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About Expat_tony

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  1. Hello 6" GSO RC users (mine's a TS Optics but all brands are similar) A picture is worth a thousand words. So if you have a photo of your rig with spacers etc and a DSLR attached, I'd love to see it so I know what I need to set me on the road to astrophotography. A big thank you to anyone willing to help. Tony
  2. Update on 22.00 pass, Tuesday 21st. Towards the end of the "show" there was a missing link in the chain. I wonder if this was a deployment failure, or a test of the "darksat". If that's so, then it certainly succeeds to the naked eye. In an astrophoto, though, it remains to be seen, or not as the case may be. They passed quite close to Thuban, alf Dra, 3.7mag. I saw them a little brighter, maybe 3.5. I know their final orbit will be further out, but it's still going to be inconvenient to say the least.
  3. So many! Top 3 perhaps Messier + A and ray, always eye-catching; Mersenius (neighbour of Gassendi) because I never thought I'd actually identify the domed floor, but it happened; and Reiner + gamma because of one theory on what caused it, namely the great big whack that created Tsiolkovsky crater at its antipode on the far side. Thump! (Btw, the Mare Marginis swirls and Mare Orientale are also opposite each other)
  4. Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm not sure most of the Lunar 100-200 are within the scope of my scope, but thanks for the tip, and I'll keep chasing the first 100. Here's hoping for a clear night with the terminator right.
  5. After three years of seeing the moon as my enemy, I recently tried lunar astronomy as the alternative to DSO observing during the brighter half of the lunar month. I've bought a 5mm ED eyepiece to give me 195x in good quality, and it's been a revelation. I now make time for the moon from Day 1 to about Day 17 It didn't take me long to discover the Lunar 100 as a great learning tool, and now I'm getting to the more ambitious end of the list (though why Gylden Valley is down at #92, I can't understand). Anyway, the question in my title concerns #97, the Inghirami Valley near the s
  6. Just think of how the price of an 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien has dropped in just a couple of years, and be happy!
  7. That's absolutely mouth-watering; but if, like me, you're not loaded, how about south-west France? Locate Rocamadour, Figeac and Cahors on Google maps. They make a triangle. The northern half of that triangle is the darkest part of the "Parc naturel régional des Causses du Quercy", and is known and marketed throughout France as the "triangle noir" or even the "trou noir". And yes, it's really dark. I only spent one amazing night's observing in the park, but even staying at a hilltop home some way west (near a small town called Monpazier) was an observing treat. Imagine swimming in a
  8. Here's Baader's own online instructions. They worked for me, and believe me, I'm no genius at DIY. http://www.baader-planetarium.com/sofifolie/bauanleitung-objektivfilter-en.pdf (German web address but English text version) The most useful tool to go with them is some school geometry compasses, and make sure the card you use is heavy-duty enough.
  9. Sky at Night relies on both producers and presenters for program development, and producers will tend to play to the strengths of the presenters. Patrick Moore was an observer and a solar system man. So we got lots on celestial objects, and lots on space probes - it was, after all, the era from Mariner to Cassini. Chris Lintott is a Professor of Astrophysics - specialist area galaxies, and Maggie Aderin-Pocock, from her Wiki entry, has evolved from a mechanical engineer, via applied research in satellite sensors and instruments, into a "science communicator" especially for young peop
  10. Here's an interesting website for those who, like me, are still free to decide location: http://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/best-places-to-view/ Nashville, Tennessee looks like a good option for those who would like a Plan B in case of bad weather. I also saw a website that plotted weather stats for the the entire route, but forgot to bookmark it ! Grrr! I do remember, though, that the lowest chance of cloud cover (not to mention tornadoes) was between Lincoln, Nebraska and St Louis, Missouri. Apart from the Mississippi river and that big arch, that sounds like the l
  11. Thank you all who voted. In theory, the vote is closed with Macclesfield the winner by 124 votes to 97 (Potsdam 2nd). I say in theory because the blog states that voting closes on March 15th (2016, I assume) but a friend just told me he voted today. Maybe they're on California time. Confirmation ! http://blog.planetfour.org/2016/03/16/macclesfieldinformally-on-mars/
  12. I agree totally, don't take this lightly. If you've seen repeated perfectly curved lightning flashes around the very periphery of your closed eye it'll be one of two things, retinal detachment (RD), which needs an operation PDQ if you're to avoid permanently impaired vision, or so-called posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), which is less serious but needs watching (by a ophthalmologist), I had 2 visits in 3 months, and he wants to see me 6 months later just to make sure. There's a strong correlation between PVD and later RD, surprise surprise. The unshaped flashes you may see when you sne
  13. I'm gradually building my own from an online resource: http://www.geocities.jp/toshimi_taki/index.htm I think Taki should get a medal for what he's done, quite frankly. On the left sidebar menu you'll find this... Astronomy Tools for Observation Double-sided Planisphere (updated on October 30, 2011) Taki's Star Atlas (updated on April 10, 2013) Taki's 8.5 Magnitude Star Atlas Atlas of Double Stars (updated on October 30, 2011) Index Charts for Palomar Observatory Sky Survey Figures of Apparent Orbits of
  14. I think it's the nearest town to JB that Brian Cox knew
  15. Thanks to those giving the running totals as they vote. I don't know exactly when the vote closes, but keep forwarding to friends. (In UK only please, there'll be German votes for Potsdam as well as US.)
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