexpected. Depending on your scope, the double double might be a test for your guests' eyes. If you're showing Jupiter and Saturn, you could also show them Uranus and Neptune - pointing out that neither was known about until relatively recently. You can then give them the challenge of seeing how soon they can 'bag' the remaining three planets.
  2. I have to turn off Mobile Data, but apart from that it's as you'd expect: (Optional) Turn off WiFi on the phone Turn on the mount (Optional) Turn on WiFi on phone Select the 'SynScan' WiFi to connect to. Click through the warning that there's no Internet connection. Open Synscan app Hit the Connect button. It'll flash up the IP address and then should connect. (It's at this point where Mobile Data being on can bring up a message).
  3. Hmmm, are your sure? I thought there was a detection of spectra from heavy elements in the visual wavelength observations made for the Neutron Star - Neutron Star merger that was correlated to a detection by LIGO, rather than it being anything that was detectable in the Gravitational Wave signal.
  4. There are astigmatism correctors that can be fitted to eyepieces if you'd rather take your spectacles off. e.g. TeleVue Dioptrx - not cheap though.
  5. I generally wear my spectacles for observing, so I can call Mrs G over and she won't need to adjust the focus* I use varifocals normally, but about 6 years ago got a pair of single vision spectacles for telescope use. Last evening I used them for the first time in a while, and discovered the downside - I now can't see the handset clearly as my 'near' vision has deteriorated so much. Getting old would be a real pain if it wasn't better than the alternative. * she always does, but that's fine.
  6. This is pretty basic, but sometimes it's not clear whether you're seeing a target or not. You may all be doing this already, but last night I was out using Stellarium+ & Sky Safari+ 6 on my phone, and I realised that if I zoom in on a target I could then adjust the 'magnitude range' until the apps only showed the stars I could see in the eyepiece, which would let me know if I was really seeing the target or not. So, when I was looking to confirm that I was seeing the Saturn Nebula (C55), when SS+ 6 was showing all the stars down to 15 or less, it wasn't obvious, but if I reduced the magnitude so I could only see the background stars visible in the eyepiece ( <mag 11), it was clear that I was seeing the target in the expected place. Don't forget to set the eyepiece image flips before you start of course so that the app shows exactly what you're expecting to see in the eyepiece. I must remember to get out there again to see if I can see the RS Oph Nova tonight.
  7. Handy hint - if the ground isn't level, rotate the tripod around its centre until one leg is exactly lined up with the 'up' side of the bubble level. That way you only need to shorten one leg. It's surprising how long it took me to realise that this is obvious!
  8. Very nice 'lucky' image. I've not been able to get any successful images of meteors, but last year my wife and I were independently looking at M22 when a Perseid went very close by it. She was using binoculars, and I was using a small refractor at the other end of the terrace, so it was very strange when we both went "woah!" at the same time. For both of us it was the first time we'd observed a meteor through an eyepiece, so for it to be the same one was very uncanny.
  9. That's one part I don't have a problem with. I'd guess it's imaged with a high f/ ratio system, so the circle of confusion (which determines what is in focus at different depths in an image) is not going to be an issue for two (or three) elements that are all at a substantial distance from the camera.
  10. What baffles me is why the altitude of the moon drops between new moon and first quarter. Clearly the images weren't taken at the same time of day, so what's behind the thinking for them being arranged in that shape curve? Am I missing something?
  11. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap210826.html
  12. I assume it was part of the general investigations going on at the time to resolve the 'longitude problem', which requires a consistent way of measuring time when at sea. Various methods were attempted, including attempts to tabulate the movement of the Moon, and one was to use the movements of the Galilean moons to act as a celestial clock. If this was tabulated and compared to observations, the discrepancy as the planet moved further from the Earth would have become apparent. In reading about the history of this (very well covered in Dava Sobel's book Longitude), there is often reference made to the 'Lunar Method', but not so much to using Jupiter's moons as a timepiece, though the Wikipedia article on the history of longitude mentions both the Jovian satellites and magnetic declination as alternatives that were investigated.
  13. I find that targets near the zenith are more easily 'missed' than lower targets. What's your mount like when trying to find targets lower down ?
  14. The same photographer claimed the image below 'was a thing'.
  15. Are you at the campsite at Cwmdu? That's where Astrocamp hold their Star Parties in Spring and Autumn if you're interested in having a long weekend away with fellow astronomers. They've had to cancel the 2020 and Spring 2021 Astrocamps, but bookings for the October 2021 Star Party opens next week. For Astrocamp, they arrange with the camp site that lights are covered or turned off, and they keep a central field empty so that people can set up their scopes and wander around and share views etc.
  16. From the Help text on SS6+, alignment is only available for Celestron WiFi telescopes, so for the Virtuoso you'll need to align in the SynScan app.
  17. It's very much personal preference as to whether to use a handset or the app on a phone or tablet, but I can say that linking the mount to Sky Safari or Stellarium adds a lot to the usability of the set up. That's my experience using the AZ GTi mount at least. You'll need at least the 'Plus' versions, but they're often available at discounted prices. I do usually have a spare SynScan handset connected, and I can use it to make minor corrections, but on the whole, with a lightweight OTA attached, I generally find that after the initial alignment, GOTO is accurate enough to get the target in a 32mm eyepiece field of view so there's minimal adjustment needed. One thing I think I found once, was that after using the handset it stopped tracking, but a tiny tap on the SynScan app started tracking again. However it's a while since I've used the handset so I can't remember whether it always does that.
  18. I've just posted on our Club FB page about my theory of the next phase of Remote Telescopes; where basically, you're standing next to someone doing imaging? So, this is the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51), an image taken at Astrofarm France (by an astro buddy). An education; seeing someone using an ASIAir to do polar alignment, target location and guiding. I can see the attraction. Mind you, I can also see that telling 'a device' to take two dozen images, each of which is 3 minutes long is not the most 'engaged' in the night sky I can imagine. I was there with my 72mm on an Az GTi mount and an eyepiece (but not for the full 24x3 minutes it has to be said), but I saw Jupiter, Saturn, a couple of Globs, and NGC457 - great at 45x magnification. Mind you, M51 was only very barely visible to me, so hmmmm.
  19. I DIY bodged one using a 99p hot shoe adapter from ebay, a redundant RDF, an L bracket I had in the shed and a hammer.
  20. Super I've posted details on the Facebook pages of a couple of Astro Societies I'm a member of. With a screenshot from Sky Safari to help
  21. Join in with Solarsphere for a fully packed day of online events on the 21st August! All times are British Summer Time (UTC +1) 11am : JD's Solarsphere Music Show 11am ( Radio Only ) 12:00 ( Midday ) : Introduction to Solarsphere On-Line 12:15pm : Emma Wride of AstroCymru with Children's Astro Activities 1pm : Mary McIntyre - Shadows in Space (Lecture) 2pm : Katrin Raynor Evans - Exploring Astronomy and Space Through Philately 3:15pm : Emma Wride of AstroCymru with Children's Astro Activities 3:35pm : Short comfort Break 3:45pm 4:15pm : Andy Biggs (Spain) : How to photograph a Black Hole (Lecture) 3:15pm : Steve Warbis : Astro Music Quiz 6:15pm : Dr Julian Onions : Crazy Interstellar Rockets 7:15pm : Karim Jaffer (Canada) : Two-Eyed Seeing: Ancient Observations of the Night Sky 8:15pm - 10pm Astronomical Chat with Steve Tonkin's guide to night sky for autumn, Les Fry Solarsphere solar system walks co-ordinator, Dr Paul Roche of Faulkes Telescope Project, Helen Mason OBE of SunSpaceArt, Dave Eagle and The Solarsphere Astronomical Team. 10pm : Solarsphere's Music Manager with Snake & Jan's Music Show ( Radio Only ) Midnight - Solarsphere's lighting team with John & Jen Graves Music ( Radio Only ) YouTube live at https://www.youtube.com/c/AstroTVEarth from Midday for Lectures and activities. Full details (and more) at https://solarspherewales.co.uk/solarsphere-2021-on-line/
  22. I use a Celestron 6.1 Ah Powertank Lithium LT for power - holds its charge for ages and works very well with the AZ-GTi https://www.firstlightoptics.com/batteries-powerpacks/celestron-6-1-ah-powertank-lithium-lt.html Though it has to be said there's a lot of fans of the Talentcell power pack here, and it does seem to be a more affordable alternative. I can recommend the use of the AZ GTi with Sky Safari 6 Plus software - once aligned with Synscan Pro, you can then select items in SS6+ and simply "goto" them. It's worth waiting until they have it on a half price deal though.
  23. Thanks all for the suggestions. I was thinking of a straight replacement, but going up to a wider angle field might be an alternative. Hmm, decisions, decisions. We're currently away, and I have an old Skywatcher 10mm kit eyepiece to make do with.
  24. Any thoughts? I have a 127mm Mak, the use of a 70mm f/5 refractor and an 8" SCT that doesn't get out much.
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