Jump to content


andy jack

New Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by andy jack

  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?
  16. Mine is not quite so little, or pert these days. Or have I got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
  17. First of all a warm welcome from a fellow novice. My apologies if I am being blindingly stupid here, but I thought you levelled the mount by adjusting the legs of your tripod? Don't take my word for it, because I am only a couple of weeks into owning a scope myself. That’s just what I assumed, as it appears the most obvious thing to do?
  18. Yes quite! Life is full of fine lines. For example the line between genuinley questioning something and calling somebody a liar, thats a fine one. I may be a novice but my eyesight is perfect and I am far too long in the tooth to be imagining/inventing things. In short I know what I saw. I am not going to waste my time debating what I did or did not see. Life is too short! It was nieve of me to think that I could post reports of observations on a forum without this sort of thing happening. Won't be happening again.
  19. M31 was quite clear despite the bright moon. Can't claim to have seen dust lanes as such, it was just a hint of symetry in the murk. Knowing what we know, I just sort of knew thats what it was. If I had never seen a picture of M31 I doubt I would have been able to come to the same conclusion.
  20. I tried to view M31three nights ago and had quite a frustrating experience. I really struggled to find it and when I did it was more fluke than good judgment. (See my previous post “Novices first observation”) It appeared as a very small unimpressive cigar shaped faint smudge. To make matters worse after taking so long to find it a vapour trail obliterated it within minutes. Armed with a new 25mm Super Plossl, a light pollution filter and most importantly a clear sky it would have been rude not to try again. First of all it has to be said, cheap or not, the Plossl is a vast improvement on the EP’s shipped with my Skywatcher 150. If that’s the sort of improvement gained from a cheap EP I can’t wait to see how a really good quality EP performs. Tonight I had no repeat of my poor navigation and found M31 fairly easy. I was using my Skywatcher 150P with the 25mm Plossl mentioned above. The sky was very clear but the moon is still very large and bright. M31 appeared as an oval shape which was cloudy grey, with a small round centre that was a much lighter and brighter. Once my eyes became adjusted I could make out its shape quite well with the very slightest hint of dust lanes. I could add the missing detail in my minds eye and clearly visualise in my head what I was looking at. Hope that makes sense? It only begs the question, what did I see on Monday night? It was not M31! Looking at stellarium and allowing for the fairly random way in which I stumbled upon what I saw, I can’t help wondering if it was M33? It’s in the general area and a similar distance from my starting point of Mirach? Whatever it was it was fainter than M31 and other than a cloudy appearance it was uniform in colour and light with no visual detail. Just a smudge! Just as an interesting foot note, tonight at least, viewing M31 my light pollution filter was a hindrance rather than a help. The image was much sharper and clearer with the unfiltered Plossl.
  21. Thats Great Gaz thanks for that. I must brush up on my searching skills I managed to totally miss them.
  22. I am struggling to find information about the various filters and their uses for viewing. It would be really great if somebody could write a little guide for us beginners in a similar vein to the excellent eyepieces thread. Perhaps if possible, narrowing things down to a small basic selection of essentials, for the beginner to then build upon? A bit cheeky I know, but I am sure many people would find it very useful and it would also save on the same basic questions being asked and answered repeatedly.
  23. Thanks for all your kind words. I paid the price today, not only was I totally shattered but my thighs are really stiff and sore. It’s all that crouching down, peeking and twiddling that did it. Re-read my report tonight, and it’s a grammatical nightmare. Some of it does not even make sense. Written English is not one of my strong points at the best of times, so obviously writing while tired is not the smartest move. That said, if I would have waited the result would have probably been more sanitised and a lot less spontaneous. It is doubtful that future observations from home will be quite so epic. My view is limited and light pollution is an issue. That said I fully intend to regularly visit a reasonably dark site which has a much larger view. In fact weather permitting I fully intend spending a night there this coming weekend. Thanks for the suggestion Talitha. That is something I really need. Stellarium is not an option for me out in the field. Thanks again for all your kind words of encouragement and for making me feel so welcome.
  24. Always best to explain and ask nicely first. Just done exactly that with my next door neighbour. Totally understanding, even offered to have the light disconnected. Turns out that he has his own telescope tucked away in a wardrobe. His ladder was out and the sensor moved within minutes of the request. Everybody is happy and we now know that we have a common interest.
  25. Purchased my first Telescope, a Skywatcher 150P just shy of a week ago. It has been cloudy here ever since. I am told the cloud comes free with every new scope. A couple of days back I did manage a few minutes watching Jupiter, but it was a real rush job. No time to polar align, just let the scope cool while having my tea and then just point and twiddle for a few minutes until the cloud rolled back in. I was having a bath as darkness fell last night so I had no idea of the conditions. To be honest when I looked round the curtains, hair still wet, I was expecting to see the sky full of clouds. Imagine my surprise and delight to see the stars twinkling back at me. It was this noobies first chance to observe. Due to my location and small garden I can only view towards the North and East. Polaris is located just above and slightly right of my neighbours Sky dish. I do not have a Polar scope so I roughly lined up by eye through the mount. I must have got lucky because this proved to be quite accurate and more than satisfactory for just viewing. In fact once I had an object centred I could track it with just the RA axis not even a tweak of the DEC required. I started off with trying to have another look at Jupiter. I say trying because it was immediately obvious that my finder scope had drifted off. Jupiter is a big bright target though, so I actually used it to re-centre my finder. Spent a long time observing Jupiter, trying out the eye pieces that came with the 150, settling on my maximum magnification of the 10mm and the 2xBarlow. Once I had found the sweet spot the view was really quite good with a fair bit of detail. Having to only use one axis to track made things really easy, so suddenly the EQ mount started made sense. Jupiter eventually disappeared behind my neighbour’s house so it was time for a new target. Currently I only have stellarium to guide me, so after a quick look at what was in view I decided that it would be nice to see my first nebula. Specifically M31, Great Nebula in Andromeda. It was at this point that things stared to go wrong. I was really struggling with my finder scope. With the naked eye I see the star I want to find but when I look through the scope I see dozens, it’s a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees. After much frustrating searching and fighting with a mount that moves anyway but the way you want it I gave up. Actually that not strictly true! What I did was pointed my scope in the general direction and just went looking around with my 20mm. suddenly, and by total fluke there it was a little grey cigar shaped cloudy smudge. Again I decided to try all combinations of my limited eye pieces first having a look with my 10 mm but before I had chance to go any further it was obliterated by the vapour trail of a plane. After the vapour trail cleared I was unable to repeat the fluke of finding it so I needed a new target. For my next target I decided to try and see the nebula next to the bottom star (Alnitac) of orions belt. I don’t know the name of this nebula, stellarium just refers to it as NGC 2024. This time I had much better luck with my finder scope and found Alnitac without any real problem. Can not say the same of the nebula. Despite spending a lot of time in the right location I could not make anything out. There was one point where I thought I detected the faintest of smudges but it could have been my eyes playing tricks on me. By now it was getting very late so I decided on one last target, before I called it a night. M43 looked favourite. Well I was in the neighbourhood; it would be rude not to pay a visit! Found it no problem at all. Must be getting a little more used to my finder scope and mount. I certainly saved the best till the last. Totally awesome, only shades of grey, but its shape was quite clear. I even decided to stay out an extra hour so that I could view it a little higher in the sky. Getting a bit more confident at finding things I could not resist a little peek at Mars before calling it a night. To say I am pleased would be an understatement. First night properly using my new telescope (any telescope) and I have seen Jupiter, M31, M43, Mars and perhaps a hint of NGC 2024? Conditions were awful as well, with that big bright moon. I simply can’t wait to see the sky from a dark site with no moon. Looks like I may be hooked already. Sorry if that is all a bit, long winded, old hat, all been said before but I simply had to tell somebody.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.