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About scarp15

  • Rank
    White Dwarf

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Visual astronomy, cycle touring, hill walking & backpacking, contemporary jazz.
  • Location
    Newcastle Upon Tyne
  1. Astronomy in comparison to other interests I like to indulge in such as cycling, hill walking, wild camping etc, is the front runner by a fair margin in terms of cost of each selective item. Not that other activities are inexpensive, efficient dependable equipment can be costly including whether or not second hand. Mixing up astronomy with other interests becomes a beneficial distraction and in some ways a complementary pursuit, which retains a balanced overall approach to what you do and the extent of equipment you may have. As had been mentioned, you may in time arrive at some kind of clarity of awareness that you have accomplished a core set-up, where by each part is interconnected, a kind of objective jigsaw, which if one component was taken away i.e. sold, it may unpick or unravel. The main requirement is retaining the passion and dedication, that despite the frequent unfavourable weather, gives you a feeling of uplifting and contentment each time, whether in a suburban back garden, sharing on an outreach event or venturing out on a dark sky trip, those moments become priceless.
  2. Jazz musicians have a term for this 'chasing the tail'. There's always temptations Neil, but yeah I think that the 'temptations' become a little less 'urgent', so I would like to think that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Active participation (however occasional) ought with time supersede the, what seems, endless compelling purchase listing. I find myself continually mindful to this and that and avidly check out used / retail listings, I haven't spent on astronomy (a good sign) so far this year, a record I think, quite a (financial) relief. Yet for example, I took a scope for a family visit and outreach lunar session last weekend to Lancashire, (which rather weirdly I plan around lunar phases), acts as a great ice breaker interacting with nephews, nieces etc and some equipment that hadn't been used for a while got a good airing with excellent lunar observations. So consequently as Mike has implied, you reach a 'happy place' eventually with what you have.
  3. The VX8L (F6) on the OOUK dob base is a great combination. I have this version with 1/10PV mirrors. Balance is excellent, as mentioned the tube rings are applicable for if modifying the profile at the eyepiece. Quality mirror cell, nice two speed focuser etc. The tube is light and the metal mount is smooth and engineered to a high quality. Second hand these will provide excellent value.
  4. Good first light Neil, nice write up conveying the variety of objects explored. Quite understandable making comparison to your observing experience with the dob, the report contains clarity in the virtues of each. Look forward to your encounters with filtered observing, as you say two great scopes.
  5. As others have implied, you are looking for the wrong deep sky objects, concerning your location and the current lunar phase. There is the moon of course and there is M13, M92, M3 and M5.
  6. Yep it can be quite a physical endeavour, a lot of lifting assembling, dismantling and standing around. Equally hanging around in cold temps, perhaps with a bit of wind chill. Dark sky trips definitely involve coffee, snacks sometimes sandwiches to pace through the 'marathon' / session. Later on arrival back home, there is all the hauling and airing of everything, eventually followed by a reduced sleep period, a bowl of morning porridge makes a good calorie intake and reviver.
  7. A RACI finderscope (right angle corrected image) will assist refining a search for locating objects, enabling more pointer stars to be located - that can be referenced from a sky-chart such as mentioned; Sky and Telescope Pocket Atlas. A reflex type finder, such as a Telrad enables positioning by sight the illuminated target rings (that can be dimmed). Combining the two, the i.e. Telrad, would guide your scope to point into a star field and the expected position, the finder scope would subsequently refine the search if required, particularly if the magnitude of certain 'location' stars are not quite visible.
  8. I accept that it was taken out of context, it just implied differently but quite agree referencing Gerry's skies. I enjoyed reading the report / phone pictures.
  9. Yes they in no doubt will be, but even Gerry, as far as I understand, has come through a rough winter with few observing opportunities. Please though do not demean users in the UK and Ireland who on occasion will take their 15" or similar size dobsonian to, as far as possible a good dark sky location where this to is rewarding, if as said occasional.
  10. Do consider, if you haven't got a copy, 'Turn Left at Orion' - Amazon. This will inform you of feasible, achievable season by season targets from an urban back garden / yard. Combined with stellarium, you may be able to plot your way to the target, apply quite some time looking and 'acclimatising' (dark adapting a little) your eyes to grasp the star pattern, finder stars towards locating the target. As John has mentioned, a reflex / reticule finder, such as a Telrad, Rigel Quikfinder, will transform your ability to locate objects. Not achieving anything or much on the first and early period attempts is quite normal, I was just the same at the start to. When you do discover something, it should register with you, particularly when based upon referencing drawings, once again Turn Left at Orion or similar. Keep at it as you will gradually ease in and get into the flow.
  11. Just to note that if considering a SQM-L device, this is required to be used held at arms length pointed in particular at zenith. This will provide a reading at a 40 degree point of sky that you are to observe in. A frequency of readings will determine an average and of course only viably used when there is no cloud cover.
  12. I wonder how receptive a phone app is in comparison to a Unihedron SQM-L device in accurately assessing in measuring sky brightness?
  13. Quite this device becomes integral, gaining a holistic informed experience to a dark sky session. I must say those are exceptionally good readings and it is reassuring to know that on exceptional nights of good transparency in remote and dark sky country, this extent of dark sky quality can sometimes be achieved - in the early hours.
  14. Quite lovely observing location, is that a SQM-L? Very decent target list making the most of the Spring skies, nice account cheers.
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