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About billyharris72

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    Proto Star

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  • Interests
    Astronomy, climbing / mountaineering, chess
  • Location
    St. Arvans, Wales

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  1. No expert on platesolving but I know Astroart does it (used it occasionally and works okay). Astrotortilla looks like a good option and well worth considering. Billy.
  2. We would definitely notice, but the point is a fair one in the abstract. Gasses in space at very low pressures can be at over a million Kelvin, yet the space itself could be (hypothetically) interpreted by us as "cold" if there isn't enough of that gas. The Sun's Corona is an example of this. At about 1 million K it poses comparatively little threat to the Parker Solar probe, which will be travelling through it. What that is "worried" about is the 5800K photosphere - less hot but an awful lot more of it. But for us - I have not actually thought it through in any detail, but I'd imag
  3. Agree with the above. I used to have both - of the two, the Newt was miles better on planets. The short focal length should not be a problem, since 5 inch f5 mirrors seem to be of invariably high quality. It should just be a matter of getting a suitable eyepiece (something about 4-5mm) or using a Barlow to get the required magnification. Don't be tempted to push too high - remember that, given typical seeing conditions (down to about 1 arc second), the human eye can resolve all accessible detail at somewhere between x60 and x120. The other things to check are collimation and expectations.
  4. I'm with Craig. I'd sell it. A 10 inch Dob is quite a big beast if you're living in a city and want to travel to a darker site, and you seem to be happy with the ED72. Sure, a time may come in future when a larger scope makes sense, but that's not now. You might in future consider something like the Heritage Dobs (great scopes - ironically given the advice I'm giving I regret selling mine) on a simple alt az mount (portable, usable from a balcony, but decent light grasp) but for now I'd just stick with the frac. The best scope is the one you use. Billy.
  5. I'd tend to agree with Ricochet. Personally, if your budget is under, say, £40, I'd recommend Plossls as by far the best option. While the field isn't wider than the stock eyepieces, optically they are pretty good. That includes the Skywatcher ones, which are pretty cheap. The only thing I'd add is that a 4mm Plossl is not a particularly comfortable eyepiece to use - eye relief is pretty tight even without glasses. I have one (a Celestron Omni) and quite like it, but it takes getting used to. With that in mind, something like a 32mm, a 9mm and a decent Barlow lens (the Celestron Omn
  6. From the BBC website (science pages): "Skywatchers have been treated to the first full moon of 2020 - known as a "wolf moon" - at the same time as a lunar eclipse."
  7. Good choice. My final setup for grab and go with that scope (which I still regret selling) was the OTA on an AZ4. Portable and absolutely rock solid. Another option is buy a cheap second hand set of tripod legs from somewhere like AstroBoot and just bolt a sheet of plywood on top to make a collapsible plinth for the Dob base. Works well and should only set you back about 30 quid.
  8. The heritage is actually easier to transport - it can be carried in one hand, but you're right about wanting something to put it on. Something like a 3 legged stool would do the job okay though and would not be too much more to carry.
  9. I'd agree with banjaxed. While I don't think equatorial mounts are all that hard to get your head around, the lighter models are often not great. The EQ2 may not be all that stable. I also think the EQ scope you're looking at may have a spherical mirror - not the end of the world, but not as good optically as the Heritage, which is a great scope. What is it about your site that makes you think it may not be suitable?
  10. Have you considered making your own dew heater? I have major issues with dew on the secondary, but loop of resistors drawing around 2 watts, wrapped in shrink tube and attached to the back of the mirror with electrical tape, solved the problem. Going the DIY route also let me use finer wire, so there is no real impact on the image. I imagine something similar could work for the primary? Billy.
  11. Hmmmm, point taken - that's nice! Makes me wonder if I've got something else wrong with my setup. I seem to be able to go both sides of focus, so it's not that, but have bloated stars in luminance and in blue. We're talking really bad here, like a blue fuzzy ring around each star. Removing it in processing leaves the stars looking almost white. I fitted an additional Astromimic UV/IR cut filter, a bit more aggressive than the stock filters. That cleans it up quite a bit - but now I seem to have the focus issue you mention. Only way to get focus is to put the flattener way too close to the
  12. With an unmodded Nikon DSLR you should be fine with the 72ED, and it'd be a good match for the mount in terms of size. It struggles badly with RGB filters on a mono camera (below about 420nm it just doesn't focus), but the DSLR will not suffer excessive chromatic aberration. On the other question, it depends what lenses you have. With an 0.85 focal reducer/flattener you will get 357mm at about f4.9. Having used and compared a budget (c. £80) Sigma 70-300mm zoom at f5.6, my money would be on the Sigma. Yes, the zoom bit and the less than friendly manual focusser are a pain, but optically i
  13. Interesting, and makes sense. I've tended to the exact opposite (pointing up) but down does seem much more stable thinking about it. That might even work with the guidescope setup, as it would be opposite to the guide. I'm really tempted by an OAG though. Do you use one with that DSLR? If so it should cover my chip no problem. Billy.
  14. Hi all: I've struggled a bit with getting a guidescope to work well with my 130 PDS/ HEQ5 setup. I've used three arrangements (all with a 120m as the guide camera). 1) QHY 30mm f4 guidescope, mounted in the finder shoe. Works well, but is a little short so pixel scale / performance could be better. Probably the best setup so far. 2) Skywatcher 50mm ED in the findershoe. Impossible to balance the scope in DEC with this setup - massively front heavy. I suppose I could put a counterweight of some sort at the back. 3) Skywatcher dovetail bar on top of the tube rings with an ADM
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