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mikeDnight last won the day on April 28

mikeDnight had the most liked content!

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4,968 Excellent


About mikeDnight

  • Rank
    Brown Dwarf

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Lunar & planetary , binary stars & comets.
    Visual astronomy in general and an advocate of sketching as an aid to observing.
    I also have a passion for refractors and optics in general, and have a deep interest in the history of amateur astronomy, the astronomers and their scopes and observatories.
  • Location
    East Lanc's
  1. mikeDnight

    Carton 100 f/13 Reborn (Return of Big Red)

    That's a beautiful scope John, and I'm certain It will be a terrific performer too. It would look even better on a classic mount like that of the Unitron or Polarex. Truly droolworthy!
  2. mikeDnight

    Mars 13/8/2018

    The dust is still washing out the normally dark detail visually. Here is the eyepiece sketch made last night showing Syrtis Major close to the limb, a feature that would normally be dark and in your face, but was lacklustre to say the least. As usual the drawing was made using my FC100DC and a prism diagonal, so the view is north top.
  3. mikeDnight

    Messier 6 (The butterfly cluster)

    Another excellent sketch Marios.
  4. mikeDnight

    FC-100DF as complementary scope

    I can't really comment on the tripod/mount your considering as I've not used them. I agree it would be a shame not to use your 2" eyepieces, though I use only 1.25". Mainly I'm a lunar and planetary enthusiast and tend to observe with a binoviewer. The clamshell on my scope is set quite far back to accommodate the weight of the bv, Tak prism and paired eyepieces. However, the scope is so light that when im observing dso's or sweeping star fields using mono viewing, I've not found the need to rebalance the tube as the mount has little problem in handling the difference. I mount my scope on a Vixen GP and an AZ4.
  5. mikeDnight

    FC-100DF as complementary scope

    I can't remember anyone who's bought a Tak FC100D regretting doing so. They are probably the best light weight refractor currently available. Visually they are very sharp and unusually bright, and although you don't want to image with yours, if you ever changed your mind the FC is designed to produce great images too.
  6. mikeDnight

    2018-06-05 - Mars

    I agree! N3ptune's sketches are truthful and technically excellent, and a real credit to a very skilful visual observer. I was merely giving an explanation as to why some sketches may appear over cooked as it were.
  7. mikeDnight

    2018-06-05 - Mars

    I understand where Paul is comming from regarding the ease of exaggerating intensity and exactness of features. However, there is nearly always more in an eyepiece image than first meets the eye. It is very difficult not to overexaggerate albedo intensities if you're trying to differentiate subtle differences in features, so as to represent the full amount of detail on view. There are at least three different intensities in any view of Mars and with patient observation there could be many more. Once these have been accurately recorded in the sketch a well defined outline will often present itself, which is something that can be easily misinterpreted as an exaggeration. The initial eyepiece view of any planet is lacklustre compared to a prolonged study of it, as over time intricacies reveal themselves in those fleeting moments of good seeing. Mars is a particularly difficult subject, especially when its so low in our skies, but patience and persistence while training the eye to see rather than just look, will ultimately result in a fine and trustworthy observation. The next apparition in two years time will be much better.
  8. mikeDnight

    Eye health

    Floaters become less apparent when using a binoviewer, and atmospheric turbulance also seems to become less of a problem too. I'm not sure about specific foods - I tend to eat nearly everything that's put in front of me. The advice about not smoking is definitely sound, as the toxins and carcinogens they contain harm every cell of the body including the eyes. John's advice is spot on when he says "time spent observing delivers results." Like every other part of the body the eyes need to be exercised.
  9. mikeDnight

    Quick Menorca report

    It sounds like you'll need to plan another scientific expedition Mark.
  10. That's brilliant Chris. I've had quite a lot of experience over the years with the ST150, several of my friends bought them when they first came out. With the exception of one poorly figured specimen they were all terrific. The trouble is people moan at length about chromatic abberation without ever using a scope. The ST is an amazing rich field refractor, and when used for what it was intended for, its a truly stunning instrument. I'd love to get my hands on another one someday, as it would make the perfect companion to my 4" apo.
  11. The 102mm refractor would be my choice out of the two. It's a good all round scope that will give you nice low power views of star fields, comets, clusters and nebulae, while also giving good high power views of the Moon and planets. It is an achromat though, so expect some residual false colour. It's not as bad as it sounds.
  12. mikeDnight

    Reflector vs refractor

    DSO's are very nice in a 6" refractor. You may consider the Star Wave 152, though it is a tad more expensive than the evostar. Another seriously good alternative would be a second hand ED 120
  13. mikeDnight

    Double star observing - what does it take?

    Sometimes its just nice to aimlessly sweep a constellation slowly just to see what pop's into the field. You'll be amazed at the intensity and contrast of colours displayed by many of these gems. Often we sweep across the stars in search of nebulous prey, paying little or no attention to the far more jaw dropping beauty of the star fields surrounding them. Attached are a few doodles from my double star mystery tours. The drawings are in colour but artificial light has washed them out somewhat! Your 120ED is a perfect instrument for this task!
  14. mikeDnight

    Terraforming Mars

    It will never happen! Mars doesn't have enough mass to hold onto any meaningful atmosphere for any length of time, and life giving oxygen would simply leach out into space. Also, the planet doesn't have a magnetosphere, as the earth has, to protect the surface from lethal bombardment from high energy solar particles. So, unless some genius works out how to increase planetary mass and create a magnetosphere as powerful as the earths, I'm afraid we're all going to have to rough it living on the most beautiful planet in the known universe. It's tough I know!
  15. I had a circle T prism diagonal for a short time about 18 months ago and it was superb. I seriously doubt you'll gain any improvement by moving to a dielectric. The circle T, though not quite as fancy, was optically equal to my Takahashi prism which has proved its worth time and again. Keep hold of your money!

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