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Swithin StCleeve

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About Swithin StCleeve

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  1. When we discuss our Messier lists, are we talking about just using maps and star-hopping, or are people with 'go-to' mounts involved too? I have a Messier list, but they've all been found by me through star-hopping. If I see something through someone else's go-to mount, it doesn't go on my list. Because I haven't hunted it out and found it. Or does it simply matter that you've clapped eyes on it?
  2. Lovely post. This is what astronomy is about, for me. I haven't seen Mercury since the 2006 solar eclipse, I'm ashamed to say. Except for its silhouette in transit, a few years ago.
  3. I like your style! It did occur to me, at Elan, when I was looking at the Milky Way overhead..... why bother looking for faint fuzzies when our very own galaxy is above me so distinct and wonderful!
  4. I didn't want to correct him, as I'm the world's worst for miss-reading posts! But yes, I'm not much into phone apps for astronomy. When we have observing sessions at our society there's people there with their phones in the air, trying to recognise constellations, and I often think it's not as good a way at remembering them as a map, where you have to keep shape in your head, if you know what I mean. And recognising the constellations is one of the pleasures of astronomy, for me. The Pleiades rising in the early hours of a late summer's night, the first glimpse of Sirius... somehow an app telling you it's Sirius isn't as 'romantic' as a map. That said, people who embrace and conquer technology will undoubtedly see more, and take better photos that I ever will!
  5. I did a lot of observing in my parent's garden in the 90's, and had a hiatus for a while when I moved to the city. About three years ago I bought a little caravan, and when I got out under dark skies again I realised there were great portions of the sky I knew well, and others, which were shielded by buildings where my parents lived, that I didn't know at all! I can easily find M81 & M82 straight away in 10X50's, skies permitting, but if you asked me where the Beehive Cluster is, even now, I'd have to think twice! I was lucky enough to have three clear nights in the Elan Valley dark sky site recently, and the first night I didn't even get the scope out! This is a three second shot with a DSLR, 50mm lens I thing. You can pisk out M31 and M33 easily. I've only ever seen M33 with the naked eye once before, in Wiltshire, in the 90's, after a rainfall.
  6. Nah, I'm a 'maps not apps' kind of observer
  7. Does anyone else do this? You get to a dark sky and do a binocular scan to see 'interesting stuff'. I used to draw up a list of stuff, and go by maps, but lately, I've gotten to the habit of aimlessly wandering the skies. The trouble is, like with M50, you see something, and don't know its name.
  8. M50! That explains why I couldn't find in in this... Which has been my 'go to' book for Messier objects. But M50 isn't in there! Thank you so much! (I've googled an image of M50 and you can see the bright red star by the 'double' stars, that are even just about visible in my crap photo).
  9. I was observing last night, and I did a binocular scan of the area above and to the left of Sirius. I saw a small cluster, and took a photo just using my DSLR attached to my 8" mirror Skywatcher. Today, I started looking in books, thinking it must be an M number, but I'm either looking in the wrong books or loosing my mind. I can't find it. My trusty old Cambridge Deep sky Atlas isn't coming through this time. Here it is, there's a bright red star, and a triangle shape by it quite noticeable. It looks to be quite a loose open cluster. About two and a half field of views in 10x50 bins north west of Sirius. But what is it?
  10. Thanks. I got some shots last night and I've been trying to get my head around which stars are which. If he's taken that with a refractor then I'll assume it's 'as seen'. I'm trying to label the 'double star' near to the Comet.
  11. I'm sorry, I don't know what those numbers mean. I was hoping to find out if the image was a mirrored image or not.
  12. If it is due to the 14 min thing, ts pretty cool in itself, because it therefore shows the path of the comet! Was that taken through a reflecting telescope? (is East on the right?)
  13. Could the elongation be due to the fact it'd have moved quite a bit in 14 mins? I was watching it last night, and was amazed how far it'd moved in the hour and a bit I was observing.
  14. Here's a photo I took Monday night. The really really bright bit, just between the small spire and the twigs, is the Scutum Star Cloud then.
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