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About axolotl

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  1. The cheapest telescopes currently available from the main manufacturers are small table-top Dobsonians, usually with a 3 inch aperture and a focal length of 300mm. Celestron, Skywatcher and Orion (USA) all market such scopes, for a price of around £50, and doubtless others are available. There are some minor differences between the different models, for example in the types of eyepiece provided and whether or not a finderscope is included. This review assesses the Skywatcher version (the Heritage 76), which is supplied with 10mm and 25mm eyepieces (providing magnifications of 12.5x and 30x
  2. I might have missed this, but does anyone know if sgl is producing a calendar for 2013? -The 2012 calendar was really excellent
  3. The Skyliner 200P Dobsonian is a very good scope and is within your budget (Dobsonians)
  4. Hi Tom I've used the LPI with an skyliner 200 and it is possible to get images (so long as the shortest possible exposure times are used) because the software will track the target whilst it is in the fov. An example (withour barlow) is at http://stargazerslounge.com/members/axolotl-albums-lpi-pictures-picture365-jup-22jul08.jpg It will also give very nice lunar pictures
  5. We will never know for certain how life originated, though there's a good chance it would habe been based around RNA with DNA and protein coming later. Could it have come from space? - very hard to disprove but complex biological molecules could certainly have formed in early earth conditions and its seems as likely that life evolved here rather than arrived from out there. Its hard to conceive of active viruses like influenza being present in comets though unless they came from us - the viruses that infect us are adapted to life in our cells and use the same genetic code we use.
  6. I've used skywatcher 5 inch and 8 inch scopes and been very pleased with them - I'm sure the 6 inch will be fine also (but the 6 inch Dobsonian might also be worth considering unless your keen on Astrophotography). As to accessories, I agree about the moon filter. You might also want to consider a better 10mm eyepiece (the 25mm eyepiece supplied is not bad), possibly a red dot finder to replace the 6 x 30 finderscope (I've used the 6 x 30 but found it quite difficult, a red dot finder or a 9 x 50 are both better in my opinion (but have a go with the 6 x 30 first, it might just be my dodgy eye
  7. Thanks Damian, some good advice there. I was using ISO 800 so will try a bit lower next time. I have photoshop elements but I have to admit that the layers function is a bit of a mystery to me, but I will have a play with it. thanks again
  8. Thanks Damian, that is much better. How did you do it?
  9. I treated myself to an adaptor from FLO Adaptors - Skywatcher Universal Camera Adapter to attach my digital compact to my scope (Skyliner 200 Dob) and took a few pictures of the moon last night. I'm not sure the pictures are better than those taken without the adaptor, but it certainly makes it easy to take a large number of images in a short time. Here's the best of those first efforts
  10. I've been a scientist all my working life but only got into astronomy a couple of years ago when I bought a cheap skywatcher refractor - I've been streadily upgrading ever since. Its a great hobby, one of the few areas in science where amatuers can really get involved. What sustains me I think is the sense of wonder. Many of the objects we view are not especially striking visually - I was very pleased to recently view a couple of the galaxies of the virgo cluster, and whilst these, at least through my scope, are simply faint smudges its knowing what you are looking at that makes it so amazing
  11. The meade LPI is not that expensive and quite easy to use - see Stargazers Lounge - axolotl's Album: LPI pictures for some not very good examples of pictures taken with it.
  12. I prefer a Dob, but I did recently get a cheap goto from Telescopeplus (an 80mm short tube refractor). They have sold out of these but they do have a very cheap celestron GoTo in their bargain basement. Bargain basement Celestron nexstar 80 gtl refurbished
  13. You should be able to see it - it is the one DSO I was consistently able to find with my 130PM even in light polluted Whitchurch. But as others have said it is very small. In the 25mm eyepiece it will look like an out of focus star with the ring shape obvious with the 10mm eyepiece. But it will be difficult to find until you have your red dot finder working again (these days I have a 10 x 50 finderscope so I don't have to worry about batteries any more )
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