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About Gradie

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    Guildford, UK
  1. Use the PM system within the forum. I can highly recommend these - I snapped one up from FLO and have been more than happy with them!
  2. Having just looked at Franck's 'Splendid Saturn' I'm loathe to post this, but I will anyway! First attempt at imaging through my Mak 127 and recent Astro buy sell acquisition of an spc880. Special thanks must go to Neil (drummerp) whom I acquired an HEQ5 from, and Astrobaby for her guide on polar aligning the mount. It was a lovely night last night, so lovely in fact that it was a shame that I was unfamiliar with pretty much everything! Given the circumstances, I'm chuffed that I managed the setup and alignment of the mount with no trouble, and managed to get an image appearing on screen. The final photo suffers a lot from the fact that I only took about 10 seconds worth of frames and dew was setting in by the time I got round to it (I forgot to attach the dew shield!). Not to mention the nasty skywatcher barlow, low position of Saturn and complete unfamiliarity with Registax! Anyway, without further waffle, here it is! Saturn - first attempt!.bmp
  3. The moon was a real wow for me, and M13 was my first DSO. Still waiting for the right conditions to properly enjoy Saturn - unfortunately I'm not great at staying up late so Summer observing sessions are short (possibly not the best hobby?!) Seriously though, the moon is stunning!
  4. Hi and welcome Wouter! Some beautiful images there - I'm just beginning to experiment with astrophotography so its nice to have images to aspire to .
  5. You were absolutely correct, how I missed it the first time I'm not sure! Happy to say that after a few weeks using these both terrestrially and for astronomy I am mighty pleased with them .
  6. Will have to have a thorough root around in the box, maybe I missed it!
  7. After extensively researching what seemed like hundreds of binoculars and changing my budget multiple times, I then through all of that research away and went for a set I hadn't considered when these came up on FLO's clearance! They arrived yesterday as expected and, although not perfect, conditions allowed me to give them their first light! Initial impressions were good - beautifully solid in the hand and light enough that I don't foresee any problems with extended sessions. I was a little surprised no neck strap was included (I like the security), but it's no hardship to get one and at least then I can make sure it's a suitable one. There was still light in the sky when I first pointed them out the window and I was instantly surprised by how bright they were. My other pair is a set of compact 8x26 safari binoculars, and the difference was immediately noticeable. Collimation, to my eyes, was absolutely bang on. Focusing with the individual eyepiece focus was my main concern before they arrived but I'm happy to say this is a complete non-issue. There was just the right resistance in the completely smooth focus wheels, and the crisp view meant I had no problems focusing, and I found it quite natural adjusting two wheels instead of one. The highlight was definitely the view, which was bright and crisp and had lovely depth. It was almost like watching a 3D film with the way that foreground object seemed to pop out. It'll be interesting to whether this sense of depth carries through to stellar objects. I popped out around 10.30pm last night for the proper first light test. Conditions weren't ideal, particularly with the local light pollution, but the cloud had broken up enough to allow some testing. I pointed to Venus first which was low on the horizon but was a good target for practicing holding the bins steady. The 7x magnification meant this was fairly easy, but it did take a conscious effort to hold still and I'm not sure how well I'd fair with 10x or greater. I couldn't make out a crescent, but I'm not sure what phase Venus is in right now anyway! Mars was next and had a lovely colour through the bins, it really stood out. I then took to looking at some random areas of sky since conditions weren't great - I couldn't see any of my usual targets (that's probably my reliance on GoTo)! What amazed me was that even on patches of apparently bare sky, the bins showed large numbers of stars. I'm really looking forward to taking them somewhere darker on a clearer night and seeing what they show. I am certainly pleased with the pair and for the price I paid they are outstanding value. They feel solid enough to last a lifetime and the wide field of view is such a nice contrast to my Skymax. Bring on some clear nights!
  8. I've been watching the SpaceFlight track periodically and I don't think that was UARS - if I'm looking right it's not been over UK for >30 mins. The fact you mention two meteorites makes me think it might've been the ISS, but I've not checked the passes for that recently so couldn't say for sure.
  9. Actually I really like this because it gives me an idea of what to expect visually, and in particular how much the supernova stands out. Forecasts look good for some gaps in the cloud tonight so fingers crossed for my first look! Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
  10. Gradie


    I've not even looked out the window to see if its clear. In the lake district this week, been cloudy every night so far, and its howling outside tonight! Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
  11. Tough one! I probably wouldn't buy a book that was just pretty pictures, but one that accompanied the pretty pictures with detailed information, and maybe examples of how things appeared visually through 2-3 common scopes would certainly be of interest. Price wise 10-15 pounds would seem suitable, I'm not sure id want to spend more. Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
  12. The GoTo system will automatically track stars, planets and DSO's, but only if it is correctly aligned, including setting it up with the correct time (with daylight saving option) and the correct co-ordinates. I use the brightest star alignment and currently select the Western sky for Arcturus as the first option, then usually Vega or Altair as the second option. Other than Polaris, these are about the only stars I can identify by name, but I've found Google Sky on my Android phone to be useful at identifying alignment stars as well (Stellarium is also very useful). It sounds like you may be using the two-star alignment option, where it gives you a long list of stars to choose from (many of which might be out of view), rather than brightest star alignment option. With the latter, you select a direction (e.g. Western sky) and it will give you a short list of the brightest stars that should be visible from your location in that portion of the sky. Then you only have to worry about physical obstructions (i.e. trees) or similar getting in the way!
  13. The 10" will undoubtedly give the best deep sky views, but... What have you been trying to view with the 127, and how long have you been trying? You should easily be able to see the likes of M13, M92 and the Dumbbell Nebula at the moment (assuming a UK location), as this is precisely what I've been looking at recently with the same scope. Setting up the GoTo accurately is important, but in particular with M13 I've found that if it's not quite there, it's usually an easy job to scan around the region until you see the telltale fuzziness, at which point you can stop, focus, let your eyes adapt and gradually see more detail jump out. It also depends very heavily on your sky conditions. If you're in a heavily light polluted area you might be better off sticking to the 127, as it'll be a lot easier to put in the car and drive somewhere with darker skies than a larger dob. That was a big factor in my choice of scope (the 127), as my home skies are disappointingly polluted.
  14. Beautifully clear here tonight. Typically its the one night of the week I've had plans and am I'm not going to risk stargazing under influence! Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
  15. I have the Skywatcher version of the same scope and would suggest that the 9mm without Barlow would give the best views most nights. The aperture and seeing conditions mean that applying the Barlow as well, although increasing the apparent size, actually reduces the detail you can see. With a cooled scope, well adapted eyes and only average conditions I could easily make out two defined dark bands on the disc and the four moons, so expect something similar. I'm hoping for some clearer nights soon to spend more time looking.
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