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About JOC

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  1. I've found that I can split some of the brighter double stars - Castor is lovely. The Goto has a list of some in the system, but I've tried a few and couldn't see any splits - however, reading the thread about Polaris and remembering the thread about Sirius I'm now realising that not all the pairings are of two bright stars. Is there a list somewhere of those where the pairings are bright and easy to see and those where I will have to concentrate a lot more on good nights? Another thing I wondered generally is are all these pairings of two stars that are, for want of a better term, 'celestially linked', or are the pairings just an apparent closeness of two stars one of which is closer than the other and therefore just an optical illusion where, at this location (earth), they seem close together.
  2. Tom, I don't know much about gear, but there is something that sounds similar in this thread:
  3. Interesting - just a comment about using a Yoga mat - I have a goto 200P flextube and I personally found that the dew shield I tried to make for the end of the OTA was too heavy even with a thin mat. I have now got a nice Astrozap shield to try and hope it won't be as heavy - there is a lot of length on the pivot points when you start adding extra length and I found that I needed to keep things at that far end fairly 'light weight'
  4. Since joining SGL I've noticed a huge enthusiasm for things 'science' which doesn't hugely surprise me. This place seems to be full of people wanting to share and I gain the impression that many of you have science based jobs and backgrounds outside your astronomy. I just wanted to raise awareness about a long running scheme called STEM Ambassadors in the UK. Some of you may already be part of it, but for those that aren't it gives people with relevant backgrounds in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths a chance to go into schools on a volunteer basis (and help with after school classes, careers evenings - that sort of thing - so plenty of scope outside work time if your employers won't co-operate) and help to fire enthusiasm in the next generation. I have always liked explaining things and would have liked to be a teacher (but without all the paperwork!!) and I joined up a couple of years ago - you only need to commit to 1 event a year - I have done several careers evenings and have been into several local schools for a few hours during the day as I can fit it in. I can honestly say it is about the most rewarding thing I've ever done. It wasn't difficult to join - my local rep. came to see me at home for an hour or so to give me the induction and you need a CRB check. They have the odd social get together as well and you do as much or as little as you wish. I think many SGL members would be ideal STEM Ambassadors - I didn't know it existed until my local school pointed me at it and so the same might be true for many here. So if anyone is interested the relevant website is here:
  5. Stu - that would have been last Thursday night - yes? That's when I got out too. I have very little experience, but as I looked up at Orion (which as you all know by now is my current favourite target) I too thought that he looked particularly 'clear' (OK, that might not be the right technical term), but it was almost I though I could see right across to him with nothing in the way - the stars seemed more defined against the sky to the naked eye and this was entirely different to how I'd seen him in the couple of months previously (on our odd clear nights). Through the telescope even M42's fuzzy background seemed to have more contrast against the sky too. Last night I looked up when we did the sheep (I do find myself looking up more now) and it was just as we had a cloud break - no point in setting up - it clearly wasn't going to last long as I could see the next lot building to come over - but again the view of Orion looked really clear.
  6. Sounds like a small cottage industry here knitting covers and heaters and matching warm bobble hats and fingerless gloves with fold over mitten caps all colour coded to folk's OTA's! Mind you I can stop looking at the classifieds now can't I?................................telescope - check, finder-scope - check, Mount - check, useable selection of EP's - check, dew shield - check, dew band - check, UHC filter - check, Light pollution filter - check, 2-plane polarising filter - check, cloudless skies........................!! So nothing else I need (except for maybe a red dot finder!!) do I - I should just enjoy using what we've got - yes? Perhaps we need a button to stop certain boards appearing in our listings LOL!!
  7. Garethr...........the DIY section!!!!.......................................
  8. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? So I discovered SGL when I decided I wanted to buy a telescope - glad I did excellent advice received and lovely telescope purchased. I discovered in the process a lovely friendly place and folks that I can chat to through the forum. I have also discovered that I am drawn back to SGL on those, somewhat regular, nights that I can't go outside and play with my new toy. So you knock around SGL for a little while and discover three things: 1. That I look up online every different telescope that folks have - I don't know why, but I do - maybe to see if anything else takes my fancy. 2. Then I find myself entranced by all the kits and all the little bits and bobs that people seem to find indispensable - its a great hobby for 'gear junkies', then one thing leads to another and finally you find your wallet's ultimate downfall, number 3, the SGL classified section! LOL A place to find all those bits you fancy at knock down prices - my wallet will never be the same again and it's all caused by the cloudy nights and nothing else to do, but browse SGL!! So far I'm down a dew shield, an 11mm TV Plossl, a Skywatcher UHC filter and a light pollution filter. Feels like a slippery slope to me!
  9. I had the solution to this thread, but I can't find the photo's that I never intended to embarrass myself by sharing - I reckon I deleted them. Suffice it to say that my first shots of M42 consisted of a black background with about 4 randomly placed splodges of unfocussed faint light each about 2cm long. I haven't been back since!
  10. It occurs a picture might be useful as I understand not all telescopes ship with the same Ep's. These came with mine and seem very useable even compared with a TV Plossl ;-) I don't know about FOV or eye relief or anything like that, but I'm using them wearing specs without problems. Hope this is useful info.
  11. PESKYWAABBIT I guess it depends on what its running, how often you drive the telescope from target to target (which I guess takes more active power than gentle tracking, what else you are powering - dew bands, computers etc. In fact it's almost a how long is a piece of string question ;-) I couldn't say without trying it (way to many clouds at the moment), but on Thursday I had it running from about 17:30 to 22:30 from a full charge and when I bought it in I was still showing 13A (on it's own meter - calibration uncertain!). I was running just the goto and tracking and slewed the telescope on its Dobsonian mount to different targets about 6-8 times if that helps.
  12. So on the subject of EP's - if I want to fill more of the useable EP view with Jupiter (assuming the clouds ever clear again) and I own a 10mm EP am I better off getting a x2 converter or a 5mm EP (leave aside that I can use the converter with other EP's - I'm just looking for the potentially best view) or is 5mm too much for my telescope. I think I'm not going to get many views of Jupiter (given current weather phenomenon) and s I want any view to be as apparently big in the EP and as clear as it can be given any current atmospheric conditions - what should I buy please?
  13. I know the leisure batteries are the preferred solution, but I'm using one of these I'm getting several hours use of it and then re-charging and with the 17A delivery potential it's currently doing well - long term lasting will have to be seen as its still new.
  14. Hi Scott Another beginner here (so take what I say with a proverbial 'pinch of salt'), but if your stock 10mm and 25mm are the same as those that I was sent with my telescope I'd stick with them. To my inexperienced eyes I get a great view through both of mine.
  15. Louis D well at least there is an explanation - I thought I was possibly doing something wrong, or there was something amiss with the eyepiece, but from your information above it seems it was doing as it was designed to do. Thank you for that!