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Silent Running

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About Silent Running

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  • Interests
    Desert camping. Visual observer, and aspiring astrophotographer.
  • Location
    Saudi Arabia
  1. Thanks for info and opinions. I guess it will be a little while before I can justify more gear!
  2. Congratulations on the purchase. I have a 32mm TV Plossl also second hand at great price and am hoping to find a 25mm.... Actually I think you made a big mistake, are you sure you really want yours? I could offer a good home Clear skies!
  3. Hi, I would be grateful for some up-to-date advice. I'm wondering about going for a dedicated Solar telescope. I wonder how the long term solar hands feel currently about Lunt 80 or 100 single or double stacked versus an F8 100mm apo with say a Quark Chromosphere (or even a front mounted etalon!). Is a consensus emerging. I have read that some people found a lot of internal reflections with the double stack Lunt 100, and preferred the 80. I should say my current experience is with my Tak FSQ85, with a front ERF and Quark which I borrowed. I know its not the ideal setup but I got some OK images. Any advice would be welcome Clear skies
  4. As far as I have discovered so far, there is now just one telescope shop in the Middle East... right here in Riyadh: Perfect Sciences. I was in Dubai recently and tried to find Dubai Telescope only to discover it had closed. We don't seem to have anything as well developed as the Dubai Astronomy Group. But at least we do have one shop now located in the North of Riyadh, not far from the airport. I was there last night. It is run by friendly Filipino guys and there are usually a few scopes outside on the pavement. They have a selection of mainly Skywatcher, Vixen and Orion scopes and mountswith a few smaller Meades. They keep a selection of accessories. I just enjoy calling in for a chat, although it is now a bit out of the way for me. Clear skies
  5. I struggle to see much detail visually... can just about make out a slightly paler patch of the polar cap, but wish it glowed white! But I'm only using an 85mm apo refractor. I try to push it with a 4x Powermate. On camera, I can tease out a bit more detail. How many telescopes is enough??
  6. Hi Welcome to SGL. I live in Scotland but spend most of my time living and working on Mars (oops, I mean Saudi Arabia). We have wonderful dark skies here almost every night out in the desert. But there is often dust in the air. A clear night in Scotland is hard to beat, I just wish there were more of them!
  7. Haha... yes I know, so frustrating. My home is near Glasgow, and when I'm back for a short visit I just keep my fingers crossed.
  8. Out here in the Arabian desert we can usually count on clear skies. The problem is light pollution in the city. But on a free weekend when I can get out camping, we are almost guaranteed good seeing. I was looking forward to the Lunar eclipse and Mars opposition for ages. The day arrived... sandstorms! Zero visibility, no eclipse or Mars that night. Clear skies to all
  9. Re: True FOV v Apparent FOV again

    Hi digital_davem,

    Out here in the Arabian desert, one can feel a bit astronomically isolated! I was out camping in a beautiful area of rocky and sandy desert last weekend. Amazing because recent rain had led to a brief sprouting of grass and the Bedouin had brought their herds of camels into the area to graze. I set up my small refractor on top of the huge dune we were camping on only to see clouds beginning to obscure the view!! Out here, clear skies are the norm, (but you do have to be careful when the wind whips up the sand and dust). I did get some nice views of Jupiter at least. A (photographic) friend queried when I explained that I was changing to an eyepiece with wider AFOV. I trotted out the stock answer about the difference between TFOV and AFOV, but quickly ran into difficulty when he persisted in asking why!! French philosophers used to say if you keep asking why about six times (or ten... can't remember!) you always run into God!!!

    I loved your questioning thread on this topic a couple of years back... By the end, I think you were theorizing that a telescope objective optic (lens or mirror) may produce a maximum illuminated circle. That the real difference between EPs with different AFOVs was how much of this maximum illuminated circle they could usefully use? With better quality (more expensive) optics and size, their field stop could be set wider giving the wider fields of view? Did you ever get to the bottom of this? Could you summarise your current understanding of the 'real' difference between TFOV and AFOV for us relative newcomers who still struggle!

    Thanks again

  10. I use an Olympus OMD EM1 mark ii out here in Saudi. I love it for the overall compactness of the system. Although many Nikons, Canons, Sony etc have similar sized bodies, their equivalent lenses are much larger and heavier. Over here weather sealing is also important although its more for blowing sand than the Scottish rain. As I have ventured into progressively darker skies I wondered how the small micro 4/3 sensor would do. These were my first attempts at the Milkyway. The in-camera noise reduction is surprisingly good, and although I guess I can't match a larger sensor, I was pleased with the result. OMD EM1ii, Zuiko Pro 7-14mm zoom at 7mm, F2.8, 20 sec exposure (at about ISO 1600 I think). It will at least keep me happy until I get my refractor up and running.
  11. Oh! Alan White's comment makes me home sick! I grew up in the Hereford countryside and the dark skies there created my love of astronomy. It's funny, I only remember endless clear skies... How selective is memory!
  12. Haha... yes. It was quite amusing. We had a screening of the movie 'The Martian' recently, and the terrain Matt Damon was driving through was so similar! Sometimes when the wind blows up some dust, the sky here even has a red tint! I just wish there was a bit less light pollution in the city. I was delighted to find a Telescope shop in Riyadh recently... with scopes out on the forecourt. I couldn't resist stopping and the enthusiastic guy there was so happy to show me a nice view of Saturn. I've got a set of narrow band filters and a CCD camera too. Just waiting for delivery of a mount... then I'll be seeking advice!
  13. Oh that's a good point, I wonder if the Mars Rovers have found desert roses over there too? They are wind formed after all, and plenty of wind on the red planet. No alcohol on Mars either
  14. Hi Everyone, I just joined today after reading the forums for a while. I'm based now in Saudi Arabia and get out camping in the desert whenever I get the opportunity. Sometimes it feels like living on Mars. A recent camping expedition took us to this amazing chain of seven craters, photographed by a friend from a commercial flight from Riyadh to Jeddah. It does get a bit monotonous sometimes... every night clear, where's the excitement that comes with cloud cover closing in... can I get my kit back inside before it rains. Back in Scotland I used to use an 8 inch Newtonian from Orion Optics UK. Out here, my interest rekindled I treated myself to a lovely pair of Swarowski binoculars and camping in the second crater from the top enjoyed the best binocular views of Andromeda galaxy and Orion nebula I have ever seen. Inspired, last time I was home I brought back a small refractor. It's so exciting to read all your posts on here... Further inspiration for sure
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