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Everything posted by jollyjack

  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.
  15. Here's the link: Royal Astrononomical Society of Canada - Observing | Certificates
  16. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (if that's its right name) have a series of observing certificates which I think is a pretty good starting point for such a list. I'm sure people would like to personalise it with favourites and I think a seasonal index would be very good. What about a naked eye observing list (planets, earthshine, optical phenomena, lunar halo, noctilucent cloud, satellites, meteors etc).
  17. Sorry, here's a link...
  18. Just been listening to Echoes...how bizzare? Anyone seen or heard the "Spacenight" compilations from Germany? Used to get off their faces listening to chill/trance whilst watching space images, number one on German TV for years around the turn of the millenium. Google it, something else in its day. Back from the Gulf for a couple of weeks, missing the skies already, loving that southern sky at 10 degrees north. Good thing is I'll be 5 degrees or so south when i rejoin the ship
  19. Alongside in port in the Indian Ocean arena at the moment, stargazing has been far from my mind over the last few days, my job is equivalent to being Regimental Sergeant Major in the Army, busy busy busy! Have been following replies keenly, got mail today including my Sky at Night magazine, hopefully get some time to read it if my 200+ lads don't ceate too much havoc tonight! Seriously wonder if the dark skies issue has led to many people going offshore to do their observing. Admittedly the platform may not be steady, so 'scopes out of the question, but for me the bins are perfect in this environment............... Hope you're not all catching cold etc. Only29 degress today, bit dissapointing!
  20. Yeti, You a mariner as well? Do you mean Toddy astro centre? I'm from the other side of Burnley myself, Claret and True! Never been to the observatory, would be interested in a job up there when I leave the Andrew. About 11 degrees north at the mo.
  21. Hi all, Deployed on an RN ship in the Gulf of Aden chasing bad guys. Have taken advantage of the beautiful weather to have a good session with my Pentax 12x50s my missus got me for Christmas. The seeing has been remarkably good but a little hazy dusk/dawn. Temperature about 22 degrees overnight, rising to 28-30 during the day Anyway, being so far south is a unique opportunity for me and I have been looking at "Turn Left.." "Stargazing with Binoculars" and my Stellarium to find out what's out there. Didn't prepare me for the sight of the LMC and SMC low on the SSW horizon the other night, truly massive and awesome, some clusters & galaxies faintly visible within, nebulosity a bit vague but a definite blue smudge to the naked eye, about 3 degrees across. Will be investigating in much more detail through the coming weeks. Saw NGC 2516, NGC 2541 and 2547 around Puppis and Carina, lovely through 12x50s, if a little dimmer than the 7/10x50s I'm used to. Am waiting for Crux, Southern Pliaedes and Centaurus to come over the horizon. We should be heading further south towards the equator over the coming weeks, so I should be able to see all of the southern sky! As I become more familiar with the area I will post on my obsevations. Incredible to see Orion overhead and the southern sky looking so new and inviting!
  22. Cheers for the advice, very interesting article, but unfortunately past repair, (well my own efforts). Am interested in the 10x50 monocular idea. Have seen the make your own refractor with 50mm primariesfrom bins, may look at those as projects. in the meantime and elf from Lapland has told me not to worry!!!! Merry Christmas to all!!
  23. Cheers for the sentiment! Have got stellarium now, and ave been looking at my potential locations, should be very interesting. Will send some observation reports hopefully with the bins I'm taking with me. "Oh I couldn't care less For the Killick of the Mess Or the Buffer of the working party, Cos I'm off ashore At a quarter past four I'm Jack me (flippin') hearty!!!"
  24. Due to spend 7 months away frm UK with the British Navy 2010 ivo Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea. Could be operationally anything from manic to mind-numbing. Have got a binocular set and am intersted if anyone has observing experience from that area. What will I be able to see that I cant see from the UK?
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