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Les Ewan

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About Les Ewan

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    Star Forming

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  1. I admit I don't use astro forums as much as I used too. I did visit the SPA forum regularly at one time and had a direct link to its forum on a shortcut on my laptop,but this now only brings me to the SPA home page,with no mention of a forum(that I could see) on its links. I just assumed that it had closed. PS As an aside I used to be a member of the SPA back in the 70's when it was the JAS (Junior Astronomical Society )and the three monthly magazine was called Hermes. I remember the reason for the name changes was to avoid confusion as the society is open to all ages not just juniors and Hermes was also the name of medical journal at the time.
  2. This is my Skywatcher 400P in action earlier this evening. It was trained on the M2 Globular Cluster at the time of the image. PS Please don't laugh at my homemade 'drag' ()off roof observatory made out of old decking boards,....it is functionable.
  3. My latest addition to my livery of equipment is this Nikon 3200. I bought it second hand from ebay with a very low shutter count. I didn't buy it specifically for astro work as I still have my old Canon 1100D for that purpose. But of course with the recent clear nights I couldn't resist putting it through its paces attached to my Driven 16" Skyliner Dob. It made a pretty good job of the Dumbell and Ring nebulae. However it has a couple of disadvantages compared with the Canon when using it for astro work,firstly the 10 second shutter delay has to be activated after every shot while the Canon keeps the setting until its switched off,secondly the Nikon has a very long processing time on multi second exposures. For example on a 15 second exposure the Nikon takes 17 seconds to process the image while on the same setting the Canon only takes 2 seconds.Granted the Nikon has twice the pixels but it still seems a bit excessive. Unfortunately my collection of M42 screw lenses don't come to focus with the Nikon,but I notice that Nikon lenses are fairly cheap on Ebay. The image of the Dumbell was taken last night attached to the above telescope coupled to a Celestron Ultima Duo 21mm eyepiece.15 second exposure at 6400ISO.
  4. Poor old moon,the satellite we love to hate!
  5. HI Mike, Just ordered it for £2.45. There's quite a few listed on Ebay.I noticed that the publisher is Octopus while Astronomy With Binoculars is Faber,I don't know what that means in regards to layout , I'll just wait and see. BTW I'll give you the sellers details in case you want to claim a 10% commission!!
  6. Thanks for the tip,I will try to seek it out as I already have James Muirden's Astronomy With Binoculars which I bought many a year ago so it will be a great companion for that.
  7. Judging by the ripped up packaging you were really eager to open these!
  8. HI John, You've heard of pre historic and pre cambrian era,well these are the pre digital and pre Skywatcher era!.
  9. My whistling postie delivered these this morning.I really pushed the boat out with these three books from Ebay-under a tenner for the lot including postage.
  10. I first saw Saturn back in 1972 through a rickety 40mm telescope on a tabletop tripod,the image was poor and tiny and wobbled about but I managed to discern the the rings(luckily they were fully open at the time and Saturn was high in the sky). Of course over the years I seen it many times with good telescopes but I always most vividly remember the first view,that's the effect Saturn can have on you.
  11. A hair dryer is actually a indispensable piece of equipment because otherwise a observing session can be ruined by dewing in less than a hour sometimes,however its amazing how much racket they seem to make in the middle of the night.
  12. The trouble is good nights are too damn rare to miss. I'm lucky I have a sliding roof and equipment set up ready for use just a few yards from my back door. If tired after work why not have a few hours sleep in the evening and set the alarm clock for say midnight and get 2 or 3 hours observing then.Its a bit of a risk if its a starry winters evening and it clouds over before the alarm goes off ,but if it works out you often get the best observing conditions after midnight,and in the early hours.
  13. That's some scope,congratulations ,and just in time for winter too. I suppose the next step will be a shroud to keep the dust and dew off the mirrors. Even with the ultimate telescope your never done spending.
  14. I always have problems getting precise focus with my Canon 1100D. Even when a subject appears to be in focus in the viewer the end result is not. That's for both astro and ordinary every day photography.It may be because I always use old M42 threaded lenses and a M42 adapter ring. Through the screen digital focusing is often more precise but its not really viable for faint astro work. I bracket the focusing back and fourth until I get some decent images but its all a bit of a guddle.
  15. No I haven't, and I've not gone out walking with a cane, wearing tweeds and a top hat either. BUT I may consider them all if I ever win the lottery...old bean!
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