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    Nottingham, UK
  1. Hmmmm! My earier comments were based on an accurate 12 hour aviation forecast from the Met Office local to Lincolnshire. There has been more widespread cloud than there should have been, which leads me to conclude that too many were attempting first light tonight:( It has been hit and miss in the East Mids although the IR sat indicates it was good to the South East. R1gel asked about where to access temp and dew point info and how this affects seeing etc. Unfortunately that info won't help with seeing as there are other forces at work:confused: What we had today was a large separation between dry bulb temperature and dew point which will tell you the relative humidity/ how much moisture there is suspended in the atmosphere. Taking this into account together with the air quality, gave some impressive horizontal visibility today (upto 70km) which normally translates to good vertical and slant visibility. Temp and dew point info together can be accessed from the Aviation side of the Met Office web site but an account is required. All METAR (Met Aviation Reports) feature two temps, the first is dry bulb and the second is dew point, this is also useful to know if your scope is prone to dewing. You need to access the observation closest to your location, or several nearby if available. If it is of any consolation, my imaging session of Mars this eve was a lost cause:(
  2. I can't vouch for the seeing of course but at least moisture in the atmosphere won't be to blame! There is likely to be some high level cirrus cloud/ice crystals starting to appear from about 2.30am (ish)
  3. Thought you might be interested to know that we have an excellent nights viewing in prospect tonight. Although this information is principally based on the East Mids area into Lincolnshire, I am sure others may benefit too! We currently have very dry air with +05 degrees air temp and minus 11 dew point and horizontal visibilty around 70km. In laymans terms this means there is very little moisture suspended in the atmosphere. The overnight forecast is for an air temp low of minus 01 degrees with a dew point of between minus 5 and minus 9. So although chilly the celestial dome should be sparkling tonight! Enjoy it whilst you can!!!!
  4. Hi Jawa, Welcome to SGL, you should be well placed to access some good dark sky sites if all the TT videos I've seen are anything to go by:D Clear Skies:hello2::hello2:
  5. If it is of any help, I recently received the 31mm EP I ordered back at the end of October and it is now my favourite EP. It delivers a wonderful 72 degree FOV and nebulae and clusters look amazing with it! Previously my lowest mag EP was 24mm but the 31mm is in another league:) I also couldn't imagine being without a Barlow. As you spend more and get better EP's don't disregard the basic ones your scope came witrh if they still give you pleasing views:eek: My 4" refractor came with a 10mm and a 20mm. The 10mm has been consigned to the loft but I still use the 20mm from time to time:D I am sure there will be plenty more advice forthcoming:icon_salut: Clear skies;)
  6. The Abel Tasman National Park NZ South Island just blew me away, no scope only Mk1 eyeballs! The Falkland Islands with binos anywhere from about 2 miles outside Stanley, I had no idea there was so much man made space junk whistling around up there!
  7. Hi Jamie, Sounds like you are in the early stages of being reeled in by this absorbing hobby;) As I only took the plunge and bought my 1st scope 11 months ago I can fully understand your eagerness to get some first light! You've made a great first move with the binos! The Dob scope advice is sound and will always give you more bang for your buck. If you end up with a deal on an OTA buy the best Eq mount you can afford, you will be surprised how quickly you will formulate ideas on bigger and better kit! I started with the SW102 you mention. A decent little 4" Refractor with a Goto. Initially I was underwhelmed by its performance but soon realised that Iwas actually missing the point! You ain't ever gonna see the stunning colour images like you see of DSOs through the EP! I now tend to use my two scopes side by side (when time permits!) for different tasks, but the convenience of having a Goto on the Alt/Az mount is still valuable! Trust me your initial budget will be blown several times over in fairly short order unless you are really disciplined! Whatever you end up with, use it and enjoy it:hello2: Clear Skies:D:D:D
  8. At the end of the day, it will just be a marketing exercise for Celestron, they will sell a bucket load of em! In 2-3 years there will be a bucket load of em in the sales and wants ads:rolleyes: If it helps keep companies like Celestron afloat, good on em I say. I don't have the time to pursue this hobby as many did back in the 60's & 70's on a DIY self-help basis. A few buyers of these will progress to become real backyard astonomers (buying shed loads of kit) which has to be a good thing for the rest of us :D
  9. Sitting at work.......(Bored!), now well rested after two nights decent kip in a real bed! Just wanted to add my own thanks to James and all the team for their efforts in putting on a great event! The quality of the speakers and their talks were worth the weekend on their own! Nigel The Cosmic Whirlwind was most entertaining! I really should have dragged my sorry ass out of my sleeping bag on the Friday night, I looked out at 1.00am and again at 3.00am and now realise that was probably the best skies the weekend had to offer.......bummer! Had I done so, I would have undoubtedly got more out of the Sat night session which cloud cruelly cut short, not a good time to discover that my fave EP doesn't suit my new scope........bummer again! So somehow I missed out on all the PST action by day and the chance to gaze through any other scopes too, but at least I now have a better idea what suits my set up. I did manage to add two Messier objects to my short seen it list, The Ring Nebula I picked up in my 4" Frac and also M110 in Andromeda in my 6" RC. Nice to meet so many friendly folk, with a shared interest. Esp Nightfisher! Roll on next year! .........Turn off the quarry lights.......PLEASE!
  10. I've been camping plenty of times before but not recently, I can't believe the amount of stuff I have got to load up tomorrow. My other half thinks I'm going for a month;) Rugby Sunday has got to be a sound drubbing for our nearest European neighbour, come on the All Blacks!
  11. Well done James, It is a real treat to have someone else do all the organising for a change, in my family it always seems to be me, at work it always seems to be me and that applies to both my jobs! I'm thinking a standing ovation might just be in order on Friday! I'm keeping a close eye on the North/South weather split we look like we are in for, as long as the cloud/rain/**** all stays to the north I think we will be Okay:p
  12. Looking forward to some of the daytime talks too:) Although there is a danger I may nod off, I'm thinking guest speakers may be put off by the sound of loud snoring from the back;)
  13. Jeez! Work, work, work........Boy am I looking forward to this weekend! I've just looked at the updated Pitch allocation and shock horror there I wasn't:eek: But as I know James has been working his butt off for all our benefit I ain't gonna hold it against him:) I'll be on camping field pitch 29 arriving about midday Friday and staying until breakfast Monday. Looking forward to meeting lots of fellow SGLers! Here's to clear skies, if anyone can arrange for a decent Coronal Mass Ejection, the warmth by day would be welcome;)
  14. I think it's great that us (East) Midlanders have such a well organised event on our doorstep. This will also be my first star party and I'm looking forward to meeting lots of fellow SGLers and the social craic of course and oggling all the kit and picking a few brains and etc. etc. Lol!:D Oops nearly forgot to mention I'm busting to have a look through someones big Dob too!
  15. Hi Tim, I bought the same finder last week when I was holidaying near their Aylsham shop, currently awaiting delivery as the only one they had was a demo model. I hope I don't get the same problems you've experienced, it wasn't exactly cheap!
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