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Everything posted by EA2007

  1. Hello, the best thing to do is ask your bf questions. there's nothing better than having a girl ask you questions about something that you like! Even if it sounds like your asking him a dumb question (i'm not implying that your stupid here!!) ask it anyway. You may find that if your in a cafe or bar then he'll demonstrate with condiments and drinks etc (my fav. trick, and it gets the point across well a la Brian Cox) If you find yourself liking astronomy then theres a few routes to go down: a) i'd start off purchasing (or lending from a library) a simple astronomy book (such as a star atlas). Nothing too complex, just something that explains the basics like what the major constellations are, the order of the planets, astronomical distances etc, just so you have a rough idea of things in the night sky. get yourself onto bbc.co.uk/iplayer and search for BBC 2's 'The Wonders of the Solar System' its a good series and on episode 4 at the mo, its easy to understand and the presenter (prof. Brian Cox) isn't your stereotypical adenoids physicist, he's pretty cool and makes space funky! (can't believe I said that). Fair enough the program only looks at the solar system but its a good start. Avoid programs like Horizon, they take an hour to explain nothing! c) look for a computer program such as Voyager 4.5 by Carina Software or Stellarium, software like this allows you to have a replica of the night sky on your desktop, you can choose your location and time and it will accuratly show you what constellations, planets, galaxies etc can be found from where you are. d) as said before, maybe invest in a large pair of binoculars (bino's), they aren't too expensive these days. binoculars provide 2 things i) magnified view of the stars, if you can find the milky way in a dark location and look with the naked eye you will see a white/grey band across the sky, look through binoculars you will see thousands and thousands of stars....its impressive! ii) they are much more portable and cheaper, than a telescope Good luck (i want a gf who takes an interest in astronomy now, ha ha)
  2. we should have a 'pin the tail on the donkey' type selection process albeit more like 'pin the location on the map'. just blindfold whoever's in charge then get them to pin a map for the location....simples!
  3. Thanks, Not wanting to sound like a fool here, but those exposure times, are they just random or do you specifically plan to do 31 for Luminance and 13 for R&G etc? Its a good image.
  4. it was good. wathed the iPlayer version this afternoon. i thought Ross was okay, especially with him doing Film 200X, but after that stunt with 'not so leading brand' then he went downhill quickly, especially after we found out he was on £12 million for 5 years or whatever. back to the show though: a good 15 minutes of t.v. there, its hard to combine astronomy/physics and entertainment and i think it came off well. Cox'y is a pretty cool guy and he got in a few comical lines. it would be good to see more astronomy people (including women!!) like him on regular t.v. opening science and mainly astronomy up to a new audience. As Brian put it, anyone can do it and its pretty easy for kids. There's no right or wrong way to learn it (unless its physics) and there's so much stuff to find out no-one will ever know everything.....which kinda makes it all that more interesting.
  5. groovee could you please give the specs for that shot i.e. exposure times keep it up.
  6. is that a white Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain in the first pic? one of the new edge HD ones on a CGEM mount? thought they were silver. love the way that they have used the phrase 'HD' in their new line......its an analogue viewing system fair enough stars may appear more resolved but calling it High-Definition is surely aimed at wowing a new audience? wouldn't mind one though i am wanting to make mine a nice midnight blue colour, think blacks a little dull tbh. anyone have knowledge of re-colouring a scope? the pics look cool people, i remember a meeting at Cardiff's astronomy cafe in Cathays...good opportunity to speculate and ask questions to those who have more knowledge.
  7. perturbation is the technical word to describe an object influencing (and changing) the natural movement path of another object. It is believed that many comets originating from the Oort cloud were nudged into a short period orbit of the Sun by other stars in the past. A bit like drawing a magnet past some iron filings only some of the filings would move back to their original position once the star had passed with the remainder of them either following the star or racing inwards towards the solar system.
  8. everyone agrees with the prison idea though? no harm in that i dont think
  9. Hello, Personally I am very in favour of reducing emissions, increasing renewable energy supplies and capping 'wasteful' energy usage. Here's my thoughts on the whole 'Earth Hour' thing.... If we are wanting to do something helpful towards climate change by reducing the amount of power we use (from oil, gas and coal power stations) then there are far better ways of doing it than having a few campaigners switching a few lights off. The trouble with 'Earth Hour' is exactly that, it only lasts an hour......everyone switches everything back on again which probably uses more energy at the power stations to meet the new demand. If the governments of the world had enough balls then they would provide each household with enough electricity for the basics i.e fridge, freezer, one or two lights. As that will never happen then they (and us) must look at other means, unfortunately these other means are either overlooked by the 'education, housing, or NHS, or as we are now seeing hugely (supposedly) expensive to implement. The U.K. is surrounded by water, we have many rivers, hills and dare I say it, quite a bit of sunlight. The current trend by the government and local councils is to do minimal at the maximum price......pretty much goes for anything really (you can include potholes in this equation). We should be harnessing these renewable sources and get rid of the rubbish. Or, Prisons, overcrowded? Hamster wheels....free energy supply, keep them busy for days or years.
  10. Brilliant, simple and brilliant. This is virtually accessible to anyone, especially schools and colleges...providing they have a mini-bus to collect it! Good stuff.
  11. Forget the telescopes, have you seen the clothing section...those shorts are sexiiii : )
  12. Hello, welcome to astronomy! Hmm, don't wanna sound like a downer on this one but you may have trouble focusing your Lightbridge. Its a dobsonian right? I had a Celestron Starhopper 8inch and an Olympus dSLR and I could not achieve focus with the camera. There simply wasn't enough downwards movement on the focuser to get a sharp image. The only solution would have been to raise the primary mirror (the main mirror at the base of the scope) about 2 cm's upwards. However this (for me) caused more problems than it answered. Likewise with what Doc said, the scope does not 'track' the sky at an equatorial or sidereal rate (the rate at which the stars appear to move across the sky inline with the Earths axis) so you will be limited to short exposure times (i.e. less than a couple of seconds). You will still be able to get some good Lunar / Planetary images providing you can clamp your telescope position (the weight of the dSLR on the top of the scope may tilt it forwards or backwards) You will need a t-ring and a t-mount/adapter to allow the dSLR (with the camera lens removed) to slot into the eyepiece hole of the focusing unit this will allow you to do 'prime focus' astrophotography, however you can always go down the 'afocal' route by hovering the camera (complete with lens attached) over the eyepiece and taking a picture that way. I may however be completely wrong with the focusing ability of the Lightbridge, the mechanics of the focusing unit may be completely different to the Starhopper's and allow for focusing with a 'prime focus' dSLR/SLR have fun.
  13. whoa. going slightly off topic, our first computer was actually an Apple Mac in 1993, one of the first colour screen ones to come out. It has: 6 inch screen 16Mhz Processor (i think) 4MB Memory...hard disk equivalent 256Kb Memory...RAM equivalent It was great. Think my parents paid a lot of money for it. Could do very little with it to be honest, it had an early version of Office called Microsoft Works which contained Word and a few design programs i.e. leaflet making stuff etc. Word was 'impressive' as you would try and use WordArt and it would take literally 5 minutes for the words to appear then it would freeze. There was also no internet...not really a problem seem as though there were no ISP's back then or anything to do on the internet, the mouse had one button and the trackball was a sucker for dust! It did however have a program called KidPix made by some guy called Craig........, it was great, you could spend hours drawing things, far better than Paint or even Photoshop if your a kid. Also had a sound recorder feature and 1 game. Pleased to say we still have it and the sounds of me and my sister messing on as kids along with the dog are very cool...and weird ha ha.
  14. Cheers for that info both. I was thinking fungus, but its not coloured, it looks more like somethings been spilt on it, there isn't masses of it, just when you have a good light on it then it all becomes visible. Only had it about 8 months (your probably wondering why I haven't looked at it more ha ha, been busy with stuff though), bought it from DHinds, it was a display model though, so it has me wondering. i'm going to be using the dSLR conventionally, mainly because when i read up on the fastar stuff ages ago then it only mentioned a ccd imager (which as SteveP said is far less of an obstruction). However, the Celestron US site said that an SLR could be used...so i was just wondering. The obstruction of an EOS 450D would probably reduce the light gathering ability by about 65% i would say. So not that good. Any ideas on cleaning the primary lens (the glassy bit at the top)? It attracts dust like anything and seems to be very sensitive to smudges.
  15. Interesting, however its like with most things these days. I remember our first PC was over £1000 back in the year 2000: 1Ghz AMD Single Core Processor (one of the most powerful consumer processor at the time) 128Mb Ram DDR2 30GB HDD (massive in those days!) 32MB nVidia GeForce 2 MX 17inch Flatscreen CRT monitor Yet now you can get a topline PC with Quad-Core or i7 for around £700 or less. Same with mobile phones, remember when WAP first came out, I think the Nokia slidey phone with roller button was the first to have it followed by a Seimens phone which was about £70, no camera, no colour screen, no mp3, no radio...some mobiles even ran on AA batteries! Now you can get a colour screen megapixel camera phone from Tesco for around £20 Telescopes are somewhat of a specialist market so I suspect the prices will be maintained for a good few years i.e. the EQ6 Pro has been around the £900+ mark for the last 3plus years now, if this was a tv or whatever it would be on eBay looking for a new home at a massivly lower price.
  16. Cleaning............ thought i would open up my C8 OTA and have a peek at the primary mirror and oh dear! on close inspection it has loads of what looks like blast craters across the mirror, like little fuzzy asterisk's or furry bacterial colonies in a kind of grey/silver colour. i haven't touched it yet...not quite sure of the correct procedure to remove them. so any advice on how to get the primary...well back in prime condition again ? on another note, the OTA is 'Fastar' compatible and after reading Celestron's online bumph then it says that a dSLR should slot in place with a t mount. Having opened the cover of the 'fastar' up it reveals a 2inch hole which in no way allows for the insertion of either a dSLR, SLR or CCD imager, there is absolutley nothing for them to screw / fix onto. Am I missing some kind of adapter? (Or common sense!)
  17. star trails usually come in at around 20 seconds, depending on how much zooming you do on the post image. I have found that unless your blowing the image up on a large scale then even a 30sec image will show minimal trailing. aim for perhaps 5 x 15secs or 5 x 20secs. give 30secs a go and see what the results are like. your ISO level is okay, your using a Canon so maybe it could go upto ISO1000 without having too much noise, remember, the higher your ISO level the less time you need to expose for...but the more noise you will encounter. if i were doing it then i'd settle for 20secs at ISO800 or ISO1000...just compare the results and see whats best.
  18. Ha, only just realised that has many meanings...whoops!
  19. remember to take some logs....beavers love wood! erm, yeah keep it simple and you'll be okay, kids love facts and things that are big, they'll probably end up asking silly questions but that's cool. try and go for the moon and Saturn (though Saturn might be past their bedtime)
  20. Both Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe have collaborated on the idea of Panspermia. They found that there was a correlation between flu like illnesses on Earth and the passing of nearby comets a few months beforehand. Likewise the Indian Space Agency (not quite sure of its real name) have flown high-altitude balloon missions to obtain organic molecular compounds found high in Earth's atmosphere. It is believed by some that life on Earth may have come from Mars, a la ALH84001 or that cometary bodies, rather than being the harbingers of doom are infact the stellar equivalent of lifeboats transporting organic material between planets or even close solar systems. None of this is wholly proven, but nor is it solely science fiction.
  21. well whoever or whatever caused the big-bang...they made a slight mistake i.e. they allowed for the physics, chemistry and biology that culminated in 'Big Brother'...oh dear! On a more relevant note, who-knows, evidence suggests there was a big-bang, evidence suggests a universe of about 13.7Gy's, however 'evidence' also suggested that Mr.Hussain had 45 minutes of playtime.....so its a never-ending and sometimes fickle question. My opinon; the universe is far older than 13.7Gy's, just cos we can supposedly 'see' that far doesn't mean that's the end of the road (i hate the raising currant loaf model to explain expansion!). We can assume all we like but the more we find out, inturn the more questions are raised. However, our understanding of physics ain't too shabby so maybe we can have hopeful little pops at what happened in those first few seconds after and perhaps even the first few seconds before.
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