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Everything posted by AbeSapien

  1. I'm following SpaceX for a while now and I have to say that I'm in awe every time he lands one of his boosters! The best thing is that you can follow the live feed of the start every time! Go Elon ^^
  2. I had very little time to work on the list the past few days but here's an update: • the first cell of the observed object turns green as soon as you fill out the "Observing Date" field • in General Overview the Star Log effectively counts the observed objects • the Messier and Caldwell Catalogue are almost complete Things that I'll do as soon as I get to it: • Counter for the different catalogues in the General Overview • The what's on this / next month section (essentially a field where the sheet will tell you which constellations are to observe) • further details to be filled in in the different catalogues (Collinder IS the most frustrating! ^^) Happy Holidays to everyone
  3. Crunshing NGC numbers like a mad man!

  4. I think I'm done filtering the catalogues... I'll re-check everything a second time just to be sure 873 combined entries should be enough to keep us busy for a while I think... Next up: filling in the basic missing details. The Collinder Catalogue should be the most time-consuming one... But hey, weather is bad!
  5. Hello everyone Okay, as soon as I've finished the Star Log, I'll share it with you here. Does anyone know how to share a Google Sheet as a file? Is that even possible? If not I'll copy the stuff in a normal Excel sheet
  6. Okay, thank you for the Magic Fluid tip. Buying myself right into it! Thank you @Louis D for the detailed description of taking it appart. At the given moment I won't strip it, but who knows what the future holds! Some valuable input here
  7. Hello fellow gazers I want to share a little project of mine I started a few days ago. Last week I opened another thread regarding a new EP which I ordered and @YKSE commented on it (again thank you for that! ). I saw his awesome signature and blandly copied it into my signature thinking to myself that I as of now had a Mission... a Mission to see and log all those beautiful clusters, nebulas and galaxies! As a well known sitcom actor would say... "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!" Then I ran into a few problems... first of all... where the hell would I find all the information I would need and secondly, the more pressing problem, how would I keep track of this huge amount of everything?! I really don't know how YKSE is doing it, or even others, but I thought to myself that a good ol' classic excel table would do the trick. I promptly started to gather the four catalogues in question, copied them into an excel tabel an HEY! there are MANY dublicates... Filtering them out isn't that easy since the information I found isn't completely to the point I would need it to be. So after a few days of manual crunching NGC numbers, here the actual result. The list includes a general number of the whole list, NGC / other number, the four catalogues, common name, type, distance, constellation, apparent magnitude and a "best to observe"-tab. To make things a little easier I included the NGC / other number to almost completely eliminate the duplicates. I also included a "best to observe"-tab to simply filter the catalogues by months. This way I can grab the list, filter it and promptly see what I could potentially see and what not. And the most important thing of all? A small cell where I can put an "x" if I've seen whatever I wanted to see. This goes allong with a date and location tab to round everything up. In some separate sheets I created a General Overview, the four separate catalogues and a Constellation sheet where I'll put some valuable information. The General Overview will be a sheet holding the logs information. For example I can immediately check how many objects I've seen of the Messier Objects or the Collinder Catalog and so on. I'll display a simple number like 56 / 110 Messier Objects and include a percentage diagram. To make things a little funnier I'll also add a general counter for the four catalogues, hence the previously mentioned general number of the whole list. After the list is complete I could se myself linking every entry to an online catalogue with more information and pictures for further research. If someone wants this list I'll gladly share it Have a great evening everyone, Abe
  8. Thanks everybody I'll cut them in four little pieces and try to get them back under there. Yes, I was recommended to do that as soon as I'd get the EP, but I have to say that I quit like it as it is at this moment. Perhaps one day I'll strip it What are you guys using to clean the glas by the way?
  9. Oh my god, you were absolutely right with your suggestion... There was a rolled up foamy sticky tape underneath the shroud! I removed the both of them but I'm asking myself what their purpose is? Perhaps to prevent that area from getting moist and getting moldy? Should I try to stick them back?
  10. I think I'll try this before jumping to anything at the moment... THX Hm okay I see... just talking about the 40mm, which one do you think has better eye relief and is sharper on the edges? What about correction? Has anyone tried both perhaps?
  11. That's what I fear too... It bothers me already just seeing this wave... Thanks for all the other replies. I contacted the seller and they are out of stock unfortunately... so no way to exchange it... After scrolling over the site I also noticed that they carry the Explore Scientific 68 Series Eyepieces. Are they recommendable? If so I could see myself exchanging the Maxvision for the 68 SE 40mm... What do you think?
  12. Hello fellow watchers Thanks to a few members on here I purchased a Skyliner 200P with BST Starguider eyepieces a while back. I absolutely love tanking the stuff out and sit in my spot all night long and enjoy gazing around. As a member in my previous threat about the BST Starguiders suggested, I also bought myself a Explore Scientific 68° Maxvision 40mm to sweep around the night sky. It was delivered last night and oh boy, this thing is huge! I mean I knew it had to be bigger... but that big? NICE! Now here's the thing... As I took it out of the bag I noticed that the plastic shroud doesn't stay flat on the EP... It kind of makes a small wave... I attached a picture. Is this normal? Is this "expected behavior"? Or did I just manage to get a plum? I saw that many people are taking apart the entire shroud to save weight and etc. but I don't think this is the thing I really want to do to a brand new EP. What are your thoughts and experiences on this? And another thing I just noticed... FLO and Explore Scientific are out of stock of Maxvision EP's... Did the pull the plug on producing them? I really wanted to get the whole set after holding one of them in my hands
  13. Hoping for clear skies tonight!

  14. According to skywatcher.com the tube itself comes in at around 21kg, packaged it weighs 23kg. The base ships in a different box than the tube and weighs 20kg (with packaging, so around 18kg without) for the normal version and 33kg (with packaging, so around 31kg without) for the GOTO version. So it could be that the normal version weighs around 44kg and the GOTO version around 54kg...? Someone correct me if I'm wrong I'm just taking a wild guess here, I just own the 200P.
  15. I really enjoy reading your stuff!! I can identify myself with a lot of your impressions
  16. 3rd of July 2017 / 21h30 UTC+01:00 / Stargazing Conditions: 80% After much reading and hyping myself so much, I was pretty stunned by the early notification on my phone that yesterday night could potentially be a good evening with good seeing. So I went home after work (with my phone still showing 80% of potential seeing), sat on my desk and prepared myself. I chose to watch the Moon, since I never really observed it, Jupiter, Saturn and search for the Sombrero Galaxy! Last week I searched for a few good atlases and stumbled unto the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas. A promising atlas which should arrive this week, but still would let me be without a field atlas, since it is a desk edition... After cramming in the forums I mainly found three downloadable recommendations: 1) The Deep-Sky Atlas 2) Deep-Sky Hunter Atlas 3) TriAtlas I downloaded all of them and browsed through them, noticing that only the Deep-Sky Hunter Atlas exists in a field edition. I printed the normal Version on A3 paper to look if it fits the need and, hell yeah, I really like it so far!! Only downside (for me) at the moment, is that the constellations are in black lines in contrary to the Deep-Sky Atlas. So I think I'll print both of them, laminate them and take them with me on my sessions. (I will have to inverse the colors on the Deep-Sky Atlas though) To round everything up, I figured that I'll need a software too, to plan my sessions a little better and just give me the right impressions on where I will have to search in the sky. A while back I downloaded Stellarum, which seemed to be a great free app, but it simply kept crashing on my laptop... Searching for alternatives I found SkySafari 5 and Starry Night 7. Given the prices of Starry Night 7 and the fact that it isn't to be found on the AppStore, I went ahead and downloaded SkySafari 5 Pro. It is a beautifully simple app which does the job just fine and gives me the needed input to satisfy my thirst for knowledge (at least for now). At this point, I was wondering if someone knows if Starry Night 7 was up-gradable? So let's say I buy the Enthusiast Edition and wanted to up-grade to the Pro or even Pro-Plus version one day. Do I have to buy the App entirely new or does it give the opportunity to up-grade for a few bucks to the next edition? Enough rambling an off to my stargazing site! I arrived well early before sunset, which gave me the opportunity to once check again, if my finderscope was well aligned with the 'scope. It also gave me the chance to let my 'scope acclimatize the same way as last time and so I sat back and waited a little until the moon gained a little on contrast as the sun was setting. The Moon The Moon, being a waxing gibbous, shone bright in the slightly dark blue night sky with literally NO clouds in the sky. I put my 15mm BTS eyepiece in and looked at the beautiful moonscape. It is defiantly the first time I've seen the Moon so up-close and I was in awe by it. I never imagined that it could be so nice to look at all these craters and I began to wonder where they all came from. It is simply a battlefield of craters and each and everyone has its own story to tell... after a good 30 minutes of switching between the 8mm and 15mm eyepiece and lots of "ohs" and "wows", I figured I could try and photograph the Moon with my phone through the eyepiece... what seemed to be a really stupid idea at first turned out to be a really great shot (I think?)! (very little photoshop-magic to increase contrast and sharpness) Jupiter Next on that nights list was Jupiter. I remembered the image last time I looked at it and I was thrilled to already clearly identify Europa from Io through the finderscope. I managed to see Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io. I think that Jupiter itself was a little less contrasty as last time BUT I think I could make out the Red Spot which really made me happy! I was so thrilled by the view I even can't write down how I felt... I switched from 15mm to the 8mm eyepiece and focused in... I kept focusing and focusing and focusing but nothing happened... As I looked up in the sky I was shocked... the beautiful cloudless sky had turned into a thick carpet of Cumulus Cumulonimbus... I immediately looked at the horizon on my right to see if there was a slight possibility of clear sky but the enemy had invaded the sky... To make matters even worse at that moment, I met my locations' neighbor, which is no other company then Arcelor Mittal... The sky with the clouds lit up in a bright orange from the molten metal... At that moment I knew it was over for that night... Thanks for reading Abe
  17. Oh wow... Never figured that the given name "cross-hair" would literally mean hair!! O_O I always thought it would be an etching or a cut in the lens, but hey, the names usually aren't that far fetched ^^ For your problem, don't you have any warranty for it? Is it a new one?
  18. Hey Reggie, I'm glad you like my reports and the picture! Yes, you're absolutely right! I had a brief moment that evening where I didn't even consider looking through the scope, but only look around... enjoy the moment.... enjoy the view... as you say, be a part of it. I just felt connected in a way... Never had this experience before. I really can't wait to discover new things! Unfortunatley everything is clouded at the moment... seeing went down to 22% and even 01%... Next window will be thursday if I'm lucky! Have a great day, Abe
  19. 21 of June 2017 / 22h30 UTC+01:00 / Stargazing Conditions: 88% So, I crammed all of my new acquired stuff together and went to the darkest place I could find near my town. It's a mere 5 minute drive from my home. As I set everything up, I tried to wait for 20-30 minutes to give the 'scope a chance to acclimatize but I really couldn't! Jupiter I looked west south west to find Jupiter, pointed my finderscope at it and I was amazed by how clear the image from the 'scope was!! I had a 5 minute stare through my 25mm BST eyepiece where I could distinctly see the two belts, the north and south equatorial belt. As clearly as the belts were also three of its moons were, namely Callisto, Europa and Io, although Europa was quite close to Jupiter. The color was also great and the view, simply mesmerizing! I then switched to the 15mm BST eyepiece. First I was a little, let's say disappointed, but not that strong, by the magnification, and immediatly switched to the 8mm BST. To my surprise I wasn't convinced by the view either... So I decided to get back to the 25mm and calm down and enjoy the view as I clearly was getting hasty. As I started over, I remembered some words from a friend of mine who told me that watching the stars often comes down to 50% of actually seeing the stars and 50% imagination and concentration. So I tried the 15mm a second time and... I was hooked. I could now clearly see eight different colors and belts! I'm not quite sure what it was I saw, except the north and south equatorial belt, but I will have a look at some Jupiter maps and educate myself about the planet's surface. This will help in better understanding and watching next time, the case given that the seeing is as clear as it was that night. With the 15mm eyepiece Europa was now very distinct from Jupiter. I couldn't manage to get more detail out of the 8mm eyepiece, everything just got a tad bigger and a little fainter if my impressions were right. After good half an hour of watching the delightful planet and its moons I sat down and searched for Saturn, which was south not very high above the horizon. Saturn I switched back to the 25mm eyepiece, pointed my viewfinder at Saturn and peaked through the eyepiece. What a marvel! I clearly could see some colors on the surface and easily distinct the ring from the planet itself. As I switched over to the 15mm eyepiece, the separations on the planet's surface became a tad clearer and the ring/planet separation obviously bigger. I encountered the same problem as before of not knowing what I was looking at, which bothered me a little. I have to do a little homework here and get myself started with some fancy vocabulary. Milky Way All in all it was a marvelous first light experience and I clearly have to learn the stuff I'm looking at, but I think that's just me and my endless thirst for knowing things. I randomly gazed through the skies at the end, beeing absolutely overwhelmed by everything I saw. Furthermore, I simply was flabbergasted when I ran across the milky way in the north east... There were so many stars I couldn't see with my bare eye, but only with the 'scope (which made aiming with the finderscope a nightmare... How do you guys do that really?!). I'm glad I acquired the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P with the eyepieces. It is one of the best things I got myself and I think I will have a lot of fun with it and furthermore learn so many new things. Thanks for reading, Abe
  20. Hello there, I thought to myself that it would be great to write everything down I'm experiencing. From the very beginning, to the very end... So I chose to create this blog and use it as my small journal for personal observations, stargazing sessions, thoughts, reflections and what I recently learned. The greatest thing about this is, that it gives the opportunity to kick of many interesting discussions and I really can't wait to get started. Around the end of winter 2017 I started gazing around with a pair of binoculars I found at home. I initially got them when I was 9 years old and literally forgot about them... They were eating dust for 18 years now. After gazing around a little I bought myself some interesting books about astronomy and how to find stars and star maps. I don't know if it was my subconsciousness leading me into ticking off a point on my bucket list, but after so much hesitation if I should buy a 'scope or n... BWAAAAH I cracked and bought one. Period! Which leads us to yesterday night. After many days of reflection and information overkill, I finally went for a Skywatcher Skyliner 200P with BST 25mm, BST 15mm and BST 8mm eypieces. I ordered it last week on FLO and I couldn't be happier! It arrived divided into three packages last night and I immediately had to assemble it! Armed with my cordless screwdriver set to 11nm of tension, it took me about half an hour to assemble it and check if it was collimated right. Collimation was not perfect but it was absolutely okay for a first ride (I really should admit that I am a little anxious to collimate it and it is so near "perfect" that I'm okay with it at the moment). All in all the pictures don't give enough credit on the built quality of the 'scope. It is a simple to assemble and use first 'scope. I'm really glad that all of you pushed me in the right direction. After assembly and cleaning there were ONLY 5 damn hours left to wait until sunset... So I figured to simply develop a small evening plan in what I wanted to watch and gaze at. I simply chose to visit Saturn and Jupiter... Humble and modest for starters but hey, less is more and I really wanted to enjoy my evening out and not dish up myself with a list that a total novice couldn't handle and therefore risk to end up with a very disappointing first night. I'll write up my first experience in the next post and if you're interested, keep an open eye. I'll also use the opportunity to thank everyone involved into getting me started with my first 'scope! So let's go! Abe
  21. Oh wow! Thank you Littleguy80! What a marvelous guide and list!! Just scrolled a little in them, but I'll take them appart as soon as I'm getting the chance
  22. Thank you for all the great advice you gave me I don't know how to thank you all! I pulled the trigger yesterday night and ordered myself the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P with the 25, 15 and 8 BST Starguider eyepieces! I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE DHL GUY TO SHOW UP!!! I will have an extensive look at what I will need in the future and I think that some Explore Scientific EPs along the missing BST EPs will find their way into the collection I don't know if I can ask my next question along with this thread or if I should start a new one in another section, so Mods, feel free to tell me please What exactly do filters do, what are their benefits? Which ones shouldn't be missing to gaze the Moon, some stars and Nebulae?
  23. Hey rockystar, Thank you for the advice! Does the sharpness and clarity stay with a Barlow? Or am I loosing quality? I think I narrowed my choice down to 25, 15, 8 and 3.2 if a Barlow will result in quality loss What do you think? Hey Louis D, Thank you for your great report, but I think I'll stay in the 55€ section at the given moment and will expand to more expensive EPs over time The 40 mm Explore Scientific MaxVision sound absolutely great though!! My pooooor wallet
  24. Hey folks 2-3 months ago I started my first thread in the beginners section and thanks to all of you guys, I finally decided to get myself a Skyliner 200P! (YAY) But here's the thing... I fear a little that I'll be fed up by the stock EPs and given the fact, that I already have to pay 60€ for the shipping fees AND that FLO gives a good discount on the BST EPs, I decided to jump the rope and immediately order myself other EPs Now my question is, which EPs should I buy? I want to get some beautiful clear filling views of some galaxies and messier objects, but I also want to zoom in the maximum I can get out of the 200P Are there any buzz killers amongst them or are they all equally good? I thought of getting 2-4 EPs and a 2x barlow. Thank you for any advice folks Abe
  25. Thank you Paz, I took my time to educate myself about what I saw. It's as exciting to read and learn about all this, as to stargaze I'll perhaps report about tonight if it doesn't bother anyone
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