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Everything posted by Albireo380

  1. Thanks Gordon - looks like a useful presentation. For later tonight, after I have frozen to death for a couple of hours. Tom
  2. 0.9" and you split it - wow!!!! What 'scope did you use?
  3. Great shot! Noticed it myself last night and ground my teeth I couldn't get the 'scope out at that point. Tom
  4. Bad luck Gordon, It can only get better. At least you didn't get frostbite on the tootsies. Weather still okay here, but absolutely terrible (8" of snow + blizzards) up at Aviemore - where I go for a "dark Skies weekend" tomorrow Tom
  5. Finally got to a site far enough away from Glasgow to have reasonably dark sky (Glen Fruin - 25 miles WNW of City) with the new 'scope at about 9.15pm tonight. I had only had time before going out to ensure the new 'scope was in one piece and that I had a couple of EPs with me (20mm Widescan & 16mm Nagler). These would give me x24 and x30 respectively - so wide field options only. As this 'scope is meant to be "Grab and Go" I only had my camera tripod with me. I set up the scope with the 20mm EP and pointed roughly at M45 (Pleiades), Easily found it in the 3.5 degree tFOV and settled back to watch. Stars glistened against a dark sky, crisp and sharp points. I switched to the 16mm Nagler (tFOV in this 'scope = 2.7 degrees). M45 filled about 3/4 of the field of view - breathtaking ! My other 'scope (LX90) never can get all of M45 in the EP FOV. Spent 5 minutes just grinning with pleasure at the view. Moved to M42 - at x30 the Trapezium didn't split, but was clearly "fat" compared to the other stars - hinting at good views with higher magnification. The nebula was just glorious - its full extent easily evident, with "gull wings" spreading out from the core around the Trapezium. Some nebular detail (tendrils of gas and patches of thicker "haze") were easy to pick out. Very different from the more constricted views I am used to. Popped over to Saturn and M44 - at these low magnifications M44 was the more impressive. A majestic cluster - crisp stellar points against a dark velvet background, with just a sprinkling of feint stars in the background, to hint at the glories still hidden. Loved it. At this point I realised I was freezing - still in my office clothes (Suit & tie) and the temperature was -5C. The breeze was picking up and my fingers were numb - packed up quickly (2 mins) and jumped in the car. A very brief look through the 'scope - but enough to suggest there was a lot of pleasure waiting for the future. Tom
  6. My shiny, new 80mm Semi-APO arrived this morning. It was supplied by "Astronomica" and seems to be a clone of the Stellarvue Nighthawk. It seems well built and robust. Crayford focuser is smooth and silky. All I need now is a clear night. At the moment the weather is sunny, with blue sky (but a stiff breeze). If it keeps up like this I will get out about 9pm tonight and have a look at M44 and Saturn. So if it snows in west central Scotland tonight - blame me (new 'scope curse). Once I've been out I'll let you know how "Black Beauty" performs. Tom
  7. Seems almost more atmospheric in black and white. Fantastic shot Rog.
  8. Got a Megrez II semi apo coming in a few days - it will live in the car, along with a tripod - just for that "look what I saw on the way to work" moment. The number of times I have arrived at work about 8am and thought, "Drat - wish I had a 'scope with me" .... and soon I will have Tom
  9. Really nice iamages James. Crisp and clean. Interesting that Iso 1600 didn't add much noise over Iso 800. I must try Iso 1600 next time. Tom
  10. Interesting comparison Alan. Boy, do you have light pollution The effect of the CLS is very marked, sepecially once you adjust in photoshop. Quite impressive. I have a CLS too, but hadn't noticed such a marked effect - perhaps as the LP is not so bad where I observe. I will hold the CLS in higher esteem now. Tom
  11. Still in the analog stone age, with my steam driven TV GRRRR!!!
  12. Hi Ant, Yes, that was what I was talking about. I am a bit concerned I buy something that seems pricy (for what it is) and then it isn't much better than the "triasl and error" clamp I use now. It is reassuring to hear it is a step up and I realise a specific adaptor only fits certain cameras - thus a change of camera means a new adaptor purchase. I will give it some thought, but atsNikon coolpix 5200s are going at £95 on ebay, I am sorely tempted. Tom
  13. Enjoy the new Bin's when the come Steve. You've probably guaranteed cloud, rain and snow for the night of arrival I find that my 11x80s are great, but often wish I had a little higher magnification. Tom
  14. I knew there was something I liked about you CC - must be the fact that you are a pseudo-Scottish Sassenach - " Arise honorary Scot - and don't ever buy a round". Great looking 'scope on your later posting. Tom
  15. I would settle with the ability to get by on 4 hrs sleep a night - so I can stay out late when the clouds part. Otherwise, a 5" APO and a skyscan HEQ6 would be nice Santa. Tom
  16. Hi Saso, I use my Burgess Optical binoviewer mainly for lunar observing, as it seems to cut about one magnitude from the brightness of anything I look at. So deep sky stuff is mostly out, as are the dimmer planets. But it is superb for the moon - there is a real feeling of greater depth and definition to what you see. I use 20mm Meade 400s and 17mm burgess optical WAs (came with the binoviewer). Both give excellent views. As I already had one Meade 20mm 4000 EP, it meant I had only one EP to buy, to have 2 sets. The binoviewer seems to add about 20% to the normal magnification achieved with the EP. You can pick up the Meades from e-bay at about £15-20 a time - good value. I have heard that wider FOV EPs can produce vignetting, depending on the light path width through the binoviewer. Tom
  17. Hi Jamie, I've only been there once, in the half light, just before it got totally dark. I will take a run up there over the next couple of weeks and do a recce - I need to explore (in the daylight) your and the Helensborough guys sites. I think your site is quite a bit beyond where I stopped. All the best Tom
  18. Okay Gaz - I said I was a mean Scot - what more do you want. :violent1: The Latte is very nice. I relax and read the mag - it is rare that I want to buy it to read again. Every penny saved is another penny towards an Apo (in my dreams). Tom
  19. Hi Daz, Why not simply pick a constellation that rises by 8pm and is fairly high above the horizon by 10pm - early observers still get to see it, and late observers will have it high in the sky by midnight. ??? Creating a monthly board is a great idea. Tom
  20. Southerner!!! 59 dergrees north here! nabban I forgot Nabban - you are much further north than me. Good in Winter though - dark almost all the time. Only been to Orkney once - lovely place on a Summers day. Highland Park single malt is good too. Tom
  21. Hi Jamie, I was speaking to two guys from Helensborough AS on Wednesday evening. One of them told me that the best site in Glen Douglas is the bit at the highest point of the road - about half a mile past the big steep hill that takes you into the Glen from the Loch Lomond side. He said that you come to a bit of the single track road where there is a big passing place on the right (at the highest point). There is a farmers gate that you are allowed to open and go through. The guy said that he drives his car up the track - going up another few hudred feet - half way between the gate and a wood. He parks and observes from there. He says that extra couple of hundred feet drops the horizon to the south by a lot (there is a 1500 foot hillock to the south of the Glen. He also says that the extra few miles from Glasgow and Faslane makes it a very dark site indeed. I have been as far asd the gate, but am a bit unsure about driving up the rough track, onto the hillside. Have you been up there at all? Tom
  22. Count me in, from sunny Glasgow. Just don't set the targets too l,ow on the horizon - I'm 56 degrees north up here. I'll use my LX90. Are you going to set aside a particular place in SGL for the observation reports? - and when do you want the reports in by (oh powerful one). Tom
  23. Being careful with my cash (I am Scottish, after all). I go into Borders bookshop, sit down in their coffee lounge, have a Latte and read S@N. I rarely buy it. I try not to spill coffee or leave crumbs on the copy I've read :nono: It is a good mag though. Tom
  24. Good one Ian. Tracking is better on your EQ5 than with my LX90 - after 2 mins I get small star smears, not points. You also get better colour balance and contrast than I get through my SCT. Maybe I need to dip my toe in the EQ5 water some time, as I am getting an 80mm semi-apo next week. I feel a hit on the bank balance looming. Tom
  25. Has anyone got any experience of using a Scopetronix Digi-T adapter. I have an old Canon A20 and may upgrade to a Nikon coolpix 5200 (going on e-bay). The BC&F afocal adaptor rod & rings are a pain to use, so I wondered if the Scopetronix adapter was better (getting camera lens closer to EP, more straight etc). Anyone got any experience of these? Tom
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