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About astromog

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  1. Hello and (belated) welcome!! And also with you!
  2. Hello and welcome! "who'd have thought that another galaxy was visible from my back garden" - I know!! Brilliant isn't it?? Also lovin' the
  3. Hello and welcome. Love what you said!! ?????
  4. astromog

    Hello world

    That looks awesome!! I knew there must be an app with everything.... and it seems more accurate than Dark Skies too, which, you guessed it is still saying "couldy now, clearing in an hour, and completely clear in 2 hours". Thanks for your help
  5. astromog

    Hello world

    @Greymouser ha ha. It's funny. Before I had the Goto scope, I wasn't at all bothered about knowing star names. Now I have it, yes I need to know them to set it up. But... having started looking into it, you're right, I DO want to know them! In fact right now I'm actually more excited about getting outside and seeing if I can put into practice the stuff I've been reading than I am about using the new scope!!! (It's a Sky Watcher SkyMax 127 by the way). I am using the Dark Skies weather app that a friend recommended to me. I don't know if you know it but it shows the cloud cover in your area. For hours it has been saying: cloudy now, but in an hours time it will start to clear and in two hours time it will be completely clear. I've a feeling I won't see any stars tonight!
  6. astromog

    Hello world

    OK just found this great map, sorry if you guys have already seen it, but it has the names of the stars my SynScan controller knows about - wish I'd found this before:
  7. @JOC Thanks, much appreciated. I'm finding I'm making a lot of use of the glossary page being new here, and it told me RDF = Red Dot Finder, but I'm not sure what a RACI is? Sounds very useful, so I'm keen to find out! Thanks
  8. astromog

    Hello world

    OK so one thing, is how to find and name bright stars. The Goto thing is great, but I need to find the bright stars first of course! So seeing as you ask and you're in the same Goto boat as me, what are your tips? (Please anyone else feel free to contribute too!!) I've already been recommended a book, but I'd love to hear what existing Goto users actually do when setting up your scope. Here's what I've got to so far from my little prior knowledge and making notes from reading various different websites and books that I already have when I've had a spare minute over the last few days. It's based of course around the things I know I can recognise in the sky, which for me is The big dipper, Orion, Cassiopeia's W, and the Pegasus square. If I can see Ursa Major: pointers take me to Polaris (2) confident I can find this top of the two pointers is called shooby "Dubhe" (2) confident I can find this far end of the pan handle is called Alkaid (2) confident I can find this following the line at the end of the pan handle takes me to Arcturus (0) (which apparently is in the constellation "Bootes" but I can never make that out myself) not at all confident with this, any tips? following across the top of the pan should apparently take me to Capella (0) in the constellation or Auriga (again I've never made Auriga out myself) not at all confident with this, any tips? If I can see Orion: right shoulder is Bellatrix (2) Lestrange - I'm starting to think JK Rowling was nabbing stars for her character names!! confident I can find this left shoulder is called beetle juice, ahem, Betelgeuse (0) confident I can find this following the shoulders left I should find Procyon (0) not at all confident with this, any tips? bottom right star is the very regal Rigel (0) confident I can find this following the line from Rigel to Betelgeuse I should find Castor (2) & Pollux (1) not at all confident with this, any tips? following the belt left I hit the Dog Star, Sirius Black (-1) confident I can find this following the belt right I should find the old baron, Aldebaran (1) not at all confident with this, any tips? following the line from Bellatrix through the brightest star in Orion's bow/shield (Tabit (3)) should get me to boys toys, Menkar (2) not at all confident with this, any tips? carrying on in this direction the same distance again should get me to Diphda (2) not at all confident with this, any tips? If I can see the Cassiopeia W: the top right point of the W is a place to have a coffee, Caph (2) confident I can find this the bottom right point of the W, it's cheddar ahem Schedar (2) confident I can find this following the line from the centre of the W through the bottom left should apparently take me under water to the merfolk, Mirfak (2) in Perseus (another constellation I've never been able to make out): half confident about this, think I've noticed this star before but didn't know it's name till now! going in the opposite direction from the bottom left through the centre of the W should get me to Deneb (1): confident I can find this following the line from Schedar to Caph a long way I get to Suzanne Vega (0) - noting that around half way I'll pass close to Deneb (1) confident I can find this - that's the way I got my scope set up the first time I used it (and only time so far!) following the line from Caph through the centre star, should get me to Capella (0) - noting that when I'm just over half way there I should pass close to Mirfak (2) not at all confident with this, any tips? If I keep going in that direction past Capella, about the same distance again, I should get to Procyon (0) not at all confident with this, any tips? going in the opposite direction, following the line from the centre star through Caph a looooong way, I should get to Altair (1) - noting that around half way I'll pass close to Deneb (1) not at all confident with this, any tips? If I can see the Pegasus square: top left is the prime rodent Alpheratz (2) confident I can find this top right is what you make the bed with, Scheat (2) confident I can find this bottom right is Michelin star chef Mark Abbott, Markab (2) confident I can find this Following the top of the square left from Alpheratz nearly two square widths should get me to Hamal (2) in another constellation I don't recognise: not too confident with this, any tips? Following the line from Markab through Hamal should get me to the old baron, Aldebaran (1) not at all confident with this, any tips? Following the line line from Markab and Alpheratz through the two other bright stars in Andromeda gets me to Mirfak (2) confident I can find this, although the name is new to me as mentioned above Carrying on from Mirfak in the same direction should get me to Capella oddly completely failed to find this - followed the line of stars but Capella seemed to be missing! Any ideas? Following the bottom of the square right from Markab by one square's width should get me to Enif (2) half confident about this, think I may have noticed this star before but didn't know it's name till now! If I can get proficient at finding all of these it gives me quite a few to choose from depending on what I can actually see at the time: Polaris (2) Shooby "Dubhe" (2) Alkaid (2) Arcturus (0) Capella (0) Bellaxtrix Lestrange (2) Beetle juice Betelgeuse (0) Procyon (0) Regal Rigel (0) Castor oil (2) load of Pollux (1) Dog Star Sirius Black (-1) The old baron, Aldebaran (1) Boys toy, Menkar (2) Diphda (2) The local cafe, Caph (2) It's cheddar, Schedar (2) Merfolk, Mirfak (2) Pink panther tune deneb, deneb, deneb, deneb ,deneb, deneb, Deneb (1) Alternative atmosphere Altair (1) prime rodent Alpheratz (2) what you make the bed with, Scheat (2) Michelin star chef Mark Abbott, Markab (2) Gammon Alan, Hamal (2) Enough is Enif (2) Please excuse the names - just trying to make them easier to remember... because of course if I can't remember what they're called, I can't set up the scope! Thanks in advance for any thoughts / advice!! I'm hoping that this all being in one place may help someone else with the same how-do-I-set-up-my-new-goto-scope issue. Please do let me know what you do, which is much more likely to be effective than my beginner attempts at doing this! I can then add to and update the above. Cheers
  9. astromog

    Hello world

    Thanks. I'm from the United Kingdom.
  10. astromog

    Hello world

    Thanks everyone! ?
  11. Many thanks for the answers. 1. OK good to know that's normal, if a bit dissapointing - the old reflector was a lot cheaper, and has a red dot type finder with straightforward up/down left/right thumb wheels to adjust it with, which crucially you can set up once and then leave. The new finderscope shifts position if you touch it e.g. when replacing the lens caps, which means it needs re-adjusting every time as there is no way to lock it in place once adjusted... however it does allow me to see more stars than the red-dot finder, which is important with all the street lamps around! 2, 3. OK, thanks for the tip ?. I'll try to do three star alignment next time... of course I need to know more stars to do that as Sirius is normally below the horizon. Thanks very much for the book recommendation - people have been asking me for Christmas present ideas, that will do nicely. I'll have a look at Stellarium too! I have the Sky Watcher SynScan AZ GotoMount - is that controllable by sky safari? I saw that the control unit had an input on and a cable to connect to a computer. 4. OK understood. Thanks for the info, I think I'll order an unheated one this evening. Having read a bit more about this, I understand that the problem is that the telescope cools faster than the air around it and that actually part of the reason a dew shield works is the insulating effect, which keeps the scope warm enough to stop the dew forming. I may need to think about that a bit actually as I keep mine in the conservatory so I can quickly get it into the garden if I have a chance, but it's pretty cool in there most of the time (15C right now vs outside temp 13C, dew point 12C). In any case, I don't think my star gazing sessions are long enough to need a heated one, which is a relief as it would mean another power supply, more dangling cables, a controller etc. all of which would make the new scope highly likely to go as unused as the reflector! Thanks again ? PS love the Churchill quote - haven't seen that before!
  12. Hi Stargazers, I bought an AZ Goto scope recently and finally had a clear night last night when I was "free" for a couple of hours. I could do with some help and advice. The first question is about finder scope set up. This is the first time I used the scope so got it focused by pointing at the moon, and similarly checked the finder-scope had the moon in view too so I knew they were roughly in line. Then, tried a star. Had great difficulty getting the star centred on both main and finder scope. I found that the two adjustment knobs were changing the position in unpredictable ways, moving the centre of the cross-hairs down down down down, then sideways a bit, then up up up, in a sort of U shape. In the end I settled for the finder scope being a bit off, but knowing that if I positioned the object up and right of the cross-hairs it would then be visible in the main scope. I assume I have perhaps not inserted the finder-scope properly in the mount? What's the right way to do this? (There are three instruction manuals with the telescope but none of them tell you how to set up the finder scope and get it properly adjusted!) The second question is about finding bright stars. Is there a website, or app that helps you learn them (preferably for PC - I'd rather use a nice large screen than a mobile phone)? The sort of thing I'm thinking of is like the many "learn a new language" web sites and apps that are out there, that teach you a bit then test you a couple of different ways, maybe have some flash cards etc. and before you know it you've learned some cool new stuff. The reason I ask is my scope needs me to point it at stars I know the names of, which are few an far between. Suzanne Vega and the old dog Sirius Black and are the only ones I can think of right now, apart from Polaris, which doesn't really count as it's a missile not a person. Seriously though, I have found a lot of guides to help learn constellations, but not to the bright stars. I would like to learn all the constellations eventually, but right now it's just the brightest stars I need to know. The best guide I have found so far is entirely based around Ursa Major, which I couldn't really see last night - I am surrounded by houses, trees and street lamps (not to mention intermittent clouds even on a clear night) so need to be able to find and name the bright stars with the part of the sky I can see at any time... otherwise I can't really get started as I can't do the setup needed to use the Goto... The third question is about what location accuracy I can expect from such a scope. I set up the scope by pointing it at Suzanne Vega, then Polaris. When it slewed to Polaris, it was visible in the finder scope but as expected, not centred and not visible in the main scope, so I centred it in finder (to my offset centre see above) and main scope. Having entered this correction, I thought that if I went to some object it would be visible in the main scope. However, each object I went to, I found was out by some way and I kept having to adjust. Is this normal, or again, have I perhaps not set the scope up properly? Any tips appreciated. You have probably guessed that what ended the evening was actually dew. The fourth and final question I wanted to ask was about dew protection. I have never seen this before, perhaps because my previous scopes have been reflector/refractor, but I wasn't out for that long before there was a thick covering on both finder and main scope. I notice that dew shields and heated dew shields for my scope are not that different in price (~£35 vs ~£55 for astrozap) but I'd rather not have something else drawing power if I can avoid it. I also don't want dew though! Given the fact I'm in a high humidity area, will an unheated dew shield do the business or do I really need heating? Also, what about my finder scope? I was really surprised that dewed up so quick! Finally, what is the deal with the dew controllers? What are they for and what's the difference with the number of channels etc.? In order to make this whole thing work, I really need to keep it simple so that I can leave the scope fully set up and just grab it when I have the chance and put it in the back garden. Having unnecessary extra bits of kit is something I'd like to avoid if possible. I'm not sure how many of the questions I've asked are generic and how many are scope specific. The scope is a Sky Watcher SkyMax 127 if that helps at all. In regard to situation, I'm in the UK in an urban area, but often only have an hour or two I can grab, and that may be interrupted by things I need to deal with. Already had a reflector that never got used because it takes longer to do anything useful with it than I usually have available (due to Earth turning), so bought the goto scope as something I can use when I have a chance and a clear sky (rare combination) without needing too much time. Was delighted last night after I had a 15 minute interruption, I returned to the scope to find it still showing Mars, which I'd just got centred before the call came in. Apologies for the long post. Part of the blurb for newbies said to not post multiple posts unnecessarily or you'll be penalised somehow! Thanks in advance for your help and advice. Astromog
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