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Everything posted by johnfosteruk

  1. Dave if I was actually interested that is indeed what I'd have done. However my little red LEDs do the trick for me.
  2. If this does turn out to be correct which shade of the Present Mrs Fosters nail varnish do I need to use on my LED lamp then? ?
  3. Also they're right you know, collimation makes a huge difference and isn't at all difficult once you understand the principles involved and importantly the mechanism to collimate your scope.
  4. Barry, as a nearly as new astronomer as yourself (practically anyhoo, I've been an armchair astronomer if such a thing exists for years but didn't start observing till this last Christmas.) with a 130mm SW I'd add that it really helps to study the objects in the sky as well, whether it be a lunar atlas, a map of the constellations, the Messier catalog, Hershel 400 or whatever. Find everything you can online or in print to give as much context as possible and become familiar with the objects you're viewing.. As well as the practical stuff like apparent magnitude, It helps with star hopping to locate your object which gives you more observing time, it helps you appreciate the scale of it all and it just helps you to understand what you're looking at. I think that knowing about what you're looking at helps you see more because you know what you're looking for. Sketching your observations helps with this too. I've sketched a few sessions now and while nothing's going to win any prizes it aids my observing muscle so to speak. Make a target list Based on your readings and even if you don't find something you'll find other stuff en route that'll be equally as captivating. Then the fun is in identifying it after and seeing if you can get back to it again. Get in the obs reports board in here, that'll help with knowing what to look for too. The hobby is as much about what you know as what you see I think, especially with the climate (read clouds) in the uk anyway. Also keep good observing logs, primarily to keep account of what you've observed but also so you know what to have another crack at when conditions are better or the sky is darker or when you have 'better' equipment. There's a lot of links to resources I've mentioned which can be found on here or via Google, if I wasn't basically asleep I'd share some, just say and I will later.... Of course as well this place is an amazing resource, continue to make use of it, speaking of which.... Mak thanks for the EP recommendations I'll be taking the plunge soon I think, do the vixen provide significantly better views that the revelation? I'm always a little scared when things get 'rebadged'
  5. I just finished reading it 3 days ago, Steve thanks for a very in depth but plain English education! Will you're in for a treat, and that video is definitely a keeper, I love it. Now where did I leave all that spare cash.
  6. Martin Meredith's 'Pretty Deep Maps' allow you to sort star lists by magnitude Assuming it's not a specifically Kepler related project you need it for. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14005918/index.htm
  7. Lovely image, is that some bonus fuzzies too?
  8. Only thing to the right of Jupiter here is clouds, and to the left, and you guessed it..... in front. And not many opportunities left either this time round. Mustn't grumble though, first year out observing and I've spent a substantial amount of time with Jupiter, what a great hobby.
  9. I'd love to, I've just been looking at clearoutside to see if there's any chance of catching the Aquariids before they pass, quite typically for me it's not looking good.
  10. Stunning locations, lovely images John. I Reckon I'll have to get up your way one night soon, it's only an hour up the road and your shots have convinced me.
  11. Gotta convince The Present Mrs Foster of the benefits of a quality mount yet!!! But when I do I'm looking forward to sharing something identifiable. In the meantime I'll get by slobbering over the work that you (and others) are posting.
  12. Lovely set of images Mike, especially love Saturn, nice sharp Cassini Division. I say you should post the Pluto image, it may be an irregular blob of light, but it's Pluto for goodness sake. I've never seen Pluto through a scope or imaged it and 99% of the people on the planet haven't either - it's an achievement.
  13. Thank you for sharing your experience and your lovely captures Richard, I'm just starting out and it's so encouraging to read posts like this, thanks mate.
  14. Relative newcomer's perspective here, but let me see how much I've learnt. In theory, I would imagine that you need to: ensure you note every last detail of your setup for night 1 (focus, where it's pointed etc - to very oversimplify) Or keep it setup, but also note every detail to allow for external influences and cockup fairies Accurately document your 'frame' or field of view so that you can redo that on night 2 Obviously ensure you are well aligned to allow #3 to happen. Know where your target will be in the sky on nights 1, 2.... using your star charts, Stellarium or whatever else you may use. Very simple answer but Like Peter says more info would be useful - If you've an Observatory then that lot will be a lot simpler than it would for me with my EQ2 mount and cheap RA motor.... and no observatory. Hope it helps.... you and me.
  15. That's an awesome first go at the big one, especially with a Dob. Very very jealous (in a friendly kind of way) Well done.
  16. That's very detailed and shows a lovely amount of structure in the dust lanes.
  17. I generally always start with the unread content stream but if that's a little overwhelming or I need a quick hit while The Present Mrs Foster doesn't have other plans for me I absolutely have to let out the green eyed envy monster and work through the imaging boards. I do particularly love the DIY Obsy boards to, again, green eyed monster!!!
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