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Everything posted by martin_b

  1. You might want to check out this thread.. http://stargazerslounge.com/astro-lounge/125969-open-university.html
  2. I just enjoy them. I started doing them as I felt my brain had gone into semi-retirement early, and wanted to kick the unused portion of it back to life. What I do find is that having the assignment/exam element does get the competitive juices going and gives you a nudge to do some work when you'd rather be down the pub! ( as you say the qualification itself is pretty irrelevant to me) I'd be happy starting on a level 2 course, ( but my first degree is maths and physics) but i just havent found one that I fancy yet, and fits in time wise. If i do undertake one though I'm dumping Excel and getting a copy of Mathematica.
  3. It was a couple of years since i did this module but i remeber it as being a good one, they all do start from first principles though, so you may find it too easy. For examaple I found the Cosmolgy module quite easy and I'd done a lot of what was covered during my Physics degree, however the Gamma Ray Burst one was all new to me and hence more challenging. All the JMU course's I've done seem to take a similar form. The assignments have consisted of a two or three "data wrangling" exercises, a short popular article, and finnaly a multiple choice test. Regards Martin PS: Its not the maths i found frustrating, its Excel!
  4. If you mean at LJMU I've done Cosmology, Gamma Ray Bursts, Galaxies, And just signed up for the Science of Science fiction. ( I also started to do Exoplanets, but went to the Ashes instead :-) ). My only peice of advice on most of the courses are is that lots of the course work involves working with big data sets. Plotting, manipulating, etc.. whilst you dont need super maths knowledge, you'll save hours of pain if you are good with Excel! Cheers MArtin PS: (An MBA from the OU which may explain why I found it stressful)
  5. My 2p's worth I'm doing my currently doing my 4th Module from JMU, and I can’t recommend them highly enough, and infinitely less stressful than the OU. I do also believe there is talk of JMU offering higher degrees via distance learning which i do quite fancy.
  6. thanks all, ( I'll take a look at all the suggestions,) but i have just read that my cataract operation by serve another useful purpose!
  7. Not finding the time to get out much at night, so I'm thinking about getting a solar scope. Is there anywhere that explains all the various options round filters etc? cheers martin
  8. thanks. Big issue I have is I live in suburban Surrey, its brighter here at night than it is during the day!
  9. Does anyone have any experience of buying time on large telescopes? I've tried the Bradford Uni one, which is free, but now I'm after bigger and better! Issue is they are not cheap and before i invest lots of money I'd be interested to know what experiences other people have had. cheers Martin
  10. Oh.. I'll have to power mine up now! I have been using the scope on the mount, but only manually, as always seems to be the way with these things work has got in the way of observing but hopefully I'll have more time this winter. PS: (I still might get a got mount though just to maximize my viewing time)
  11. Hi all, I plan to buy myself a goto mount for the winter season as I seem to spend longer setting up the scope than looking through it. I guess i either want a CGEM or a EQ6 pro ? , budget is upto £1500 but i have a couple of questions.. Is it possible to setup either without being able to see the pole star ( neighbors trees) ? also once set up can i leave the mount outside if suitably protected from the elements? Scope is an 7inch Mak Cas weighs about 20Kg i guess TIA Martin
  12. Thanks for all the advice.. I'll run the options past SHMBO and see how we go :-)
  13. Hi All, What I'd like is a pier on my patio. So far so good... However SHMBO has insisted that. It can be removed when necessary, and I cant leave bolts sticking out of the ground. Any suggestions? cheers Martin
  14. Perhaps I should mention, I was a milkman once! ( I dont want to offend anyone) Back in the early 80's I was doing a post Grad research degree. The Milko's hours fitted in with my studies perfectly. Probably explains why I've been a "Lark" ever since.
  15. Thanks I'd hoped dawn would be the answer! However the last couple of nights its been clear at midnight but cloudy at 4am. issue is I keep "strange" hours.. In Bed by 9pm, up at 4am weekdays, ( i have a lie-in till 6:00am at weekends) so for the next few months, it better for me to do my stargazing nearer dawn than dusk. cheers Martin PS: I'm not a milkman!
  16. OK I've worked out when its dark is a good start, But generally do the seeing conditions tend to be better nearer dawn or dusk? cheers Martin
  17. Hi Guys, Is there a list anywhere of all upcoming star parties? ( I need a few months notice to arrange things) I've tried the obvious forum but it seems to focus more on menu's than dates :-) cheers Martin
  18. Now that does look close to what i need. any idea on price and availability? thanks martin
  19. Thanks guy's, My thinking was that with modern GPS electronics, inclineometers, and electronic compasses there would be a mount that kind of knew exactly where is was in 3 dimensional space. Anyway I'm off to the States soon for a trade show, ( TV not astronomy) I'll have a shop around while I'm there. cheers Martin
  20. Cheers but i thought I need a German equ' for astro Photog?
  21. Hi all, Been playing with my scope for the last couple of mounts and hit upon a small issue!( I've currently got a TAL MT3-S mount but have plans to do astrophotography so it will need to be upgraded.) My garden is on a slope surrounded by very tall trees.What this means is that I'm having to move the scope around the garden depending on what i want to look at. What would be ideal is an auto everything goto mount, by everything I mean that i don't need to see the pole star, and preferably that can compensate for the varying slope of the lawn. Is there anything out there that might fit the bill? cheers Martin
  22. thanks for al the advice guys.. One quick question with the choice of zooms, due to my advancing age, I now need to wear reading glasses , hence I thought the Televue zoom with a Dioptrx might be a good idea, is there something similar for the Baader, or don't I need it? cheers martin
  23. Hi All Just got my first scope a Intes MK72 F10( from here). As i've got what i think was a bit of a bargain I've still got a few quid left in the kitty. What i think I'd like to do is to buy a 8-24 zoom a (televue?) and a 30, probably a Moon fish, and a Barlow The scope will some with some TAL plossl eyepieces but I'm assuming even a zoom would be an improvement? Budget is around £300.,, anyone any comments on my plan? cheers Martin
  24. No idea about a viewing site, but i do know some wonderful salmon rivers round the area! Also if you're a bit of a petrol head and fancy and thrilling drive, try the A939 from Nairn to Granton, ( ah memories)
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