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    Wirral. UK
  1. that's very kind thank you. I'll give this a go. I've been trying using the stars in Ursa Major without success so far.
  2. Yup. Whatever planets are visible (Jupiter at the moment), Pleiades, beehive, double cluster, Orion Nebula and a few others over and over again. I keep trying to find m81 and 82 to add them to my repertoire but I've failed so far.
  3. 5 channels?! Luxury. Anyway, I'm a bit puzzled here. Once you managed to get Jupiter focussed (which it sounds like you did having a pea sized object with 3 dots) then moving the focuser will just put it out of focus. Where you trying to zoom in on it? The focuser just makes it sharper, once you had its shape with the moons just tiny movements would be required to get it as sharp as possible. When you want more magnification you use the lower focal length eyepiece. I.e. it works like this: Get Jupiter it finder scope crosshairs Look through low power eyepiece (e.g. 25mm) and get it centred Move the focuser until the image is sharp (a disc with some dots). Once you've done this moving the focuser won't do anything except to make it big and blurry (i.e. out of focus) If you need more magnification then centre Jupiter and change to a higher power eyepiece (e.g. 10mm) If you don't see anything except black then Jupiter is probably just out of your field of view and you need to move the scope very slightly to get it back in view. Once it's in view in the high power eyepiece you may need to focus again to get it sharp. At this point you should see some detail on the planet's surface. If you need more magnification again you can change the eyepiece again or add a barlow lens. Keep in mind that adding more and more magnification doesn't always add more detail as you can end up limited by atmospheric disturbance. At low power (e.g. 25mm) you probably won't see much colour or detail but you should see some bands on the planet in subtle colour at higher power. Sorry if this is all too basic but I didn't understand why you were moving the focuser in and out once you had the planet focussed as it appears you had.
  4. that sounds like Jupiter (the pea) and three of its moons then.
  5. It will do that when it is out of focus. You mentioned earlier that when you got it in focus it looks like a star, this does seem to suggest that you weren't looking at Jupiter. In which case your finder scope alignment is probably off. I agree with Jamie, until you've discounted that as the cause don't be tempted to spend money on this problem. The way you have described it collimation is not likely to be the cause. If you had a collimation problem you'd not see Jupiter as a small star, if you had a problem getting the telescope to focus you wouldn't see Jupiter as a small star, it would always look like that out of focus image you posted.
  6. In a recently aired interview SPM said he thought Chris Lintott would be perfect for it. I can't say I disagree. I really like the team that do it now and while I like Brian Cox I don't think he suits the programme. Brian May knows his stuff but I don't think it needs a celebrity presenter Chris would be suitably knowledgeable and has a good presenting style so if it was down to me I'd offer him the job.
  7. My understanding is that Newtonian scopes need most cooling because they are essentially large empty tubes with an opening at one end. The heat from the mirror slowly leaves the scope via the opening causing turbulence within the scope. It is this turbulence that affects the view. Other systems are less affected as they are closed systems without this big opening so they don't have heat escaping through the light path in such a big way. No doubt someone with more knowledge will come along and explain more.
  8. That's the back of the mirror yes. There are three pairs of screws like that. In the image the scope is in its mount pointing upwards. The angle of the pic and being a closeup may make it hard to envisage the bigger picture perhaps.
  9. Ah, right I see. I've got a Cheshire on order. I used the scope for the first time last night and I did a star test, as far as I can tell the rings were concentric so if it is out of collimation it's not by much at all. Also, the view of Jupiter I got was excellent so it seems to be working pretty well. :-) Thanks for the help.
  10. Thanks. If it was really tight at the end of its travel what did you do in order to collimating it? I presume you had to loosen it and then adjust the other two?
  11. Hi, they are for adjusting the primary mirror to line it up with the secondary mirror i.e. "collimating" the telescope.
  12. Thanks very much. By "large" I take it you mean the fat one is the adjusting knob as opposed to the long skinny one? :-) Cheers
  13. Hi, This is my new Skywatcher Explorer 150P. The instructions describe a few different screw layouts but not this one. Could anyone help me and tell me which is the locking screw and which is the adjusting screw? Much appreciated. Thanks Phil
  14. I love the lo-Fi style of Sky at Night. It is not like anything else and I like pretty much everything about its quirky style. I'd hate for them to try and revamp it to give it broader public appeal. However I think there is room for different presentation styles in science programming and I enjoy the Brian Cox type of format too, as long as it is not too dumbed down.
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