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Starhoparfa

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About Starhoparfa

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    Nebula

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    Dudley, UK
  1. Just wanted to also say that this edition that I have is good 'til at least about 2020 in the currency of its planetary and solar/lunar eclipse information tables. If you want to add a cheapie addition to an Amazon order you'll get so much out of that £1.50 outlay. It covers all the various aspects of astronomy from equipment to explanations of phenomena, planetary and lunar motion, types of stars, binarys, doubles etc, nebulae of the various types and galaxies. There are quite detailed chapters on observing the moon and the various planets, sketching and recording observations, and astrophotography. As I say it's focus leans towards the scientific side of astronomy but it is well explained. I've never sat one but I'd guess it would be useful introduction for a school student taking something like a GCSE in Astronomy. In addition, it really is a good, pocket-sized field guide to the whole topic.
  2. It looks like they are. It turns out my book is actually called Stargazing for Beginners and not The Practical Astronomer as I posted above. Indeed, the pages shown on amazon in my link reflect exactly what are in my copy of Stargazing for Beginners. I had it from The Book People too (at work) and I think it was about a fiver. You must get this book for that price. It really is very good for a beginner and the illustrations and photos constantly whet your apetite.
  3. Oh, and I also have this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Practical-Astronomy-Storm-Dunlop/dp/0540089990/ref=sr_1_72?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358720287&sr=1-72#_ It's covers more of the scientific aspects of astronomy and at £1.50 (for the old edition I have) for a 200-page book, what a bargain!
  4. I have acquired several over the last year but have found DK's 'The Practical Astonomer' to be a fantastic coffee table book that is difficult not to pick up. The detailed constellation and starhopping chapter is particularly excellent for observing but, unfortunately, there are no snippets of those pages on Amazon's 'look inside' facility: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Practical-Astronomer-Dk-Astronomy/dp/1405356200/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358719196&sr=1-2#_
  5. Things were looking really promising at about 8pm with lots of stars visible and the sky looking quite dark. I went out at midnight and noticed that, while there were still no clouds about, things didn't seem as clear as they were earlier in the evening. Well, everything I put down quickly got covered in copious amounts of dew- I've never known so much! Eyepieces, mirrors, binoculars and even my glasses were fogging up left right and centre. Packed up at 12:50. I had a nice little look at Jupiter but my only new conquest was Kemble's cascade but I couldn't make out differences in colours of the various stars, although I did see the star cluster at the base of it. Not bad to get that cluster through bins I suppose.
  6. Hi All, I've been playing with the time/date/year feature on Stellarium to track the constellations in which these two will appear over the coming years. It appears that they're dropping lower and lower in the sky over the next 5-10 years and won't rise again to a reasonable height in the sky until 2020ish in the case of Jupiter and 2030ish in the case of saturn. Now I know that light pollution doesn't really affect planetary viewing but I would assume that the amount of atmosphere you're looking through will. So, have we had the best of it for a good while, in the case of Saturn especially? Or, does the distance in astronomical units between earth and each gas giant matter more to viewing? Thanks
  7. We're still here one night later so I guess that also rules out it being a Vogon constructor fleet.
  8. Not so sure the roof is a good idea as the air currents will badly affect your views. Even patios can radiate stored heat back upwards during the evenings.
  9. Thanks for this. Your excellent starhopping tip over the less obvious constellations and star patterns enabled me to locate the dumbell nebula, even in an orangey sky. I've now also got a new found appreciation for the bins.
  10. Just returned back from a resort called Pineda de Mar on the Costa Brava- it's in the Lloret de Mar/Tossa de Mar area and about 45 minutes from Barcelona. We had 12 days of faultless weather- blazing sunshine day after day and consistently around 33C. When we flew in there was a thin layer of high cloud which didn't seem to make a difference to the sunshine on the ground. I took the 10 X 50 bins and the S & T pocket atlas hoping mainly to get a view of a few of the DSOs in Saggitarius and Scorpius which would be a bit higher up at that latitude. Anyway, and I kid you not, I only saw a maxiumum of about two stars every night which were high up and I can only assume were in the summer triangle. You couldn't identify a single constellation. The amount of lights in the area didn't seem that great compared to the more commercial resorts I've visited and, lets face it, even those are usually away from the major connurbations. There was an orangey glow to the sky though so I'm not sure whether my disappointing viewing night after night was down to haziness or light pollution. So, is it actually worth taking bins to mediterranean holidays or is mine an isolated experience?
  11. We have the Heritage 130P Flextube and find it great for bunging in the boot when we make trips to a dark sky site where we keep a caravan. I've been very disappointed with viewing at home after being spoilt by very dark skies. Depending on how much light pollution you have, you might find it quite difficult and frustrating as a beginner to find many DSOs when you simply can't see enough stars to accurately locate them coupled with the fact that the light pollution renders them even more difficult to spot. For example, I mananged to find the ring nebula in lyra the other night at home because it is very easy to locate exactly mid way between the two lower stars of Lyra's parallelogram. However, the dumbell nebula was impossible for me to signpost and spot because of its greater distance from obvious patterns of bright stars. When we next go away it will be on my hit list and I'm confident I will find it in darker skies. As stated above, I very much see our 130P as a keeper for trips away.
  12. I read something a few months back about authorities switching off street lights during the small hours, primarily to save money. Has this happened for anybody? If so, did it make any difference with all the other light sources coming from cars, businesses, homes and back gardens?
  13. This looks good. Where did you get the tripod from and how does it fit to the Dob base? Will an ordinary camera tripod do?
  14. Hi, I've recently purchased a smartphone but am not on a contract so am using wifi to connect to the web. Are there any free stellarium type apps available that you kind people could recommend for downloading? Many thanks A
  15. I don't know enough about telescopes to answer specifically but I personally wouldn't store anything remotely precious in a place that is subject to such extreme temperature fluctuations and bright light. A garage or shed might get pretty cold in the winter but they do, at least, offer a fairly stable temperature over the course of any one day/night and would certainly need less adaptation time when moving a scope outside.
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