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About benvz

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  1. I'm afraid something's just come up, so I don't think I'll be able to make it tonight. Apologies, but hopefully be around for the next one. Have fun everyone.
  2. As I say this, I realise several people have profile pictures...
  3. I'm planning on turning up close to 8pm. Any way we can ID ourselves to one another, rather than striking up a conversation about astronomy with random (and probably somewhat bemused) people at the bar?
  4. Any day is good with me - currently writing up my PhD, so I can change my working hours to suit.
  5. I'm around Hemel Hempstead, so somewhere a little further south, like Wheathampstead, Harpenden, Luton or Dunstable would be preferable, but Hitchin is do-able.
  6. Welcome to the forum. You seem to have got a free set of clear skies with your scope, which must be a first. Most people just get clouds.
  7. Just nipped in to take a break and defrost, and glad to see enthusiasm for meeting up. I'm in. Be good to put faces to names and avatars over a drink. In terms of somewhere to actually meet up, is Luton/Dunstable a mutually inconvenient place?
  8. Unfortunately not there for this one, but am looking to try and make the next one - just depends on dates. I'm also in your neck of the woods, have you found any good dark sites to observe from? I'm still using the back garden, which is ok, but not exactly a dark sky site.
  9. Hi - just seen the thread. I live between Hemel and St Albans - was thinking about Jockey End/Gaddesden Row/Ashridge Park as potential dark sites. Any feedback on how dark it is over there? I'm not a member of any societies - only got my scope at Christmas and have been busy exploring the skies by myself, but would be good to meet up with a few other people and observe. Safety in numbers and all that.
  10. Thanks. I've got a Skywatcher 130p650 Autotrak. Seemed like a reasonable entry-level scope that'll keep me happy for a while.
  11. It'd be good to meet up and observe with other people rather than doing it on my tod. This seems like a solid idea to me - be nice to meet people, chat and share experience/ideas especially given the cloudy weather at the moment. I'm based near Hemel/St Albans, so anything within a half hour or so seems reasonable - obviously the nearer the better. Seems a likely candidate, although I imagine the LP to the south will be atrocious. Town + airport = bad news. I'd say whipsnade/ivinghoe are probably better candidates for dark skies as they're sufficiently far away from anything other than villages - was over by Ivinghoe in the evening a month or so back and it seemed pretty dark, and there are lots of spots that have low horizons in most directions. However, I realise that these are less convenient (especially Ivinghoe) for anyone to the east and north, like Stevenage. One other possible is somewhere around Jockey End: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=jockey+end&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43287494,d.d2k&biw=1467&bih=674&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl I've only driven through, but it didn't seem too bad, although it may be that. But this is still probably abut 40 minutes from Stevenage.
  12. That could well be it. That or a piece of space junk, like Kropster suggested. It's the double flash that really intrigued me (along with the not knowing what caused it in the first place). Also surprised no-one else seems to have seen it - it wasn't exactly subtle.
  13. I looked at them too - FREEGAT/IRIS is unfortunately going the wrong way for what I saw. SL-16 R/B has the right track , but the timing's out by 3 or 4 minutes. Again, neither of them were predicted to go above mag 3. Toatlly confused
  14. Fair enough. I doubt you're the ony one guilty of that - I know I'm far from innocent. I thought it could be USA 234, but the track doesn't seem quite right, and a maximum magnitude of 3.6 is a lot fainter than what I saw, regardless of the fact it isn't likely to produce a flare (and certainy wasn't predicted to).
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