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Les Ewan

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About Les Ewan

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  1. Yes its sometimes nice to just take a few moments to admire the colours and count how many you can see.I like the occasional green flashes. Sirius is actually pure white and appears so when high in the sky in tropical regions.
  2. Its a out of focus star (probably Sirius)and atmospheric turbulence.
  3. Gassendi was prominent rising into the sunlight yesterday evening. A thin layer of cloud but the seeing was fairly steady. Taken through a Skywatcher 400P and Canon 1100D,200 ISO exposure 1/125sec.
  4. Hi Phillip, Oooops! I didn't know that this OTA was non collimateable. That kinda sends alarm bell to me also. There must be people out there with these scopes any complaints I wonder.
  5. Yes the set up I meant was the 500mm fl. Incidentally with this scope being such a short focal length it would be greatly enhanced with a X2 barlow for the Moon and planets and perhaps a plossl around the 15mm mark. Its a pity a X2 barlow isn't supplied with all low power instruments like this one.
  6. The scope set up I would suggest is the Skyhawk 114 Newt on the Pronto mount. The main reason for saying this is that when I first saw it I said to myself I wish I had that when I started out. Not only does it look simple and easy to use it looks great. It is a altaz but it has slow motion hand controls. I know many will disagree with this but I would not recommend a refractor especially for a beginner as they are unwieldy and awkward to use . Small dobs have the problem of being a bit too low to the ground. Regular telescopic observations are more encouraged by a comfortable observer
  7. Another star that seems to have changed its name over years is Alkaid I knew it as Benetnasch in the 70's. Regarding the Observers books I have two editions the 4th issued in 1973 which I inscribed 20th April 1974. I have also have the 6th edition which I didn't inscribe which is the 1978 revision. The 6th has particularly beautiful plates-drawings of Jupiter and Saturn by LF Ball. Another original book I have is Dr HC King's Book Of Astronomy(1966) which I've had since 1972 (which is now more than a little bit dog eared). As far as I know no further editions of this book were printed .
  8. The sky cleared for a couple of hours between 1am and 3am,and the seeing was quite good.With my 400mm Newt the Whirlpool galaxy's spiral structure was easily discernible using a 20mm Kellner giving a power of 90X.Other galaxies stood out well too but as the clouds approached I ramped up to a 144X with a 12.5mm Orthoscopic and took in couple of binaries, first Porrima (anyone else old enough to remember when it was called Arich1?),and then Izar(which also used to be called something else) Both binaries were well seen Izar the slightly clearer of the two. The temperature was around 4C wi
  9. Cant pretend to know what you done technically I'm chiefly a visual observer, but never ceases to amaze me how often things go wrong in this hobby hardly a session goes by without some sort of irritating mishap. The closest thing to your experience that happened to me is during the Leonid fireballs in 1999(film camera) I discovered later in the darkroom all my shots were hopelessly out of focus.
  10. Still a lot better than the astronomical world I started out in the early 70's. My first full time job in early 1975 was £15 ppw at that time a Dixons special 60mm refractor was close on £30,there really nothing much else at the time without going to specialist dealers mail order costing a fortune . A short time prior the miners were thought to be unreasonable wanting a £40 pw pay deal. When I bought my first 'big',scope in 1978 a very basic 6" altaz Newtonian it cost £200 but my wage at the time was only about £50 so I got a bank loan.It had to be made so I had to wait weeks for delive
  11. Wasn't out Wednesday/Thursday mainly due to my observatory roof being welded shut by ice. I suppose if I really tried I could of released it but what with the snow showers and a temperature of -11C I decided to give it a miss. I managed to brush the snow off the roof and release it in the afternoon while the sun was out. Conditions this morning were a bit weird ,things were normal in the late evening but later most of the sky had a background milky glow which made the fainter DSO's difficult.Even my southern aspect which looked fairly dark there was no inkiness with the fainter galaxies i
  12. Street lighting is not the main problem for me as street lighting technology has reduced pollution markedly over the last few years even though my local village 4kms away has almost doubled in size since 2000 .No it's tall pole floodlighting from the car parks of recently built shopping centres, conference complexes and sports fields that have increased without any apparent restriction . Even a new school car park 8km away has several of these beacons visible from my site all night. I consider myself lucky however as my southern,eastern and most of the west has no pollution and I can see th
  13. Looks a lot like my old 60mm but the Prinz had a wooden tripod. If I remember right it had a 710mm fl. The yoke and slow motions are very familiar .Mine had 3 0.96" Huygen eyepieces and a useless barlow. I agree for all its faults it gave reasonable views. I remember fondly seeing the Ring Nebula with this scope despite living only about 1km of the centre of Edinburgh at the time. Along with doubles it gave memorable views of Venus,Jupiter and Saturn. I remember vividly observing the Moon occulting Saturn through it on March 2nd 1974.
  14. Glad you still have your old 60mm. My Prinz is long gone. I saw one on Ebay with the complete kit still boxed a couple of years ago I was very tempted but I really didn't have the space.
  15. Your actually right at least in my case.Mizar was the first telescopic double I resolved with my first proper telescope,which was a Prinz 60mm refractor( the type that were all the rage in the early 70's) the same evening I first saw Cor Caroli. Funny how early observations stick in the mind more than the more recent 'first see's with much better equipment. For example I cant ever remember my first view of say Epsilon 1 and 2 Lyrae, or Ras Algethi or even Albireo. It's strange then that I very seldom even glance either Mizar or Cor Caroli these days,but I will rectify that next time I'm out.
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