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About LukeSkywatcher

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    County Kildare,Ireland.
  1. 20/10/2017

    I awoke at 7am and it was still dark outside. I let the dog outside to do her business and while waiting i gazed into the night sky. Directly to the east was the biggest and brightest white coloured star i have ever seen in my life. I do believe (without having to check) that it was the planet Venus. I have never seen Venus so big and bright before in my life. It just really really stood out like a sore thumb. While i was looking at it, a plane flew directly across it. That would have made a great image with the right setup.............but it was 7am and i hadnt even had my 1st coffee.
  2. how far

    My 1st view of the "Leo trio" galaxies was with my 20x90 bins. Still, faint smudges...............but visible. Andromeda (the closest galaxy to us..........faint smudge). Its all about magnification. I just LOVE using bins.............even a simple 10x50 pair. Its a different universe.
  3. how far

    NEVER. I obviously read your comment wrong. There is NO such thing as a stupid question..............only the one you dont ask. Apologies. It was your emoticon of scratching your head which miss-lead me.
  4. how far

    Is it?. It depends on which side of the fence you sit. Is/should space be measured in "distance" or "time". A "light year" is the distance/speed that light can travel by our man-made definition of time. Im confusing myself. LOL When i observe, i suppose the easiest way that our brains can think is "distance". To be correct though.............we are looking back in time. 20x80 bins are great. I have 20x90 and i can happily observe galaxies. Due to the limited magnification of bins..............you will never get the same views of the same object as with a scope. Thats ok though because bins and scopes are 2 very different things. You can certainly own both (i encourage it). Indeed, many objects in the night sky look so much better with bins than they do with a telescope.
  5. Darkest Sky Ever!

    I thought the very same thing (Wi-Fi down and phone defaulting to 3G data charges or whatever). However, i have never enabled data usage on any phone i have ever owned simply because i have a "pay as you go" phone (always have), and to use it while out and about to connect, doesnt come cheap. I didnt even bother trying to connect by any means yesterday as the network was down. I think it was just a choice opportunity to make a quick buck from PAYG customers. I thought about ringing them (oh...wait.....i cant cuz i have no credit). I know what they would say anyway "Thats strange,we have no idea". Im still puzzled as to how/why my mobile network went down and came back on at exactly the same time as the electricity. Think i'll change networks anyway because myself and my mother are on different networks and to phone each other is also expensive. I will change to her network (she cant really change hers to mine because of illness) and i will go for one of those all you can eat packages for 20 euro a month. Tried one before but hardly ever used my phone so it was a waste of money. Now i use it 3 times a day for long periods of time to chat with her in hospital.............i'll get my money worth. I'll be able to keep my existing number..........so thats good. Sorry................gone off topic.
  6. Good choice (very good choice). Not very expensive for a 1st scope and it really does deliver. The one and only issue (i say issue rather than a problem) is the focuser (where the eyepiece goes in). It can be rather stiff when twisting it to focus. This can be very easily solved though with a bit of grease or in my case............i turned it backwards and forwards a gazillion times so that the paint on the threads inside the focuser wore off. For the time you open the box til you are observing is about 3-4 minutes and most of that time is spent wondering which eyepiece to try first. Enjoy it. I know you will. Depending on light pollution in your area, you may want to consider making a shroud to enclose the open truss part of the scope to keep out any stray light from your surrounding. This is easily done using a camping mat and double sided velcro. Do a search here on SGL for "shroud for Heritage 130P" and you should see plenty of examples and how to make one. Here's a typical example of what i mean:
  7. Darkest Sky Ever!

    Glad to see you are all ok down there Niall. I was wondering how you were doing. Ophelia didnt let up til about 1am here. I was in bed by that time. The power went off from 2pm-8pm which was a bit of a pain. My mobile network also went down. When the network did come back (same time as the power), the credit i had in my phone was gone........vanished. Im still trying to figure it out. I only ever connect to my Wi-Fi at home. I couldnt yesterday. Where did my credit go?
  8. My First proper Sun Dog?.

    Today at about 4pm i was on my way home from Dublin. The day had been lovely and clear after yesterday's events. I looked in the direction of the Sun and exactly 90 degrees from the Sun (in the 3 o clock position) i spotted a bit of thin high wispy cloud and it was glowing in all the colours of the rainbow (iridescent). As the minutes passed, the colours became more vivid and more concentrated to just one small area. The cloud was still there. Was this a Sun Dog like ive seen in images, or was it just an iridescent cloud?. Ive seen Iridescent clouds before (quite amazing). This had spikes on either end (top and bottom) rather than just a patch of colour in a cloud.
  9. Whenever i have observed Mars, i always feel dejected. Mind you, its easy enough to find when it is visible, so not much time wasted.
  10. My New SGL Beanie Hat.

    Nice. Its due to hit Sunday. Gusts of 100 mph............ cant wait.
  11. We have meteorites from Mars but...

    Apparently so. The thinking was that that the Moon was formed from Earth material after a big impact of a planetary body. This seems not to be the accepted theory now because the composition of Earth rock and Moon rock is quite different. The Moon therefor must be made up more from the impactor............whatever that was.
  12. Not enough time.

    Thats great. Once your school work doesnt suffer. As said above, you dont need to be outside observing every clear night,as the stars aint going anywhere soon. The only chance many working adults get is the weekends. Honestly, i cant remember the last time i had my scope out. Life, and bad weather get in the way. Its probably 1 yr since i had my scope out. I have has a lot of nights out with either my 20x90 bins or just my eyes and gazed up.
  13. We have meteorites from Mars but...

    Tektites, whilst beautiful, basically are GLASS. I dont have any interest in them. Strictly speaking they are not "meteorites" as they were formed here on Earth from an impact and those high temps/pressure. I prefer to collect something which i know to be the leftovers of the formation of the planets.
  14. We have meteorites from Mars but...

    Good point. I was thinking of something like that. Surely they would just be made up of the same stuff we see all around us today (different types of rock).
  15. We have meteorites from Mars but...

    OK, thats it. I am getting rid of my Mars rock. I dont want any alien virus.