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Jim M

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Posts posted by Jim M

  1. You get what you pay for. The celestrons can have quality issues. There are a fair few dissatisfied customers if you care to check. I have been reading this and other forums for a couple of years now and haven't heard a single complaint about any pentax bino's (except maybe the 20x60 having too narrow a field of view) nor of any of the nikon action extremes. In fact they are excellent bino's but you are looking at £160 here. You could be lucky and get a nice pair of celestrons - well ones that are passable. I have the nikons action ex 12x60 and they are just great, better than the opticrons I had prior which came with hair and dust on the prism's and the coatings were uneven. It's always best to try out and examine your bino's before parting with cash unless you are sure you can return them later. Some shops will argue the hinds legs off a donkey rather than give you a refund.

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to take the plunge and buy my first bins to indulge my love for the night sky. I've (tried!) doing a fair amount of research into which one's would suit best, but there's an awful lot to get your head round!!!

    I've found the Celestron Nature 10x50's at Amazon which I think would suit for the following reasons:

    1. Given I'd like to use them to try and get a bit more detail on the things I can see with the naked eye, I'm thinking 10 x 50's are probably the best (I like the 'grab and go' aspect, so not really looking at anything bigger/scope just yet)

    2. I've got a slight astigmatism in one of my eyes, corrected by glasses, and this leads me to believe the 20mm eye relief on these would suit well

    3. They're less than £100, so within my budget!

    Has anyone else tried these? Would appreciate any thoughts/experiences from you more experienced folk before I part with the hard-earned!

  2. Well my Opticrons arrived today, I am so dissapointed, they came faulty...

    I have asked if I can swap for the pentax ones, the rubber eyepiece cover came right off first time I twisted it to extend the eyepiece, you can see its supposed to be glued in place but there wasnt enough glue applied... another problem is thet the holes you put the neckstrap through arent wide enough for the neckstrap suopplied so you would have to buy a new neckstrap to use a strap, also the double eyepiece cover/rainguard wont fit on the bins after I get them wide enough for my eyes, I have to fold them together to put the eyepiece cover on, this means if I pick them up and want to look at something I have to reset the width by quite a lot every time...

    I have never bought expansive bins before but when a bit drops off within 2 minutes of opening it doesnt inspire confidence in them long term...

    I bought a pair of opticron countrymans and they were disgusting inside with what looked like hair and dust and the coating was uneven and in places the coating looked like it was poured on. They can keep them. Nikons are good as are pentax.

  3. I posted this the other day but it didn't scan too well so I messed about with the light curves in gimp to make it a bit clearer. Jupiter wasn't like it

    all the time as you will know and not only that but I think the old brain drew some of it in on its own or so it seemed, averted vision was no use. Not sure about these Maks. Mine is hard to focus and I'm not fully happy with the sharpness of focus. Jupiter was a little soft at x214 for my liking.


  4. Personally I would like you all to sign up for my new political party - its called the Fire Retardant Foam Rubber Party or FR2 for short (snappy eh :blob10: )

    Our political platform is for ALL products to be made of safe fire retardant foam rubber. This includes cars, bicycles, airplanes, cooking utensils, tableware etc.

    Few people realise just how dangerous everyday objects such as knives, forks (and yes - even plastic spoons ) can be in the hands of children and the irresponsible.

    Almost all everyday dangers could be eliminated by the use of safe fire retardant foam rubber. Even apparently safe hobbies such as astronomy could be vastly improved and made more safe by the use of FRFR materials.

    My agenda would be;

    1/ The banning of everything - (that includes telescopes because as we all know you can be blinded by using them and being optical a carelessly left telescope can start fires). Priority on bans should be given to small groups using salami tactics to reduce over a 5 year period all specialist hobbies. These would inlcude astronomy, photography, cycle racing, stamp collecting, botany etc to be followed by;

    1a/ The banning and control of food and drink - hot foods which are provided at a temperature of more than 20' will not be permitted and any foodstuffs deeemd to be unsafe such as tea, coffee, nuts, sugares, salt, flavourings, fats etc to be banned.

    2/ A curfew between the hours of 17:30 and 09:00 for all remaining citizens. Houses would be stripped of all potentially dangerous materials such as gas cookers and electric devices in this period along with an amnesty for citizens to hand in ANY potentially dangerous item with a sanction of up to 10 years imprisonment for failure to comply. This to be followed by;

    3/ FR2 implementation at some future point. This would include a foam rubber levy to allow private enterprise to develop foam rubber products to replace current eveyday items. Foam Rubber headgear will be distributed free of charge via the DHSS for all citizens who feel that, even in a country made entirely of foam rubber, that they are still at risk.

    Citizens will be free finally from the dangers of ball point pens, spoons, cutelry and foodstuffs and will I am sure be delighted in finally having a world free from any risk.


    Foam rubber is mostly fireproofed anyway - it is for beds and furnishings.. All fire proofings are a health hazard.

  5. Had a lovely time last night viewing the two planets.

    Jupiter had the GRS just coming into view, which was lovely to see properly for the first time. I made a rough sketch, but even over just 15 minutes the features were rotating quite a bit. Observed at 182x and 260x at 11.45pm.

    Uranus didn't show any disc detail, and no moons were readily visible. The faintest star I recorded was mag. 14.4 and the faintest moon was that bit closer to the bright planet and mag. 14.7. However, I did perhaps get a hint of Oberon/Titania (they were very close together). Colour of the disc was pale blue, with a hint of green. Sorry about the writing on the on the reverse of the page, which for some reason is showing through.



    Great picture. What scope? The 16"?

    I made a drawing of Jupiter at 00:30 am 03-09-10 too using my SW 127Mak with Baader ortho' 7mm:


  6. Uranus visible with the naked eye? ive been trying to find uranus ive tried to the right of jupiter and up slightly,but nothing so was wondering if it is even slightly visible so i can have some sort of point of reference

    I dont think it's a naked eye object for most people (mag 5.7) in the city but binocs (10 or 12 by 50's should easily show it.

  7. I have a scope and I also have a couple of pairs of bins; Leica “Trinovid” which I bought about 5ish years ago for about £180 in my pre-astro days. These are optically great but they’re only 8X20 so not exactly good for astro work and I’m thinking to see if my local camera exchange (London Camera Exchange) will give me a few quid for them. My others are Nikon “Action EX” which I specifically bought for astro work about six months ago, which are 10X50, a bit more respectable. I like using the bins just to sit and scan the sky and now wish I got something a “bit bigger”, before I spend even more money if anyone can provide a couple of answers to some questions I’d be most grateful...

    Is there an equivalent of a telescope “barlow” lens for binoculars to increase magnification to say 15X. I can’t see any threads in the eyepieces some I guessing not but someone may/will no better I’m sure!

    I’ve seen that FLO are selling of Celestron 15x70 cheap, even at full price of £70 these seem relatively “inexpensive” compared to what I paid for the Nikon’s, £150. So are the Celstrons optically inferior, would I be disappointed if I also flogged off the Nikons and get the Celestrons or something similar.

    My scope sits on a camera tripod so I can easily swap between scope/bins as and when I’m in mood.

    All advice welcome.



    Yes, tetenterre is right. If you want to "move up" in quality as well as size but not too big then a pair of pentax 20x60's may do you. They seem to get good reports over on cloudynights forum. About £200.

  8. awsome viewing last night (31st ) waited up with the kids to glimps jupiter and the moons, and could see clearly, with IO just clipping the edge of jupiter, then later on around midnight i had another peek, and IO was alot further away - I thought i'd try Uranus and WOW.. managed to get a nice view of the disc and colour -blown away..

    Yes, I saw the same thing, Io coming out from Jupiter, watched it for about 1/2 an hour. Saw the red spot in my 127 mak + baader 12.5 mm ortho but it was touch and go. The 7mm ortho was hopeless.

  9. If you do the research you will find a couple acey - I wouldn't bother opening up my self to ridicule by saying something I knew wasn't true - if you do even more research you will find I am right about some other stuff I have said :)

    Playing God: the man who would create artificial life - Science, News - The Independent

    First DNA molecule made almost entirely of artificial parts

    Note: I will try and remember the chap I am originally thinking of they nicknamed him Dr Frankenstein

    First DNA molecule made almost entirely of artificial parts

    Their experiment neither proves nor does anything. It's like taking a human

    arm and grafting a mushroom on to it. Wait and see how it does nothing but die.

  10. This could have been a possibility - until one scientist worked out the molecular elements to create life from DNA - ordered all the necessary ingredients mixed them together and created living DNA (life)

    This then demonstrated that life can be created with the right ingredients artificially - therefore can happen naturally given the right elements, the right conditions and enough time. This then translate that life can occur more frequently than thought throughout the universe.

    Oh and another thing Skynet isn't that far away :)


    What nonsense! If anyone had created "living" DNA that would be huge news. A self replicating organism be it a virus or bacteria/whatever. They can only just get amino acids to form from within very controlled conditions. Certainly far too controlled to be anything like those which may have occurred on an early Earth. And then there is also the problem of chirality - the preponderance of the L form of amino acid molecule over the D form when in nature it is a 50-50 split between the two. Scientists have tried all that "chemical soup" stuff experiments in the 50's and none of them produce anything beyond a few amino acids (simple chemicals) which don't survive more than a few minutes in the reactor and which have to be removed to another environment for their continued survival.

  11. "You misunderstand sir!

    While I was not quoting you I was paraphrasing but I can see how you have interpreted my statement.

    To avoid doubt I was making the same point as you - that oil is generally depositied in small pores/voids etc - as you said - of course I did embellish it with the reference to large voids (er open deposits)..."


    I think your original remark is ambiguous at best. ;-)

  12. Evening all ;)

    I have a pair of Bushnell H20 8X42 compact binos which are pretty decent but I'm having trouble finding a suitable tripod mounting system for them.

    Unfortunately, they don't have a screw thread between the barrels so I can't make use of a standard £10 tripod adaptor.

    I found this:

    ScopeTeknix Tripod mounting support for compact binoculars

    Has anyone tried this bino mount...?

    I'm concerned that as soon as the velcro strap is tightened down onto the bino to hold it steady, the interocular distance will change as the binos are effectively squashed flat...any help from users of this mount or alternative suggestions would be great.

    Clear skies

    Slip some sort of packing underneath the binocs.

  13. 10th Feb 2.30-3.30 am GMT

    U.K / Northwest

    Mars was in cancer and just below it to the left, I kind of accidentally picked up a marvellous cluster I hadn't [consciously] seen before.

    Dashed inside and cranked up Stellarium which revealed it to be Praesepe [The Beehive]

    Lingered awhile and discovered that there was another smaller, somewhat more distant and fainter cluster [M67] to be had within the same constellation.

    Went out again and I'm pretty sure I pinged that also.

    Later on, found another great cluster overhead which turned out to be the Coma Star Cluster.

    Part of the fun within my resurgent interest in astronomy has involved scanning the sky for significant 'visibles' and then identifying precisely what it is that I have seen, and learning more about it..[them]

    I really like this method as opposed to using an established binocular 'guide' which suggests what may be seen, names it, and advises you where to look for it. I just think the method I'm employing adds to ones sense of discovery.

    Not only that...but there's far less frustration.

    To actually see something first and then dash of to identify it somehow feels more natural than to identify something in literature, and then dash off to find out of one can 'see' it.

    Especially with the inherent limitations of 10 x 50 binoculars.

    Mick ;)

    The coathanger (Collinder 399) is a lovely sight in my 12x50's.

    It's the asterism imbetween Vulpecula and Sagita but you probably wont be able to see it just now, shame.

  14. This is not such a daft question and in the right circumstances some of the effects you mention can occur, not withstanding that oil deposits are distibuted in small pores rather than large 'open' depositis, as Jim said.

    Indeed this very effect has been experienced in the North Sea. The Ekofisk field where the reservoir rocks were largely chalk - the water injected to displace the oil began to dissolve some of the chalk in certain areas of the formation which was redepositied in a less porous manner - the result was a projected several metres of subsidence.

    The entire production complex, at the time some 7 platforms in total - five of which were interconnected above sea level (I thinkl), had to be raised by 6m to counteract the settlement.

    It was one of the most complex and interesting structural engineering projects of the time (late 1980s) with 4 or 5 interlinked platforms literally being jacked up simultaneously to allow the 6m support inserts to be placed.

    That having been said the effect is a peculiarity of the chalk formation and is not characteristic of the more common sandstone reservoirs.

    <<This is not such a daft question and in the right circumstances some of the effects you mention can occur, not withstanding that oil deposits are distibuted in small pores rather than large 'open' depositis, as Jim said.>>

    Eh? I said no such thing sir!

    I told the original poster that oil was distributed throught the rock in small spaces as in a sponge - or words to very similar effect.

  15. I don't know about Celestia for winblows but the linux version is fantastic. You can journey around the galaxy, past betelgeuse past rigel and wherever you want and see the stars as they would be. I can tell you it's almost impossible navigating your way back to our Sun when your that far away (virtually speaking).

  16. This is obviously a really easy question for all but the newbies. Only having had my first scope a couple of weeks, is the winter time the best for views and looking etc? I'm looking forward to some warm weather finally coming and having some long nights out where i don't have to wear a continental quilt! i know it goes darker later but are the views still as good or better or worse?

    From polar latitudes it generally is best in the winter and cooler seasons for several reasons. One, the nights are longer and deeper (darker). Two

    the winter climate is more amenable to better seeing and transparency. Three the summertime is generally none of the above. Four I'm sure there are more reasons but that could be something for you to discern off your own bat :-)

  17. Given todays urgent needs for oil and the ever depleting stocks, i set about wondering exactly what unexpected consequences would come from what these companies are doing?

    My question is what will be the after effects of removing what was once sandwiched inbetween 2 solid surfaces, a compressed and fermented treacle.

    Oil and gas is dispersed throughout the structure of underground rock, in small spaces like in a sponge.

  18. So what is the utility of astronomy? This is one of the oldest sciences in the world. We do it essentially out of curiosity. It is precisely as useful as great art: it creates joy and enlightenment. We do it because of a passion for science, just as any artist is driven by a passion for his art.

    A materialistic "it has to be useful" attitude does not carry us to the moon, or tells us what stars are made of. Yes, science has a responsibility (just as any other publicly funded endeavour) to the tax payer. Us professional scientists had better be grateful that we are payed to do our hobby. However the main responsibility is to convince people it is worth the money. One way to do this is by providing utility, but this does not necessarily lead to the best science (check Newton, Leibnitz, Einstein, Bohr, Feynman, Darwin, .....).

    However, worth is not utility. I think astronomers have done a great job in convincing people it has worth, by sharing its findings, by indeed reaching out to people. Not with new microwaves, but with stories of discovery of other worlds, of deep understanding of the world around us. Storytellers were always revered, if they had good stories to tell, and told them well.

    I do not think most scientist would ever want to rule anything at all (apart from their PhD students :)), or be particularly good at it. Scientists are generally unruly, neither wanting to be lead or necessarily wanting to lead. As a biographer of Einstein once said, scientists look for a solution, politicians look for a compromise.

    Most of the politicians I have come across are looking for troughs to put their snout in. Sure some of them start out with good intentions and a few manage to keep their good intentions but the majority are just two faced pocket lining scientific ignoramuses. Moving on to scientists, the majority are honest. The remaining few are as corrupt as the politicians and in fact are in bed with them witness the AGW /Climategate carbon tax con.

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