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About kiloran

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    New Forest
  1. Jupiter is looking lovely tonight. 4 Galilean moons seem equally spaced at the moment and all in the same plane. A question for the more experienced observers, in a 25mm eyepiece there was a further object, on the right (currently single moon to the right, three to the left in my refractor). Slightly above the plane of the 4 moons and to the right of the single moon on the right, around about the same magnitude. Not sure what it is? I shouldn't be able to see more than 4 moons should I?
  2. Thanks again. Not intending to use any of my Nikon lenses for AP, except if I end up using the camera on the mount without the scope. None of my primes are particularly suited for AP despite all being f/1.4 or f/1.2 Hadn't realised a suitable Canon body was that cheap and will look at those Windows tablets...
  3. Thanks. I already have a DSLR (Nikon D700) but that doesn't do video. I'm loathe to invest in the Canon ecosystem as all my lenses, etc. are Nikon so have been looking at dedicated astro cameras. Also can't bring myself to sell the Nikon kit even though it isn't getting used - too many memories! The QX1 does appear to support RAW (specifically RAW+JPG) so that's not necessarily a barrier. I'm really keen to get remote live view as I'm using a refractor. The alternative is a DSLR with an articulated screen or potentially finding a webcam that supports USB-To-Go - my Pixel phone has this capability so could act as a tethered live view screen/storage device.
  4. I've done some reading around this camera which is effectively a wireless remote camera with an APS-C sensor. There are a few reports of using it for AP (within its limitations - specifically no bulb mode and limited to 30s exposures). Any experience here using it? The fact I can control it remotely without having a tethered laptop really appeals as it will keep setup time and cabling to a minimum. It also means I don't have to go out and buy a Windows laptop which seems pretty much required for a lot of tools. I should be able to find one for around £200 so it will be "cheap" way to have a little dabble with imaging. The 30s exposure restriction isn't an issue for me because I'm using an Alt-Az mount.
  5. I found when I was in Australia that north felt like south and vice versa for quite a while. Was just adjusting when it was time to go home. This wasn't something I was picking up from the night sky as I really didn't see much of it so not sure what it was. I know when I was in Sydney North Sydney always felt like it was south of the bridge to me. Might be because I grew up close to the south coast and therefore beaches were always due south for me...
  6. We've been fortunate this week to finally have clear skies after weeks after frustration. Monday was pretty good and Wednesday was spectacular. Looks like tomorrow will be even better - perfect timing as we head towards shorter nights. This has enabled me to really get to grips with my new mount (Sky Discovery Alt-AZ) and last night I was able to get a really good single star align on Sirius which when I started was pretty much the only star visible in the sky. What I loved however was that every time I glanced up from the eyepiece more stars had appeared. I stopped faffing with the mount to just watch this unfold and literally watched Orion slowly appear before my eyes - first Betelgeuse and Rigel, then the belt stars, and then the sword. Quite spectacular and a wonderful moment. Also a useful learning experience for learning about magnitude. I got my son to look at Cassiopeia, close his eyes for ten seconds, and then look again. Yet more stars had appeared. We just stood and watched for about ten minutes as the sky unfolded in front of us. He's rarely silent but he was for that As to observing we spent time roving around Orion as the sky wasn't really dark enough for galaxies etc by the time his bedtime arrived. Also no planets other than a murky Mars, much to his annoyance. We plan to spend tomorrow looking at Jupiter and the Galilean moons. We did check out the Pleiades but he was fairly underwhelmed. Was more excited by the Trapezium - I could only see four stars but when I asked him how many he said five. Young eyes make me envious!
  7. Welcome, I can only imagine the awesomeness of the skies where you are. Its a great regret of mine that I spent almost a month in the southern hemisphere years ago and never once looked up at the stars. With flight prices as they are and family commitments its going to be a long time before I get another chance.
  8. I really like this feature as it cuts down slewing time dramatically. Another tick in the box for Synscan over Celestron.
  9. Finally got to use the mount this evening and pleased to report that this relative novice had no issues with the Synscan approach. Surprisingly quick and with the added benefit of FreedomFind I'd have no hesitation recommending it to a beginner - particularly if you've got young children. My LO grabbed the telescope and FreedomFind re-aligned bang on despite him slewing it a good 30 degrees. Impressive stuff. It also happily tracked well enough to keep an object more or less centred in a 20mm eyepiece when I left it for 45 minutes.
  10. To close out this thread I ended up buying a 150P Star Discovery Alt-Az. Not using the OTA yet but finally after a month of cloudy skies I got to use the mount with my son's Bresser refractor. I had some concerns over the Skywatcher approach to GoTo alignment (compared to Celestron's bells and whistles approach) but I have to say I found it easy and reasonably intuitive. Also quicker than doing a Celestron three-star align. Yes you need to have some rudimentary knowledge of the skies but I'd warrant in these days of smartphone sky atlases pretty much anyone can find Rigel or Sirius. I got my first alignment (Betelgeuse & Arcturus) done in 10 minutes and was pleasantly surprised to find the mount went on to track M42 unattended for 45 minutes whilst I put my son to bed. It was also spot on when I did a GoTo tour of several objects. Now I just need to wait for a properly clear night on a weekend so we can stay up later. Shame about spring arriving (and that's the first time I've ever not looked forward to the clocks going forward!
  11. Sigh. Beautifully clear all the way from work (Venus looking beautiful as usual) until I plunged into 50yd visibility blanket fog which is due to stick around all evening...
  12. This thread reminds me of the incredibly maudlin Ray Bradbury short story "All Summer in a Day" - although they're waiting for the sun to appear through clouds, not the stars.
  13. I think one session in February, and nothing yet in March. The most frustrating thing at the moment is down here this week there have been three spring-like days with at most 25% low cloud cover only for it only to completely cloud over as night approaches. I think we were spoilt early on around Christmas as we got several nights of perfectly clear skies and got complacent. Dreading the clocks going forward as that will mean no chance of observing with my son on a school night
  14. You should see Venus set around 20:30 Amsterdam time. And Jupiter rises around 21:30 almost due East. It is tracked very closely by a very bright star called Spica which is an impressive sight. When I started observing just after Christmas I was lucky to see Spica, Jupiter, and the International Space Station really close together in the morning sky - my first "wow" moment.
  15. It does - if you watch it for an hour or so it will set towards the horizon, just like the sun does. If you go to a darker area you may also see a fainter and smaller Mars trailing behind it - also in the evening sky. And early in the morning at the moment in the south you can see Jupiter. Look at that with even a pair of binoculars and you'll see 4 moons - including Europa with it's ice crust and liquid planet-wide ocean.