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Everything posted by mikeDnight

  1. Another nice observation David! I've dropped my guard lately as far as Mars is concerned, but after your encouraging e-mail, I took the DZ out last night and made a sketch. It shows the Solis Lacus region near to centre with Margeritifer towards proceeding limb. The diagonal was at an angle for comfort, so the polar cap is at 2 O'clock. Interestingly SL is usually very dark at its centre, hence it's pet name the Eye Of Mars, but last night it was very washed out. Is this the dust storm? Regards, Mike
  2. I've not used NV or Binotron, but the DC Focusers short travel can cause some issues with inward travel. The D.C. focuser accepts a 2" adapter, but also you can remove the green/blue extension situated between the tube and focuser. It may be tight initially but it can be removed and the focuser attached directly to the tube. Then the black extension tubes that come with the tube assembly can be used to attain more outward focus travel.
  3. That's beautiful David, and plenty of detail!
  4. That's fantastic Simon. It really needs framing! Top class observation!!
  5. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading how your 127 Mak has impressed you. It's really encouraging when an observers enthusiasm for a scope and the views it delivers, even surpassing expectations. When Jupiter is high in the sky again your 127 will be jaw dropping. ☺
  6. "Starlight Nights" - the ultimate vaccine to being down in the dumps!
  7. Everyone goes through peaks and troughs, and when you're deep in a trough it may seem a pointless hobby, but enthusiasm can suddenly return with a vengeance. If astronomy is in your blood, you're stuck with it. Sometimes when we feel low the cure can simply be to widen out. For example, if you're limiting yourself to just one aspect of astronomy, try sticking your toe into an area you're perhaps unfamiliar with. Even on cloudy nights there can often be sucker holes in the clouds large enough to allow you to gain a satisfying view. And winter sucker holes can offer some superb seeing. Sometimes it's nice to spend some time rekindling that initial magical feeling that we had when we first began in the hobby. For me that would be looking at the awesome moon or trying to hunt down as many Messier objects as I can using a pair of binoculars, even between gaps in the clouds.
  8. Fabulous!!!! Great idea to use only one thread for your sketches. Wish I'd done that!
  9. Another excellent sketch David. I really like the subtle Nile canal. I saw it myself nine minutes after you. The seeing was in and out from here, but when it was steady the view was juicy. ☺
  10. Excellent sketches Mark.
  11. That's a beautiful sketch David. Excellent! ☺
  12. Excellent! I haven't checked the longitude of the central meridian, but that looks like a perfect representation of the Solis Lacus region.
  13. I'm not sure what you paid new for this scope, but scopes are a bit like cars; buy one and try selling it the next day and you'll not get close to the price you paid 24 hours earlier. Having said that, the Questar is a classic and quite beautiful telescope, so someone who values the brand may pay a high price to acquire one. Generally though, even a near new top end scope in excellent condition, might still only bring two thirds the new price on the second hand market. And when the asking price is high, many potential buyers would likely look at other options that would be available for a similar price, making a sale even more difficult.
  14. This observation was made quite early in the evening when Mars hadn't risen high enough for a stable view. At first glance there appeared to be very little to see but some vague shade, but with prolonged observation the detail started to show. I've observed Mars for many years and its probably my favourite planet as its a challenging object that generally rewards the patient observer. This apparition however, and despite it's large apparent size, the planet's normally obvious features seem to be quite subdued. I don't follow Martian weather reports but may be there is some fine dust in the planet's atmosphere that's acting like a veil? Whatever the reason, I've struggled this time round to get a real wow night on Mars. The sketch below shows the view of Margaretifer Sinus from last night. The sketch was made using a prism diagonal, so you may need to flip the image to relate it to a reflector view.
  15. Do you have space in your garden for a domed observatory? They don't necessarily have to be big buildings and can be a nice DIY project. Even in a light polluted area a dome can offer both shielding and a good measure of dark adaption.
  16. Top class observation Victor. It seems your 102mm apo is really proving its worth. Terrific sketches!
  17. Looking pathetic along with being dreamy eyed has worked for me many times. She will soon take pity on you, especially when she hears you talking on the phone to an astro friend, explaining how cheap in real terms Takahashi scopes are. I used this tactic years ago, making sure my wife heard all about a friend who paid £1000 per year to be a member of a golf club, and £15 per game played. Tak refractors are a steal by comparison as they are forever. And don't forget to grovel!!!
  18. Enjoyment is what its really about Mark, and if sketching encourages you to observe more, perhaps giving a sense of purpose to your observing, then it can only be a good thing, and you'll see more than if you just look! And you'll also have a permanent record to look back on, that's easier to read than pages of notes.☺ Disconnected is an interesting phrase David. I wonder if that's because you're more concerned about the technical aspects of the imaging process rather than relaxing at the eyepiece? I can only speak from a personal point of view as I've never really imaged anything, but when I'm sketching, I become absorbed in the observation, the equipment disappears and i feel almost as if I'm observing a living thing. So for a short time I'm in a world of my own. I didn't realise how much I get absorbed, until a couple of nights ago when a firework exploded near by, causing me to return to reality with a real start.
  19. That's a wonderful sketch David, and beautifully executed too!
  20. Lovely sketches Mark. Loads of subtle detail too!
  21. Those are fabulous sketches Thomas, and a true representation of the view through the eyepiece. Truly excellent!
  22. Really nice images Paul, and a great comparison between scopes of completely different apertures and designs. Excellent!
  23. Really excellent sketches packed with detail Glob, and a pleasure to study!
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