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About ejp1684

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  1. I'm very pleased with my Evolution 8 used with SkySafari 5 Plus. I learn a lot each session. I look for interesting objects which I can view from the back garden; the house, flats opposite and trees constrict the view to about a third of the sky. I'll often use the 'Tonight's Best' list if I haven't had time to plan what to look at. I use the information section on SkySafari to learn about the object, and when I've finished looking at it I then take time to memorise the constellation it's in. This allows me to build up my knowledge of the night sky. Clear skies are a luxury here, so I like to make the most of each session, and a GoTo system certainly does that. I can set up the scope in about ten minutes and straight into observing. I tried using the hand controller once, but much prefer SkySafari for the information it gives. Eric.
  2. I find ventusky is usually more accurate, but even it has its moments. Even if it isn't more accurate, it's more interesting to look at! Eric.
  3. Thanks for that. I haven't used Autostakkert yet, must give it a go. Eric.
  4. Nice images. How did you process them? Was it all done in the Altair Astro software? Eric.
  5. First time I've seen a transit shadow. I found the best views were with my 12mm eyepiece (8" SCT), the shadow was the clearest feature. Seeing varied, but great views during brief moments of clarity. Eric.
  6. I have an unused camera bag which I just tie around the top of the tripod using the shoulder strap. The main use for this is a place to put the iPad (which controls the scope) when I don't need to hold it. Other bits and pieces also find their way into the bag. On cold nights an old ski jacket which has a gazillion pockets is a useful addition. The only problem is remembering which item is in which pocket... Eric.
  7. Thanks for that, I'll take a look at it and see how I get on with it. Eric.
  8. I'm using a Celestron Evolution 8 and control it with SkySafari. The observations were from my back garden which only lets me see about a quarter of the sky! I was viewing the Eskimo in the glare of fluorescent lights from the flats opposite, and all the heat rising from the building doesn't make for very stable conditions. The comments I made could have been better (and I forgot to set the Transparency and Seeing), but I was just trying it out, I'll use it more effectively next time. I'll look out for those others you mentioned, thanks for pointing them out. Eric.
  9. While spending a few hours observing last night, I suddenly remembered SkySafai has the option to make notes. Thought I'd try it out, and found it very easy to use. Once a target is selected, just open the information window, then tap the three dots bottom right. This gives the option to Create New Observation which is then added to an existing Observing List (I had to go back and create one). You can then add comments and set Transparency and Seeing (which I forgot to do!). When I finished I sent the list to my email address. Here's a selection of how the report looks. List: Fri Mar 24 2017 Pinwheel Cluster - Messier 36 (Open Cluster in Auriga) Observed: 24 Mar 2017, 21:02:21 Comment: Good with 12mm and reducer. Easily see the ten 9 and 10 mag stars. Seeing: 3 Transparency: 2 Messier 37 (Open Cluster in Auriga) Observed: 24 Mar 2017, 21:14:04 Comment: Good with 12mm and reducer. Lots of light pollution. Seeing: 3 Transparency: 2 Messier 35 (Open Cluster in Gemini) Observed: 24 Mar 2017, 22:01:40 Comment: Ok but not as interesting as other clusters. Seeing: 3 Transparency: 2 Eskimo Nebula - NGC 2392 (Planetary Nebula in Gemini) Observed: 24 Mar 2017, 22:12:57 Comment: Looks like a star with fog around it in 7mm Xcel. Seeing: 3 Transparency: 2 It would be nice to be able to make sketches, but not very practical on an iPad in the middle of the night... Eric.
  10. A couple of nights ago Clear Outside forecast clear skies until 12 midnight, then cloud. The cloud arrived at 11.55pm, so quite accurate. Today it's forecasting a lovely sunny afternoon, then cloud as soon as it gets dark. I hope it's not accurate at all! Eric.
  11. When I bought my Evolution 8 I also bought an Astrozap combined dew shield and dew heater for it. But it wasn’t always successful. On very cold nights and heavy dew nights it just didn’t keep dew from forming on the corrector plate. I found some suggestions on a US forum where the advice was not to put the heater on the metal at the front, but just behind it on the actual tube. The reasoning was that it needs a lot of energy to heat the front metal as it is quite thick. Much better to heat the tube just behind it which will then radiate heat onto the corrector plate. I then found this web site which gave further information on actually making the dew heater. This suggested basing the power on 0.3 watts per cm. I worked out I needed about 21 watts, which equated to a maximum 1.6amps at 12v. I selected the gauge of nichrome wire so I could run it up and down the heater four times to make sure the heat was distributed evenly. I followed the suggestions and used duct tape, and wired it up. I made a small box on my 3D printer to hold all the connections and a 2amp fuse. I ordered an LED Strip Inline Dimmer switch from Ebay for £4.50 so I could vary the power. When using the Astrozap heater I noticed that it kept dew from forming on the outside of the dew shield - obviously a complete waste of energy. So I found a piece of foam from an old diy project, 2cms thick, cut it into sections and attached it with heat resistant tape. The whole thing then had an outer layer of duct tape, and is held in position with velcro. I’m pleased to say that it works fine. The other night I had it on half power and dew began to form on the corrector plate. I put it on full power for ten minutes, the dew had gone and I then ran it succesfully for the rest of the session on three quarter power. Dew was forming on the top surface of the heater, so it looks like the insulation is working well. Total cost was about £16. Eric.
  12. Got two and a half hours of viewing this evening, then the wind got up, the rain descended and I quit. Still, two and a half hours is better than the last few weeks, i.e. zilch. Eric.
  13. I had a couple of hours observing last night, but the seeing wasn't very good at all. Eric.
  14. The latest update to SkySafari 5 Plus on iPad now includes Celestron's audio commentaries for selected objects. Eric.
  15. Well done. I found it difficult to begin with, but perseverance brings results. Eric