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Groucho Ben

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    32
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About Groucho Ben

  • Rank
    Nebula

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Philosophy, political & cultural theory, hiking, cycling, boating, boardgames and stagazing.
  • Location
    Norwich, UK
  1. Or, as seems more likely, seeing how he knew nothing of the worth of the scope, it could well be stolen goods. A lot of stolen good seem to get moved through Gumtree. It might be worth putting the word out at your local club to see if anyone's had their megrez nicked, before you get too happy! If so, they can pay you the 80 to reclaim it. Really sorry to put a bummer on your awesome find, and hope this isn't the case. Lovely looking scope ...
  2. With clear skies like the one in that picture, I'd put up with all the floral pattern in the world. Great setup tich!
  3. Hi Russell, a man after my own heart! My favourite campsite in cornwall is St Agnes Beacon, it consists of lots of plots seperated out by trees and bushes, so its very private. But, truth be told, I love wild camping, it can't be beat for clear skies. The coastal path between St Agnes and St Just is so beautiful, and if you're respectful and clean then nobody seems to mind if you camp a night - I've been doing it for over 10 years and never once had a complaint. Finally, the Tinners Arms is my favourite pub in ... well ... the country, i think. It's in Zennor, near st ives, and if you're nice they'll let you pitch up for a night in a nearby field. Have a great time or two, and clear skies to you.
  4. I don't drive, so my camping and astro kit, in total, has to be moveable by train or bus. I have an ed80, porta II mount, and a terraquatro 3 man tent. It weighs in at 3kg, and is totally bombproof, I love the thing. My first love is camping, actually, and it partly dictated my choice of astrokit. All in, with therma roll and lightweight bag, with tripod and mount in the rucksack too, I'm carrying around 10kg in my backpack, and then my scope case as well. Quite a bit of weight, but doable, and it allows you to march about 1 hour out, say along a coastal path, so you can wild camp with your scope, and, of course, a medicinal bottle of single malt! Interestingly, you can get yourself a big old tent, and still keep your weight down, if you go for a golite: http://www.golite.co...ent-P46714.aspx In fact, maybe i'll end up mimicking aperture fever, and I'll have two tents and two scopes! A man can dream, right? Enjoy your camping, it's the best way of holidaying in my opinion...
  5. Hi, in trying to answer to the original post, I myself am utterly incapable of explaining it, so why not let a top-class theoretical physicist explain it instead? Lawrence Krauss is a great public speaker, and really knows his stuff. The talk considers modern cosmology, as it pertains to the notion of a universal constant, closed/open universe models, darkmatter, etc, all in a manner very friendly to the layman. in response to the 'but science doesn't 'know' much, it's just theory' position, Krauss also puts into relief just how much we do now know, which is a brain-blendering amount. ... Hope it's useful!
  6. Hello all, a very interesting thread! I thought I'd share an excellent video with you; basically, it's a researcher at CERN explaining what the Higgs-Boson particle is, and outlining possible avenues for research, but animated really nicely. It ain't pixar, but it's really amazing how much intelligent visuals can help you understand a concept better. Anyway, it helped me... Clear Colliders!
  7. What about this lovely looking portable 6" dob? It's well within your budget and weighs in at 10kgs. http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=57198 I really can't see you getting a better solution to your needs for the price... If I hadn't just bought an ed80/porta II setup I think I would have gone for it myself...
  8. Hi Kitsune, I'd say 600 euros is quite a lot of money! What about going for a nice Williams Optics 80mm OTA, a microstar alt-az mount and a red snapper camera tripod? (Or a berlebach/wolfe wooden tripod?) That would be properly portable ... You might have to get the OTA second hand though, to be under budget. I nearly went that route myself, but opted for the longer SW ED80 and Porta II mount, as I don't see myself having to do much hiking with them. Or what about just a good old Heritage 130p, under 6kg all in, they seem well made and it would leave you with lots of barlow/EP money Or even enough for a bigger second hand dob! Double the dob, double the pleasure.
  9. Hi dude, welcome to the site! I am a fellow noobling, but my advice (other than to take all the advice given to you by umadog! ), would be to steer clear of trying to hook up your computer to your mount so as to find objects. It's gonna cost you quite a bit, be a fiddle, I'd guess, and more importantly, finding your way abut the night sky is a lot of the fun in stargazing. "Fun" is a pretty imprecise word though, so let me say this: you'll start to get a feel for that old sky up there, you'll always know where north is, you'll start to see how the constellations change over the seasons, you'll be able to look up and, just from where the big constellations are, be able to point out where some of your favourite messier objects are too... in short, it feels like something to be proud of, as opposed to the easy point-and-click of a goto mount. Developing the beginnings of a connection with the night sky is the best part of my short experience in stargazing, and i recommend trying, as umadog says, to read Turn Left at Orion, because it's changed the way i look up! Good clear skies to you...
  10. Good work! That Meade looks pretty good for 60 squid, def. the pick of the three you posted, and if you've got the cheap mount working okay then you're doing very well. I just received my Vixen Porta II mount this morning, I am a very excited 10 year old again Good gazing to you!
  11. Hi Midjam, if you're suspicious of going for a second hand scope, why not go for a brand new one? The Skywatcher Heritage 130p is a great scope, compact, good mirror, cheap, and very portable. They retail for around £130, and would probably suit you down to the ground. You can always sell it on for around £90 if you find you love stargazing, because Skywatcher is a top-class brand and the heritage is a popular scope. There's a review here ... and there's a second hand one here, but it's only 30 quid cheaper than buying new! So my two pennies, as a fellow noob, are: forget all three telescopes you suggested, they look like hobby breakers (kit that disappoints you, is unwieldy, never gets used, and tars the fledgling hobby by association), especially the bushnell and jessops ones! The heritage is a doddle to set up and put away, in comparison, because it's mounted on a very friendly dob base...
  12. A great, chipper presentation, full of useful advice for the likes of noobs like me. Thanks for making them David, I might go off and have a bit of a trawl through your archive now!
  13. Swampthing, if I'd have seen that three days ago, before I went all apo, I would have snapped it up! Beautiful piece of kit...
  14. Tal's a goodun, and Phil Burton has them in stock at the moment, he's a nice chap too.
  15. That course looks brilliant! I'm doing Open University maths, with a view to physics, at the moment, and it looks like the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute let you transfer between the two, so I might take a look soon myself... What a great price too.
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