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About adrianelliott

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    Thames Ditton, Surrey
  1. It would be great if you could post a little comparison with your 150 when you get a break in the clouds to try the 200p out. Sticking 200P on my existing EQ5 would be a cheap upgrade for me, so far I've been holding out for a 250 or 300 dob for a bigger jump... but if you notice a big diff with the 8 inch tube I might be tempted
  2. Hi All, Has anyone tried Opticron Discovery WP PC 10x50 for astronomy? I currently have a pair of 15x70. I am interesting in getting a 10x50 pair, and my budget is 200GBP. Ideally something which is easy to hold stable and will be a step up optically from my 15x70s. I usually wear contact lenses, but I'd like enough eye relief to use glasses also. Wide angle is important to me, 6.5 degrees apparent or more if possible. I'd consider either porro or roof. I originally liked the idea of Williams Optics 10x50 as they are recommended on Steve Tonkin's site. But getting them in the UK seems to be difficult at the moment. Budget is around 200 GBP. Thanks! Adrian
  3. I use the star maps out of monthly astro mags with a red light. I find they are a bit bigger and more detailed than planisphere, as well as being simpler to use. Despite being tech savvy and working in IT, I don't really like using the Sky Map apps (tried Google and SkyEye). My problem with the apps is that light bleed and brightness from laptop or phone ruins night vision, even if the app is in night vision mode. I also find the constellation lines used by these apps to be a pain in the neck - they seem bizarre and don't tally up with what I see in the sky! I think the ideal would be Stellarium or Cartes Du Ciel running on a laptop or tablet which doesn't wreck night vision. However I haven't found such a device yet Stellarium is awesome nonetheless, I don't take it out in the field but it is fantastic for planning star hops.
  4. I think this hits the nail on the head. Astronomy is a specialist interest and casual people are unlikely to just 'tune in' to S@N for fun. I think it makes more sense to have annual or one off events which the BBC can market effectively and create some hype around.
  5. Rarely a winter session goes by without me taking a look at M31. Two nights ago I was lucky enough to be observing from Powys in Mid Wales and M31's companion galaxies M31 and M110 really jumped out at me! I had never noticed them before, but they were hard to miss from this dark location. I will make a point of looking for them next time I'm observing closer to home. Funny to think I've looked at this object so many times and never noticed the other galaxies so close!
  6. I started about a year ago, and have loved learning the night sky. Its been my favourite thing about the hobby really, watching the constellations change through the year! Anyway, my advice is to buy Philip's "Guide to the Night Sky" by Patrick Moore. Its small, concise and cheap. Its purpose is to teach you to find your way around. You will also need a red light so you can read outside. For now I suggest you don't use app or binoculars. Having a phone will ruin your night vision, and binoculars are great for studying objects within constellations, but are no good for seeing the constellations themselves. A red light and a very simple chart showing only main constellations is all you need
  7. I think trying to combine imaging and visual setups is difficult. The problem is that for imaging you will need an EQ mount. But for visual you want big aperture. And when you combine big tube with an EQ mount you get... a monster telescope! Both in terms of size and difficulty to move and setup. I think you either need to settle for a smaller EQ setup (6" or 8") which can do both visual and imaging, or buy a nice big (10" or 12") Dob for visual, have a separate rig for imaging. The latter option is the best in my view. Everytime I set up my 'little' 150P and EQ5 for visual, I think with less setup effort I could be using a 10 inch Dob and seeing more detail with my eyes.
  8. Albireo is indeed very beautiful. I had a crack at Epsilon Lyrae a couple of nights ago with my 6 inch reflector and a barlowed 8mm eyepiece for 187x I believe. I failed to split either of the first double although they did look 'elongated'. Not sure whether the issue was seeing, colimation or maybe that my eyes were unstable (I wear contact lenses for astigmatism and sometimes they wobble a bit)! I did do a star test afterwards and felt that although the airy disc was bang on, the seeing was bad.
  9. I will give Sky Safari a go. I use Skeye and Google Sky Map out in the field on my android phone (Note 2), but I struggle with both and I often end up taking out a copy of a magazine and use sky map on there instead. I find that faffing around with a phone always screws up my night vision somehow - ditto with laptop. Another issue I have with both Skeye and Google Sky Map are the constellation lines. I find them odd to say the least, the shapes aren't very memorable. Stellarium seems better in this respect but I've never tried it on Android.
  10. I enjoyed Edge of the Universe (on 4OD for free in the UK). OK its pitched at a pretty basic level, but I learnt some stuff from it! I am always on the lookout for good free material. I also second Stephen Hawkings universe. OK it can be a bit cheesy at times (crash zoom into Hawkings eye etc) but I was impressed with the visuals and narration. I will be checkout out the links given above, I love free stuff to watch when I'm bored.
  11. The S pattern around Mirfak is great, I always take a look at it when I have my bins out. When I first got a scope, I put the bincolars away for a while, but I am finding I use them more and more. They open up a completely different set of targets for me, and are great for touring the sky.
  12. I have a few of these from Maplin: http://www.maplin.co.uk/universal-3a-dc-power-supply-228639 Work fine for my purposes and the advantage of Maplin is you can go to the store and take a look at the supplier heads. Check the polarity though - these adapters are positive center only.
  13. Thats because the 10inch is F4.7 but the 12inch is F4.9 right? Something I am thinking about as well as the F ratio is that (if I understand it correctly), longer focal length means less actual field of view? So if I put a 30mm Aero in my current scope it gives 2.72 degrees at 25x mag. But if I put the same eyepiece in the 12inch Dob, then suddenly it only gives 1.36! This is kinda worrying because it means I will have to spend a lot to get an eyepiece which is good for finding stuff! Do people ever use focal reducers to give wider angles?
  14. Thanks guys, it looks like jumping from my 6 to a 10 or even 12 with give me the better views I'm looking. I'm going to try and take a look at the Skywatcher 10 inch solid body and 12 inch flex-tube. I think either will fit in my car, but whether or not I'll be comfortable setting the 12 inch up is another matter! Plan at the moment will be to keep the EQ setup for video astronomy and maybe some minor AP - and as davo said the tracking could be cool for capturing planets and brigher things from the back garden when I don't want to drive. Steve - Ranmore common is a funny place! I have previous had dog walkers and a group guys join me for observing, but as yet I haven't seen others with astro equipment. Where about do you hang out? Do you park up in the car park and go trough the metal latched gate into the fields?
  15. Guys, Any idea of a good sweet spot between size and portability to go for? I love my current setup, and want to maintain the ability to track objects for visual use, but want more aperture for DSO. Take M51 for example, in my current scope it is a faint glow. While I'm not expecting to see dust lanes, i would like to be able to resolve it a bit better and maybe increase its brightness through the eyepiece. I am realistic in my expectations, and like many things i hope there is some sort of sweat spot option which will give me better views but I can throw into my car and set up easily. I find my current setup pretty easy to transport. The worst thing about the setup is having to adjust and spread the legs of the EQ5. I guess the easiest option is just to upgrade the OTA to to an 8 inch, and stick with the EQ5 - but I'm worried that the extra 2 inches won't be that noticeable when observing... My other option is to go for a dob, maybe a 12inch one. The scope will always be transported in two pieces, mount and scope, and will always be loaded and unloaded into my ford focus. Will I get a huge benefit from 12 inch over 8 inch as far as resolving detail in galaxies goes? I would probably also need tracking if I went the dob route... My main viewing spots are in Surrey (Ranmore, Headley etc) so not dark sky locations by any means. I guess what I am looking for is something which is easily managed by a single driver, but will give me significantly better views of DSO than my current scope. Thanks, Adrian
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