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pajr777

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Everything posted by pajr777

  1. This is the view from Barrow Wake scenic lookout point near Cheltenham. On a good day you can see the Severn Bridge and the Black Mountains in Wales. You can see low cloud on the horizon and a strong after glow. The comet was not naked eye visible, but using the moon as a reference I panned slightly right and then slowly down with my 10x50 bins and found the comet. It was easy to make out the core and fan of the tail, averted vision made the shape even clearer. I also took a little camera and with some 15 second exposures, when I got home I discovered I had captured the comet. If I hadn't known in advance where the comet was located with reference to the moon I wouldn't have been able to spot it or photograph it. Edit: This was last night, 13/03/2013 between 19:00 and 19:30 UTC.
  2. pajr777

    SGL 8 - General Banter

    The forecast is annoying, Tues and Weds looking very good for all nighters, then it's downhill from Thurs onwards.... and I can't leave until Thursday lunch time grrr Still, hopefully will get a look at the comet this evening
  3. pajr777

    SGL 8 - General Banter

    Modified my packing list to include snow shoes and avalanche poles
  4. pajr777

    SGL 8 - General Banter

    Just retrieved the tent and sleeping bags from the loft, and purchased a 13.5 tog duvet from Tesco for £12:50 - keep the OTA cosy in the car and me cosy at camp
  5. pajr777

    SGL 8 - General Banter

    Yes, that app on iPad, Stellarium on MacBook and Telrad on OTA will be my GOTO system for the marathon :-)
  6. pajr777

    SGL 8 - General Banter

    My first star party - in fact my first time taking the scope out of my back garden. Looking forward to it, just hope for some clear skies. I've done a lot of family camping so my existing checklist just needs to be shortened to essentials and then expanded for my astro gear I'm going to restrict my catering gear to electric kettle, tea bags and mug - the cafe seems to come with good recommendations
  7. We can predict meteor showers because we can model comet orbits, but one off bits of rock are too small to be observed. Here is an Earth Sky article about it: http://earthsky.org/?p=389
  8. Yes a bit ambiguous The hole is not fake, the assertion that the hole is a result of this morning's meteor is fake
  9. M81 and M82 were my first galaxies, and took me a couple of attempts to find. Why I didn't start with something easy like M31 I don't know! But I remember the buzz of finding them
  10. That's fake. That hole is known as the Doorway to Hell and it is in the Karakum Desert. It's been there since 1971 when Soviets drilling for oil opened it up inadvertently. They decided to light the gas to prevent pollution, and it's been burning ever since. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derweze
  11. Here is a handy PDF giving trajectory and timings: http://bayfordbury.herts.ac.uk/files/2012DA14-path.pdf Here's what the BBC says about that graphic: "For skywatchers in the UK, the graphic below indicates roughly where in the southern sky to try to spot 2012 DA14" Great job BBC
  12. Amazing footage. What are the odds of that meteor and the close approach of 2012 DA14 on the same day? Pretty astronomical I think James, I think the cameras are either required by or give a big discount from the motor insurers in Russia.
  13. ISO used to relate to sensitivity of film media - the higher the ISO the more sensitive the film was but the more grained and noisy the resultant image was. The same is somewhat true of digital imaging but I don't know why, nor how the ISO setting on a digital camera actually affects the photon gathering process. I'm certain someone more knowledgable will be along soon to elaborate! ;-)
  14. Very good, yet to step into the Dark Side but I'd be happy to get those results on my first foray :-)
  15. I found week 2 homework harder than week 3. Challenging but fascinating :-)
  16. Not in the least - the video lectures go live at 5GMT on a Monday and you have exactly one week to watch them, and complete and submit the homework relating to those lectures. The homework is in the form of online quizzes and automatically graded, I think the course pass mark is 70%.
  17. It was a great heads up - thanks
  18. Enjoyed the lectures, the homework took some thought! Got there in the end though and looking forward to week 2. The forums on the course website are a useful resource if, like me, you need a hint or 3 with the homework problems.
  19. I was out one night soon after I had bought my scope, having just gone through the trauma of first-time collimation. I was sure I had followed the instructions to the letter - but now the image in my eyepiece was just all wrong! Something was causing some big aberrations right across the field of view!! After checking for dew, checking the eye-pieces and mirrors for dirt etc., I was stumped. Everything on the scope looked fine. Then it dawned on me - the 'scope pointed at Venus low in the West - so low in fact that twigs & leaves of the Lime tree in a neighbours garden were directly between the scope and Venus... D'oh!! So, a little rule of thumb - however dumb you think you've just been, it's guaranteed that someone, somewhere is out-dumbing you
  20. Fantastic - I actually laughed out loud!! That's definitely a male solution to the problem
  21. Only a couple of naked eye objects so far, the Pleidaes and Orion's Sword
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