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Everything posted by cantab

  1. Still much further away than last night though. Likewise I didn't pick up the ATV until after I'd watched the ISS fade from view. Seemed like the ATV faded out a little earlier, which made me think maybe it's in the lower orbit, but Heavens Above says the opposite. Perhaps it's simply the ISS's greater brightness making it visible for longer into the night side of the Earth.
  2. Spotted the ISS and ATV-5 last night, the ATV was about 15 degrees ahead. Just missed the earlier pass tonight - I ended up checking Heavens Above right as the ISS pass was happening and rushed out in my slippers but didn't see it. Will try for the ~23:10 pass, when the ATV is expected to be behind again.
  3. A lawn will also probably save your optics if you drop them.
  4. Gutted that I missed this. I'm subscribed to the AuroraWatch alerts, and got one, but my phone has been failing to check my email like it should so I completely missed it.
  5. cantab

    Hello and CQ

    Welcome to SGL. Lapsed ham myself, let my license expire and haven't got round to sorting out the paperwork for it. Still got my little FT-817 at least. The British weather has certainly made me consider radio astronomy before, never done anything though.
  6. The Explorer 130P has the SAME optics as the Heritage, so there should be mo difference in the views. It just depends on whether you want an alt-az or an equatorial mount. Alt-az is simpler, EQ would let you fit a motor for tracking. The 130/900 has I think slightly worse optics, but they're still decent.
  7. In terms of just seeing it, M31 whether it's in the city or a dark site. For seeing detail, I'm not so sure. From a really dark site I suspect a face-on spiral might more readily show its arms than M31 which we see at an angle. M33 has some HII regions that are quite compact and should show in a good-sized Dob. With light pollution around, I wonder if the very dark dust lanes in galaxies like M104 (Sombrero) would be easier to see.
  8. Stellarium doesn't actually show a mutual lunar occultation/transit for last night, but a near miss between Europa and Io, separated by about 10 arc seconds at 3:10 am.
  9. I think it might have been clear tonight, but I opted to stay in and do some writing instead. I bagged the Leo Triplet Thursday night, so not like I've been doing too badly lately.
  10. Not great for DSOs. Camera is fine. Scope pretty much needs a focal reducer for deep-sky imaging (and I'm assuming a reducer can be had for the 6se). Mount isn't stable enough and is alt-az, you need equatorial for DSO imaging. The scope and mount are much better for planetary, where an alt-az mount is OK because exposures are short, and the long focal length becomes a good thing. But the DSLR isn't the best for planetary imaging, a webcam or a specialist planetary camera would be better.
  11. Seems reasonable, though there is a risk of mistaking the nearby foreground stars for the supernova. The SN's about mag 11.5 now. http://www.cruxis.com/scope/limitingmagnitude.htm gives a 130mm scope at 36x under mag 5 skies as seeing down to mag 12.
  12. I doubt there'll be much in the views between a 4 1/2 and a 5 inch mirror. However if you want something that will store fairly compactly, the obvious choice is the Heritage 130P. Tube collapses down and sits on its base out of the way, no tripods and mount heads to worry about. EDIT: Of course, the Heritage 130P won't track. If you want something with tracking that won't be too bulky, maybe one of the Heritage Virtuoso scopes?
  13. Field of view seems on the narrow side. For that much money wouldn't you expect wider?
  14. 10th May will be solid cloud across Britain, I guarantee it. As barkis mentioned, Saturn's reliable any time it's up and the seeing's good. There's not much difference between being 9 AU and 11 AU away.
  15. +1 for S@N's night sky guide. The British weather does tend to make the "don't miss sights" get missed but the deep sky tour's always nice to have a look at.
  16. Posting on my phone now and pretty sure it DOESN'T add its own sig. I think that's a Tapatalk thing. As for the mag and FOV issue, that's why I use the "scale image circle" option in the Stellarium Oculars plugin.
  17. As for making Stellarium give an inverted view, set up the Oculars plugin.
  18. They're exactly what I used. Putting it on was a bit tricky, I ended up blu-tacking the top side of the ring to a stick and pressing it down, took a couple of goes for the blu-tack to come away without bringing the ring off again.
  19. M43 is a somewhat fainter distinct part just to the north, separated from M42 by a dust lane, and surrounding a mag 7 star. Modern images tend to not show it clearly separated, but it's very clear in this pic from the late 19th century, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Orion-Nebula_A_A_Common.jpg
  20. In the end I wrote off my loss and got a 6mm BST from skies_unlimited. Just had it out in the Heritage and much, much better. Jupiter looked fine, even got a hint of a third band, and M35 was spectacular. (And I spent too long looking at M35 so the clouds rolled in before I got round to turning to the Orion Nebula.)
  21. IIRC when it was discovered it was noted to be dimmer than expected, suggesting that it was either smaller or very dark. Size estimates were progressively revised downwards, and it became realised that it wasn't the Planet X people were looking for. The perturbations have now been accounted for by a more accurate measurement of the mass of Neptune, found by the Voyager mission.
  22. The backdrop isn't to the same scale though. Which is a bit of a shame, but then I suppose the image wouldn't be as visually striking if it was.
  23. If this does occur, then it will occur with any method of reducing the primary-secondary distance. Only a low-profile focuser or a larger secondary would resolve that. But from a quick search I came across the 8 inch Altair f/4 being promoted as having an "Oversize secondary mirror to cover a 35mm CCD frame", so I expect even after shortening the primary-secondary distance you'll fill the frame on your 350D OK.
  24. I'll concur with try longer mirror bolts first, pushing the mirror up the tube. Cheap and non-destructive. If that doesn't work, would relocating the secondary and focuser be an option? You'll have a bunch of holes to drill, but that might be easier than cutting the whole tube right down.
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