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Everything posted by rev_dom

  1. Hi Alan. Always a pleasure to meet a fellow Essex bod. Reckon your old scope will be OK once you've blown off the cobwebs!
  2. Looks like a good book! I saw it with 50x magnification, which was enough to get the distinctive shape and the solar panels - this was more by luck than judgement though - I just happened to be out and saw it come over.
  3. I was out last night, waiting for the sky to darken a bit, and the ISS went over. It was the first time I've seen it since I got my little scope - a 70mm Skywatcher refractor on an AZ mount - and I managed to get a pretty good look at it as it went over. Very exciting! I also had a good time with Mars through the big scope too, but the ISS was probably the highlight of my night!
  4. Hi! This is a great forum so I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Look forward to receiving sage advice from you!
  5. That's right. Most of the time I'll leave the seat and foot on, but to transport it I wanted to make sure it comes apart. For all those who've expressed an interest in more pictures and descriptions, I'll do my best to post something soon! Surprised by the interest in some ways, but given that an equivalent bought chair can run easily to £100 I suppose it's not that shocking!
  6. Thank you! I might add a cushion at some stage - I'll give it a run in first to see how I go. Yep! It works quite well. It all comes apart too so I can stick it in the boot of the car flat if I need to
  7. I know there are people on here who are very skilled woodworkers, and I'm certainly not one of them! However, I've had a bit of holiday this week and, in the absence of clear skies, have busied myself making this. It's pretty ugly, but it seems to work (and I'm not the lightest chap in the world, so am very pleased that I've made something sturdy using offcuts and scraps from the garage)! What do you think? I'm going to add a little handle at the top at some point, but I think other than that it's complete.
  8. Hi Tim - always nice to meet a fellow Harlow astronomer! Great first scope, by the way.
  9. I'd be interested in meeting up with fellow astronomers in the Essex area too!
  10. Very nice! You've clearly been busy since I last spoke with you
  11. Hi everyone, I was using my Skywatcher 200p the other night, and when I finished I began replacing dust covers. As I put the front cover onto the finderscope, the bracket holding it onto the tube failed, and the finder assembly slid out, and dropped to the ground. Despite hitting hard concrete from a height of about 4 feet, it survived! The problem with the assembly is that the finder attaches to the scope via a bracket, which is locked in place with a single screw. This screw simply applies pressure to lock things in place. So I've made a very very simple modification - by drilling a small hole in the base of the finder mount, the screw can lock things much more efficiently. I'm attaching a couple of pictures so my wordy description might make more sense! If you have this scope or something similar, I strongly suggest you make this tiny modification - I feel extremely lucky that the finder didn't smash when it fell, and confident that it won't happen again now! Dom
  12. Love it! I'd personally play with the levels a bit and make the blacks darker, but it would be less accurate (might look a bit more dramatic though). I know there is at least one other Harlow amateur astronomer - there may well be others. Perhaps we should form a little club!
  13. Thank you all - I decided long before I got the scope that I want to create a whole series of lunar images, which I'm going to eventually compile into a printed album for my shelf / coffee table. A very amateur moon atlas - that kind of thing. So this moon shot is the first of many (and, indeed, I've got a few more already!) Glad you like it! Is there anything I can do with my current setup to improve the planetary images? Like I've said, I'm planning to get motors (probably for Christmas!) and then maybe at some point I'll buy a dedicated astronomy camera. But I want to get the best out of my current setup and I'm not convinced I'm doing that, yet. There's no point in buying new gear if I'm not using the current stuff as well as I can. Any suggestions / ideas?
  14. I'm no expert myself, having only just got started with astronomy, but for what it's worth I'd be thrilled with that image myself. And I suspect from your location we live quite close, and I too feel the pain of the airport!
  15. Hi everyone, I've only had a telescope for a couple of weeks, and there's so much to learn. At this stage my scope doesn't have motordrives, so I'm limiting my astrophotography attempts to the moon and planets. I have a Fuji XT-1 camera and a Skywatcher Explorer 200p / 1000 scope. I think my next major purchase will be motordrives, and at some point in the far off future I'll probably buy a camera more suited to this sort of work. Would value early suggestions on camera choices (I won't want to spend a fortune when I do eventually get round to it) The moon shot was taken by simply attaching the camera to the scope directly, and it's a single exposure processed in Lightroom & Photoshop. The shots of Jupiter and Saturn were both taken by attaching the camera to a 2x Barlow, which also contained a 10mm eyepiece. I used HD video to take a minute or two of each planet, tracking manually, and then loaded the videos into Pipp before stacking them with Registax. They are far from perfect - I had to shoot at ISO 6400 so there's a lot of noise - but I'm pleased with them. I don't really know what I'm doing yet, but have found that fiddling with the wavelets really helps to bring out detail (as well as, of course, adding detail to the noise!) Anyway - let me know what you think. I'd really appreciate any suggestions - for example, I'm using the camera in HD 60fps mode - would I be better off at a lower resolution and a lower framerate (so I can decrease the ISO)? Thanks for reading and looking - and thanks in advance for your help. Dom
  16. Thank you. I'm pleased with it, although it's not exactly sharp or detailed! I'm trying very hard to tell myself I don't need a motordrive for the scope, and a dedicated CCD camera, and a better Barlow lens (the Fuji was attached to a 2x Barlow), and... I will resist - I don't want to have all the gear but no idea
  17. Yay! Thank you all - I have indeed put the image the right way up I thought when I was looking through the scope that I could see it, but it was very fuzzy and, like I say, my colour vision isn't the best Thanks to all, and to ronin for the double cluster reference. In many ways I'm more excited by the deep sky stuff, but realise that the planets are much easier to locate!
  18. I was out in the back garden last night and got good views of Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, and, despite searching for DSO, not a lot else (I did find a double cluster which is marked on my Planesphere in the North, but I don't know what it's called). As you can tell, I'm totally new to this I also managed to attach my Fuji XT1 to the scope, and took some (poor quality) images. After a bit of processing, I can see what I think might be the GRS. I might be being daft, of course, and being quite badly colour blind doesn't help(!), which is why I thought I'd post the pic here and see what you all think. Sorry for the poor quality image, and for my newbieism! Dom
  19. Thank you - I was already using the Met Office one, but hadn't come across the other one! It looks incredibly helpful, and I hope it's accurate coz if so I might be able to get out tomorrow night!
  20. Brilliant - thank you! Promise to behave, to be quiet, and to be tidy
  21. I'm getting to the point where I'm going to settle for gaps, too - the skies in April (when I was waiting for my telescope to be unwrapped) were beautifully clear, but since my birthday it's been cloudy and miserable nearly the whole time. Perhaps buying a new telescope is a bit like cleaning the car - you're bound to cause bad weather afterwards. If so, sorry everyone!
  22. Thank you! I got a Skywatcher 200p / 1000 on an eq5 mount, which I'm completely thrilled with. Thanks for the map, too - can anyone just turn up whenever we like, or do we need to arrange it first? And do you set up scopes on the hard standing where you park, or in the field next to it? Sorry for all the questions, and I'll definitely be up for coming out when you next arrange something (if you'll have me, of course!)
  23. Just thought I'd pop in and say hello! I'm completely new to astronomy, having received my first ever telescope for my 40th a couple of weeks ago. I'm in Harlow, and the light pollution / big tree / big houses mean that my views are a little restricted from the back garden, but I'm loving it nonetheless. I've read that Margaret Roding is a good place to go, but I don't know where exactly. It's about 30 minutes from here, so not too far away. Does anyone ever venture out that way, and if so would you like some company?! If there are other good spots, too, let me know!
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