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    Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire

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  1. Enjoyed a clear sky here in North East Lincolnshire between 1.30 and 2.30 a.m. Saw 12 meteors with 4 bright ones including 4 in one minute.
  2. Had a hour of perfectly clear sky just after midnight here in North East Lincolnshire. Plenty of meteors (around 20) but certainly not the 'storm' some had predicted. Saw 4 very bright ones with trails. I think I would have seen a lot more from a dark sky site.
  3. Started the evening by watching the Moon rise over the North Sea. I had hoped for a more dramatic foreground but a few gulls did oblige in one of the frames. There is high cloud here in North East Lincolnshire but the Moon is still shining through them.
  4. Hello SunBear What do you think about a house-swap for a few years. I'm loving Arizona. Thanks for the information about Sedona observing sites. I have been in touch with the SiriusLookers and the Coconino astronomy Society. I really like the look of Dave Frisk's observing site http://coconinoastro.org/observing_sites.htm
  5. Not getting enough astro fixes in the UK so have come to Arizona. This week near Phoenix and next week going to Sedona. We contacted the Phoenix Astronomical Society and they recommended some good observing sites. The first is known as the Antennas site about 110 miles West of Phoenix way out in the Sonora Desert. Some of their members came along with their big, and I mean BIG, Dobsonians. We could only manage to take an 80 mm refractor and iOptron Smart EQ mount plus 15 x 70 binoculars from the U.K.. The sky at this site was jaw dropping - 2 on the Bortle Scale. The Zodiacal Light was clearly visible and the Milky Way cast shadows in the otherwise pitch black location (don't think about stepping on a rattle snake or picking up a Bark Scorpion instead of a dropped EP cap). Heaven surely can hold no greater delights than being under this sky with a 22 inch Obsession Dob. Galaxies in the eyepiece looked like astro photos and I have never seen such detail on Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Unfortunately it was too windy for any serious photography but we almost did an 'all-sky' survey with the DSLR. Another tremendous highlight was being able to see the globular cluster Omega Centauri. In the binos it looked as big as M13 does in my C11 back home. Through the telescopes it was stunning, although it was quite low at about 9 degrees above the horizon. Another night we went out to the Picket Post trail head site about 60 miles east of Phoenix. This was not quite as dark but still stunningly beautiful. Here we could take some better pictures and I've included a quick one of Omega Centauri taken through the 80 mm refractor. I think it looks reddish because it was very low in the sky, but the stars did go down to the horizon in all direction. It's such a delight to be able to pan with binoculars the whole of southern constellations such as Scorpio and Sagitarius which I can barely see in the U.K. Anyway here are a few random pictures;
  6. Couldn't resist a couple of quick images. The first one without the focal reducer really shows up the SN. 20 sec. AVIs using the Watec.
  7. Excellent images, thanks for sharing them. I can't feel tired when its the first clear night without frost or even much dew.
  8. This SN shows up beautifully using the Watec 120N onto a TV monitor.
  9. Just having my first look at this supernova. Difficult to see visually due to light pollution but very bright using the Watec camera onto a TV monitor. That's an understatement - it's amazing.
  10. Anyone having a go at the Moore Winter Marathon http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk7h
  11. I could barely see this visually, even with an OIII filter, but the Watec managed to show some structure. 30 second AVI stacked in Registax 5.
  12. Spot on Moonshane. Uranus is next and to the left of the Star 44 Pisces which is exactly the same brightness (Mag 4.7). I also use the little trapezium of Mag. 6/7 stars (inc. HIP 1421) to the right and slightly above to check. See Stellarium image attached.
  13. HI PARKES59, Current price for the Helios Quantum 4 (25x100) is £275 - its too late to do the conversion. Here is a link to them http://www.firstlightoptics.com/helios/helios-quantum-4-binoculars.html
  14. I've just borrowed a couple of 4 inch Baader Solar filters and attached them to the front of a pair of Helios Quantum 4 (25x100) bins. The result was surprisingly good with excellent sunspot detail. Surprisingly there was no colour fringing (CA) around the limb. Photo of set-up attached. Now for the note of caution. A member of our astronomy group was observing the Sun through a small pair of binoculars whilst wearing solar eclipse glasses. Alerted by a smell of burning she quickly put down the bins and found that the solar film in the eclipse glasses was melting and the magified Sun's rays had burned two small holes in them. Fortunately no damage was done but a few seconds more would have been disasterous.
  15. Managed 6 Perseids over a period of two hours last night between 11.00 p.m. and 1.00 a.m. Two were bright and one left a good smoke trail. Most were in the East in or above Pegasus / Andromeda.
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