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About Alfian

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Astronomy, Walking, MotoGP, WWII aircraft history.
  • Location
    West Yorkshire
  1. Thats an interesting one John. I've been acutely aware of changes in my eyesight this last couple of years, nothing disastrous, but its certainly made me think of being more appreciative of what I can see rather than having some kind of "if only" type of wish list. Looks an interesting item. I assume its this:
  2. New puppy naming challenge

    Interestingly Mira supposedly means (from latin?) "wonderful", "astonishing". In my experience a pups ability to be wonderful and/or astonishing is dependent on what time of the day or night the behaviour occurs! Still, could be much worse. Dido is a pretty name though!
  3. Binoculars 150 quid budget

    Yes, very nice binos indeed with images that are startlingly sharp and contrasty (IMO). They have individual focus which is quite stiff but once set its pretty much set and forget, take them out and look up - bingo! However, there's never a free lunch, as Dave points out they are heavy (but fine on a mono-pod) and the eye relief is much less, in use, than specified as eyepieces have deeply recessed lenses. But if weight and the need to use specs' whilst observing isn't a problem then worthy of consideration. If something lighter with better ER is needed the Opticron iMagics are good, and good value.
  4. New puppy naming challenge

    Firstly, congratulations on the new member of the family, may she have a long happy healthy life and be a joy to all. Naming a pup is a lovely responsibility and it does weigh heavy trying to get it right, not helped by the fact that you don't have the luxury of waiting for the character to emerge. Calling a pup Draco or Orion to find he was a bit timid could be awkward, any way he's a she in this case! We had a lovely girl called Cassie after Cassiopeia and she did often have something of a regal bearing about her, so perhaps dogs grow into their names! Looking through my astro' books I came across "Mira" (omicron Ceti) which sounds nice as i think you pronounce it Myra. An interesting red giant variable with a very small binary companion, so I've learned something in the process too.
  5. Eyepiece Help

    I had my interest re-kindled almost 6 years ago by the surprise present of a telescope, what a "ride" since! Regarding your latter comment, I recently bought a book on astronomy from a charity shop, it was about 25 years old but most it still very relevant and good to read. However the section on equipment choice was revealing both in terms of what was available and prices. In terms of whats available now and relative affordability we appear to be living in a bit of a golden age.
  6. An hour using both eyes

    Thats a great haul John - in an hour! That "instant gratification" quality (if you excuse that expression) with binos is hard to beat even the arms do start to feel heavy.
  7. Yup, thats added to the ...erm festive winter season gift idea list. Someone is bound to ask for ideas and I can't bring myself to mention the festive name just yet - its still autumn for goodness sake, yet the shops are already proclaiming otherwise. Many thanks.
  8. Eyepiece Help

    When you put it like that I think charting your way through astronomy as a hobby is a bit like adolescence (well not entirely fortunately!) in as much that its a voyage of discovery where no matter what you think is a good idea, some mistakes are inevitable but hopefully not too costly! Its a steep learning curve sometimes but as you say, there is lots of useful advice and good wishes to be found here.
  9. Eyepiece Help

    Once you get above 68/70 degrees you tend to get the "port-hole" effect where you are gazing around the fov to take it in. For some thats no problem at all and indeed I have an 82 degree EP, its a matter of choice.
  10. Eyepiece Help

    I'm not so sure that labeling 50 degree EPs as "stuck in the past" is fair. A quality EP of 50 degrees will have its place and shine accordingly. A 25mm Vixen SLV in 102 f4.9 refractor would give 20x @ 2.5 degrees which is fairly wide is most peoples eyes. The ES 24/68 is a good EP and will give 21x @ 3.2 degrees and is plenty enough for most purposes. Much more than that and binoculars will give a more satisfying wide field view. I find a 68 degree as much as I find comfortably useful and 50 - 60 degrees good but ultimately its down to preferences and everyone will differ as to what works for them.
  11. Another Eastern limb mosaic

    Another great image. You know, you're really very good at this John!
  12. Full Moon 5th October 2017

    Nice image. The setting full moon looked beautiful at dawn this morning. My perception too. I've thought many times "it must be my imagination" so I'm glad it not just me!
  13. Where did that come from?!

    I've done quite a bit of mountain walking in years gone by, sadly (almost criminally so) not much in Scotland. I have many memories of lovely days on "the tops" but many also of flogging around in the mist and the rain and the wind trying to convince myself I was enjoying myself. Funny how that sticks in the mind, and how just perhaps sitting in the warm and dry waiting for some half decent skies has more appeal. I think I've got soft over the years. That said a camping trip up in the highlands in good weather, clear skies and a pair of binos in the rucksack sounds pretty heavenly.
  14. Its funny how that happens, how clear skies "settle" in the early hours. A few times I've groaned when one of the dogs has nudged me to go out in the wee hours (pun intended) but have been rewarded with beautiful clear skies. Thats when binos kept within easy reach are a real blessing.
  15. I'm not sure I can say which was technically the best view I've had through a binocular but the most memorable have always been down to very good seeing conditions. Firstly a few years ago I was up early one morning and orion was up and the view through the B&S 10x50EDs of M42 was amazing. I was sure I could see a hint of colour which isn't normally possible. Similarly on a night a couple of years ago of very good seeing I remember doing a wonderful tour of open clusters with my Pentax 20x60s which thereafter got the nickname of my "cluster busters". Having some good binos is great but if conditions play ball there are some wonderful sights to be seen.