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GazofCorra

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Everything posted by GazofCorra

  1. I was one of those novices who thought i would see close up, colorful images of everything like i see in the books. Only to feel let down when i actually looked through my new telescope, but what has surprised me is i am still passionate and intrigued by space and all that is out there. My most memorable evening was spent looking at Saturn and even though it was small (very small) i can say i have seen it and it's rings with my own eye's and as the OP states the longer you look the more you see, so don't spend just a few minutes starring at the new found object and then move on to something else, plan on a good hour or so and you will see a whole lot more than you did in the first few minutes i guarantee it. BTW you don't have to keep your eye at the EP the whole time, you look for a few minutes at a time, take a swig of coffee, relax and marvel at the fact that what you and others see as a star with the naked eye is actually something a whole lot more when viewed through a telescope. Great post and a must read for all new and old into astronomy.
  2. @ Steppenwolf. I thought it might be, that is why i asked before hand. I might give preloved a go as i do love my gear @Astronut1982. Thanks mate, i had to sell my motorbike too, but better to keep the roof over our heads than indulge in my hobbies and i have quite a few hobbies. I will take a look at that site, thanks. @Kai. Many thanks. Don't worry as Arnie says, I'll be back........
  3. I bought the 200P dob as my first scope and used in once then sold it to another SGL member, the problem i had was i had to crouch over it too much and using the finder scope to navigate was a pain as you tend to be looking at the side of the scope, instead of in the direction of the stars as the finder is right angled, you could use a straight through finder but this would require a nibble body indeed. Best bet is to try a few scope combinations out first before you commit to buying one, or my advice would be a 127 or 150 Mak with a good tripod and a quickfinder, which is portable, easy to set up and also a very versatile scope combination for DSO's, Lunar & Planetary viewing. Good luck.
  4. I was hoping to sell some of my kit as i was made redundant first week in Dec 11 and wanted to pass all my good stuff on to fellow members. I don't want to use ebay if i can avoid it and was wondering when the sell it section is likely to return? I could list it all in a post in the beginners section and people could contact me that way, but i am not sure if this would be against SGL policy? Sorry if this post is in the wrong section, but i thought the Beginners help & advice section was the most appropriate.
  5. It is not a popular misconception that you have to spend a fortune on EP's...You get what you pay for, you should all of realised that by now.
  6. I would leave the Dob for now and get a 127mm mak especially if you want to look at planets & moon, for me most DSO's only look good using CCD, but some people like looking at fuzzy blobs with averted vision but i am not one of them.
  7. That is why i sold my 200P dob as once you have seen 1 fuzzy blob they all look the same (oh look another fuzzy blob, detected with averted vision, yippy) the only great views of DSO's are with CCD, what let's us down every time unfortunately is our own eyes. Planets however do look awesome with our own eyes and so does the moon.
  8. As you have a dobsonian scope you want a eyepiece with a wide fov, so you are not constantly nudging the scope about, take a look at televue naglers as they have a 82 degree fov and are known as one of the best EP's money can buy, they cost a few quid but unlike changing scopes along the way, your EP collection can stay with you throughout your hobby.
  9. Thanks again guys for your views, i think there is a store in Manchester where i can go as they have some mounts on display as i want to check out how long or fiddly it is to setup an equatorial mount as i have never used one before. I think using a laptop to control the mount is more aimed at astrophotography than for casual visual work, but should i ever move onto AP then i would have to buy a netbook or something as i have a Mac and my wife's laptop is a top jobbie, so not much chance having them sitting outside on a night when dew is looking for something to suck the life out of.
  10. Hi fellow saints, This is why most nights there are so many of us on the forum, but it also shows that most of us have a good sense of humour otherwise we would all be in the nut house. Wishing you all clear and stable clear skies very soon. St Gaz
  11. Thanks for the extra info guys, sounds a very good program and if i by a syntrek instead of a synscan that alone can save me £150.
  12. Here is another familiar senario, the skies look great clouds have virtually disappeared now you have to get in the headless chicken mode: Grab scope and tripod, put outside to cool down. Check stellarium and books to decide what to see. Get your table, eyepieces, books, notepad & pen, red flashlight, chair, binoculars all positioned. Change clothes to something more suitable. Grab cooled down scope and polar align. Wait for your eyes to get dark adapted. Oh no forgot the power tank, run back into house with one eye closed, trip over dog, wife comes to investigate and turns on every light in the house. Finally all systems are GO....WTF is that, yes it is the sun coming back up, oh well maybe tomorrow.
  13. Having been only in the hobby full on for the last 6 months or so the one thing i did not realise was how far and few viewing sessions would be for one reason or another. Even when the stars are out you still do not have it all your own way as the moisture and turbulence in the atmosphere can still dash a good nights viewing. Here are a few of the things we have to deal with: 1. British weather, cloudy most of the time 2. Summer time, skies not dark enough 3. Hot days, turbulent atmosphere 4. To much moisture in the atmosphere (when the stars twinkle a lot) 5. The moon, washes out the skies 6. Street lamps and light pollution 7. Neighbours security lights The best time of year is autumn & winter, but at what cost: 1. British weather, clouds and snow and excessive moisture 2. Snow on the ground reflects more light upwards 3. Dew, ends more viewing sessions than i expected and numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 above. This does allow for lots of reading and research, a hell of a lot of reading and i have discovered patience, something that in todays society seems lost, well not is ASTRONOMY Just make sure that when conditions allow you get out there and grab what you can as it may be weeks or months before you get another go
  14. Thanks for all your replies....What is good is that there is so much you can do with a good mount, but i must admit that using a laptop and all different programs sounds a bit of a logistical nightmare....I like things nice and easy for my hobby as my work is what gives me headaches and problems to solve But it is good to know that the mount has lots of potential, maybe i should wait until i can afford the HEQ5 Pro Synscan and have the goto function initially with the hand controller. Thanks Guys Just spotted the EQ5 Pro Synscan which is a lot cheaper than the HEQ5, would this mount be stable enough for my 80mm frac and 127mm mak? and would it still allow for planetary/lunar astrophotography at a later date should i decide to indulge myself, but for the near future i am looking for a quality mount for visual work. Cheers
  15. Many thanks for your reply, i decided not to link to a particular camera as i do not know which one to consider and i had no idea about the controlling the mount via a PC, i thought i just got the mount to track the object and got the PC connected to the camera taking pics or movies, seems there is a lot more to this than i expected, i thought Lunar/Planetary would be the easy place to start into astrophotography Gaz Thanks for your reply and i like the sound of the DMK camera's but i will need to do a lot more research and asking questions before i buy. Gaz
  16. That is interesting to know and i can upgrade to a synscan from a syntrak at anytime by adding the hand controller i believe.
  17. I am looking into starting a bit of astrophotography planetary and lunar. I have a SW 80ED pro and a SW 127mm mak and i am looking into purchasing a HEQ5 SynTrek mount, what i would appreciate is some guidance on what to use as the capture device as i was thinking a good quality webcam based camera like these, i doubt i will need guide camera's etc. What else would i need to get up and running? Cheers Gaz
  18. I have a SW Evostar 80ED Pro and a SW 127mm Mak and at the moment i am into visual only and i use a SW AZ4 Alt/Az with steel tripod, later i might want to do some planetary/lunar webcaming photography, but for now i am just into visual. I am sure a SW mount would be the right choice and for now i do not need goto, so would the HEQ5 SynTrek be a wise choice, i am sure it is exactly the same as the HEQ5 Pro apart from no goto.
  19. I have a SW Evostar 80ED Pro and a SW 127mm Mak and at the moment i am into visual only and i use a SW AZ4 Alt/Az with steel tripod, later i might want to do some planetary/lunar webcaming photography, but for now i am just into visual. I am sure a SW mount would be the right choice and for now i do not need goto, so would the HEQ5 SynTrek be a wise choice, i am sure it is exactly the same as the HEQ5 Pro apart from no goto.
  20. Like brant i too have 3 scopes, but i am soon going to sell my Dob and some other bits of equipment i have to help fund my next purchase as i want a HEQ5 SynTrek and a Explorer 200PDS
  21. Having came into astronomy and asking the beginners most popular question "which scope should i buy" i am now over 6 months into the hobby and love it to bits, what makes it more enjoyable is the knowledge you gain from all the questions and the reading etc....As this is what will keep you interested in the hobby and leave you wanting more and more. I initially rushed in and tried to buy everything i could only later to realise that i should have waited and matched my gear to my chosen path in Astronomy (which only becomes clear once you have field experience) and that way i could have bought better equipment aimed at what i like. Everyone has different opinions and what you need to do is filter what people tell you, it's like when you buy a car it is no point asking people how it drives or how comfy it is, you need to try it yourself as it may not suit everyone. What i would recommend is a few books and a starter scope that will get you on the right track and later you can sell it and branch into your chosen field. Scope: Skywatcher Skymax 127 SupaTrak with a Rigel quickfinder - Cheap scope and tripod at around £300 that does most things adequately and should you get hooked on DSO's then you can sell it 3 or 4 months later for around £200+ and buy a 8" or bigger reflector, but for lunar and planetary the 127 skymax is superb plus it is so portable. Books: 1. The practical Astronomer by DK 2. Turn left at orion (new edition due out soon) 3. Philips Stargazing 2011 4. Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas 5. A planishere These books are what i recommend for a beginner but they will be useful throughout the hobby and later you can move onto more specialised books dependant on what floats your boat. Software: Stellarium has to be the most user friendly software for a beginner and later on when you want to do more this software can control your telescope also. Finally get outside on any clear night and use your eyes and possibly a pair of 10x50 binoculars along with your planishere and learn what is what (i consider this possibly the most important part of my Astronomy). I have tried write this post with no bias towards any scope or other equipment and just to guide anyone coming into Astronomy as this setup will suit 90% of people if not more and the main thing is enjoy!
  22. Thanks to those who liked my honesty and this post was aimed at the complete beginners as i too myself came into the hobby with little knowledge and great expectations and from reading and viewing i have came to accept that many of the objects we are lucky to be able to view will never look like those in books, this is why i suggested a starting point of lunar/planets etc as these offer the best views you are likely to see and are easy to find and when you consider how far away they are or there place in our solar system it expands the mind and leaves you wanting more, but i think if you came into the hobby and went straight for DSO's like galaxies/nebula then you may be left deflated that is if you can even find them as knowledge of the constellations and an understanding of what they really are is important and so is averted vision. I found M81 & M82 through my Mak and i was surprised what i actually saw (not much) at first i thought it was a mark on my lens, now i agree some people will be ecstatic and enthralled at looking at another galaxy but for me it was not what i expected and i soon went looking for something else, but each to their own. I also think that when it comes to Astronomy most of us will always remain a novice as there is so much to learn and grasp, you are a beginner in my book until you get first light and actually find something and know what you are looking at, then you become a novice. I hope this helps some complete beginners as if they understand the parameters of the hobby and set realistic goals then they have the basis for a long term hobby that is very rewarding. Clear skies, i wish lol.......
  23. Having been a member of this forum for several months and realising that i too was asking the same questions as most newcomers to the hobby, i thought i would tell you where i am in the hobby and some of my thoughts. Firstly this forum is probably the best Astronomy forum there is, but like all forums the answers you receive to your questions are primarily based on another persons own experience and preferences, so they are not to be misinterpreted as the only way to do things. I originally wanted everyone to tell me what to look for in the night sky as well as what equipment to buy etc, what i have come to find out is you only get out what you put in and the most important part to Astronomy for me is understanding what Astronomy is all about and i have spent many hours reading various books and observing the skies with just my eyes and a pair of binoculars, even though i have 3 telescopes to use. In the beginning i wanted to see the DSO's and planets similar to those in any book, now i have come to realise that i will never be able to see any of those objects like you see on the internet and in books because our eyes are incapable of obtaining any of the detail or colours the pictures show us and the final thing is most telescopes are not good enough. I have 3 telescopes that most people would go for coming into the hobby 1. Skywatcher Evostar ED80 DS-PRO, 2. Skywatcher Skymax 127 Mak, 3. Skywatcher Skyliner 200P, all have there pro's and cons. What my advice would be to anyone coming into the hobby would be 1. Read books, study skycharts, observe the night sky with your eyes and binoculars and get familiar with the constellations etc, 2. By rushing out and buying a telescope without knowledge will lead to disappointment and soon quitting the hobby, 3. Forget Astro-imaging until you are a fairly competent Astronomer. Finally i would suggest that everyone start with Lunar and Planetary observation as well as Double and binary stars and some open clusters as to me these are the most rewarding objects that you will ever see with your own eyes, the most disappointing views i have seen are Galaxies and nebula as what you actually see is nothing like what i imagined and when it comes to these DSO's you want a very large scope. Again this is my opinion and all i can say is this is what i would say to my friends and family if they were to get into Astronomy.
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