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Everything posted by AstroJon

  1. I thought the image of Charon was impressive enough but the close up showing the mountains is something else. There is so much to discover just from these few images, absolutely amazing mission!
  2. Given the energy of some cosmic rays wouldn't they be created in the atmosphere? Detecting them is entirely another matter...
  3. Its going to take about a year I think for all the data to come back! Absolutely fascinating and very surprising that Pluto appears red. Can't wait to see the first images tomorrow.
  4. I've been to Cerro Tololo but it was some time ago (1998) and I did have telescope time so I can't really help you much there. I have however found this which may be useful. http://www.ctio.noao.edu/noao/content/Tololo-and-Tourism There are various sections about tourism in general and astro tourism so you might find something. As for non astronomy things, I found Chile to be a wonderful country so you should have no problems there, I seem to remember La Serena (a nearby town) was particularly nice. Good luck and enjoy!
  5. I see it going all the way up to 50 I wonder how much the 750mm one will cost.... Not that I could ever afford it!
  6. Apologies for resurrecting an old thread but I finally fixed the problem and thought it might be of interest in case anyone else experiences similar problems. After playing around with it for a while I noticed that as the red dot finder inclinded further from the horizontal it would suddenly switch itself off. Turned out the metal strip that holds the battery in place was a little loose causing it to be disconnected as it started to point upwards. A quick tweak and it is working fine
  7. That is a very good point you raise. Taking a look outside first thing in the morning as the sky is starting to get lighter more often than not shows several aircraft trails stretching across the entire sky. I doubt we notice them looking through an eyepiece at night but it must have some effect as you say.
  8. I just want to say thank you for such a fascinating thread. With regard to M45, when I was growing up I distinctly remember being able to count at least 10 on a good dark night but this was from a reasonably dark semi-rural location. The last really good night I remember was back in September 2013 before I got a telescope, on this occasion from a different reasonably dark semi-rural location M31 was visible as a rather clear and extended with the naked eye. I also own both the MV 24 and 16mm eyepieces. Although I can't offer anywhere near as much information as has already been discussed I can at least provide my experience of using them with a heritage 130p which I would guess is a relatively fast scope at f5. The 24mm does indeed display stars as "seagulls" towards the edge and it is rather noticeable, I also notice that eye placement can sometimes be an issue, for example sometimes the entire image seems to disappear (blacks out is the best term I can use) depending on where I look through. I do not find this a distraction though and I do find the contrast to be rather nice and it does provide a nice sharp image otherwise. I can't really remember how much of a "seagull" effect is in the 16mm but this alone I guess shows that it is not so notiecable, note that I haven't experienced the "blacks out" issue with the 16mm. The 16mm is my favourite eyepiece so far and I haven't really noticed the short eye relief being an issue (I am not a glasses wearer though). I can't offer a realistic comparison with anything other than the standard 25mm that came with the scope (which I think is actually not that bad at all) and the MVs are far superior. As people have said, for the price they are seriously good value for money.
  9. I've only seen 2 so far. Having said that, one of them was whilst looking through my telescope which I've never experienced before
  10. This is were the book "turn left at orion" comes in. It can see overwhelming at first when you don't know your way around the sky and what is out there to see. This book is nicely laid out for the various times of year and has a nice list of objects that is more than enough to get you started with detailed instructions on how to find them. I've got other books which are more glossy with nice pictures but as an observing guide turn left at orion really can't be beat. I'll also second the recommendation for the 150p dob to start with, I have the 130p heritage and it is a great scope. The 150p will show more and be more forgiving of eyepieces and collimation.
  11. I too have this telescope and I also highly recommend it. Although the slop issue has been mentioned I find it is not too bad at all and most of the time I am not really aware of it. If it is a problem it is a cheap and simple fix. The 25mm eyepiece that comes with the scope is actually not bad at all. The 10mm is not great though so if you do want to get eyepieces something in the 5-8mm range and something to replace the 10mm are good options. I have a 5mm BST which works well and has given some really nice views of Jupiter and the moon. I also definitely second the MV recommendations, I have the 16mm and 24mm and as stated above, they are fantastic for clusters.
  12. I spotted this and thought it might be of some interest... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11288601/Have-scientists-found-first-sign-of-Dark-Matter.html Hardly conclusive I guess, but I did find it interesting how they used the observation to calculate what the signal from our galaxy would look like, which they subsequently observed.
  13. I saw that at FLO but out of stock, I do like the look of that actually thank you. These forums are amazing by the way Thanks everyone!
  14. That I didn't know, thank you! I did notice a Rigel QuikFinder Compact Reflex Sight at FLO, if that fits then it would be perfect. I'll also check astroboot thank you, although as indicated just above it may not be quite so urgent. Maybe something I could ask for a Christmas present
  15. I've checked the alignment but thanks anyway, as you say it sometimes you don't see it when it is on initially. You are definitely right about the rotary control, occasionaly after several turns back and forth it might come on. My last observing session it failed to work but since the moon was not out I was happy just scanning with my low mag eyepieces. Typically after tweaking it for a bit is seems to be working a little better and if it stays the same I can probably put up with it for a while so a replacement might not be urgent. When it does work though I actually rather like it so if I can anything that fits and does a similar job I will be happy.
  16. This isn't a question about better finders such as a telrad or rigel. The problem I have is my red dot finder for my heritage 130p is no longer working, or rather working very intermittently. I have tried a replacement battery and that has no effect. I am therefore wondering what options I have to replace it? The standard red dot finder works fine for me and although a telrad would be nice I doubt it would fit on my scope. Are there any suitable replacements that would fit as I can't seem to find standard replacements? Thanks in advance.
  17. I did a masters degree in astrophysics and spent some time as a post grad which involved an observing session in Chile. I found it very interesting but I've always enjoyed physics and astronomy. I do work in engineering yes but I need a good knowledge of physics too.
  18. I must admit this is a fascinating question. I think of it as space is expanding into nothing. The problem is the concept of nothing is a difficult one to try and understand let alone explain. A vacuum or empty space isn't nothing, it has physical properties that can be measured. It has laws of physics that must be obeyed. Nothing has none of this and is something I doubt any human would ever witness.
  19. Cephid variables have a period that is related to it's brightness. If you know the period, you know how bright it actually is. You can compare how bright it actually is with how bright it appears giving you an estimate of the distance. Essentially we need to know how bright an object actually is, whether it is a cephid variable, supernova, quasar or whatever and compare this with how bright it appears. This link might help http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_distance_ladder
  20. I agree, although landing is much more difficult there are so many more opportunies to learn.
  21. Looks like this might just get a lot more interesting. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27110882 It appears it is actually a double comet.
  22. Thanks again for all the extra advice. From my experiences with a 5mm I am aware that a 4mm wouldn't get a great deal of use but there have been several times when I've felt that I could get more magnification and if I could get something that would give a reasonable view for relatively cheap then for me it would be worth it. I have seen the BCO reviews and I am lacking something in the 10mm range, a 2.25x barlow that could also be used at 1.3x along with the 10mm is a very interesting option!
  23. I have a 130p scope with a 650mm focal length so similar to yours. I was observing Saturn last night with a 5mm (x130) and the rings were unmistakable. I could even just about make them out, albeit tiny, with a 16mm (x40) eyepiece. So yes, your scope is easily capable. Hopefully you can find out what the problem is.
  24. I've just checked, the 5mm does indeed have a bottom lens element that can be unscrewed. I'll check that adaptor out, that is something I wasn't aware of. Thanks! I'm impressed that people are managing to get views with 2.5mm. I do seem to remember seeing the BST barlow some time ago but doesn't seem available anymore? Having said that, I am now giving consideration to barlow due to the advice above. So thats either the 4mm planetary or an 8mm and a barlow. I don't think my wallet will forgive me if I get all 3
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