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About PaulR

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  1. Well it's only Wednesday here and the cloud is terrible so I'd like to pre-complain!
  2. Managed to sneak in a very short session early this evening before the cloud really rolled in. In the breaks between the sky seemed pretty transparent - roll on some settled fine/cold weather Comet 17P Holmes - A lot nearer to Alpha PER since last time I saw it (9 days ago), seems larger (approx. 20') and one edge more ragged. Central area seems less well defined but overall poss. a little brighter than before? Eta CASS 3.4, 7.5;12” - Easily resolved at 75x. Companion seems orange. M34 OC Perseus - In binocs a hazy patch of similar magnitude to M31 NGC 869, 884 Perseus Double Cluster - no comment required! M13 GC Hercules - In binocs, not well placed for observation but easy to find I've got a 'to see' list as long as my arm but no chance for more tonight
  3. Does anyone know if/when these are likely to be available again?
  4. Nice one Ed, I was hoping to get out but there was a general murkiness hereabouts with lots of spent-gunpowder adding to the gloom I think the Crab would need darker skies and more altitude - it's well within your scopes range theoretically at about mag 8.5 although some say you should add +2 for any nebula (so 10.5 is still do-able)
  5. The observatories group at Pendrell Hall in Staffordshire are having another open day in February... http://www.freewebs.com/philiphall/index.htm They have a nicely restored vintage 'scope housed there - well worth a look. The last open day I went to they also had some big tripod mounted bins set up. Set in some nice countryside with fairly dark skies and worth a visit if you live in the Midlands area.
  6. PaulR

    My dodgy T ring!

    Hehe nice one Ant. What you effectively did was use your pillar drill (or drill press, for that is what they are called!) as a milling machine! To anyone considering attempting this I would say wear eye protection - if the drill bit breaks you could be minus an eye and if you were really unlucky it could be your 'best' observing one! Drills break pretty easily (I know I've broken 2 this week!) especially when used in a way not intended (hint, hint).
  7. Astroman: Thank you, that SIMBAD is one useful site! Ian: I've had CDC with those installed but it all became a bit cluttered and 'stodgy'. I'm currently using the nimble StarCalc with the Tycho 2 catalogue installed but I want to find doubles from lists and old books that I have (mind you I've got a list as long as my arm of doubles with simple Bayer designations to work through first!). Thanks for the help
  8. Can someone who knows about such things tell me if there is any means of matching stars in, for example, Struve's ist to stars from the SAO or Tycho catalogues as typically found in computer software?
  9. Yep, I looked it up on the net straightaway - seems like a decent target
  10. Nice one Roy! I'd never even heard of the Snowball Nebula - it's on my list now - and I'm itching to have a look at the Crab... weather looks better here tonight
  11. Thanks Rob - with the 'orrible misty almost-cloud hereabouts it's nice to know someone is seeing something! How anyone can ever look at the northern hemisphere sky without looking at the sword handle is beyond me, it is the most magnificent part of the sky full stop! PS I'm just dying to try out that 3x Barlow on some nice doubles!!
  12. Mars would only have been about 7-8 degrees above your horizon, maybe Capella is a better candidate as it would be 'below' the comet?
  13. Let's hope it lasts and we get to see some sort of tail.
  14. I can identify the 2 off centre to the right. Brighter one - Mag 9.22 , GSC 3334 788 , SAO - 24247 Dimmer one - Mag 10.48 . GSC 3334 738 The one near centre not sure. Ah, could the two to the right be 3334 788-1 and 3334 788-2 (mags 9.3 and 10.4) and the central one 3334 738? I've no idea why I'm that bothered it's just the first time I've tried to accurately record an observation of a comet (I've only ever seen comet Hale Bopp before!). Thanks muchly!
  15. Great shots John! When I looked at it at at around 18:00 I could see two stars within the comet's extent - one almost central in the brighter part and the other toward the edge of the fainter outer part, pretty much as per your first pic. Can you identify the stars in question?
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