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Everything posted by KentDave

  1. Fantastic pictures! I hope one day to manage something about 10% as good!
  2. I have changed the images to JPEG - Hopefully people can see the pics now!
  3. Had another go with the webcam and registax tonight, managed to find Saturn using the barlow this time. I know they aren't brilliant, but I am really happy.
  4. Had my first go with the webcam and registax - I know its not great but I'm just happy to have got something captured! Couldn't find it with the barlow so this is from the webcam straight into the scope, came out bigger than I thought it would. Taken with a 130P and flashed SPC880. I've still got alot to learn! saturn2.bmp Edit: Have I attached this incorrectly? Help!
  5. Thanks for all the replies and advice. I recieved an Asus EeePC 1015PEM in the post today, which I am very impresed with. Also got my flashed SPC880 webcam today too, so I am ready to go! Have installed Stellarium, sharpcap and registax already which all seem fine, although I expect to use registax on my desktop more often than not. Thanks again, now........where's Saturn got to?
  6. Hi All, Having had a great time finding things through my scope I have decided i'd really like to try and get some images. Given that my laptop is getting on a bit I wanted something more portable to use with a webcam, and I shall also be buying a motor for the EQ2 mount for my Skywatcher 130P. Does anyone have any recommendations as for which netbook I should go for? Any other advice for getting started with imaging would also be appreciated! Thanks, Dave.
  7. Just got in from a couple of hours outside under the clear skies of the Kent coast. As is becoming the norm for me, can't find M51 for the lfe of me, but had a good first view of M35 then watched Saturn for a good hour.....does Stellarium acurately show the moons positions? If so I could make out Dione too. Also earlier in the evening got a quick look at Jupiter and my first look at the moon. Great to see some detail of the craters etc, and I'm really looking forward to a good lunar viewing when there is more than the thinnest sliver to look at! Cold and tired now, but another great night for me. Have fun everyone!
  8. Hi stardad, I had a similar problem, it is possible to make it work smoothly. Where you ended up with the eyepiece pointing to the ground it sounds like the scope should have been on the other side of the mount from where you had it? When I worked out what I was doing wrong I spent some time in the daylight swivelling the scope about on the mount indoors and finding the right way to adjust it so the eyepiece was in a usable position. Just play about with it, and honestly, it becomes really simple once you get the hang of it. Believe me, I only worked it out yesterday! Once it 'clicks' with you it will become very easy. I'm no expert but I really would recommend playing with it in the daylight to learn which way and which axis to rotate to point at your desired target without getting tangled up. Don't give up! Dave.
  9. Thanks alot guys, I have worked it out properly now and had a great time last night tracking Saturn with ease!
  10. Hi All, Had my 3rd 'proper' night outside tonight and it was a good one. After realising an absolutely ridiculous mistake I had been making, I nailed the polar alignment so I'm pleased to say that went smoothly and now I properly understand what I am doing tracking objects became the smooth operation I had hoped for. I have found M42 and M45, and decided tonight was the night for a galaxy. I tried M51 (again!) but had no luck, I know where it is but cant seem to find it in the scope, and struggle to navigate around that area, but I shall persevere. Having failed at my first object I decided to aim for M81 & M82, and after a little bit of navigation/luck I could make out a 'smear' and correctly identified it as the cigar galaxy, so I knew the other was nearby. M81 was much easier to see appearing as a bright core with a surrounding haze, which got easier to see the more I looked at it. I was really pleased! Saturn had come into view so, with it fast becoming my favourite thing to look at, I moved the scope round and got it in view. If it wasn't for work, I think I could watch it all night! Keeping it in view was so simple with it being properly aligned for the first time, it was getting a bit cloudy and very cold but those gimpses when it becomes really clear make it totally worthwhile. It was yet another good night, and with that I shall say goodnight! Cheers, Dave.
  11. Possibly a silly question, but how else will I learn without asking? I have an EQ2 mount, once I have polar aligned the mount and locked the azimuth and latitude, should I not be touching them again? Should I be just rotating the scope through the RA and DEC axis to point at objects? I have had trouble tracking things and think this might be why....... I feel a bit silly! Thanks!
  12. Hi Everyone, Had my first view of planets tonight. I had planned to get up early to see Saturn, and whilst messing about with my scope in the early evening I noticed one 'star' in the sky so though I'd have a look and was really pleased to see it was Jupiter! It was a suprise to see it as I knew it was low in the sky now and I thought it would be behind the houses my garden backs on to. I could tell it was someting other than a star as it appeared significantly larger than anything else I had looked at, appearing as a pleasing orange disc. I couldn't make out any detail but it was enough to know I had seen it, quite unexpectedly. I managed to get a couple of hours sleep before getting up at 2am and wrapping up warm, but was annoyed to see cloud floating past, but thought I'd give Saturn a go anyway. I checked Stellarium and located it through the passing cloud, higher in the sky than I though it would be, and the cloud was lifting. I did my usual procedure of moving through eyepiece and barlow combinations, saving the 'grand finale' of 2x barlow and 10mm eyepiece until last. Even using the 25mm only I could see Saturn's distinctive enlongated shape, and I was getting excited each time I upped magnification. Using my highest magnification Saturn appeared at a good size, and the rings were clearly visible, the best part being when 'seeing' became gradually better so I could distinguish the gap between the rings and the planet. I viewed it for over an hour, as it passed across the eyepiece, and I would adjust the scope to watch it pass by 'just one more time', many times over. I had to remind myself in the end that this wouldn't be the only time I would see it, and that it would also be getting warmer thank goodness! A fantastic evening for me, I hope this isn't too long and boring! A warm bed is calling me! Cheers, Dave.
  13. Hi Notts star Just wanted to say I am really enjoying seeing your pics - your Saturn was nice and this is even better. We have the same scope so it's great for me to see what it's capable of, I am hoping to get into imaging a bit myself. Keep posting the pics! Cheers. Dave
  14. Hi Mike, I saw Jupiter for the first time tonight in my Skywatcher 130P - I was pleased to see that it was a reasonable size through the scope but like you I couldn't make out any detail other than it's orange colour, we'll have to wait for that. I am aiming for Saturn tonight, it's higher in the sky so hopefully some detail might be there, if only the rings! Have fun! Dave
  15. That's a great first pic mate! If I managed one half as good I'd be really pleased. I haven't even viewed Saturn yet through my scope. Well done!
  16. Hi All, Thought I'd quickly share my second outing with you! After having trouble following objects on my first night with the scope I made the effort to polar align, and was pleased that I managed to do it easily thnks to a good view of polaris. It was definitely worth doing as tracking suddenly became very easy. I mostly looked at M42, as I managed to find it before, but today viewing conditions were much better. I could easily make out the nebula, and with the 10mm eyepiece and barlow it looked great. I was pleased with my 'first light' viewing, but my second blew it away and made me realise how much difference conditions can make from one outing to the next. I could make it out so much better and it really pleased me. I also had a quick look at M45, the Pleiades, and found using the 25mm eyepiece was best to get most of it into view. It looked wonderful, and again I was amazed by how many stars can be seen that just 'aren't there' with the naked eye. I'm still having trouble locating galaxies, but I'm sure I will find something eventually. I am also looking forward to having a good look at the moon, and any planets I can find. Hopefully I will get up/stay awake long enough to see Saturn, something I am really looking forward to. Sadly cloud arrived again so I was limited with my viewing tonight, but I am looking forward to the next clear night. Cheers, Dave.
  17. Hi GazA, Pleased to see you got your scope as expected and managed to get some viewing in tonight, I did too! I'm also glad I wasn't the only one amused by the 'Russian Doll' approach to the many, many boxes the scope came in! Cheers, Dave.
  18. Hi all, Just thought I'd share my first light experience with you...... I recieved my first ever telescope yesterday, a Skywatcher 130P, and like many others have been before me, and many will after, I was disappointed not to be able to use it immediately. I got home at 9pm today, and was pleased to see some clear skies so got straight out in the garden with my new toy. I lined up on Sirius to adjust the red dot finder scope, and found it was pretty much there, but what really amazed me sraight away was the amount of stars I could see through the eyepiece that weren't there with the naked eye. That blew me away, given that until today I had never looked through a telescope. With Orion in view I aimed for M42 and was pleased to find it fairly easily, and was able to see the nebula, although it was quite faint. I was using the 25mm eyepiece, then swapped for the 10mm, then trying the barlow with both to get an idea of what they all allowed me to see. What i didn't realise was using the highest magnification, how quickly oblects would move out of sight. It was fantastic to see M42, though as it moved across the sky it was always just inside the orange glowing band of light pollution, so I hope to get better views in future. I moved up to Betelguese, and was pleased to be able to make out its browny/orangey colour. Then I turned North to see if I could make out the whirlpool galaxy near Ursa Major (M51?), I think I made out a slight blur which may or may not have been it. I realised things were becoming hard to focus on, and saw the cause when I looked around me and realised I was surrounded by fog! With that I decided it was enough for now, coming indoors I then saw I had been outside for two and a half hours! And that I was quite cold. I was a little sad not to see Saturn yet as it hadn't come aournd past the houses into view before the fog arrived, but it definitely gives me something else to look forward too. In all I was really pleased. I also learnt three important lessons: 1. Not polar alligning make it really quite fiddly to track objects. 2. Not ajusting the scope to my height in a rush to view things gives you a bad back. 3. I need to keep track of time, because I can see myself staying up all night if it's clear! Thanks for reading, hope it isn't too boring for the more experienced astronomers among us. I'm going to have a beer to celebrate, then get some much needed sleep. Cheers! Dave
  19. Hi Isabelle, MS has affected my family so I understand how difficult it is for you. I have just recieved my first telescope, so I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences, as soon as I have any! Hopefully you will have recovered enough to be enjoying the skies again before I do. Very best wishes, Dave.
  20. I shall look forward to comparing notes! I have never used a telescope before today, got in a quick view down the garden, managed to see raindrops on the fence! Hopefully will get a good view of Saturn if I manage to get up early enough to see it from the slightly limited views in my garden.
  21. The book comes out on the 3rd...just ordered mine. Really looking forward to this series, it was the first series that partly inspired me to learn more about the solar system and to purchase a telescope (which, because of the weather, I haven't been able to try out yet!).
  22. Exactly the same mate! Arrived today exactly as expected, and nice and easy to put together. I have been pondering what to look at first, and remembered something I had overlooked which will probably look fantastic......the Moon!
  23. I had my first telescope delivered today, and as everyone predicted a day of cloud, fog and rain came with it. Unfortunately assembling it and reading the manual etc haven't taken nearly as much time as I would have liked! I was hoping it might take the evening since there isn't much chance of the skies clearing tonight. I would say it's typical of my luck but it seems to happen to everyone. I shall have to amuse myself with contributing here, and deciding what to aim for first when there is something to see.
  24. Thanks for all the replies everyone, what a lovely bunch you are! Got a email from FLO saying I would receive my scope on Wednesday........exciting times indeed.
  25. Hi everyone! Have finally registered after spending the last few weeks reading through this fantastic, interesting and informative forum. I am a relative newcomer to astronomy, having over the last few months been learning my way around the night sky and finding some things through binoculars after being inspired by some television programmes, and finding a website that told you when and where the ISS would pass over. Anyway, I really registered today to thank everyone on here for their advice, although it may not have been given to me directly, I have learnt alot reading through old threads, which in turn lead me to ordering my first telescope this very afternoon (Skywatcher Explorer 130P, from FLO of course!). I'm tremendously excited about it, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you. Also, it's really great to find a forum where the members are positive, helpful and encouraging to us 'newbies'. Cheers! Dave
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