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Posts posted by TheMightyKong

  1. Hi everybody,

    I'm back in the UK now, I had a great time in Oz and at the Queensland astrofest. We hired a campervan in the end for the trip up from Brisbane. By the time we reached the campsite at Duckadang on the 22nd, all events had already finished, had to stop for dinner in a rural aussie pub before reaching the camp. At astrofest had fun getting a tour of the southern skies guided by some locals. Thanks especially to (?)kevin who spent quite a bit of time showing us objects through his 16in dob, the southern showpiece globs were breathtaking! Thought 47 Tuc was better looking, though smaller+more compact than Omega centauri, though through a 16incher in rural skies both were pretty special!! Also saw amongst others, an edge on spiral in Pavo, more globs, the Eagle neb, The Swan neb, a dark neb who's name i can't remember now - Barnard-somethingorother, M11, and the magellanic clouds. Both were obvious naked eye direct vision - and big! easily saw structure within each through my binoculars, the tarantula neb was most obvious in the LMC and in the SMC saw what were either 2 nebulae or clusters at one end - have to look those up. Only wish we could have got there a bit earlier in the day!

    Interestingly quite a few people said the skies weren't as good as usual due to smoke from farmers bush burning - still the skies were much better than I'm usually used to outside of starparties. The best skies I saw during my holiday however was at a dinner under the stars at the Yulara resort near Uluru, in the middle of the outback. The Rock itself is something spectacular and it really does change colour at sunset and sunrise grey/blue, brown orange, sort of luminous red... That was VERY special - never seen sooo many dark nebulae so obviously naked eye, or the milky way so bright. I know now why they call it the Coal sack nebula - like a large irreg black hole in the milky way next to Crux. There was even an astronomer at the resort who gave as a talk after dinner, turned the lights down and had set up a c8, a small refractor and a pair of 20x60 bins for us to look through. progress.gif

    Bring on Kelling Heath!!

  2. Hi

    I wear glasses and have looked thru someone elses 11mm t6 nagler (has the same e.r.) I found they have too little eye relief for me. Of the three you mentioned the other two have plenty and imho would be better suited. I have a pentax 5mm XW which also has 20mm e.r, a big eyelens but is a bit more expensive. Good luck with your choice.

  3. Does anyone make use of Carl Zeiss optics?

    No, Carl Zeiss sadly closed their amateur astronomy dept in the nineties, there are no scopes using zeiss optics being produced. Baader Planetarium bought some of the zeiss dept and their highly regarded Mark V binoviewer is based on a zeiss binoviewer. Zeiss also released a run of ortho eyepieces in the 1997 and again just now. They also released an updated version of their 15x60 porro binocular in the late nineties that is very highly regarded. I'm pretty sure that Synta use the Schott glass and grind the lenses themselves.

  4. Ha! that was a good idea! Should've tried the sandwich board myself... Yes WOLAS's big attraction is the observing site, though it's privately owned so you can only go there on set dates, usually one or two friday and saturday nights a month. It does seem quite a big society aswell, and as with most astro socs, the people are friendly and welcoming. I haven't been able to make many meetings since working in northants but i try whenever i can. Possibly see you there?

  5. Hey Alex, so how was it? I didn't meet any sglers as i didn't know what most people look like. Think most came on saturday anyway. Oakwood is local but I work in Northampton now and so spend most of my time there and come down when i can. Are you a member of any of the local societies? there's one meeting in ashmole school in southgate. I'm a member of WOLAS, which meets in harrow and uxbridge, but they have a (relatively) dark sky site outside london.


  6. On my way back from astrofest tonight, I saw a bright object in Orion a little above the belt. Then I noticed it was slowly moving south, and it was fading. So what was it? My guess is a satellite slowing tumbling in orbit?

  7. Well just got back about an hour ago - I'm knackered. It was very busy, and tommorow is supposed to be even busier i'd say go early so you can wonder round before the crush. I got there about 9:40am and by 11ish it was rammed. Most things I noticed had about 10% off non show prices. It was a fantastic day, felt like a kid in a candy shop to be surrounded by all those toys. Also, particularly enjoyed Alberto Conti and Allan Chapman's lectures. Alex I'm sure you'll have a blast.

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