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About Phillips6549

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    Birmingham, UK.
  1. There is also this An Introduction to Astronomy by Andrew Fraknoi https://www.amazon.co.uk/Astronomy-Andrew-Fraknoi-ebook/dp/B075FG4KTK/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=introduction+to+Astronomy+andrew+fraknoi&qid=1571655180&sr=8-3 The kindle edition is free and it gives a good level of detail with examples and exercises to reinforce the topics being discussed. The precis on Amazon says "...is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of one- or two-semester introductory astronomy courses. The book begins with relevant scientific fundamentals and progresses through an exploration of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology. The Astronomy textbook builds student understanding through the use of relevant analogies, clear and non-technical explanations, and rich illustrations. Mathematics is included in a flexible manner..." I'm slowly working my way through it. Note: When viewed on a real Kindle all of the pictures, diagrams and photos are (of course) monochrome. For best effect read it using the Kindle App on a tablet.
  2. Helen The funnel is 123mm across at the widest point (~117mm inside diameter). It's identical to the one referenced here https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/make-sun-funnel as far as I can tell. Not sure that Mrs P would appreciate me cutting bits out of the shower curtain either! Also the patterns would probably not enhance the image Geoff Thanks for the pointers. I think all my eyepieces (those I'm prepared to risk anyway) have some plastic components. I may need another visit to a well known auction site.
  3. Thanks Helen I'll be using an 80mm / 900mm Celestron refractor on an Alt-Az goto mount. My only query now is where to get just a small amount of rear projection fabric without ruining a perfectly good screen.
  4. Thanks everyone for all the replies. I'm looking at a projection so that many people can see what's going on at the same time without the risk that a clumsy observer might knock the scope off target. My thoughts regarding the sun-funnel (as opposed to a remote and separate screen) are that it would be safer because the light path is entirely enclosed with no opportunity for anyone to get direct access to the eyepiece. I recognise that a full solar filter on the objective would be better for individual observations but I'm unaware of a better way to enable a group to view at the same time, short of using a camera and TV screen. But seeing something with your own eyes has you be better then watching the TV doesn't it? Otherwise we might just as well watch it on Slooh.
  5. Headline: Asteroid danger: 100% certainty of impact warns space expert - 'We need to leave Earth' Who is this expert? None other than the "Chairman of Parliament for the space nation Asgardia" - Lembit Opik ! Of course, mathematically, the probability is that an impact will occur sometime, but how the Express has the gall to publish this as "Science News" is baffling. https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1191021/Asteroid-news-chance-of-impact-asteroids-hit-Earth-cataclysm-Lembit-Opik-asteroid-news/amp
  6. Thanks Peter I was thinking of a Celestron Astromaster 70AZ, these seem to come up regularly on ebay for less than £50. Also thinking of a sun-funnel projection arrangement like this - https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/make-sun-funnel Mark
  7. We have a fledgling Astronomical Society at my place of work and we're intending to have some telescopes available for colleagues to view the transit of Mercury in November. While the majority will use appropriate solar filters it would be good to have at least one set up for projection. However, we only have reflectors and Schmitt or Maksutov Cassegrain scopes among the members. I was considering buying a small refractor second hand to use for this but thought I'd ask for advice here first. Which is the best type of scope to use for projection? What do we need to look out for (overheating & fire risks for example)? What is the best umbrella to protect kit from the inevitable deluge on the 11th November? Thanks Mark
  8. +1 for The Farthest. A thoroughly enjoyable watch. I also enjoyed Kingdom of Saturn (Cassini's Epic Quest). I don't have Netflix so can't comment on Mission Control.
  9. ×Bump× This is tomorrow, all welcome. https://sites.google.com/site/knowleastro/home
  10. This is proving to be as bad as it was last year so far. Not the recommendations, just the blooming weather!
  11. The Skywatcher WiFi adapter is only about £55. I don't know how compatible it might be with non-Skywatcher mounts but it works well with my EQ3-Pro. Allows me to use Sky Safari to control the mount on the same (Android) device. Mark.
  12. Just found this. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/amp/49836623 Let's hope it is a success and the good folk of Switzerland enjoy some clear dark skies.
  13. I have this scope and mount. As has been said, polar alignment by eye (& compass) is adequate for visual observing. The motor does not have Sidereal, Lunar or Solar speed selectors, just a little knob to twiddle to set a continuously variable speed. I find that, with a new battery, you get about the correct tracking rate for stars and planets with the speed dialed back to almost the minimum possible. As the battery voltage drops you'll need to wind the speed up a bit - just play with it until your target stays in the field of view. There is one very important thing to know however. There is a switch on the motor to select the hemisphere you're observing from to make the motor turn in the correct direction. If you're in the Northern hemisphere move the switch to ... S ! Yes! South. The motor is mounted on the wrong side of the mount (at the factory) and needs to run backwards with respect to its labeling. Clear skies Mark
  14. The Knowle Astronomical Society is holding a PUBLIC STARGAZING & BEGINNERS EVENING On Monday 7th October 2019 at 8pm at Dorridge Village Hall, Grange Road, B93 8QA If the weather isn't favourable (what are the chances?) we will set up a few 'scopes in the hall to show people and we will also be giving a beginners talk in the hall and, who knows, maybe we'll recruit a few new members. Light refreshments will be available throughout the evening.
  15. Crimpshrine I recently picked up a Skywatcher Alt-Az goto mount without the handset. I too was surprised how expensive they are. Although you've now bought a cable to connect your computer, if you do get a hankering for a portable solution, consider the Skywatcher WiFi adapter. Half the price of a handset and then you can use your phone or tablet to control the scope. It also doesn't rule out using a planetarium app to find your targets as most of these will connect via the Synscan app. This was the route I took. Clear skies. Mark
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