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andymac1981

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About andymac1981

  • Rank
    Nebula

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  • Location
    Newtownards
  1. So 2014 is now well upon us and to help motivate myself I have decided to make a public list of the things I plan to try and observe during the coming year. As i progress I will try my best to keep this list updated wth any I have managed to observe and others that I come across that I plan to observe.If any one has any sugestions for a newbie or something they feel may be a challenge then leave a comment for me! I will try to keep at least 5 active on here at any one time and any I manage to observe I will leave up but stroke off. 1. To observe M42 The Orion Nebula (observed 4th March 2014) 2. To observe Saturn 3. To observe Mars 4. To observe Andromeda 5. To observe M1 The Crab Nebula 6. To see the Northern Lights 7. To get to darker skies away from the streetlights 8. To camp in the summer with a few of my like minded friends and spend the night observing 9. To split a double/multiple star system
  2. I have a 400d that doesn't have LV but I'd imagine it's the camera going to sleep? Try extending the time it stays awake! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. I have always had a keen intrested in all things space for as long as I can remember and although I would read lots of articles online, in magazines and in books I never really thought about getting out there and observing the night sky with my own 2 eyes. Thi was to change when on Chrismas day 2013 I unwrapped a gift from my mum which was a Skywatcher Mecury 707. I was really chuffed and couldn't wait to get out with it into the back garden, Naively I hadn't done much reading up on the observation front. So a few nights after Christmas I lifted out the telescope into the back garden set it up and began scanning the skies! I used the spotter scope and got the objects aligned perfectly in the centre to find I couldn't see them in the main telescope. At this stage all I could find was the moon. After a while gazing at the moon I gave up and went inside. I didnt't think to much about the telescope for a while and it sat in the cupboard unused for a couple of weeks. On the 9th January 2014 Stargazing live came to town and I decided to take my self along as it was not far from me. I went to the event with a friend who is also quite interested to see if I could get some tips. When we arrived there was a dark area set up within the museum where it was beinf held and several people had brought along their own telescope and set up in this area. We queued for one of the telescopes that was showing Jupiter. This is where I was bitten by the bug. Seeing Jupiter and its 4 biggest moons was definately a wow moment for me and I came away that night quite excited. The next day I got the telescope out and made sure the finder scope was aligned properly for that nights viewing! As darkness fell I was both eager and determined to get out and find Jupiter in my own telescope. After a bit of fiddling about there is was I had found it! It may seem silly to some of the more accomplished members of the forum but I felt a real sense of achievement that night. After this in the following nights I tried a few other objects to no avail. In the couple of months that followed I kept going back to Jupiter and the moon when I could view it and that was the height of my viewing for a time. Around the middle of February I bought the book "Turn Left At Orion" and during the neverending cloudy nights I got down to reasearching. I picked out a selection of objects I would like to see and intend on working my way through them. I late february I was offered a Tasco Galaxsee reflector for £40. I read a few mixed reviews and peoples opinions and decided with my tight budget and having to make do with whatever I can get my hands on I bought it primarily for the mount as it was on an EQ1 mount. At the beginning of March as the weather started to break I jumped at the chance to get back out there. I decided to be a bit more adventurous and to see more than just Jupiter, my aim would be M42 The Orion Nebula. I was amazed, I set the scope out and let it cool for 20 mins then located the area with the finder scope, looked in the eye piece and brought it into focus and there is was! Another WOW moment and more sense of achievement ( can't imagine what I will bt like when I find something really special). At this point is when I found one of the street lights annoying, the way I had to position the telescope everytime I looked in the EP i was getting a real glare from the streetlight behind me. That said it didn't take away the magic of the moment. So that is my story so far and will hopefully lead on from here. I hope this blog can be of use to other beginners and they may not make the same mistakes I have made when starting out. For now I hope the clear skies last and I can get out into the back garden more and be a bit more adventurous with what I am trying to find in the night sky. Andy
  4. Hello Everyone!!! Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog. I intend this blog to run like a diary for all things astronomy in my life and will hopefully be able to keep it updated quite regular. I will start with this post and introduce myself along with some details of my equipment and my location (which is bathed in light polution). So if you didn't get it already my name is Andy and I live in a small town in newtownards thich is about 10 miles South East of Belfast (I'll expand more on my location later). I have 2 children both very young who take up a large amout of both my time and money so I'll have to hold off on some of the more expensive gear until I manage to get them out working and bringing some money in! So onto my location. I live just on the outskirts of Newtownards in a reasonable sized housing estate, my back garden runs round the side of the house and provides reasonable views of the Southern and Eastern skies although the Eastern sky gets blocked by my house at a point. The view of each of these skies is over the country side. When standing in the prime spot of the garden for observing I am surrounded by 4 street lights in close proximity which isn't ideal. So this is me and my surroundings I hope you enjoy the blog! Andy
  5. Hi MountainMoon. I'm very new to the hobby myself and still trying to find my feet. There is a lot of helpful info on the forum that has been of benefit to me. As mentioned turn left at Orion is a great book and has helped my to learn the sky along with an app on my phone. I have also found the star charts at the link below rather helpful and I plan to take the advise and download stellarium once I get a chance. http://www.skymaps.com/skymaps/tesmn1403.pdf
  6. I've been up the mournes a few times and it's quite breath taking without the Northern Lights so I would think it would be something special. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. Plus one on this. I have had a telescope for around 3 months now and this has really helped me to learn the sky. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. andymac1981

    new here

    Hi Craig. I agree with others just get out there! Although it may be a bit far but Galloway forest park has an official dark sky site. Due to circumstances I just use my back garden ya present which is surrounded by street lights but on a good night the seeing isn't bad. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Raining in Northern Ireland and really cold. I'm nearly getting used to it! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. The first time I seen Jupiter a few months ago I had that wow factor. I called my wife out and showed it to her and explained that you could see 4 of it's biggest moons around it! Needless to say she didn't share my excitement I the reply was "is that it!" Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. The first time I seen Jupiter a few months ago I had that wow factor. I called my wife out and showed it to her and explained that you could see 4 of it's biggest moons around it! Needless to say she didn't share my excitement I the reply was "is that it!" Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. plus one on this. I also can't wait to catch a glimpse if Saturn when it is up earlier at night. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Was reported in a small village about 10 miles south of me but all I got was bright orange skies as well. Unfortunately I couldn't de-camp to a less LP area as wife was at work and kids were in bed. Though I did consider waking them. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Hi batt it took a few Coates to get it red as it started off pinkish so I just kept applying until it was red. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Yea Les need must when cash is short and I'm scraping every penny! Fatrick looks like you could beat my cost and I thought I was doing well! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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