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Jan Palmer

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About Jan Palmer

  • Rank
    Vacuum

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    I'm an amateur astronomer
  • Location
    UK
  1. Thanks Neil! I've been thinking about Dobsonian Alt-Azimuth mounts and the Earth's rotation causing 'long-exposure' problems. I think I've found that field rotation is worst around the meridian and least towards the eastern and western horizons - or is it the other way round? But who wants to take pictures in fuzzy, low altitude, smog-filled skies? It's all like a bit of give-and take I think. I've just found this web page explaining in great detail the maths behind it all. http://daltonskygazer.com/alt-azimuth-mount-tracking-movement-and-field-rotation/ It all looks a bit too technical for me. Dob mounts aren't really geared for astrophotography.
  2. Thanks for the update Michael. I bet I would have found out that your Great Polaris mount isn't around these days. Thanks for that.
  3. Jan Palmer

    Hi everyone

    What an IMPRESSIVE welcome! I can see that the SGL is a really good place at which to pick fellow astronomers brains! If only we had this Internet technology back in the late 1960's and during the 1970's when I was really into this subject. Today's youngsters finding forums like this one are dead lucky. They have all the EXPERTISE of members from which to acquire valuable knowledge about all aspects of amateur astronomy. That's priceless. You can't get that at University. I'm a jealous almost 60 year-old! Still ... it's never too late to learn new things. I'm discovering some rather interesting details about the Sky-Watcher 200P Go-To Dobsonian. Question: Why am I referred to as a Vacuum on this site? I expect it has something to do with one's activity. Pete, with nearly 20,000 posts is referred to as Hyper Giant. I bet it's hard to get bigger than that without exploding and ending up as a pulsar! What a powerful community.
  4. Thanks for your thoughts about the 200P Go-To, Ronin and Michael. Much appreciated. The more I learn about this interesting instrument, the more impressive it appears. I've visited the Sky-Watcher telescopes website and the people behind their products there will not sell sub-standard instruments. They are keen astronomers in the first place - well, that's the impression I get. I've always thought about getting a BIG reflector and in days long since gone. I had always thought that an 8 inch or a 10 inch instrument was BIG! With the Go-To feature, the 200P looks really tempting! But as Michael mentions, an 8" Celestron C8 on Vixen Great Polaris mount is more portable. Hmm... I'll go and have a look at that. I live next door to the Peak District, so it wouldn't be a big problem finding a reasonable dark place from which to observe - when it's really clear!
  5. Thanks ever so much for your welcome guidance, Chris. I now recall from years ago that long exposure photography is a bit dodgy with Alt-Az instruments. I forgot about that! Well at least I'm now a little wiser. Still, it's amazing how technology has made observing so much easier. An 8 inch motor-driven computerized Dobsonian sounds really good to me. Cheers!
  6. Jan Palmer

    Hi everyone

    Thanks everybody for the nice welcome!
  7. I've been away from the telescope market for years, so I have much catching up to do. My background is in 6-inch 'home-built' Newtonian reflectors and refractors on wobbly mounts, back in the 1970's and 80's. Today I read a reply to a post on this website about how good the Skywatcher 200P is. Not knowing what the 200P is, I Googled it and found the SKY-WATCHER SKYLINER 200P FLEXTUBE SYNSCAN GO-TO 200MM (8") F/6 PARABOLIC GO-TO DOBSONIAN TELESCOPE on Amazon UK. A Go-To Dobsonian? There were no customer reviews so I'm not sure how good this instrument really is. I thought that only fork and equatorially mounted telescopes can be driven by motors - certainly not a Dobsonian. Diameter of Primary Mirror: 200mm Telescope Focal Length: 1200mm (f/6) Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm Apparently, this large telescope is very portable. The collapsible FlexTube design and SynScan computerised Go-To technology is patented, so I doubt whether other telescope manufacturers will offer this kind of instrument soon. Celestial objects can be automatically be tracked - according to the description on Amazon, and the patented dual-encoder design allows one to manually move the telescope anytime and to anywhere without the need for realignment! Slewing is simply pushing the tube close to an object and one then allows the computer do the rest of the work. Cool... At £800 sterling (around $1,000), I think this is a good price for what 'could be' a really good instrument. I'm not sure of the quality of the eyepieces though, but they can be replaced any time. This instrument looks good to me, but am I being too optimistic? Does anyone know how good this 200P Go-To Dobsonian really is? Can it be used for astrophotography?
  8. Jan Palmer

    Hi everyone

    I'm Jan Palmer (Janice) and I've been into astronomy since the 1960's. I'm from the UK and am now approaching the age of 60 and retirement. That means I'll have more time to spend stargazing. The Apollo space program triggered my interest in space and astronomy - as it did to many kids back then. I remember staying up with the rest of the family watching our black and white TV set as the 'Eagle' lander touched down on Mare Tranquillitatis. As I grew up I built my 6 inch reflecting telescope, grinding the primary mirror using instructions in a library book that I borrowed . That was during the 1970's, but I was not that impressed with the instruments final performance. So I bought a 'reasonable' 3 inch refractor telescope on an equatorial mount. The instrument was okay, but it was a bit wobbly on its wooden tripod when the wind blew. Motor drives were rare back then, and very expensive. Everyone with even the slightest interest in astronomy of my age watched the late Patrick Moore's monthly TV programme called 'The Sky at Night'. It's not the same without him and he is sadly missed. But we have to move on, and I'm after new equipment. That's why I've joined Stargazers Lounge - to find out what's best these days. Everything has changed for the better. I see all kinds of advanced and quite affordable telescopes. But all the advancements have left me with a steep catch-up to do. I hope this website will help to inform me of many new things about today's equipment!
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