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  1. Hi Shibby. I can only repeat what I have said before. The groupings I saw and the shapes of the individual objects were absolutely clear and sharp, with clearly delineated geometry of both the triangular (not "vee") flight formations and of the outlines of the individual objects, on each occasion on which I observed them. In particular, the wing outlines with parallel sides and right-angles at the ends with no movement or variation of any kind together with the overall geometrically-precise shapes preclude any identification of them as birds. I am absolutely certain that what I saw were man-made flying craft, and my query was aimed at identifying them. Although the sightings lasted only around four seconds each that was sufficiently long to achieve the stated level of visual clarity.
  2. Having seen a Facebook photo of a recent flight of a single B2 over Holbeach Lincs on Facebook (posted by Paul Pablo Jackson) I confirm that this outline is EXACTLY what I witnessed several years ago. No, it wasn't a flight of birds, it was a precise triangular (not vee) formation of around 7-10 of these aircraft, and although at an altitude making them appear quite small, the outline was absolutely clear and unmistakeable with all the angles sharp and well defined on each occasion on which I witnessed them.
  3. I believe that Stargazers Lounge itself is an excellent barometer of the area interests of amateur astronomers. A check through the sections, topic totals, and replies totals will give a very good indicator of what kind and proportions of articles a good magazine needs produce and address in order to maximise its appeal and value.
  4. .......and when they deal with astronomy the major effort is always directed towards astrophotography. All very well for those into this topic, but the space (ho ho) given to actual visual astronomy is miniscule.
  5. I frequently observe from my bedroom window. Dropping the upper sash and fitting a blackout curtain to the lower sash means that I am protected from the wind, and am above and shielded from the streetlights outside. As we heat only the living room, the SCT is always at close to the outside temperature, and careful sealing of the downstairs window immediately below reduces rising air currents to a minimum. Although the amount of accessible sky without moving the mount and tripod is limited (WSW from +38 to -10, and about three and a half hrs in RA) it is quite sufficient to hold my interest for a session. Of course outside observation is better, but under certain circumstances I will take quick set up and comfort to the aternative under poor weather conditions. Horses for courses!
  6. It isn't possible for anyone to give any clear answer without knowledge of the levels of light pollution and sky quality at your viewing site.
  7. Might it be some sort of a multi magnification Barlow?
  8. The acid test is star test on a mag 2 star at 200x or more on a night of good seeing. If the Airey rings are concentric, complete, and with no perceptible deformation etc both inside and outside of focus, the collimation is good. More information is available on several websited.
  9. If I remember correctly,the secondary of a short F ratio 200mm reflector requires an offset due to the unequal focal lengths at the oposite sides of the light path due to the use of a 45 degree secondary of around 5mm for best results, and Skywatcher build the appropriate offset into their design as supplied. As you have measured the lengths of the vanes, all should be well. It certainly looks like the view down the 200mm flextube I used to own.
  10. Most telescope suppliers use metric threads exclusively, and both Celestron and Skywatcher certainly do. Those on your diagonal will be either 3mm or 4mm diameter. You should be able to measure the thread diameter to distinguish between these sizes, and appropriate thumb screws can be ordered in packs of 10 from such as Ebay and Amazon at quite a reasonable cost.
  11. The capability of a mount/tripod is not dependent solely on the weight of the instrument. The overall length mut also be considered. Arelatively long telescope like the Tal 100 will be affected more by wind, vibration, or knocks, and will also magnify disturbance more. The quoted satisfactory weights will only be more nearly achieved by F5 instruments, or SCTs.
  12. Try cooling the pair in the fridge, then take them out taking care not to touch the eyepiece. Hold the Barlow nosepiece in your clenched hand - or wrapped in a warmed up cloth - and after a short time try to withdraw the eyepiece again. With luck the Barlow will expand with the heat, while the eyepiece remains cold.
  13. BAA membership No 34070.Annually six Journals and a very useful 116 page Handbook of astronomical events for the year, a fine website, regular meetings, some of which are at venues around the country, internet head's up messages on new astronomical events such as comets and novae,and various interesting publications. What's not to like?
  14. Telescope "diving" on AZ3 mounts can be cured by replacing the Nyloc nut on the Alt pivot bolt by two plain locknuts and adjusting appropriately. See my post of 8.37pm on 30 March further up this thread. I happily use a 7kg SW 150mm F5 refractoron an AZ3 using this modification.
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