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Posts posted by christo

  1. Hi Ron (and others),

    As a secondary school teacher I have to say that in many ways I agree with you when you say that education in our country is poor. What we are good at is coaching our students how to pass examinations. We a judged on how many students can pass an exam and the pressure to do this is enormous. Teaching students mental arithmetic, pronunciation etc gets us no benefit because these skills are not required in final examinations. I have found myself many times stopping students for investigating concepts and issues that are interesting and useful because they are not on the syllabus, and will therefore not help the students pass, and will therefore not help my pass rate. This is horrible and I despise it but this is what we are forced into. I say again, teachers no longer teach, they coach how to pass exams. We rarely provide life skills that are required in the 'real world' because unfortunately that is no longer our job. I have only been a teacher for five years and because of this situation I am now considering alternative careers. I consider myself to be quite good at my job but frankly hate what we are forced into.

    That is my rant, sorry about that.


  2. Hi there,

    As a fairly new starter myself I difficulties that you are facing. You will find that you make many breakthroughs but the journey there can be rather frustrating. Firstly don't expect to see views that we see in magazines and the internet. We see things very differently through our 'scopes. Practically it is vital that you learn your way around your telescope following the guide in the manual and articles on the web. Take time learning how to set it up, i.e. polar alignment but also learn what can be seen in the sky at any moment in time. Turn Left at Orion is a good book for this.

    Persever, because when you see things for the first time it is well worth it. If you want a quick hit tonight and have a low Southern horizon the bright 'star' low down for an hour or two after dark is Jupiter. Point your telescope at it and you will not only see the planet but also several of its moons. If you do this remember that Jupiter is around 500 million miles away! I am always amazed at the distances of objects we observe, when you really get into astronomy you'll be observing objects thousand and millions of light years away. Also the moon is up tonight in the south so have a go at that.

    You may also find it useful to download a planetarium piece of software. Have a look here http://www.stellarium.org/

    Finally ask loads of questions here, there are loads of great pepole only too willing to help.



  3. Hi people,

    This is slightly off thread, hope you don't mind. I've a C8-NGT set up that I've owned for around 18 months and was wondering about the alignment process. Rus you mentioned that you completed a two star align but I don't have that option on my set. Think I saw somewhere that a newer version since mine has been made available which might be what you have. If this is the case can I upgrade to the newer system? Is it worth doing so? and...does the new system have any other benefits?

    Cheers folks,


  4. Great image mate, can't wait to get my newly modified spc900 out for a run. Don't think I'll get close to that though, it a cracking image.

    Trudie, if you want someone to modify your cam for you got here: http://www.astronomiser.co.uk/ He is a top fella who does a great job. There are several options for modification, get in touch with him to discuss what you need.


  5. Hi all,

    Like some of you I subscribe to S@N because there is a considerable discount in doing so. I've also got all of them so can't really bring myself to stop. As for the advert they don't really bother me, they are just ignored. I feel that there is a good mix of article in here and very occasionally get something worthwhile from the CD. However, most of the stuff on the CD is freeware that can be found on the internet. I also buy A.N. and I find that a generally more challenging, but worthwhile read. I do agree that there should be more practical guides which are clearly not the emphasis of these two magazines, so perhaps Practical Astronomer does satisfy a necessary niche IHMO. Think I'll give it a go but I haven't seen it in any retailers.


  6. Hi Grant,

    Some wonderful images there, very well done. I'd have to agree with the others that the widefield M27 is my favourite, very sharp. However, the processed M31 is really wonderful too. It's amazing what power software has to enhance our images but having said that you need the operater to run it so great work from Steve too.



    p.s. Any images of your new observatory?

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