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Everything posted by mallux

  1. Have them in both eyes, left eye particularly bad but to be honest it bothers me more while in bright daylight than looking through a telescope (which I normally do with my right eye anyway). One trick which works for me, at least temporarily, is to look upwards as far as I can for at least 20 seconds; gravity seems to shift the little blighter down and out of my FOV for long enough to forget about it. Chris
  2. This appeared in my daily ebay telescope search, gave me quite a start before I looked at the category and realised what was *actually* for sale :-) Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, 250 ft radio telescope | eBay
  3. Have just finished reading this book, which I picked up second hand from a local Oxfam. What a great read; I couldn't put it down, Gene talks eloquently and honestly about the ups and downs of his life and space career. When you read about the things he achieved by the time he was my age - academic engineering success, navy pilot, spacewalking on Gemini 9, two Apollo missions - it made me think (as I was trudging around Sainsbury's) - what the heck have I done with my life? But he seems like a nice bloke and you get a great insight into what it was like during that fantastic period of the 60's/70's, and the different personalities of the astronauts in the programme (rather than being just names in history books). If you're frustrated by bad weather or the long summer evenings, you could do a lot worse than pick up a copy. Chris
  4. Hmm. Forecast doesn't look too good where I am. BBC says "white cloud".
  5. mallux


    Welcome Scott. There are lots of Dob users on this forum, and there is also a social group (under the "community" menu) devoted to the subject. Feel free to have a poke around and ask questions. Bought mine a couple of months ago and haven't looked back.
  6. mallux

    hello !

    Welcome Vali. If you are worried about what you might see through the eyepiece, you might find that a trip to your local astronomy club would be worthwhile, where you should be able to have a look through members' scopes. Most things, apart from stars and planets, are dim fuzzy grey objects even through large amateur telescopes; if that doesn't float your boat then maybe astrophotography will (but it comes at a cost, not only $$ but time - and it doesn't sound like you have a lot of that ;-)
  7. mallux

    Hello all :)

    Welcome Mel! I think you might be better off finding a local astronomy club ;-) I was recently in the same position and decided that I didn't have the time or the ££ to put into astrophotography or mess about setting up equatorial alignment, wanted a good all-rounder to learn the skies and get experience with, and therefore a manual dob was the only sensible choice (for me). Glad I went with the 8" Skywatcher, there's a good reason why there are so many owners on this forum. Don't rush into a decision though, hang around here for a while and consider your options. Chris
  8. How about taking the eyepiece out and looking through the telescope at something distant (not the sun :-) and moving your head back until it looks in focus (or alternatively, project the moon onto a bit of paper). The focal length will be the distance from the objective lens to your eye (or the paper), which you can measure with a tape measure. Then you can work out the focal ratio as Telrad describes.
  9. Ha, for 20 grand I'd want it delivered on a gold plate by Brian Cox!
  10. Thanks for the tips, I did start with a small area and the general shape and proportions were fine (used it to look up the formation on a lunar map, and it was at least recognisable), but as Sally pointed out it was the shadows that were a problem, particularly as I was looking at an area right on the terminator. I think if I'd had the option of drawing white-on-black it would have been easier in this case. My dark areas just turned into muddy grey with the highlights difficult to distinguish. Maybe I'll try a more brightly-lit area next time with fewer large shadows. Could probably have benefited from drawing much bigger as well; in the cold light of day the drawing wasn't much bigger than an old 50p! Chris
  11. Great work, having tried lunar sketching for the first time last night (the traditional pencil on white paper way) I have newfound appreciation for the art. It's nowhere near as easy as it looks! Chris
  12. Just wanted to share my first lunar observing experience with my new dob; the view west from my garden is pretty limited but managed to get half an hour or so with the half moon yesterday before it disappeared behind the garden wall. Spent a while panning around the terminator with a 6mm eyepiece, I can't get over the amount of extra detail visible compared to my little 2 inch refractor. I was most taken with what looked to me like a deep scar leading into a cauliflower! The cauliflower being a roundish dark feature with white specks around the edges and the middle (obviously mountain tops just catching the sun). I did make a sketch (which I'm not going to publish :-) and looked it up in Patrick Moore et al The Atlas of the Solar System (what a great book for £2.99 in Oxfam). Seems I was looking at the Alpine Valley and mountains. What an interesting area, I think I'll be coming back to have another look, to see how it compares when the moon is illuminated differently. I never really understood the attraction of lunar observing, but I may be warming to it :-) Chris
  13. Anybody else have a power cut this morning? Ours was off from about 0650-0730 (just when I wanted to iron my shirt).
  14. As pointed out in numerous science fiction books, if you designed your space ship to continuously accelerate at 1G towards its destination in the direction of the ship's "roof" (upwards?) then you'd have a nice artificial gravity environment to live & work in. Of course, halfway to your destination you'd want to turn the ship around and decelerate at the same rate...
  15. I bagged Saturn, M57, M13 and Albireo last night, all lovely through the 8" dob.
  16. I bagged M57 for the first time last night, through relatively light-polluted skies with some high cloud drifting around. A couple of nights ago I couldn't make out the trapezium either, but it was quite obvious last night. Maybe the OP needs to try again on a different night when atmospheric conditions are different. It's worth the wait, what an amazing object!
  17. mallux

    Scope on order :)

    I know the feeling, I got my first proper view of Saturn last night even though the seeing was pretty poor it was still amazing. Like to think that I saw the Cassini division and a good selection of moons (whoops, forgot to count :-) The weather forecast looks (fingers crossed) clear for tonight in my area, so I half-jokingly said to the wife as I went out of the door, "I'm staying up all night tonight then". To which she replied, "oh no you're not!" This new nocturnal hobby is going to take some adjustment from the whole family I think... :-) Chris
  18. mallux

    Scope on order :)

    I must admit that even having diligently turtle-waxed the base, and leaving the bolt reasonably loose, it still feels a bit sticky to me. But maybe that's what it's supposed to feel like. Difficult to tell, never having had a chance to play with anybody else's. Chris
  19. mallux

    Scope on order :)

    Nice one Vicky, sounds like you had a little more luck with the weather than I did last night! Still, I think we're both officially in the 8" dob club now. Chris
  20. Also looked in the Harlow store last night; this week's offers seem to be tasteful 1980's bedroom furniture, no sign of the chair in the store or the leaflets Chris
  21. mallux


  22. mallux

    Skyliner 200p

    From the album: Hardware

  23. Or Spacevidcast for a high definition feed. Chris
  24. Ooh the interactive version is nice, I've just spent a good half an hour wandering around the sky. Somehow more satisfying than Stellarium. Chris
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