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Everything posted by Skywatcher130

  1. Tracking it here in Staffordshire. Every now and again there's a gap in the clouds and I get a clear view, it's like a full stop on a blank sheet of paper
  2. Anyone else seen this evening's Met Office weather forecast video with Aidan McGivern standing in front of a photo of the milky way? He mentions the Orionids meteor shower then points and laughs and says "stargazers, you're not going to see this tonight". Grrrr
  3. As a follow up to my original post, I went along to the science day at the forestry centre on Saturday which is where my local astronomy group are based. They were very proudly showing off their newly-opened observatory, and I met some lovely, friendly members who put my mind at ease as to attending some of their monthly sessions and possibly becoming a member myself in the future. I met a very knowledgeable gentleman (who actually lives in my village!) who was displaying on his laptop some fantastic images he'd taken from his own back garden observatory. I left feeling much less nervous about the whole club issue and excited about the possibility of being able to tap into a wealth of experience and advice as opposed to observing alone. I may have been grinning and saying 'wow! ' a bit too much though, but from not knowing anyone else with a telescope to seeing loads and being able to go up into the new observatory was pretty exciting stuff Deb
  4. That's great Bob, and the club observatory sounds really exciting! I should be at the science day with my husband and boys so we'll come and say hello
  5. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.365astronomy.com/Solar-Filter-for-130mm-Newtonian-Telescopes.html&ved=2ahUKEwj5yJzbh_jkAhXkURUIHeJlAxoQFjAAegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw3deicknzz9OSSfCUkGqNUo Thia is what I have ordered, at £26 seemed reasonable. Telescope is same as my name, on a go-to AZ mount. I would love a 200p go-to dob in the future though and keep the 130 as a travel scope as we like to go camping. Yes, I'm aware of the transit and I should get a fabulous view from my south-facing garden, weather depending obviously. In the meantime, I will be practicing aligning the sun (I know to cover or remove the finderscope, don't worry!)
  6. Treated myself to a solar filter which should be here in a day or two, very excited! (even though I take it there's not much to see at the moment ) I shall let you know how I get on. Deb
  7. Some good advice there Geoff. There's a few tips that I think I will try with my little Skywatcher Go-to as it's not been as accurate as it has been previously. Think my power pack may need replacing too.
  8. I did this last year as a newbie. It was very enjoyable. I might do it again this year with my son who has an keen interest. Nice to have a 'plan' to follow. I have a free Sky at Night subscription through the RB digital app from Staffordshire libraries. Most councils used to offer similar things, well used to before all the cuts that is!
  9. Thanks for the replies. I guess I should just try it and see how it goes. Perhaps I should have just asked if any SGL members are also members of Rosliston Astronomy Group which is my nearest club. It looks like they are at a science day at the forestry centre where they hold their meetings next month so I might go along and have a chat. Thing is, I don't know anyone else with a telescope so it would be great to meet like-minded people and hopefully get to have a look through a bigger set up than mine
  10. How many of you are members of an astronomy club or society, and how welcoming to new members do they tend to be? I like the idea of joining like-minded people and getting away from my light polluted back garden but I'm a bit nervous about taking the plunge to be honest
  11. Illuminated reticle eyepiece, for enhancing my go-to accuracy
  12. For future use you could try hanging up one of those decoy wasp's nests. Usually available from discount stores for a pound or two. The theory is that wasps won't make a nest close to an existing one and will find an alternative location. It could certainly work for an enclosed space such as a shed or observatory. Deb
  13. Welcome to SGL, it's a really friendly site. Have to say, WOW what fantastic images. If they were mine I'd have them printed onto canvas and up on the living room walls ? Deb
  14. Earlier this year for me, February I think. I wasn't expecting to see all four moons so that was an extra bonus. I still haven't seen Saturn yet due to neighbour's trees but I have calculated using Star Walk app that by this time next month it should be clearly in sight, can't wait! Deb
  15. I'm across the river from you ? and would have to agree that the sky has been pretty poor lately. As per my previous post, we are supposed to be Bortle 5 here but I am not sure how accurate that is, comparing it to our dark sky location up North - Bortle 4, which is markedly different in sky quality. I did get out for a bit last night, wasn't forecast clear skies so good job I'm always 'skywatching', lol. One thing I have come to realise is that I should probably make a list of things I would like to look at prior to setting up, make better use of what little chances we do get at the moment. Deb
  16. @Stu supposedly Bortle 5 but not sure that's true as there's been a lot of new builds in our area the last few years. We ended up going up to our 'dark sky' location on Friday which is Bortle 4. By comparison it's vastly different in darkness. Put it this way, there were so many stars out I struggled to make out The Plough ?
  17. I will miss it too. In my south-facing garden it's been looming large for as long as I've had my telescope - I have used it to star-hop, get my bearings around the night sky, and of course, wonder at the obligatory newbie target M42 ?
  18. Last night didn't go quite as planned as I forgot to charge power pack (assumed it would be OK, will not make that mistake again ?). Anyways, I knew that the ISS was due for a flyover at 7.57 so I sat outside with a cup of hot tea and watched as it went by (5 minutes @ 72 degrees max so pretty good show). Was the brightest I had seen it yet, just wish I could photograph it. I decided to do a bit of star gazing with the naked eye. I'm still learning my way around the sky so time well spent. Orion is getting harder to spot from my garden and I saw the now tiny Mars underneath the Pleiades cluster. Cassiopeia looked great and I kicked myself for not having the scope in use as I was going to look at Andromeda with my new eyepiece. Then over to the west I could see what looked like hazy beam like shapes. Clouds maybe or a distant laser show? I was reading my Sky at Night magazine this morning when I noticed on page 47 (March edition) an article about the zodiacal lights. Well it was in the right place at the right time as described - 90 minutes after sunset. I'm wondering now if I really did see it. It looks to be clear again tonight so I will have a look and hopefully take a picture. Did anyone else spot this? Deb
  19. I have been thinking about purchasing a solar filter for my 130 Newt and have seen one online from a reputable retailer. My question is (and apologies if it sounds really stupid) is that with said filter on, can you safely observe at any time of the day, or just when the sun is lower down in the sky? My garden is S/SE facing so would make for some good views. Thanks, Deb
  20. That sounds like a great book, I will see if I can find a copy, thanks. Deb
  21. Up at silly o'clock with youngest, was looking for new apps to mess with and stumbled across 'Solar System Scope' on Google App Store. Really impressed with the graphics, the intro alone is pretty cool. 7 year old son was most impressed that you can fly around the solar system, spin planets and see where the ISS is in 3D effect. I like the Messier list and there's a basic night sky view too. Made me smile that when you click on planet Earth there were no clouds over the UK - if only! I don't normally pay for apps if can help it but upgraded to HD and no ads for £2.49, seemed a bargain for such an educational and interesting app ? Deb
  22. https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/raspberry-pi-telescope/ Would this be possible in a Synscan handset? I have read a few threads about the DIY wi-fi adapters but not sure if I would get on well with using my tablet to control the scope - I like the physical feel of the handset buttons. The wire however is a nuisance! Thanks, Deb
  23. Hi all, Is there much difference in the sky quality across the seasons? It's obviously darker in the winter months therefore there's more observing time, but is a cold, crisp November night any different to a clear evening in May? Does the quality of the sky change with temperature or is it just a random combination of events that lead to the ideal seeing conditions? Do you observe over the summer months or just pack away your kit until the Autumn? Since owning my scope I have found that I really don't mind being outside in the cold as long as it's not too windy, and I'm not adverse to getting up really early, but likewise, what if anything can I expect if I were to take my kit on a camping trip in June (assuming clear skies of course ?) Lastly, with all this weird weather we've been having lately (storms/floods/heatwaves!) are things really changing say as opposed to 10/20 years ago, have you noticed a difference? Thanks, Deb
  24. Regret not charging up my power pack on the only clear night last week. New eyepiece had arrived, everything set up, scope aligned perfectly then...died on me ? #newbiemistake
  25. 15mm BST Starguider - initial test on a distant tree was very good, can't wait to try it out properly! (and was lovely and sunny earlier too, now raining ?)
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