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About dick_dangerous

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    Proto Star

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    Astronomy, Natural History, Music, Literature, Doing some actings
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  1. Thanks - I didn't notice any vibrations while I was taking it, but I can see that little kink in the middle of the trail! Practise makes perfect I suppose and I could try processing again and trying to correct it. The full layered tiff would probably kill my computer so I had to merge the layers as I went along. Paul
  2. Hi All, I've recently started to make star trail photos and have started a subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop. Here's my first attempt at a star trail taken last May at Birsay in Orkney of the stars to the north over the Bishop's Palace. I was only able to process the RAW files quite recently, but thought I'd share to see what people think! Cheers, Paul
  3. Hi All, It's been a long time since I've used SGL, but it's good to be back! I'm just beginning to dip my toes into the vast and terrifying world of imaging. So far I've been concentrating on fairly simple long exposure photography of the Milky Way and making some star trails (Will post some of those up at the moment) but I've set my sights on other targets of interest and want to explore the possibility of taking photos of bright objects just using the telescope and my DLSR - what I understand as basically being digiscoping. I have a Nikon DSLR (D5500) and several telescopes, all alt-az mounted. What adaptors and bits do I need to take pictures through the 'scope of stuff like the moon and the bright planets? And is this feasible? I know it's common practise for birders who can't shell out thousands for the big, fast, long lenses, but I'm not sure how easy it would be with astronomical objects. Any help greatly appreciated! Cheers, Paul
  4. John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, is buried at the church at Burstow in the shadow of Gatwick Airport, where he was Rector until his death. Burstow that is, not the airport... The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, rather obviously. And for observing, Kielder and Exmoor National Park are also renowned for their dark skies. On a similar theme, how about Maeshowe? Paul
  5. I have an ST80 which fits in my hand luggage for flights, with a camera tripod to mount it on. Taking it to Northern Spain I was able to view the Veil, North America Nebula, Helix Nebula, M33 and M74, all of which are invisible in my Dob from home. I've recently invested in a 5'' reflector to put in the car for observing but, in true form, when I opened the box I let a load of clouds out, so I still haven't given it a test run. It is certainly a compact set-up though - an f5 Explorer 130PS with an AZ5 mount. Paul
  6. Cheers all - the forecast at the moment looks like I won't get a chance to use it tonight, but hope springs eternal! It did indeed - in several boxes within the one box. It all folds up quite neatly too which will help when carting it to far-flung places or even just if it's in the back of the car while we're doing something else for the day. Yeah... he won't go in the lovely cat bed we bought him, but provide him with a box and he's as happy as Larry. You should have seen the evils I got when I removed the box though... Paul
  7. Hi All, It arrived! Many thanks, once again, to FLO for their usual superheroic turn-around on the telescope delivery. Of course I couldn't wait to get the box open and get it set-up; this took about 20 minutes and no problem whatsoever. I've not had much experience with RDFs before, but even this is now adjusted and ready (Although I'll keep one of my finderscopes handy in case). The AZ5 seems sturdy and simple to use - light-weight too and should pack up nice and small for transporting and holidays, which was the whole logic behind going for this slightly smaller system. And the possibilities of mounting future scopes on it are endless - expect a Skymax 127 on there in a few years time when the planets get a bit higher. And someone was happy about the nice big box it came in. Although Professor Moriarty prefers observing the dynamics of an asteroid through a CAT-adioptric... Snarf snarf. First light report to follow when the skies clear (Typically they were perfect last night). Cheers, Paul
  8. In the end I went for the Explorer 130PS on the AZ5 - my thinking was that I'd be able to buy a the 127 Mak to complement it in the future, plus it'll all still fit in the car boot which was the clincher. Looking forward to test-driving my new toy! Ta muchly for all the help, Paul
  9. Hmm... interesting, especially considering that your car is essentially the same as mine! And thanks for the pictures - very helpful. I was originally considering getting a Fiat 500 like all the cool kids but the boot wouldn't fit my Dob base so we went for the Up! instead. The Heritage has often tempted me but my reservation has always been the fact that it's so low down (that and the helical focusser). How do you practically use yours without getting sore knees or sitting on something? I think a 130P reflector is going to be the way to go on this one... Paul
  10. Yeah, my car is really, really small! Although thinking back to my Mum's old Fiesta that I was on the insurance for, it's probably about the same size. Car's have got bigger in recent years! My ST80 is small but get it somewhere dark and it punches far above its weight - on a trip to Asturias I got better views with it of things like the Veil and the NA Nebula than I ever have with the 150P. And it's the 'scope I used for the one and only time I saw M74 and the Helix Nebula. Aperture isn't king - dark skies are! Having said that, 150mm of aperture will beat 80mm of aperture under the same skies, so it's more a case of courses for horses. One day I hope to buy a really nice but very small Apo as my telescope for taking on flights, I just have to save up quite a lot of cash first! Paul
  11. This was my big fear with the ST120 - and it would cost a lot more than my budget to get an AZ5 to go with it. Cheers Stu - that's a good suggestion! I didn't realise they did that package, but that's a bit of a winner! I'm always considering the Heritage as a grab 'n' go, but then change my mind because of the height problem - this could be an ideal solution! Paul
  12. The base-plate for a larger telescope wouldn't actually fit in the car. Even the 150P tends to dominate the back-end somewhat! A 10'' Dob is at the limit of what I could physically lift too, but that's by-the-by because at the moment I'm looking for something compact and Dobs are anything but that! Paul
  13. Hi All, I've only sporadically been on the forum over the last year or two, which has matched my observing pattern, but I'm in the market for a new telescope! My requirements are quite simple - Im looking for a decent grab 'n' go set-up to stick in the back of the car, for £300 or under. I have a 6'' Dobsonian, which is great, but if I go on holiday / away for the weekend, it has a habit of taking up most of the space in my tiny little car (A VW Up!). I also have slight security worries if it's in there and I'm on the way to Cornwall, or Scotland, or some other lovely part of the world and it's sat, very obviously on display on the back seat. Most opportunist criminals are unlikely to stop breaking into my car because it's only a 6'' 'scope. I'm considering getting another refractor as my preferred grab 'n' go option, and a friend suggested getting a larger Startravel than my current piddly 80mm one which comes on planes with me. On FLO they have the ST120 on an AZ3 mount for £279 and this sounds brilliant - not much less aperture than my Dob but with the bonus that it would be far easier to get to a dark location and therefore outperform the Dob that's confined to the immediate surroundings of London. The only problem is that I'm given to understand that the AZ3 is a bit wobbly, and the ST120 is very much at the upper limit of what it can carry. I then noticed that they have a package of the ST102 on the new AZ5 for about £330 which looks like a pretty good deal to me; there would be less CA (Not really bothered about that) but a reduction in aperture. I don't really want to go beyond that in terms of money, so I'm sticking with the achromats. So my options are to purchase either: An ST120 on AZ3 and it be a bit wobbly (I could upgrade the mount at some point in the future) An ST102 on AZ5 and bust my budget ever so slightly Another option - I like reflectors too, it just needs to be a compact package and with a fairly wide-field. All help / opinions greatly appreciated! Paul
  14. I had a choice last night - on the one hand driving out to look for a possible aurora with cloud and rain forecast and a waning gibbous moon. Or a nice bottle of refreshing cider. On balance, I went for the cider! Paul
  15. An ideal telescope for a child is one that: They can carry outside without assistance Will show them a decent enough view that they can get "Bang for Buck" Is intuitive to use Has a wide-field of view That last one is really important because the thing children find hardest is the restricted field of view seen through binoculars and telescopes. It does depend on the age of the child and how much experience they've had with optics (I picked up binoculars when I was 4). My first telescope was a Tal that was made of solid iron and was so heavy I couldn't move it outside. It was also on a bomb-proof EQ mount and had wonderful optics, but the finderscope system was awful. All the same, I loved that telescope and wish that the stand hadn't been broken - not that I'd be able to lift the wretched thing even now! The following options would be ideal for a child/teenager: Table-top dobsonian reflector - easy to carry around, intuitive to use and wide-field. The Heritage 130P is going to give the best views and at approx. 6kg manageable for a teen Widefield refractor on an AZ mount - bit heavy if we're honest, but I love my ST80. Plus, they look like telescopes to young minds! A teenager could lug one around quite easily. I craved a 6'' Dob as a teen, but realistically Dobs are fairly heavy and awkward to move about, even in two parts, for a child or even a teenager. 16+ and you might be talking, but if it might be a passing fad I think you can't go far wrong with something like the Heritage 130P. Paul
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