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About Dixie

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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    Frozen North
  1. We are staging another five night camp under the darkest skies in England from 6 to 11 March. Kielder Campsite is the venue in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park where improvement works over the past 5 years have transformed the campsite, with better drainage, purpose built warm room open 24/7, and more hard standings. The pitch fee is all you pay and talks and drinks reception are all free, together with good company and a great mix from across the UK. We currently have a small number of hard standing pitches with electric left so if the event sounds appealing please get in touch asap. Email richard@richarddarn.com You can also check out the event at kielderforeststarcamp.org and check out James Mackay's great time-lapse tribute to starry Border skies.
  2. Met Office and BBC both telling me I'm enjoying clear skies at the moment - noop: I can barely see the moon. 10/10ths cloud. Oh hum. Time to write the winter off.
  3. Yes I'd have to agree... it's one of the worst winters I can remember from the point of view of clear skies. When it has been clear the conditions have been pretty much rubbish. I'm doing a dark sky survey at the moment in the north of England and meter rreadings are well below where they should be . Actually way short of what I was getting in August. Just too much moisture in the air and not cold enough to dry them out with frost.
  4. The apps are often pretty unreliable - I've no idea how they can get even current conditions so badly wrong, let alone predict anything in the future. These days I stick with the video forecasts by the met. Such a frustrating few months - really poor spell in my part of the world.
  5. Weather for me over the last three new moon periods has been hopeless. Hardly a clear night worth mentioning. Looking at the 10 day forecast by the Met Office they are promising more cloud throughout the period. I'm afraid the weather is in a complete rut. Knew I would pay for all those clear - if very short - summer nights.
  6. I'll be there. Never missed the Autumn one. Thence to Kielder.......
  7. I've been using the ZWO 120 for a good year and I'm trying out a loaned Lodestar X2 - my set up is OAG and 2.2 metre focal length. The Lodestar virtually always picks up a guidestar - the ZWO not quite as much so I end up moving the target a wee bit. I'll probably buy the Lodestar. It also fits in the barrel of the OAG guide port so I can get it nearer the prism.
  8. I've got one of those too and had it since 1990. It's especially good as a solar scope with a filter. You can get an adapter to use 1.25" accessories if it comes with old Japanese 0.9" visual back.
  9. I never fail to see plenty of guides stars with my DMK618 and 60mm finder. Not sure an upgrade will gain you much. Chip is pretty sensitive.
  10. Polemaster is very accurate - at least on my set up. I use a C14 on an EQ8 and any worries about getting a good PA to image at almost 2.3 metres have been banished. Polemaster says it can get within 30 arc secs. Generally Phd drift assistant will report something around 1 arc minute.
  11. Oddly I was just thinking about my swap from Prolific to FTDI based cables (thanks to Keyspan and Astronomiser) last night. Since I did i have not lost one connection - a regular occurrence before.
  12. Thanks to everybody who came along to a pretty spectacular 26th starcamp. We will be doing it again this October. Bookings for that open in the next couple of days. Richard
  13. And here's a pithy reminder of the frustrations of imaging in the field from Stu (Atkinson). But the final result is often worth it!
  14. Quite a few changes Mark - all positive. Big new warm room, refurbished toilets, better drainage, more hard stands, and full time dark sky friendly lighting outside of our event dates. Looking forward to meeting everyone next week. Pix Stu Atkinson.
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