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Everything posted by JulianB

  1. Same first for me here too, with binos it just seemed to pop out like switching off a light!
  2. Yeah saw it earlier, amazing, very bright fast moving silent light just south of Bootes, thought WOW, what is that, couldnt quite catch it in the scope, Stellarium confirmed it....amazing, what a night!... just seen M13 for the first time too...WOW!!! Julian
  3. Saw Saturn last night for the first time, I hadn't been too sure where it was but when I found it, it was unmistakable, it almost looked like a cartoon painted onto a black backdrop, incredibly surreal, the rings were so clear, could see planet detail and could make out 4 moons easily. I first viewed it with the 9mm Nagler (133x), and then increased magnification using the 2.5 powermate and 13mm Nagler giving 230x, the 9mm + 2.5 combination (332x) just made things dimmer. Compared to my first view of Mars posted here it was like chalk and cheese: http://stargazerslounge.com/observing-planetary/96778-first-look-mars.html#post1372304 The main thing was a dry night, whereas the Mars session everything misted up all the time last night was reasonably mild and it made the experience much more enjoyable as I had no problems with dew whatsoever, the other thing I noticed was Saturn stayed in my field of view a lot longer than Mars did, I guess because its further away? Finally the elevation was such that I could sit and view things comfortably without breaking my back, all in all it was an incredible experience, after weeks of non viewing due to cloudy (and wet) nights where at times I lost a bit of interest, this has made me realize why I got into Astronomy in the first place! Julian Skywatcher 250PX Truss Tube Dobsonian AstroZap Light Shroud Skywatcher supplied 25mm Plossl Televue Nagler 13mm Televue Nagler 9mm Televue Power-Mate Hotech cross hair collimator
  4. Thanks Geoff, Ok so I collimated it twice during the session using a Hotech collimator so I'm fairly sure that was ok, and I left the scope for about an hour cooling down before use, is that enough would you say? it came from a warm house into the freezing cold garden, maybe it needed more. So what about the conditions would cause this exactly? Cheers Julian
  5. Hi all, Just wondering if anyone can help me re the colour fringing I described in this thread: http://stargazerslounge.com/observing-planetary/96778-first-look-mars.html#post1372304 Cheers Julian
  6. Hi All, So I had been itching to view Mars through my new equipment for ages and last night finally got a chance. I used Televue Naglers 13 and 9 mm and then tried both with my new Power-mate 2.5, it was only with the 9 / power-mate combination (332x) that I saw anything remotely resembling Mars, any less combination showed no detail. I found the experience quite frustrating, it was a very damp night and literally every 3 mins I had to wipe the front of the lens piece glass to clear the mist, the disc was surprisingly large in my field of view so with my 10 inch non tracking Dobsonian i was constantly having to nudge the planet back into view, although I did develop quite a nice technique eventually to allow the planet to initially be out of view and then slowly creep into view, quite exciting to see. One thing I have noticed with the Naglers which is totally unexpected is that I see quite severe colour fringing on stars on planets, i.e. red and greed colours surrounding points of light, I need to experiment more but I dont think I saw this with the included Skywatcher 25mm Plossl, and I also did not get it with the Nagler/ powermate combination, could this be a fault with the scope or something to do with the amount of water vapor around? Note that I had collimated twice prior to this so don't think that was the problem. Anyway all said and done, with an aching back, the fleeting blurry views did reveal an ice cap and some minor detail, so I packed up for the night feeling quite pleased with myself, I think Mars is a work in progress so look forward to trying again soon. Julian Skywatcher 250PX Truss Tube Dobsonian AstroZap Light Shroud Skywatcher supplied 25mm Plossl Televue Nagler 13mm Televue Nagler 9mm Televue Power-Mate Hotech cross hair collimator
  7. Hi all, With the secondary being very exposed on my truss tube 250px dobsonian I accidently touched the secondary and on examination I see 3 finger prints + some other patches. I can see these patches in the background whilst viewing I have read up on cleaning the secondary and it sounds like a bit of an involved process e.g. removing the mirror, bathing it in water etc. but as a photographer, if this happenend to one of my lenses I would simply blow any particles off first and then lightly breath on the glass and wipe away the residue with a lens wipe, but is this method likley to cause any damage to my mirror coatings? It also struck me that the secondary dews up regulalry as it is so exposed and that if I lightly wipe it while its wet that might do the job too, Im concerned about removing the mirror as it seems like a major job especially being as I can access the mirror easily for a minor wipe given the truss arrangement. What do people think? Cheers and Happy New Year to all Julian
  8. Ok thanks everyone this has reassured me no end, so I wont let this bother me and get on with enjoying the views, what a great forum Happy New Year Julian
  9. Hi All, Just performed my first ever collimation (of any scope) on my 250px truss tube dobsonian (black diamond) using a Hotech cross hair laser collimator. I have to say the Hotech is an incredible piece of kit, very easy to use and the whole process took less than 5 mins. One thing bothering me though was adjusting the primary mirror, there are 3 large thumb screws and 3 smaller flat head screws. The manual says that for the 254mm 1200mm scope which I have, the large thumb screws are the locking screws and the flat head screws are the adjusting screws. What I found though were that all the screws were loose, i.e all screws can be finger tightened and the thumb screws are the ones that make a real difference to the returning laser position, with the flat head screws only making minor movement changes. I assumed the manual was correct and tried to center the primary mirror with the flat head screws but the movement was so small it could not center it, so I used the thumb screws and centered it without problem, how can the manual be incorrect? The other concern was once i'd centered it with the thumb screws, tightening the flat head screws then changed the laser position again so I had to pre empt where to place the dot slightly off center so that the flat head screws (now assuming they must be the locking screws and the manual has it in reverse) can be tightened again. At the end of the day, I had no problem centering the primary but it concerns me that I got there by ignoring the instructions and that any tightening of the flat head screws to keep things in place ruins the allignment again Cheers Julian
  10. Thanks Paul, so sporadic in that it is not associated with a parent comet right? but if not from a comet, what is the most likley origin? Julian
  11. Hi all, Whilst delivering cards to the street tonight about 8 PM in Hertfordshire and gazing up at a crisp clear night sky I saw a bright streak shooting across the sky right to left roughly across Orion. Never seen anything that bright before with a large burst of light as it died. I know the Ursids are about but as far as I know this was from another direction. Cheers Julian
  12. WOW, Blown away by the welcome messages, thanks everyone, what a freindly forum this is!! Jarndyce, thanks for the nice comments about my website, and yes, I am considering a shroud for the flextube either home-made or if that doesnt work I will buy one. The real problem I have at the moment is the secondary misting up when my breath hits it in this cold weather, its ruined any viewing of late as the secondary is very expsosed on the flextube so hopefully the shroud will help. Julian
  13. Hi Steve and thanks I was planning on coupling the Naglers with a 2.5 PowerMate for those really clear nights, seems to get good reviews. Julian
  14. Thanks for the welcome! I'm in Hertfordshire, near Bishops Stortford its semi rural but there is a street light right over the back garden which drives me mad. Its a bit cloudy here but I can see Mars right over head popping out of the clouds. have just bought a Nagler 13mm and Nagler 9mm second hand, arrived yesterday so can't wait to try them out but I didnt take the scope out tonight as it is very very cold and I was out all day in the forest taking pictures of snow! (I'm a large format landscape photographer - Julian Boulter - Large Format Landscape Photography ). Julian
  15. Hi All. Had my eye on this super forum for a few weeks and decided to join following my whirl wind few months introduction to astronomy. Having been interested in reading about the planets as a child and recognising the odd constellation in adult life I got totally hooked on astronomy just this year having 1) been caught up in the 40 year anniversary of the moon landings 2) noticed a very bright star in the evening sky and wondering what it was (turned out to be Jupiter). This led to buying a few books including Patrick Moore's teach Yourself Astronomy, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed that book, this led to buying a few more books and some astronomy magazines which in turn led to the purchase of a Skywatcher 130PM. Seeing Jupiter and the moons through the scope was a humbling experience and I spent many a night viewing other marvels such as Andromeda, Pleiades etc. However I couldnt get to grips with the equatorial mount and realising that I was now hooked decided to return the 130PM (it ahd a faulty mount) in favour of a Skywatcher Skyliner-250PX FlexTube (having weighed up what I wanted from a scope). Telescope Planet were happy to do the swap (what a nice company!) All in all I would say Im happy with the 250PX but I wish I'd gone for the solid tube now as I store the scope in the garage so space is not an issue and the secondary mists up terribly on cold nights + I'm worried about dropping something heavy onto the primary (and its much heavier than I expected). Would be happy to post a full review at some point if people are interested. So there you have it, my next target...Mars, so looking forward to some clear nights. Pleased to meet you all Julian
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