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Roy Challen

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Everything posted by Roy Challen

  1. Amazing! A tiny spot of light moving through space beats anything on Netflix/Amazon/TV!
  2. I can't see what scope you have, but regardless of that, you will definitely need a filter of some kind. There are several types ranging from very cheap to very expensive. The cheapest is solar film. It looks like foil and shows the sun in white light. You can see sunspots and their surroundings with this. Glass filters that fit over the objective also show the sun in white light although they may show it as yellow/orange. Herschel wedges used in refractors, fit into the focuser. They're also white light, but can be used with filters to improve contrast. Often, the sun will look green. The most expensive are hydrogen alpha filters. These are not the same as imaging filters and block all wavelengths except the 656.28nm wavelength. This allows you to see the surface of the sun (chromosphere) or prominences. If that's what you want to look at, then you will need a hydrogen alpha scope, or a quark (a type of eyepiece that allows solar viewing). Which ever you choose, exercise extreme caution when viewing the sun.
  3. My Skylight on Vixen Polaris in AZ mode. Had a quick look at the moon last night before everything dewed over. Moon pic is cropped but unprocessed any further. Quick question: in many moon pics, there always seems to be more CA than the observer reports seeing in the eyepiece. Is this from the camera?
  4. Regardless of which scope is 'better', that is one lovely setup Stu. I would be happy with either, or indeed, both!
  5. Nice report, Stu. With a fat redundancy payment heading my way soon, I'm hoping the minister of finance will approve funding towards either a 60 or 76 mm Tak (or at least, a similar apo). These things are not easy to buy where I'll be going...
  6. Mark is correct, the early Tal 1 has 32mm focuser. I recently gave mine away and recall that 1.25" eyepieces loosely fit, as Mark said you could wrap some tape to improve the fit. However, most modern EPs won't reach focus this way. You'll need to move the primary mirror up the tube by about 25-30mm. There are threads that show how to do this. Alternatively, you could try and source the specific barlow that came with these scopes. It's a decent unit, and for me at least, gave great views of Jupiter and Saturn last year. BTW, the 25mm that also came with these scopes is also worth seeking out, better than the 15mm IMO
  7. Nice report, Steve. I really need to start using my bins more.
  8. Nice one, Nigella. I got my first session of the year in this morning, seeing was poor but just glad to see the sun at all tbh
  9. I fully understand, and agree with, everything posted above. Yet, I had one session in 2021 that had the best seeing I've ever experienced in this country. Looking at the Moon with my Tal 100 achro, I used a 6mm plus x2.25 barlow, giving x375. If I'd had higher mags at my disposal, I would have used them. I do understand that I didn't see anything extra that half the magnification would've shown, but what I did see was bigger, therefore easier on the eye. I didn't have floaters (which is unusual for me) and the image was acceptably bright. My conclusion is that maximum magnification is as much dependent on seeing conditions as it is on optical theory and quality. It may also be dependent on the lunar phase - somewhere halfway between new and full seems to be best.
  10. 46, had more observing sessions this year than any year since 2012, due mainly to buying a solar scope. I was thinking that I got into this hobby in my twenties. Where are all the other 20 somethings or teenagers trying to get into astronomy? Is it really an older persons hobby?
  11. +1 for the Vixen Polaris! It's an oldie but a goodie!
  12. I had a Prinz 660 with the mount and tripod (Prinz is now a Skylight). The mount was rubbish, but the legs are actually pretty good. I teamed them up with a Skytee 2 and Berlebach tray, that was a great combo, should've kept it.
  13. I have mounted my 76mm f/16.4 Skylight on an EQ3-2, personally I don't think it was adequate, took in the region of 4-5 secs vibration damping time. Obviously, it's slightly larger than a 60mm, but the weight and length aren't much more. Good luck with your project though.
  14. Hi

    I have a Tal 1 reflector on its equatorial mount. It's a good quality beginner scope, loads of info on this site about them. Aperture is 110mm f/l is 800mm. It comes with two eyepieces and a barlow. It is well collimated as far as I can tell, the views of Jupiter are certainly as good as my Tal 100 refractor.

    I acquired it for nothing, so you can have it for nothing too. But you'll have to collect from Watford, Herts.

    If you're not interested in coming that far, no problem, I understand, and good luck in your search. If you are interested, I can email you some photos before you make the journey.




  15. Well, seeing as you asked, and I haven't posted anything for a while, here's my Skylight on a Skytee 2. This was in 2016 when I just took delivery of the scope. Converted from a Prinz 660 bought from you!
  16. I have an early non-motorised Tal 1 mount. It definitely doesn't have ball bearings in the RA axis, although the MT1 may well do. Even so, the mounts are similar in size, and although well made for what they cost, I think 10kg is a bit optimistic, certainly my mount would not support 10kg - it barely supports 5kg. Having said that, you already have the mount, so why not try it and let us know. AndyH hasn't been on here for a couple of years, as far as I know.
  17. The TAL 1 mount, either manual or motorised, is designed for a 4" telescope that weighs no more than 5kg. Fitting an 8" scope that weighs more than double that won't help its tracking accuracy at all. Also, there are no actual bearings in these mounts, only bushings. So, the answer to your question is: no, it won't support/track the weight correctly.
  18. Fantastic report, John. Certainly brings back memories.
  19. I think it makes a big difference. I had a similar experience to @John, except I was observing from about 2000m above sea level. Although I have no other experience to compare, the air quality was amazing, so so clear. Was quite cold though, even in early May. Also, no flight paths anywhere nearby, and absolutely zero light pollution. Although I love my solar and planetary, this is still my Number One astro experience. Ever.
  20. Yes, still loads to see today, although the seeing isn't great in Watford at the mo (I wouldn't expect it to be at 3pm). Completely cloudless at the mo, hope it stays that way later!
  21. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The Mak has a narrow field of view, but can achieve higher magnification more easily than the Newtonian. It will also be more forgiving of lower quality eyepieces. You may also need a dew shield. The Newtonian has a wider field of view, but being a 'fast' scope -f/4.4 means it's fast - low quality eyepieces will produce a poorer image. Having said that, if it were my money, I'd go for the Newt and buy some better eyepieces later down the line.
  22. To be fair to the writer of the article, it was probably well researched and written. Then the editor got their hands on it.
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