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paulastro

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paulastro last won the day on September 5 2017

paulastro had the most liked content!

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About paulastro

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    Oakworth, West Yorkshire
  1. paulastro

    2019 Stargazing Guide to the Night Sky

    Yes Stu, if you own a house down there you can sell it and buy a whole street or a big house with a country estate up here . Mind you, the weather up here is **** (poor!)
  2. paulastro

    High Quality Astro Gear

    I would have thought anyone buying 'Hiqh Quality' astro gear would be sensible enough to make sure it was insured after paying a lot of money for the gear in the first instance. My equipment is perhaps more modest than what others may consider 'high quality' but I couldn't afford to replace it if anything happened to it - so of course it is insured!
  3. The answer is simple really, just buy a Morpheus 17.5mm, especially if you are a member of the club whos members like to see a nice hard field edge to the field of views, edge to edge stars in just about any telescope (not used mine on anything shorter than f4.7) and need to keep their specs on because they suffer from the dreadful astigmatism syndrome .
  4. paulastro

    Messier 33

    Excellent Mike, what I could probably see from home with my six inch on a really good night! I think if you had a few nights under some dark skies, like Kelling at its best, with your acute vision and artistic ability you'd come home with a portfolio of drawings which would be quite stunning. Your scope and yourself deserve the extra ingredient of some great transparent skies and the 'dream team' would be complete . At Kelling, using my AT-102ED even I could see considerably more detail - and not just on the cusp of visibility. It would be wonderful to see what you would produce under such conditions, your drawings would probably be the pinnacle of what could be seen with a four inch telescope, even using a Takahashi .
  5. paulastro

    Skywatcher ED120, some musings

    Hi Doug, I've had a AZ4 for years and used it on many scopes, including an 120ED and Equinox 120ED which is heavier of course. I strongly urge you to try it out for a while on the AZ4, on high and low powers, before committing yourself to buying aanother mount. It will be useable and you may find it's better than you think it might be. I have to say my AZ4 is very smooth, but I can't speak for every other example. I found the 120ED will work fine on the AZ4 for lower power, and indeed for planetary with a binoviewer on some occasions. In fact I often used it on the AZ4 even though I had heavier duty mounts available. It certainly will serve as a grab and go if you need to quickly set up, and even if you do get another mount, I'm sure at times you will find yourself using it on the AZ4. I took a 100ED f6.95 refractor (weight around 5 kilos or more loaded) and a David Levy 152mm f4.7 Mak-Newt (weighing 8kg) to Kelling along with my AZ4 and Ercole. I used the different scopes on both mounts at different times and had no problems. At home I frequently use the DL scope on the AZ4 if I am going out only for deep sky and general sweeping around - though I can use it for planetary with a binoviewer and two Baader Mk111 zooms I do prefer the Ercole for planetary. Of course, the Ercole is more steady, but the AZ4 doesn't inhibit what I can do if I do use it. In my view the AZ5 will not be suitable for use with the 120ED. It is no where as sturdy as the AZ4 and the azimuth slow motion is positioned in such a silly position you'll never be able to reach it if you use anywhere near a long a scope as the 120. Fine if you have only an 80mm refractor, small solar rig or a Mak 127, but good for little else in my opinion. I didn't keep the AZ5 I had long after I sold my Mak 127. The Skytee Mount will of course hold the 120ED more steadily, but is not a good mount if you want to carry it around very much, and you'll have to replace the two Vixen tube holders unless you want the scope to come adrift, most people end up replacing them. I had one for some time, and admit I'm biased - I really didn't like it very much, rather agricultural. So in summary Doug, as I said earlier on, I'd just use the AZ4 for a while, and then look around for a another mount if you feel a need. Even if you do need another mount, I'm pretty sure you'll be still using it for the 120 on some occasions. Also, if possible, if you identify something you're thinking of buying for the 120, try get the use of someone elses first to try your scope on. Best of luck.
  6. paulastro

    Postcards from Kelling Heath.

    Thanks Garry, I hope to see you next year perhaps? September 23rd to 30th. .
  7. Some pics taken at Kelling. Because of the often overcast days, many of the scopes were covered up much of the time. Though more nights were cloudy than not, Kelling still produced the great skies that makes a return visit every year a must for me. I managed to observe on four occasions (over five evenings and mornings) for varying amounts of time. On the first two nights (Thursday and Friday) transparency was particularly good for at least some of the times. As I've grown used to over the years, the two scopes I took ( an Astro-Tech 100ED and David Levy 152mm f4.7 Mak-Newt) both performed MUCH better than they do at home in a village in West Yorkshire where the skies are better than many more urban settings. Particular favourites of mine and those that gave really stunning views in both scopes were M31, Pleiades, Double-Cluster, M33 and last but not least M27. The fabulous setting of this latter in a wonderful field of stars is great to observe at home, but at Kelling there are numerous more stars in the background and the wings at each side and the imbedded stars are far easier to see and more numerous. Of course, many people take large dobs to observe fainter objects that cannot be seen very well, if at all, in much smaller scopes. Though I like to look through these leviathans occasionally, I actually prefer to use my more modest scopes to show much more detail in the brighter and more commonly observed objects than I can see at home. I'd rather have more detail to observe in the more accessible objects than see faint planetary nebs that you have to use averted vision to see even in a 20 inch telescope or bigger. Of course, there is room for both type of observers and quite right too, but give me the spectacular anytime Oh yes, nearly forgot, on my last morning (Tuesday) when it had been completely cloudy earlier and a VERY strong wind ( when I was seriously concerned if we were going to be sent hurled into the air trapped inside by the built-in groundsheet! ) I had a lucky break. I was awoken about 4.20am by a call of nature, braced myself and went outside. A clear sky! I quickly set up my 100mm ED quickly on my AZ4 and, amongst other objects at last managed to see comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner which was less than 1.5 degrees from M37. Luckily the scope is short and stocky so I could hang on to it when the wind gusted. Fabulous.
  8. paulastro

    Kelling Heath - Autumn 2018

    Just for completeness Peter, here are pics of your 5 inch triplet on your altaz mount and your 80mm ED binoculars.
  9. paulastro

    Kelling Heath - Autumn 2018

    I've just checked the many aps and computer based forecasts I use to look at the weather for Kelling from Sept 6 to 13th when I will be there. Not surprisingly there are some differences from those which look like it's a fairly good week for some clear nights with others which could make me wonder if it's worth the trip - that is if I believe one of the 'pessimistic' forecasts. How can they be so diifferent? Well, I asked Google and it came up with an article from The Guardian and it does give some insight. I found it quite illuminating, and helpful. The end result - I'm still optimistic for a good week https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/30/weather-forecast-apps-smartphone-predictions-forecasting
  10. Sometimes people need funds for other things .
  11. The APM 152mm ED doublet is indeed a fine scope, I had one myself for a while. The fit and finish was very nice indeed with a very good focuser, much better than the Skywatcher ED series. It also had very good optics, and in my view was the best value in a six inch quality refractor at that time. If I was in the market for a 6 inch ED refractor again (unlikely though ) I would certainly consider going the same route again. If the SW 6 inch ED turns out as good or better than the APM it will be the best value ever in a 6 inch refractor without any doubt. John, any chance of you being loaned an example of the APM to try out against the SW when you have your next example of the latter from FLO to put through its paces? It would actually be a really good and useful comparison as some people may be making the decision between these two scopes - lucky them!
  12. paulastro

    2019 Stargazing Guide to the Night Sky

    Not to derail my own thread, but I can get a pint for around £2.50 at Oakworth Social Club in the village, less on 'special occasions'.
  13. Or to give it its' full title 2019 Stargazing Month-By-Month Guide To The Night Sky, by Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest. This yearly publication is a good value guide to what's happening through the year, and at £6.95 is excellent value. I didn't realise, or remember that we have a favourable transit of Mercury in November 2019 until I browsed through it quickly when I arrived home with it this morning. It's one of two guides I buy every year, the other one being by Storm Dunlop and Will Tirion. This is just a heads up that I picked up a copy today for only £3.00 from my local branch of 'Works'. I presume it will be stocked by other branches of the same shop. In fact I bought my copy for this year from the same shop and the same price Well worth the price of a pint!
  14. paulastro

    Kelling Heath - Autumn 2018

    Weather forecast for September at Kelling, click on any date and it gives your the forecast for the night as well. https://www.accuweather.com/en/gb/kelling/nr25-7/september-weather/712822?monyr=9/1/2018&view=table It looks fairly hopeful of getting some observing in to me! (we are there from 6th-13th). Mind you I live in deepest Yorkshire, so nearly any forecast is likely to be an improvement on the weather I actually get at home . At Kelling (as anywhere really) it's surprising how often there are some good clear breaks in the early hours, even when the forecast is not favourable. For this reason I check the weather every hour through most of the night unless it's forecast to rain all night and I can hear the rain on the tent when the alarm goes off for me to check!! Very often when there is an unexpected break in the early hours we are the only ones observing. I think many people are too quick to abandon the night if it's not a good forecast and head for the bar. Nothing wrong with this of course, but on the other hand if you've bothered to travel very far to get to Kelling for the good skies, it seems a waste not to make the best of any clear periods.
  15. paulastro

    Kelling Heath - Autumn 2018

    You're on pitch number T138 Peter !!
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