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  1. @John Yes, eyepieces. I think I'll buy myself a new 25mm for Christmas. Good to know that I'm not the only one that finds Venus and Mars challenging.
  2. Yes, I usually leave it outside from late afternoon onwards. But perhaps this last weekend I didn't let it cool at first because I was in a hurry to see Venus. After, I went back to look at it a couple of times before it set so I guess that should have been time enough for the scope to cool.
  3. Hi, I've got a 4" reflector. When I look at planets, my scope splits the light into colors. Blue haze, white planet, red haze. It gets better if the planet is centered, and worse as I sweep the planet towards the edge. Deep sky objects seem fine. I've really enjoyed the Double cluster in Perseus last weekend. I have collimated it recently, but I don't think that's the cause because I've always had this problem with Venus and Mars. However I see Jupiter and Saturn ok. My lenses are dirty and scratched. Should I get myself a new 25mm? Or maybe filters? Might the collimation have something to do with it? What's the cause? Thanks.
  4. Thanks for all the answers. I ended up buying the Guide to the Stars. Amazon.com: Guide to the Stars (9781928771012): Ken Graun: Books It works fine (well, you'd hope it would). But it is a bit too big, and the plastic is a little floppy. It does however prop up easily on the ground against the mount tripod (doesn't fit in the tray). As for planets I consult Turn Left at Orion. Thanks again.
  5. Is was looking at the Chandler. http://www.amazon.com/Night-40%C2%B0-50%C2%B0-Large-Star-Finder/dp/0961320745/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317241032&sr=1-2 Taking a closer look one of the cons mentioned on Amazon is that the south horizon is limited. If you look at the photo you can see that Sagittarius doesn't make it into the viewer. But they do say it's sturdy plastic. I was also looking at this one. Sagittarius makes it onto the viewer but it's floppy plastic, Amazon.com: Guide to the Stars (9781928771012): Ken Graun: Books So, I don't know..... Yes, less than a tenner. I don't know where I saw $80 plus prices now. Maybe I was imagining it, maybe too many hours looking through an eyepiece I can't seem to find a phillips for N 41º, did they even make one? Cheers.
  6. Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes.. My laptop with Stellarium got stolen. Anyway, I think I'd prefer to use a planisphere instead of a computer. My problem is I don't know which one to buy. I live 41º northern hemisphere. I've seen a Phillips one and it looked ok, but the prices I see on ebay seem way too expensive. Any suggestions please? Thanks.
  7. Thanks for all the replies. I've found a didactic explanation on how to understand the planet movements here: Wandering Stars - How to Calculate the Positions of the Planets But first I think I should learn to place myself on the planet earth. This seems like I good activity for the family these summer holidays. At any rate, looks like I need to get the compasses and protractors out of the cupboard. Thanks again.
  8. Hi, Over this last month and a bit I've been watching Saturn. This weekend I was away from home (without my scope) and while looking at Saturn I realized that it had moved away from the star that it had been close to some weeks ago. This is the first time I've looked closely and long enough at a planet to actually appreciate it's movement across the constellations. How exciting! My daughter was with me and asked how we could measure that movement. I didn't know, so I'll ask here. How do you measure the distance between two objects? Or perhaps the better question is, How do you measure the orbit of the planets? Cheers.
  9. Hi, I've taken the mount apart and I think I've got it fixed. I saw m81/m82 on Friday night and really enjoyed sketching them and the neighboring stars in the scope. Thanks.
  10. Thanks for the replies. I'll get that red dot finder. If it's too bright I'll add a resistor to it. M81/M82, watch out! I'm on your trail
  11. Thanks Ed. I'll have a go at taking it apart and seeing what I can do. DIY to the rescue! I've been looking into a red dot finder. This one has variable brightness levels and costs US $27.35 The view finder on my scope is fixed with screws 20mm apart so I should be able to fit it on without drilling. Does it seem ok? Red Dot Finder Scope for telescope | eBay Thanks.
  12. Hi, I'm new to the forum and new to stargazing. A couple of years ago I got a skywatcher 900x114 reflector with a eq2 mount as a wedding present. I've been trying to teach myself how to use it properly. I've learnt how to polar align it (man that makes a big difference). After hours and hours of mucking about trying to use the DEC and RA dials I've given up and started to learn star hopping. I've seen the Ring nebulae (complete beginners luck) and the Andromeda galaxy. These last two weekends I've been trying to find the Whirlpool galaxy without joy. Would a red dot finder to help? Anyway, my question is about the eq2 mount. When I tighten the bolt down onto the RA axis the bolt pushes the whole axis to one side within the axis casing. So, when I find something through the view finder I then tighten the axis to then use the control rods but the whole telescope gets skewed off target. Is that to be expected? Should I try and open it up and fix it? What would you do? I don't know if I can explain myself without posting a photo too. Thanks.
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