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About domstar

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    Sub Dwarf

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    czech republic
  1. A great read. It's good to have a nemesis. I've had a few. It's so much more satisfying when it's vanquished. I also find that after the first time, it capitulates more and more easily each time. Cygnus is a lovely constellation but I find it very difficult to find a target there because there are just too many stars.
  2. Alas, I only have it on paper form. It might be an ebook too but I've never heard of it as interactive software.
  3. I can't find a way to use stellarium well for this. The problem is that it doesn't tell me the magnitude of the secondary (maybe I should play with the options), so I don't know if the double is within the reach of my telescope. I have the Cambridge Double Star Atlas and it is great. It also has the added bonus of being able to tick off the stars as I see them. It really has transformed my observing from looking at the famous bright ones to hunting down dimmer but no less enjoyable doubles. I love the challenge.
  4. Excellent report. I still have a lot of fondness for my 70mm refractor.
  5. Great report. I have Bortle 4 skies here but only a four inch scope and I love galaxies, especially the ones around Virgo. It's amazing how difficult it can be to see a galaxy for the first time and then how easy it is by the third time. I haven't seen any detail yet, but as you said, the amazement comes from the knowledge of what you are seeing. Anyway, I like reading about observations under less than ideal conditions. They are more relatable. One difference between you and me- I always seem to finish on a failure. It shows me that I've had enough.
  6. Sorry I can't help, but that's pretty amazing.
  7. @jetstream Hmm I'm not really sure. I always thought it was a starguider until it was pointed out to me that they don't make starguiders at 20mm . It's from Skysthelimit, who sold starguiders before flo started. It's 58 degrees and sharp as a tack. I must admit I'm still amazed and happy about the views it gave me last night and that I had an improvement under my nose and it didn't occur to me. Thanks for the tip- you called it.
  8. Wow. Sounds like a great night. I'd love to see those things- one day maybe.
  9. I wasn't going to write about the Virgo/ Coma Berenices galaxies this year but I had such a good experience last night. Firstly, Vindemiatrix was behind a wall so I had to scan around looking for a galaxy to get my bearings. I saw something that looked a bit like M 91 and blow me down, it was M91. It's my least found, most missed of all the Messiers in the area and I was amazed to catch it and then recognize it. From there I made my way down to M60- a good place to start. After getting advice yesterday, I used first my 25mm and quickly I swapped it for 20mm giving me 45x magnification. It was a revelation (not the make). I thought there was no point upping the mag for galaxies as detail in my scope is mostly beyond its/my capabilities but I hadn't reckoned with the improvement in exit pupil and contrast. I was blown away. The field of view was smaller but the galaxies were bigger and although I got a little lost up near the top, I had magnificent (though faint) views including 5 around Markarian's chain. The day before the Eyes hadn't been shining but this time they were clear. I also tried for the Siamese Twins (thanks John), which revealed themselves as a sort of blind spot. Maybe like an out of focus bit of darkness or a pixelated bit of dark sky. After all (not sure of M 98) of the Messiers and more in that wonderful stretch of sky, I turned to Leo, where the Hamburger stared right back at me . I even found Kappa Leonis, the 4 brightest galaxies down there and even NGC 3377 (the one right by the star) directly too. This time last year I travelled to a darker spot to see the Virgo galaxies and, driving back, I found I still couldn't get any peace in my head. It was probably my last big session until August and I felt the uncomfortable realization that stargazing couldn't settle me down as it had previously. Last night, however, I was elated and chilled in equal measure. Here's hoping for more calm days ahead. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the tips yesterday. Dominic
  10. Now is my favourite observing time of the year. Galaxies are in abundance. I only have a small scope but just making out those faint smudges is the thrill of the year for me. I would start with the Leo Triplet and if you are able to see two of them, then try the many Messier galaxies in Virgo and Coma Berenices. Of course it does depend on your light pollution. Later in the summer, Sagittarius is full of beauties if your horizon is low enough and the Milky Way is high over head. The crisp freshness of a clear January Orion is hard to beat but the milder evenings bring a certainly more comfortable experience. Hope you have fun.
  11. I find Izar is a good test of the conditions. With my 4 inch refractor I can split it at 90x on a good night. Most nights stars are fuzzy and unsatisfying at 150x but when they are tight I try to make the most of it. Your scope is bigger than mine so you should be fine. I've had many clear nights recently but only a few when I can split tight doubles cleanly.
  12. Thanks for the tips John. I nearly caught a glimpse of the Siamese Twins last night but not quite. I had a look for them as I spent a lot of time around M 58 as I branched out from there to fainter stuff and had to start again many times. Unfortunately, I'm confined to an obstructed balcony at the moment so M 64 will have to wait a year. Still, I've been spoilt with clear nights and decent views this April.
  13. Thanks for that. Would it be true to say that stars that don't focus down to a point are caused by moisture and issues with transparency, which would affect galaxies too but maybe to a lesser extent? Therefore, splitting doubles is unsatisfying whereas finding galaxies is still pleasurable (more fuzzy vocabulary). Bear in mind that I'm just using a 4 inch refractor so I'm not exactly tracing out the spiral arms- more like just detecting them. I guess what I'm trying to say is mediocre transparency means no doubles but galaxies are still on the menu albeit not at their very best. Is that how others see it?
  14. Thanks Vlaiv. I sort of thought that about seeing but I also feel like it's damp when the stars are fuzzy. I look at the light dome of the town and when it's higher I assume a damp atmosphere and fuzzy stars. So if I understand it then that's poor seeing.
  15. It's spring and I've been so fortunate to be among the Virgo galaxies 3 times over the last few days. I was going to write a report but I thought I'd ask a few questions instead. 1. Which Messier galaxy do you find most difficult in the Leo/ Virgo/ Coma Berenices area? Last night it was M 89. How can that be? 2 Magnification/ field of view / exit pupil. I've got an Aero 30mm (30x) and a starguider 25mm (36x). The starguider should give a darker background but a dimmer image. What would you choose? 3 M 91. Why isn't it marked on stellarium? There's a picture of a galaxy there but no identification and you can't click on it. If I write a search for it, it appears. Is it just me? 4 Am I the only person who has a nightmare trying to find Kappa Leo? Maybe it's the best reason to get a right angle finder. 5 Transparency/ seeing. I've had decent views of galaxies despite stars being much too fuzzy to split doubles. Does seeing impact the resolving of airy discs? It seemed that the air was too moist but galaxies were a pleasure. What am I experiencing when I have fuzzy stars but viewable galaxies? 6 Lastly, what area is your favourite view. The Leo Triplet? Markarian's Chain? Aperture will obviously be part of this. My favourite is probably M 49 and a couple of stupidly titled 'Lost Galaxies'. Found galaxies more like although I do feel a certain amount of ugly smugness at observing a so-called 'Lost' galaxy. Anyway, despite being stuck on the balcony, it's been a privilege to be viewing one of the true wonders of the sky. Clear skies to you all. Dominic
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