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brianb

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Everything posted by brianb

  1. If you're in England, and it's shining onto your land, and you consider it a nuisance, you should be able to have the Council fit a shield. Doesn't stop the waste of energy, though. Incidentally the correct value seems to be that, worldwide, one quarter of all the electricity generated is used to power lighting that no-one is using. That's more contribution to carbon dioxide emissions than all the motor vehicles and the aviation industry put together.
  2. Yes. Registax has a particularly useful "predictive tracking" function (enable it in the "Tracking Settings" tab of the "Align" page, you should have both "Track Object" and "Predict Track" checked).
  3. Degrees is the setting of the axis, which changes constantly when tracking an object. RA is constant when tracking a star. Don't know why they didn't show the axis position as hour angle but then I didn't write the software ....
  4. I would have thought that the best way to make Spaghetti Junction visible from space would be to turn the lights out. It would then stand out as a black spot in the orange barf glow that fills the rest of the English Midlands.
  5. It's hardly an issue for astronomy as everything is effectively at infinity. Independent focusing is however a serious handicap for birdwatching etc. The better modern binoculars have an internal focusing mechanism which doesn't have that "bendy bar", this is the best of both worlds - no sag, positive centre focusing and adjustment for variation of focus between the eyes.
  6. All this (supposedly) happened in a very very short period after the "Big Bang" when the universe expanded from the Plank dimension (~10^-35 m) to the size of a grapefruit (~0.1m). During this expansion the laws of physics were not the same as they are now, there was only one force rather than the four we are familiar with ("strong" and "weak" nuclear forces, electromagnetism & gravity) and it really doesn't help to think in terms of "the speed of light" as there was no light! It makes more sense to think of four of the 10 or 11 dimensions envisaged by "string theory" suddenlty unravelling and becoming the four dimensional space-time we're accustomed to. But inflation itself is a "kludge", really it can't be experimented on, it's just a convenient explanation as to why the universe is as lumpy as we find it. Maybe one day we'll have a better explanation.
  7. I can highly reccomend "Sky & Telescope's Pocket Sky Atlas" (ISBN 1-931559-31-7) which is not laminated, however it's very good quality water resistant paper (not waterproof!) & the small size makes it easy to handle outside in a breeze. Loads of deep sky objects & stars down to mag. 7.6 making it very useful for star hopping with binoculars or finder scope.
  8. Hmmm ... the power connector isn't great, but gently spreading the pin fixes the problem more or less permanently. A good tip is to wrap the cord round the right hand arm of the fork so that the friction between fork & cable takes the strain off the connector. Remember to turn cord wrap off in the setup menu, too - the cordwrap function does exactly what it says on the tin, not at all helpful!I bought the CPC1100 recently - it was the biggest scope I could manage. I transport the tripod & mount/tube assembly seperately, it's reasonably manageable that way (for a 56 year old who isn't huge or strong), the carrying handle on the right hand arm & recess under the left hand arm make it a cinch compared with e.g. the Meade LX200 10" which weighs almost exactly the same. The CPC800 has got to be easier, less weight & less bulk (the tripod is no problem), it must be a reasonable proposition for any adult without a serious back condition. But I wouldn't try to move it in one piece, all the same. A good hint for anyone with one of these scopes - get a crosshair eyepiece (mine is 12mm i.e. quite high power), when aligning stars make the star drift right through the crosshair & press "align" as it does so - doing this reasonably carefully & using three well spread out stars I'm able to get "goto" accuracy into the middle part of a x187 eyepiece everywhere in the sky for the whole night. Much better than the 8" LX90 I used to use.
  9. Did you try eBay, I bought some from a UK eBay seller last year.
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