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Nick Steele

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About Nick Steele

  • Rank
    Nebula

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  • Location
    St. Helens
  1. It's the first properly cloudless night we've had in St. Helens for a very long time, as far as I can remember. The first one I've been able to make use of, at least. My telescope's a bit out of whack at the moment (Definitely out of collimation and I'm pretty sure one of the mirror clips is overtightened - Don't worry, I'll come asking for collimation help soon enough I had a quick look around to the west, with the aim of spotting M36, 37 and 38. After I'd figured out which stars were auriga and capella, to orient myself, I'm pretty sure I managed to see M36 and M38 - Two dense starfields, right next to one another. No such luck with M37 though. This time. Fluch with success, I though I'd chance my luck with M34. Same drill as before, find stars to orient myself, then try and work out where to go from there. Sadly, I didn't manage to pick M34 out. There are a few reasons for this; there's a little more light pollution to the west, I'd accidentally partially dazzled myself with my tablet, trying to use some astronomical app or other, or I wasn't sure quite what I was looking for. What I did see was a single bright point of light moving north-south across my FoV that wasn't visible to (my) naked eye. I'm guessing this was a satellite, which is pretty cool. To wrap up, I went back to something I'd spotted previously. If you draw an imaginary line from δ Cas. (Ruchbah) and a Pers. (Mirphak), there's a great double cluster. Stellarium says it's NGC 884 and 869. Absolutely stunning stuff. Not bad for 20 minutes
  2. How did you capture that? From the field of view, I assume it wasn't through a telescope? Cool picture nonetheless though!
  3. I think I might accidentally end up buying a pair of binoculars for just such an occasion
  4. Sorry to disappoint you, but if you've got luck as bad as that, you'll face all the same problems fishing as you do when observing. And also knots.
  5. We've got the first clear night for a while here in st. helens at the moment, and an auspicious alignment of the stars. Auspicious because everything I wanted to see was nice and high . I managed to get jupiter in view and then aligned my wobly finder scope to it. Then, being a little more confident in my ability to find and locate objects, I took aim at thr pleiades. Wow. I was impressed with how many I could see. With the naked eye, I could see maybe 5 stars on a lighter smudge, but with my 20mm eyepiece, I could see countless blue stars - I don't even know how many there were, I couldn't hold them all in view at once. Next on my list of targets was the orion nebula. I sighted in on the few visible stars and had a look. Wow again. Less....bright than the pleiades, but that nicely defined grey ghostly glimmer is something else entirely. I must confess, I yelped a bit because it was so impressively big. It's obvious to me that I need a new finder scope, but the main thing's working just fine. I might even have a crack at those comets coming later in the year.
  6. Onr thing I did notice tonight is that my finder scope is terribly poor - the eye relief isn't long enough to allow me to get my head the right distance away. it's also wobbly and doesn't hold zero. I'm thinking of getting another, either a refractor with an eyepiece at 90° to the body of the scope, or a red dot sight. I believe the latter isn't as reliant on eye relief. Any suggestions to help me choose? Is my current finder scope adequate, and I'm at fault? I don't want to to tighten the mount all the way in fear of breaking it.
  7. My great big 6 inch reflector arrived in the post yesterday. After spending yesterday evening setting it up, and this afternoon allowing it to cool, I was ready to go out and have a look. Due to some lowish cloud and light pollution in the north, I couldn't sight in on polaris to get the setting circles lined up. No matter, I could manage without them for tonight. Lacking the ability to just put the scope on a target, I decided to aim for the biggest, brightest thing in the sky. Jupiter. The big one. I managed to find it without too much hassle, and started tracking and observing it. Using the highest power eyepiece I had (not counting the 3x Barlow that came with the scope), I managed to see all of the moons, one of which just dipped behind the planet as I watched, and 2 darker bands. I'd have liked to have been able to just aling the scope to a target, say, the orion nebula, but you can't have everything at once. Seeing Jupiter in such detail on my first go was a damn good start, I think. I just hope it's clear tomorrow night...
  8. As I said a few days ago, I'd like to get this telescope. HAppily, it comes with a drive motor, and an equatorial mount which, I believe, allows the motor to move the scope to track an object. The motor, I assume, can be removed if I don't need it, but can the mount itself be adjusted with the hand controls while the motor is attached? Can I sight in on an object, track it and then adjust to the co-ordinates of another object? All suggestions gratefully accepted...
  9. That absolutely beats my attempts at imaging the moon earlier. Using a rickety tripod, a 60mm spotting scope, an ancient webcam and blu-tak. Actually, that being said, the detail I could see on the moon with the scope was incredible - An ejectra ray from Tycho, falling across Mare Nubium, I think. Epic. Can't wait to upgrade.
  10. First up then: This telescope has good reviews. Is it any good for a new user? For reference, I'd like to resolve planets out as far as Saturn, messier objects, galaxies, nebulae and the like, features on the moon and star clusters, like the one in Taurus. I understand there's a special kind of lens you can get that increases the magnification?
  11. Hi everyone I could think for hours about what to write in this post, but never reach a proper decision, so I'll just jump right in. Astronomy has always fascinated me. When I was about 12, my dad took me to a local observatory and we looked at saturn. I was very impressed. I went to see the eclipse in Cornwall in 1999, I think. I had a small refractor when I was much younger, and utterly failed to resolve jupiter as anything other than a bright blob A few nights ago, when we had a break in the cloud, I mounted my 60mm spotting scope up on a rickety old tripod and had a look at the moon. More specifically, at the terminator - What I could see of it anyway, the moon was almost full. This £20 ALDI special offer scope showed brilliant detail - I counted 4 big crators with prominent ejecta, the seas were clearly visible, I could see what looked like an impact basin and best of all, on the terminator, I could see the lunar daylight gradually illuminating the wall of a crater. After about 20 minutes and a few adjustments, I noticed a pinprick of light in the middle of this crater, which I thought would be a mountain in the centre. So, I've been bitten, once more, by the astronomy bug I hope you won't mind me asking loooads of questions.
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