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DirkSteele last won the day on August 12 2018

DirkSteele had the most liked content!

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About DirkSteele

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Astronomy has been a part of my life since I was 3 years old, so I have been looking up for about 30 years, and using telescopes for about 25 years. My education followed a similar path and I left University having studied Physics and Astrophysics at both Undergrad and Masters level. I was also a founder member of the University Astronomy society and held the position of president in my last year of undergrad and continued on as treasurer in my masters year. My interest now is primarily visual astronomy.

    I currently own 7 telescopes, and the list clearly shows that I am a refractor man. The pride and joy of the collection is a 7" Triplet Apo (f/7) from APM in Germany, as well as 2 smaller Triplets (TMB 115 f/7 and the APM TMB 105 f/6.2 which is my primary travel scope). I also own three ultra portable Takahashi fluorite doublet Apos, the FS-60 CB & FS-60Q,as well as the FC-76 for those times when the 105 is a bit too large to take with me. Rounding out the collection is my oldest scope, the Celestron Nexstar 11 GPS.

    As well as writing reviews and other astro-related content for my own site, Alpha-Lyrae.co.uk, I have also begun contributing content to Astronomy Now magazine, with my first equipment review appearing in January 2018 issue.

    I love to cook (and eat!), and also collect retro video games, though prices recently have gone through the roof, so that has taken a bit of a back seat.
  • Location
    London, UK
  1. I am pretty sure when I joined SGL back in 2012 there would have been two scopes in my signature with one more on its way. And that speaks nothing of the new mounts and EPs since then.
  2. This is where I keep going in Namibia. Does not get much better than that. This is where I went on my Honeymoon. This is where I am going on holiday this year. Why do I go to these places?? Because of this!!!! Welcome to central London....
  3. A 76mm tube ring fits perfectly around the 2" Feathtouch and then you are free to mount the finder on it and position as you require. See below for my Tak FC-76 solution. Edit: I see Mark beat me to the punch.
  4. If my 130 were alive it would be convinced I don’t like it. I have probably managed about 6 hours with it since taking delivery. The reality is the last 8 months have been a bit of a disaster for astronomy. First I ended up in hospital (all better now) and since then work has been super busy such that I have only stargazed I think 4 times this year. I suspect that is why I have written up two of those sessions to feel like I am doing a bit more astronomy than I really am. Luckily though a holiday to an island off the coast of Mozambique is coming up and my FC-76 is coming so hopefully that will make up for some lost time.
  5. My wife's family gifted us a weekend away in a wonderful little cottage in Stone in Oxney in Kent. Despite a wet Saturday day time, the forecast for the evening and night looked very promising so I took long my 4.5" refractor. It proved to be a night of globular clusters and a few surprises. Observing report on the link below: http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2019/05/18/a-night-of-astronomy-in-stone-in-oxney-in-kent/ The scope all set up and ready to go, with not a cloud in sight. Clear Skies!
  6. Bit more of an informal club, but the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers in London has a real mix in both age and gender. I imagine the average age is somewhere in the late 30s to early 40s, and while we have plenty pushing into their 50's and 60's, we also get quite a few in their late teens and twenties. While there are certainly more men, on any one month perhaps 25-40% will be female.
  7. You might want to start a new thread for that question to make sure plenty of SGL members see it.
  8. I was in Kent over this past weekend and had a scope with me. Seeing was awful on the Saturday evening. Moon looked like it was being viewed under water and usual double star splits like Izar and Double-Double were proving very difficult!
  9. There are dedicated scope covers available. Here is a comprehensive list from one manufacturer. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/telegizmos-telescope-covers.html
  10. There is a reason why this is a chance card in my space Monopoly.... However, in all seriousness, it is a risk we all run every time we observe on all but the very clearest of nights, such is the speed at which rain clouds can roll in. A few drops of rain will not do any lasting damage, but certainly don't abandon your scope to the inclement weather. I personally have a zero tolerance attitude to rain risk. The moment I feel a drop, I will either move the OTA to safety, or use my weather proof telescope cover to protect the scope and mount if cover is not immediately available (star party for example). If the mount is too heavy to move second, it will go under the cover. I also move the scope back to a horizontal position so there is less chance water droplets will make contact with the optics while I grab the cover.
  11. I need to stop reading these posts Gavin! I am going to end up buying one of these NVs. And I have a C11.....
  12. Thanks. Glad you found it an enjoyable read. It is quite fun to go back over notes post a session like that and construct it to a narrative that is good to read at a later date. I will have to check my diary and remaining holiday allowance for the SGL camp. It would be good to meet some SGL members in person rather than always digitally.
  13. The forecast leading up to the Spring 2019 AstroCamp was not looking that promising, but as yet another example of why we downtrodden (by the weather) astronomers should keep the faith was the first night which proved to be remarkably clear. Fortunately I decided to keep notes so was able to write up the log. Report is on the link below. http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/2019/05/06/stargazing-in-the-brecon-beacons/ I decided to take my APM LZOS 115 for two reasons. One the weather did not look promising and hence the effort to carry something larger did not look to be rewarded (what was I saying about faith?) and second, I have recently had APM do a complete rebuild of the scope with upgraded tube and 3" Feathertouch so it was a chance to give the scope its first run out since getting it back. Here it is waiting for dark. Hope you enjoy the report. Clear skies!
  14. I would think replication of topics is fine given the restriction on when the image is captured.
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