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Paul M

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Paul M last won the day on September 13 2013

Paul M had the most liked content!

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About Paul M

  • Rank
    Trailer Trash

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Astronomy, Scuba Diving and walking my daft Labradoodle.
  • Location
    Fylde Coast (Home), or Rural Cumbria (Away)

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  1. Paul M

    Synscan and the 'Home" setting

    While I'm not overly impressed with my NEQ6 Pro mechanically, I think that Synscan is very robust. I'm the world's sloppiest setter uper. Rack of the eye polar alignment and rough and ready star alignments but I've rarely had any issues. It's very forgiving for visual observation. It just needs doing methodically. I did successfully complete a project to use a RasPi as a WiFi interface to allow me to use SkySafari on my Android tablet to control my mount. Works a treat but still requires the SynScan handset to set-up and align.
  2. Paul M

    Synscan and the 'Home" setting

    For the home position to mean anything the mount has to be parked there from a known position. So you're all set, polar alignment complete, 2 or 3 star alignment complete. This means that the mount is mechanically aligned with Earth's axis and Synscan, the "brain" knows how the mount is aligned with the sky. At the end of your session you can park the mount in the home position and then power it down. Next time you use the mount Synscan can use elapsed time since last use to go directly from the home position to any selected object without any further alignments being required, provided that the mount hasn't been disturbed in the interim. If you pack up between sessions and can't be certain that the axis encoders and/or polar alignment haven't moved then the home position is effectively meaningless. Rack-o-the-eye manual parking in a home position like pose isn't much use either.
  3. Paul M

    Feynman makes a century ...

    100? Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman I didn't discover him until after his death but he left such a wealth material it didn't seem that way.
  4. Paul M

    Sky Safari updates

    Yup, that's where my SkySafari 5 Pro has it too. No idea how far off it is. I've not been following this object. In the run-up to 2012 DA14's flyby SkySafari's orbital engine was re-written to better account for 3 body solutions. It worked well for that body but there seems to a few occasions recently when it's been way off for minor bodies/satellites.. Not sure if it's an elements data issue or what.
  5. Just remember the cable colour convention: Red to red, Black to black and Blue to pieces
  6. Paul M

    Live rocket launch

    It's getting too easy now. Amazon will be selling Falcon 9 kits before you know it. Well, actually cheap Chinese copies Need more boosters returning in unison or maybe a "Houston, we have a problem" moment. Ways off that though!
  7. Paul M

    Anyone using TheSky?

    The Sky has been around for a very long time and predates just about everything else being used. It's roots are in the early days of the home computer based astronomy. It was always expensive. I can't remember the numbers but in the early days I purchased it as a milti floppy installation. It cost a relative arm and leg then. Probably still got them somewhere (the disks, that is (and the arms and legs, but I know where they are...)). It's been developed continuously ever since and maintains a following. We've been blessed with (spoiled by?) an array of cheap and free software and apps that makes one wonder how The Sky continues as is. It's functionality is way beyond anything I need or want. That's probably true for a lot of potential users. It always was an expensive, niche product and in an ocean of app style competition it continues to expensively serve a niche market!
  8. Paul M

    Dirty eyes?

    I had sudden onset of floaters in both eyes about 10 years ago or more. I asked my optician to have a good look round, just incase. The result of the examination was that my eyes were "lovely and clear". A relief but no solution! As with Louise above, I also flashes of light but they subsided and I can't remember the last episode. So I read up quite a bit on the subject and found that as we age the vitreous humour that fills the main body of the eyeball tends to shrink. It's actually quite gelatinous and as it shrinks it can tug on the retina causing momentary flashes. The shrinkage also leaves behind some debris. That's what forms the floaters. Harmless but annoying and can also be a symptom of retinal detachment. So severe and sudden cases should always be checked over. The floaters tend to "settle" out of the central vision and sudden eye movement can cause them to be disturbed and float into view. So at the eyepiece try and avoid sudden rapid eye movements such as suddenly looking up at the sky then back down at the eyepiece. It really does help if you are trying too eek out fine planetary detail for example. There are some cases where severe sufferers have had the vitreous humour replaced with a substitute. Expensive, carries risks and not available on the NHS!
  9. I like these. I got confused with a couple of captions and took longer than I should have trying to find Leo in the Canis Major shot!...
  10. Paul M

    Beautiful fluffy galaxy in Leo - NGC3521

    Very nice image. Although I actually like wide images like this, it's work clicking for the full size image. It gives away the galaxy's real size when you can see some structure.
  11. No, no, I prefer Barry's other alter-ego, Sir Les Patterson. Proper culture Anyway, if they go stargazing live downunder I'll probably watch it about as much as the previous years' offerings....
  12. That sounds like a beast of a scope. Do you have any pictures? Don't hear much about Fullerscope's refractors. I suppose there weren't many made relative to the reflectors.
  13. I have the same fond memories of that catalogue too (must still have a copy somewhere) and did eventually get the 6.25in "export" newtonian. Here is a thread I posted about "second light"! : I certainly wasn't disappointed by it. A great scope that gave me much satisfaction. Compared with modern, mass produced offerings it was a bit "rough and ready" in style and finish but optically excellent. The reason we all drooled over that catalogue is because there were very few affordable options back then. Fullerscopes deserve their place in history My fullerscope lives at the side of my bed at our luxury Cumbrian villa. Stood on end protected by two heavy weight polythene builders rubble sacks. The mount lives outside in the shadow of a north facing dry stone wall with a tarp over it.
  14. Fascinating analysis considering I'd never given the subject much thought! Thanks for sharing your work.
  15. Ouch!! Well that's gone up a bit. I wish I could remember the pricing from when I enrolled. I can't even remember how the degree was made up. Figures like £400 per module and 6 modules come to mind plus costs for residential summer school to do lab work and the like. Certainly nowhere near £17k. That is breathtaking My son's Masters (self funded since moving employers at the turn of the year and having to pay the old one back!!) is that kind of money and then some.

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