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Everything posted by darthvader

  1. So, got a Manfrotto 055xprob tripod and ballhead 2nd hand for £100 both in mint condition ? Tried the tripod out with my dslr to take a few moon shots which turned out well. Just need the Star Adventurer package now ? and that one is still for sale in the classifieds... so tempted but that would mean no money for the wife's xmas pressie ??
  2. Thank you all for your helpful ideas and advice. I think I will buy the tripod now and hope santa brings a Skywatcher SA ??
  3. Looks good, does the non-pro version of the 055 hold less kg do you know?
  4. Forgive my numpty questions but do I need a geared tripod for this type of photography? Will the star adventurer connect directly to the x55 or 475 without any additional adapters?
  5. Gosh, they're not cheap! I could go second hand though looks like you can pick one up for around £80
  6. Awesome, thanks for the replies. The astronomy bundle looks good. It will partly be a xmas present so regrettably the one in the classifieds has come a bit too early for me? Any recommendations for a good tripod?. I've got a manfrotto monopod for my bins with small pop out legs but this will not be stable enough (the pop out legs are thin and spindly)
  7. So knowledgeable persons of SGL what in your opinions is a good portable mount (+tripod if required) for use solely with a Canon DSLR. I have a Dob and want to do some 'easy' imaging before i fork out a mortgage on some 'proper' imaging kit. I see the Skywatcher Star Adventurer looks ok. What other bits and bobs would I need with this? Presumably a tripod and a ball joint thingy? I want to be able to chuck it in the car and pop down the road to a nice dark site close by so it needs to be portable and fairly quick to set up. Thanks for your words of wisdom. As always much appreciated ?
  8. WOW ! You should sell them, I'm sure there would be plenty of interest.
  9. Those sketches are really good, especially as they are your first. I keep meaning to give sketching a go but need to sort out a more comfortable setup first. Please post anymore you do I love looking at sketches.
  10. I was observing a few objects in Canes Venatici with help from the 'Turn Left at Orion' book and noticed that the description of 2 CVn appears to be wrong (or I am colourblind). The book on pg 113 states that 2 CVn (blue) has a yellow 9th mag companion 11" to the E. I think this is the wrong way round and the 9th mag companion is blue and 2 CVn is yellow.
  11. So, I bought the DVD from Amazon and I watched it yesterday. I really enjoyed it, quite moving and sad in parts would certainly recommend it, shame it wasn't a little longer. Apparently, the writer/director Alison Rose did another astronomy film about the Vatican Observatory - anyone seen this, can't seem to find a copy anywhere to buy though.
  12. I saw The Martian at the movies. I enjoyed it, but as i had already read the book I knew what was going to happen. I'd certainly recommend seeing it. Matt Damon is a great actor - I absolutely love the Bourne films.
  13. Anybody seen the film Star Men about four astronomers getting together for a road trip reunion? Looks good on the trailer Looks to only be available on DVD not Bluray.
  14. I had a rough idea how to do it but had awful problems getting the secondary lined up to start with and the dog kept sticking her face in the way too! Glad I bought Bob's Knobs last time though...
  15. In celebration, I decided to collimate my telescope today. I have been meaning to collimate it for ages but never got round to it, as the only time it's been collimated was when I first purchased it. Anyway, three frustrating hours later. ... it's collimated. Tonight I will probably not be able to see anything!
  16. Must have been my lucky night ! In fact, must have been my lucky week. I've recently been looking for some yew trees/hedging for planting to block out the neighbours' kitchen light and whilst i was walking the dog near Homebase (the wife was in Sainsbury's shopping) i came across a load of yew trees outside reduced from £50 to £12.50 - 3 were quickly snapped up ! £50 was a ridiculous price in the first place no wonder they reduced them ! still well worth £25-£30 each so a good saving
  17. yup, that's my normal experience of viewing at that magnification it was obviously a good night for seeing for me last night.
  18. These are the nights we endured all those rainy and cloudy nights in anticipation of... For the first time ever (well in 2 yrs anyway as that's how long I've had the scope) I was able to Barlow my 6mm EP and get some fantastic views of the moon at x400 magnification. I started the evening viewing Jupiter but the clarity wasn't too great, although to be fair it was still low in the East, so i swung the scope round to the moon for a brief look and was startled at how clear the view was! Anyway, going back out now to take another look at Jupiter and maybe bag a few Messiers ...
  19. I decided to take a look at the Earthshine tonight too. It's the first time I've tried to view it. The advice said view just after sunset (Astronomy Now mag), so went out with the dob around 5pm. Couldn't see any earthshine to start off with, just the crescent moon, but then... First, the full circle outline of the moon began to appear, but no Earthshine on the unilluminated part. Then subtle illumination in the NNE appeared, which slowly spread towards the SW . As the Earthshine spread i could see more and more features. The two that stood out to me were a dark area (Grimaldi I think) and a very small bright whitish area which I think was possibly the Aristarchus crater. Stopped observIng around 6.30pm when the moon disappeared behind next door's Leylandi but at that point the earthshine was probably at its brightest and i could make out areas of Mare quite clearly. I was suitably impressed, another tick on the observation list...
  20. unfortunately,several villagers were opposed to the lights being turned off altogether, even at 1am, so they will be at least 50% brightness even during the wee small hrs.
  21. So, the new streetlamps have started to be installed in the village and I've got to say, so far so good. The new LED's can hardly be seen from a even a short distance away (from the side or behind the lamp) which is a great improvement on the old sodium lamps. They've currently only replaced about 6, probably another 40 to do but the escaping light is a lot less than I thought it would be. Fortunately, part of the village is in a conservation area so they have had to keep the light heights relatively low (5 metres I think) and will also paint them black. Oh, and they are dimmed twice, although I can't remember at what times (possibly 9th and 12pm) and of course now the work is underway the weather has taken a turn for the worse..
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