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About Zero-G

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    Star Forming

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    Rural Northants
  1. Decided on a 3/4" plywood platform with 4 x 5" braked wheels. Will cut holes for the baseboard feet and swivel bolt head so rocker box can sit flush. Nice that i don't have to make holes anywhere in the rocker box itself. I read about someone in the US who took this approach successfully. Importantly i've decided i won't need to wheel it over grass, just in/out of garage. Otherwise a hand truck or wheelbarrow attachments would be better. Have ordered parts and will post how it goes. cheers for the input
  2. I'm thinking of adding wheels in some way, shape or form to my Skywatcher 200P Dobsonian for portability - mainly wheeling it in and out of the garage but also *maybe* across short grass in the local playing field (a pretty good observing site). My idea is simple (like me) - to screw braked castor wheels to the base of the rocker box. I'm wondering if others have done the same and what the results were like? Here are the choices I am toying with: - wheel configuration; 3 or 4? - 4" or 5 " wheels (at the moment I'm thinking rubber castors)? - brakes on all or some of the wheels? (and will the brakes keep it still enough for observing)? Should i be looking at bigger wheels, perhaps pneumatic? Would I be better to screw the wheels to a reinforced wooden board and just lift the scope on and off the board? Is there a better way altogether to achieve simple portability? I've seen advice on the internet about using hand/sack trolleys but this seems to me more of a faff than it needs to be, plus I imagine there would be challenges getting the scope on and off the trolley toe, with or without feet attached. Ideas, views and your own experiences welcomed!
  3. Anyone got any novel astronomy-related Christmas present ideas??
  4. Not at all since my wife gave birth to bambino no.2 eight weeks ago! I've nipped out out the odd 15 mins here and there when its starry to learn new constellations and generally get better at finding my way round the sky - that's important as I'm a dob user. Hopefully in early 2013 I'll be able to wheel out the 8" a lot more often.
  5. Cut n paste from wikipedia: The Fermi paradox (or Fermi's paradox) is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and humanity's lack of contact with, or evidence for, such civilizations.The basic points of the argument, made by physicists Enrico Fermi and Michael H. Hart, are: The Sun is a young star. There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are billions of years older; Some of these stars likely have Earth-like planets which, if the Earth is typical, may develop intelligent life; Presumably some of these civilizations will develop interstellar travel, as Earth seems likely to do; At any practical pace of interstellar travel, the galaxy can be completely colonized in just a few tens of millions of years. According to this line of thinking, the Earth should have already been colonized, or at least visited. But no convincing evidence of this exists. Furthermore, no confirmed signs of intelligence elsewhere have been spotted, either in our galaxy or the more than 80 billion other galaxies of the observable universe. Hence Fermi's question "Where is everybody?".
  6. Excellent! Never seen it myself, must take a peak next session (if I can locate it OK). Hopefully I'll be able to resolve it to sharp slightly bluish disk in my 8" dob...
  7. Have you been reading Stephen Baxter's book Space! Tackles this very issue in attempting to provide an answer to the Fermi Paradox. Great topic
  8. I say point your scope at something like M51 (or any good looking galaxy) under a dark sky and while the person is looking tell them that what they are seeing is an entire galaxy as it was 23 million (or whatever) years ago. When you add that perspective of time and distance it really boosts the wow factor for the lay viewer since it fires their imagination. Also if Saturn is up that's always a fantastic sight for anyone see with their own eyes, as it's so iconic.
  9. Thanks folks - i've also been recommended the books Planetfall and Far Out by Michael Benson (in case anyone has looked at either of those).
  10. I'm looking to ask for a book (for Christmas) that shows amazing images of various celestial wonders - can anyone recommend such a book? I'm hoping to identify the best one there is in terms of image selection, paper quality, reproduction quality, up to dateness etc. Deep sky or planets - not rockets. Any suggestions much appreciated
  11. I think you've got a clear consensus here > BST Explorer (I had one too, was very good for the £)
  12. Jupiter is awesome, trumped only by Saturn
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