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Louis D

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About Louis D

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    Sub Dwarf

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    Texas, USA
  1. Could get awkward if you leave and return on either side of that date.
  2. But isn't Britain leaving the EU? That whole Brexit thing. I'm assuming the OP is from Britain.
  3. Skywatcher extras?

    Great new unintentional(?) portmanteau. I'll have to remember that one, as in "Dobviously, that scope needs a Telrad."

    I would go with an ED refractor because the contrast is miles better than on a C5. Something like a 72mm or 80mm one would make for a good spotter scope and low to mid power astro telescope. I tried photography with a mirror lens, and the veiling haze was atrocious. Visually, it wasn't much better. The C5 has a central obstruction similar to mirror lenses for photography. I'd go with 127mm Mak before a C5 if you really want a folded design to maintain compactness and lower cost. Their central obstruction is significantly smaller than a C5's, so the contrast is noticeably better.
  5. Skywatcher extras?

    Install Stellarium on a desktop or laptop and start learning how to use it to see what is visible on any given night from your location. There's even a mobile version for tablets and phones.
  6. I don't know about European customs, but when leaving and then returning to the US, you need to make sure you have receipts showing you purchased the items in the US prior to departure and not while you were abroad to avoid paying import duties upon your return.
  7. Glasses or No Glasses?

    I thought that Toric lenses were orientation sensitive. The bottom is thicker to help rotate them into the proper position using gravity. If you tend to look downward into an eyepiece, they tend to rotate every which way negating any useful correction.
  8. Not quite sure, but based on your description and my recent experience during the solar eclipse and my filtered ST80, I'd say you're really close to being aimed directly at the sun, but are off by less than a degree. Try sweeping the telescope around where the sun should be based on the shadow your scope casts on the ground. The shadow should be minimized when it is aimed at the sun. I found I was close after minimizing the shadow, but was still off somehow, so I had to sweep around a bit to finally find the sun in the eyepiece.
  9. Help me understand eyepieces.

    Funny you should bring this up. While trying to set the proper eyepiece to flattener distance, I had them way too far apart and tried my 14mm XL which has field curvature just like the XW. To my surprise, it was sharply in focus from center to edge! I was blown away I had counteracted its field curvature by overcorrecting the refractor's field curvature. Since it requires unscrewing and screwing different length adapter tubes to achieve the proper distance in front of the diagonal, it's not a practical solution. I tried pulling the eyepiece up out of the holder, but it wasn't nearly enough. Perhaps someone could come up with a variable curvature corrector similar to the Paracorr's adjustable top.
  10. Did I see a supernova?

    Here's a screen shot of the Iridium flare that is the most likely one: Does that match up with what you saw? The time is a bit off I'll admit, but the location seems spot on. Knowing your exact location would greatly help. This was for Cambridge.
  11. Did I see a supernova?

    For reference, an actual supernova lasts for about 3 weeks or so. If it is in our galaxy, it will be very bright, but won't move across the sky. Historically, they were referred to as guest stars. If it is in another galaxy, you'll most likely need a telescope to make it out.
  12. Did I see a supernova?

    Weird, I get the same runtime error if I use that link in another browser's window. Basically, start with HA's Iridium flare webpage, update your location in the upper right corner, and then use the < button to the right of the search period start/stop date/times to go backward in time to search for historical flares. Then click on the flare on October 15th for details.
  13. Help me understand eyepieces.

    I had to get a TSFLAT2 field flattener for my AT72ED to flatten the very curved focal plane. I have it spaced slightly over 15mm from the front of my GSO 2" dielectric diagonal via an adapter and spacer ring. Here's a CN thread for using it visually and here's an SGL thread for using it for photography. It makes a world of difference when using widest field eyepieces. I now get pinpoint stars right out to the edge. It boggles my mind that manufacturers don't put field flatteners in their short focal length refractors. Is it because they tend to reduce back focus?
  14. Did I see a supernova?

    Found it based on your location description and date and time.
  15. Did I see a supernova?

    You almost assuredly witnessed an Iridium flare. What is that? It is when the reflective panels of an Iridium satellite align perfectly to shine sunlight onto the nightside of the Earth in a narrow band. What is an Iridium satellite? They are used for satellite phone communications. Check Heavens Above for future Iridium flares visible from your location. Be sure to set your location in the upper right corner.