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Everything posted by Waddensky

  1. If you have an eyepiece that magnifies 50x or more, you should be able to discern Saturn's rings. Good luck!
  2. Observed a while in the night of the maximum (Jan 4th, 03.20 CET). Conditions were poor: between 75 and 100% cloud cover. Still, a nice handful of Quadrantids between the clouds. Bluish in colour, bright, faster than the Geminids but slower than the Perseids. A shower worth setting an alarm for if the conditions are favourable!
  3. I'm sure this has been discussed before on the forums. A supernova is one of the possibilities. The problem however, is that we don't know if something happened, when it happened or what exactly happened. The Gospel of Matthew is the only gospel mentioning a star.
  4. I liked it :). The way of presenting is very much like they do at the 'watches', still they had some nice background info in it. A shame the Christmas Star was only explained as a conjunction - a lot of other options for that event.
  5. Great! Sounds like Winterwatch with an astronomy twist. Thanks for sharing.
  6. Hi! Well, using an app is a great start. Don't know what app you're currently using, but most of them offer a variety of background info on the celestial objects. For Android, SkySafari 6 for example is easy to use and offers a lot of information. I'd also recommend a weather forecast app so you can easily find clear, cloudless nights. Finally, an app that lists interesting events (meteor showers, planetary conjunctions) for a given night might be useful. These kind of events can also be found on websites like Sky & Telescope or EarthSky.
  7. Some exoplanets have been imaged directly, like Fomalhaut b. The link JBracegirdle provides has some excellent other examples. But I think you underestimate the enormous distances involved when it comes to observing exoplanets. As others have said, these planets orbit extremely luminous stars at a distance of only a few astronomical units. As you can see on most images of these exoplanets, like HR 8799 and Fomalhaut b, a trick has to be applied to block out the light of the star to make the tiny planet visible.
  8. Here is a thread on the Dutch Astroforum about a location near Melissant (not quite Zeeland but not too far from Dordrecht either). Announcements about upcoming events are posted there.
  9. The parallax error in DR2 is +/- 0.0557, so the star's distance is between about 7,800 and 10,700 light-years. I believe these small parallaxes (large distances) are not so reliable in this data release.
  10. Hi there! Friesland here, skies are not too bad (we have two Dark Sky Parks - Boschplaat and Lauwersmeer). But it really is an exception in The Netherlands. I believe Zeeland has some reasonable skies, not too far from Dordt. If I remember correctly, there are star parties being organised there occasionally. Veel waarneemplezier!
  11. The Geminids are one of my favourite showers. Rich, nice speed and great colour. Not so well-known as the Perseids but that's a seasonal thing I suppose.
  12. No, because the lunar orbit is not in the same plane as the Earth's orbit around the Sun. So it varies up to 10 degrees if I remember correctly. Good question though!
  13. This is very interesting, thanks for sharing! Can anything be concluded from the reflectance spectrum? Like dust components or density?
  14. Don't know what your means of transportation is, but there are some reasonably dark locations in Flevoland and on the Afsluitdijk. In general, the northern parts of The Netherlands have the best skies you can get here.
  15. I second the advice to first start observing and learn your telescope before deciding on accessoires. If it turns out you like deep-sky observing, a nice narrowband filter (UHC type) is a great addition to your set-up. If you're more of a plantetary or double star observer, a barlow of focal extender might be a good investment. Just enjoy your new scope, and you'll undoubtedly discover what kind of accessoires you need.
  16. A Skyliner 200P is a great all-round scope that will perform fine on both solar system and deep-sky objects. Keep in mind that the tube is very large and the base is quite heavy, it might be a bit inconvenient if you need to move it around a lot. I have no trouble myself with the size and weight of this scope, but it's something to keep in mind. The eyepieces included are good enough to get you started and there's an incredible amount of nice objects to observe with an 8".
  17. Absolutely, this has 'dobson' written all over it. Both Skyliners are great scopes at a decent price, including fairly good two eyepieces. I'd still go for a 200p because of the larger light-gathering power and better resolution, but it's indeed a bit more expensive than the 150.
  18. If the difference in weight doesn't matter to you, I'd recommend the 200p. It's faster than the 150p, but holds its collimation very well. The planetary views are more detailed and there are lots of other objects visible that cannot be seen with a 150 mm Skyliner.
  19. If this is true, pattern matching would be very difficult. Stars are usually scaled by brightness, not distance, on star charts. I tried to match the position of the planets and some minor planets in October to this image without convincing results. An idea of scale may help a lot.
  20. Thanks for sharing, very curious to see the results of your measurements. I take readings using my SQM-L for quite some time now on different observing sites. Very interesting to see day-to-day variations and the effect of moon phase and twilight. Mirfak and its neighbouring stars are a real open cluster, also known als Alpha Persei Cluster, Melotte 20 or Collinder 39. A beautiful sight naked eye or using binoculars. Is about 550 light-years distant.
  21. Really great picture, a lot of detail! I love how much phase can actually be seen on an 'outer' planet.
  22. If you mean a 3x-5x barlow: that will give you far too much magnification for that scope under normal circumstances.
  23. There's a lot more to see without moonlight, that's for sure. But there's enough 'left' to focus on: planets, the brighter open clusters, double stars, carbon stars, the Moon itself. But if your aim is to observe faint nebulae and galaxies, I'd recommend to pick out another night.
  24. Why another thread? The supplied eyepieces are fine to start with. Maybe a barlow to get a bit more magnification. But as far as budget eyepieces are concerned: they come with the scope.
  25. As far as I know the standard eyepieces shipped with the Skyliner 250px are superplössls too. They're fine to start with, to build up experience and to find out what the next step will be.
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