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David Levi

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    263
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About David Levi

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Location
    Cardiff
  1. David Levi

    Planetary Binge

    Excellent mega session, Neil, with a great write up. Don't you just love the dark evenings. Early starts and enough time for plenty of sleep as well. The weather isn't playing ball in the west at the moment.
  2. David Levi

    Big frac shoot out !

    I use a 210W 12Vdc hairdryer (£12 something from ebay last year) with my reflector. The secondary mirror and the finderscope usually need to be cleared of condensation after a few hours. I haven't had cause to use it yet on my new refractor. It only ever blows lukewarm air at best. I can't see how it would dry anyone's hair. It hasn't been a problem with my reflector and I can't imagine that it would be a problem with the refractor either. It really is quite weak but still good enough to clear the dew. One important point to note is that you need to check that the cigarette lighter socket is rated to cope with the current drawn by the hairdryer. My one draws 210/12 = 17.5A. The socket on my battery pack is only rated for 10A so I took the cigarette lighter connection off the hairdryer and having marked the + and - wires I connect it direct to the clamps connected to the main battery terminals.
  3. David Levi

    A Halloween broomstick

    Hi Dom. I was using my 200mm reflector. I star hopped using my finderscope (9x50) from delta Aqr (Skat) to the approximate position of the Helix Nebula. I'm sorry but I can't remember if I had to increase the magnification after my initial look at 58x. I don't think so. The nebula was large and diffuse and I wouldn't have said that I had seen it without using the OIII filter.
  4. David Levi

    A Halloween broomstick

    Nice report. Glad to hear that you finally got M74. I saw the Helix Nebula for the first time earlier this week. Strangely (?), the OIII filter made it just about visible for me from my back garden.
  5. David Levi

    Barnard's Loop Observers Analysis

    That's a good challenge. I'll try it from the Brecon Beacons this winter with my 100mm refractor. What do I hope to gain? To see the object (might be a bit difficult) and hopefully in the process become a better observer.
  6. David Levi

    Cracking night tonight !

    Great reports. I've just come in after a night of failures with my 8" reflector so sounds like you've got the right scope out to me. Failures include: Mirach's Ghost, M110, M33 and comet 64P. Mars was shimmering quite a bit at 200x magnification but there were grey smudges on its surface as well as the south polar cap. There seems to be a slight discrepancy with the location of comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels between Stellarium and The Sky Live website but that's academic at the moment as I couldn't see it in either location. I could do with better skies.
  7. Hi Luke @lukebl. I tried to look at this visually last night and failed, of course, with my Sky-Watcher 200P reflector. I've just read your report on this camera and it is very interesting. I have a question, I hope it's not a daft one. Do you use this camera with a tracking mount or is the exposure so quick that it doesn't matter?
  8. I know what you mean Dom @domstar. That 30 minutes may seem a lot but it wasn't frustrating at all. When you're in the mood the time flies by especially when you're concentrating and have a goal to get to. I think that the gratification of finding an object is greater if you've spent a bit of time looking for it and it's an excellent way to learn the sky without trying. No, I don't think I had much of a clue what was involved in amateur astronomy before starting. I just knew that it was something that it was high time to do. With regards to the Tak vs the 200P, it is still early days and I'm a bit handicapped with magnification at the moment due to the difference in focal length of the telescopes and my eyepiece range. My Barlow isn't good and so I don't like using it. I think I need a Televue Powermate - more money to spend .
  9. Thanks Dom @domstar . Yes, it was in one of Neil @Littleguy80 's points in his recent post about what experience has taught him. Star hopping on a hunt for an object to view is great fun whether you find the object or not. Although finding your target is better than not finding it .
  10. David Levi

    Dark sky fix

    Brilliant! Great report and wonderfully descriptive read.
  11. I thought that I would have a go at seeing this occultation with full knowledge that a magnitude 12 star is on the limit of what I can see with my 8" reflector from my suburban location. It took me about 30 minutes to locate the star which I could only hold in view with averted vision for a limited period of time, a few seconds, before I had to refocus my eyes on another faint star and then use my peripheral vision again. I thought that it would be impossible to concentrate and hold the star in vision well enough to see the occultation rather than a loss of peripheral vision and that proved to be the case. The allotted time came and went and I couldn't see any change in my view. Still I thought that I did well to find the star in the first place and it was an enjoyable hunt.
  12. David Levi

    Stargazers lounge or Photographer’s Lounge

    If someone had asked me then I would have said that perhaps AP was more popular on this forum than visual observing. However, I can't say that I have paid any attention to the perceived imbalance at all. I'm a purely manual visual observer. Astrophotography looks great but I like the simplicity of visual observing.. You make a reasonable argument @westmarch but I don't find that AP takes anything away from following the forum for visual topics only. There's plenty of activity in the visual section with many experienced knowledgeable observers posting great stuff. I'm always learning from the posts and enjoy reading them. If I have exhausted the visual sections of the forum, which is quite rare, then I pop into the AP area and I am wowed by the fantastic images. There's room for everyone. If there's one point that you make that I can't really argue against then that is the matter of light pollution. I travel quite often to dark sky sites one hour to one and a half hours away.
  13. David Levi

    Mare Imbrium

    That's an excellent setup you have there Martin @MartinHiggins. I've used the word 'floating' as well in the past. It describes the phenomenon quite well.
  14. David Levi

    What has experience taught me?

    Dark sky hangover is a real problem for me. I probably average one dark sky session a month. Getting the motivation to go out into the back garden after that, when you look up into a star starved sky, can be difficult. The Moon, planets and double stars are the antidote. My experience after 2 years has taught me that I should have started this hobby 30 years ago.
  15. David Levi

    Mare Imbrium

    I've just spent a pleasant hour observing the moon. In particular Mare Imbrium towards the terminator. There were two illuminated peaks beyond the terminator. One of them was a complex array of illuminated rock that I identified as the western edge of the Carpathian Mountains and the other one I estimated was not far off the Zirkel Ridge which would make it Mount La Hire. Is there a term for these illuminated objects disconnected by darkness from the moon along the terminator? I've seen the word 'diamonds' used in a couple of reports referring to a string of lights. However the Carpathian Mountain peaks were not strung out in a line and so I was wondering if there was some other terminology in use. I've done a brief search of the Internet but nothing has popped out. Some high cloud has just rolled in now.
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