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About FenlandPaul

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Cambridgeshire, UK
  1. FenlandPaul

    Eastern Veil without filter

    Finally got round to putting this thread into action last night with my little Altair Astro 70ed. The Eastern veil was very clear using with a 31N and OIII although the western needed a bit of patience to distinguish it from 52’s glare. What was really pleasing was, without the OIII, the western section remained visible, a fainter but still very discernible tight arc. I really hadn’t expected it to be visible unfiltered in a little frac with my so-so skies (Milky Way clear with Cygnus rift often visible when overhead). So came away with a renewed respect for my location and the little travel frac.
  2. I’ve written before about the challenges of reliably getting hold of Sky & Telescope in the U.K. and people have kindly provided advice. Earlier this year I went back to a full paper and digital subscription, having done that before and given up. Initially the mag arrived each month within a reasonable time of the digital mag becoming available, but after a couple of months the arrival of the paper mag became sporadic to say the least. In fairness to the publishers, each time I called to complain, they extended my subscription for at least another month. But it’s still hopelessly unreliable. I love the magazine - nothing in the U.K. consistently comes close in my opinion, although I still enjoy AN (other threads notwithstanding!) and S@N. So my question to anyone who is receiving the paper copy reliably each month: how did you do it?? Thanks in advance Paul PS I do still get the digital copy but I find the app that’s needed to be infuriatingly slow and unreliable when not connected to WiFi.
  3. Sounds like an amazing session, Alan. After far too many weeks of no observing due to work commitments, it’s inspired me to get out again. The NV appears to be an incredible bit of kit.
  4. FenlandPaul

    Veil Nebula - First time ever

    awesome stuff Alan. The Veil is one of those gifts that keeps giving. Your excitement mirrors the first time I saw it; I was blown away and I still get a tingle just thinking about seeing that smokey wisp passing through 52.
  5. FenlandPaul

    Coronado PST question

    Agree with everything said above. I have a somewhat underused PST and I too was initially disappointed, but the more frequently I use it the more I seem to be able to tease out. I tend to be able to tune it for surface detail or prominences, but rarely both at the same time. A dark cloth over the head helps enormously. But the biggest success factor is patience and perseverance!! Paul
  6. Wow, that’s an amazingly beautiful scope. It’ll make someone very happy indeed.
  7. FenlandPaul

    First session with my 300 Flexi dob

    Great first light report, Paul. A 12” dob makes a very faithful companion. Heart and head can agree at that sort of aperture!! Hope you have many happy years with it and look forward to reading more reports. Paul
  8. FenlandPaul

    Messier 33

    Great sketch - exactly how it appears in a small scope. It’s easy to see why it gets washed out so easily by dodgy skies.
  9. FenlandPaul

    B312,B92 B93 M24 SH2-35

    @Stu Oh wow you’ve just changed my life! I had no idea about that red tint feature in iOS - genius!! Thank you so much!!!
  10. FenlandPaul

    The Universe in a box....

    Really interesting report, Stu, and it sounds like that scope has a lot of potential. I’ve been eyeing up some of the ultra portables myself (not in a rush) so very interested to see how you get on. thanks for taking the time to share it. Paul
  11. FenlandPaul

    Have you ever lost your "motivation"

    Hi Victor yes - definitely been in that situation, many times and over and over again. The fact for a lot of people is that life is complicated - for me it’s family, a full-on job that often extends from very early morning to late at night, and then also a bit of laziness as well! This spring and summer we had the longest spell of clear skies I can remember - which coincided with me hurting my back, which impacted my sleep, which went my motivation sent through the floor and I didn’t get to observe at all . So it’s tempting at times to think that my scopes (largest and favourite is a 12” dob) don’t get the use they deserve. Sometimes they get used multiple times a week and sometimes they don’t get used for a few months. But when I do get to use them, it’s always worth the effort and I’m always very glad I have them - at least as an option. For that reason I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of them. I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that their use will be erratic - and that’s ok. The pure joy I get when I do use them is totally worth it. Could I downsize? Sure, but fundamentally I don’t think it would benefit me. It takes less time to get the dob out than it does to set up my little frac! And the oneness you feel with a dob has been learned over years - I wouldn’t want to relearn that with a new scope, because it would probably be to the detriment of my sessions. So in short, don’t feel bad. I think it’s normal. It’s a hobby and it’s supposed to be fun - you don’t need to feel guilty or condemned when you don’t use your scope and you can be free to enjoy it when you do!! Paul
  12. FenlandPaul

    Hi from East Anglia

    Welcome to SGL from another Fen dweller (about 8 miles north west of Cambridge). nice skies when they’re clear!! Paul
  13. FenlandPaul

    18" going Arp in Andromeda and Aries

    Great report, Stephan. I’ve never really gone after the tight Arp groups but I don’t know why - whenever I see multiple galaxies in one field of view I’m always stunned. I think Arps might make an interesting next project.
  14. FenlandPaul

    Hi from Cambridgeshire

    Welcome to SGL, Jon! There are astronomy societies / clubs in St Neots, Papworth, Cambridge and Peterborough. The Widescreen Centre based in Sutton near Ely also holds reasonably regular observing evenings if you get on their mailing list.
  15. FenlandPaul

    Rural France 15x70s report +21p spotted!

    Great stuff. Sounds like quite a haul you’ve had already!. I agree with @Special K that it’s worth taking a look down south - Scorpius, the southern part of Sagittarius etc, because those extra few degrees of southerly declination get you so much compared to what we get in the U.K. I’m in the Charente in a week’s time under lovely dark skies and, apart from some lazy tours of the Milky Way and Veil etc, it’ll be down south that I spend most time. Paul

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