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Everything posted by Tantalus

  1. My reference chart has the comet close to eta Persii tonight. Can anyone confirm for me where to find the comet in relation to this star?
  2. Well done Deneb. Saw this on PTTU. Do you have a larger resolution version?
  3. Didn't see any last night - clouded out. But it sounds like the Draconids, which peaked on 8/9 Oct. The radiant would be near to the head of Draco
  4. Unfortunately Hutch, you need to have reached at least 50 posts before you can see the For Sale section. Just like to add though, If you find a scope for sale locally, ask if it's possible to see the scope working before you buy, this might help you assess how good the scope performs before you part with any money.
  5. Hi Robert and Welcome to the forum With those handicrafts of yours, there's plenty of stuff you could make yourself to help keep the costs down - a wooden tripod or observing chair for instance. Have a look in the Equipment/ DIY Observer section for more ideas.
  6. Tantalus

    Hi from Sompting

    Hi Adrian and Welcome to the forum
  7. Hi nightfisher, and Welcome to the forum Until you get some bins, why not dust off that old refractor. I'm sure you'll soon be hooked again...
  8. Hi, and Welcome from me too, Odmidod
  9. 6th-7th October, 2010 16x60 bins 120mm refractor EP's: 26mm Meade5000, 10mm Plossl, 5mm X-Cel Started off just after midnight, trying to find the elusive comet Hartley2, but lighting from the neighbours houses was making things difficult, and when another neighbour triggered his halogen floodlight, I finally gave up with the scope. But after the lousy cloud-bound Autumn I had last year, I didn't want to miss another observing opportunity, so once I'd calmed down, I got on my bike and cycled to a nearby woods with the binoculars. I was also surprised at how mild it was, not exactly balmy, but not as cold as I expected it to be. Had a quick look at Jupiter (of course) which looked nice and symmetric with two moons fairly evenly spaced either side of the bright planet. I then spent the first half-hour just looking around, taking in the night sky, and noting how much the constellations have moved around in the past few weeks. Also saw three very fast moving meteors tearing it up across the heavens (Draconids, possibly?) - And all accompanied by the screeching and hooting of owls. I heard the flap of wings, followed by screeching very close by. I moved slowly towards the sound, hoping to get a glimpse of the nocturnal visitor, I must have been just feet away from it, but I couldn't pick it out from amongst the branches in the dark. I had a torch with me, but I didn't want to disturb it (ruin it's night vision?) Anyhow, back to the sky. Orion was now clear of the tree-tops, so I took my first look of the autumn at M42, which through the bins was a nebulous blob surrounding two bright spots. The Double cluster was easily visible to the naked eye and was fantastic though bins, but still no comet Then down to Auriga. There's a grouping of bright stars just to the East of Carol's Smiley, consisting of stars 16, 17, 18 & 19 Aur, and a couple of HIPs. I don't know if this grouping has any formal name, but to my imagination it resembles a deflated balloon. Just above Carol's Smiley was the bright fuzziness of M38, and just below the slightly brighter M36. Down a bit more to another open cluster, M37, slightly larger and brighter still. Carrying on downwards I reached M35, another open cluster and the best of the four, just a short distance above the golden coloured star Propus (eta Geminorum). Then just before I headed home, I looked up to M31 - close to the zenith, and with careful viewing, I could make out extensive fuzziness. Back home, and with all the neighbours now in bed, I chanced another go with the scope. Back to M42, and the Meade ep was performing well, showing all four trapezium components, and plenty of nebulosity at around 40x magnification. With more time I would have attempted a sketch, but it appeared pretty much as in Messier's original drawing <HERE> . Then back to the clusters I'd seen earlier, and the scope resolved them as star clusters rather than just fuzzy patches. Cassiopea and M31 were too close to the zenith to attempt with a large refractor, however, I'd noticed that Ursa Major was looking good, so I thought I'd had yet another attempt at bagging M81 and M82. Without any real expectation of success, I started from 23 UMa, and just to the left there's a rectangle of four stars, who's longest axis point towards the two galaxies. I followed the line upwards, and... ...YES! There they were Woohoo! and Woohoo again! <Does a happy dance> Even though I'd never seen them before, I knew I had the right targets. M82 was an ovoid blob, and the larger of the two. But M81 was obviously cigar-shaped, slightly pinched in the middle, and although it's given magnitude is 8.4, I was amazed at just how bright it appeared. Amazing! How have I missed these two for so long? :-) Twenty minutes later, and now past 03:00, I reluctantly packed away, but went to bed a very happy bunny!!!
  10. Ah, a meteor is a shooting star. Now you've said it left no trail, and not moving very fast, then I'd go with Mark suggestion - a satellite
  11. Sorry mate, that wasn't Comet Hartley2 you saw, which tonight is situated very close to the double cluster Mikea mentioned. You most likely saw a meteor.
  12. I've replied to this on another thread conn, but while I'm here, why not drop in to the Newcomers/Welcome section and introduce yourself. You're certain of a warm welcome there.
  13. Another cracking report Shane, in your usual, inimitable desciptive style. You're obviously enjoying the 6" scope. I've been reading through your other threads, and I was initially surprised when I read that you'd gone for a 6", but given the greater focal ratio and the quality of the mirror, I can see why. I really should get a move on with my own Lunar obs, but I've been busy just lately, trying to juggle too many balls and something had to give.
  14. Hi conn96, and welcome to the forum. A quick play with Stellarium shows you've got the order of the moons correct on the 27th, but on the 28th the order was Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and Io, with Ganymede situated very close to, and about to pass behind Jupiter. (And its Io, by the way, not Lo, ) What instrument was you using, conn? Did you manage to see any detail on Jupiter?
  15. I finally remembered to listen in last night. Enjoyed the interview with Dr Lintott. Thanks Richie.
  16. Lincolnshire County Council are now considering '...how it can slash carbon emissions by changing bulbs or switching off lights in areas that are not in accident or crime black spots.Under the proposals, roads for new housing developments will only be lit for part of the night and turned off between midnight and 5.30am. New energy saving bulbs will be considered at locations where old lights need replacing and will be dimmed, where possible, between 9pm and 6am. In certain circumstances the county council could opt not to replace a light if it feels the area no longer needs one... ...The county council's highways, transport and technology committee supported the policy this week and will make a final decision next month.' They're hoping to save themselves around £1.25M, so let's hope that sense prevails. I'll let you know when they've made their final decision. There's a streetlight opposite that shines right into my back garden, I'm sure it's about to blow some time next month...
  17. Thanks for the feedback Specman, some really useful information there. This particular optician makes the retinal photos available online, so I now have a permanent copy for myself. I'm myopic, and without my specs I struggle to see much of the night sky - nearly everything becomes a feint fuzzy
  18. I wish I'd read this a month ago. I bought a new pair of specs from one of the more 'upmarket' opticians in the hope that I'd get the better product. I paid extra for anti-glare coatings and although there is no noticable colour from the coatings when I'm wearing them, any lights reflected on the front on the lenses do have a green colour. And they weren't cheap! Specman - What's your opinion on Retinal Photography. Is it really helpful or just a waste of money (albeit only a tenner) ? And do eye exercises work?
  19. Ganymede should transit again on 10/11th sept. The Sky and Telescope website has an almanac of Jupiter's moon events. I'm getting some mist coming in now, so I'm gonna call it a night... Thanks all.
  20. The detail in the banding is superb. The best views of Jupiter I've have to date...
  21. Great. And now I can see Ganymede crossing the disc...
  22. I agree. I tried for a transit of Io a few days ago and saw nothing. But tonight Ganymede's shadow is very sharp and unmistakeable
  23. Yeah, I've just been watching this - my first ever shadow transit 120mm Refractor / 5mm ep / 200x mag.
  24. Hi Gobes. The next pass is at 21:18 to 21:24, and yes, it should be visible from Dorset. If you're interested in ISS passes then I recommend that you join Heavens-Above Home Page This site will detail all visible ISS passes from your location, and a bunch of other stuff as well. Create an account and select your viewing location. Enjoy.
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