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Everything posted by phil_the_bassist

  1. Evening all! I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the bino-astronomy! I've had an 8inch dob for a while now, used to use it at my old house which was out in the sticks, so it had nice dark skies...but since I've moved into town, it hasn't been set up in months. This is because, primarily, I was never very good at finding objects (the scope had no finder, and I didn't have the right eyepieces to give me a wide enough fov to hunt down the small fuzzies) and the light in town is pretty brutal, so I've just not bothered. Then, I had an epiphany, with my newly aquired mode of transport (shiny new sportsbike ) I could go for a ride all evening, and end up somewhere dark, and watch the skies. So, as I couldn't get my scope on the bike, I might as well pick up a set of decent binos to sling into a backpack. And I picked up a pair of Celetron Skymaster 15x70s for a shade under £70, delivered the next day! So, off I went, with the binos in my rucksack, ended up sat at the top of the watership down, and looked up. I was blown away by the contrast, clarity and sheer number of stars on show, the bright stars were like car headlamps, the starfields had incredible depth, and then I spotted the fuzzies. I didn't believe you could see so much with such a simple bit of kit. I haven't yet started to even try to identify all the dso's i've been seeing, I don't want to take my eyes off the skies! I'm truly shocked at how much more enjoyment I'm getting out of my binos than my scope, I think I'll sell it to get a collapsable monopod! I hope you won't mind me asking a lot of questions, but I want to get the most I can out of this rekindled fascination for the skies!
  2. oh, and if it's telescopic I guess it'll collapse down to a suitably small size! good idea [two wheel hijack] I've got my eye on a 650 V-strom for my first bike, (but the new ST1300 would be nice ) I'm doing my DAS in 5 weeks time, then it's off to hunt down the dark skies whilst avoiding the Mr Gatso! [/two wheel hijack]
  3. Ahh, I hadn't considered that! I will be using them sat down, but I'd not thought about how steady i could hold them...merely that the weight wasn't too silly! Would anyone have any recommendations?
  4. As I've just had to move back with the parents (Mrs moved out *sob*) I've not got the space for my scope (*bigger sob*) so I've looked in to getting into Binocular-Astronomy...also means I can take some bins in a bag on my motorbike and find some *proper* dark skies So, from what I've read: Big Aperture = Good. Heavy = Bad Carry In Bag = a benefit! and so I've seen a gerzillion (technical term) 8x50-ish glasses which all a bit 6 of one, half-dozen of another, but then I spotted these: Adler Optik Adler Kosmos 15x70 high powered binoculars They're perfectly in budget, they've got thigh-slappingly big aperture, and I can fit 'em in my backpack with ease...what do you people recon? Any suggestions? Happy New Year
  5. WOW! I can't wait to have the foldin' money ready for mine! I'm amazed at how compact and storable it looks! Have you managed to get a proper first seeing thru it yet?
  6. That flexitube dob looks the dogs danglies! With those open sided scopes, isn't there a problem with light polution entering thru the gaps? I'm guessing one of those above linked scopes will be just about within my budget, with a bit of stretching! :-D
  7. Ooh, a few good ideas there...my one concern about a Dob is just how portable are they? I need to keep it in the house (we don't have masses of space!) and also I need to carry it down a few steps and about 80yrds to get into the field out back away from any light. I can do this with the tripod mounted scopes, but as good as Dobs are, they look kinda awkward to move...what say thee?
  8. Right, due to having finished payin off the car and personal loans, I will soon have more wonga to throw at my stargazin', but I'd really like to know your thoughts as to what I could get for my money. I have currently got a Celestron Astromaster130, with a few upgraded EP's, which is nice enough and for less than £100 it's be great but now I'd like something i can: Start seein faint DSO's and getting enough contrast/light so the 'small fuzzies' ain't so small and fuzzy! (currently, even the trio of Leo galaxies are only visible with averted vision and a good imagination!) Get good observing of planets (but if I were to choose, I'd rather have good observing of DSO's than planetary)...as the sights of Jupiter I've got over the past few months have blown me (and everyone I've shown) away, even thru my budget scope! I'd like a motorized mount and tracking, but I'm not too fussed about a Goto (also, being a Macbook user, I don't think a lot of the software would run without me gettin emulators and other such gubbins!) Any ideas? I'm open to all suggestions!
  9. I'll be having a look for the galaxies in Leo next time I've got some clear skies! I've had a few nights recently where I'm really struggling to find anything different/interesting...I'm still yet to see a galaxy, or a nebula other than Orion! Hopefully my copy of T.L.@.Orion will arrive tomorrow and then I'll be crossing Messier objects off at a rate of knots!
  10. I've been looking at the 32mm Plossl's in the Celestron, Antares and GSO ranges, do you think the Meade the best of the bunch? Also, I'm half tempted to save a bit more and go for the televue 32mm plossl at around £80, would I be able to see a marked improvement compared to the above brands?
  11. Morning! I'm after a decent low power, wide angle lense...something like a 32mm plossl. I was wondering what my options are, I've got a Celestron AstroMaster 130 with 1.25" ep, and somewhere between £20-£40 to spend. What do you guys think?
  12. would this be a good barlow? Tal or would I need something more like this? Barlows - Celestron Ultima Barlow Would this be worthwhile buying? Filters - Baader Neodymium Filter thanks guys!
  13. Thanks for the advice Astro-baby&JNP! Looks like I'll be gettin a 32mm (and possibly a 15mm) Plossi for starters, and I'll keep an eye out for a barlow and moon filter! Don't put yourself down JNP, I wish i was able to keep up with Mark King, Victor Wooten et al! Where did you use to play?
  14. Afternoon! As some of you know, I've recently taken the plunge into 'serious' beginner astronomy with a AstroMaster 130, and would like some help with getting some more e.p's, filters etc etc I'm looking for (I think!!!) a barlow (those 2x magnifier things!) a few more eyepieces possibly, definately some filters, and the ability to mount a camera of some sort to do some Astrophotography. i don't mind spending a bit, (I want something that'll last!) but I've not got unlimited funds, so I don't mind second hand! Any help/advice/suggestions will be very welcome! Phil
  15. absolutely! I've shown saturn to my whole family, my girlfriend, her friends and my landlords and it's taken everyone's breath away!
  16. I've just had my first full night with the AstroMaster I bought saturday, and I've been blown away! Last night was a brief 30mins snatched post-gig at about 1.30 whilst eatin my kebab, but the sheer number of stars I could see kinda confused me and I got too lost (I hadn't zeroed the finder scope yet). Tonight, I went out with a fishing chair, the scope, a thermos and a list of targets I might wanna have a look at. I started the night by zeroing my finder using the crescent moon as a target, as it was still light enough to tinker in safety. I was able to get some very good contrast between the different surfaces and slopes on the moon, and was stunned by the detail I could see when I used my 10mm lense! I've never been able to see so many of the finer impacts and craters! Already I could see that this scope is WELL worth the money I paid, so the nights off to a good start I got into practice moving the scope by seeing each star as they came out, starting with Sirius and then hitting Procyon, Betelgeuse and Orions Belt as they became visible. First target of the night was M43, as it's the easiest DSO for me to locate. I was stunned by the amount of detail I could pick out, and the number of stars I could resolve! The images were so sharp, I was stunned! I could make out a tiny cluster of 4 stars in the centre of the nebula, with two others to the right, an incredible grayscale rendering of the cloud, and a vast number of other stars. It was a superb shot, and I've decided to get a good DSLR and all the mounting gear to have a crack at astrophotography! Next in the firing line was M45, another easy target, but the moon obscured the view a bit. I could only make out the brighter stars, so all I could see was a mini-Ursa Major (the only way to describe it!) and not much else. I then spent longer than I care to admit gawking at the number of stars in the head of Cancer! I had never noticed that cluster, but it grabbed my attention and I'm glad I've now got a scope that can satisfy my astronomical curiosity! I decided to come in for a cuppa, happened to see Stellarium was still running, and it was pointed at Leo. I had noticed that evening that Leo looked a bit wierd, but as I've only just learnt that constellation I couldn't put my finger on why...then i saw it! Saturn! The planet that was my sole purpose for starting this hobby! I've always said that as long as I've seen saturns rings I'll die a happy man, and tonight was the first time I've ever had the opportunity, equipment and time to fulfil one of my life-long goals! I had a hard time locating Saturn, as every time I realigned my finder to the planet, all i could see in the eyepiece was a wierd dot that I couldn't seem to focus, and there were other stars around it...then it became obvious I was looking at the ring edge on, with the moons in various phases of orbit. I couldn't believe I had finally seen Saturns rings! I was gobsmacked! I can safely say that I'm ridiculously happy with my scope, and can't wait to get my first Galaxy, to go with my Neb, OC, and solar planet! Thanks for all the help with 'stuff to look for', no doubt I'll start rattling through the lists before I know it!
  17. Excellent! Thanks for all the replies! I couldn't believe my luck when I got back last night to clear, crisp skies I managed to get some viewing, but as it was pitch dark and I still haven't quite worked out how to use the EQ mount properly I didn't get the best out of my scope! I managed to find some clusters, and resolve some very faint stars (couldn't tell you which ones tho!) but I'm hoping (lots of crossed everything, and tapping on all the wood in the house!) that I'll get to spy the Orion Neb and pleiades soon, to really get to grips with this bucket
  18. Thanks for both the replies! I'm desperately lookin outside to see if the cloud's gonna clear enough for me to have a quick viewing before leaving for tonights gig, doesn't look hopeful tho! Perhaps when I get home I'll be in luck...but I'm not holding my breath! lol! If anyone has anything more to add, then feel free!
  19. WOoHoO!! I've just picked up my new (well, 2nd hand, but still with original box, bubblewrap, lense covers, manuals, software etc etc) AstroMaster130 ! Up until now, I've been using an Heirloom scope that my Grandad bought in about 1940, which has been fine for clusters, splitting a few double stars, the Orion Nebula etc etc, but I wanted MORE hence the new purchase. Can anyone give me a small list of the easier DSO's to aim for next time I've got clear skies? I'm fascinated by nebulas and galaxies, so if anyone can let me know the easiest ones to spot, I'd be grateful! Also, blumming typical that last night I had 4hrs of CRYSTAL clear skies, and today when I pick up my scope, I've got 100% cloud cover and it looks to be this way for the next 72hrs minimum!
  20. on a similar vein, I've saved a chunk of money and I'm lookin for a good scope. I need to it be small, but to be of high enough spec for me to make use of the great viewing opportunities I get around where I live. Would something like this:>> Tal - Tal 150P Newtonian Reflector be a worthwhile purchase?
  21. I just wanted to say that last night was my first ever proper DSO hunt, and I managed to find and identify Andromeda, the Orion Nebula and NGC2244 It was stunningly clear, and it gave me the final push to save up for a higher-spec setup! Sorry it's slightly off-topic, but I had to tell someone...and my better half doesn't quite share my enthusiasm!
  22. Kinda continuing this, would we be able to view Chandrayaan-1, the indian Lunar Orbiter from here? I'm guessin, as it'll be mapping the entire surface, that we'll possibly get several viewings? Still a noob, apologies if I'm obviously wrong
  23. I've tried to get some photos up, but the camera's bein a pain! I'll probably go with the Blue Peter method, being a musician I pray to the god that is Gaffer Tape (it really does fix ANYTHING!) so I'll probably use that! Once the Telrad's stuck to my scope, is it easy to zero in, or will I need to be accurate with my sticking to start with? *edit* I've found something on ebay...item# 310075243021. Does this look to be suitable?
  24. Morning all! I'm just about getting clued up with my 'scope but my finder is a bit useless really! it's a v. old setup (brought by my Grandad when MY Dad was a boy!), and the finder doesn't stay in line with my main scope easily, and it's pretty much impossible to focus. So, I've been advised by a few Forumites to get a red-dot finder like the Telrad type systems, but I was wondering how it would attach to my scope. Does it stick on? does it need me to drill my scope? I couldn't quite figure out for sure what I'd need from the website, so I'm hoping you kind people'll be able to give me a hand! Thanks in advance! Phil
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