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andy jack

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About andy jack

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  1. Thanks for the warm welcome back and all the good wishes. I am now already looking forward to viewing Saturn next year. Don't know if what I am doing is right, or indeed if there is a right or wrong way, but to date I don’t tend to use my finder scope all that much? I use it briefly just to get me in the general area and then tend to go hopping with my 26mm which is currently my EP with the largest field of view. This appears to have worked well for me however, that could be symptomatic of my finder scope being rubbish and very awkward to use and the fact that excluding the ring nebula all my targets to date have been fairly obvious and easy to find. A better quality right angled finder scope was already penciled in on my “list of things to buy later” if my bad back persists I may take up your good advice and make that purchase a priority.
  2. This is really not an hello more of an hello again. A minor car accident in November left me with a bad back and effectively nipped my new found interest in astronomy in the bud. Initially I could not even look upwards without being in discomfort. I continued to visit the site but with my scope mothballed, my activity has been limited to the occasional read. My back is now much improved, more niggly than debilitating however, it is not quite up to the efforts of lugging my equipment outside and spending lengths of time bent over an eyepiece. Last night the lure of a perfectly clear sky simply got the better of me and for better or worse, I struggled outside with my scope, leaving it to cool while I fired up stellurium in search for likely looking targets. Not surprisingly the effort has aggravated my back and I am in a little discomfort today. With a little help from Mr brufen however, it is not that bad and in the scheme of things a small price to pay. There was only one target for a newbie like me and it had to be my first look at Saturn. Having experienced some stunning views of Jupiter last year I was sort of prepared for what I was going to see and as such probably not quite so blown away as I may have otherwise been. That all said, I was still really impressed with what I was seeing. The view was very clear and crisp but it was very bright making it difficult to pick out any detail. I could just about make out Titan and Dione as tiny but very bright pin pricks but the glare was obliterating any other detail. I obviously had to drag my wife and two daughters out into the cold to share my excitement and despite having very little real interest, they were all really impressed. In fact the familiar image was so crisp and almost animated that my wife was convinced at one point that I was playing a trick on her and was somehow generating the image by fraudulent means LOL. I am probably not quite ready to be hauling my scope outdoors with every break in the cloud however, over the next couple of months, weather permitting, I hope to slowly get back into the swing of things and re-start my own personal voyage of discovery. Here’s to cloudless nights and good seeing, its good to be back if only tentatively.
  3. I am probably showing my ignorance here astro baby, but my knowledge of the night sky is still fairly limited. I know, and can identify some of the major constellations, but need to refer to stellarium or books to find my way around. With this in mind, and keeping it fairly simple, can you please point me in the direction of the twisted planet you think you are living on. As long as you are being reasonable lost in space, your girlfriend should support and encourage you in your interests and vice versa. If she does not, the alarm bells should be ringing. Never had this sort of problem myself, my girlfriend/wife and I were bluntly honest in established exactly what the ground rules were very early into our relationship. As a result we both have our own interests and hobbies but more to the point we are both very considerate and supportive of each other. If you truly love somebody it’s a pleasure to compromise for them, but if they truly love you back, they would hate the thought of you having to do so.
  4. Not wishing to be rude to anyone, but after reading the posts on here over the last few months I am convinced that if i asked a question about a car somebody would recomend a Dob. Well lets face it they are a much greener object and so easy to push in comparison. :D
  5. I purchased a 150P as my first telescope a couple of months months back and I am very pleased with my choice. Initally the EQ mount was a bit strange and it did take a little while to set up however, it soon becomes second nature. If like me you have to store your telescope indoors, a couple of minutes extra setting up the mount is an irrelevance, given you have to wait for it to cool. I am also impressed with how compact the mount and tripod are for transportation. They take up very little space in the car boot. Perhaps a consideration if you think your Dad will want to take the telescope to France?
  6. Friday before last I was involved in a car accident when a Taxi kindly pulled out in front of me. Until tonight the full implication was lost on me. Joy of joys the first clear night for weeks, out goes the OTA for cooling and I can do a bit of meteor watching while I wait. Look up for a few seconds and crunch, click, OUCH!!! Looks like I will be missing the Geminids and any potential to use my telescope for a little while. Sick as a parrot!
  7. I am also very impressed with the help, advice and general service I received. I was expecting, and prepared to pay a little more for my telescope for the convenience of buying from a local shop. Not only did I want to see the telescope in the flesh, but ideally I like to deal with a shop direct in case of problems. Stockport Binocular and Telescope Centre are only a few miles away from me, so they were the obvious first port of call. Not only did I receive great service but quite unexpectedly they also price matched the best on-line price I had found. All in all, if my experience is typical then they are a very good company to deal with.
  8. I have recently bought my first scope and I think the main question for me was go-to or none go-to? I had slightly less to spend than the price of the 130SLT but I think my choices were fairly comparable. I narrowed it down to the Skywatcher Explorer 130P Go-to,or spend a similar price on a larger none Go-to. In the end I decided that I could live without Go-to and purchased the telescope with the largest appeture I could afford with a EQ mount. That turned out to be the Skywatcher 150P which the advertising blurb tells us has 33% more light gathering than 130mm. Retrospect is a great thing and given the choice again I would still pick the 150P over a 130 Go-to. However, I did not seriously consider a Dob which could have been a mistake? If you have already considered all this and your mind is firmly made up that you want a Go-to, I would be asking the question what is the difference (besides £84) between the SLT130 and the Skywatcher 130 Go-to? I am sure I have read on here that Celestron and Skywatcher are part of the same company?
  9. Thanks for that Astro Baby. That gives me a little more confidence, I don't feel quite so much like I would be taking a gambol. Given the lack of replies I am presuming that they are not a popular buy though?
  10. I have upgraded the 25mm EP supplied with my 150P to a generic Plossl and I am quite pleased with the improvement. I am really enjoying the wide field of view the 25mm offers and the sharper image of the plossl. With this in mind I was hoping for a little more of the same without breaking the bank. I have been looking at the 32mm Skywatcher Panaview Skywatcher - Skywatcher PanaView 2" eyepieces and I was wondering if, would this be a step too far, has anybody any experience of these EP's or at least read a credible review? I am 41 years old but at a fairly recent eyetest I was assured that my eyesight is perfect.
  11. When I purchased my 150P the guy in the shop made a real big deal about the latitude adjustment. He emphasised that you MUST make sure that the opposing adjustment screw is slackened off or you WILL bend one of the screws. He even went to the trouble of giving me a demonstration on a display model and then insisted that I had a go, to demonstrate that I had understood what he had done. At the time I felt it was a bit OTT and patronising, but I now realise how easy it would be to damage one of the screws. I am a newbie so my experience is fairly limited but it sounds like you could have fallen foul of this. Personally I leave the latitude adjustment fixed in position and just remove the OTA if it is not going to be used for a few days.
  12. I feel a real imposter even replying to your post because I am very new to all this myself. However, being fairly ignorant may have some advantages in so much as I can only offer advice on the basic and obvious. You say you were in a hurry, did you allow time for the scope to cool? I ask because if not the image can be wobbly. Polar aligning will not affect the physical stability of the mount however, if you are not at least roughly polar aligned, using a 10mm EP you will have to work your controls excessively in both axis to keep Jupiter in your FOV. Each time you move your controls to keep the object in your FOV you unavoidably wobble the OTA. Obviously if you are constantly having to twiddle to keep the object in your FOV then you are going to have an almost constant wobble. By polar aligning your mount you will greatly reduce the amount of fine tuning needed to keep an object in your FOV.
  13. I am new to all this, so my experiences may not be typical but M57 proved to be a tricky little so and so. My home views are fairly limited so I have to go to a dark(ish) site to view anything that is not in the East. Because of this I have only had the opportunity to view M57 once and the conditions were all but perfect. I have a SW 150 and using a 25mm plossil to search the general area it appeared just about visible as a very small, very faint, round smudge. Once found M57 responded very well to higher magnification, just as my book said it would. I can not think of a better description than that given by the same book as a ghostly doughnut. I know it will seriously restrict your FOV but try searching in the general area with a higher magnification. I know the usual rule is that a faint fuzzy will just become fainter fuzz with higher magnification, but M57 is an exception to that rule.
  14. Can't help much as I am new to all this myself. Best advice I can offer is, download stellarium. Locate the more obvious targets on stellarium and then try and find them in the sky. Not as easy as it sounds but very rewarding when your target suddenly appears in the eye piece. Try to enjoy the journey and what you learn along the way, as much as actually viewing an object.
  15. Don't do it! That is, sell the carp fishing gear. It may appear a good idea now, but come spring you will be kicking yourself. Besides you will only get peanuts for it second hand, and then undubtedly have to pay through the nose when you get the urge again. And you will get that urge! I know a few people who have done it and have lived to regret their actions. Just think what you will be missing?
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