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About kerrylewis

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf
  • Birthday 09/07/47

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  • Interests
    Mainly the planets
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  1. I was forgetting about FLO's excellent return policy, although I don't like returning things unless they are faulty because the retailer then loses out. I also wanted to really give them a good go in various situations. I accept that most users are delighted with them. They just didn't seem to suit me.
  2. I thought that I was in a minority of one! I couldn't get on with them either and I don't have them any more (long story! ) . It can be difficult to 'try before you buy' but I agree that, if possible, you should, if you are thinking of acquiring a pair.
  3. Thanks everyone. No Shaun it's not M70 but OAP70!
  4. my daughter-in-law for my birthday😀
  5. Interesting discussion on using filters with the wedge. I've only had quick session so far due to other commitments but I do have a polarising filter and a contrast booster and intend to try them next time. I did find that the image was occasionally very bright but there was a lot of thin cloud around so I rarely got a clear completely unclouded view. Looking forward to more observing and experimentation soon.
  6. Yes Dave - I've been thinking of getting one for a while and this current AR prompted me to get moving so I didn't miss it. You are right Stu - I read lots of threads on the forum re wedges vs filters and could see that the wedge was the one to go for. . The improvement is amazing Kerry
  7. A quick look yesterday with my brand new Lunt wedge on the Tak. Lovely detail of the big sunspot group and its smaller companion group. Previously I always used a glass filter and my 66mm WO refractor which I've now sold. The view with the wedge and the Tak is in a different league - stunning with much more clearly defined detail within a lovely white disc (the previous set up gave an orange/yellow appearance). I just revelled in all the subtleties of the spots and their surroundings. I'm not sure how much of this improvement is down to the wedge and how much to the Tak and greater aperture, or I suspect due to the a combination, but I'm delighted with the result and can't wait to try it again. I'm glad that I went for the wedge approach as opposed to a filter.
  8. Welcome to the Tak100 club Gary from another new member
  9. Like Pig I love this mount- in fact it was his enthusiasm for it that was partly responsible for my decision to get one. The initial alignment object is usually the brightest one in the sky so this is often a planet or the moon. So if you have a good view from SE to SW and can usually see the ecliptic you should be OK. I think AA, like a lot of smallish Astro retailers, is basically a one man operation so if that person is not around for some reason they can be difficult to contact. Having said that, when I bought mine earlier this year all my emails got prompt responses. After I bought it, I also found that Ioptron themselves were good with quick reposnses to my questions and I got some really detailed emails from them - so you could try that if you have specific queries. The manual is also available on line. I find that the ability to set up in minutes with no power supplies and all that is great. The only time limit is scope cool down time!
  10. What an evocative report. I've never been much of a moon observer (not sure why) but I did notice recently how great the views were in my recently acquired Tak (also with a Tak prism). The contrast seemed greater and the shadows blacker. This and your report may get me interested again. Time to dust off the Lunar 100? Thanks again for a lovely report Kerry
  11. Thanks Brian and Alan. I have no explanation. They were moving and behaving like flaring satellites but the configuration was odd. I have never seen two such bright objects like that and then completely fading to nothing.
  12. Yes another one of those posts! I know from experience of reading these threads that it is very difficult to confirm what someone else has seen. But here goes.. At 1.55am I was (unsuccessfully) trying to get a decent view of Saturn when something else caught my attention. To the S/SE at about 20 degrees were two very bright objects with one vertically above the other. The upper one was brighter and brigheter than, say, the ISS - perhaps about -5. The lower one was perhaps -2. They were about 3 or 4 degrees apart and moving eastwards at about the speed of a satellite and there was no discernible colour. They then both gradually faded and disappeared. Had it been one object I would definitely say that it was an Iridium or other flaring satellite. Heavens Above shows no bright satellite or Iridium flares at that time. I have seen two satellites flying one behind the other but never in this configuration with one above the other. Another thought was that it might have been a weather balloon with the main ballooon and equipment below both catching the sun perhaps. It was certainly an unusual sight and made me say out loud " what the "flip" is that?". Any thoughts?
  13. Thanks for all the comments everyone. Yes, now as a fully fledged member of the DL club (or perhaps it should be the FC100 club), I am looking forward to more of these planetary sessions
  14. Got up around 1.15 and checked out of the window. Saturn was clear low in the south but there was also quite a lot of thin cloud around. 'Was it worth it? Would I be cloud dodging like last time?' It doesn't take much for me to prefer a return to my cosy bed but I decided to give it a go. the Tak FC100DL was still set up from a quick look at Jupiter last night but this would be the first real go at Saturn. The planet has cleared the house opposite by this time and although it was occasionally dimmed by the thin cloud I had a clear view. The 10mm Ethos (90x) showed a crisp view so I tried higher magnification. The 3mm Radian (300x) was a bit much and turned the view mushy and the best views were with the 6mm Radian (150x) or best of all the 10mm plus 2x Powermate (180x). There were moments of fairly good seeing and, although I've not made any direct comparisons, I do believe that the Tak cuts through the conditions as others have said. In the good moments the Cassini division was clear all round and nearly always there in the broader view of the rings to each side. The planet itself showed subtle banding and a darker polar region. Every now and then the seeing would 'click' and the whole view had a beautiful 3D effect with the planet an obvious sphere and the rings in front and behind. A little shiver down the spine. Then there would be a ripple across the view, like looking at a reflection in a pond, as the seeing wobbled. Eventually the planet was eclipsed by my friendly local telegraph pole and I took the cue to go,back to bed. A lovely session- the planet is also in an interesting setting of stars at the moment (some were probably moons but I was too taken with the planet itself to check) which adds to the beauty of the view. Given that seeing was not perfect, a very rewarding session. I'm going to like this scope!
  15. A surprise and a great pleasure to see Guy Consolmagno, one of the authors of one of the best (if not THE best) books for astronomy beginners - Turn Left at Orion. As you might expect for such an accessible book, he seems like a really great bloke too. A very enjoyable episode of S@N exploring an area that I for one knew nothing about