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Everything posted by clarkpm4242

  1. Forgot this http://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-heritage-100p-tabletop-dobsonian.html A great option!
  2. Hi Of the 2 scopes, I think the StartTravel 80mm would be easier to handle and give enough of a view e.g. the moon, planets and bright star clusters. The 90 is much longer and harder to handle. I had a short tube 80 and it was a very nifty scope. He would need to use the scope outside. They don't work well through closed windows or open ones for that matter. The loft is a bad place as the heat rising from the house makes the view bubble with turbulence. Good luck. Paul P.S. A better alternative in the larger size is http://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p.html
  3. Managed a quick view this morning between scudding clouds. Canon IS 15 x 50s. Much more prominent against the dark sky Traces of the tails. Nice view of M13 - summer is coming Cheers Paul
  4. Hi The temperature inside the 'dry' shed will cycle, day through night and with seasons. This can cause repeated condensation on the mirror... ...as Peter D. noted, 7 - 10 years is a reasonable lifespan for a coating. Cheers Paul
  5. I think this shows that there are many ways of baking the cake (star hopping) Apart from a very rudimentary sense of scale I work on patterns. 'The object is 2/3rds along a line from this to that star', 'it forms a right angle triangle with those stars', 'extend the line between those stars by a half' etc. then point with the RDF. Ask a question of 2 astronomers and get more than 2 answers... ...cheers Paul
  6. I started with a Telrad. Moved a Rigel Quikfinder, easier to use as further away from scope tube. I now only use an RDF Some prefer to supplement a unit power finder with a finder scope, especially if suffering from light pollution. I find the RDF and low power eyepiece is enough (assuming a fast scope that gives a wide field of view). Cheers Paul P.S. My RDF does have a dot, cross and v. small circle options.
  7. Hi You may wish to consider 15 x 70 binoculars... ...truly compact, grab and go. Have read that you could multiple 70 by 1.4 to get telescope equivalence. Of your original choices, I would choose a refractor on a Giro mount. I have a TMB92 on a Giro and photo tripod. And yes, it could be spring before the next clear night..! Paul
  8. If you can afford it go for an Astrotrac. Very accurate drive. Copes with up to 15kg. My cousin won the Sir Patrick Moore newcomer of the year prize with a Canon 5D & 500mm lens! Paul
  9. I think it is an achievement to put in the commitment to building up observing skills and lugging a big scope out to dark skies on the right night. Also, a big scope could be quite a big financial investment. Once up a time the Veil nebula was seen a significant challenge object...how times change!! Good hunting and dark, transparent skies (fat chance at the moment...)! Paul
  10. Am sure you know to use screen on minimum and a screen filter app... ...it is soo easy lose hard won dark adaptation using smart devices. Also, makes all the travelling to dark skies a waste of time... Sky Commander is an old skool dsc and works very well. Paul P.S. I would describe myself as a full on 'star hopper' but am very tempted by the dark side.
  11. Hi I have the 16" Alkaid. The following is prefaced with 'in my opinion', others may differ Performance has been as good as any 16 that I have used (probably better, but that was the sky transparency) It is very compact and the 14 will be much lighter. Orion Optics (UK) have produced 1000s of mirrors over the years and it will meet the stated specification. I always keep my scopes in the house to minimise environmental impact and have had no problem with HiLux coatings. The set up will be more than your current scope...practise in daylight and get collimation by eye sorted and finish off with any collimation tools in the dark. Buy a complete package. It will have been tested by Mike as a whole unit. The choice should be 14 or 12 Good luck!!!!! Paul
  12. Looks like the top of Cwm Hirnant...
  13. I found this http://pw2.netcom.com/~ahighe/a426.html a useful resource for observing Abell 426 galaxies. Got up to 100+ using an 18" dob from Llyn Brenig in North Wales. Seem to remember it was quite possible to get over 30 in a single eyepiece FOV!!! I finally saw sense and moved on to other things Galaxy groups are cool to look at Abell 1656 in Coma B. should be high on deep sky observing list. Cheers Paul
  14. We're there for Feb dark moon!!
  15. I wold recommend the UHC filter (assuming that you don't already have one). Much more versatile than the OIII or H beta. Paul
  16. Excellent view about 05:30 this morning. Good dark sky. Both tails visible and some colour. Canon 15 x 50 IS binoculars. Paul P.S. Was an awesome dawn sky
  17. From bak garden in Swaledale. Seeing how far it can go with my DSLR on an AstroTrac. Did have some problems with focus (wierd) and slippage on the mount. Canon 7D MkII and 200mm lens. 15 x 20 secs, iso800, f2.8. Procesed with DeepSkyStacker and Photoshop CS2. Paul
  18. There are various tricks to help with this. Followed Jupiter into full daylight naked-eye. Noted position relative to house gable end and could re-find with a brew in hand Venus naked-eye in daylight needs knowing where to look and helps if you have the moon or distant aircraft nearby to focus your eyes on first. Had a stunning view of Mars in daylight through a 16" SC on a Paramount. Ice caps & surface markings! A nice pastime Cheers Paul
  19. @estwing A group of us were in 'The Valley' last dark moon, a complete washout Hope you get clear skies!
  20. @Highburymark.... ...it certainly is dark! Part-night lighting is also due soon (for the few lights). Always bring your binoculars! Cheers Paul
  21. Having moved to a much, much darker location last spring, I aim to see it from our back garden. Have seen it numerous times before through various large(ish) scopes from dark sites. 16" dob, Hbeta filter and 24mm Panoptic. Good luck to all! Paul
  22. Hope this series of rather unspectacular comet images isn't a bit boring. Unexpected clear morning. Very windy so took picture from inside the house through open front door, un-tracked as couldn't polar align Canon 7D MkII, 200mm @f2.8, iso 1600 for 2 secs. Cropped and stretched in Photoshop CS2. Tails at 2 and 5 o'clock... ...good hunting! Paul
  23. Dec 2nd. Got up to find it was unexpectedly clear! A much easier target to find now. About 06:20. Smudge of tails visible in Canon 15x50s. Also visible through camera viewfinder. Was stood just inside open front door as blowing a gale... Good luck Paul
  24. I did observe it this morning. I used the image on the back of a DSLR to help locate it. Don't think I would have found it 'freestyle'. Canon IS 15x50s. A smudge. Paul
  25. I did get to see it using 15x50 Canon binoculars. Was very tricky to spot. I took a series of images across the skyline in approximately the correct place. Then used the ones with the comet and the trees to locate with the bins... ...good hunting! Paul
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