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Everything posted by johnfosteruk

  1. Cheers Paul. I won't be giving up mate, I reckon when I get under a dark sky with good conditions she'll submit to me.
  2. I've used Daler Rowney with the few sketches I've completed and it's also quite firm, takes a little manipulation and holds quite well so there's another option if that's what you're looking for.
  3. Yeah because nothing else in this hobby is addictive - better watch out for that eh?
  4. A clear night list night, metcheck predicting good seeing and transparency so I setup in the back garden. I wasn't expecting much due to city LP but I do have a tall wall between me and the main light side and after some rearranging I setup closer to that than I had previously. I was pleasantly surprised. I recently flocked and while I was poorly and not able to get out I'd collimated the scope for the first time since getting it at Christmas. I didn't check the collimation before dismantling for flocking so I couldn't say if it was off before, but I think it must have been, what a difference. With no moon to ruin things until after midnight I wanted to go star hopping around some doubles and then go deeper. So it was off to Bootes, which has plenty to offer. Having not yet acquired anything special in the EP department I was delighted to find I could split some doubles, discern some small amount of colour at the 36x and 90x offered by the stock Skywatcher EPs and Barlow. First was δ Boo at the herdsman's shoulder, split clearly at 90x, good contrast and clearly saw the blue colour of the secondary. On to μ Boo, Alkalurops. No real discernible colour difference for me but easily split. ι Boo, Iota Bootis just about split at 36x but fine focus is difficult to achieve sometimes with the EQ2 mount thanks to all the wobble. At 72x with the barlow they're split nicely and focus is a little easier. Blue secondary clearly discernible. I spent 20 minutes with ε Boo, Izar at all magnifications and I couldn't split it solidly. Probably need to head to darker skies. the secondary popped out once or twice I think, in amongst all the wobble! After a good hour with the doubles I decided to try and get my first view of a GC, M13 is easy to find (I hoped) and wasn't too far away from where I was pointed so I pointed at Zeta using the RDF and then still looking through the RDF (which I'd recently taken time to align as accurately as I could) eyeballed it towards Eta to where M13 should be. After uncrumpling my back (I need a RACI I think) I popped the 25mm into the eyepiece and there was M13 towards the right hand side of the view. Totally impressed with my skills luck. Anyway, what a sight it is to see for the first time. At 36x with the 25mm it was a grey blur, but took on a grainy texture with averted vision. At 90x with the 10mm and a bit of time it's something else. I was very pleased and spent a good 30 minutes observing and sketching. Averted vision really is your friend with this object, the glowing centre with just a hint of structure, what appeared to be broken rings of stars around the core and glimpses of 'rays' reaching out from the centre. It clearly outshines the stars in the surrounding field and when you really give it the time screams out that there's more delights to be seen under darker skies. All in all I'm absolutely delighted with my second Messier/DSO. To finish I spent 10 minutes with my mate Jove, the 4 Galilean moons twinkling away nicely and the NEB/SEB resolving nicely (having a reference to observations pre flocking I'm certain of a detectable difference), no GRS obviously but definitely hints of structure on the disc. I really do love Jupiter, it's the first object I observed beyond our marvellous moon and I just love how that twinkling orange star becomes something so much more under magnification like a gateway to the universe. I could have sat there until the wee small hours drinking in the view.... But I was now feeling the cold so it was off to bed. Obviously I'm still very new to this hobby and although thanks to the extensive literature, the internet, this place etc you can learn a lot, quickly, it's so rewarding to actually execute what you've learnt. My key takeouts from last night are: What a difference a well collimated scope makes Flocking is worthwhile Align your finder as accurately as you can, then even more accurately than that (and get a RACI, my back is going to snap otherwise) Sketching is great, it doesn't just give you a record, but it forces you to look away from the eyepiece, relax your eyes extending your observation time, and it really does help you pick out the details. M13, Wow Even under LP there's lots to see. Need more nights like last night. Think I might invest in Chinese cloud busting rockets. Doubles are fascinating, I will be doing more of that Did I mention M13. I need to use the tools plan ahead for seeing the GRS/shadow transits etc. I'm glad there's nights when there's no moon. I need to stay out later, go out earlier to catch Mars & Saturn I really do need to save for a better mount. There's more but I'm getting boring now I'm sure. Thanks for reading Clear Skies
  5. So Jealous, with a view only in one direction I can't really justify the expense and I don't think the Present Mrs Foster wants to move!! Looking forward to the rest of your build.
  6. I think that you just have to accept some things as a given, especially with the crazy world of QED/QM. If you're trying to understand it because you're Feynman and you're looking to explain everything then that won't do but if it's 'recreational' it pays off. Accept it and understand what you can. As the great man said in 'Fun to Imagine' - "You have to know what it is that you’re permitted to understand and allow to be understood and known, and what it is you’re not........... But I really can’t do a good job, any job, of explaining magnetic force in terms of something else you’re more familiar with, because I don’t understand it in terms of anything else that you’re more familiar with."
  7. Jealous. Up early for work tomorrow so no observing for me.
  8. very nice, I'm still looking forward to first sight of Mars.
  9. Volume 3 of the Feynman lectures covers QM concepts well.
  10. Stunning work mate, love the detail in the animation.
  11. Processed a few others - as can be seen below. Quite pleased, I don't think it'll be long before I upgrade to something proper though.
  12. So as I'm unwell at the moment and can't be contorting myself into the crazy positions a newtonian demands, I wanted to do some imaging via the laptop. I modded an old webcam yesterday (Lifecam VX-3000) and while the results aren't spectacular, I'm quite pleased with the results. There's a few more but I haven't had a chance to process them yet. I'm quite pleased to have captured the details I have but I think it won't be long before I obtain some 'proper' imaging gear
  13. Well here we are then. Captured a bunch of video this evening and after about 3 hours of processing ended up a with a load of old rubbish, I think a better camera is in order, although the seeing was poor, it was over some rooftops/chimneys and the streetlights were on, plus the eq2 mount seems to have developed a little slippage so navigating to targets is now a pain. Anyhoo this seems to be the best of the bunch, I present Plato and surroundings, you can just about make out Cassini and the Alpes and ejecta rays from Archimedes so not too shabby I suppose. Who am I kidding, you can't beat the proper tools for the job!
  14. Peter (Peco4321) I have a lifecam vx-3000 and I'm going to start off modding that one as per guide linked below - doesn't look like a lot of work https://matthewdpeters.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/modifying-a-microsoft-lifecam-vx-1000-for-astrophotography/
  15. Cool, time to go hunting for the elusive toucam.
  16. it's funny how everyone's brain works isn't it. I kind of comprehend the scale and mechanics of the universe but its the small stuff I can't even begin to make sense of. No matter how much I read I can't Understand particles, forces at that scale, how it all behaves etc. It seems like a load of paradoxes to me.
  17. cheers mate. The problem with reading is that you invariably get to read about equipment.
  18. Someone or something really is taking the proverbial out of me!!!!! The material arrived midweek and I did it one evening. Next night was lovely and clear here in Plymouth but I couldn't have used the darn thing if you'd forced me because I've just been diagnosed with labyrinthitis most likely caused by some nasty little astronomy hating virus. It ruins your vestibular system and crawling around in the dark getting muddy ears using an RDF sent me wonkier than a wonky thing. I even got The Present Mrs Foster to find the target for me while I sat down but even looking through the eyepiece for more than a few seconds sent me spinning. I've been given some pills but they've not made much difference which the doc said was a possibility so I hope it clears up soon!!! Oh well I've lots of reading to do anyway, this hobby is as much about learning as it is doing.
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