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Everything posted by brantuk

  1. For the first manned space flight to the moon, NASA didn't know much about the moon and where was a suitable place to land. So they asked Sir Patrick Moore about the moon and what he thought about where to land, because he was the leading authority in the world who had studied the moon more than any one else at that time. Indeed he was NASA's main consultant for the moon landings at the time. And as Geoff says above, that knowledge has developed a lot since the actual landings. So I would think both sources of information are going to be useful.
  2. Telegizmos are amongst the better scope covers certainly. They're great if you're at a star party or some other temporary dark site for a few days. I personally wouldn't leave a dob out permanently though. The metal and mirrors would be fine so long as you don't get any insects all over them. But my concern would be the wood, wide temperature changes, condensation, and damp. The smaller dob bases tend to be chipboard which can warp if any moisture gets in. Keeping them indoors or garage/shed would be far preferable imho.
  3. Ok so which way does it fall when both clutches are unlocked? Does the RA fall on the weight side or scope side? And in Dec, does the scope fall on the meniscus end or camera end? Is it a slow fall or sharp fall? If you can describe in more detail I may be able to suggest something to help....
  4. I had an adaptor made to fit an EQ5 tripod: https://www.eastmidlandsstargazers.org.uk/gallery/image/177-kims-adapterjpg/ Any engineering workshop should be able to run one up for you - unfortunately the chap who did mine no longer makes them or I'd send you to him. You might find someone on the forum with a workshop who can sort it for you.
  5. With the RA locked you only need to balance Dec in the horizontal plane. If it deffo won't balance then you may need to add weight to the rear end of the cell (eg using a weight bar kit) - or possibly use a longer dovetail. Maks can certainly be a little tricky.
  6. No one can hear you break wind in space lol
  7. Set the RA axis horizontal and lock in place. Then you can loosen the Dec shoe and slide the scope dovetail bar along in either direction until it balances. Ensure you have all the gear you intend to use attached whilst balancing it. With a Mak the meniscus lens usually makes it front heavy so you'll find it goes back further than half way along the dovetail to balance correctly. Once done - recheck the RA balance to confirm it's still ok and adjust if necessary. When well balanced you should be able to put the scope in any orientation with both axes unlocked, and it will just stay exactly in place.
  8. When I first started astronomy I took Sky at Night and Astronomy Now magazines every month. The center spread in each always shows the night sky and it's current configuration of constellations, and the text always discusses interesting objects to look at within each constellation. Just by studying one or two constellations per month I soon got to know them all and their seasonal movements over the course of one year. There's no rush after all - they're always gonna be there in our lifetimes.
  9. Several years ago when driving whilst on business, I used to carry a decent pair of bins and a photo tripod in my car for overnight stays in Travel Lodges. At one particular stopover, the service road ran through some nice grounds and lawns where I pitched my astro gear. The cops drew up and came over to find out what I was "up to" lol. They were fascinated when I showed them Saturn emerging from behind the full moon in a rare alignment. They were full of questions like, how far away was it, how did I know it was going to happen and when, how did I know what gear to use, can it be seen any bigger in a telescope, etc. They lingered for about 15mins before they got a call. I certainly arrested their attention for a change lol.
  10. Some lucky alien is gonna think he's won the intergalactic lottery when he passes by in his spaceship and finds that vintage Tesla next to Mars in a billion years time. It'll easily make a gazzillion space credits at Dark Star Car Auctions lol.
  11. Interesting...... cos I was thinking of driving my car very fast down the motorway and throwing a rocket out of the sunroof lol.
  12. If you want to see the difference in the RA/Dec and Alt/Az grids made in the sky at your location - download Stellarium and set your location. You can then switch the two different grids on and off using the tool menu bottom left of the screen.
  13. D'ohhhh.... yep I think I musta been a bit dozy missing that. A niggle in the back of my mind did suggest something wasn't quite right as I wrote it lol.
  14. I don't know which website, but there's a professional obsy in the states that shines a laser up to reflectors on the moons surface (left there from moon landings) and measures the time for the beam to return to Earth, in order to extrapolate the average distance moved over a year. It's more verifiable than one might think. (Might be the Keck observatory iirc - or something like that lol)
  15. Here's a good one for you young chap: The Moon is about 400 times smaller than the Sun, but it also just happens to be about 400 times closer to Earth. The result is that from Earth, they appear to be the same size. Hope that helps
  16. I agree with the above advice. Also I would suggest that if you list your scope, mount, and camera in your query it'll help us to understand better what's going amiss. Just the make and model of each will help cos all combinations are different and require different advice and suggestions. Don't worry about getting bad images on your first try - we all got bad images on our first stab at astro photography lol. But it does get better as you progress.
  17. The DMK's a great bargain - they were/are circa £290 brand new.
  18. Only in terms of field of view. With a slow scope you have a narrower field of view and an object will travel across the fov in less time than a fast scope with a wide fov. However, if you're using an alt/az mount with tracking motors, the motors will be working to track in two planes. An equatorial mount which is accurately polar aligned will only be tracking in a single plane cos RA is handled by the spin of the Earth and mechanically it's much easier - especially for astro photography. The moon is very close compared to dso's so a slow scope will give more magnification and brighter views. If it's a manual mount though you'll need to be turning the slow mo controls quite frequently to cope with the narrow fov. Hth
  19. Same here - mono camera, wheel, and filters would be my choice.
  20. The scope is a dobsonian and works on altitude and azimuth coordinates. Only equatorial mounts work on longitude and latitude coordinates. If you wanted to find the equivalent long/lat for an alt/az point, then you would have to google a conversion table or use something like stellarium which can show you both sets of coords for any point in the night sky. Far as I know though the intelliscope handset uses alt/az.
  21. Yes the 130p is a great choice for starter imaging - look through the photo sections of the forum and you'll see some great pictures achieved with this little scope. The "P" stands for a parabolic mirror (better focusing than concave), and the "ds" is for a dual speed focuser - very useful and popular in imaging applications - but also useful for observing too cos you can achieve a finer level of focus much easier than a single speed.
  22. This scope/mount combination might form the basis for the kind of beginners AP setup you'd be looking for: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p-ds-eq3-pro-goto.html It's about £160 more than your budget if you buy brand new - however you could get similar on the second hand market for around £400 depending on age and condition and negotiating skills. Something under 2yrs old and in full working order with only "cosmetic" and "normal use" markings is certainly achievable. Of course I'm assuming you already have a camera and it doesn't include guiding. I'd recommend a good read of "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards - at only £20'ish it's a great read and will tell you all you need to know about AP including equipment required and imaging techniques. Hth (Keep an eye on the classifieds here on SGL and also UK Astro Buy Sell website - both popular astro sales websites)
  23. Ahhh that's good to see - I didn't know they do that now. Here's a thread with John's mods pictured:
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