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Everything posted by joncrawf

  1. Yes, I have a solar filter which we got for trying to get a photo of the ISS transiting the sun (still waiting for a transit close enough to home on a sunny day) and the transit of mercury a couple of weeks ago (heavy rain all day!) but we've enjoyed looking at sun spots on the brief occasions the sun has made an appearance!
  2. It's such a bonus to have this information available to me at SGL. How long would it have taken me to figure this out on my own? Many thanks for all of your replies, it blows me away that people are wiling to take time to help out a stranger by providing such detailed information. When I had my first telescope (6" Newt on Alt Az) at the age of 13 I never considered buying any accessories for it (not that I could have afforded any). I'm sure the primary was probably OK but the EPs would have been very basic and I'd never even heard of collimation! Needless to say the views I got were pretty mediocre. I can remember it cost me (or my dad actually!) £270 which was a lot of money at the time. When my son started asking for a scope for his birthday I was reluctant because I was worried that he'd expect to see hubble quality images and I remembered the slightly disappointing view I got from my 6" Newt 30 years ago. But, I'm pleased to report that my experiences 2nd time around have been much better. Thomas has been blown away by the views he's got of Jupiter / Moon / Pleiades. I even hauled him out of bed at 3am a couple of weeks ago to see Mars & Saturn! He was less impressed with M31 (it was low on the Eastern horizon which won't have helped) until I told him it was whole new galaxy that was racing towards us at 250,000 mph and will collide with us in 4 billion years! Anyway, I've decided to take a punt and invest in a couple of BST's. They seem good value, and most folks who have them seem to get on with them. It will be difficult for me to arrange to try out other local astronomers EP's in a sensible time frame. Thanks again for your help and advice, it's truly appreciated.
  3. Thanks for your replies! I will do my best to get to try a few EPs out, I have made contact with the local astro society but haven't yet made it to an evening observing session. This is good advice, thank you. Derek, I'd read somewhere that Hyperions are not the best choice for faster scopes, I guess mine at f5 comes into this category. You've helpfully confirmed this for me, so I'll cross this one off my list. I have been looking at the Explore Scietific EPs on FLO. They suggest that they are "suitable for f5 or higher". I'm not sure what 'higher' means in this instance? does this mean "faster" or "numerically higher"?
  4. I'd like to begin upgrading my EPs for our SW 200P (F5) and I'm confused by the choice available. My son (8 years old) & I are enjoying planets & lunar at the moment, but we feel the urge to look deeper (DSO, binary stars, etc.). I'm returning to astronomy after a three decade break (had a 6" Newt on Alt Az back in the day) and my son is excited by the chance to see what's up there for the first time. I guess at this point we don't know whether we are into the solar system, lunar, DSO, etc. we just need to spend the next year or so getting (re)aquainted with the night sky. So, what EPs should I be considering for an F5 reflector? I don't want to spend more than £100 per EP, unless there is some justification in spending more, but I guess the return on investment diminishes the more you spend? I thought I'd start with a High Power EP (8mm?) and Low Power EP (25mm?). I'm happy to use the Barlow supplied with the scope for the time being (haven't used it much anyway). I've looked at Baader Hyperions and Celestron X-cel LX, so far. I'd appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.
  5. Hi all, I broke one of the slow motion RA knobs on my EQ5 last night. Any ideas where I could get a new one? They look like they ought to be a fairly standard item that i could pick up easily from non-astro suppliers. Thanks in advance Jon
  6. Hi Suggest you have a look at the "DIY Observatories" Sub-forum - under "equipment" on home page (scroll way down). Plenty of info there and folks willing to help.
  7. Thanks for the replies. I guess the film is more durable than it looks. I'll get around to making a storage container for the filter but for the time being it's in it's original 'pizza box' in which it was delivered. Thanks again
  8. Hi all I wondered what folks thoughts on a mod I'd like to make to my Baader solar filter (astrozap). I'm using a SW200P and I'm worried about damaging the film while I'm observing (perhaps putting my finger through it). I wondered about cutting a disc of 3mm clear polycarbonate and fixing it over the filter aperture. I understand the desire most of you will have to minimise the amount of 'stuff' between your eye and the object being observed but I only have one functioning eye, so I'd be in deep trouble if anything happened to it! I'm happy to accept a small loss of performance in exchange for greater eye safety. Is there any reason why I should NOT do this? Perhaps I'm fussing too much. How delicate is the film; would I have to be ridiculously clumsy to puncture it? Thanks in advance for your answers! Jon
  9. Thanks guys for your posts. i wonder where Stellarium get their data from? You'd think they'd get their data or algorithms from the same source.
  10. Hi all. My first post on your forum, but I've been lurking here for a while. Sorry to resurrect this old post, but I'm hoping to capture the ISS transiting the sun on Friday if the weather allows. Calsky tells me that I should be able to catch the transit of I position myself just south of Taunton (UK) at 17:01.29s BST on friday, but Stellarium doesn't concur? According to Stellarium the ISS passes close to the sun a few minute prior. Any ideas as to which might be most accurate? Thanks
  11. joncrawf


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