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Probablynot

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About Probablynot

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    Star Forming

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    Male
  • Location
    Mid Wales. The cloudy, wet bit.
  1. Thanks Luke. That seems to answer my first question, and (by inference) the second one too. (But oops. you've edited your answer! It made more sense to me before you did!) I wonder how the early astronomers worked out that star clusters weren't just star fields? But I'm puzzled about *why* there are star clusters. Seems to me that gravitational interaction between stellar bodies would tend, over time, to split them up rather than cause them to stay together in incredibly complex interactive orbits. Hence the last of my questions. I'm also interested to know if there are any specialist astronomers who look at star clusters to see just how the component stars move in relation to each other. If they do move, that is. Visibly. To us. Similarly, when we observe double stars, is it possible to see their rotation relative to each other? Or is the timescale too way out to be observed from Earth?
  2. What is the difference between a star cluster, and a small area of sky where there happens to be rather a lot of stars? Are all star clusters clustered both in terms of what we see, AND of the distance from us of their component stars? Assuming star clusters are really clustered stars, are they clustered close enough together for them to have an orbitary relationship to each other? Do the stars within the cluster therefore change position relative to each other, in a timescale that makes the change visible from Earth? Do they ever collide? Or whizz off out of the cluster as a result of a close shave? Visibly, I mean. Why do stars cluster?
  3. My Heritage 130P came with a pretty neat little rdf. I love how it centres in so fast on the object I want to look at. My 200P DS came with a big, heavy 9x50 scope finder. It Would be great if only I could see the cross hairs when it's dark. I want a Telrad...
  4. "Better" has to be based on parameters that suit YOU. The Heritage 130P is 'better' than the Skywatcher 150 because it's cheaper. By £80, I think you said. The SW150 is 'better' because it's 150 rather than 130, so there's more light coming in and the image you get is better. The Heritage 130P is 'better' because it takes up less space. And it's SO easy to set up on sudden impulse because of that superb clear sky you hadn't anticipated. The SW150 is better because you're clever, and you get it set up in time to get the superb views anyway. I've got a Heritage 130P. It's often 'better' than my SW200PDS.
  5. I went outside last night (well, Thurs morning at 1.30am to be precise) to dump some potato peelings in the recycling thingie, and saw a lovely half-moon just demanding to be looked at. Quickly took out the little Heritage 130P dob-ette and set it up on the wall that separates my cottage from the A483. Had some super views of the Mare Imbrium and the Plato and Archimedes craters, then noticed a bright-ish star a bit further northwards so I had to have a look. A disc, with hints of colour and three satellites in view! Obviously Jupiter! Yippee! Several lorries went by in the next 45 minutes. Big forestry-type lorries. I wonder what the drivers thought must be going on if they bothered to look at me as I peered into my lovely little portable scope? Actually I just stood back and closed my eyes as they went past, to preserve a bit of night vision. That was a superb bit of fortuitous astronomy! Uranus seems to make itself available these days (er, nights!), but lowish on the horizon and in places where I have trees. So I haven't seen it yet. The same applies to Saturn and Mars (close together, but frustratingly unavailable to me). Things are looking up! Although I wasn't as lucky with the clouds tonight, so I couldn't repeat last night's delightful experience!
  6. I'm still tempted by the idea of fitting an inexpensive rack+pinion 1.25" focuser in place of the fitted helical one. You've prompted me to look around, and it does seem there are suitable focusers available without spending too much money. But I'm put off by the fiddly job of hacking off the existing focuser while leaving a decent base-plate to put the new focuser on; [ii] the chance that the new focuser might not be able to focus at the scope's natural focus point; [iii] the thought that if I leave my Heritage 130 Dob strictly alone, I could sell it for a decent price and perhaps put the proceeds towards a Skymax. Except that the Skymax also appears to have a helical focuser (I may be wrong here). So maybe a 150p Dob instead. Much less portable, but looking more like a proper scope. There is also the little matter that my Heritage 130 was a present from my lady friend, only a month or so ago. So (at least for now) I have to be utterly delighted with it. And I have to admit that, apart from this niggle about the focuser, I am!
  7. http://www.meridiantelescopes.com/images/telescopefocuser/foc1149b.htm Possible. Only $20, but $42 postage from USA. I wonder if any UK supp[liers are carrying it?
  8. <<I think it's more the smoothness the OP is looking to improve, not necessarily the field?>> Yes, Moonshane, that's more or less where I am. I'm content that the focuser only takes 1.25" eyepieces, but I don't like the amount of play in it, especially when the eyepiece has to be screwed out far enough to cope with my short sight. Also, I wish it had rack & pinion adjustment instead of helical. I find it disconcerting that the eyepiece rotates when I adjust the focus, and if I put my little webcam in there it plays havoc with the usb wire! I do realise it would be silly to try and attach an Antares Dual Speed Crayford Focuser or something like that. I just wondered if anyone had tried any DIY improvements that might make me feel happier with the existing setup.
  9. That's what I thought too, James. It's just that the Heritage 130 is such a sweet little machine! But it would be perfecter (if you'll pardon such abuse of the English language) with a slightly better focuser! I was just hoping that someone had looked on it with the same slightly jaundiced eyes that I have, and had come up with a solution!
  10. My lady friend recently gave me one of these sweet little Dobs, about a month ago, to use as a pick-up-and-go scope. It's a super little instrument, ideal for the job, but I do have one quarrel with it. I hate the plastic screw-in, screw-out focuser. Has anyone tried upgrading the focuser? Can it be done (reasonably elegantly, I mean, and at a reasonable cost)?
  11. Humbrol do a clear red in their modelmakers' range of tiny paint tins. Or at least they used to - not sure about now. My own tin dates from about 1970, and it's still useable!
  12. I think the astronomers only switched from calling it 'Herschel' because they liked the jokes they could tell with the other name.
  13. I've sent details to my sister-in-not-exactly-law. She's been expressing interest, and she lives half a mile from the school! (ps - how come so many mid-wales peeps have contacts in Leamington?)
  14. Or you could try https://secure.palmcoastd.com/pcd/eSv?iMagId=03401&i4Ky=IG01 $62 per year (approx £39) direct from USA seems better value ...
  15. http://stargazerslounge.com/showthread.php?t=184537&page=2 Keep an eye on the above thread, Jason! I'm trying to get some sort of community going - maybe even a club - for us people in the lovely, dark parts of mid-Wales. I'm about 30 miles NW from you, btw, near Llanwrtyd Wells.
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