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Everything posted by AndyWB

  1. Scuttled out for 45mins - saw 5 planets. Not well, but still, 5!

  2. Yeah, the last two times I've had my dob out the tube has been caked in ice. Mirrors stayed clear, though. I don't understand dew/frost
  3. Hair dryer. Even a little travel one would be good. Or dew heaters, as you say. Otherwise, a dew shield like David suggests. Like him, I keep mine capped until used.
  4. I'd have thought (and hoped) so! Like I say, I didn't see it; it may have been an exaggeration - that they were just shaking droplets off. Still, I'd still sooner use a scope cover.
  5. I've heard stories, and seen pictures of (though not seen in real life) dobs being emptied like dustbins after sudden rainstorms - apparently it didn't bother them. Edit: Not sure I'd fancy it, though. Scope cover for me...
  6. Friday Night, with the 250px from a dark location: Edit: I did get a tail - but it was pretty hard to spot
  7. I thought my 10" was fairly large until SGL last year, where I was shown what 'large' was:
  8. You've not. I've the same scope; it's my primary planetary eyepiece. That said, sometimes x200 is too much; then I'll normally try x150 (and I've had a night or two when that was too much too). And rarely, x240 works too (Those are 8 and 5 mm respectively.)
  9. I use a 250px, and my eyepiece range is: BST Starguiders - to be honest, the 5, 8 12, and 15mm would be enough. I found them far better than the eyepieces that came with the scope. Yes, I'm sure there are better eyepieces, but I had these from my first scope, and they're still good bang-per-buck. Vixen SLV - 6mm - I got this to give me x200 for planetary. x240 was too much fairly often, and x150 too little. It might not have the same field of view, but it's a lovely eyepiece. I used it for a fantastic view of Jupiter on Friday. Vixen NPL - 30mm - Struggles a bit with the speed. Bearable, but out performed by the more expensive… Maxvision - 28mm - Lovely, wide field. a bargain bit of glass. I've also tried all the Hyperions apart from the Zoom on my 250px - and they were rubbish. LOTS of coma. I wouldn't recommend them.
  10. I saw exactly the same basic phenomena from a dark site in Berkshire, on the 24th of November 2013, at 1821GMT. There was a sudden, intense point of light, brighter than Venus, near Pi Herculis. It lasted 5 seconds, maybe, before turning reddish and fading. There was no apparent movement during that time, but after the flare had subsided I could still see a faint, reddish-brown point of light that did drift off to the south, before turning brown and vanishing. My instant reaction had been 'aircraft with landing lights on coming directly at me', but the lack of navigation lights and growing brightness made me realise it wasn't that. It was startling, and it wasn't like any flare I'd seen before - but I am happy that it was a satellite. I could see it drift off at a speed I associate with satellites, and the 'turning red' as it passes through sunset was another hint. That's not to say that what you saw wasn't something else, but your description could've been lifted from my log book, and I'm sure that it was a satellite of some form. I couldn't find anything that might match it on Heavens Above, though. Not Iridium, nor nothing else predicted.
  11. I use a drummer's still - it seems to do the job nicely, and fairly cheap compared to the dedicated observing stools.
  12. I made a light shroud for mine - http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/188929-thoughts-on-a-heritage-130p-light-shroud/
  13. Astronomy Tools might be good for that. Here's a 250px with a 31mm Nagler http://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/?fov[]=52|123|||1||&messier=86 I found a 28mm Maxvision pretty good; there may be a little scanning around involved still, though.
  14. I keep a log, both a notebook and a spreadsheet. I make notes on a notepad blind, and then write up later, as a rule.
  15. This arrived from Amazon today: Obviously, I've not had a chance to try it yet; looks good though
  16. Yup, May is best - but it's going to be low for the next few years… http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/#saturn
  17. FWIW, I went the other way - I got a 2" to 1.25" adapter that could take a 2" filter, so I could get and use 2" filters with my 1.25" eyepieces. My 2" OIII filter cost a fortune - bit it's very good, and now I can use it with any of my eyepieces.
  18. I regularly view Jupiter at x130, and it's a fair bit bigger than 1mm (even when I can't see much detail). Check for the 4 moons in a line around it. They appear like stars about 1mm in size to me. If there aren't 4 bright moons, then it isn't Jupiter. I did get confused between Jupiter and Aldebaran a while back… (Beer was involved). Has the finder been correctly aligned with the scope itself? It could be that the finder is pointing at it - but the scope is somewhere else.
  19. If I'm somewhere dark, I try to, but sometimes SkySafari is just too darned useful. In that case, like Nicos, I use red rubylith too. If I'm just out the back of the flats I live in,well, there are so many lights around, it's not worth panicking about - you never get properly dark adapted.
  20. Aren't you a bit worried then that with a mere 20" you might be missing something?
  21. I've all the Starguiders apart from the new(ish) 3.2mm and the 25mm, and I also feel that the 8mm was the weakest of mine. The 5mm, though, is pretty good.
  22. Just as a note on the speed side of things - I tried the 5, 10, 17 and 21 Hyperions in my f4.8 dob. They were all terrible. The BSTs are fine. Just something to think about if you were ever going to think of faster focal ratios. In a slower scope - an f6 refractor - the Hyperions were lovely. I reckon around 68 degrees is what I find most comfortable.
  23. FWIW, I tried for the Horse Head nebula on Friday having spotted the bright edge to IC 434 and NGC 2023, but I couldn't see it. With and without filter, there wasn't enough contrast. This was, however, from within 2 miles of the centre of Reading. Annoyingly, it felt like being on the edge of being visible; if only I'd been able to go somewhere properly dark.
  24. Yeah, don't be deceived - you'd think 'cos it's the first on Messier's list that M1 would be really easy to spot, but it isn't. Lowjiber's tapping tip really helps, as does an OIII or UHC filter if available. He's also right in that it is a little disappointing when you do find it; I've yet to see any detail or structure to it.
  25. They certainly should be with your 130mm; I can spot them from a badly light polluted town centre!
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