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Everything posted by Albireo380

  1. On April 11th 1970, Apollo 13 was launched. Many of us remember the nail biting tension as the astronauts grappled with a damaged craft, after an explosion in the Command Module. They splashed down safely on April 17th. Yuri Gagarin was launched into the first manned space flight on April 12th 1961. He reached a top speed of 17,500mph in Vostok 1. He made one full circuit of the Earth. at a hight ranging from 180 to 327 miles, remaining aloft for only 1hr 48 min. Tom
  2. Great Forum James, thanks to you and the Mods/thread masters. I joined about 2 months ago and rarely miss a day without at least looking in. Congratulations on the 300th member. SGL is going from strength to strength Tom
  3. I have a cheapie 2xBarlow that I have been using for negative projection astrophoto's. It has a thread that fits the T mount for my DSLR. I would like to get a much better Barlow, but am not sure which would be best for this purpose. I would like one with a built in thread, as this makes it easy to attach to the camera body via the T mount. I don't have any astro dealers near by, so can't pop in to a shop and browse. On the net, I see lots of nice, shiny Barlows, but don't ever see a thread on them, or read in the blurb that the thread is integral to the Barlow. 1. Do most Barlows have an integral thread - for attachment to a T Mount? If not, can anyone recommend a good Barlow that does? 2. Is there another method (some sort of attachment??) that I can use to mate the Barlow to the T mount and thus to the camera body? Advice please - I don't want to buy a Barlow for astro negative projection, unless I can attach it to my DSLR. Awaiting enlightenment Tom
  4. Thanks for the best wishes everyone. Mum sitting up in bed this evening, complaining about the Nurses and apologising to me for being a nusience - so she must be feeling better . I think this is the first time in about 10 days that she has been well enough to take any notice of the Ward. So I can start to think about life, the Universe and everything again. She still has a long way to go, but for the first time in a couple of weeks, I think she might still be here in a few days time. Thanks Tom
  5. It sounds reallygood, Orion. I read the S@N review - made me want to rush out and buy one. Enjoy, and post some observing sessions - so we know how it goes. Tom
  6. Really crisp clear night here - can already see Arcturus, Sirius, Rigel, Saturn etc + moon of course. Only one problem - had a terrible couple of weeks with my elderly mum in hospital - feeling totally drained - just too tired to go out. This is the first really good night I have missed this year. Drat....drat....drat. Always another clear night in the future...but only one mum - so I know what comes first. Hope you all have a great nights observing and imaging ....I'm off for a sleep. Tom
  7. Good image - much better than I have managed so for. Tom
  8. I always wanted a Blue Peter Badge, but never got one. I guess I had a deprived childhood. Looks like a good idea m2 - have you tried it out? Does it make life easier? Can you show us an image taken through it ? If it all works - I guess you will feel "flushed with success" .... sorry, awful joke. Tom
  9. I also got to the totally frustrated stage with afocal astrophotography. I used a Canon A20 which was coupled to the eyepiece using a bc&f adaptor. It drove me nuts, lots of fiddling in the dark to get the camera pointing straight through the EP, then lots of vignetting and problems with exposure control. So I "bit the bullet" and got a Canon 350D SLR , an adaptor to fit the camera body to the back of the 'scope, and a flip mirror. It is now much easier. The flip mirror attaches to the back of the 'scope and the camera attaches to the flip mirror. I had previously parfocalised an eyepiece in the flip mirror with the focal plane of the camera. The way I did this was to set up in daylight, focus a distant, bright terrestrial object (as far away as possible) on the camera viewfinder (check it out by taking a few shots to ensure it is in focus), then set the flip mirror eyepiece also in focus, then lock the eyepiece in place on the flip mirror using a parfocal ring. Now every time I set it up, I know that if an object is in focus in the eyepiece of the flip mirror, when I "flip the mirror" to set the light path through to the camera body, the image will be in focus at the camera focal plane. Result: good focus on most images, most of the time. There are (of course) some disadvantages. You can only do prime focus photography - so image size is determined by the focal length of your 'scope. If you want larger images, you need to think about either positive or negative projection (image photographed through an eyepiece ar through a barlow, on to the focal plane of your camera). This brings you back to the usual focussing problems. However, it should be possible to use the flip mirror in conjunction with an EP or barlow, thus using the same "parfocalising" process as above, to get well focussed images. I haven't tried it yet, but am going to experiment in daylight over the next few weeks and then give it a go on some astro objects. Not sure if this is helpful, but it might give you more food for thought Arthur. Tom
  10. Difficult choice here. Managed to hone it down to 3 possibles: 1. A TMB 5" APO- for good planetary observing and imaging 2. A 12" LX200 GPS -good "all rounder" 3. A 16-20" Truss Dob - for those fuzzies Problem is, I don't have £3-5k to spend on astro kit Tom
  11. I like the Knobs Arthur - really shiny and all "new looking". The only lathe I remember is the one at my school - run by a grumpy old git who hated me 'cause I liked "intelectual" things like Astronomy. What are the Knobs going to be used for? Could be a ready market somewhere. Tom
  12. Not much cop here at the moment. Metcheck suggests better around midnight - but I don't think so. Tom (from "not so sunny" Glasgow) PS Jamie - any better in Paisley??
  13. Albireo380

    First Post...

    Hi exjet, welcome to the forum. Don't let the bad weather get you down, it just makes the clear skies seem even better when you get 'em. Tom
  14. Nice one James. Away and catch up on some sleep. I look forward to seeing a more edited one later Too windy up in Glen Fruin (near Loch Lomond) for imaging last night, so had to content myself by just looking at some fuzzies (M84, 85, 86, 87, 99 & 100). At one point I wondered about attaching guy ropes to the scope. Regards Tom
  15. Yes, got out for a couple of hours myself last night (first clear night in 20). Spent about half an hour cruising around Posidonius and subsidiary craters, then had a look at Saturn - nice crisp rings. Finally, as it was almost fully dark by that time, I moved over to Virgo, so see if any of the Virgo cluster were visible. I was rewarded by 6 feint fuzzies (M84, 85, 86, 87, 99 & 100) - amazing to think of the distance (and time) that light had travelled. Had to then jump back in the car and drive home - a quick shower and into bed about midnight (work the next day - groan). Still, great to be out again. Tom
  16. Interesting Mike, Surely we are designed to fit in with the Universe we find ourselves in, not the Universe designed to fit "Earth-type" life. Let's not get too anthropocentric - look how many stars there are out there - we are insignificant - and so might all life be. Why does life have to be important in the Universe? - it might be a complete by product. Although, I rather hope we aren't. Wow - this is all getting a bit heavy - think I will stop now. Tom
  17. I have just read Michio Kaku's book "Hyperspace" and am working my way through "Parallel Worlds". Hard stuff ( I have to take a lot of what he says "on faith"), but very well written and really at the cutting edge of cosmology. He pts forward some compelling arguments in favour of a Multiverse. I would recommend the books to anyone interested in cosmology. Tom
  18. The price for a PST seems to be staying pretty steady at the moment I guess it is still considered a fairly new piece of kit. It even seems to be holding up its second hand price - and I don't see many being sold second hand - which tells you something. I am tempted to get one - but can wait a while, and see if the prices drop a bit. Tom
  19. Hi Philip, Welcome to the Forum - friendly and helpful people here. A friend of mine got a Revelation Dob a month or so back - it gives great views. So enjoy ! Tom
  20. Cloud conditions ..... ditto Alcohol content in blood stream ..... unfortunately not as high as WH's - hope it was good quality stuff; none of your "plonk". Tom
  21. The Bradford Robotic Telescope has a good site, with the ability for amatuer astronomers to schedule images from 3 different cameras, through a variety of filters. The BRT is in Teneriffe, so you can image objects below the UK horizon ... and it isn't light all night over the Summer :sunny: I have scheduled a few jobs and had a look at other peoples efforts - it seems well worth spending some time on this site & trying your hand at some images, as the results may be rewarding. Hope this isn't old news to everyone out there. Tom
  22. Managed about 5 looks through a Coronado Binomite between 10.50am and 11.30am. You are a lucky guy to get good weather and have all the kit ready to take such good 'photo's. Tom
  23. Good photo's Mark. I was at work, but managed to pop out about 5 times from 10.50-11.30am, and have a quick look through a Coronado Binomite - wish I had been able to take a 'photo. Tom
  24. I have the OTA of my first 'scope sitting in the cupboard in my Flat. I bought it "shop soiled" from Dixons in 1975 (I think for the princely sum of £37). It is a 60mm refractor, that sat on a wobbly alt-az mount. I mated a WWII 4 pounder gun-sight to it as a finder. It was an awful 'scope - but I had 2 years of regular observing through it. I first saw the rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter and M42 through it - it hooked me for life with astronomy. I keep it only because when I look at it, I get a warm nostalgic glow, but I haven't looked through it for over 20 years. Tom
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