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About Adam144

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    Nottingham, UK
  1. Same here in Notts, got all set up to observe one of Jupiter's moons transitting for the first time.. Managed to get about a total of 2-3 minutes at the EP in between clouds. Still, seeing was ok, if a little inconsistent. Could just about make out the shadow
  2. Indeed, could just about make out the shadow before a massive cloud rolled across it and really dimmed the image! Back inside waiting for it to go away now.. Can't see much of anything else tonight because of the moon and crappy LP around here, so I'm hoping to get a nice view of the transit...
  3. Well, rather than make a new topic I thought I would just update this one! Skies finally cleared up for a couple of hours tonight so as soon as I noticed I hauled ass out there and set 'er up! Sadly the 2x Barlow I ordered hasn't arrived yet so still stuck with my 10/25mm EP combo, but I still got some good sights out of 'em Bagged myself a couple new Messiers, M36 and M42 being the main ones. I tried for some time to locate M35, 37 and 38 as they're all in the same area, but I'm pretty sure the moon was washing them out. M36 was just barely visible! I say I saw M42 for the first time, which I guess is not true, but I finally appreciated it properly, and atmospheric conditions were just right for me to be able to resolve the 4 stars of the trapezium! Very, very chuffed with this one, and can't wait to try out the Barlow. Also spent a bit more time staring at that lovely Jovian, and, aside from the glaring light from the moon, conditions must have been almost perfect. My first night, I could only just make out the slightly dimmer cloud bands. Tonight, I could clearly see that they were a more brown/orange colour than the rest of the planet! Again, well chuffed! Overall, loving my scope so far. Just wish I lived somewhere a little darker, but then again, who doesn't?! Skies forecasted to be clear all night tomorrow - here's hoping the Barlow arrives in the morning!
  4. Skies looked reasonably clear, took the scope out, soon as i'd balanced it, RAIN! :(

  5. Very nice shots! I personally, being relatively new to the hobby, have never seen an image with one of the moons so coloured and detailed, so thank you for posting this!
  6. Long Post Ahead! Hi all Just today received my very first telescope, a Skywatcher Explorer 130P! So I'm going to do a full run down of my experience with the 'scope starting off with a small review on the actual kit itself. Bear in mind some of the use of language might be a little bit funny as I'm writing this post about 8 hours apart - the observing bit has to wait until I finish work, sadly! Setup + Aligning When it first arrived, I was surprised by just how big the box was. Even moreso by the weight of it! I'd fully underestimated the size of the thing and quickly realised my plan of leaving it set up in the kitchen for quick and easy observing sessions was not going to work! Overall, it took me around an hour to set up, the instructions were generally very helpful although having one booklet for 6 different scopes/mounts got a little bit confusing as I continually read the instructions for an EQ1 mount, thinking "I DON'T HAVE THAT BIT!" before realising I'm working on an EQ2 mount! Once I got it set up, it was time to actually try and figure out how the mount works! I knew I wasn't getting a simple left-right, up-down mount, but this thing really does take a little bit of figuring out for a first timer (for me, anyway). When the stars are out tonight, I'm sure my first hour of observation will be simply staring at Polaris trying to figure out how to align it! The last thing I did before (slightly) packing it up was to align the red dot finder. Pretty difficult to find stuff to align it to in my back garden, but a distant light fixture sufficed! Aligning it was incredibly easy, and the variable brightness of the dot I'm sure will be incredibly useful. The first thing I noticed about my eyepieces was that the 10mm's field of view was incredibly small, although I did expect this somewhat, and am eager to see the kind of views it can produce tonight. For a quick review of the optics, in daylight this scope performs excellently! I could see the tiny details on the light which was at least 150m away from me. The fact that the picture was upside down was a little bit disorienting, however! Finally, to 'pack it up' I removed the counterweight from the mount, and the mount from the tripod. Should take about 5 minutes, if that, to knock it back together later on! http://i.imgur.com/qkHH4.jpg http://i.imgur.com/Chpfl.jpg http://i.imgur.com/E1NlL.jpg Observing Before work, I looked out into the sky and noticed that the moon was there! I hurriedly took the scope outside and set it up to point at the moon. First results with the 25mm EP, astonishing detail, even though it's still daylight! Vastly better than my 10x50 bins I'm used to. A quick switch over to the 10mm produces an awesome view of dozens of craters I'd never seen before, even just looking at the moon I'm blown away by the stuff I'm seeing already! Finally arrived home from work, straight outside! Set it up, then realised I had put the scope on the mount the wrong way round.. oops! Quickly fixed that and just had to allow my eyes to adjust to the dark sky. In that time, I set about polar aligning it, which was much easier than I anticipated once I'd read the instructions, although I didn't stare at anything long enough to have to track it with the fine-tuning thingies, but they did come in handy (except one of them kept reaching its rotational limit before I'd got to what I wanted to see!) Anyway! On to the good stuff. I don't live in the best of areas, and to the south of my house is a main road separated by about 20m of trees, so the light pollution is pretty bad, although I managed to see plenty. First of all, I checked out Jupiter as it's always one of my favourite objects to observe. With the 25mm EP, the planet was easily visible as a slightly off-white disc, as were the 4 biggest moons. Switching over to the 10mm EP, I was able to clearly make out 2 darker bands on the surface! So far, so good. Next I checked out the moon, probably a bad idea as I had to let my eyes readjust to the dark. I hadn't anticipated it being quite so bright through the scope, but the detail I could make out was absolutely staggering with the 10mm. There's an album of pictures linked at the end of the post, they aren't great, taken with a phone camera with my shaky hands and no mount of which to speak, but I think they do the job nicely. I was able to pretty easily locate the nebula in Orion, but it was nothing more than a small, dim grey smudge with 1 or 2 stars in there. M31 was a little bit more challenging, I've always had trouble locating it with even my binoculars, as the LP is such that it's invisible to the naked eye. However, I was finally able to see it, although again, just a slight grey smudge. I blame the moon for this one, as they were quite close together in the sky tonight. I'll try again next new moon! From there, I cruised around the sky a little, before having a final look at Jupiter and the Moon, and packing up. All in all, not a bad session. It's blumming cold out there, and having literally just walked in the house from work then outside to observe, I was tired and achy by midnight! Sunday night's forecast is clear, hopefully I'll get some good views then Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed my newbies report! Here are the images: http://imgur.com/a/Mb5CF My camera doesn't do the scope justice at all!
  7. I'm hoping for clear views tonight as well, just got my first telescope in and I'm eager to get out there and fail horribly at using it! Been checking the Met Office app on my phone all day and skies are still meant to be clear tonight in my location, so fingers crossed for you too!
  8. Adam144

    New Stargazer! :)

    Thanks all for the warm welcomes! According to the tracking on City Link's website, my telescope is still on schedule for delivery tomorrow! All being well, I'll have some nice clear skies tomorrow night after work where I can chill (quite literally, I fear!) outside and hopefully spot lots of nice things I will for sure keep a kinda mini-journal about my first time with the scope and post it up in the appropriate section JamesM, thanks for the introduction to Stellarium - a fantastic piece of software! Great to know that even if it's cloudy as hell outside I can still keep track of stuff in real time Cheers!
  9. Hey all! I'm Adam, just joined up recently having been lurking for a while trying to read up on a good first 'scope to pick! Had a pretty revolutionary moment a few months ago when my brother introduced me to Carl Sagan's Cosmos, giving me a love of astronomy I never expected! Every clear night I'm able to, I'm out there with my 10x50 binocs, checking out the obvious ones, Jupiter, the Moon, Pleiades, and even managed to catch a few glimpses of M31, although never for long because it's always directly above me and it kills my neck! Eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Skywatcher Explorer 130P, which I just ordered today after going through tons of forum topics and seeing plenty of posts saying this one is excellent for my budget! Hopefully arrives on Friday and have checked with the Met Office app on my phone, the skies will hopefully be clear for a nice long viewing session Anyway, look forward to posting and interacting with the community here, seems like an awesome place! Cheers!
  10. Just adding my newbies opinion to the topic - my first astronomical instrument was a pair of the very same Olympus 10x50 bins you linked in your first post, and they've treated me brilliantly! I would highly recommend a tripod, however, as even though they aren't exactly the heaviest of binocs, it's always lovely to have a nice steady view! The Pleiades are a wonder viewed through them, and Jupiter's 4 Gallilean moons are easily visible on a clear night I imagine I'll get plenty of use out of these for years to come!
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