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cloudsweeper last won the day on June 13

cloudsweeper had the most liked content!

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About cloudsweeper

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Physics, maths, history (family, military, social), pre-modern architecture.
  • Location
    Merseyside, England
  1. Maybe the Newt (I'm assuming that's what it is) needs collimating? (Even humble 'scopes should show Saturn's rings and at least two of Jupiter's belts clearly.) Doug.
  2. cloudsweeper

    Zero-Cost Observing Hood

    How things evolve! It was good at the time, but I now use this "outdoor gear" hood - much cheaper than a dedicated astro-hood, and it couldn't be more effective! Note that wearing it "reversed" (looking out where the shoulders would normally be) is ideal, as it gives shielding further forward and low down at the sides. Doug.
  3. Started by showing big sister some lunar detail - more for her to enjoy for the first time after Mars and Saturn a few days ago. Anyway - five doubles close to Scheat, all within about 3 degrees. (Well three doubles, since I reported on Sigma 2978 and h5532 a few days ago.) I aligned the 8SE on Deneb, and checked it by going to the bright orange Scheat, at the north of the Great Square. One-star alignment is not great however, so it was a bit out, but easily spotted, and I used it to hop to: Sigma 2974 - 2.7", matched - just split at x102, better x145. Then another hop to: Beta 78 - 19", companion faint - an easy, clear split x56, helped by AV, clearer x68, very pleasing. Combined hopping and GoTo isn't very sensible, so I re-aligned on Scheat and Markab, and went - using SAO numbers as usual - for: Sigma 2968 - 3.2", faint companion - spot on! Split at x145, with AV. So that's the five I wanted now achieved. A bit further south lies 61 Peg, a binary, 31". I had a go at this recently when it wasn't very dark, and could not spot the companion. Now, I thought, it would surrender to my probing, but again, No, at a range of mags, then after 1.25 hours cloud brought further attempts to a close. But I'll be back there alright! An enjoyable session, taking advantage of even short windows of opportunity! Doug. (Piazzi's Flying Star - see Gus's reply - this is actually 61 Cyg, not 61 Peg as I originally stated. Sorry!)
  4. cloudsweeper

    Ani ya wi yv Pleiades

    Interesting post. Still trying to figure out the title though! Doug.
  5. cloudsweeper

    Skywatcher ED120, some musings

    Yes Stu. It does seem to be an all-rounder (within reason) - and might even have the edge on slightly bigger aperture 'scopes with obstructions, in terms of contrast. Can't wait for it to land! Doug.
  6. cloudsweeper

    Skywatcher ED120, some musings

    Thanks for the helpful replies, everyone! Plus it's good to know that the 120ED is generally held in high regard. Now to my appointment with the finance committee...... Doug.
  7. cloudsweeper

    Skywatcher ED120, some musings

    I'm very late in on this because, after several weeks of deliberation, I have just decided that my next purchase will be an Evo (or Equinox) 120ED to replace the Startravel 120 in the stable along with the 8" Cat and the 10" Dob. So could I ask those with experience of the 120ED for a bit of advice, please? The ST120 is on an AZ4 (steel version), so: Would the 120ED be OK on that mount? (I know moving it is not exactly smooth, and it lacks fine control.) Would it be better on a Skytee II? If so, would the Skytee II mount go on the AZ4 tripod? Or would an AZ5 do the job? (Or is the 'scope a bit heavy for that?) Nothing's ever straightforward with this hobby, so some guidance would be appreciated! Cheers, Doug.
  8. cloudsweeper

    Full Stop, is it even possible?

    STOP THE UNIVERSE, I WANT TO GET OFF! (Eloquent post, SIDO.) Doug.
  9. cloudsweeper

    At last , a clear night ! But , am I happy ?

    I use a Rigel finder and a 9x50 RACI finder on my Dob. The RACI is good for checking and tracking (esp. at high mags) on account of the large field of view, but of course it is poorer on faint objects (dim stars, fuzzies) and in terms of contrast. The Rigel is smaller and lighter than a Telrad, and sits nice and high, making it easy to use. Doug.
  10. cloudsweeper

    At last , a clear night ! But , am I happy ?

    I'd recommend a 36 or 42mm eyepiece for 2 or more degrees of field to make hopping and locating easier. (The contrast is poorer at such low mag, but you can still get to the right region from the star patterns.) Don't forget to allow for the fact that everything is rotated through 180 degrees compared to charts, so turn the chart upside down. If you use a planetarium (like Stellarium), you can invert the view over both axes to give the same view as through the EP. Doug.
  11. cloudsweeper

    Cetus fuzzies

    Good going, Stephan. I'm hoping to explore more fuzzies with the 10" Dob when the nights get longer. Doug.
  12. My (older) sister is up to stay for a few days, and was keen to be shown some of the sights that have delighted me for a few years now. Saturn was low, west of south, so I got it in the 8SE and put a low step by the 'scope and showed her the wondrous sight. She was very impressed with her first view of the rings, especially as the planet is just like a bright star with the naked eye. Mars was over to the east, so that too had a viewing, its enhanced redness being another source of wonderment. It's really great to share these experiences with people who might otherwise never have them. I then went on pursuing Pegasus doubles, and was waiting patiently for 61 Peg's fainter companion to pop into view, but nothing doing - clouds scuppered the plan. But it was nevertheless a rewarding hour which sis will long remember! Doug.
  13. cloudsweeper

    What Would Be Your Answer To This Question?

    Make it four! Plus the enjoyment of immediate (rather than technologically enhanced) sensory input! *ducks below parapet* Doug.
  14. cloudsweeper

    What Would Be Your Answer To This Question?

    ....and the occasional low-flying bat at twilight. Oh, and I was once shaken by a raucous retching sound in the border. It was a vomiting hedgehog! Doug.
  15. cloudsweeper

    What Would Be Your Answer To This Question?

    The challenges, the satisfaction, the meditative qualities even - but also the sense of the incomprehensible scales of times and distances. Doug.

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