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About jonathan

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Scarborough, North Yorkshire

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  1. I'm wondering if I could use my 102 as a nifty bird watching scope, EQ mount obviously no use at all for this purpose so just wondering if there's a decent Alt-Az mount or photo tripod that can comfortably carry a 102 refractor plus maybe Baader Zoom Hyperion eyepiece. I have the Horizon Heavy Duty tripod, the carrying capacity is said to be up to 100 aperture spotting scope but I think my 102 will be considerably heavier than a spotting scope, not sure how the fitting would go with a dovetail bar and rings. I have a relatively cheap 45 degree erecting prism diagonal, does the quality make m
  2. I have that exact same seat! Also, can't even begin to think how much all that double and triple stacking setup must have cost (if new)... I probably should aim to get hold of a mount like that too though, much easier than my CG-4.
  3. I fretted and worried over my own secondary (and briefly, primary) collimation for months, it sat in the end room collecting so much dust... The best thing to do is get outside when the stars are visible and perform the star test (Polaris is the recommended star, easy to find and doesn't move), look for concentric rings around the de-focussed star using a high power eyepiece, if it's obviously off-centered then do more adjusting. Looking at your photos I think you'll probably find it's good enough for visual use.
  4. You could "try out" the various eyepiece specs using Stellarium, there's a function where you can enter different eyepieces along with your scope (many known / common scopes and eyepieces are already in there). Just depends how wide you want your low power eyepieces to show, for example wide clusters or asterisms. I usually start with my old (but good) Celestron 25mm Plossl for finding targets, it's definitely far better than the standard eyepieces that Skywatcher include with their scopes, and is still my go-to for most of the popular open clusters.
  5. Just to put a final note on this thread, I finally managed to get outside with the 150P tonight and did a proper star test on Polaris, definitely good enough for the likes of me! Had a quick scan of a few targets, despite fairly poor seeing (whispy clouds coming and going) and a bright moon I was able to see the Trapezium in Orion quite well and the Pleiades looked sparkly as usual, and also the little companion of Polaris.
  6. Would really like to see what you managed to capture of it. The images from NASA always look vastly different to what I see through my solar scope.
  7. Had a bit of warming sunshine today (hurrah!) so out came the solar scope. Saw a large prom that appeared to be tearing as it leaped out (or back?) and curved back to the limb, it also appeared to have several 'fingers' at one end touching the limb, probably the largest prom I've seen in a long time. There were a few smaller but chunky prominences and a few filaments too, things look to be hotting up (excuse the pun) on our sun this season!
  8. Indeed. My advice there would be to look at the complete approximate telescope weight including any typical accessories such as finder, diagonal, and eyepiece, then look at the weight carrying capacity of a mount - it needs to ideally have at least 1/4 additional capacity over what the telescope weighs in order to be stable, preferably 1/3 more. e.g. if the telescope weighs around 10lb then a mount carrying capacity of 15lb would be ideal. I quote lb because that's a typical weight unit used by Celestron in their mount specs. This is relevant to visual and photography, though with visual m
  9. I consider a moon filter (ND) rather essential as even a 1/3 lit moon is too bright for my eyes, even if I keep the main cap on the OTA and only remove the small cap. Look at the variable / circular polarising ones, they can offer a bit extra compared to a plain one.
  10. While you're at it with your patio maybe consider making some subtle tripod markings / indentations so that you know exactly where to put the tripod feet every time. I agree with discardedastro - there's no reason I've heard of why your NEQ6 shouldn't be able to track more accurately without the need for a pier. You may want to look at the mount itself - investigate regreasing the gears and making sure they're meshing the best they can.
  11. Indeed, typically 20 minutes minimum, possibly up to 40 minutes. It's been a while though, I just haven't been out much at all in the past year or two and when I have it's usually been with a refractor.
  12. After experiencing Celestron's 8SE goto system (single arm mount) I wouldn't buy a similar system again, not with an 8" SCT on it at least (6" might be that mount's realistic limit). My two (or three) pence would be to look at an EQ system as it will allow you to mount different scope types, if looking at 8" SCT then probably HEQ5 Pro or equivalent as a minimum. With the EQ mounts that offer goto or simple motorised tracking versions, you can normally just upgrade the hand controller to make a tracking mount a goto mount. Personally I feel this is a good route to go from a manual push-t
  13. You can make a collimation cap using the cap that fits in the eyepiece holder (assuming you have it, I think most scopes come with one). Measure out where the middle is and drill a 1 or 2mm hole (recommended to use a hobby hand drill, basically a handle for a drill bit, it's very soft plastic). A Cheshire should help but is not essential, ultimately you'll perform a star test probably outside on a clear night, pick a bright star (Polaris is a popular choice) and defocus until you see concentric fuzzy rings as per your telescope's manual.
  14. Zermelo summed things up pretty nicely. OIII for typical nebulae is a pretty good bet, but keep in mind that OIII is Oxygen (blue/green), which won't help for red / infra red (Hydrogen?) nebulae; something to keep in mind is that our human eyes cannot perceive things like IR or UV, the typical grey misty nebula cloud we see visually is usually the green part of the spectrum as that's what our eyes have adapted to see in the dark. I have been told that an orange / red filter is good for increasing contrast on Mars, and perhaps green can help with Jupiter, though I have yet to try this my
  15. +1 To what Tiny Clanger said about the L bracket, definitely don't buy a plastic one.
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