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timwetherell

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About timwetherell

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    Somerset

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  1. Recently returned from many years in Australia and there are some fabulous objects in the southern sky. For me the pick of the bunch were eta carinae nebula, 47 Tucanae globular (finest in the sky IMO) and the swan nebula. though I'm encouraged to see that the latter will be visible from my new southern England location albeit only about 10° above the southern horizon!
  2. Thanks Mike, I was surprised to see any detail in the spot at all (don't recall ever doing so before) but there was a distinct lighter bit with a hint of a swirl in there
  3. Yes indeed gentlemen, It was magnificent last night! and looked to me like a string of white "pearls" following the red spot which to my eyes was actually red for once This was my sketch around midnight using a 7" refractor. I was dog tired but couldn't go to be without sketching it!
  4. Yes, it was amazing to see an asteroid moving before my very eyes
  5. On my F7 refractor, my 1.25" prism is just a hair better than my 2" dielectric diagonal on planets and other contrast critical targets. maybe 1% better. Enough that I would use it for serious observation of Jupiter but not enough that I would bother changing it most of the time. Can't say I've noticed any detrimental effects of CA or SA introduced by the prism though I'm generally only using very narrow field eyepieces which may mostly see "on axis" rays
  6. For sure, it won't take itself out But at the end of the day amateur astronomy is a fun hobby not a "duty". To some moving a big scope to a dark site is rewarding - and more power to em! But for others work and family pressures, physical fitness and general "life exhaustion" may mean a smaller instrument will be used more often. I used to have a very large refractor and it was an awesome instrument but to be completely honest I used it lass than the smaller scope I had before, because it took so much time and effort to set up. A "quick look" at anything was out of the question. I'm not meaning to put down large portable scopes in any way, they're a great choice for some people and a big scope at a dark site will always give far better views than a small one at a mediocre site. But I think it's horses for courses and convenience is an important factor in choosing the right telescope for each individual. If resources allow, a big portable and a small grab and go are probably a winning combination!
  7. A friend of mine has a 24" newtonian in a permanent observatory and it's a fabulous instrument . But he lives at a dark site with lost of land. If he had to pack it down into the back of a truck and drive twenty miles to set it up in a damp field, I suspect it would have quite a few cobwebs on it by now Another thing to consider is field of view. With a 31 Nagler, my 7" yields just a hair over 2° and looking back through the sketches in my notebooks, that's my most used eyepiece on deep sky stuff. A 24" f4 Newtonian can only manage a 1° Fov, and a 16" SCT is going to be closer to half a degree. If you could balance it, that 28" Websrer with a 6" apo finder would be an awesome do-all combination! Though balancing the cheque book afterwards may not be so easy
  8. Depending on your circumstances, it may be worth setting aside a small proportion of your budget for an observatory of some description to house these instruments in. Rapid and easy deployment of a telescope greatly increases one's opportunities to observe. In the UK where our weather seems to change every few minutes, it's enabled me to catch windows of clarity I would have otherwise have missed. Also if you're getting into the realm of really big Newtonians, it would be nice to have the scope in more or less permanent thermal equilibrium with the environment.
  9. Wow, that is close! interesting it was in Canes Venatici too. Canes Venatici is my constellation of the moment, mostly because after years of struggle I've finally (with the help of youtube) discovered how to pronounce it
  10. Tracking near earth asteroid 2014JO25 over Exmoor last night. Hard to imagine that this tiny spot of light drifting gently across the sky is same kind of object that blasted the dinosaurs off the face of the earth 66 million years ago! image is LR reversed due to the diagonal in my refractor
  11. There's been a lot of white ovals lately. Great sketch Mike, and beautiful calligraphy
  12. You can definitely see the Andromeda galaxy with a 60mm but it will look rather different to how one might expect - just a little fussy ball which is actually the nucleus of the galaxy. the larger arms giving it the oval shape in photos are dimmer and require dark skies and a wide field of view to see well. You'll be able to see M13 (globular cluster in Hercules) and M57 (ring nebula) too. Probably the best targets for a 60mm refractor are the moon and double stars, it should give great views of many brighter doubles
  13. SOLD
  14. Televue Ethos 13mm eyepiece in "as new" condition with all the original boxes, caps and stuff. Asking £375 including UK shipping and insurance