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JohnSadlerAstro

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About JohnSadlerAstro

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Aerospace, Aviation Gaming, RC Aviation, Electro Swing, Technology
  • Location
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
  1. Thats a shame. But its good that we know today rather than having really short notice. A big thank you to everyone who helped get it together, hopefully next year the weather will be a bit better. After saturdays rain we would need to go to mount everest to stay dry John
  2. Complete incompetence in setting up a tent! I'm probably going to arrive around 5ish, so it will be a race against darkness I fear. Is anyone going to bring a tractor to pull us out of the mud? John
  3. I'm wondering about bringing the NEQ6 and 130pds, although everyone's lights will probably dim when it slews! (perhaps thats a good thing, we are meant to keep lp to a minimum) John
  4. It's going to be my first time camping, so I'm not quite sure what to expect! I haven't got a tent yet, hoping to get something this weekend. Are there any types I should particularly avoid? (My student budget will need to take a slap in the face, I fear! ) John
  5. Hi, I've booked! I can only make the Friday night, due to uni schedule. Hopefully I can arrive by lunch time on the Friday though and stay on until after the hog roast on Saturday evening. Clear skies! John
  6. Wouldn't it be funny if budget astrophotographers from M31 are saying the same about the Milky Way right now..... John
  7. Hi Stu, its good to be back! I've looked at the 150 several times before, reviews seem to be a bit mixed about its performance at higher magnification. Otherwise though, it seems to fit the bill quite nicely as its well within the size and weight capability of the neq. Have you ever used one? What was it like for general viewing? Its very tempting, and just down the road from me.... but I really want to tread carefully and go for performance over looks, I have a chronic weakness for fracs which must be kept in check! John
  8. Hi, Well, first a bit of an apology, I haven't been active on here much recently, my 1000d is beginning to breathe its last so the imaging is on hold for a year or two until I can invest in a proper, good camera. Meanwhile, I'm doing visual observing and planetary imaging with my 130PDS and NEQ6. I've decided that I should be able afford a budget-ish (roughly <£300) second scope for visual and/or planetary imaging, so long as its the last astro purchase for a year or two. I really want to get a better view of the Mars 2020 opposition than I did last year with the 90mm frac. I live in b4.5 skies so I'm not averse to some deep sky observing capability too, although my 130PDS does a good job on widefield targets. I'm happy to use the 2nd hand market, although I'm aware that some scopes are more common on astrobuysell and SGL than others. What sort of scope would you folks recommend? I don't know if I should go with a dob or an OTA of some sort for my NEQ. I've owned both newts and a frac before, but I really don't have the experience with different scopes to work out whats best for me. There's also the possibility of a more portable setup, but with uni starting next month I'm not convinced Ill have the time to drive out to dark locations and stuff. (Unless I can find a really nice setup going cheap, that is! ) Clear skies! John
  9. Wow those are really nice echos! It would be so cool to map their directions, your "pings" seem to have far higher resolution than most. Its fascinating the way that they seem to split up on different frequencies. John
  10. Nice shot! That was some lightning, thankfully it wasn't loud, being really high up amongst clouds. We had (at Chippenham) around 3-4 flashes per second during the best 20 mins (not counting the flickering from each flash), the most I've ever seen. The sky seemed to be lit up by a set of failing LED strip lights, quite disorientating. John
  11. Hi, Wow, there really are some nice photos on this thread, definitely worth reading! These were a couple of quick shots from Monday "morning", Saturn with the NEQ6 and ASI120MC. 1. Saturn from a video of around 15k frames, with 2x (dreadful) barlow. Its a small image, really I could do with getting a decent quality 3x for this kind of stuff, still using the one that came with the explorer 130! 2. Again with the Barlow, this time a single 5 sec exposure to show Saturn's moons: (L) Dione, (R) Tethys, just under the planet is Rhea, and under that is Titan. I was able to see all four visually with the 6mm eyepiece, although it was a bit of a struggle. I purposely didnt look at the position of the moons beforehand, its so easy to imagine faint dots! Clear skies! John
  12. Hi Stu, Thanks! The galaxies werent easy at all, i would agree than M82 is the better of the pair, visually. Oops, my error! The optician says my eyes are ok but they would have to be very sharp to see Hadley Rille at 25x I think i put Hadley in the wrong section -- if i remember right I tried to spot it with the 28mm eyepiece, but realised it was far too low mag, so switched to the 6mm in order to spot it. (Which gives just over 108x). The crater was quite easy to spot, but the rille was only a hint of a shadow near to the mountains. There is a chance my eyes were making it up, or got confused with shadows from the mountains. I'm pretty sure it is possible to spot with me setup though, this was with the same scope and my asi120 on a night with poor seeing and a bad lighting angle. Thanks for pointing out that mistake. John
  13. Hi, Last night was quite sub-optimal in terms of imaging weather, lots of moon and not very good transparency, so I decided to have a relaxing visual evening. My 130P-DS and NEQ6 pairing is hardly a typical visual setup, but I wouldn't swap them for anything! I plugged my ears into some Stellardrone and sat back to enjoy the sky. First up was the moon. At f/5, and with the 28 mm 2" eyepiece it felt rather like looking for flies on a searchlight, but once my eyes had adapted i was amazed. The small-scale "rippling" seeing was non-existent. The sharpness of the image was incredible, I was staring down on Copernicus, seeing for the first time the crater-lets on its half-illuminated floor. On the side nearest the terminator, dazzling terraces showed with almost cartoon-like clarity, and 3 or 4 central peaks with their tops picked out by the sun. Truly a breathtaking sight. I got a quick through-the-eyepiece snap with my phone, its nothing like the actual view though. The low-magnification view began to get a little painful after a while, so i switched to my 6 mm wide-field eyepiece and moon filter. The pointy shadows on Copernicus' floor were shorter now, so I moved on south. Drifting down the terminator while looking for Fra Mauro, i was surprised by Straight Wall, which looked like a paper-cut in the moons surface. I also had a look for the Hadley Rille, both it and Hadley were visible against the mountains. --Note: Theres a chance this wasnt hadley rille at all, but some other shadows from the low illumination angle.-- Once the moon began to get a bit low over the houses, i decided it was time for some deep-sky targets. First up was the Virgo Cluster, which was far too close to the moon--I could only see M49 as a pale blob against the glowing sky. Next I moved onto M81/82, they were visible, but not particularly clear. I could distinguish them, though as M81 appeared as a broader patch of light compared to the cigar's narrow shape. Next up was M106, my first time looking at this target. I was interested by its shape, it seemed irregular in one direction, but there was very little to see due to the moon and sky conditions. Finally M51, which looked quite clear, the double shape was apparently (just), and the main galaxy was slightly extended. Unfortunately some haze moved across the view after a while and it disappeared. By this point Cygnus and Vega were beginning to rise, with the milky way. So many stars! I sat for ages just looking up at them...forgetting. Ive never felt nearer to the stars, despite the fact that this was a pretty mediocre night. The Dumbell Nebula was just high enough, so I took a quick look. Hourglass shape was clear, but not much else, there was high cloud around again by this time, obscuring the lower targets. Then I got cold and went in. All round a very successful evening, I think. The seeing was incredible, very surprising with transparency as good as it was. John
  14. Hi, It's something I definitely wasn't expecting! The jet is in the correct direction though, and is in the opposite direction to the coma. It's also strongly luminous in the blue. I would suggest disregarding the standard method of taking short (<1min) subs, my ones were 120 and 200 sec, at iso800, I believe. It's quite possible to get the galaxy core + jet without too much clipping. Good luck! John
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