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Orange Haze

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Everything posted by Orange Haze

  1. #1 would have to be the solar eclipse I saw in South Carolina last year. Over two minutes of blackout, a truly emotional moment and well worth the 12 hour round trip! #2 - Saturn. Saw it first in a crummy old Tasco telescope but it still blew me away. When I eventually saw it in my Dob, it was like winning the astronomy jackpot! What I really want to see now is a comet on a close fly by.......
  2. I did once manage to resolve Mars quite well at 240x, but only briefly and the night in question was absolutely ideal seeing. Maybe with a better eyepiece it could have been clearer, but that kind of night is pretty rare and I've come to conclusion that I am better off seeing at 180x more often than 250x rarely. The feedback on this site is always superb and as an amateur I really value the advice..... thanks!
  3. Thanks all for your responses, really appreciate it. I think I will go for the 6.7mm and if the viewing is exceptional I can always add the Talx2, although that would be extremely rare! Am hoping to take a trip to the Brecon Beacons in April so if I am lucky, I can put it through its paces up there....
  4. Last night was my first night out in 18 months. Some nice moon views and M42, but otherwise a moonshine and cloud washout. But now I am active again I am keen to add to my eyepiece set. I bought the Explore Scientific 28mm Maxvision a few years back and have been supremely impressed by it. As such I am happy to stick with ES but wanted more quality at the lower end. I am tempted by the 4.7mm (82 degree) as I love planetary viewing, but am concerned that my use of it will be limited as I am pushing the magnification a little too far. The 6.7mm may therefore be a safer option and get more use. I've so far found my 6mm BST to be rather substandard. Has anyone got experience of these eyepieces and much use of the 4.7mm in particular? Thanks All!
  5. Thanks guys. I adjusted the allen screws and it seems to have done the trick. May give the new focuser a swerve. Everyday is a school day!
  6. My factory fitted focuser has developed a mind of its own and tends to slide inwards when a heavier eyepiece is in place. Has anyone got experience of the Skywatcher mentioned? I don't want to spend huge and the price of this seems reasonable....
  7. Nice to know I am in good company. At least I have chosen to get back in to my hobby during the depth of winter, assuming the cloud clears at some point. Been too long since I spied M42! And there is no way I would part with my dear Dob, even if I was in an observing drought...
  8. Too true, although it seems that from the moment i picked my scope up the weather took a decided turn for the worse. Curse of the new scope (of sorts)...
  9. So I have just got my Dob back out of storage after having the house done up earlier this year. In all, it has been 18 months since I last used it! In fact its been longer than that since I last visited SGL. I have found over the years that astronomy is a topic that I am continually fascinated by, but the actual observing seems to come in phases, stretches of good observing followed by months of not touching the scope. I am almost ashamed..... I can't be alone in this, do others find the same? What's the record for time between using the scope?! Anyway, now the Dob is back and I have the itch again, I am just waiting for the next clear sky...........
  10. Brilliant, thanks for the post. Ordered one now. My tupperware box with sliced sponge insert is coming to the end of its usefulness I think. Great timing.
  11. Good ramblings Gav and thanks for sharing. I've become a bit obsessed with the ISS over the past couple of nights after accidentally stumbling over it on Monday. I did manage to just about follow it with my manual Dob, although I think I need a bit more practice. Wasn't able to make out the panels but I was only at x43 and having enough trouble concentrating on keeping it in fov. Next time..... But seeing it and thinking about what it really is, is a really awe inspiring moment.
  12. Great read Jimmy. Just shows what a difference a dark sky site can make, even in a moon lit sky. I got my first view of Saturn last night for many months, very low and fuzzy. Hope to be at a dark site for its opposition next month.
  13. Wow, sounds like you hit the Mars jackpot. I have to say following years of crushing disappointment with Mars, last week I had my best view ever of the red planet. Not as crystal clear as yours, but for the first time I made out a clear disc, decent size, obvious dark markings and the white of a polar cap. Was a brilliant moment to finally nail it. Got to love an opposition. Now bring on Saturn's next month!
  14. Nice little read that and defo in the right place. It's really interesting to read an observation report from someone in the Southern Hemisphere. The idea of looking towards to the South Pole to find some DSO's just isn't something I hear too much . Also, some of those targets like the Gem Cluster and Omega Centurus, I've never heard of. Reminds me that there is a whole other half to the sky that I am missing out on. Good luck with your dark site visit and look forward to hearing a bit more about those NZ skies.....
  15. It may be that I am taking the illustration in the S@N mag too literally. Jupiter transits are ten a penny, but I have no idea at all as to whether transits of Saturn are as regular. Would love to see it tho.
  16. Lol James. I remember the last Venus transit well, and the cloud, and how my internet crashed as I tried to catch it online instead.
  17. Morning all. According to the latest Sky at Night magazine, not only do we get Mars at opposition on April 8th, but also at midnight Titan is in transit of Saturn. I do love a good Jupiter transit but have never tried or even though about one on Saturn. Has anyone seen this before, is it possible to make out any detail of moon or shadow? Appreciate any experience or advice on the matter. Can only keep every digit crossed that we have clear skies on the 8th. Could be a mammoth session. Thanks!
  18. Great prices!! I got excited until I saw all out of stock. Will have to revert to Germany.
  19. John, will try to catch M97 on my next view, which looking at the forecast may not be for a few days at least. . Have also had M11 highly recommended but it's been too low for me up til now. What impressed me more was that M13 was quite low down in the most light polluted part on my sky and it was still amazing. Can only begin to imagine what it looks like higher up at a dark site. And don't feel too 'wussy' Dave. I had four layers on too last night and still felt the cold a bit too much in the end. Had a hoody up over my head but it made using the eyepiece a bit of a pain. Need a wooly hat me thinks.
  20. Don't know why it's taken me this long to track them down, but got my first sight of M3 and 13 tonight. Absolutely wonderful sights and the first time I've managed to get my 6mm eyepiece to do anything useful. Was a bit sceptical when I first spotted them in the 28mm, but when I cranked up the mag to 15mm then 6mm the density of stars and detail observable was fantastic. I am a big fan of clusters anyway but these two were something special. It's amazing how much a target can change appearance when using averted vision, and also how many more stars can be resolved once your eyes get more adjusted. Will be sure to spot these again now I know where to find them. Also tried Mars tonight, which seemed to get more wobbly the higher it got. Thought I could make out a white ice cap, not sure, but overall Mars remains on my 'to conquer' list.
  21. Hi Shaun. Can I ask where you got the ironing chair from? While the barstool from the kitchen does a fine job, I'm not too sure my wife is overly impressed with it being outside on patios and grass. An alternative may be required .... Very soon.
  22. Great first light. Wait til you point it towards some star clusters, jaw droppingly Amazing!! I've only just discovered the joy of using a chair while observing. Makes so much difference and can really extend a viewing session. No more popsicle legs for you. Have fun.
  23. No certainly not by Alan. Found Alan and the overall service excellent, will use them again. Meant more as a niggle over the manufacturer. But only a niggle. I think my key will be patience and to pounce on any stable atmosphere one night. Of course it does mean that I am now itching to get another EP between the 6-15 mm range. Poss a 8mm. Astronomy, where the spending never stops. .
  24. Thanks Ronin. I am lucky to be near the Norman Lockyer observatory so I may see if someone can test it up there for me. As an EP at the budget end I wasn't expecting anything amazing, just not quite as poor as I've experienced so far. Perhaps the wide angle is something of false advertising..
  25. I've had three viewing sessions with this new EP since I received it and thought I'd share my initial thoughts and hopefully get some opinions of others who have also used this EP. Firstly, it's a size step up from the supplied 10mm EP. Photo below. Before anything, I should say I ordered this from Sky's the Limit and the service and delivery time were superb. The EP itself however has so far been a bit of a letdown. It's early days and I need to persevere but.. Jupiter. Was really looking forward to seeing this beast at x200, but of each occasion so far, the best I've seen is the two main bands. The GRS remains elusive, even on a clear moon free night. It has appeared soft, hard to focus and despite the supposed wide field, I find myself chasing Jupiter continuously I attempt to keep the planet fairly central. Anything outside of centre loses clarity very easily. The Moon. Initially I was fairly impressed, moon had a nice texture about it. However on repeated viewings with and without a polarised moon filter I have found it to be an average view. I've preferred to use my 15mm vixen npl with a Barlow. Again it's softish with a heat haze effect (I'm sure that has a proper name). Stars. I split Mizar, an easy target I know first session, but so far pretty much every star I point at seems glaring, not sharp at all. I thought maybe this was a collimation issue, but stars are sharp in my other EPs so I am not so sure. It's not been a pleasant experience with stars so far, although the trapezium seemed clearer, maybe the nebula diffused the glare for me. Thanks M42! Using the EP is also a bit of a pain. Move a mm and bang the view is gone. Again I am sure this has a technical term, exit pupil??, I am still learning the terminology of astronomy so forgive my words here. I've tried adjusting the EP using the smooth twist control, but struggling to make it work for me. So overall, is it the EP or me? As I say, it's early, only three sessions so far and I may yet find it's sweet spot, any suggestions on how this is done are welcome. I don't mean to do it down, but so far I have been pretty underwhelmed. Clear skies. Lee.
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