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Brave Sir Robin

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About Brave Sir Robin

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  1. The club will also have a stand in the Howard centre on Saturday 8th September if you happen to be about.
  2. Hi Mark, Welcome to SGL. It is a great forum and helped me no end when I first started out (and still does!) I don't know if you're aware, but there is an astronomy club that meets in WGC on the second Wednesday of every month (apart from summer) the venue is the Panshanger golf club, and the first meeting of this year will be 12th September. We're a friendly bunch, and all you need is some interest and enthusiasm. You don't have to join straight away, it's £3.50 per meeting or £20 for the whole year. Website is here if you fancy taking a look http://www.skiesunlimited.co.uk/HAG/ Hope to see you there, I wish you clear skies!
  3. I was flabbergasted a few years ago when I saw the ALMA image of HL Tauri. http://www.almaobservatory.org/en/press-room/press-releases/771-revolutionary-alma-image-reveals-planetary-genesis This is an exceedingly young star about 450 ly away with a protoplanetary disk. They imaged it in microwave which (I think) shows up dust. This is probably something like what our solar system looked like 4.5 billion years ago. The dark lanes in the disk are probably caused by planets forming and clearing their orbits - this is a picture of planets forming around another star! wowsers! Recent update here: http://www.almaobservatory.org/en/press-room/press-releases/962-alma-reveals-footprints-of-baby-planets-in-a-gas-disk
  4. The early history of our Solar system fascinates me too. What chaos and disorder there must have been. It would seem that there are a few pointers to this chaos which remain to this day. The present day positions of Jupiter and Saturn in relation to Uranus and Neptune as opposed to where their chemistry suggests they must have formed initially. The Fact that Uranus's axis of rotation is tilted something like 98 degrees (an entire planet got rolled over!!) The theoretical existence of 'planet 9' (no, not Pluto - the other planet 9) and if correct, the fact that it seems to have been ejected. It would be amazing if, in my lifetime NASA/ESA and others sent orbiting probes to Uranus and Neptune - I feel Jupiter and Saturn have had the lions share of the attention for the past decade or so.
  5. Caroline Crawford came to talk at our Astro Club a few years back about X-Ray Astronomy. It was one of the most thought provoking and engaging talks I've been to - she is an amazing communicator - well worth catching if you have the chance.
  6. I guess that New Horizons isn't heading towards where they are pointing the Subaru telescope. Pity, otherwise what a fantastic opportunity that would be! - the Planetary equivalent of buy one, get one free!
  7. I tried this out last night as I was packing away the scope. It's pretty intuitive, and seems to work okay. I'm looking forward to doing repeated observations to see how my sky changes over time. It was pretty clear last night with a Limiting Naked Eye Magnitude of around 5. Not bad considering that I'm in the middle of a town of roughly 47,000 people. The Orion Nebula looked spectacular, but I was sad not to be able to pick out some of the galaxies in Uma group, even with the moon out of the way. Might have to take the new scope out somewhere darker to give myself a treat though!
  8. I've just downloaded the app from google play. Seems to work okay on my HTC. I think that this is an important way that we as astronomers can help, and also see how light pollution increases (or hopefully decreases) as more street lights are converted to LED.
  9. I recently got a SW 200p. Suffice to say I have been practicing my collimation skills over the last week...... Looking forward to what it can do next year though - a big step up from my 4 and half inch newt.
  10. Lol, yeah, if I lived in Herefordshire I would have gone straight for a light bucket! :-)
  11. Bukko, interesting point about the diagonal. I'd also considered astrobaby's tube ring mod to alleviate the eyepiece contortions (sorry - can't post the link from my phone)
  12. Hello all, Thank you for all your advice. No offence taken. It's all grist for the mill! Many thanks for all the Dob advice, I had considered satisfying my aperture fever, but I'd feel cruel keeping a light bucket under Hertfordshire skies. I should have been a bit more specific in my original OP. I'm not currently interested in AP, and I don't think I will ever have the budget to do it justice in a proper sense, but I don't want to rule out dabbling in the future, say webcam shots of planetary/lunar targets. This is likely to be my last scope purchase for a decade (little one on the way) and so, I would like to future proof it to some extent. I know that there is no such thing as a good general scope - it's all horses for courses, but I'm looking for something which I can use as a springboard for my hobby for the foreseeable future (at least until my child gets into astronomy!) Eyepieces will be something I will collect over time, rather than spend my initial outlay on. Besides, there is always the second hand market for those, as well as an HEQ5, if I do get the AP bug. So, with regards the OP, are there any other largish upgrades I could consider? (telrad/rigel QF will be on the Xmas list at some point).
  13. P.S. No offence to the Dob Squad. I have considered getting a Dob and using the saving to upgrade the focuser too, but I'd rather have a scope with a mount.
  14. Hello, I would like some advice. I have resovled to buy a skywatcher 200p on an EQ5 mount for my next scope. Imagine my surprise when my wife asked me to consider getting a more expensive scope! For what I want the scope to do, there is not really a suitable alternative within my (now extended) budget. So instead I have considered upgrading the components. I've comtemplated getting the HEQ5 mount, but I'm not looking to get into AP, and I don't want my setup to be too heavy to lift. I have also considered rigging it with a GOTO, but again - I can get this at a later date - I'd rather develop my knowledge of the night sky. So.... I have resolved to upgrade the focuser. I am keen to get a two speed focuser, as this is, I suppose the main moving part (other than the mount) on my scope. As I have said, this will be for visual work. My Questions are these: For around £250. What is the consensus* on the best options available to me? What pitfalls do I need to be aware of when replacing my focuser?*Author accepts that obtaining a consensus on SGL is less likely than Elvis returning to earth on the back of a flying pig....
  15. HERTFORD ASTRONOMY GROUP HAS MOVED (AGAIN!) The Club is still based in Welwyn Garden City, but due to the ongoing popularity of the club we have moved back to the Panshanger Golf Course for 2015/16. Panshanger golf club, Old herns lane, WGC AL7 2ED Please check the club website for further info. http://www.skiesunlimited.co.uk/HAG/ We're a friendly bunch - it'd be good to see you there!
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