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About Rhye

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  1. You don't say how you will be making the observation- and Mercury is woefully underwhelming- but I believe Mercury will put in an appearance shortly before sunrise between a rather so-so Saturn and the ever resplendent Venus a bit before Dawn, low and to the East. It would be a nice pic to get the trio if you can manage it.
  2. It's my first go at recording my obs., but it does give the newcomer (i.e someone with a humble scope like mine) a reasonably good idea of what they might expect to see. Obs were made from N51 W3, Newport in Wales, with a Skywatcher 130 on a partially broken eq2 mount that I had to delicately manhandle about the place . For some reason my Barlow was no help with anything so obs were made with a 25mm for finding and a 10mm for the nitty gritty. I've attached my Jupiter notes. Apologies in advance for their shortcomings. Frustrated with the last observation- even though the sketch is reasonable in it's representation, the sense of closeness between Callisto and Europa is not something I could communicate. You'd need to see it, I guess. Light pollution was an absolute disgrace, none of the stars of the Capricorn Teapot were visible with the naked eye, but readily found through binos. The moon was astonishing- when isn't it?, the upper-middle triplet of craters (Ptolomaeus and c.) were very well presented, especially as their position on the terminator meant that their appearance was changed dramatically in only a couple of hours. (Is that libration?) The dew last night was a nonsense, my notepaper was limp at the end and the ink starting to blur. 2609Jove.tif
  3. British posters will know the name Heather Couper from the 80s and 90s. She was great, I think she still pops up in papers from time to time.
  4. I'm not. I'm more a dust cloud. Interesting in my own way, but only when set against a bright background. That and my head is the same shape as that of a horse. But really there is not, as has been pointed out, a right and wrong way: I can sit quietly and marvel at even the unsung, the staff and supporting cast of the galaxy. The nursery rhyme's diamond in the sky is not just a pretty turn of phrase, it describes perfectly some of those stars whose names are unkown to all but the most most dedicated. As far as I can tell, if these things were not beautiful we would not care for them, so why not just appreciate their beauty from time to time? And to appreciate we must of course decellerate. Or you can charge through, ticking lists until your pencil melts. Whatever works, I guess.
  5. That clip illustrates perfectly what I keep telling people who ask me why I sit out in the cold and dark: it's all about perspective. That poorly defined dot, nothing to get excited about really, is the vault containing the total experience of our species- from discovering fire to lunar landings and beyond. It's the only place we know of where love exists. On it you can never be more than about, what, 16000 miles from home? Nothing anyone can recall is not stored there! Does that not fill you with awe? "No" is the usual response, along with "get back to work" and "yeah, anyway did you see Britain's Got Talent?". But other than that, Iapetus, what a thing to see.
  6. Rhye

    Hello from Newport

    CLEAR SKY! After seven days of put-it-up, take-it down, put-it-up, take it down, put-it-up, leave it assembled in the front room and tell the kids it'll give them an electric shock if they even look at it funny, I think tonight wil be my first go. At last. SAT24 doesn't seem to have any bad news for the next few hours either. I doubt the seeing will be up to much what with it being very warm and humid, but I care not one iota. 25 years- two and a half decades- I waited to buy a scope and if a terrible, blurred M31 (for this is my first target) is my first sight then I'll take it and be grateful. I don't expect to resolve it to any meaningful degree. My planisphere's all lined up and the rig is outside acclimatising. I feel like a kid, I really do. I only have an hour or two, I have to get some sleep since it's my boy's 7th birthday tomorrow (for some reason 7 is a milestone in our family, always has been. More than 13, which sometimes people find a little odd) so I have to be up early to jump up and down and shout like an idiot and watch cartoons and eat sugar for breakfast. Wish me luck, comrades.
  7. Not to everyone's taste? Who could fail to be charmed? Great snap, beamer.
  8. Hi Clare, Binos did me for nigh on 25 years- a pair of 10x50s and the moon, that's where it began... If anything I would probably counsel against buying a telescope until you know the sky quite well. It can be quite exacting at first, it's quite easy to become discouraged- though for every one person who says this you'll find another who takes the opposite view.
  9. It's equally true that there is only one universe since anything unobserved cannot be said to exist.
  10. Rhye

    Hello from Newport

    Hello all, and thank you for having me. I'm old enough to remember when Newport Council used to switch off loads of streetlights around about midnight. I remember as a boy looking out over a local green spot called Woodland Park with the Milky Way plainly visible as a broad rash across the sky- even through a window- and being able to identify just about every constellation. Wonder why they insist on keeping all the sodium lights on now? As the years (decades) passed, I kept my hand in, reading this and watching that and getting by with my 10x50s, but have never owned a 'scope until now. I just got a SkyWatcher 130/650 since a) I'm absolutely skint and it was universally well reviewed. So far, nothing but clouds. Tonight, after owning the blessed thing for a week, the sky was clear! I ran out at 2200 (still bright twilight) to let the apparatus acclimatise. I went out at 2330 and popped the caps... and then clouds. I was just about to line up on Dubhe- an old habit- and they came scudding in. I am beginning to suspect I have bought a cloud machine or some kind of idol that clouds are drawn to. Still, the forecast for tomorrow is good... Aaanyway, as far as astronomy goes, I'm only interested in looking at the sky, spotting a planet here or there, gazing and grazing. Just enjoying the sky, nothing more. It's not that I'm not choked with admiration for those who have branched into astrophotography and other specialities, far from it. And you couldn't pay me to have GOTO. I guess that makes me a Luddite of a kind.
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