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About jbdtaylor

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    West/North Yorkshire
  1. So tonight I decided to take advantage of the (finally) clear sky, deciding to try my hand at finding something which would provide me with a challenge. After a lot of time trying to find it (most of that time spent looking at 3 different charts, trying to figure out where I was!) I managed to get it. I think I'd already passed by it a few times to be honest, but only came to noticing it after my eyes had adjusted a little more. I'm not going to say I was blown away by it, but I certainly wasn't disappointed. After all, that thing is millions of light years away! However, it was very dark, and the shape could only really be made out in the peripheral vision. In fact, I wasn't entirely sure I had got the right thing, I spent a while observing what was around it and trying to compare it to the charts I had. After a while I just decided to draw it and its surroundings and compare them on Stellarium when I got back in. That confirmed that it was the galaxy. Now, I know I don't have the best telescope, and that's a huge factor. But I was wondering, how much more visible will it become when it is higher in the sky? I only got it at around 13 degrees, and not much further down from that is a streetlamp. Will it appear much brighter when higher? How much so? Will I be able to make out much more detail? What it is supposed to be? Around magnitude 4? Because it certainly didn't seem like it, could this be light pollution "washing" it out with it being so low?
  2. I too for some reason believed Polaris was the brightest until a few years ago! Unsure where I picked it up from though.
  3. I use Heavens Above (Google it), but that only tracks operational satellites. Stellarium is also pretty good, but unsure as to whether that shows non-operational satellites.
  4. Thanks great_bear, perfect info. For some reason there doesn't seem to be much info on the mount on the internet, so good to get an answer from someone who also uses the same type.
  5. Thanks for the kind words and advice everyone! My name's Johnny by the way, when I signed up I didn't realise you could have spaces in your name and I wanted something I could remember haha. I absolutely cannot wait until I can get it out again, I've been given a few good books by my Father on it, and we're going to have a few little "star parties" after Christmas too, which should be good. I wouldn't mind a good look through his 8" Maksutov-Cassegrain either!
  6. For some reason I hadn't thought to take off the top part of the mount! That's perfect. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I don't know if it has to be 100% perfect, but I would prefer it to be haha!
  7. Hey everyone! Got my first telescope the other day, a Skywatcher Explorer 130p. It's a Christmas present from my girlfriend, so I've got to impatiently wait until then until I can use it. Although I have taken it out twice with the cheeky excuse of "better make sure it all works fine"! Jupiter was the most amazing thing I've seen all my life. Managed to get a good look at the Pleiades, Orion Nebula, and the double star Epsilon Lyrae. Absolutely cannot wait to use it again. I've always loved astronomy, had loads of books on it when I was a kid and used to enjoy looking through my Dad's telescope when I was young. So looking up into the heavens for me feels like a bit of a childhood adventure. Just wondering also, as the eyepieces for the telescope are the ones that came with it, "starter eyepieces" essentially. What is the main difference between these and higher-end eyepieces? I was getting very good images of Jupiter from mine, but then again I don't have much in my memory to compare it to!
  8. As I've only just got my first telescope, and I can't use it again until Christmas, I absolutely cannot wait to witness Saturn!
  9. plumb-bob does sound like a good idea. Although southerndiver357, your idea with putting the spirit level on top while the OTA is at 0 latitude sounds best, if I get it to turn around with the spirit level on top then I could check that it's fine in all directions! Cheers guys!
  10. Meteors still amaze me and I've been watching them for a couple of years now. Considering what it is, how small it is, and how fast it's going is astonishing! Jonathan - it looks like what you saw was a man-mad e satellite. And yesterday I was very, very lucky when observing Jupiter at 130x magnification to see a meteor pass straight over it in my line of sight. That definitely topped the experience for me, probably will never see that again!
  11. Looked absolutely fantastic tonight, I kept on looking at it between 3AM and 5AM and it looked perfect. First time too. If any of you would have been brave enough to stay viewing that late (maybe you did and just fell asleep at the 'scope?) there was a meteor that passed right over it, which just topped my first viewing of it! I was at 130x by the way.
  12. Hey guys, I'm from Outwood, now living near Knottingley. Will definitely try make it down to a meeting! Probably not this one coming, but the one after I'll try to get down for (providing I remember!).
  13. If you have a power supply a safelight for developing photographs in would be ideal for a large outside red light. I know you can get old ones for a couple of quid off ebay, I got two a few years ago. Not tried them outside because, well, I got them for developing photographs and that doesn't work too well outside! But they do light up a full room, so I can imagine them being perfect if you want something brighter than a handheld with a larger spread of light.
  14. Hey guys, I'm new here so I hope I'm not ballsing up somewhere, couldn't seem to find anything on this anywhere else. I have a Skywatcher Explorer 130p with a Supatrack mount. Now, this mount does not have a spirit level anywhere on it. So my question is, what is the best way of levelling it? I do have a spirit level, but not a round one, just a regular one for checking if something is straight only on one axis. My solution when I went out tonight was to put it across the accessory tray near each of the three corners, and adjust the legs until the bubble was in the middle when it was placed any of them. While I managed to get that done pretty easily, I don't know if the tray is actually parallel with the drives for the motor! Does anyone know if this is fine; the accessory tray should be as flat as the drive, or at least only be out a negligible amount. Or if I'm just doing it totally wrong!
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