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Davesellars

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About Davesellars

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  1. Great! Don't mind a bit of dust. . Local (ish) as well.
  2. Just wondering if anyone has the Celestron CG5 or AVX (with the 2" legs) tripod spare not being used because you've put the mount on a pier etc... Condition not particularly important as long as it works.
  3. I used to live near there (although 22 years ago)... I can attest to how dark it is (well it certainly was...) It should be definitely be worth the trip!
  4. Well, it after my eldest daughter's birthday of 4 years. I'd been up pretty much 2 nights running making cake and stuff.. lots of cake for lots of children. I was thoroughly knackered and got in a couple of hours sleep early until 10:30pm. Slightly refreshed but still a bit "punch-drunk" after the day's activities my daughter was amazingly still up and awake and so I offered to show her the sky with her little dob as it had just about got dark. As the bedroom is North East facing we had a good view of Cygnus and this dense Milky Way region. I stuck in a 25mm Plossl and we scanned around for a while with my daughter. The little dob is a about perfect sitting on the floor it's just high enough for her to comfortable look through the eyepiece bending down to it. Ideally it wants to be ~ 10cm higher I'll have to experiment a bit. She had some fun looking through the eyepiece and seems to be getting the hang of it now although there weren't any real obvious objects to show her in this area of the sky, lots of stars are good. Once she was tucked up in bed and I'd refreshed it was past midnight and it was now properly dark. I did very briefly consider going out but decided that would not be a very sensible thing to do. It was so clear though! However, we have 3 nights where the forecast is giving clear nights coming so I just decided for a quick session with the 120ST. I had some eyepieces that I'd not used since purchasing since purchasing (17.3mm Delos & 7mm Pentax) so thought t give them a go and see how they do in a fast frac. First... I popped in the 28mm ES Maxvision. Great EP with this scope and seems almost perfectly corrected to the optics giving a 3.2 degree FOV with only 21x magnification it's perfect for scanning around taking in the MW. I then centred on the North American Nebula switched to the ES68 24mm so I could try out a couple of filters. I had the area completely dark so was decently dark adapted as have a black out draped over the window which was covering about 95% of any external light. This makes a massive difference to make out fainter stuff even though the limiting magnitude is approx 4.2 here. I tried the Astronomik OIII and the Explore Scientific HBeta. I tried also with the 32mm Baader Plossl and still nothing. The sky is far too light at 4.2 mag limiting but this is a tough nebula so I wasn't really expecting anything from this one. On to the Veil. This is considerably a bright object than the NaN, but still very easily washed out. The 24mm ES68 and the Astronomik OIII pulled out the Eastern Veil quite easily while the Western was a much more difficult object requiring some averted vision to make out the main nebulous region running through 52 Cyg. I have found this before though that the Eastern section (to me) always seems to be easier. However, the nebula was far from good viewing and amazing really to see the difference it makes having approx 1 magnitude more limiting at my normal observation site. There with the same scope I remember real structure to the nebula rather than an undefined grey area. Dark sky wins - Filters can show you stuff in LP which would be otherwise be impossible to see but don't expect much at all... Is definitely the mantra given and is very true. I popped in my Pentax 7mm which gave 85x - This was probably getting for the max seeing given the turbulence of air however the view was pretty much steady. Lovely points of light, colour and perfectly corrected. Still had perfect points of light right to the very edge. Once I'd set the eye-guard to the correct height this was a very comfortable eyepiece to use. Very impressed and I think this will get lots of use with all my scopes. The 17.3mm Delos was next. Again perfectly corrected with this scope (which is known for its field curvature). The next test will be with the 12" dob. This eyepiece really presented a wonderful view with 2 degrees FOV and 34x magnification. It seemed to be the sweet spot of contrast and power showing a huge amount of stars in the view scanning around the MW. I kept the Delos in for a bit and found a plethora of open clusters and then packed up since it was getting on and a school night. Save my energy and all... Hopefully tonight - back to galaxies and proper faint stuff with the dob!
  5. Nice report! The ISS is always wonderful to see if a little tricky to follow through a scope! You must be suffering with LP if you can only see Shellak/Sulafat with averted vision so I would certainly not expect to see M57 with the finder-scope. However, if you just plonk the scope dead centre between Shellak and Sulafat then with a reasonably low focal length eyepiece (say 20mm) you should see it in the field of view. It is quite small though so perhaps easy to miss if it's faint due to the LP. I don't know where you live in Lincolnshire (it'sa big place) but that county has some great dark sky around the wolds if you can get there with your scope or even with some binoculars.
  6. Another +1 for the 28mm 68 Maxvision. I've not used mine a huge amount but it provides a really nice view with a refractor and was very well corrected with my f/5 120ST. With my dob it shows some coma to be expected but the optics certainly seem exceptional for the price. I think if you have significant LP you're better off with the extra power rather than really low power such as in the 35+ focal length region to give you better contrast against the LP.
  7. Great report Dom! Please to see that "galaxy-hopping" worked out well for you. That's a great tip about going to bright(er) galaxies after tough edge of vision objects. All the Messier objects look outstandingly bright and easy afterwards I find. It just proves that training your eye to see really works and not just on the same night too - With practice and more sessions going for really faint objects, naturally the brighter objects you'll see more detail etc.
  8. I popped my head out of the window at 2am and it was wonderfully clear and just in time to see the ISS fly almost directly overhead. It was certainly still cloudy at midnight so yeah would have been frustrating if I wasn't busy doing other stuff and planning on a session! I've not really tried M13 naked eye and not sure what limiting magnitude would be required to see this.
  9. Would you be interested in splitting the AZ-4 head and tripod? I'm only really interested in the head if you could box this up and organise a courier (which looks like it would cost no more than £5.50 collected with MyHermes).
  10. 12" was a huge (and I mean huge) boost in what I could see going from an 8" SCT to a 12" dob. M42 / M43 showed pretty much like what John posted but with more colour and finer nebulosity. Going from 8" to 12" meant seeing spiral detail in M51 and I wouldn't say my sky is fantastic with lack of LP. Jupiter was truly splendid with very clear detail at 250x much better than my 8" was.
  11. Typically it's pouring down with rain... There's a slim possibility for early next week by the looks of it but it may well have faded by then. Still, worth a look!
  12. Weather forecast says NO!
  13. I used a 2" 22mm 70 degree eyepiece with the reducer in my C8. There was no vignetting. I believe as long as the field stop is less than the diameter of the visual back port (36mm - 38mm... can't remember exactly) then there will be no vignetting as far as I know.
  14. It would be pointless to set it up so early at the moment unless you're going to be doing some solar observation. What scope is it and where is it normally stored? Size and starting temperature are going to affect the amount of time required.
  15. Indeed. That comparison is no-where near imho to what it's like at the eyepiece given a good dark/transparent night. Last time I looked at M13 with my 12" is was more like the 18" example (but better) and resolved completely to the core. So much depends on your sky and the transparency at the time though. If weight/space is possibly an issue I'd go with the 12" as the most practical. It may be worth checking out Tring Astro some day to get an idea of the size of these and larger models.