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About cloudsweeper

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf
  • Birthday

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Physics, maths, history (family, military, social), architecture.
  • Location
    Merseyside, England

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  1. Welcome Lancer! I started 2.5 years ago with no prior experience, just a science background, and soon found there is an enormous amount to learn about the physics, equipment, and technology. But with practice, keenness, and support from the internet and SGL in particular, you soon make progress up the proverbial steep learning curve, and have a lot of satisfaction on the way! Doug.
  2. New

    You're in for a treat. Just blow the moths off your wallet! Doug.
  3. A heck of a lot in just over two years - see signature. And to think when I started I thought you only needed a cheapish 'scope and nothing else! It all worked for me because I flogged off a load of stuff from the previous hobby. Well worthwhile - I love astro! Doug.
  4. I have a Meade 4000 8-24, and yes - the low AFOV at low mag is the downside of a zoom. As many have said, zooms are very convenient in particular situations, but for general use cannot replace a set of fixed FL eyepieces. Doug.
  5. Wow - monster magnification! Doug.
  6. That buzz is what this hobby is all about. When you feel it, there's nothing like it! Doug.
  7. Wish I was there! Doug.
  8. ONE. This had to happen some time. Slipped the dewshield on the 8SE, began alignment. OK through RACI finder; nothing through EP. Eh?? Yes - aperture cover not removed - dohh! TWO. Hardly saw a hint of target galaxies and globs. Even M13 was iffy. Why? Well, it was then about 3.30am, and at this time of year, even major stars were getting dim. But the Summer Beehive Cluster IC 4665 still looked good! THREE. Brought everything back indoors and failed to check/wipe as necessary. Soon noticed a slug slithering over the power pack - yeuk! It can only get better. Doug.
  9. GRS

    Yes - my recent (and first) sighting of the GRS was at twilight. But I've yet to detect any colour in the Spot and belts - there's always something further to aim for: part of the fun and then sense of achievement! I was using the ES 24/68 and 18/82, so lower mags (x85, 113) than Jon. Doug.
  10. 1.20am, 8SE ready and waiting. Aligned on Dubhe and Cor Caroli. Targets - galaxies around Canes Venatici. Whirlpool Galaxy M51 with close galactic neighbour NGC5195 were easily found by starfield recognition using x48 @ 1.34*. At x68, they were still two smudges, slightly brighter at the centres. x85 - a little clearer. Pushing it to x113, M51 appeared more extensive but despite checking focus by moving to a star then back, it sadly didn't reveal any detail. Nevertheless, once on target, experimenting with mag does show how appearance and contrast can be improved. M94, another spiral galaxy, spot on in GoTo, but confirmed anyway using a "kite" pattern of stars to the west, whose westernmost element was easily resolved into two stars at x48. The galaxy itself appeared bright and concentrated, rather than a broad fuzz, and its core became sharper at x85 and x113. The sky was dark, GoTo was performing brilliantly, so I thought I'd try M106 which - unlike the previous three - I haven't seen so far. Glanced up to see that extensive cloud cover had suddenly brought my enjoyment to a halt after just over one hour. So back to bed, eager for the next outing! Doug.
  11. Years ago, when the children were very young, they would joke, while passing it, that Carr House in that village was where Horrocks "invented the Sun". Kids, eh! Doug.
  12. Yeah - I think of the sights I've enjoyed, the GRS emerging into view will stay with me most powerfully, since it was so darned elusive! Doug.
  13. Well done - it should easier from now on! It took me 2.25 years to crack the GRS, so after 13 years you must be really delighted and relieved! Doug.
  14. Good report! I too set out to spot half a dozen globs, but lack of sky darkness and poor transparency resulted in just three fuzzy patches (M3, 5, 13). Sombrero Galaxy - nearby star pattern spot on, but not a hint of the galaxy itself for the same reasons. Not one of my better sessions, but that's the nature of the hobby! Doug.
  15. Nice one, Stu. It's always a buzz to see the GRS, even though - for me at least - it's usually more of a PGS. (Pale Grey Sausage.) Doug.