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kev100

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Everything posted by kev100

  1. Well, I checked with Astroboot, and it seems there were 2 types of Astrocom filters, A and B. Astroboot only every had the A type, and I'm assured it's safe to use. I've made up a holder for it out of a bit of pipe and some craft foam (pic attached), and tried it out this afternoon. It works really well! The holder fits firmly over the dew shield, and the view is fantastic. Slightly warm yellow hue to the sun itself, and detail is incredible, with the umbra and penumbra of today's sunspot very clearly visible. I went for the 9 quid ND filter in the end, and it seems to work well enough. It's a 25% one, and drops the brightness down a little (but not much). I'll probably keep it and try it now and again on particularly bright objects and the moon (and possibly Mars). Cheers, Kev.
  2. Hello, I recently bought an Astrocom solar filter from Astroboot, and planned to use it with my 70ED refractor. However, in the docs that came with it it states: 'Type B is quite bright, and when used for visual observations must be used in combination with one or two polarisation or ND filters attached to the eyepiece!' I wonder if anyone has any experience with this filter, recommendations for a suitable ND filter (I was thinking something like this, but I don't know which of the three types would be best): Filter Given the seriousness of getting it wrong I'd appreciate any suggestions. Cheers, Kev.
  3. Hiya, I made it out early on Sunday morning (4am), and it was lovely. I initially mistook the Milky way for a band of cloud, Saturn was magnificent (Cassini division very obvious, and a hint of banding on the planet), and Mars was huge. I couldn't see any detail on the latter, though, it was just a large shimmery ball (even with a light blue filter). Tried all my EPs, but the sharpest view was with the 8.8 ES 82 (x136). I had hoped to get in a few Messiers in Scorpius/Saggitarius, but the sun rising beat me to them. Still a cracking session, though, and I was back in bed by 6am! Kev
  4. Hi all, In the end I decided to wrap the OTA in its Green Witch scope cover, and popped it across the back seat of the car. At 4 this morning, the outside of the car was completely iced up, but the scope itself was clear of condensation, etc, and was sufficiently cooled to get straight on with viewing. Got some lovely views of Saturn and Mars, as I'd hoped, and the milky way overhead was stunning, though the dawn light quickly washed out everything but the planets. Still, a lovely session, and good to know the scope won't fog up being left in the car overnight. Kev.
  5. Indeed! Still, if I can get up earlier I will. Main concern is getting set up and finding the scopes fogged up
  6. Thanks everyone. I reckon I'll drape a blanket over the dob, and hope for the best. I appreciate I won't have much time before the sun comes up, but better than nothing, and, if the scope's pretty much cooled, I should be good to go straight away ... and when I say 'drive to the site' I only mean going about 200 yards!
  7. Hiya, just wondered if anyone's got any experience/tips. I'm thinking of getting an early(ish) start on Sunday morning (around 4am) to view Mars, Saturn, and a few southern Messiers. Anyway, I'm thinking of leaving the Dob in the car overnight, so I don't wake everyone up, and then just slip out quietly and drive to the site. I'm worried that I'll get to the site and find that the scope/mirrors are covered in condensation – from sitting in the car – or dew up the moment I take them out ... I guess a sheet over it would prevent this, but wonder if anyone has any experience. Cheers, Kev.
  8. Hiya, a fews odds and ends that I never use: Revelation Astro 2.5x barlow (caps, but no box). Hardly every used: £25 posted (£34 new from Telescope house). – NOW SOLD. Revelation Astro 32mm ep. This was my favourite EP when I had a 5in reflector, doesn't get any use now. Perfect condition (caps, but no box): £20 posted (£28 from Telescope house) - NOW SOLD. Canon EOS camera adaptor and T-ring: £15 posted (UK) = NOW SOLD
  9. "Occular seems "glammed up" to me." Fair comment. It's never going to show you exactly what you can expect on the night, but I do find it fairly accurate when compared with my dark sky viewing site.
  10. Hi digital_davem, Stellarium only ever offers an approximation/simulation of what you can expect to see. Light pollution/seeing have a massive effect on the view you'll experience. From here in darkest Dorset, and on a good night, the view of Andromeda through both my binoculars isn't too dissimilar to that shown. It does vary with atmospheric transparency/humidity, etc, though. You can adjust Stellarium to take account of atmospheric conditions and light pollution ... Kev
  11. Hiya, Download a copy of Stellarium, if you can, and input the specs for the binoculars you're thinking of choosing. You'll get a simulation of how a variety of targets will appear (not counting seeing conditions, light pollution, etc). The attached pic shows M31 (Andromeda galaxy) using 10x50 and 20x80 binoculars. The 10x50s can be hand held as they're pretty light, but the 20x80s will definitely require a tripod for steady viewing. Kev
  12. By the way, a simple rule of thumb for checking what the maximum magnification a Newtonian will deliver and still be sharp is to look at the diameter. In the case of your 130mm scope, if we take 130 times mag as the max, then 900 (scope focal length) divided by 7mm (EP focal length) equals 128.5. I'd say this would be the maximum such a scope can deliver and still be sharp and clear. Any higher magnification will likely be disappointing in terms of sharpness/clarity (depending on the EP, of course). Kev.
  13. Hiya, I guess it depends on the eyepiece, but I would have thought 6mm focal length (giving x150mm) in your scope would be too much. Like I mentioned, I tried a 7mm plossl in mine and and the view was very dark, and the field of view very narrow (meaning I had to move the scope a lot to keep track of the object). If I remember rightly, I was trying to keep track of Jupiter and it was really disappointing - the view was very dark, the planet 'soft' and keeping sight of it was a pain. If your budget will take it, a 68-degree EP, or an 82-degree (Meade, Explore Scientific, Vixen, etc) one will give a wider field of view, allowing you to view the object in a more leisurely fashion (and you'll see more of larger objects), but I still wouldn't go much beyond 9mm (7-8mm, depending on the EP, but no shorter). BST Starguiders are another well favoured option. Whilst the Revelations/plossls were a revelation (pun alert) in terms of sharpness/contrast, etc, I soon found that they were lacking in terms of field of view, and I set about getting wider FOV EPs when I upgraded the scope. Like others have already said, don't be in too much of a hurry to upgrade your EPs. See if you can try some different ones (at a local club/star party/friends) first. You may decide to upgrade the scope first, and then find that those you get now for the 130/900 aren't suitable ... Kev.
  14. Hiya, I used to have that same scope, and I found a set of Revelation plossls (9, 20 & 32mm) made a massive difference to the view. Much sharper, clearer and more contrasty than the standard items. FOC isn't the best, but for the price I think they were excellent in the 130/900. I also found that 9mm was pretty much the shortest focal length I could use in the scope and still get sharp views (I tried a fixed FL 7mm Ep and it was terrible). Barlowing was poor, too. Of course there are better EPs, with wider FOVs, and if your budget will stretch than you should definitely explore the option. However, the Revelations do pack a lot of bang for your buck in a scope like yours. Kev
  15. I try to involve the kids as much as possible, but they can't do late, cold nights yet. My wife's interested, and will have a look when there's something particular to see, but not for several hours roaming the sky. I thought it amazing how much more my youngest got out of it, though, and how more obvious the GRS was for him.
  16. Hiya, a glance at Jovemoons yesterday afternoon indicated that the GRS would be nicely positioned early enough in the evening for the kids to have a look. So, I set up the scope around 7pm, and we had a look. For me, seeing wasn't great, but the GRS did shimmer into view from time to time as the planet drifted down through the FOV. My eldest boy (10) had a look, and, though it took him a little while to get his eye in, he reported seeing it, but not very clearly – it definitely came and went. Around 8 my wife and youngest son (8) came home and had a look. My wife initially struggled to see the GRS, but eventually got there. My youngest, though, as soon as he put his eye to the EP exclaimed 'Wow! The Great Red Spot!' He said it was really clear and red ... Even at 240 times mag he said the GRS was clear, but a bit fuzzy, whilst to me the planet was better at x136 in the ES 8.8. Oh, for younger eyes ... Kev
  17. Hiya. The BSTs are very well regarded, and in your scope will do very well (in faster scopes like mine they do distort a little around the periphery), but also, like the Revelation Plossls, they're not the widest of views. If you could track down some Explore Scientific 68-degree EPs/maxvisions or the Meade equivalent they'd give a wider field of view. There's also the option of getting a decent zoom. Your scope is pretty forgiving when it comes to EPs, and a decent zoom would cover a lot of bases... Kev
  18. Hi Gordon73, You could try inputting your scope's details (and eyepiece specs) into Stellarium. That'll give you a reasonable suggestion as to what you can expect to see.
  19. Sounds like a brilliant session, even with the street lights. I was tempted to go out last night, but tiredness, laziness and a 6 o'clock start this morning put pay to that!
  20. Hiya. Go with your lowest power ep, and you should pick 'em up.
  21. Hi Chris, How are you going about finding them? What's your scope? I find that M47 is fairly obvious even in my finder scope (standard 9x50), or my 10x50 bins, and I usually find the clusters merely by panning left from Sirius. Do you use an app? Or a star atlas? Kev
  22. Hi Mark, Yep, that's a useful diagram, and showing pretty high magnification. I was using my 24mm EP (and without a filter) which gives x50, so I know it's not possible to see the HH with that, but as I said, I was very surprised at how much there was in the area, when previously there was nothing. Dark mottling, I guess is the best way I can describe it ... darker patches, lighter patches, all pretty faint, to be honest. I followed a Cloudy Nights post when I did the flocking, and did the middle section first. Lining up to the seam in the tube helped, as did using a rollin pin, as I said, but the 250 is only 1200mm focal length, so wasn't too hard to reach in there. Kev
  23. Thanks guys, Hi Paul, I'd say my sky is pretty good, really. Andromeda and the Perseus Double Cluster are usually naked eye objects, for example, more so obviously when higher in the sky. Seeing was a little unsteady on the night, though, and there was a chilly breeze. I did flock the whole tube. It was fairly easy, really, and a rolling pin really helps keep the material straight and bubble free. Mark, I know the HH is probably going to test the 10 inch, if not be beyond its capability altogether, but I was surprised by the dark patches in and around where it should be. Never seen anything like that before, so fingers crossed Kev
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