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About Swift

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    Maidstone, Kent

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  1. Thanks again all. Got the job done, nice clean mirror safely bolted back in and collimated
  2. Cheers Pixies. I’ll try B&Q in the morning to see if they have the right thing ready to go, and your link if not
  3. Hasn’t been cleaned in a decade and it’s in fairly rough shape. I know I don’t want to be cleaning it by the minutes but it was way overdue - I’m still unsure whether the marks will turn out to be stubborn dust or something worse due to damp conditions. Now, of course, cleaning’s going to have to wait until I can re-house it. I reckon that’s responsible for the degradation of the screws too. This is why I wanted a pro service - I emailed someone reputable local to me but he said he wasn’t taking on any more scopes and urged me to watch some good video tutorials and do it myself ... no
  4. Hi all, Just in the middle of a mirror clean and ... Hoping someone might be able to save me a lot of work and point me towards a replacement screw for the broken one - I know it’s a long shot! Many thanks in advance
  5. Thanks folks. I've played gigs over in Brecon but have never been able to take the 'scope with me. Next year! I was lucky enough to grow up on the Shetland Islands and it's hard to find something that compares to that sky (especially with the odd Aurora popping up) but the Dob used to do well looking out across the Channel when I was on the South Coast, so maybe the answer is to head towards the sea again.
  6. Hiya folks, I've been fairly quiet on the forum since moving to light-polluted Maidstone. However, after recently taking a driving course and buying a first car, I'm keen to get on the road with my scope and do some observing. Quite a few of my students are keen to come along, but I'm not sure about the best places to go just yet. I could drive around at night for ages looking for a decent spot, but I just wondered whether anyone here knows any good dark places less than 45 minutes' drive from Maidstone? I'd mainly be going for DSOs with a big Dob, visual only, so any pointers on favourite dar
  7. Swift

    Swift 831

    Hiya Tosh, Didn't know Swift was a brand of scope! It's been my handle online for years ... the things you learn. Welcome to the forum from a fellow newbie, it's well worth your time being here. Cheers, S
  8. Hi Ivor, If you're up for an observing session at around 5am (or patient enough to let a few months pass so that they're fairly high in the sky), have a crack at M81 and M82, I'd say that they're good "starter galaxies". They're fairly satisfying, the different shapes will be obvious and M82 has surprisingly high surface brightness, showing some mottled structure. Still, for nearly all the galaxies up there, dark skies are a must if you want to see anything at all. Worth making a trip though, your 200mm scope should show plenty of them under the right conditions Cheers, S
  9. Bagged it for the first time three nights ago, it's a belter isn't it? At 9th-mag it appeared to have higher surface brightness than 8th-mag M27 thanks to the size difference.
  10. Ouch. Streaks in the eyepiece are one thing, but streaks on your painstaking 20-minute images? That's gotta hurt.
  11. Hiya folks, I've been getting back into the swing of things this week after years without a scope, and I'm really enjoying the 10" Dob I just picked up and browsing through all the interesting and informative posts on the forum boards. However, during my observations it seems like every other time I point the scope at a DSO, a satellite is bimbling its merry way across the starfield, and they're often glaringly bright on dark-adapted eyes that are straining to see faint nebulous wisps. It's not as if I'm using particularly wide fields, I've mainly been at mid to high power for the globulars an
  12. Friends back home in Shetland have been posting some mind-blowing shots on Facebook, just taken with ordinary household cameras. I've seen some good displays up there and one stunning show where the whole sky was like a river of swirling colour from east to west - looks like the one they saw tonight was another one for the ages.
  13. I caught some ridiculously bright meteors around 3.30-4am this morning, one around mag -2 which travelled north-south through Monoceros and one that had to be mag -4 or -5! This one ripped east-west through Cetus leaving a scorching violet trail which took several seconds to fade - awesome sight. Anybody know of any special reason why there might be stupidly bright meteors in the southern sky at the moment? That tool bag is one heck of a tiny object to be able to say you've seen, especially through binos!!!
  14. My first scope was a 60mm Tasco refractor. As John says, I wouldn't recommend it to anybody starting now, it had fairly naff .965" eyepieces and the mount was dire, so that positioning was a pain and the slightest breath of wind made viewing impossible. Still, for its size and cost it was (optically) a decent little planetary and lunar scope once you got used to its quirks, and it was enough to get me hooked at an early age. You could make out the Cassini division at its widest, and Jupiter displayed both equatorial belts and reddish patches at the poles. Chromatic aberration was an issue thou
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