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DirkSteele

Advanced Members
  • Content count

    1,661
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About DirkSteele

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf
  • Birthday March 9

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://alpha-lyrae.co.uk/

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    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.

    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

Recent Profile Visitors

4,589 profile views
  1. Very nice. Where were you when you took this photograph?
  2. Amazing wildlife I believe there are almost too many reasons to list when it comes to why Africa is such a wonderful destination. Those night skies are right up near the top of the list though.
  3. There is a reason why I keep going back to Africa....
  4. Also taken on my honeymoon. I was gearing up for an observing session with my Takahashi FC-76 in the courtyard of our villa. While I was waiting for the staff to retire for the evening (and all the lights to be switched off), I decided to capture a few shots of the scope, painting the foreground with a quick wash of my headlamp. You can see the kitchen to the left of the photo. The photo was taken around 11pm local time on the 25 May 2017. Probably my favourite object in this session was M17. It really was striking in the eyepiece. Camera: Unmodified Canon 70D Lens: Canon 14mm f/2.8 L II Settings: ISO 3,200 f/2.8 Single 30 Second Exposure, no darks or flats on a static tripod (no tracking) Processed in Adobe Lightroom.
  5. I have a variety of travel kits, which really depend the on the journey to be taken. A single flight with a major carrier probably sees the APM LZOS 105. The big consideration is the mounting solution needs to be more robust and that takes up more of the checked baggage allowance, Just before sunrise in the desert in Oman. If I have smaller connecting flights then the Tak FC-76 DCU (split tube) can come, as it did on my honeymoon last month. If the connecting flight is really limited, as it was in 2015 which involved a helicopter, the the Tak FS-60 comes. Or the FS-60Q in Namibia in 2016
  6. Welcome to SGL. As you are London based you should come by a Baker Street Astronomer Star party in Regent's Park. Free to attend and lots of helpful people who will be more than happy to give advice. Details on the link http://www.bakerstreetastro.org/
  7. Thanks. It is probably among the top three dark places I have visited, and as some SGL members know, I have visited quite a few. I had some really good observing sessions with my Takahashi FC-76. Took pages and pages of notes in my observing journal so will write up the experience over the summer.
  8. Haha. Indeed. I did keep my astronomy activities to just a few sessions.
  9. Taken on our honeymoon on Vamizi island off the coast of Mozambique, the central regions of the Milky Way stretch over our Villa named Kipila which became home for two weeks. The left part of the building contains the dinning room with games and TV room upstairs, and the right was the main lounge area. Bedrooms were out of shot to the right. I painted the foreground very briefly with my head lamp using it's rather bright white light setting. Photo Details: Camera: Unmoddified Canon 70D Lens Canon 14mm L f/2.8 at ISO 3,200 Single 30 second exposure with no flats or darks. Processed in Adobe Lightroom. Photo taken on 29 May 2017 around 11pm local time.
  10. Back during the 2004 Venus transit I just let the Alt-Az mount do a two star alignment and I just confirmed the star position when the scope beeped at me to do so. Even though it clearly would not be up to scratch for finding DSOs in the night sky, it was more than sufficient to keep the sun in the field of view for hours.
  11. I totally forgot about Comet Johnson when I was on my honeymoon and would have had some ideal conditions to have another look with it located in the north over the Indian ocean. Oh well. Had some nice views at Astrocamp back in April. Lovely pic.
  12. Very sad day. I purchased an item from him directly almost a decade ago (I think, all those years are blurring into one) when he was building up his business. Great to deal with.
  13. Guess what the postman delivered today.... Cannot wait to start the construction.
  14. Taken 65 minutes after sunset, the Zodiacal light was incredibly bright as seen from the beach on Vamizi Island just in front of our villa. Vamizi is off the coast of Mozambique just by the boarder with Tanzania. I also took my Tak FC-76 with me to observe, and the brightness of the zodiacal light was noticeable as I panned across the sky, in particular when viewing M44 which is near the apex of the zodiacal light in this photo. Also note Orion on its side about to set. The small lights on the water are fishing vessels in the Mozambique channel. The sea that night was very still and the reflection of the ZL was picked up. Photo Information: Captured on May 24th 2017. Unmodified Canon 70D with Canon 14mm f/2.8 L lens on a static tripod (no tracking) Single 30 Second Exposure with no darks or flats ISO 3,200 at f/2.8 Processed using Adobe Lightroom
  15. I have also pulled the trigger on this (I called it my wedding present to myself to get away with it). Probably my first lego set in 27 years and very excited. Looks like my credit card has just been charged so guess it must be dispatching shortly.