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Geoff Barnes

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Everything posted by Geoff Barnes

  1. Intrigue got the better of me this evening so I thought I would have a go at Procyon myself. With the SW 12 inch Dob I got the star nicely centred with tracking on and using the Morpheus 6.5mm (230x) I spent a good 20 minutes just gazing at it and systematically going around and around the airy disc trying to spot the elusive B star. The seeing wasn't the best with a bit of a breeze blowing and the main star was scintillating quite markedly, but every time my eye reached the region around 11-12 o'clock I was convinced there was something there. I certainly couldn't see a star at a
  2. Okay, so not technically at night, but daybreak. A warm night with no dew so I left the scope out all night, and as the clocks went back an hour overnight it was a civilised time to get out at 6.30am for a look at the moon and particularly the Alpine Rille. As you can see the moon is nearly directly overhead here but even so I couldn't manage to see the Rille, seeing was a bit too wobbly. A bit of a novelty for me to be observing at sunrise, not much to see bar the moon of course.
  3. In quite perfect conditions (for once!) I set out specifically this evening to try to split the tightest pair of Tegmine, a feat that had thus far eluded me. And I'm thrilled to report success! It took some doing mind you, quite low in my northern sky, about 30 degrees altitude, I started with the Baader zoom down to 8mm (187x) which split the main two components easily enough but no hint of the tight double. Next tried the Morpheus 6.5mm (230x) and could see it was "notched" but not a clean split. Decided still more power was needed so in with the 4mm Vixen SLV (375x) and there it was, a clea
  4. I've just seen this on the SpaceWeather.com site and thought folks might like to see it too. Here's the text from the site followed by the video - watch to the end, very impressive.... "Everything went right," says astrophotographer Szabolcs Nagy of London, England. "I was filming the southern region of Moon when the International Space Station (ISS) flew by. The seeing was good, and the timing was perfect." Nagy planned this event for more than two weeks. "I saw the forecast on Transit-Finder.com, and rented a car to drive to Chiswick where the transit would be visible. I was
  5. Just found this on the web, very interesting. I find the level of detail revealed here renders the Milky Way completely unrecognizable. Love the photo at the bottom of the article of his observatory! It took over a decade and 1,000 hours of photography to create this picture of the Milky Way | BusinessInsider India
  6. 257x sounds about right @John my best success has been with my Morpheus 6.5mm at 230x, but Sirius is higher in the sky down here so slightly easier to see with lower magnification. Same for E and F with that eyepiece too.
  7. Yes, that's what surprised me the most Stu. The atmosphere was really humid so must have been full of water vapour even though we're in a bit of a dry spell (for a change) but the seeing and transparency were both as good as it gets here. At 37 degrees south we are a bit too near the equator to be influenced by the jetstream much here. You never can tell until you stick your eye up to the eyepiece.
  8. After quite a hot and humid day with reasonably good but not great visibility and a moderate breeze I was not expecting the best viewing conditions last night, how wrong I was! It soon became obvious that it was one of those rare nights when everything I looked at was razor sharp and steady as a rock. I aligned the 12 inch Dob with the Baader zoon on Rigel and Sirius and with no effort at all at 175x saw both B stars. Rigel B is always easy but Sirius Pup almost always takes a bit of effort, not this time, even with the fierce glare from Sirius it was immediately there. Ti
  9. I should have added, I stick a small piece of tape by the adjacent screw holes so they go back together in the same way.
  10. Hi @BrendanC, I have always left my primary mirror intact in its cell. Just undone the six screws around the outer rim attaching it to the main body and carefully pulling the whole unit away. That way, when you put it back together it should still be collimated or near enough as it was before removal. Works fine for me.
  11. I think you are right @fifeskies I am a visual only observer but the first set of stops are about 7/8 of the way up the poles and offer a slight reduction in focal length which would suit astrophotography.
  12. Great find @Mamm7215, one size down from my 12 inch SW Dob and a great all round scope for planetary and deep sky viewing. Don't worry if the primary mirror looks a little dusty, it won't affect the quality of the views, no need to clean it unless it is in a shocking state which going by the great looking condition in the photo, is unlikely. Some better quality eyepieces will help you get the best out of it and you won't need to break the bank to achieve that, though the choice out there can be a bit daunting! Hope you get some clear skies soon enough to try it out, do let us kn
  13. My second chance this evening to compare the quality of views. The horizon today has been all but invisible in the haze despite clear blue skies. Just had the 12 inch Dob out to have a look at the Moon, Mars and even Uranus which is currently very close to the red planet. Very poor views, impossible to get a steady image in the eyepiece of any of the targets, certainly Mars and Uranus were very poor, the Moon was shimmering constantly at 175x, but much better at 75x as one would expect. Looks like a good settled warm spell of weather coming up for us in the next few days so I hope to have
  14. Just a quick brief follow up, I had a look at Mars and Rigel yesterday evening in clear skies but with a still hazy horizon and the views were terrible, impossible to achieve sharp focus over 100x magnification. I found the 20mm setting with the Baader zoom giving 75x was the best I could achieve. Will do more investigating in different conditions.
  15. Thanks @Pixies and @Waddensky, I did contemplate whether to call this thread "Transparency" when I wrote it, so I've added it to the title.
  16. I was working today at one of my clents gardens high up on the mountain which has fantastic views stretching some 40 miles to a headland at the bottom end of the bay that Melbourne surrounds. Although skies were clear and sunny there was a lot of haze in the air and the peninsula was barely visible. There are other days with seemingly similar conditions when the peninsula is so crystal clear you feel you could reach out and touch it. This got me thinking with my astronomer hat on, is there any correlation between the quality of the horizontal seeing to the horizon and that of
  17. Hi Gary, I doubt anyone outside of Oz knows about Bintel, but these Synta and Guan Sheng telescopes seem to all be basically the same with minor variations. The Bak 7 glass is a boroscilicate type, not as good quality as Bak4 but not bad. Skywatcher also uses Pyrex which is also a type of boroscilicate but whether they use the same minerals in theirs I don't know. I doubt you would see much difference in the optics if any. My SW Dob gives me excellent views when the seeing is good. Cheers, Geoff.
  18. Happy to be able to report Orion and neighboring goodies is back in my view above the tree tops again. Had a really wonderful evening in warm, still conditions with excellent seeing. Got straight onto Rigel to see if my 12 inch SW Dob was well collimated and was pleased to see that it was spot on with a star test. Rigel B was easily seen but then again it always is for me. Okay, if we're well set up lets go for E and F in the Trapezium. Started with the Baader zoom on 8mm (187.5x ), E was seen straight away and F was on and off. Next in with the 5mm SW Planetary (300x ), both E
  19. Haven't held the Samsung Galaxy J2 up to rhe 12 inch Dob for ages so had a go a few nights ago. Not too bad for hand held, always a bit hit and miss getting it centred.
  20. Amazing dedication @paulastro I'm clearly not a real astronomer, I would never have put myself through all that for love nor money!!
  21. Finally managed my first view of the conjunction via a gap in the trees. I have to say they looked much closer together than 1/4 degrees from here!....
  22. Looks like a little zoom telescope to me, rather than an eyepiece.
  23. These two are on my target list tonight as we have a warm clear calm night ahead for once. I have seen Neptune a couple of times recently but it appears as the tiniest blue dot even at 375x. Haven't seen Triton yet and with light summer skies here I probably won't tonight but will give it a go. Looking forward to seeing Uranus very much, SkySafari shows it as about 50% bigger than Neptune so I expect to see a clear disc at 375x, will try for more power if conditions allow but may be too dim then. Will probably spend most time on Mars as it is perfectly placed from here at the mo
  24. If my memory serves me correctly @Stu did have that as his avatar a few years ago.
  25. It's true! Because everything looks upside down here my scope automatically turns them the right way up!
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