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    Astronomy of course. Plus Physics in general. History (mostly medieval), writing, reading, music, computers, technology... all good stuff too. :)
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  1. Managed half an hour before the fireworks came from two directions at once. Got a quick view of Jupiter and a few minutes with M31. Not impressed!
  2. Ski jacket and ski trousers - they're brilliant for keeping warm. A flask of tea is also a pleasant companion.
  3. Clear here, but very cold. 'Scope cooling outside at the moment, plastering myself in several layers before I brave it out there! Hear some ominous banging though so I may be interrupted by fireworks.
  4. The light pollution was shocking. But the video's incredible - I saw it for the first time when it was APOD but I can watch it over and over. I find the fact that you can see the stars rising in the background incredible (with the distinct shape of Orion) as well as the flashes of lightning / thunder storms. Very envious of the people on the ISS!
  5. Something to look forward to in 2013! Could be exciting.
  6. Like others have said, there aren't words to describe how amazing this is! Think we need a separate dictionary to describe most things astronomical.
  7. Neil Armstrong: You will not be forgotten. Stepping on the moon was the greatest achievement of mankind and has inspired millions of people, especially myself. Thinking of you. It does feel like the end of an era.
  8. The picture by the MRO is fantastic. It's become my new computer wallpaper. (Sorry if this has already been posted) Footage captured by Curiosity as it descended: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=149974611
  9. Sorry if some of my advice is repeats of what others have said. It's a great 'scope - I've got one myself and it's given me fantastic views, even though I'm in quite a light polluted area. A lot of DSOs are visible no problem. Start with what you get with the 'scope and you'll have enough to be getting on with. But do get a book like Turn Left at Orion to help you navigate the sky. The finderscope isn't bad, but I prefer Telrads, so you might find it easier to use one of them. You can pick them up at quite a reasonable price if you look around a bit online. The 10mm eyepiece isn't much good so you might want to get a replacement for that. You may want a lower magnification eyepiece for wide views (some people use these to find objects in place of a finder, it's all personal preference). You also may want something a bit more high powered (say around 5-7mm) if you want to do some planetary viewing. Plus a barlow doesn't go amiss as it effectively doubles your eyepiece collection. The Tal barlows are great cheap barlows. A collimating tool is useful as the 'scope will need re-aligning now and again, though I've found it doesn't need tweaking too often. A red torch would be handy if you've not already got one. Other than that, all I recommend is a warm coat and a chair for the garden.
  10. Well done to the team. Can't wait for Curiosity to get up and running - I think it's going to give really significant insight into the geology of the planet and may make some unexpected discoveries.
  11. Nice pics - I especially like the one of the Ring Nebula, it's great. I like the subtle colouring you've captured.
  12. Managed to catch some glimpses through the clouds. Thought I was going to get 'naff all but I was lucky!
  13. I was awake at 4am this morning, looked out and saw only clouds. Persevered regardless with the binos and went out for an hour - with success! There were 3 breaks in the cloud for 30ish seconds for each, where I got to see the distinctive dot of Venus making its way across the Sun. Chuffed to have seen it, as I didn't catch the '04 transit.
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