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Krys

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About Krys

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    Nebula

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    Female
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    Devon, UK
  1. Down south on the Isle of Wight - what a night we have Beautiful cloudless sky, still air and fantastic all round. No scope tonight, just my bare eyes and bins too appreciate the sweeping panorama of it all. Jupiter, Sirius, Gemini and Orion all blazing in the sky. Jupiter still quite low, and my small bins could only pick out two moons - Stellarium suggests they are probably Ganymede and Europa. Then gazing at Sirius for a bit just drinking in the brilliance of this star - and having taken Egyptology at uni, it's significance in Egyptian mythology and calendar (the Sothic cycle and all that). It also got me wondering about the binary nature of the Sirius system, and I wonder if any amateurs here have succeed in splitting these most unequal of stellar companions? After that and some wide field sweeps I drank in the beauty of the Great Orion nebula, the background gasses appearing in a greenish colour to my eyes, with 5 stars within the well formed cloud quite easily discernible. It was certainly the best I have ever seen it - with more detail seen tonight through 10x50 bins that I have previously managed on the Travelscope 70. Not to knock my baby Celestron - the sky tonight was just that good! Happy times
  2. Just wondering if anyone has tried this, and what your experiences were? I do a lot of film photography and I'm weighing up the idea of trying some lunar and planetary imaging with film. I use a Zenit M42 SLR - fully manual. I'd be interested in anyone experiences with particular film types and telescope adapters. Any images to share, perhaps?
  3. From a newbie perspective, I'm glad I went with a refractor, as they are very easy to maintain, are durable and portable. If you have to travel to get to your observing site, that matters a lot. If I had a large, dark garden with an open horizon, I'd probably go for a Newtonian As it is, when I upgrade it'll probably be a Mak-Cas, and I do feel these types offer the best of both worlds in terms of aperture per £, without being unwieldy to move and set up.
  4. Yep, the Celestron TravelScope 70 - it's surprisingly good when you have a decent mount! I've got mine on an EQ-1 mount, but for the sake of ultra-portability I don't have the bar or counterweight on it, and just use it as an Alt-Az mount. I'd like an AZ-3 (lighter, easier) but you don't get many of them 2nd hand... so an EQ-1 it is. I didn't expect to like this scope much, but it's earned my genuine respect. It's hardly going to stand up to a TAL Apo or something of that ilk, but given that it is sold for the same price as a toy scope, it'd be just a tad unfair to expect it to.
  5. I just had my first clear night in ages down in the south-west, and with Jupiter and Orion being so wonderfully placed right now I couldn't resist, despite the cold. I haven't had a chance to do anything much astronomy wise for ages, and I've still mostly confined myself to lunar observation and admiring the lovely meteor showers for the most part. Well, today for the first time I finally got to see my first deep sky object through the scope! Hello M42 - and what a sight! Beautiful to say the least, and amazing clarity from a small, entry level scope. I was genuinely amazed at what it could do, even with the ultra-cheap EPs it came with, let alone some of the better SW Plossls. With a SW 7.5mm the nebulosity was clearly and easily discernible, and was much larger than expected within the EP, and displayed a greenish hue through the scope, with the scope also showing the variable brightness of the clouds much better than the binoculars, as well as clearly showing three of the main stars, as well as some secondary clouds. An incredible sight, just when I was beginning to despair of being able to "find" anything interesting with my setup! But the evening got better when I turned to Jupiter. I didn't expect much more than a fuzzy blob with small smaller blobs with my scope, but again I was amazed by the detail this could bring out. With the stock 10mm EP, the four main moons were pin sharp, with Jupiter clearly betraying it's planetary status as being a distinct and impressive disc (I was expecting it to remain like a bright yellowy blurry star). Small but sharp, and so clearly a planet, even betraying that "satsuma" shape it sports. What really did amaze me was that with very close observation and some averted vision and taking breaks, even more began to reveal itself, and with effort I was able to resolve two distinct cloud belts. That just made January worthwhile - it feels great to be awed again!
  6. Apart from cultural attitudes (more light = more security, "I *need* my 1500w halogen in the back garden to protect the gnomes!") another big issue is the governments lack of interest in infrastructure. My garden is an urban courtyard type with badly obstructed views, so I'm always on the hunt for a decent public space for observing but have noticed that municipal lighting is almost always old and very poorly designed. It wouldn't cost much to fit new lamp heads and bulbs to provide far more efficient street lighting than generates less pollution, and the reduced energy consumption would recoup the investment within a year or two, but there is no will to do so.
  7. Ive foud basic accessories like weights and rings are expensive for a simple mechanical art, but that is true of most hobbies and is where manufactures make a profit, especially with the "beginners scoes". How much can they make on an Astrolux? Next to nothing by the timenshippimg and distribution comes into it, but the beginner in paticular wants a cheap entry into the hobby, and will liekly have to buying at least some accessories at the same time. That said, adaption is ypur friend. Theres no need to get a dedicated red torch wjen you cam just tape a red sweet wrapper over the front - plus you get to eat said sweet.... Double bonus you can uee a lot of stuff from campimg and mainstream photography as well, just as old school photography can be done with kitchenware and "raw" chemicals and cheap telescope OTAs Sent from my C5303 using Tapatalk 2
  8. Their ability to receive and respond to a signal would not necessarily indicate expansionist tendencies, or ability. after all we can detect signals from places we could never reach within the foreseeable future. Indeed, we demonstrate neither strong interest nor ability in interplanetary travel, let alone interstellar, despite our somewhat half-hearted scanning of the skies for signals and broadcasting our own.
  9. I know this is a slightly cryptic title! I have an old data set from some very old astronomy software from the 80s, that has some rather cryptic labeling I am trying to work out what the data actually *is* and also how to calculate the same data for newly discovered / tracked dwarf planets, so I can update the program with the new discoveries. There are two sets of data I'm having issue with: The first set is just identified as "Deg. Longitude start of 1980" and gives the following values: Mercury: 231.2973 Venus: 355.73352 Mars: 126.30783 Jupiter: 146.966365 Saturn: 165.322242 Uranus: 228.070855 Neptune: 260.3579 Pluto: 207.439 I assumed at first these just referred to standard galactic longitude, but having crossed referenced the data against Stellarium for 1st January 1980, the numbers just don't fit. The second set is the most cryptic, and is just labelled as "Brightness factor" with no further explanation. The obvious assumption would be an average apparent visual magnitude, but the figures again do not seem to fit. Is it possible they are altered to reflect apparent magnitude at a common distance (say 1AU?) to make calculation easier? The 1AU common distance is used in the program to generate angular sizes, so I suspect this is the case here but cannot be certain. Mercury: 1.918E-06 Venus: 1.721E-05 Mars: 4.539E-06 Jupiter: 1.994E-04 Saturn: 1.74E-04 Uranus: 7.768E-05 Neptune: 7.597E-05 Pluto: 4.073E-06 If someone can recognize something from the data and give me more precise idea of what I'm looking at I'd really appreciate it. Thanks
  10. That's incredible detective work! Fancy a crack at Sedna, next?! Inspiring stuff. Now I've got a different flat without the floodlights in the grounds, really must set up my scope again.
  11. I've haven't owned one but I have only ever heard good things about TAL quality, and as I photographer using former Soviet SLR gear, I'd say the reputation of Russian optics is well deserved. You won't get better quality for the money, but you probably won't get anything heavier or less portable either. They are blumming heavy, which is why (not having a car) I didn't get one. If you've got a car, or you can use your garden for most observing, then they are great if somewhat weird in the way Russian products often are. I got a Celestron (TravelScope) and while their higher end stuff does seem to be pretty good from what I've heard here, their entry level stuff is not that great. I'd make an exception for their C90 mak spotting scope which seems to be well spoken of and a rather neat little thing indeed. SkyWatcher seem eternally popular here and have a huge range of entry level stuff, including the 130P which is a de-facto standard starting point for many people so is very well supported - you'll always be able to get help with it. But avoid their "Astrolux" range, which have the worst mounts you can imagine. Then there's Tasco...
  12. Edit to the above - Re: the StarTravel, I meant 102 not 120. The 102 is smaller but has less issues with chromatic aberration. The 120 has better aperture, but is reportedly pretty awful when it comes to CA, making the 102 better overall. Aperature does matter, but it's not the only measure of a decent scope, particularly when dealing with less than perfect skies.
  13. Have you been touch with TASOS (Singapore Astro. Soc.)? I'd certainlly make them your first port of call for reccomendations. I'm not in SG at the moment so really can't advise on local dealers, and I'm still a newbie myself, but there's a few things I'd warn of based on my limited experience. You might well find someone there who is selling off a complete setup used, which would save no small amount of money and might also net you some accessories and EPs into the mix. * A decent mount is as important as the scope itself - indeed for me, I found it moreso. The best optics are nothing if all you get is vibration blur * Think about where you will be observing. To get a decent horizon for planetary observing you really need a park. To do any kind of DSO work whatsoever in Singapore, you need to get offshore to the Southern Islands, or Johor. If you don't have a car, then you portability and ruggedness will ultimately wind up meaning more than perfect optics. In this case, Mak will be a better bet than a reflector, something like the SkyMax-127 or SkyMax-150 (the latter is a bit over budget new, but should be affordable 2nd hand, and you'd save on shipping over a reflector if getting from overseas). Don't disregarded refractors either, they don't need collimation and are very, very tough and have good contrast (useful for handling light pollution). Something like the Startravel-120 could be good. If you do have a car or live in a landed property, then a reflector is worth a shot, and the 150P is pretty much the standard starters gear for those lucky people with gardens * If DSOs really are your thing, and your budget/time is limited then hold back money for a tent and basic camping gear so you can do the Pulau Semakau trips with TASOS or camp on the Sisters Islands yourself to get in some extra observing time. * Save up for some decent eye pieces, those included on entry level scopes usually aren't that great, and often people thing the scope is weak and upgrade unnecessarily. You can't really go wrong with TAL plossls. A set of them and a barlow, and you are sorted for life * Get a light pollution filter!!!!! Good luck!
  14. * Beautiful clear night and Mars looking promising, and Jupiter too. First good night in forever. Drag gear outside only to realise the finder-scope is totally out of alignment. Faff round targeting neighbours TV aerial to try and calibrate it, only for the clouds to roll in. * Observing from a nice flat, solid concrete surface. Star diagonal feels loose and wobbly. Gently twist to tighten it up. Wrong way. Oooops....
  15. Hi Seadog, Welcome to the forum I just got back from a week down in Devon yesterday. Went to visit family and get some dark skies, only to get wall to wall cloud. So frustrating, especially since the week before I flew down was so perfect... Gotta admit though, you have some great dark sites down there, even staying in the middle of a village the sky was much better than the Fanta orange coloured affair here!
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