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About gkec

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    Electric guitars
    Computer stuff (Not IT!)
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    Oxford UK

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  1. The Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) was moved from Herstmonceux to La Palma. The William Herschel Telescope was built on La Palma under the direction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO). I have not been there since the 1990s but there were several other observatories there. I don't know how it works now as everything was handed over to Spain but there used to be an office in Santa Cruz on La Palma that used to deal with this sort of stuff. Visitors were restricted but we did have them coming round every so often. It was a while ago so it may be different now. I would suggest contacting
  2. OK -- then I would suggest trying the scope with an eyepiece otherwise you have no idea whether it is good or bad.
  3. I have been in this position but with a guitar rather than a telescope. Along time ago about 1981 when I was a poor student I bought a guitar from a second hand shop for £50 which was a lot for me. Once I started working I bought a better guitar but I did still like the cheap one. As is the way it sort of deteriorated and became unplayable. I asked several knowledgeable guitar playing people and they just said it was not worth repairing. I tried to part exchange it but £80 seemed a bit cheap. I found a guy who set up guitars and paid him to setup my "good" guitar. Well it came back b
  4. I asked her and she replied "it doesn't bother me so long as I know you are out in the garden so I don't lock you out like last time. Also I can watch what I like on telly and I like the photos". She will come out to have a look but usually trips over the tripod and complains about how cold it is.
  5. I often go for a drink with a friend who I went to University with. I did theoretical physics he did physics and philosophy. He says that we are maybe living in the equivalent of a pre Copernican view of the universe. It all looks great, the astrolabes are fantastic to look at and watch. But maybe someone looks at it from a completely different viewpoint and it all makes sense. He maybe has a point.
  6. I think that article misses the point of binning and draws some incorrect conclusions. First of all you have to consider how binning is performed. If you imagine a CCD as an array of buckets (i.e the pixels) and they fill with water (in reality electrons) depending on the number of photons that land in the bucket. At the end of the columns of rows of buckets there is an extra row of empty bigger buckets and at the left hand end of that row there is a single bigger bucket which we can call the measuring bucket. In a normal 1x1 bin readout what happens is that the first row of buckets is emptie
  7. Just have a go with it. It will be fine. There is far more to be learnt from having a go than the finer details of IR filters.
  8. Webcams are great for planetary stuff like Jupiter. All telescopes have "natural" magnification which is dependent on the aperture so to start with find a way of securing the webcam in the focuser and have a go. This is how I started and it is very rewarding. It won't just be a point of light but it won't be huge. Although in an 8 inch it will be reasonable. Before trying for higher magnification there are challenges in get the planet on the sensor as the sensor covers a lot smaller field of view than you can see in the eyepiece( eta happy-kat ^ makes a good point here). This can be very
  9. Probably because it is not that unusual, just a bit bigger than normal http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ca/ It is the media who are blowing it up out of all proportion as usual.
  10. Having worked extensively on Cassini Huygens and have had involvement with Rosetta I feel I have to point out a few "don't let the facts get in the way of a good story". Cassini Huygens would never have worked on solar power. Saturn is too far away from the Sun. The Cassini probe is nuclear powered and Huygens was battery powered. The Cassini Huygens launcher a Titan iVB was more powerful than the Russian Proton rocket that launched Rosetta. However both missions have provided immeasurable scientific data and I do hope Philea is able to provide more data once it gets enough power.
  11. I feel that is really bad customer service. So people buy cheap scopes? Don't they sell them at a profit? I have a Columbus Les Paul in a nice cherry sunburst. I bought it when I was a student in 1980 for about $70. I chose it because it looked like the one Jimmy Page played. Anyway across the years it became unplayable. I asked friends and tried to part exchange it and the comments were along the lines of "Oh I remember them, maybe $100". or "Not worth the money". I have another rather more "well respected" guitar that I took to a local guy who setup guitars and he did a fantastic job
  12. It is amazing to see the orb of Jupiter hanging in the blackness with the moons spread out on either side. This was a game changer. The four main moons are known as the Galilean moons because Galileo the very first telescopic astronomer first saw them. He realised after several observations that the small points of light were orbiting Jupiter. Indicating Copernicus was probably correct in his assertion that the Earth orbited the Sun (not as answers.com suggests that Copernicus was Galileo's BFF!) Whilst the Vatican were not that happy the rest is history. The point being, observing the moon
  13. My Nexstar controller remembers the latitude/longitude. It also does remember the time BUT only what you last entered. It doesn't keep time whilst switched off. With my Maplin power tank I can charge it whilst using it.
  14. The eyepiece that fits in the ring is a 1.25 inch eyepiece, i.e. the diameter of the metal eyepiece tube is 1.25inch so the inside diameter of the ring should be 1.25inches or just over. This is almost certainly the case. The thread that screws the ring onto the scope is probably a T thread (M42x0.75mm, note standard M42 has a 1mm pitch) but that needs checking. Just to confuse things T2 and T thread tend to be used interchangeably.
  15. He also says - I tried getting it out with tools - I tried using heat to expand the plastic
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