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Everything posted by John

  1. The stock 25mm is not bad but the stock 10mm is a bit poor. The BST Starguiders are a lot better.
  2. Does the 80mm actually out-resolve the 127mm John ?
  3. I have my 12 inch dob out tonight so I might have another shot at SWAN with that if I stay up late.
  4. I use a crummy old Samsung S3 mini phone, the standard phone app and the cheapest bracket that I could find. It works OK for my snaps but I don't try anything fancy.
  5. For the image a 7.2 - 21.5 zoom but I don't know what setting it was on - maybe around 15mm ?. The mobile camera was "zoomed" a bit as well to frame the eyepiece exit pupil. Visually I added a 2.25x barlow which takes the top end to 3.2mm so a touch under 500x with this scope. I have the Nagler 2-4mm zoom in now on the 3mm setting (530x) for stunning views of the Triesnecker Rilles complex
  6. My 12 inch scope was cooling while I took part in my society Zoom meeting earlier so once that had finished I could go straight out and observe. The seeing is really steady here currently and the lunar surface a mass of intricate detail Piling on the magnification, the detail just gets better and stays sharp. Messier and Messier A showing wonderfully at 497x ! Messier is showing it's "tyre tracks" feature across the crater floor. Lovely stuff ! This is an Apollo 15 image of this pair (1 = Messier, 2 = Messier A) This is my mobile phone snap of a much wider area of the surface:
  7. Just listening to my astro society Zoom talk while my 12 inch dob cools down. Not sure about targets - perhaps a tour of globular clusters and planetary nebulae ?
  8. I've owned a couple of the 2x 2" Powermates (separate times). I don't image but I found them optically superb for visual observing. Apart from the amplified image, you would just not know they are there. There are others that get very close and cost less it has to be said. The ES Focal Extender is an example. But the Powermates are top class IMHO Used with a big eyepiece you do get a tall stack though
  9. Have you thought about the maksutov-cassegrain design ? Shorter tube so easier to mount steadilly. Long focal length so good sized planetary images. Sharp optics and more aperture for your money than an apo refractor.
  10. Virtually all modern eyepieces are sharp in the central 50% of the field of view no matter how "fast" or "slow" the scope is. It is in the outer 50% of the field that the distortions can start and the extent of those depend on how well corrected the eyepiece is and how "fast" the focal ratio of the scope is. Some of the distortion is generated by the scope optics and some by the eyepiece. From my experience of using a wide range of different eyepieces in a wide range of scopes I would say that some of the vendors claims are a little optimistic so should be taken as a general guide rather than a precise forecast. The difference between F/5.9 and F/6 is not significant with this in mind.
  11. With scopes, F/5 is considered "faster" than F/6 , F/9, F/15 etc.
  12. Skywatcher equipment is manufacturered by Suzhou Synta Optical Technology Co in China and they are part of the larger Taiwanese based Synta group. As Peter says above, Optical Vision Limited are the official UK importer of this equipment but also import other brands as well. At one point OVL imported the Russian made TAL, Intes and Intes Micro ranges.
  13. Yes but Orion needs to be visible of course ! Messier 42 (the Orion Nebula) is an entirely different type of object from Messier 13 though. Low to medium magnifications are usually used on this target. Don't give up on bright globular clusters such as M13 though. With a 6 inch scope they are rather nice as you develop your observing skills. I often observe them with smaller scopes than you have and enjoy the views. The visual views of deep sky objects such as the above won't rival the images that you see of them though, even those made using scopes similar to yours. Modern cameras, long exposure times and processing can produce results that far exceed what our eye can see though a scope.
  14. I've just been looking for this one with my 11x70 binoculars. Very low here and hardly any stars showing in that region due to LP. Didn't find it
  15. If you use careful focusing, cooled and collimated scope and study for a period of time under a dark sky M13 will show quite a lot of resolution into stars with a 6 inch scope. 100x should be enough but experiment and see what works best for you. 167x might be a bit much unless the seeing and optics are on song but give it a try. If the seeing is a bit unsteady then the resolution into stars does not jump out at you - you need to carefully observe the cluster to pick it out. It is not resolved to the core with a 6 inch aperture but the outer parts should certainly be resolved into a speckling of stars against an unresolved backdrop. I first got resolution of this cluster with a 6 inch scope many years ago. The jump from my 60mm refractor was substantial to say the least ! With my 12 inch dob I find 150x - 200x ideal and the view is spectacular but I have 4x as much light and 2x the resolution to play with.
  16. When I last owned a TV 32mm plossl, I was advised to get a TV eye guard extender to help position the eye correctly. It worked wonders and made the eyepiece a pleasure to use rather than a bit frustrating as it had been previously. The downside is that an expensive plossl had become a very expensive plossl
  17. Tele Vue do a "2p worth" you know ? - top quality of course and the cost is £1.00
  18. True enough. My sky seems to vary between Bortle 5 or even 4 on a really good night towards the zenith and probably as bad as 8 looking towards Bristol or Newport / Cardiff. According to Clear Outside I'm a 5.
  19. John

    Lockdown astronomy

    Hi and welcome to the forum I have not spent much money lately but I have spent a lot of time on the hobby due to the clear skies. It has been a rather unusual but welcome period, at least as far as our hobby does. Your work in the NHS is very much appreciated by the way I'm pleased to hear that astronomy is helping you to unwind after what must be very intense periods at work I hope you enjoy being part of the Stargazers Lounge !
  20. These are great images I could not find Panstarrs visually, or at least not with any certainty, the night before last with my 100mm frac. I did get it a few days earlier with the 120 but I think it was a touch brighter then. Little proper darkness, even overhead just now, which does not help ! M81 and 82 were clear enough but I think the comet is a more diffuse target.
  21. "Clear Outside" is showing a good chance of clear skies for the next 7 nights currently
  22. The tube length is critical as well as it's weight. A light but long scope will overpower a mount even if it is well within the load limit. For a while Celestron used to supply the C5 SCT on the EQ-2 mount as an option.
  23. I've owned and used a couple of the Vixen NPL's and rather like them. I read somewhere that the Vixen design uses a similar lens figure to the TV plossls (which is a slight variant on the standard plossl).
  24. To get a similar optical quality to the Starguiders I think you would need to consider the Baader 8-24mm zoom which cost about as much as 4 Starguider eyepieces. The less expensive zooms are OK but the Starguiders provide better overall performance in my experience. At the 24mm end zooms have quite a narrow field of view so you would still ideally want a fixed focal length low power eyepiece as well as the zoom, say a 30mm or 32mm so the investment needed increases again.
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