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Everything posted by Mognet

  1. Excellent! If you haven't already done so, try hunting for some DSO's next. M42, the Orion Nebula, is very easy to find as it surrounds the middle star of Orion's sword. M13, the great cluster in Hercules, looks like a small ball of lots of stars. It actually comprises of around 300,000 stars and is 145 light years in diameter! The Leo Triplet is next on my list as I've never seen it, and now I've had a drink and nibbles I'm off out again to hunt for that. And M13 again too as I've only seen it once
  2. Congratulations! It's always a buzz to see the first one, and recognise it for what it is In the same field of view as Andromeda (depending on what scope and eyepiece you use) you should also be able to see a second, fainter galaxy core too. That one is M32. Also have a look for the Whirlpool Galaxy in Ursa Major. It's quite high in the sky at this time of year, and is reasonably easy to find. There you will see two galaxies, one absorbing the other
  3. I can appreciate the t-shirt even if I can't understand the technical aspects of the poster and presentation! It's thanks to Terry Pratchett that I always think of Pleiades as being the 'small faint boring group of stars' constellation
  4. Not quite as good as Paz's sun, but I got the moon with my phone up to a 5mm eyepiece.
  5. It's a repeat of a Horizon programme from 2012/13. It's a good one though Available on iPlayer now http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mgllj
  6. The haze and closeness of the moon made it hard to get much detail from Jupiter on Tuesday night. It seemed easier tonight even though the sky was worse
  7. Reading these tales makes my youngest cats claws in the leg surprises while I'm observing seem positively benign!
  8. My brother has something very similar to this, which I think he bought in the late 70s or early 80s. It's been a few years since I've seen it, but I think his is yellow. He still uses it sometimes too
  9. There's also the North Essex Astronomical Society that meets at Great Notley https://northessexastro.wordpress.com/ and Castle Point Astronomy Club near Hadleigh http://www.cpac.org.uk/ Abberton reservoir also hosts a stargazing meet about once a month that is organised by NEAS. I haven't been to any of them yet, so I can't say what they are like. I should do as EEAC in Burnham is only 11 miles from me
  10. The weight/mass thing explains why I'm not a physicist!
  11. A quick back of an envelope calculation says yes, if you can spin that million mile long broom handle round your head in a period of less than 33.73 seconds. Basically it's length of broom handle times 2, times pi, and divided by the speed of light I'm now wondering just how heavy that million mile long broom handle will be Hope you have strong arm muscles!
  12. They've had something similar running for a few years. Not sure how long. A friend of mine goes there and she loves it
  13. Coleridge definitely had a better grasp on the use of language, even if his astronomical knowledge was slightly off I suspect the Mail article was written with the help of Google rather than actual knowledge. Fortunately they do have this later in the text
  14. It's a bit like fishing in that it's not always about catching fish. It's a place of mental escape. You can't worry and stargaze at the same time And citizen science does have it's uses to the professional science community too, as this call for help with the eclipse shows http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38913706
  15. Conditions weren't great last night, and mist and cloud were beginning to appear when I was packing away. But I did manage to capture Jupiter with the major moons just as it rose above the houses Taken with a SW200P dob, 10mm EP and a Samsung Galaxy S6. Something seems to have eaten one of the moons though. It was there when looking through the eyepiece!
  16. I normally observe from my garden in the middle of town which suffers from light pollution even after most of the streetlights go off. So to stop me seeing the scope and the rest of the world out of the corner of my eye I stitched together a cone from a mousemat and cut out a section to keep my breath away from the eyepiece. Seems to work quite nicely, and is now dark enough round the eyepiece to block most of the stray light. Made some dew shields for the finder scope while I was at it. It's not fogged up since
  17. They should have bought them from a proper clock shop, not the dodgy guy with the market stall! Psst Anyone want to buy a Shmolex watch? Genuine quality replica. Good for GPS satellites
  18. My girlfriend calls it sky watching. It works for me too
  19. As far as I've seen the phone/tablet version of Stellarium doesn't yet support oculars, but as a rough guide for the 200p dob I use a FOV of 1 degree for the 25mm eyepiece, and 0.4 degrees for the 10mm. I checked it with Astronomy.tools, and it's close enough to be usable http://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/?fov[]=1|68|||1||&fov[]=1|67|||1||&solar_system=moon
  20. Galvoptics still do resilvering work. Looks like it's £85 or £99 for your mirror depending on coating thickness http://www.galvoptics.co.uk/optical-components/telescope-products-andamp-services/telescope-mirror-coating---primary/ As it's a project dob, then another alternative is to keep an eye on Astroboot for mirrors. I think the 8" are usually sold for about £50 when they come up. They currently have a couple of 130mm (5 inch) mirrors and mirror sets in A1/A2 condition
  21. I'll second the tights idea. I've been doing that for the last few years in the coldest parts of winter to stay warm when out walking. And they've proved an essential for stargazing nights too. They need to be at least 100 denier, and socks will still need to be worn over the top to slow the cold penetration.
  22. Plans so far: Finish clearing the garden so I can have a shed again, and an observatory of course! Build a weight driven clock drive equatorial camera mount using only hardware store parts and basic tools. Only need to research timing regulators now before finalising the design. Build a mount for my dob so I can have the eyepiece at a near constant height when standing in the planned obsy. Work out how to get my 8" dob into my MX5 so I can take it to a dark sky site! This will probably have to involve a different foldable base and maybe building a collapsible tube version. Surfing Astroboot the other day kicked off some ideas for the latter All these are dependent on me finding the cure for procrastination, which I'm sure I will do when I get round to it! Also planned is a trip to Iceland with my girlfriend in November so we can hopefully see the aurora, amongst other things. And I need to get out and observe more too.
  23. If you treat the stars as a giant dot to dot pattern you can make them say anything
  24. Abandoned the gardening once it got too dark to see what I was doing, but got rewarded with Venus peeking through the clouds in the twilight. Grabbed the scope for a quick five minutes on it and could see it partially illuminated, but conditions were against seeing any detail. Looked out the window several times during the evening to see nothing but light cloud. Forecast for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday currently looks promising though.
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