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brantuk last won the day on December 26 2015

brantuk had the most liked content!

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About brantuk

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  1. brantuk

    High Quality Astro Gear

    Interesting question "Would I be able to buy it all again?"...... I guess we're inferring everything will be more expensive in the event of a hard brexit. The thing is - I remember when we first joined the EU, and doing so didn't automatically make everything cheaper...... so why would the opposite be true? In fact - joining in the first place ultimately inflated prices by a factor of nearly two and a half times. It's all a walk on slippery rocks. lol
  2. The telegizmo's are one of the better makes of cover. They're breathable and protect from ultra violet rays as well as poor weather conditions. I see them in use all the time at star parties where scopes are left outside 24hrs per day for up to two weeks or more. However, in home use, my personal preference is to bring a scope indoors just for security purposes, and to save wear and tear on covers.
  3. brantuk


    I would also advise a good read of "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards. It's the astro imager's bible and will tell you all you need to know about photographing the night sky, including cameras, telescopes, object types, and photography techniques. It's a very broad, deep (and expensive) subject with a steep learning curve, and understanding the main principles is essential to be successful.
  4. brantuk

    Another milestone passed on SGL

    Congratulations John for such a great contribution to the forum!
  5. Yes it's around f-9 that one and you'd need a 3mm eyepiece to achieve 233x magnification (not realistic). But the overriding thing against that one is that you want to do AP and that scope doesn't have a motor - so your pics are going to be very limited. You really need to track objects electronically, and you seem interested mostly in planets which are bright and near. For that, a long focal length will give you sharp, contrasty pics. The atmosphere will affect most images so you need to take lots of them (thousands) and merge only the good ones together and process the results (eg with Photoshop). The good shots will come in very short moments of astmospheric stability which do occur from time to time. I'd recommend either a long focal length refractor or maksutov cassegraine - you'll get 1200-1500mm focal length at around f-10 to f-12 which is fine. You'll need to mount it on a good tracking/goto mount like the Skywatcher HEQ5 - but you can get some reasonable starter mounts like an EQ5 with tracking motors only, if you just want to dabble. Or the Skywatcher Star Adventurer. A webcam can be used for imaging, or get one of the popular solar system astro cameras. A good book to buy is "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards. I don't know your budget - but I'd up it to around a grand for a realistic start using well chosen second hand gear. Your dslr would be better deployed with a fast lens to image deep sky, wide field objects. Hope that helps.
  6. brantuk

    David Lukehurst

    I've met Peter Drew many times at star parties - a lot of folks don't realise how significant he is in the world of astronomy, mostly because he's such a nice and modest chap. But you get talking to him and find out about the stuff he's done and you'll be fascinated. I was very flattered the first time he came to look at my solar scope when it was a new model.
  7. If you have the counterweight system on the scope and you remove one of the cameras from a well balanced system - then you need to rebalance it all. I think it may only be a matter of moving the counterweight along the bar an inch or two. If that doesn't work then you could try sliding the frac up or down the dovetail bar. Hth
  8. brantuk

    Another rant at other social media sites

    I don't think of SGL as a social media site - for me it's a specialist hobby forum where we come to acquire and share knowledge, and chat about anything to do with the hobby with like minded people. It's also a place to arrange national and local meet ups with fellow hobbyists. Social media sites like FB, Twiter, Instagram, etc are much more general and comments can be passed about almost any subject, even if you don't know what you're talking about, nor who you are talking with. You can also display meaningless pictures of a lame life and people you will never meet or know will like you by clicking an icon on a computer screen and retweeting your post until the whole world knows how inane you are lol.
  9. With cheaper scopes, there tends to be less emphasis on "figuring" of the optics and quality of glass/mirror used - just the bare minimum to justify the notion it's a telescope, and they slap it in the tube, often with poor fixings, and pop it on a low quality wobbly mount/tripod. Seben have done a lot of this in the past and their scopes have needed so much modification you may as well have spent the money on something that works outa the box. Imho they're ok as project scopes, or for kids to dabble in the hobby without spending a ton. But if you want a trouble free scope from the get go, up the budget a tad and get a SW 130P. Hth
  10. brantuk

    Newbie question

    The bright one is a star - all stars are dso's. The smudge below could be a more distant star or even a nebula - again both dso's. But it is deffo out of focus. The general shape and orientation in the sky could suggest M42 (Orion Nebula) under Alnitak - but really there's not enough info in the pic to be sure - unless you know you were looking at the constellation of Orion. (Download Stellarium - it's free and a great way to know where you are looking in the sky - welcome to SGL)
  11. Here you go: https://www.365astronomy.com/The-Night-Sky-Star-Map-Celestial-Constellations-Umbrella-BLUE.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_bvJ77vR2QIVqLXtCh0ltQcVEAYYASABEgJnmPD_BwE
  12. As above - but also make sure it's well ventilated to avoid condensation build up inside the scope - especially in your C925. I've seen water swilling around inside the tube of Mak's and Sct's and it's a devil to get out.
  13. Hi Paboy and welcome to the forum. The answer to your question is double edged I'm afraid. Telescopes only gather light and focus it - they don't necessarily enlarge it. The larger apertures will gather more light than smaller apertures and their ability to focus depends on the focal length and focal ratio of the scope (amongst other attributes). For seeing close objects like planets you get a sharper, higher contrast view from longer focal lengths and higher focal ratios (e.g. an f-12 Maksutov with 1500mm focal length). For seeing objects deeper into space, a low focal ratio and wider aperture is more important (e.g. f-5 dobsonian with 16" aperture). To "enlarge" what you see in the scope we use eyepieces of different focal lengths and magnifications. Magnification is given by scope focal length divided by eyepiece length. So a fl=1000mm scope with a 10mm eyepiece will magnify 100x. We also use barlow lenses typically 2x and 3x to further multiply the magnification factor. How far you can go with magnification depends on the atmospheric transparency and how "clear" the weather is - what we call "the seeing". When it comes to photography however, this is mostly done at the prime focus of the telescope, and you are looking for a scope that focuses two or more wavelengths of light at the same focal point to achieve good colour. Also desireable is as flat a field as possible, little or no chromatic aberation, and coma free. Then it comes down to image scale and how many pixels are used to record the photons of light being captured by the camera. Telescopes with lower focal ratios will gather light faster than those with longer focal ratios - amateur astro imaging tends to be done around f-5, preferably with the clarity/contrast provided by refractors, though some use reflectors as well. The focal ratio determines how long it takes to capture an image, lower fr = faster capture and requires lower exposure times. Magnifying adaptors are sometimes, but rarely, used. I would recommend a good read of AP imaging principles before getting a scope/camera combination. And do go along to your local astro soc where you'll get loads of advice and see examples of equipment used for both observing and imaging. A good book for amateur AP is "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards.
  14. Pop a "Want Ad" in the classifieds "For Sale or Swap" is your best bet. Totally agree the best scope is the one you use. Welcome to the forum!
  15. brantuk

    TAL 100R price?

    £150 'ish would be a good average depending on age and condition and negotiating skills.

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