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About ImmortalBee

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  1. Thanks for the advice. I actually like the sound of the arduino. Previously I assumed I'd use a multimeter, except my current one cannot be connected up to a PC and logging ones are pretty expensive. The arduino method sounds cheap and like it would keep me entertained for a while before I move onto getting a spectrum with an SDR. Ah I see. Thanks.
  2. I've been playing around with a simple total power receiver using a Universal Astra LNB+sat finder meter and offset satellite TV dish. So far I've been content carrying out basic drift scans of the sun and reading the meter at fixed intervals, but recently I've been considering where to go next. I'd really like a better way of recording, and my original plan was to connect a multimeter across the back of the sat finder and record the voltage but recently I read about connecting the LNB to an SDR (e.g. here). The problem is that the guy above is from the US, where standard LNBs have a single band 12.2 GHz - 12.7 GHz whilst the UK Universal LNB I have has high and low bands which are shifted by different frequencies and hence the intermediate frequency ranges overlap. I'm not at all knowledgeable about RF things, but the IF frequency ranges do not overlap entirely and the region 10.7-10.85 GHz is the only region downconverted to 950-1100 MHz. This suggests to me that I should be able to observe at this frequency, but are there any issues (e.g. electronic or oddities of the FFT) that will mean that the superposition at the higher intermediate frequencies will affect the lower intermediate frequencies? (Apologies for being a RF noob, I'm sure there's a really simple reason why something won't work )
  3. I like the 18mm in my 200mm and 130mm f/5 scopes. I don't own any others.
  4. Seeing clear dark skies at 6PM, I grabbed my 10x50 binocular and tripod for a mini-session/demonstration to family and enjoyed showing them some of the "classic" objects: the Pleiades and Hyades, the Sword of Orion and also Uranus and splitting Albireo. Not willing to waste the rest of the evening, later on I grabbed the 8" Newt and headed out to see some new objects. First I started off with M35, not a new target but I had never studied this for a while before. It seemed like the cluster was much less dense at the centre. Next I moved to Leo to find Ceres. Tonight Ceres formed a distinctive "chevron" pattern with similarly bright 6-8th magnitude stars. This made it easy to identify in the finder and then I sketched the brightest stars in the area for comparison to Stellarium when I got back in. Thankfully this sketch was consistent and I am confident that I bagged my first minor planet this evening. Returning to the deep sky before the Moon made its appearance, I looked at M44 and the blue and yellow stars were very pretty. I also had a look at the Crab nebula. I have always found this object to be a disappointing ill-defined milky patch, the height of "faint fuzzy", but with averted vision in my new 18mm BST Starguider EP it appeared as a well-defined elongated patch of light haze. This 18mm EP also made some of the stars in M67 look slightly gold. This cluster looked quite loose, though averted vision increased the apparent density. The Moon was now making its appearance above the houses opposite and so I decided to have a quick look. In the 18mm it looked remarkably good given its low elevation, though the view from the 7mm EP (142x) was not very sharp and I did not study the Moon much further, planning to return once it was higher in the sky. Instead I had a quick look at M42 before trying my luck on the Eskimo nebula. I didn't expect to be successful, and I confused 56 and 63 Gemini through my dewed up finder scope, but I did succeed surprisingly quickly. It looked non-stellar with the 32mm but it wasn't until I used the 18mm EP that I was really sure that it was a nebulous object. I now moved straight to my 7mm EP. In this eyepiece the nebula was relatively large and averted vision showed that there was a darker core surrounded by lighter nebulosity. There seemed to me to be a slightly yellow tinge to this outer nebulosity, though I couldn't swear to it. With my OTA (and feet!) now showing the effects of the cold I decided to pack up now, content that I had been productive and not even news of the Ashes test could change that.
  5. I hope my advice is useful: * You may fail to find a target on the first attempt (especially deep sky objects), be prepared for that. Any frustration you have at being unable to find your target will be offset by the relief/happiness at eventually finding it. Plus you might find you enjoy the hunt. * Collimation may seem intimidating at first but it legitimately isn't that bad. * Don't dismiss the Moon as a beginner's object which is only useful for learning the ropes. * As well as doing internet/book research, get out there and use your 'scope. You'll learn more, and it's probably more fun
  6. Nice report. Sounds like you had a good trip to some of my favourite winter objects.
  7. I own and love the ordinary Opticron Adventurer 10x50s (not the T WP advertised above). These are cheaper than the T WPs, are also reviewed and recommended on binocularsky.com and are cheaper than the T WPs (£47.50 vs £79 ordered from First Light Optics). But if your budget stretches then the T WPs get better reviews.
  8. +1 Jodrell Bank I also visited the Spaceguard centre UK in Wales this summer. Their tour was interesting, and you'll enjoy driving up the hill, assuming you are a professional rally driver.
  9. If you are concerned about your 3.10 installation being laced with malware then try a free antivirus scanner such as Malwarebytes AntiMalware (the free version can do on-demand scans but not real time protection. It does not spam you with ads to buy the paid version)
  10. Ah thanks guys, that's a relief. I don't normally get to observe at low elevations
  11. This evening I was lucky enough to get out with my 10x50 binocular, a luxury when I'm away at uni. I had a quick look at M42 (which was depressingly bad through city light pollution) before turning my attention to the setting Summer Triangle. I had a quick scan around parallel to the body of the swan in Cygnus as usual before turning my attention to the Vega area, where I split Epsilon Lyrae into 2 and tried Zeta Lyrae before being distracted by Vega itself. There were noticeable arcs of colour along the edges of Vega and it was twinkling very noticeably. I have never noticed chromatic abberation on Vega with this binocular before, and Vega was low on the horizon at the time so I hope this was due to atmospheric effects rather than CA in my binocular. Hopefully someone with more experience can comment.
  12. Nice report. I ventured out myself earlier but got shutdown by cloud.
  13. As said above it's a personal choice when you decide you've found something. I tend to be pessimistic, in life and astronomy
  14. Nice report. I'd say a faint fuzzy in binoculars is enough for a catch. Personally I'd require atleast a hint of nebulosity before I said I'd found a nebula though. Enjoy your OIII filter.
  15. That's sensible. I lasted a bit longer, until 1:40AM but my fingers were getting too cold. Need new gloves!
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