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About scarp15

  • Rank
    Brown Dwarf
  • Birthday 14/05/1962

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Astronomy , cycling and hill walking
  • Location
    Newcastle Upon Tyne
  1. Favourite Class Of Object, And Reasons

    Evolving in recent years, I think that what has focused my attention the most in planning, has become diffuse: emission, reflection, dark nebulae and also supernova remnant. There is so much to explore, subtleties to discover, regions to understand and learn about. This of course could equally be applied to any other class of object, yet nebulae in particular for myself are visually stimulating for their sense of an enigmatic presence. My preference is for dark sky observing and exploring familiar and new regions associated with nebulosity, applying any one of three specialist high quality filters. Each of my telescopes (and binoculars) ranging from small rich field refractors, to moderate sized dobsonian, are quite reasonably applicable for such visual encounters, whether camping or embarked on a few hours trip from home, seeking a potential 6.4+ NELM sky. Good quality observations are determined by transparency, therefore placing more emphasis on other subjects becomes necessary sometimes and enjoying a more holistic venture.
  2. Aperture Fever Strikes!

    Lovely comparison pic, looks wonderful Neil, good to hear how you get on with this dobsonian.
  3. Got it , at Last ☺

    Very well done with resolving M1 and now becoming accustomed to the placement. The first time I encountered M1 was from home, as you describe very faint, I was using an 8" SCT / Orion Ultra block filter. Could not agree more, it becomes a completely different circumstance when at a dark location. The last time I got to observe it, followed much harder observations such as B33, positioning the eyepiece, it leapt into view, bright, solid and defined with a fine texture not unlike a ball of cotton wool. I was also using an O111 filter which gains in contrast and definition. These vague observations from home, simply become alive at a dark site and an 8" scope can deliver impressive outcomes.
  4. I really enjoy using my 8" F6 and for a number of reasons. From home there is good contrast and crisp clarity for planetary, lunar, double star observing and clusters become resolved, the aperture enhances planetary nebula observing. Collimation is very easy and retained, it makes for a very good grab and go and is light, so easy to take on dark sky trips, where it becomes an exceptional performer. Because of the length of the tube it is mounted on a finely engineered dobsonian base, Orion Optics UK VX8L, with 1/10 PV mirrors, the inside of the tube is partially flocked. The alternative would be a VX8, F4.5, which will be more applicable for your mount, a coma corrector may perhaps be required. F4 becomes quite a specialised instrument and a paracorr or similar will be necessary.
  5. SH2-278

    Right yes you've mentioned this challenge / quest on other occasions Gerry and reading back on the Deep Sky and on Cloudy Nights forum, around 24" aperture seems to be considered entry level, combined with the darkest transparent skies and applying very high magnification to potentially see three of the four components. The lensing galaxy, PGC 69457 is I believe reasonably straight forward to detect, at least with large, 18"+ aperture and lies within the Pegasus / Aquarius border. Will be very interesting come the time, to follow your attempt(s) on this ultimate of quests.
  6. 16" Flextube go-to dob would surely be an observatory, fixed position instrument, or else a two person lift in two parts. I had a 12" flextube manual and that was quite agreeable to lift in two parts, take down a flight of stairs and transfer into a car to take on dark sky trips. Above that, particularly with the extra weight of a motor is getting into two person lift territory. My current OOUK 14" dob is a comparable weight to my former 12" flextube.
  7. SH2-278

    I might give it a go sometime, although just might have to carry forward to next season. As with Mark, not included in Interstellarum, which is quite selective. A map with some detail for location can be printed off The Sharpless Observing Guide, Reiner Vogel, download as a pdf file.
  8. SH2-278

    Reading up specifically SH2-278, good sized object just north of Rigel, an emission nebula with a fair amount of reflection nebula in the vicinity. Another tough assignment Gerry, quite applicable considering your observing conditions. Good to learn that work on the big mirror is complete.
  9. Dark site trip ? Part 2

    Good to read that this second exploratory trip was a success in terms of being a pleasant enough location and a marked improvement on sky quality. The weather has been quite obliging and there is a nice flood of incoming reports. Hope you remain enthused to go back there, it does sound good and a realistic drive from home, inevitability accepting a little compromise otherwise it has to be planned as an overnight stay. One of my locations has become so familiar it feels a bit like a home from home - not as dark as I could venture to, but practical to reach and when the transparency is good can clock between 21.1 and 21.3 mag.
  10. Dark site trip?

    Good dark(ish) sky taster, with your new grab and go system, engaging variety of objects observed. The convenience and ease of your set-up will as you state certainly be more manageable in terms of time than the larger dob, gaining more incentive to trial good dark sky locations striking within reasonable distance to home. Quite understand concerning country parks, they can become unpleasant places at night unfortunately. I use to venture to one, that was pretty dark and when it was good it was very good, no people, only roe deer or foxes, yet at other times the cars would arrive and it was annoying at best intimidating to. They are simply best avoided, perhaps sometimes if you go other than a weekend and especially not during a bank holiday they might be OK. Also understand how a place may not in reality turn out to be quite as dark as you had anticipated. All down to trial and error, but taking that scope to a dark sky location, besides from being a breeze to load, will deliver some unforgettable observations when you do settle on somewhere more suitable.
  11. An unexpected discovery

    That is very interesting Stephen and I plan on taking my 8" dob out more and will note this encounter. Good that you did a thorough research, it could possibly be surprising how unknowingly it is sometimes to encounter vague, dim objects without fully grasping what it might have been, often whilst in pursuit of something else. Then if not marked in your sky atlas can become forgotten. Also good to learn that you had got out after as you say six weeks. I had recently had a bit of an accident on my bicycle a few days ago which I am slowly recovering from. It will be March before I will be able to next get out observing so good to start gathering some plans and ideas together.
  12. Another successful night Alan, with added spice - concerning those supernova observations.
  13. La Superba

    Just to add that is interesting that you were able to identity NGC 2071, which forms part of a group of diffuse reflection nebula of which of course M78 is the brightest component and in turn is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. From your dark site and 10" dob more of this group will become apparent. Good that you highlighted NGC 2362 in Canis Major as you describe it does appear to be an engaging small, compact cluster, consisting of around sixty stars. Close by, I have NGC 2354 marked in my Pocket Sky Atlas, a much looser cluster of fifteen stars more a binocular target perhaps.
  14. a few notes of a nice session

    Really nice and compact session Piero and good format to present the description. Casper the ghost for M78 is humorous. The 4" frac is accomplishing some great results.
  15. No snout-HH

    Interesting the feature you mentioned on the Rosette and gaining that enhanced profile of the running man. Good try for the snout but clearly not to be this time. Hope that you gain some more time Gerry on the winter constellations before we enter more into Spring.