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About Littleguy80

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  1. Variations on the California

    I had no idea that the California nebula was achievable in a 130mm scope! I think I‘ll be investing in one of the Sky’s the Limit H.Beta filters now!
  2. Variations on the California

    Brilliant report, Iain. Really enjoyed all the info on the California nebula as well as your observations. Great stuff
  3. Binos anyone

    Nice report, Alan. The cat attack made me chuckle. My own cat sometimes comes to keep me company. She drives me crazy by rubbing against the tripod making the scope wobble!
  4. 18Nov Another evening with a big Dob…

    Fantastic report, Alan. I see you also fell victim to cold toes! I don’t mind a target or two that I couldn’t find or get the views I wanted. It immediately gets me thinking about the next session and how I might change my approach. I know we’re going have another cracking report with a successful viewing of the HH from you soon
  5. 3 clear nights!

    Glad you got some clear skies! Seeing the horse head is a great achievement!
  6. 3 clear nights!

    Thanks Alan. Seems cruel that you're not that far away but don't get the same clear skies
  7. Short 1 hour observation session.

    Great report. I spotted NGC1907 last night while looking at M38. Had to look it up afterwards. I thought it looked like nebulous too I really like my BST 12mm. It’s one of my most used eyepieces giving around 2mm exit pupil in my scope. I think you’ll Be very pleased with it!
  8. 3 clear nights!

    Yes, saw quite a few over the last couple of nights. All fairly small. Not sure on numbers as I wasn't specifically looking for them
  9. 3 clear nights!

    I nearly gave up on clear night number 3. The alarm is set for 5:20 AM for work and I’m feeling the lack of sleep from night 2’s session. The scope sat outside cooling with clouds overhead but then around 10pm the skies cleared. Out I went to complete the hat trick of consecutive nights observing. First stop was Uranus. My only solar system object of the 3 sessions. It looked like a pale green disc at 180x in my 5mm BGO. A satisfying view and a good test of high power viewing ahead of my next target. The E and F stars in the Trapezium are proving more difficult to spot than I expected. I’d planned for tonight’s attempt and spent some time finding a guide as to the exact locations of the stars. Knowing exactly where to look could only help. My Barlow doesn’t get much use now that I have a good range of eyepieces. However, tonight I added the Barlow nose piece, at 1.5x, onto my 6mm BGO to give a magnification of 225x. Previous highest magnification tried on the trapezium was 180x. Even with the high mag and knowledge of where to look, I failed to see the E or F stars. A couple of times I thought I caught the E star with averted vision but too briefly to call it a confirmed sighting. I’m resolved to keep trying for the E and F stars. With others targets I’ve failed to see, the key has usually been persistence. Sooner or later everything will come together and the target will be seen! As this is a story of threes, I felt one more target was required to finish the night. M38, the Starfish cluster was my choice. It seems such a delicate cluster despite being quite dense with stars. What looked like a smal nebulous patch with 2 bright stars just above M38 caught my eye. I looked this up afterwards and I believe this was NGC 1907, a small open cluster. Like last night I saw several small meteors. Leonids and Taurids I would think. These have made a great addition to the views at the eyepiece. The last 3 nights have been a real treat. It’s great when the weather service gets it right when predicting clear nights. Hope everyone else has enjoyed some great views
  10. The session that almost wasn't

    Good shout, Alan. Nice way to warm up afterwards
  11. The session that almost wasn't

    Thanks Piero. I definitely need to invest in some decent winter boots
  12. The session that almost wasn't

    Well worth the effort, Doug. All the months observing from my garden have certainly helped me appreciate the difference dark skies makes
  13. 3 clear nights!

    For those that are interested, here's the write up for night 2!
  14. My wife had plans for the early evening last night so I was eagerly awaiting her return to I could head out to the dark site at Seething Observatory. It had been cloudy in Norwich until about 9:15pm and this was making me nervous. When my wife returned, I text fellow SGL member Chris, @Cjg, to see how things we're looking. Total cloud out and everyone packing up to go home was the response. I put the scope out in the garden to cool and considered my options. I'd had a recommendation of a village green about 10 miles away where others had had some success. Determined to get out, I loaded up the car. Just as I was finishing putting my gear into the car, I got another message from Chris. The skies had cleared at Seething so he was setting up! So off to Seething I went. Arriving around 11pm, I quickly got set up and had a brief chat with another observer with an 8" SkyWatcher dob. I've never seen one in the flesh and was surprised by the size. I thought it was the 10" version! My first target of the night was M81/M82. Under dark skies, M81 is particularly impressive. It seemed much larger than when viewed from home. Both galaxies really popped out against the dark background. They proved to be the perfect warm up for M33. I've been regularly visiting M33 over recent sessions to build familiarity with it and the surrounding star field. More than anything, I wanted to see the nebula NGC 604 which sits within the pinwheel galaxy. I was instantly wowed by the view of the galaxy. It presented as the normal grey fuzzy but much brighter and giving a real sense of it's structure. It was like looking at blurred picture of the galaxy. Recognisable as the galaxy from images but without the colour and detail. With averted vision, I slowly picked out the edges of the spiral arms where I could. The Astronomik UHC filter was added and the nebula hunt began. It didn't take long to identify what I believed to be NGC 604. Once I saw it with the filter, I found I could pick it out without the filter. This has been one of my long term observing goals so I was thrilled to have finally seen it. After this, I went looking for the Fireworks galaxy. I believe I found it but it was very faint so I quickly moved on. M1, the Crab nebula, has so much more shape when viewed under dark skies. Easily seen with direct vision. I've never been able to see this from home. I took a break to catch up with Chris and some other Norwich Astro Society members. It was really nice to talk about what everyone was viewing or imaging. I had a look through a couple of refractors which was neat. Kemble's cascade was a highlight of the objects seen through the fracs. Chris made several great suggestions for targets that I could see. I finished up my cuppa and headed back to my scope. I returned to the Eskimo nebula which I saw from home the night before for the first time. The star shone through brightly, with the UHC filter helping to reveal patch of nebulosity that it sat within. The dark skies helped this target much more than I was expecting with the clarity of the star within the nebula being significantly improved. Orion had been catching my eye all night and so I moved onto M42. I used my 12mm BST and Astronomik UHC. I'll never tire of this target. Seeing a nebula so bright and clear in the eyepiece is a real treat. I dedicated some time to the Trapezium at 180x with my 5mm BGO but couldn't pick out the E and F stars. This is rapidly becoming my next big challenge. My next two target were suggestions from Chris which he'd shown me in his frac. I wanted to see them in my own scope so I could officially class them as seen. M78 was a nice reflection nebula with two bright stars shining within it. I tried the UHC filter but ultimately preferred the unfiltered view. The globular cluster, M79, was quite low in the sky making it a bit of a challenge to get onto. A fairly small globular cluster and a welcome addition to the night's viewing. The chap I spoke to when I arrived mentioned seeing nebulosity in M45 so I decided to go hunting for it myself. The contrast within the cluster was amazing. The stars looking so bright against the black background. With the stars shining so brightly it was difficult to tell if I was really seeing nebulosity. I don't believe I was but looked great anyway. Despite wearing my new thermal socks, my feet were feeling pretty cold at this point so I decided to go for one more target. The Rosetta nebula has a bright open cluster, NGC 2244, within it and that's what immediately held my attention on finding this target. Adding the Astronomik OIII and I could see a large patch of faint nebulosity to the left of the cluster as I looked at it. It's a very different experience to M42 but with more time being required to properly discern the nebulosity. I'm looking forward to returning to this target. Cold feet had become my Kryptonite so I packed up. Just as I was starting to walk back to the car, Chris arrived. He quickly reeled off a number of great targets that were now up. His description of M46 got the better of me and I put the Telrard back on and got the ES68 24mm back out of the eyepiece case. 5 minutes later, I had the dense open cluster in the eyepiece. With averted vision, I was able to identify the planetary nebula, NGC 2438, within the cluster. M46 reminded me of M37 as it's such a dense cluster with stars of a similar brightness. Happy with my bonus viewing, I headed home. Over the course of the evening I saw lots of small meteors. Nice showing from the Leonids and Taurids. I got home at 3:15 AM and very much enjoyed the feeling of a great night's viewing and slightly warmer feet! Big thank you to @Cjg!
  15. Explore Scientific optical quality across ranges

    No apology required. It’s a really interesting discussion. I like it when a simple question sparks discussion I personally think a strong secondhand market helps a manufacturer. For people buying products new, knowing you can sell it on and recover some money makes it a less risky purchase. For people buying secondhand, it’s an opportunity to try something they may not be otherwise be able to afford. I wonder how many secondhand purchasers then go on to buy another TV eyepiece from new.