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About alanjgreen

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    Sub Dwarf
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    Cumbria. UK

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  1. Have a think about a trip to the "light side" ? All those days sitting around at home, plenty of chances to pop out to view our star A nice Lunt or a quark may be a worthy addiition to your list?
  2. Just come in from a quick session with the sun... (first in a while) There is an active eruption on the limb at 4 o'clock. nice a bright and I watched it grow and shrink in real time (nice) There are some nice proms on both sides. Tall and thin variety. tried to imagine how tall they are compared to diameter of the earth.. (mind boggling) Two small active regions with plage and some brightening but no sun spots. There seems plenty of plage on the "coming around" side so I HOPE this means some spots & larger regions may be on the way in? There are many small filaments scattered around with a good number at 12 o clock position. Couple of larger filaments on show. The proms & the eruption were the highlights today. Alan
  3. Ho Ho Ho, did you forget to collimate the scope? or let it cool to ambient temperature?, perhaps "should have gone to spec savers" is appropriate...? I have to wholeheartedly disagree with this comment or you must have been using the wrong SCT "for the last 37 years" My CPC1100 has given AMAZING views of Jupiter & Saturn. Plus plenty of great detail on Mars. You are welcome to "pop over" as I would not like it to become 40 years of disappointment We all LOVE our scopes (we paid hard earned cash for them) but is it really helping the OP to come out with sweeping statements that clearly can't be accurate or nobody would sell/buy SCTs!
  4. I tackled this galaxy on two nights last week (it was still early (for me) before the "moon" came up!). On the first night it was easy to see and filled the ethos21 FOV (in the CPC1100). The shape was quite "boxy" as seen in your image. As @mdstuart says, you expect it to be hard due to its size but it was easily seen I marked it for a return visit! When I (amazingly) got out again the following night, I found the galaxy harder to see, you could get an outline of the huge size but it was harder to see than the previous night. Movement of the scope enabled it to be more easily seen but it was much dimmer than previoulsy It is nice and high at the moment, so I recommend anyone to have a crack at it next time out. I plan another visit for sure with the new moon coming (and a blacker sky) ... Alan
  5. Now advertised on AB & S.
  6. Starsense can store up to three (i think) "user profiles". You just need to SAVE a "user profile" for each scope. Then LOAD the correct one each time you change the scope. Should be no need for 2 cameras at all !! See Latest starsense manual here page 26in the "hand control" menu, mentions the load/save user profiles HTH, Alan
  7. Hi Lance, My advice would be "dont do it !!!" 8SE has focal length of 2050mm 4.7mm eyepiece will give x436 !! and 3.5 would give an eye watering x585 !!! These magnifications are way too much for both your scope and the atmosphere! 100 degree FOV is pointless with that much magnification (even if you could get a sharp focus)! Useable magnification is x50 per inch of aperture with the earth's atmosphere forcing a limit of around x230 in the UK. When I had a CPC800, I found eyepieces down to 10mm great (x200 magnification). If you want an Ethos, get the 21mm, 17mm or the 13mm, all would be excellent in your scope with the lower magnifcations making full use of the 100 degree FOV of the ethos. These ethos would get loads of use as they hit the sweet spot of magnifications (in your 8SE). Anything less than 10mm, then get Delos - wide FOV has little benefit in an SCT at high magnifications, save some money and go Delos or Delite below 10mm. HTH, Alan
  8. Still hoping to find a great example to add to my eyepiece case...
  9. Here are my pairs of eyepieces, used with binoviewers on my three scopes (CPC1100, Borg89ED and Lunt60) - Panoptic 24mm - useful on all three scopes. Need the x1.7 GPC with the Lunt60 - Panoptic 19mm - used with the CPC1100 and the Lunt60 - Delos 17.3mm - used with the CPC1100 and the Lunt60 - Delos 14mm - used with the CPC1100 - Delos 10mm - used with the Borg89 - Delite 7mm - used with the Borg89 (not shown in the pic) Note: If I want to use the binos with the Borg then I just need to unscrew the 205mm tube and replace it with the 150mm tube, this means that I dont have to use a GPC, which makes the magnifications more useable. I anticipate that my new Dob (with an equivalent focal length of 3m [when used with the x1.7 newtonian GPC] will use the same eyepiece pairs as the CPC1100 which has a 2.8m focal length). But on the planets/moon it may take more...? HTH, Alan
  10. Barlow. dom, be aware that a bad Barlow will ruin the view from all eyepieces. if you are going to buy the actual eyepieces you need then forget buying a Barlow and use the money on eyepieces instead. if you want to make a Barlow a key part of your magnification range then buy a good one. A televue 2x Barlow would be a lifetime purchase. They are £100 but they will compliment your eyepieces rather than ruin them. personally, I would not use the free Celestron Barlow unless I had no other choice. so, decide if long term you want to barlow or not. Then if you are buy a good one as a once only purchase knowing that you have the best. Alan
  11. Hi Dom, you will be fine with the xcel lx, they are good value. as far as what sizes to buy, you need to think about the magnifications that they give in your scope. your scope is 1200mm focal length. a good spread of magnifications is something like 50,100,150,200, 250 or 25,75,125,175,225 if you divide focal length by magnification then the answer is the eyepiece size. so 1200/50 = 24 ( a 24mm EP will give x50 magnification in your scope) 1200/100 = 12 ( a 12mm will give x100) 50,100,150,200,250 = 24,12,8,6 and 4.5 25,75,125,175,225 = 48, 16, 10, 7, 5 the main thing is to try to keep the gaps to x50, any less and you won't see much difference at the eyepiece. i don't think you need both 25 AND 18 looking at the numbers above. After 25 you can jump to 12. if you can't get the number you want then 1mm either way makes no difference so don't worry about that just be sure to make sure you work out the actual magnification that you are getting, and then make sure it's not too close to what you already have. Alan
  12. There is not much on the disk at the moment. I went out at 1230 and found the conditions tricky! there were proms at 1 and 9 o'clock. A nice "angel" prom at 1 o clock position was the best. there were maybe a dozen filaments on the disk but they were all tiny and took some time to see them. your best bet is to concentrate on the 12-3 positions where I could see 3 small pores and some faint filaments. it will take a while to get used to tuning the pressure, it's easy when there is more on the disk. I usually find that I get an improved view by taking a small amount of pressure back off once my eye gets in! do give time for your eye to get in. Also make sure you are not using too much power, start around x30 magnification to get going then up the power a bit at a time. You MAY NEED TO SLIDE THE DRAW TUBE ON THE BLOCKING FILTER OUT TO REACH FOCUS. give it a try and see if the edge comes into focus. I have not use the lunt50 so don't know if you need to pull it out to focus?? use the proms around the edge to get the focus to the right position. Make a note of where the focuser is physically ( an inch out for example ) then next time when setting up put the focuser to this position. Then only a fine tweak is needed. hope you get to try again later. Alan
  13. You cant really lose out with either! We are lucky to be able to have such great small scopes available to buy for home use. They are both great value for money if only the [removed word] sun would come out a bit more often for us to admire it Still longer days are coming so heres hoping ... Alan
  14. David emailed me yesterday to say my mirrors have now arrived with him from the coaters. John Nichol did the grind. Oldham optical did the polishing and another company did the coatings. The mirrors have had a tour of northern England by the sound of it. scope should now be ready in couple of weeks, hopefully before next new moon ! remaining tasks obviously cut the trusses and test the scope. Painting the scope and anodising the truss poles. anticipation building starts now... (just need the weather gods to stay on side) Alan
  15. Skyportal is basically a very cut down version of skysafari4. sky portal does not show DSO unless it is connected to your scope, this is the worst feature by far as you cannot plan a session until you are connected to your scope ! sky safari 5 is obviously the replacement of sky safari 4 if you google the new features in 5 then that will give you an idea of the differences. there are also at least 3 versions of sky safari 5 (basic, plus & pro) i use the pro version, it has everything! It is 1.2gb in size (huge) and enables me to plan my sessions building observing lists, it highlights all the items you picked in the sky. sky safari 5 supports starsense and should pick it up and offer the same set of starsense alignment choices same as the handset (auto, manual etc) if you enter all your scope/eyepiece details then setting circles are added to the display so you can see exactly what is in the field of view, this is great for nebulas and faint objects. It is also useful for manual starhopping as you can see that you need to "jump two fovs to the left" for example. it has the compass feature where you point at the sky to see what is there and id star names etc. you can make the display red to lessen the brightness at night. the only thing I don't like is the lack of feel/feedback when manually skewing the scope using a screen rather than the handset buttons (which are much easier to use in the dark whilst sitting at the scope). sky safari usually goes on sale a couple of times a year, so if you wait for the sale then the pro version is good value with 50% off skyportal is very dumb and limited in comparison!! Alan