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Everything posted by ian_j_kirk

  1. I used to drive to a spot just outside burton up the A38. A nice quiet layby to park and set up in. Lp much better than in tamworth. Had the best view of orion nebula there.
  2. Hi all, i have a skywatcher 200p. I went to use it the other night but when i went to focus on an object, the focuser wouldnt stay in position and kept sliding down back into the tube. Its not as if i had a 120 degree es eyepiece in either, just a tv plossl. Is this a common problem that can easily be fixed, or should i just replace/upgrade the focuser? T.i.a Ian
  3. Does anyone still observe in the tamworth north birmingham area? Been out the loop for a while and am wanting to get out there again. Ian
  4. Hi everyone. Been a visual astronomer for a few years now, and have found myself being more and more interested in ap. As always sgl is amazing for advice and tips, and bought making every photon count as per that advice. My real interest is in dso's and know this means long exposures. So my question is, living in the uk, do you imagers find yourselves getting fustrated at the lack of clear nights allowing you to collect all the data you need? Or does the image processing stage tide you over until the next session? Clrar skies Ian
  5. Hi Paul, I haven't got an address or a postcode but I have found it on google earth. As you go out of Kings Bromley going north, there are two laybys on the left hand side of the road. The second one is the best as its further away from the lights of the village. https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=kings+bromley&ll=52.753932,-1.815008&spn=0.001575,0.004061&hnear=King's+Bromley,+Staffordshire,+United+Kingdom&gl=uk&t=h&z=18 HTH Clear Skies Ian
  6. its each to their own as with most things. Im mostly into observing galaxies and nebulae, but i love looking at open clusters with different coloured stars set against a background of fainter ones. Globular clusters also hold a certain charm for me. When you first view them it impresses that what seems like a fuzzy ball in the finder scope turns out to be hundreds of close knit stars which you can start to pick out after a few minutes observing and a bit of averted vision. Clear skies ian
  7. hi Paul. I used to live in sutton but moved to tamworth a few years ago. Barr beacon isn't brilliant to be honest as you get light pollution from most of the west midlands. A place i have found is up the a38 from you near Burton. Its about a half hour drive but if you go on a clear night when the moon is out the way the views are amazing. I remember seeing the Orion nebula from there and couldn't believe how much of it i wasn't able to see from home, even though from my back garden you can see the milky way on a clear night. I have been up there with a couple of other sgl'ers so would be happy to meet up with you if interested. Might have to wait a couple of weeks as I've just had an op and can't lift my scope yet but should be able to get up there in time for some ison viewing! Clear skies ian
  8. Oh yeah the lazy susan mod, that was it. Sorry wasn't paying enough tension Ian
  9. 1 Leave the dust cap off as this allows the scope to cool quicker, eliminating air currents inside the tube that could affect your view. 2 When bringing the scope back inside, keep doing what you are doing. Leaving the scope pointing down allows the dew to evaporate naturally, with out running the risk of any drops forming on the mirror and staining it, and also pointing down prevents as much dust getting on your mirror. 3 Don't know how to explain about this really, just trial and error. Have you got the finderscope in the bracket straight? I have the 200p and the spring loaded screw has more than enough tension; 4 There is a modification that you can do to the washer/bearing assembly that is quite popular and not too hard either from what I hear. Try googling it. I will have a look as soon as I can too to see if I can find it for you. Hope this helps Ian
  10. Hi all, Quick question I need help with. I was taking advantage of the clear skies which seem to have been few and far between recently. I was trying to find Uranus as the title suggests, and think I found it. However, looking at the image, I could only see the disc as a white circle. I have heard that the disc should appear as blue/green, but it was very slight if at all. When I upped the mag the disc keep its shape and was quite easy to distinguish from other stars. The equipment I was using was a skywatcher 200p (1200 f/l) with a TV 11mm plossl and a BGO 6mm, so pretty decent stuff, so the colour/contrast should be ok. The planet wasn't too low, but the moon had risen so maybe that washed the colour out a bit. Im pretty sure it was Uranus, but its just the lack of colour that is bugging me and made me doubt whether it was in fact the planet. If someone could offer their opinion I would be most grateful. Clear Skies Ian
  11. the magazine issued a statement on facebook saying that the rumours about the tv show are not connected and they will still be publishing the mag
  12. i bought myself a Televue plossl last week and had it delivered a couple of days ago. Inside the box was a little sticker that says powered by televue. I guess most people put theirs on their scope but i was wondering what the most inventive thing they have done with this sticker. If you have had one, What did you do with it? Ian
  13. great scope choice, I have the 200p and love it. As has been said, don't worry about new eyepieces for now and just get used to using your scope. After a while you will start to get a feel for what eyepiece you will benefit from most for your next purchase. Right now you can still catch globular cluster M13 in Hercules, which will look good in your 10mm, Andromeda galaxy looks nice if you have dark enough skies (a good challenge is to try and see M32 and M110 satellite galaxies in the same field of view as Andromeda) The double cluster looks very nice too and the owl nebula isn't far away from that. Google how to find the blue snowball too, that is a nice sight and a decent colour, as is the double star Albeireo. Soon Orion will be back in the sky, and just wait until you see the Orion nebula!!! Hopefully that will give you a few things to get you started which impressed me in my 200p with my stock eyepieces. The planets look decent in the stock eyepieces too. Jupiter is only visible early morning right now, but you should be able to make out some bands on the planet and the great red spot if conditions are good. Also Jupiter's moons are visible, and I even remember catching a transit of one of the moons which was an amazing sight. Saturn shows her rings easily in your scope too, although you may struggle to see the cassini division with the stock eyepieces. However Saturn has left the sky now and im not sure when she is back. Someone on here will be able to tell you. Hope this helps, and clear skies. Ian
  14. right, 11mm ordered. Thank you for all your advice guys. Appreciate it. Clear skies, Ian
  15. HI all, Im looking to replace my 10mm eyepiece that came with the scope (SW 200p Dob) and was looking at the televue 11mm plossl as they seem quite reasonably priced. I would be mainly using it for star clusters, both open and globular, and some of the smaller dso's like M27, M57 etc and maybe planetary viewing when conditions aren't great. I don't wear glasses so eye relief wont be a problem, and I have gotten quite good at nudging my dob to keep things in view. so would this eyepiece be a good buy, or are there any others out there that might be more suitable? clear skies, Ian
  16. Wow what I night last night turned out to be. Not only did I get to observe on one of the clearest nights I have seen since I took up astronomy, I even managed to get the wife out to look at the perseids and even take a peek through the scope. We started out looking at the meteors and saw several long bright trails, and even a potential fireball which was so bright that we could see it even though it was on the very periphery of our vision. I'm not sure what promotes a meteor to a fireball but this must have been close! A very long trail which left a streak in the sky, and was bright enough to significantly light up the sky for about 1.5 seconds. Taking the opportunity to try and get SWMBO more interested into this hobby, I thought I would show her some of the other sights. Alberio was first, nice and crisp with the two distinct colours suitably impressed, and Andromeda, although a large white smudge, drew a satisfying wow when I explained how long the light from there had been travelling. While looking at Andromeda, I noticed a feint patch of light to the bottom of the view, but didn't pay much attention to it and moved on. The warm bright orange of the garnet star in Cephus was also a nice sight, which kind of made up for the "oh is that it" that the small feint ring nebula got. It was at this point that the cold got to her and she trundled off to bed. Her loss! I caught a pass of the ISS from a Westerly to South eastern direction, and I thought, how hard would it be to track in a dob??? I have a 200p and had my 18mm BST eyepiece in and had a go. At first it was hard to track due to having to move the dob in both alt and az directions, but the ISS soon levelled out and I only had to move on one plane and managed to keep it in the eyepiece for about 5 seconds! I couldn't believe it. I could see the shape of the main body and the solar panels quite clearly, and they looked like the sun lighting up tin foil. INCREDIBLE! The night didn't end there either. As I mentioned, the sky was amazingly clear, and for the first time I was able to make out the milky way from my back garden stretching all the way over the sky. Looking up using my mk 1 eyeballs, I saw a hazy patch of light near Cassiopeia and trained my scope on it to see if it was indeed a patch of light or a stray cloud. I couldn't believe it when it turned out to be the double cluster. I didn't know that the double cluster could be a naked eye object. Getting tired now I thought I would get one more look at Andromeda before I turned in and found her very easily again. M32 was also easy to spot, but as I was looking around switching from direct to averted vision, I noticed that the feint fuzzy patch was still there from earlier. Was this m110? A quick post on sgl today and a few quick responses from the kind folk on here seem to support this. All this and I bagged another new messier object during the course of the night made this one of the best sessions ever and one that will be very hard to beat for a long time. Thanks for reading and clear skies. Ian
  17. Nice report! I live in Tamworth and I enjoyed the crystal clear skies too. One of the best I've seen since I took up this hobby, and that's even from my back garden, and not my dark sky spot near Burton! Clear Skies, Ian
  18. Hi all, hope everyone got to enjoy the perseids. I own a skywatcher 200p dob, and when i got the scope i saw that it had a tube to put in the focuser that allows you to use 2" eyepieces. I have never really paid it much attention as i only have 1.25" eyepieces at present, but i am looking at getting a wide field 2" eyepiece soon, and probably an Oiii filter to go in it. My question is, would a 2" eyepiece with a filter screwed into the bottom of it fit ok into this tube that came with the scope? Clear Skies Ian
  19. Thanks guys, i believe i have it then! That sketch helped a lot Andrew thank you. That is exactly the dimensions/angles in which i saw them last night, except the view was flipped in my scope, with M110 being at the bottom and M32 top left. Clear Skies Ian
  20. I was observing M31 last night and was surprised at how clear the sky was. I managed to see M32 very clearly too in the same fov in my bst 18mm. Something else caught my eye however, a little furthur away from andromeda than M32 and at the 6 o'clock position there was a very feint fuzzy patch, and i was wondering if i had just seen M110? Clear Skies Ian
  21. haha sallystar beat me to the coffee idea
  22. Well if there is a free Jaffa cake allowance then there has to be a free coffee allowance to keep us going until dawn!
  23. I had a nice observing session last night in which I saw the Garnet star in Cephus, and the Blue Snowball in Andromeda. Both amazingly pretty objects to look at, and ones that don't get mentioned too often. After going to bed I got to thinking about the warm orange glow of the Garnet star and the lovely blue colour of the snowball, and remembered being told about the carbon star that is near Vega that glows a lovely red colour. Having not yet seen it, this will absolutely be a target for me in my next session, but am wondering, what other colours have people seen in the sky that made them sit and think wow, that is something different to your every day feint grey fuzzy? Clear Skies, Ian
  24. Thank you everyone, loads of good advice there for me to start researching what will be best for me. I will let you know what I went for in the end. Ian
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