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About sophiecentaur

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  1. I can't think what's wrong with degrees as an angular measure. Still, there's probably a history to this and there's no point in changing things that aren't actually wrong. Thanks for the replies.
  2. Polaris appears to follow a circular path round the celestial pole once a day (24 h ours). Finding a 12 hour 'clock' face, marked on the reticle has left me confused. Whilst I have no problem with mimicking the picture on my iPhone app (apart from the lousy visibility that the red led provides) I cannot see how there are 12 'hours' marked on it and not 24 hours. HAs anyone else been confused by this or is there a simple explanation?
  3. Ah yes! I keep getting confused with names and Motorways. Durr Thanks for the opinions guys. I will do some sensible shopping. I get the impression that my 10" Newt will be more use than the 80ED when I really want some impressive results. It's such beast to get it fired up.
  4. I keep reading that people get better results with filters. My experience with the two I have bought: A heavy neutral filter was a great buy for looking at the Moon. It stops you feeling you've gone blind when you look away from the EP, so - good value (not very expensive iirc) A cheap pollution filter: the jury is still out on that one as I don't get a lot of street light problems. With and without comparisons are not very conclusive for my eyes. On eBay, you can get all colours for a few pence and they are probably a waste of time (?) but then you seem to have to go to tens of £ each. Starting with visual improvements and assuming I want to see the cloud bands on Jupiter better - acting on information received, I looked for the red spot but I couldn't persuade myself it was there in the time window. I have just acquired a Skywatcher ED80 and Jupiter shows up big enough to see bands quite clearly. More than 50X and it was going fuzzy last night. In my 200p, andromeda nebula was impressive but not as big (ref the stars around it) as the best pictures I have seen. Does anyone have suggestions for moderately priced filters that could impress me? I have a feeling that you chaps will tell me that I need to shell out on an expensive set (and my EPs are 2") I have come to terms with the fact that the Sun will never look really cool without an Etalon, very narrow band filter. ££££
  5. Back again - no punchups, lads! Your comments have been very useful. Thing is, I set it up from scratch in the garden (no obs available yet) each time. I store the mount on a shallow shelf so the dovetail is naturally parallel with the polar axis. I guess that's what you refer to as the Home Position (?). I connected the 12V and moved the mount (motor) so I could put the 10" Newtonian on it and then started the setup. So it still knew where the home pos was (?) and went straight almost to star no 1. etc. Funny thing was that, at one point, I dissed the 12V by clumsiness and everything went barmy. I tried a re-alignment and it was looking for stuff down below the horizon and graunching itself against the tripod. I got cross and went indoors to lick my wounds. Obvs, I had messed up the home position. Of course, there is another problem which is rapidly becoming obvious and that is it's hard to use the scope to look in the direction of Polaris with the EP in a good position to see stuff in other directions. I have to rotate the whole tube to do that and it is a pain. The only good thing is that the NEQ6 is like a battleship and it doesn't seem to be bothered by me climbing all over it. I just realised why people like Smidt Cassegrains and refractors; you can see everywhere without needing to stand on steps or lay on the ground! I will try to use the graduated circles to set up within a degree or so and will need to sort out three firm pads with register marks on, for placing the tripod feet instead of making holes in the lawn. That should, again help with setup. That solar scope is hard work and kills my neck! There must be something I can do with a laser to avoid all that. I must try to figure it out. Anything that can be done in broad daylight saves the brain.
  6. Thanks for that. It seems I was just lucky (as I suspected). I guess I engaged the clutches with the scope pointing 'up and back' (towards Polaris) and the drive started from there, getting to Betlejuice by chance. Next time, I will do what you do. I understand that it's only for long astro exposures that polar alignment is critical. I started with a Dobsonian (manual) and life was so different. It's uncanny how Jupiter and its moons just hang there in the EP, even on high magnification. it gives me a chance to relax and chase the best focus. That NEQ6 was expensive but it is firm as a rock.
  7. So I fired up my new (S/H) NEQ6, having spent about 30 minutes scrabbling about on the floor to get Polaris within the little ring in the polariscope and told the Synscan that I wanted to do 2 Star Alignment. I chose Betlejuice as no.1 and the mount took me almost straight there. Likewise with Castor No.2. I was gobsmacked. To me, that implies that the servo is constantly registered with the polar part of the mount, which obvs saves a lot of time. So, is that right or was I just lucky? And is it possible (or ever necessary) to do some sort of adjustment? I sort of assumed that when you undo the clutches, that disconnected the tracking mechanism. The rings with angles marked, seem to be turnable. Wot's going on?
  8. Found one here. Very satisfied. Cheers Roy.
  9. I am looking for something of reasonable quality for a foray into astrophotography. (and for use with my various 2" EPs) I have up to £100, burning a hole in my pocket. There may just be one, hanging around at the back of your drawer that you never use, these days.
  10. Cheers for that. One less thing to worry about, it seems (but some additional ones, after reading that thread!) I am only concerned that I don't want to buy something that will be limiting the other pieces of my kit. My EPs are 2" so I have a bit less choice of Barlow. It looks like I should be OK by spending around £100.
  11. I am confused about the relevance of ED glass in a Barlow lens. I have been looking at the whole range of Barlow lenses and, apart from the very cheapest examples, I cannot seem to find any correlation between cost (= performance quality?) and whether or not it's claimed to have ED glass. When you consider that ED seems to be essential for a good refractor scope, how is it that the more expensive barrows don't seem to advertise use of ED. Is it to do with the focal lengths involved in a Barlow?
  12. The eye has our own personal Photoshop processor, running all the time. We see what we expect to see. Great entertainment value, though.
  13. No street lamps is a joy for us. The only point in having a torch with you is that, if your walk takes you on a road, you are more likely to be seen by cars and avoided. (Also, if you drop something on the ground or need to bag the dog poo.) I don't understand the complaints about reduced lighting in towns (to save money). Day glow may offend some people's concept of fashion but they should just 'get over it'.
  14. Thanks for the recommendations chaps. I have order Making Every Photon Count, which seems to have your universal approval.
  15. I do like to use a book as a basic source of information and I want to get hold of something to keep by the bed and improve on my meagre AP skills. However, there are sure to be some publications that are not much use (door stops) and some that are really good. Can anyone recommend a book that is not too elementary but also not too jargon filled at the same time. I know about using a DSLR and how to get the best out of conventional pictures with Photoshop but it would be good to have a list of suitable subjects for starters. Any ideas?