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Everything posted by Iris

  1. I often find my CG5 can be miles out on the first alignment star and even on the second - upto a couple or so degrees perhaps - I just manually slew it onto the desired target and carry on. By the time it gets to 1st or at most 2nd calibration star its generally spot on. Doesn't mean, yours is ok of course. Are you remembering to select Standard Time as opposed to Daylight Saving Time? It wouldnt be the first time that I have forgotten that one :-)
  2. Not sure given the speed issue that Hyper' mentions but perhaps these? BBC News - Mount Etna mapped by radar satellites
  3. You can query the SIMBAD database SIMBAD Astronomical Database and select either the basic or identifier link - enter the HIP identifier in the field (include the letters HIP) and it will give you a page detailing the object - including several different identifiers if known i.e HIP, SAO etc.. Thats how I have done it in the past in an ad-hoc way. I dont know of a method or plugin to allow this directly from Stellarium.. of course I havent checked to see if there is an SAO catalog available for stellarium which might be a better bet long term...
  4. Iris

    orange lights in sky

    Most probably chinese lanterns Joanie - it seems that they are becoming an increasingly frequent phenomenon.
  5. The University of Rochester seems to think it has resolved () the issue... First known binary star is discovered to be a triplet, quadruplet, quintuplet, sextuplet system First Known Binary Star is Discovered to be a <strike >Triplet</strike>, <strike>Quadruplet</strike>, <strike>Quintuplet</strike>, Sextuplet System : University of Rochester News
  6. Try here... Paton Hawksley Education Ltd, star analyser
  7. Orbit? I reckon im Class 6 here According to TimesOnline here: Galloway Forest Park: one of the darkest places on the planet - Times Online talking about Galloway Dark Sky Park (Borlte 2)... "Bortle 2 is as dark as it gets on dry land; only in the middle of the ocean, where light pollution is entirely absent, could you experience the profound blackness of Bortle 1"
  8. Tethis was close to Enceladus last night - making another combined point - I managed to see both (pairs - i couldnt split the four moons) with my C8 @ about 100x (I was using a focal reducer) - ramping up the power to 200 failed to resolve the two pairs. Maybe there wasnt just enough light for the 6" to grasp - they were pretty faint to me.
  9. Just kill the power and start again? - The polar alignment is mechanical so it will hold through the power off and when you power up it will be nicely polar aligned and automatically drop into the start up and 2-star alignment procedure no?
  10. I have never done the full polar aligment on myc CG5 that you have old_eyes - but by my recollection the manual does say that you have to do a full sky alignment again after the polar align routine. Strictly speaking I think that replacing the two alignment stars ought to work but I would be inclined to think that the whole schbang is the way to go as implied by the manual. At the moment I am strictly visual so it isnt really necessary for me to do anything other than plonk the thing down roughly facing north and more or less level, though I do sight Polaris through the boresight and get the bubble in the circle which is usually easy enough (I have marks on the tripod extenders to get the length right for my usual obs position). I usually always take all four calibration stars too (it helps me learn and remember the sky lol)
  11. Funnily enough I got that last night. I mistyped an NGC number and the scope slewed to somewhere near Argentina, realising my mistake I reset the code but foolishly didnt wait until it had stopped slewing - so it whirred and clanked to some new rubbish position and then paused and started again when I physically touched the OTA - I didn't connect the two at the time (silly boy) and then it stopped with the above error. I sighed and reset the tube manually to the index positions and chose the last alignment option hoping to pick up where I left off but when it 'stopped' slewing to my chosen M35 the tube was still pointing more or less at the CNP As it was near the end of my session I couldnt be bothered to re-align and decided to pack up for the night. As I was doing so I realised first my second mistake - I had forgotten to re-tighten the RA clutch when I had manually reset it just a few moments before duh - no wonder it didnt go far lol And then as I was dismantling - when I came to remove the DEC motor cable instead of having to faff around with the damn silly little tab the thing just fell away in my fingers - explaining the No Response error - sheesh my earlier mistake had been not checking it was plugged in properly from the start! What can I say really - obviously I was taking stupid pills yesterday. Oh well at least I got a few nice views in before the idocy made itself known lol and there were no witnesses to my witlessness :)
  12. This object is no where near Orion - it is in a region about midway between NGC 2281 and Psi 2 Aurigae according to the co-ordinates given. There are a couple of redish orange stars in this area with apparently close companions. My first thought here was HIP 32433 but I wasnt able to reconcile the nearby star patterns with the video stills. Another candidate which is less orange but where some nearby star groupings look similar is HIP 32152. Google Earth/Sky has missing image for the exact co-ordinates offered, which doubtless fuel the conspiracy theorists. According to an earlier posting on the comments on UTube the videoer I believe stated that this red object was visible to the naked eye - but I couldnt see it thats for sure when I was out the other night - and I did look for a bit of fun. Though I didnt point the tube thingy there. Anyway I am unqualified to comment on the whole brown dwarf thingy etcetera but its fun to try and identify what someone else has seen and not been able to identify themselves. All that having been said if he got the co-ords from an LX 200 then they will only be as good as his alignment I suppose...
  13. Price excludes Taxes, Duty and Shipping, quite apart from riklaunim's plastic comment... TAL 3X from someone like FLO seems a safer bet - I know I'm pretty happy with mine (TAL) :-)
  14. The same RDF is sold under a number of brands. I have one - a revelation - it is a repurposed gunsight. I dont think it has concentric circles - that is a cross with a circle superimposed or a dot with the same and I have no idea what view angle the circle(s) encompass. It is petite and functional if you want to slug the scope onto something you can see but little use in my experience for finding anything that is not visible to the naked eye. I think mine costed around 30 odd quid from Telescope House if I recall. I got it to fit on my little meade ETX 80 cos the telrad would have been bigger than the scope! and primarily to help with putting the tube on alignment stars. I have found that since I got my clestron c8 I use it much less and have resorted to the finder which is much easier to use than I anticipated, although some times I do still use it to point the scope or as a 'marker' to see where in the sky the tube is pointing without having to deal with the upside down back to front squint my eye finder scope :-) It has 4 different reticules, a fine dot, a coarse dot a cross and the cross with circle. And 7 brighness settings. I usually use the bare cross and the lowest setting is fine for brightness. It is still low profile and effective given its limitations - i.e. no graduated circles like telrad or orion. If you just want to put a dot on something its good enough - if you want to systematically find a target in the middle of a blank patch of sky by walking 4 degrees then half a degree then you are out of luck I'm afraid.
  15. Hey Rabba, yes you can see Jupiter and any of a whole host of different astronomical objects. Stellarium defaults to show you what you would see at the 'current' time - you can switch the atmosphere on and off (gets rid of the blue sky) and you can choose the time you want to see the sky for. To switch the atmosphere off you can do one of two things - hover your mouse down near the bottom left of the screen and the Stellarium Icons bar will appear the Icon that looks like a cloud will toggle the atmospere on and off. Or you can change it from the Sky and Viewing Options dialog as suggested earlier - this can be accessed either from the left hand edge of the screen near the bottom or by pressing the F4 key (easier). You can choose the date and time to view by pressing the F5 key (this will pop up a dialog). If you want to find a particular object (say Jupiter) then use F3 and type its name into the edit field press enter.. but note that if Jupiter is not above the horizon for your location at the time it will not be visible and the window will appear to be pointing at the ground (it is effectively trying to look through the earth in this case) At any time pressing F1 will bring up the help dialog with a list of all the key meaninings. If you scroll down to the end of this dialog you will see a bunch of links to various resources - particularly the User Guide which I recommend you download and look at - it will give you a better idea of what you can achieve than I can. Hope some of this helps...
  16. I dont use a polar scope - I just roughly align the mount by looking at Polaris througth the boresight for the polar scope. I Make sure the mount is level within the tolerance of the bubble level on its base and do a two star align - I almost always use all four calibration stars in addition to the two alignment stars. The only time I have had to worry about the scope drifting has been when observing Saturn at high magnifications of 300x+ - usually the mount tracks well enough to keep Saturn in the FOV for the 50 minutes or so that it is visible from my normal viewing position. But even with the roughest of alignments i.e. only pointing more or less north and roughtly level it has kept its target well.
  17. It works just fine with a CG5 Resonator - as to your second question - good question lol - I have only ever used it once in anger to control the mount - I quickly got fed up with tripping over the flimsy cable - though at one level being able to touch the latprop screen and have the scope slew there directly was quite fun. I suppose one advantage might accrue when trying to line up on objects that are not in the handset database or do not have identifiers in stellarium. I could probably have made use of that feature when asteroid or comet hunting recently. But mostly I still stick to the handset if I am honest. Can't say I have ever noticed problems in tracking though even with the roughest of alignments my mount has always been pretty good..
  18. There is no atmosphere to cause a trail to form behind the comet along its path so all particles would continue to move at the same speed as the comet. The dust of the comet is blown directly away from the sun by the solar wind hence the direction of the tail. Further the second tail - the ion tail - will also be affected by magnetic effects deflecting slightly differently - something which some high grade photographs will show.
  19. The ETXs will track in both alt and az but that isnt terribly good for astrophotography except for short exposure moon and planets etc. The field tripod that comes with the 125 has a cheapo built in tilt plate but I dont know if it is any good. I had one but it only saw action once before the focus spindle detached from the mirror and I uptraded to the Celestron I have now.
  20. It has been reducing in size quite a bit in the last 15 years apparently but it is also a variable star isnt it so it's likely to puff up and settle down from time to time too no?
  21. Setting circles on consumer scopes are notoriously tricky it seems and many folks even hereabouts will probably tell you that they are pretty much cosmetic and to go with star hopping instead. It's true that they have generally low precision so they, at best are only going to get you near to your object of desire. I decided to have a play with the circles on my CG5 - just for fun really to see what I could get - I've only used them a couple of times and had mixed results really. At best with bright stars I was able to get my target just in the edge of the FOV of my finder scope a couple of times and managed to stumble across a couple of the Auriga clusters (M36-M38) another - but they are quite big really. What I found was that the DEC circle on my mount wasn't too bad and seemed to be quite close to the DEC co-ords I took from Stellarium for my target but that the RA circle was much poorer - which is no surprise given the precision of the circles. On the CG5 the DEC is marked in divisions of 2 degrees with a vernier to give 0.25 Deg. The RA is marked in 10 minute divisions with a Vernier to give 1 minute. One thing that I also noticed that the verniers, especially the RA one, is pretty tricky to read off at night in red light! And I am pretty sure that I was not able to read them sufficiently well to get to the 0.25/1 'capability' After I tried and pretty much failed on my first attempt, but noticing at least that the DEC circle wasnt too far off I noticed another post in here by Astro Baby who made the clever suggestion of setting the DEC as accurately as possible and then swinging the scope in RA until one magically sees the target which ought to swing through the FOV. I refined the idea and used the setting circle to position the scope just to one side of the desired co-ordinates and then slewed in RA - for reasosn that hopefully would be obvious. That didn't actually turn out to be discernably better than my previous attempts, if I am honest. But further even if one is reading the circles with a high level of accuracy (lets for argument's sake say perfection) that would only find your target perfectly if your mount was also perfectly polar aligned. So there are now two components of four measurements to worry about : 1) How precise are your measuring devices i.e the Setting circles, the polar alignment scope or whatever other means you use to polar align the mount. 2) How accurately you can use those devices to arrive at a measurement. Having got this far I realise that it was pretty good going to manage to get a target star into the edge of my finder to be honest when one considers that I only roughly polar aligned the mount by looking through the boresight of the mount (no polar scope) and could probably only read the DEC circle with an accuracy of +/- 0.5 deg and the RA circle to perhaps +/- 2 Deg. I wil persevere though just to see how well I can put the money on - or rather near -the button. Don't give up but I'd suggest not to expect fantastic things either! edit: fix error in units for RA graduations - should have said minutes rather than degrees
  22. Aplologies for the off topic post, but.. That's a very interesting 3D effect that you get on your Sig from your choice of font size and colour bigwings...
  23. I use a Tesco A6 notebook though often post reports on the CSOG forum. Playing around with some ideas for an Astro Log Blog type affair - time will tell how that goes but will still keep the notebook for the observing sessions themselves. I toyed with the idea of a 'dictaphone' type thing but then you can't do rough sketches on those
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