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  1. I live near Ely so they're my local shop. I've always found them very helpful. Never needed to order anything online from them so can't comment on that side of their business. Geoffrey, what were you trying to purchase? A dictionary?! ;-)
  2. Just been out in the garden with one of my Christmas presents... Celestron 15x70 bins. They are fantastic. Since getting them I've not taken the scope out at all. All that faffing about. So much easier with bins. Anyhow, managed to get around the clusters in Auriga, a quick stop at Orion then over to Pleiades. I've never tried to view the Rossette Nebula in my scope for reasons I cannot think of! Anyway, I found the 6 main stars in the centre (lined up almost like a domino to want for a better description) so was pretty sure I was at the right spot. but could not see any nebulosity. Fair enough. On Stellarium though the nebula looks enormous. My question is would I see any of the nebula in my scope? I've an 8" F5 newt. I also have a Baader UHC filter if that would enhance it. IF not the UHC filter would any others? OIII? Thanks David.
  3. I seem to remember hearing or reading somewhere that the tilt of out planet is 'stabilised' by our moon, and if it wasn't there, the Earth could potentially 'wobble' a lot further. The end result would be melting of the polar caps as they came closer to the plane of orbit etc....and generally an increase in global sales of wellies! Does anyone know if this is true or BS by the way? One of those questions I've always wanted to ask!?
  4. I think its about 420 ly away although I might be wrong. I was watching Extreme Universe last night and I think they suggested that if we were within a 1000 ly of a gamma ray burst we'd be up to our necks in the brown stuff. I guess that is dependant though on our planet being in the line of sight of the gamma ray emission.
  5. BBC News - Richard Branson unveils Virgin Galactic spaceplane Might have to sell one or two of my kids though. Shame. I will miss them ;-) That would be a memorable experience.
  6. Hi, Can anyone recommend and application similar to Stellarium that works on the Windows pocket PC platform (Windows Mobile 6 if that makes a difference)? Thanks, David.
  7. Thanks for the response. Worth a poke I suppose. Was hoping I'd see more. Was inspired after looking at some of the awesome images in the lunar/solar imaging section. Is it worth increasing the mag and then panning around the edges; would you see more that way? Would an EP filter be of any benefit / provide more contrast? Are there any other alternatives? Quite happily spend £100+ on another alternative solution that gave better results and can be fitted to my refractor. Not sure the pleasure police would approve a solar specific scope though...in fact I know she wouldn't.
  8. Hi, I am toying with the idea of getting this... Filters - Baader AstroSolar Safety Film ND 5.0 And then machining a simple holder to fit over the end of my refractor (104mm F5) to clamp and hold the filter sheet in place. My question is, what can I expect to see. Is this stuff really only good for general observing of eclipses for example, or can I expect to view some surface activity? As I plan to be using it visually only as well, does an EP filter enhance the view at all, and if so which one / colour? Thanks, David.
  9. OK. Got a 2x Barlow. I can unscrew the lens, but what I am left with is greater than 1.25" in diameter, so it will not fit into the 1.25" EP orifice. The scope is back in doors now. From one end of the house to the other (open plan) and panned back and forth along the optical path holding a 30mm EP. It comes into focus when its around 100mm+ away from the EP mount. So I need a diagonal and an extension tube? Do I need to accurately measure this distance and get an extension tube to match? Thanks again all.
  10. Thanks for the responses. The easy one first, no its not pitch black, there is light in the optical path. OK, I do not have a diagonal to try. In terms of diagonals, I'm sure they vary in quality, but in terms of optical path length, are all diagonals the same optical length? Therefore to test it 'any' diagonal would be sufficient? Thanks, David.
  11. After purchasing a second hand refractor to piggyback onto my newt a couple of months ago, I finally got around to fitting it today. Thought I'd mount it and as it's a clear sky have a looky see through the refractor to see what I could see....and I can't; not a thing!! It just doesn't seem to focus. The refractor is a 102mm F5 Helios. The focus end looks like this... There is an adaptor inbetween the focus rack assembly and the eyepiece (the internal bore of the adaptor is threaded throughout - in case that helps you?). This looks like this.... And this is what the adaptor looks like with an EP fitted. All the covers were removed!! Cant think what else it can be other than something is wrong with the focal path. I'm sure it's something really dumb, but I just can't get it to focus on anything. Tried EPs from 30mm through to 6mm. Help (please!) Any assistance would be humbly received. Thanks, David.
  12. This might help as well....I've been using this website... http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/index.html As it gives a good list of prices for a range of cameras and seems to update daily on the who is doing the best pricing, as well as all time high and low. I've got my heart set on a Canon 1000D for general photography, but ultimately it will get strapped to a telescope as well. Just waiting to see what happens with the pricing, and hopefully it will drop a little more. Hope it might be of some assistance. David.
  13. Hi, Following on from my last thread on this topic, I've got all the bits etc. Now I'm looking at alignment. How do you manage this? I guess the simple way is just to select a celestial object and dial them both in to the centre of the field of view. I was wondering though; can you purchase a cross hair on a filter type mount that screws into an EP for accurate alignment? or would this be so far out of the focussed view that you would not see the cross hair? Also once you've aligned the second scope, and given that my set up is permanent (i.e. I shall not be disassembling it to take to other sites), is it worth a dab of threadlok once aligned, or is this a very bad idea? As always, thanks in advance for your responses. David.
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