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  1. Anyone seen the S&N 2014 yearbook yet? Worth a punt?
  2. I live about 3 miles from Parkham, towards Bradworthy. Skies round there are really dark when clear. There is some traffic but on a clear night you have wonderful views! Have a scout round when you get there, lots of little tracks away from the traffic to set up with the right horizons etc. I have been to AA to check their scopes out in the day but never at night, they are really friendly and run an astro shop in Bideford that is worth a look for checking out the size/weight of scopes etc and their prices aren't bad, thought like most shops they struggle to compete with Amazon/FLO etc. Enjoy!
  3. I think the 2 main stars to start from are 6 Commae and Rho Virginis. Had a hoot last night sweeping around from there (blumming cold by the end though). Would've stayed all night but probably died from hypothermia! Have used Cartes du Ciel Telrad maps to plan hops from one end of the chain to the other, as well as going further out to see M49, 61 etc. Weather due to turn next week so make the most of it..............
  4. I would use binoculars in conjunction with your 'scope. There are many, many objects that are easily identifiable in bins. Searching them out in this way gives you some experience in a particular part of the sky which you can then relate to what you can see naked eye, through a finderscope, RDF, Telrad or whatever. I tend to use Stellarium to "rehearse" what I'm going to do, narrowing the FOV down to what I know my bins, finderscope and say 25mm EP will show to identify what features I'm looking for in each of them respectively to put me on my target.
  5. 12x50s under clear skies but couldn't make out anything moving against the background of stars. Had the intercept planned from 2115 to 2145 across the Plough but nothing, nada, zilch, niet, rien. Suspect it was a lot dimmer than some had been anticipating.
  6. New scope from FLO arrived promptly, all in one piece and looking good. Ordered one previously from another retailer which was damaged on arrival. A brief look at Orion and Jupiter tonight convinced me I've made a good choice. VERY easy to set up, carry in one hand outside, plonk on a table, remove dust cap, extend truss tubes and off you go! Properly collimated, RDF aligned, 25mm eyepiece of better quality than I'd anticipated. Smooth action to adjust in altitude and azimuth, variable tension on altitude to help with balance, convenient viewing position. They say the best scope is the one you use the most, would tend to agree. Looks like it'll take my 6" SCT on the mount without a problem also without lugging the CG5 mount/tripod around, but would need a Telrad or something... Anyway needless to say the clouds rolled in after a few minutes, but the Heritage is so portable it'll be the "go to" (pardon the pun) for me for quick sessions this year and hopefully for many to come. Cheers
  7. Philip, What tripod are you using with your C6? I have a C6 on a CG5 mount which is sturdy as hell but a bit of a weight to lug around. The one in the picture certainly looks lightweight, any problems with vibration?
  8. Hi all, Long time no visit SGL, work in Plymouth and live in N Devon near Bradworthy. Have tried taking a portable grab n go on Dartmoor a few times but find that the higher up you go on the south side the more exposed to LP from Guzz you are. Obviously the further north on the moor you go the more your southern horizon may be obscured. The east side is riven with valleys like the Teign. Bodmin Moor can offer some good dark sky sites, but more of a journey from Plymouth. Has anyone tried the coast west of Plymouth down near Tregantle Fort? Could be good round there. During the week I pop up on the Moor at times but usually just for some bino viewing. Where I live around EX22 has some amazing dark skies, not a conscious decision when I moved there, but serendipitous.
  9. Pentax 12x50PCF WPII are AWESOME. Got them as a present a few years ago. Tried the cheapie Bresser 10x50s from LIDL that come out now and again, OK and v manageable . Now I'm a hefty bloke who can stand for ages with these things as my arms are up to it. Look at www.binocularsky.com for many and varied ideas on supports for viewing with Bins, but maybe if it's your primary "grab n go" optics, then strengthen your arms/shoulders through resistance training to increase your endurance. Bigger bins don't weigh so much more that the stability goes out the window if you have just a little extra strength to manage them. An upturned broom makes a cheap and effective support for your bins and brings so much more into play, or increases the aperture you can steadily hold. Bins are truly the gateway into astronomy!
  10. Evening all, long time no post... Anyone know the weight of the SW AZ GOTO mount with a small OTA like a 1145P or a Startravel 102? Currently use a C6 SCT on a CG5 and, while pleased with it, it is bulky and heavy to lug outside which, I have to say, has stopped me from taking advantage of the occasional clear night. Am looking for a quick set up automated option. Comments appreciated. (C6 is 4.5 kg, CG5 is a bit more!)
  11. By the way, whats the hierarchy, still a nebula, ever gonna be a Red Giant? Do I have to just post loads of drivel or hang around for years on end?
  12. Like your reply, not sure if we're both in "could try harder" or "getting some seniority" bracket, but I feel reassured that astronomy is for life, and not for the initial excitement etc phase. When its dark in the Winter, or when I've been south into the tropics, bins are the simplest way to get into the zone and reconnect with the awe it inspires:)
  13. It would seem I have fallen into a bit of a snooze...18 Dec 2010 the last visit! Have hardly been out with the bins or the scope. is my love of the art dying? No! Just v busy and distracted by life and stuff. Anyone else find that "life" gets in the way and leads them from the path for weeks that turn into months? (have been watching S@N and other good stuff when possible). Summer a bit linked with the football close season, unless you're a night owl. Shortest day in a week or so, nights will be drawing in soon. Autumn probably my favourite season, watching Pegasus/Auriga/Andromeda start to appear in the evenings. Anyway, apologies for being an astronomical errant, will try harder!
  14. Got a C6 SCT and CG5 mount/tripod. What I'd call post-apocalyptic set up...will withstand an earthquake! Use it for visual only at the mo. Not an imager but have seen a lot of visual delight from my local dark skies (N Devon). Can't say whwether it's better than a 200 Newt for either visual or imaging but certainly portable if your in shape.
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