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Everything posted by Rockrae78

  1. Non-permanent OHP pens are good for wipe-on/wipe-off notes... They work brilliantly on laminated surfaces, but they smudge really easily on plastic pockets!
  2. I must admit that I use brantuk's method of finding Andromeda, rather than using the conventional way of using Mirach, and Mu. I live in an area with lots of LP, but can usually make out the fuzzy white patch with the naked eye, using averted vision, once my eyes have fully adjusted to the dark. Once I've done that, its easy to use the red dot finder to get the scope in the vicinity of M31, then pan round and get it in the EP. I also agree to try and shield yourself from LP whilst looking through the EP. It's amazing the difference it makes. I use either a coat over my head and EP, or a black pillowcase (which I bought very cheaply from a textile shop - presumably because no one else buys them that colour!). The longer you sit at the EP once you've found it, the more detail you'll see. Even with my 5" scope, you can clearly see the central mass - in bright white, but I can also make out some lanes that make up the arms of the galaxy (although you can't see the entire length of the arms - its just too big!) There are loads of other good things to see at this time of year. Do you have a copy of Turn Left at Orion? It's a fantastic book, which has excellent guides for star hopping to lots of incredible targets. It also has sketches to show you what objects will look like in smaller scopes, so you know exactly what you are looking for. I found it essential when starting out. Planets are always a good thing to look for too. Jupiter is very bright and high in the sky at the moment, so you shouldn't be able to miss it. Good luck!
  3. Rockrae78

    SGL 9 - Bookings

    Thanks guys!! Knew I could rely on fellow SGLers to give some good advice in this area! Checked out both of the beds suggested, the only thing I'm concerned about is space in the car. The cheaper one looks like it folds away to quite a small size but I'm thinking the Z bed is the one to go for in terms of comfort for my back. Not too worried about cost. I went to 3 star parties last year, and have 3 booked again for this year, so its not like it won't get used. I'm gonna order one and see if I can fit everything, that I would normally take, in the car with it. I have a bigger car this year (but also a bigger scope) so I'm hoping its not going to be too much of a problem. Thanks again for the suggestions! Tony - I took your advice re the sleeping bag. Best one ever!! Even got Huw one in the end for when we went camping together. So warm and cosy. It's nice to be able to get really snuggled up in a sleeping bag that's very roomy!
  4. Rockrae78

    SGL 9 - Bookings

    Getting excited now... will be great to catch up with some of the lovely people I met last year! I want to invest in a 'proper' camping bed though... my inflatable actually coped during the whole (freezing) week last year, but then failed me on the first night of the next star party I went to... bought a new one, which was fine for the rest of that star party, then that one went during the Peak Star Party.... So far spent over £100 on air mattresses... Don't want to buy another! Does anyone have any recommendation for a good camping bed... I have a bad back and a chronic pain condition so comfort is key!
  5. Yes! That's the one! Costs £2.99 I think! I searched for a Celestron SkyQ... Must be entered like that as sky q doesn't find it!
  6. I really like Maggie; I have enjoyed every programme I've seen her presenting and I think she'll make a good addition to the team. However, I really liked the team already in place (even Jon Culshaw isn't that irritating when he's NOT doing his SPM impression) so I really do hope that they all stay too. I've been reading the tweets regarding the subject, but so far, no actual confirmation from the BBC that the current team would stay as is. I think that it's important to note that SPM put together the current team; to now go against what he wanted for the future would be a bad move by the BBC, and not at all in keeping with his legacy.
  7. I've posted this before, but here's my garden at night
  8. Would have loved to have come Jules, but I'm away that weekend! Originally from Saddleworth, so it would have been nice to go back to the motherland for some stargazing where it all began for me!
  9. Well, I shall see you in the classroom... mine is tonight too. Read sections 1-2 so far, and the relevant chapters in Universe. Will be starting section 3 tomorrow. I've not even attempted the question sheet 1 yet; wanted to ask my questions on the stuff I'm stuck on in tonight's classroom before I start. Did you see the post re questions based on Section 5 too? You're not wrong about the website... it is a pain and rather difficult sometimes to get from one page to another, without having the either go back to the start, or use the forward/backward buttons in the browser. To say this is a distance learning course, and that this resource is essential, it's not been very well designed! They've also had problems with every document that's been added to the course materials! I've had to mention at least twice that links to documents didn't work! At least they seem to be quick to respond though. Those in last year's class didn't seem to get questions answered so quickly!
  10. Tough. I think I'm getting the broader concepts, and I'm really enjoying the content of the course, but there are certain aspects of the maths (mainly re-arranging equations) that I'm struggling with at the minute. Working through the self-test exercises, I think I'm doing fine, then along comes one that completely trips me up! I also thought that I understood sidereal time before I started this course. Now I feel lost and confused about this! Their diagrams seem to be backwards to what I understand it to be! Maybe its just me! Not had enough sleep for the past couple of weeks so I don't think that's helping! How about you? Are you in the class tonight, or the one tomorrow?
  11. Saw those too.... and had to back away slowly.... my credit card couldn't take any more!
  12. Rockrae78

    SGL 9 - Bookings

    Looking forward to it already! Will be great to catch up with the lovely people I met in March this year!
  13. It was those guys on that stall that kindly donated that meteorite for the charity raffle. They also very kindly donated another piece after that one was stolen. Much kudos to them.
  14. Hi All, Mods: not sure if I've put this in the right place, so please feel free to move. I attended the NW Astro Fest on Saturday and at the evening do, it was announced that someone had taken a piece of meteorite from the raffle table. I've been to loads of events and star parties, and I can honestly say that I've never met a bunch of more honest people, so I was shocked and dismayed to hear this. Please can you all keep an eye out on the various buy/sell sites that we use and let the organiser know if you see anything regarding this item? He is Andrew Davies and can be contacted via the Knowledge Observatory: contact@theknowledgeobservatory or via Twitter: @KnowledgeObs, @NWAstroFest2013, @ADavies915 or even via PM on here: adavies660
  15. My pitch is the best! Cos I'm there! In all seriousness though, all pitches are similar sizes and all are equally dark, and flat. It is a great campsite regardless of the star party!
  16. I had a badge with my twitter name on it, which is the same as my username here, but with an @ in front! I headed up to the lecture hall about 10:50 so probably didn't see you at all! There was a big board in the food hall where you could add your forum/twitter names to let people know you were there. Will definitely look for you at future events! Missed you at PSP 2013 too, due to the wet weather! If I wasn't in the barn, or the loo, I was in my tent!
  17. Think I arrived at about 10.15, but did spent quite a lot of time wandering the different rooms in the morning (except when I was at the talks), and then spent a lot of time catching up with the ladies I met at the Brecon Beacons Astro Camp in the afternoon.... If you went into the Foodini room before 3pm, and saw a big group of ladies all chatting and laughing away - that was us!!
  18. Think the low number of sellers there was just due to the fact that this is a new event. I'm sure once its properly established, the number of people attending will increase, and the number of sellers attending will increase as a result. The organisers told me they were planning on doing it again next year, due to the fact that it was a success overall. I went for the whole day on Saturday and attended all the talks and bought some bargains! Met lots of very interesting and clever people and saw a lot of people that I know from this forum and other star parties! Was nice to catch up! Will definitely go again next year.
  19. They have a website: http://www.theknowledgeobservatory.co.uk I also follow them on twitter and they are still taking online ticket bookings (until tomorrow morning I think), but have also said that tickets will still be available on the door. Not sure what the ticket situation will be with regards to the presentations/talks. Don't know if that have sold out already. You can ask the organisers directly @NWAstroFest2013 HTH
  20. Found it at 365Astronomy! OH has promised it will be sitting under the tree on Christmas morning! Happy days!
  21. I too admitted defeat with respect to the weather... Left this morning! The wind woke me up at about 6:00am and terrified me... With a weather forecast of heavy rain and wind gusts up to 36mph, I caved and packed up. Of course, about 20 miles away from the site, I saw blue skies so no doubt it will have been better weather tonight! Gah! In all serousness though, I had a fab time, met some lovely people and the impromptu quiz on Sat night was a great alternative to sitting in the tent! Apologies to those I didn't get a chance to meet - after talking on here - but the rain pretty much kept me in my tent so I didn't get a chance to wander around much! Big thanks to James and others for organising the event! Hopefully we'll have better luck with the weather next year!
  22. ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod..... I've forgotten Jaffa cakes!!!!!!!!! I will, of course, rectify this situation on my way there tomorrow... need to stop off to get cash somewhere, so will make sure its at a shop that sells them!!
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