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Everything posted by scotastro

  1. The 114 is a little on the small side - a 130mm scope in a reflector is the smallest you should go. With a £200 budget your choice in reflector is the 130 or 130P on an equatorial mount or a 150 on a dobsonian mount. The advantage of an equatorial mount is that it tracks the stars more easily. The dobsonian mount being a lower cost puts more money into the scope so you get a bigger aperture. Mike.
  2. You did not say what size scope your father in law has if it is say 6inch reflector then the view through the Bressor refractor would be disappointing in comparison. In its own right the Skylux is a great little scope if you only ever have just a general interest in astronomy. When Saturn was well placed earlier in the year the scope showed the ring as a pencil thin line either side of the planet. Jupiter is more prominent now so it will show the 4 moons well. I know my way around the night sky so finding fainter objects like nebulae and galaxies is no problem. The scope showed galaxies M81 and M82 as two nice lttle smudges which was a nice surprising. My skies are very dark which helps enormously for seeing these things. If you suffer from light pollution get an Explorer 130P or better still the 150. Mike
  3. Good choice of bins. The top stars of Orion are rising at about 11pm, It would be at least another hour before M42 rises. If you wait another month it will be much better placed, Even with the Moon have a sweep through Cygnus as the Milky Way is very bright in that region. Some fainter open clusters for when the Moon is passed full are M34 (Perseus) and M35 (Gemini).
  4. Just as Glowjet says - the alignment of the finder and telescope are out. As you had Jupiter in the FOV of the eyepiece all you needed to do was adjsut the plastic screws on the finderscope braket. It is always worth checking alignment of the finder (in daylight) on a regular basis as even a slight knock will put it out of alignment. Mike
  5. The RA lock should be off when you are pointing the scope at the star first of all, so that you can set the disc to the RA numbers for that star. Then tighten the lock so that the RA disc moves with the scope. That way when the pointer for the RA disc points at the numbers for the DSO or planet you want to find you have the RA correctly set. Mike
  6. The 150PL comes with an EQ3-2 mount which can be fitted with RA only or RA and Dec motors. I would recommend the latter as it is easier to centre objects when viewing, otherwise you are still using the Dec slo mo control. Unless you have very bad light pollution galaxies like M81, M82 and Leo triplet should not be a problem. Mike
  7. An equatorial mount moves in two directions when the locks are off. Left / right which is Declination axix and round the polar axis which is Right Ascension axis. Here is a link to moving the scope The position of the eyepiece will change depending where you point the telescope. The eyepieces with the scope are ok for staring out you can upgrade if you want later. Jupiter is low in the sky any pollution / heat haze off buildings, etc. will make the image look poor. Hope this helps Mike
  8. Like Leegsi I prefer star hopping, but I know from previous posts on SGL others have managed to use the setting circles successfully. There should be a locking screw for the RA ring to make it rotate as you move the scope - if it is not there you will not be able to use it. The Dec disc is always locked. The theory is quite simple if you want to try it. Find the RA and Dec humbers for an object you want to find and also those of an obvious bright star no more than 2 or 3 degrees away from the object (eg use Vega for M57). Once the scope is polar aligned fit a low power EP and point the telescope at the bright star, rotate the RA ring until you have the star co-ordinates set (you only use the hours and minutes numbers). Check that the Dec figure is correct too. Lock the RA disc with the screw. Now move the scope looking at the RA disc until it reads the numbers for the object. Lock the RA axis in place. Move the DEC axis so its disc reads the correct numbers. Lock that axis. If you are lucky the object should be in the field of view. The RA and Dec discs on the EQ2 mount are quite small and rather inaccurate to use. A further down side with the method (ignoring the inaccurate discs) is that for every object you want to look at you need to point to a known star first. Best of luck Mike
  9. I would agree go for the Skysensor 2000, it is a great system and very accurate. I have owned one for 12 years without any problems. Mike
  10. Sorry you may have said in a post elsewhere, but what size scope do you have. Filters like these are ok with a 6 inch reflectors but work better with 8 inch and above. Filters are generally much the same quality so there should be no problem with them being of Antares make. There are plenty of good website on Collimation - the laser will help but make sure it is absolutely square in the focuser. If it is any help remember that the secondary mirror (little one) determines where the laser spot is on the main mirror and vice versa. Mike
  11. You don't need to worry about the size of the battery. The telescope will only draw the power it needs. All the Ah rating means is how long the battery will last between charges. If the scope uses 1A per hour a 17Ah battery would theoretically last 17 hours. The reality is nearer 15 hours. Mike
  12. Starry objects like Open Clusters and Globular Clusters are much easier to see (particularly if you have light pollution) than nebulae or galaxies. Try these Open NGC457 in Casseopeia M45 Pleiades Globulars: M13 in Hercules M15 in Pegusus Mike
  13. Martin You should have used the scroll button to list another star not push enter. There is a long list of stars in the database one of which should be visible for you to align on. You must have got quite close to Arcturus by accident to get successful alignment message. A proper alignment on two stars should cure the second problem with Jupiter. Do check you have the time in GMT not BST. Mike
  14. A heads up to let you know that on Tuesday 8th Sept just as Discovery completes its fly round the ISS the two objects will appear briefly at 21.44 BST (according to Heavens-Above.com). I think the separation will only be about 600ft. Mike
  15. Well done getting the image. If you think about it the odds of getting the camera pointing exactly in the right place where a meteor will happen to pass in the seconds that the shutter is open is quite small. The shower carries on for sometime yet and will the Moon getting out of the way the fainter meteors should be visible too. Mike
  16. I find a variable (or polarising) filter the most useful as you can "dial in" exactly the right amount of light through for the phase of the Moon. It is also useful for dimming Venus enough to get a better view of the phase. Mike
  17. When you are comparing bins and reflctors at similar prices I assume you are looking at something like 20x80 or 20x100 bins rather than the usual 10x50s. Whether it 's bins or a reflector you will need a decent mount for either. A small reflector would have greater flexibility when it comes to magnification as the bins magnification is fixed, not much use for viewing planets that need quite high (100x +) for resonable views. For portability the Skywatcher 130p on an Supatrak motorised mount is a good option. If the scope is being moved a lot collimation will need to be check often. There is always the option of a short tube refractor like to ST102 which will not need collimating an is more compact that the larger reflector. Mike.
  18. Glad to see some positive posts - hope you will be able to make it. There is no need to be concerned by WAS withdrawing from the event. The idea was thought up by WAS member - Steve Foy (you will find him posting on UKAI) - the society decided to run with it, but when Steve resigned due to differences on unrelated topics, the society pulled out leaving Steve to run it alone. Steve has become a good friend and it was the least I could do to lend the Centre's support to the event. Wigtownshire AS are now concentrating on an Astroday for the 14th Nov - which star camp attendees can go to. Speakers including Ian Morison are being booked as is a mobile planetarium from Edinburgh. The full details have not been finalised as yet which is why I did not mention it in my original post. Mike
  19. You are invited to join us for 5 nights observing at Drumroamin Farm Camping & Caravan Site. See web page for details - Galloway Star Camp Activties during the event are being finalised and will be posted on the web page soon. Whatever your interest in the night sky you will find this a pefect place for visual and imaging astronomy. The location close to Wigtown Bay not only has wonderful dark skies, but has uninterrupted views in all directions. The site covers 5 acres with 20 caravan / tent pitches with electric hook up and a further 20 caravan / tent pitches without electric hook up. It has excellent facilities with a modern, spacious, heated shower block - the showers are free of charge. There is also an indoor playroom with pool table. To book a pitch contact Lesley or Ralph Shell at Drumroamin Farm - 01988 840613 (mobile - 07752 471456) For enquiries about the event contact Steve Foy - stevefoy@btinternet.com or Mike Alexander - 01988 500594 We look forward to welcoming you to this event. This event is not being hosted by the Galloway Astronomy Centre, but by locally based astronomers I am only providing web space and help to publicise it.
  20. A useful site is the comet section of Skyhound. Skyhound Mike
  21. I prefer the variable filter as you can "dial in" just the right brightness you want. You could always do lunar projection - easier to read a map at the same time too. Mike
  22. Ron - "Also, a nebula may have a magnitude of x, but that light is spread over it's surface, and the magnitude given, would be if it was a point source." - really didn't know that, although it makes sense now! You can turn this the other way around. Find a faint star which you can easily identify in Stellarium (or similar) and then defocus the scope. It will give a good indication of how a galaxy of that brightness would look in your sky. I have used a Explorer 130P in my dark skies and can easily see objects such as M97 and M108 (both mag +9.9) using the supplied 25mm EP. S&N have said on several occasions that a medium telescope is needed to see Saturn's rings when they are edge. Not so I could see them even in a Bresser 70mm refractor (the Lidl one) - something I would consider as a small scope. Mike
  23. Welcome newbie. We all started out knowing nothing. One of the great things about astronomy as a hobby it has so many layers you can stay on the surface or dive in deep, it is up to you. Whichever you do it's all enjoyable. A word of warning though - it can take over your life and empty your wallet. Mike
  24. Welcome to SGL. The Mak is a great planetary scope. Hope you get clear skies for the trip. Mike
  25. Welcome to SGL from SW Scotland Mike
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