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About Cate

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  1. Thanks. That's exactly what I get jimtheslim. In the 10mm eyepiece I have to be really careful not to lose what I'm looking at. I have to really pull it far too much with a well timed push back to get it just move a tiny bit. Where do I find the right nut to loosen? Sorry basic question.
  2. Hi everyone, I've had a long break from stargazing, the last entry in my journal was 2010. Very embarrassing. Having kids seems to have been the biggest culprit there. There are so many things I've forgotten. I'll probably be asking a lot of questions for a while! I got out and looked at jupiter tonight which was fantastic. The conditions tonight were awful so I didn't get to see anything else, no moon but a neighbour's flood light and intermittent clouds were my enemies. Just with the scope though - the dobsonian mount is a bit sticky. It always was, but I wondered if this is normal or whether it should move like butter in all directions at all times? Can I make it any smoother? And how do I do this as the mechanism is obviously hidden in the mount. And secondly the three poles which extend up and collapse down have become very stiff, there were always very smooth. I'm guessing just age and being out in the open air (stored inside) has made any lubrication disappear. What can I use, if anything, to loosen these up a bit? Thanks, cate.
  3. I'm new to trying to view the sun so forgive my ignorance. I want to try and view the transit on June 6th with one of my scopes. I don't have solar filters so is this still possible? I'll try the pinhole method with card anyway. Which scope would be best to use? - my 12" dobsonian or 6" newton reflector (eq mount)? Can anyone point me in the direction of instructions of how to use them? Thanks.
  4. Cate

    Full Moonlight?

    If you're trying to see anything but the moon then the full moon will cause you a lot of problems - but you've probably found that out by now? Sometimes I just give up when the full moon is out.
  5. Thank you to everyone who responded. Last night I had a really good night. I started on Jupiter and I had the best views I've ever had. I could see so much more detail, more bands and variations within them. There was nothing wrong this time with the shape of the planet so you guys were absolutely correct in saying the primary was being distorted. I don't think the collimation is 100% spot on but it was definitely good enough, I'm just being picky! So I'll try again at that soon. I am so pleased with this new scope so far, I just couldn't get over how much more I was able to see with the bigger aperture. I also gave Uranus a go but didn't hold out too much hope - I've tried before and just never been able to find it or Neptune. Wow, it just popped out at me through the finder scope and it was incredible to see Uranus for the first time. It was unmistakeable in the eyepiece.
  6. Thanks guys, we have loosened them off already, my husband says there is even a little play in it where the metal plate covering the rubber clamp can just move. The clouds have covered the sky unfortunately, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to test it out again. Hopefully that is the answer though, it makes sense. Thanks
  7. Mikea and Ed, thanks, I think you may be right about the mirror clips being too tight. We did do them up pretty far and I remember thinking they didn't look that tight before we replaced the mirror. I'll change that right away. Do you mean that the actual mirror is being distorted out of shape? I didn't think it could be distorted being such a hefty piece of glass.
  8. I have tried to collimate my 12" Dob Skywatcher correctly but need a few tips. Firstly I've been viewing Jupiter tonight. The view is good, I can see the SEB and one other band, and variations within the band, but I can't quite focus it perfectly, also the moons are not pin points. There are high winds in the atmosphere tonight and the clouds are going to roll in soon, so this may be a factor too. When I defocus it Jupiter is more triangular than a perfect circle. Is this bad collimation? Secondly having read Astrobaby's guide and Andy's shot glass guide I am still confused about the process of collimation. I am using a cheshire collimator. When I have the cheshire in I cannot get all 3 primary mirror holders in view whatever I do. But I can get everything else lined up pretty well. The only criticism I would have is that the centre black circle is not quite circular. Which mirror needs changing for this? When I take the collimator out, the view is exactly (except for the circular issue) what all the guides say it should be. Without the collimator I can see all the intricasies I'm supposed to be able to see, with it I can't (I'm talking about seeing the secondary mirror holder on the left mainly). Am I supposed to be able to see the whole picture with the cheshire in? I'm obviously missing something pretty obvious.
  9. Cate

    New scope

    Thanks everyone, I did clean the mirror in the end. I used the method on the YouTube clip with the help of my long suffering husband. I see what you mean about using a support for the tube Ed, I found that out half way through! In all it was a very successful process, no damage sustained to anything and the mirror is looking 100 times better. After a handfull of attempts at cleaning and drying it there are still a few water marks that I just couldn't get rid of. These are very small though. We couldn't get hold of any purified water and didn't fancy boiling and capturing our own. Am I right in thinking that they shouldn't affect the images? I've collimated it to the best of my ability so far. I took it out to look at Jupiter last night and was so disappointed with the viewing. I couldn't even get it anywhere near focussed and there was so much boiling. I thought I couldn't have collimated well enough. But then I got the 6" out to compare and to my relief it was just as bad in that one too. The escaping heat of the afternoon and some interspersed fine high cloud must have been the culprets. So Im still very much looking forward to a truly clear night.
  10. Cate

    New scope

    Yes, I was slightly dismayed to see the state of the mirror. Perhaps I'm overstating this, it is only dust. I agree that it probably was a shop demo model, but the shop in question is the NZ importer and distributor for Skywatcher. He specialises in telescopes and I've bought eye pieces, filters and other accessories from him before. I'm confident it's not second hand, the primary mirror was still wrapped up and the finder scope was wrapped and needed setting up. The shop is more of a wholesaler and only sells to the public if they know about him (he doesn't advertise, no web site etc). Anyway there is no damage that I can see and I'm happy with it so far. Thanks for the advice on cleaning, I think I will do it myself, that way I know it will be done right. How do you get the mirror out? Do you unscrew the locking screws and then the small ones on the bars nearer the middle of the mirror? I've downloaded the GoTo manual so will try and get the library downloaded onto the handset this weekend. Still very cloudy here but just can't wait to get out there with it!!
  11. Hi, After 2 years of thoroughly enjoying my 6" newtonian I have bought myself a new telescope - 12" Dobsonian Skywatcher :hello2: Thanks for peoples' advice on here when I was deciding which one to go for. I decided against a bigger one and now I've felt how heavy this one is I know I've made the right choice. I have got it out of the boxes and put it all together and am wishing I could use it straight away (of course it's cloudy tonight). I'm really very pleased with it and just can't wait to see some results. However the primary mirror is very dusty, and I mean very. Is cleaning it really viable or should I do what my head is telling me and take it back to the dealer to do? I can't see how to remove the mirror and I see the booklet doesn't tell you how And secondly I have bought GoTo with it but don't know quite how to set it up. It didn't come with a manual on how to do it. Anyway I really look forward to being able to report back on what I can see! Amazing just how excited I am about getting a new toy.
  12. Great that you've worked it out and found some good sites. Just for future reference with Stellarium if you find the object (ie Saturn) and click on it and press the space bar then it will centre and track that object. Then use the mouse roller to zoom in and out as far as you want (then it shows you the position of the moons).
  13. Cate

    Joining the ranks of firsts

    :D:D:D Yep, Saturn is just awesome isn't it? It never gets any less inspiring either.
  14. Hi Mark,sounds like it was Titan, it's really clear when you lok at Saturn. Titan is always in line with the rings (or extremely near in line) and is the brightest other object in the eyepiece.Have you tried looking at Stellarium to see where the moons were at that time? If you zoom in on the planet it then shows you the moons too.Hopefully you'll be able to see a couple more moons next time? Especially if you know where to look!
  15. Cate

    Saturn in my 16" on 17 May 2010

    Your sketches are lovely, it's so nice to see them. Look forward to seeing some more.

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