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About rockystar

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    Bury, Lancs, UK

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  1. Lovely evening last night, looked really clear and still, but it was already gone 11 and still not dark, so i just sat out for a while with the binocular. Jupiter - 3 moons on the left; researched showed that Io was on the right, but possibly too close for the binocular. M13 - looking like a nice bright fuzzy. My usual trick is just to scan the sky and look at star fields and try to find asterisms so I didn't really have a plan. nipped back inside to get S@N mag out and check out the bino guide and with that found: M12 - not as bright as M13, but still pretty obvious, didn't see M10 (looked on Stellarium later, I could have gone over to the Summer Beehive from here; lack of prep!) From here I just had a look around Lyra and Cygnus: Double double easily split, Delta Lyr lovely blue and gold. So just a quick session recorded here for prosterity. After wrapping up, and getting ready for bed, my little boy (4) woke up - after settling him and staying for a while, he realised that it was dark and asked if he could look at the stars, so we spent 5 minutes at his (south facing) window - I pointed out Jupiter and he got excited that he'd "found" a planet.
  2. just playing devil's advocate here, but i see this equally as often with goto scopes, where the user doesn't know the sky, doesn't know the alignment stars and can spend more time aligning the thing than observing (especially in the early days). Then quickly comes the requirement for a power pack, as they are tearing through AA batteries at a rate of knots. having said that, I don't disagree with the comments. And though I am very happy with a manual dob, I know many that wouldn't be without goto
  3. 8" dob is a great scope, 6" is also very capable. I'm sure he would be happy with either. make sure you point him here if needs any advise
  4. some fab objects there, something to sink my teeth into for the next couple of months. you mention dark skies, is it worth heading out at this time of year, with the lack of Astro darkness?
  5. I believe Vega is a future pole star too.
  6. When uranus was discovered, it was found to have an unexpected orbit, the calculations to work out why, directly leas to the discovery of Neptune. I believe that the current theory of planetary formation also suggests that neptune formed closer to the sun than uranus and migrated outwards. Neptune also has a major influence on the objects in the kuiper belt - orbital resonance is a fascinating subject (if that kind of thing floats your boat)
  7. you are correct in thinking that they should all go in the same direction, due to the angular momentum of the original dust cloud. The exact cause of the difference in Venus an Uranus is unknown, but it is suspected they where knocked over when the early solar system was bombarded with comets and asteroids, some very large (small planet sized). Moons that orbital clockwise were almost certainly captured by the host planet.
  8. that's a good idea, I never thought about velcro. Thanks
  9. just wondering how people go about securing the battery in a battery box? I was thinking of some kind of bracket to screw to the box, but using what material? bear in mind haven't got a workshop to make anything complicated.
  10. Mr Niall had hit the nail on the head, It's too far away for earth orbit to detect a shift. It's like the way we work out distance parallax - measurements are taken 6 months apart, and the shift is measured, but this only works for the closest few stars, and even then it's a very small shift
  11. indeed a good haul. I'm yet to bag those Virgo galaxies.
  12. I reckon I could sleep in Damien's dob Thanks Mike, I'm going to defo book 2 nights, but I need to wait and see what the work situation is and how the boy is getting on at school before booking more. Real name is Lee.
  13. my brain is saying that if you place a dot, on the line near the centre and one near the edge, and measure them, they will pass the measuring device at the same time, but the one on the edge has had much further to travel than the one near the centre, this it must be moving faster... ?
  14. I'll be in a tent, so just need a Patch of grass
  15. the boss has approved but apparently I need to wait to see if I have a job. Anyone know if this one gets booked up?