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About DeepSkyBagger

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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    Visual Deep-Sky observer for over 40 years.
    Webb Deep-Sky Society member
    British Astronomical Association member
    Royal Astronomical Society fellow
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  1. DeepSkyBagger

    Well, That Was Fun!

    Yeah, well M31 is circumpolar for me so yah boo!
  2. Eclipse... What eclipse?

  3. DeepSkyBagger

    Jodrell Bank - Out of Commission?

    Today, I saw this is a BBC news article about 'art installations' at Jodrell Bank (where they light up the telescope at night with artistic projections - where do I begin?) 'For the last two years, though, Lovell's 5,000 square meter bowl has been undergoing restoration, which means it has to be kept static and pointed directly upward' I think that's all I was looking for.
  4. DeepSkyBagger

    Hoag's Object

    FYI - the bright core is magnitude 16.0, I daren't guess how dim the ring is. And as for the more distant ring galaxy - urk!
  5. DeepSkyBagger


    They don't bother me, but my wife gets eaten alive, and she swears by this stuff.
  6. DeepSkyBagger

    Are you comfortable standing when observing?

    This is a very personal thing, and to say that one is better than the other is specious. A chair is not practicable for all occasions, no matter what sort you use. If my Newtonian is pointing at the zenith, the eyepiece is right at eye level when I'm standing. A variable height chair at that level would be so unstable as to pose a real danger to me and to the telescope. On the other hand, if I'm looking close to the horizon (which I rarely do, my low level skies are custard coloured) I have to kneel (which I find very uncomfortable), so I use an ironing chair. I have never found myself 'hunched up' over an eyepiece. That may be due to the configuration of a Newtonian. The eyepiece sticks straight out of the side of the tube, so there's never a need to hunch. For 99% of the time, I stand at the eyepiece. I find it perfectly comfortable and far more convenient. I'm not saying that standing is better, just that it works for me.
  7. DeepSkyBagger

    Stunning Summer haul.

    Cr 399 also contains 5 Vul and 7 Vul. You'll find the asterism disappointing in a telescope as it's 1.5 degrees long. Too much for most scopes. It's much better in binoculars. If you do find it in your scope, pick out 4 Vul, as Nick suggests, but then as another test, move 17' east of 7 Vul to see if you can pick up the tiny, sparkly open cluster NGC 6802. It isn't easy, as most of its stars are of the 14th magnitude, but it is a genuine cluster, unlike Cr 399 itself.
  8. DeepSkyBagger

    Leaving astronomy gear in a hot car

    My telescope lives outside in one of those large plastic garden equipment storage things. During the recent hot spells, being in the direct sunlight, the temperature in there frequently exceeded 45 degrees. I was a little concerned, so I opened the box up during the heat of the day - though this frankly did little to reduce the temperature. My scope is a 12" SkyWatcher Flextube with Synscan handset. I used the scope several times during the heatwave, and I found no problem with anything. I don't image, so I have no delicate imaging equipment in there, so I can't say anything about how that would be affected.
  9. DeepSkyBagger

    Observing goal for life

    My current LOP (Lifetime Observing Programme) contains 3,885 deep-sky objects drawn from various sources (the list grows organically). I have written records of observations of 1,381 of them, 95% of which I have also sketched. I always make a sketch of any DSO I see for the first time. For a couple of years, I simply wrote descriptions of Open Clusters, because they're a pain to draw. Each sketch goes onto an individual observation sheet and then into one of several ring binders. I don't generally plan a single session, if it's clear I just scroll my list to the appropriate RA and start working through it. In addition I keep a journal of my observations, over several volumes now, amounting to 150,000 words. I've been keeping records since 1975, but I didn't make observations every year. Sometimes life gets in the way. For a couple of years, when I didn't really have access to a telescope, so only had binoculars, I made variable star estimates. From that period (late 80s/early 90s) I have 1,230 variable star estimates.
  10. DeepSkyBagger

    Moon orbital pattern

    For the philologically-minded, 'retrograde' is from the Latin 'retrogradus' - 'retro' meaning 'backwards' and 'gradus' meaning 'step'. It means 'going backwards'. There are many other retro- words (retrospective, retrogression, retroactive etc) Conversely, 'prograde' (Latin - 'step forward') means 'going forward'. (Other pro- words include prognosis, prologue, pronoun etc) I'll get back in me box now.
  11. DeepSkyBagger

    Mystery Satellite

    Thank you both. The mystery deepens. Neither website can find anything like what I saw. I even took a quick snap with my camera (not an astro camera, just a normal pocket one). Mars was 13.4 degrees altitude and 179 degrees azimuth at the time. My rough guess is that this object was roughly 16 degrees altitude and 182 degrees azimuth. The magnitude peaked at about -2.5. The sun was 9 degrees below the horizon at the time. I'm not sure how high an aircraft would have to be to catch the light. The photo is pretty grotty, being handheld, but it shows the object (dimmer by the time I took the pic) to the NW of Mars.
  12. DeepSkyBagger

    Mystery Satellite

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't have it. It always crashes on my PC, so I dumped it.
  13. DeepSkyBagger

    Mystery Satellite

    This morning (03/07/2018), as I was beginning to pack up after a good session, I saw a really bright satellite. It was maybe 5 or 10 degrees NW of Mars, and brightened to equal or surpass it in brightness, over the course of twenty seconds or so. The time was 0214UT and my location is close to 53.57N 2.56W. It wasn't an Iridium flare - it took too long and I've checked the predictions. The only other thought I had was the ISS, but this object seemed to be travelling N-S, ie in a highly inclined or polar orbit. Does anyone know of a site where I can look up possibilities? Ta.
  14. DeepSkyBagger

    An application to help learning star names

    All the IAU approved star names are here - https://www.iau.org/public/themes/naming_stars/ You can re-order the columns. You'll probably find it most useful to list them in constellation order.
  15. DeepSkyBagger

    Any mileage in the original PSP ?

    Got to agree with most comments here. There was no decent communal area. The barn was just uncomfortable, cold and dusty. The worst aspect was the sky. The main draw of a star party should surely be the sky. The sky at PSP was floodlit by nearby quarries, just really poor. I'm sure the Peak can provide something better than that. I'd certainly be up for that.

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