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markallan

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  • Content Count

    19
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16 Good

About markallan

  • Rank
    Nebula

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Cycling, Squash, Climbing, Walking, Astronomy, Research
  • Location
    North East England
  1. Hi all, Looking for some quick ideas for this evening (hopefully the clear forecast is correct) - dark-spots near Newcastle within driving distance? Mark
  2. Looks good! (and a lot cheaper than my original option, which is great on a postgrad budget!)
  3. Apologies - I have a SW Explorer 150p (on an EQ3-2)
  4. Hi all, I'm having great difficulty getting used to aligning my scope and star hopping with the supplied 6 x 30 finder scope, and when I was out the other evening, my friend brought his scope, which had a fairly basic red-dot finder attached, which I had a look through and found that it was tonnes easier to use! I guess my main problem is that everything is counter-intuitive when moving the scope around whilst looking through the finder - which means I spend more time finding the object than gazing at it! So I'm thinking of getting a red-dot finder to attach to the scope (Baader 40mm Super Sky Surfer V), which would make it a lot easier for me to find objects in the sky and align my scope. My question is this: Can I have both the finder scope and the red-dot finder attached at the same time, as I would like to learn how to use the finder scope more efficiently in time, but I feel the red-dot finder would speed up the initial targeting? Thanks, Mark
  5. My favourite iOS astro apps: SkySafari 4 Pro Scope Nights Stellarium ISS Spotter Moon HD NASA
  6. So last night we (myself, and a few others from University) took my Skywatcher 150p and a friend's 130p to Druridge Bay - to those familiar with the area, we drove through Cresswell and all the way up to the end of the road and parked up just off the turning circle. I couldn't believe how dark it was, and how much I could see! Jupiter was looking beautiful again, and I also managed to have a gaze at the Orion Nebula and both M82 and M81... took me a while to find them but they were utterly amazing to look at once I did! Tried to shoot Jupiter afocally (my first image, so don't expect miracles) and got the photo below - doesn't do the view any justice at all, but I'm happy you can make out the bands! To anyone in the Tyne & Wear/ Northumberland area, I thoroughly recommend this spot as a dark site. Having never been at night before, I was stunned last night and intend on going back as often as possible. Mark
  7. Hi Brenda, I'm quite interested in coming along to the SAS meetings (mainly to pick everyone's brains)... where can I find details about dates/times etc.? And is it okay to just turn up or should I email/call ahead?
  8. Welcome to SGL from a fellow Newbie and North Easterner! If the forecast is correct, it looks like we may get some clear skies this evening - There's a few of us taking a couple of scopes for some stargazing along the Northumberland coast...
  9. Thanks all! Saturn is my next target... setting my alarm could be painful, but I'm sure it'll be worth it! Though looking at the forecasts, I can't imagine it'll be any time soon!
  10. So tonight was the first clear skies I have had since I got my very first scope (Skywatcher Explorer 150P) and wow!! Jupiter was breathtaking! I've seen it through binoculars, but tonight through the scope was something really quite spectacular. At first, I had the 25mm lens on and I was so happy to have found it, and I could see the moons, so I centered it and swapped the eyepiece for the 10mm, re-focused and the colours became clear with the two large bands... then I added the 2X Barlow and was taken away! It moved across my eyepiece with so much detail, and my polar alignment must have been pretty good as I was chasing it nicely with small adjustments to the RA! I've read various posts from peoples first views and there are quite a range, so I'm not sure what I had set myself up for, but I couldn't be happier! I took some pictures afocally, but they really don't do the view any justice so this one will just have to remain a lovely little memory for myself! In fact, these words don't really do it justice! It was special, and I'm sure it will be something that sticks with me for a long time. I've been filled with a burning desire for more and I'm chomping at the bit for some more nights like this! Looking forward to getting to know my way around the sky! Mark
  11. Good call! Just bought this (most I've ever spent on an App!). Just downloaded this - looks pretty good! Actually, it is saying 'Clear' right now... off I go!
  12. Hi, Does anybody know if the steel tripod for the EQ 5... ...will allow an EQ 3-2 mount to be attached? My budget doesn't quite stretch to upgrading to the full EQ/HEQ 5 system, but I would like to increase the stability of the EQ 3-2 that I'm currently using. Any other stabilisation suggestions are more-than welcome Cheers, Mark
  13. I've never noticed that wedge shape on the moon before... must be the famous pacman crater I've heard so much about In all seriousness though - great image! I hope I can get similarly great images when I start taking photos! Well done Szeth!
  14. Hi, Welcome to SGL - there are some great people with a LOT of knowledge... I'm a newbie myself. As a first scope, I got the SW 150P (EQ3-2)... which from the one night of clears skies I've had so far, was brilliant! I share an office with somebody who has the 130 (and he isn't on SGL!), and he loves it, and would strongly recommend it as a first scope. Take a look around the posts on here, as there are loads of example images and user experiences for a whole host of scopes (and other things). Have fun!
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