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Everything posted by BWBlackett

  1. I'm interested in joining the tour if you don't mind sending the book to the bright lights of Blackpool !! On the subject of books I have just read Sir Patrick's Autobiography (from the library) it's a great read he has some very strong opinions especially about our European neighbours! Worth a read if you can find it. Brian.
  2. Same here in Blackpool - the end of my first year Stargazing........ Have a good 2008 everyone - Happy New Year - Clear Skies for 2008
  3. I 'ticked off' my 23rd Messier last night with my first look at M42 in Orion. It's been hidden behind houses for the last few weeks, but I managed a quick hour when the clouds parted last night. I started with my 2" 30mm and could just about make out 4 stars in the Trapezium and some faint nebulosity, then switched to the 1.25" 10mm and finally added the 2x Barlow. I wasn't expecting to see as much nebulosity and at first though it was cloud, but after checking again with my naked eye there was no clouds to be seen! The trapezium was easily split into 4 distinct stars and the nebulosity filled most of the fov. Just to the upper right were 3 stars in a line and there seemed to be another couple above forming a triangle not dissimilar to that around Alderbaron in Taurus. I then spend a few minutes looking at Mars but could only make out a bright white disc, no sign of any surface features. Overall a great hour, but it was freezing and the wife was not happy when I nicked her hot water bottle as I climbed into bed just after midnight.
  4. As it's getting darker sooner, and the clouds have moved away, so I decided to let my lads (2 and 4) have a look through the Dob. First we had a look at the stars we could see with the naked eye, then I turned the Dob towards the Double Cluster, "WOW - there are loads of stars, where did they all come from?" "We had a look at Comet Holmes - obviously the 2 year old couldn't see anything buy my 4 year old saw a "really big star". (click to enlarge) Start them young and keep them eager - that way I can get more funding from the mrs! Brian.
  5. I have the Wixey Gauge on my Dob but haven't found it that useful.... One of the problems is that it uses decimal degrees e.g. 45.76Deg where as Stellarium used deg,min,sec eg 45.50.45 deg and converting between the two on the fly is a pain as they obviously change fairly quickly. I use it to get in the right sort of area then use a wideangle eyepiece to hunt for my target. I have had a problem with batteries on this gauge especially in the current cold weather - they don't seem to last very long. Brian.
  6. Sorry, what I meant to ask was can you see the blue nebulosity (without a camera) ? I tried looking at the PacMan Nebula NGC281 but couldn't see any. Brian.
  7. Can you see the blue nebula with your eye, or do you need a longer exposure (webcam?) Brian.
  8. I too used this ebay seller - great product - just wish they would sell in smaller quantities! This great in a small tool box (with carry tray £5 from Tesco) takes all my eyepieces and accessories in 1 handy container. Brian.
  9. Great photo - it's just about what I could see with my eye. My first Comet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brian.
  10. Paul, I use it most of the time, Crtl-S buts an image on to my desktop, then I put it in Paint Shop Pro and invert it - that works for me. I haven't changed any settings so maybe you just need a clean re-install ? Brian.
  11. You can get the star catalogues down to Mag 18 here : http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Stars You can also do screen dumps with Ctrl-S which will give you a kind of star map. Brian.
  12. Where can I find out info about seeing Comet Tuttle? Thanks, Brian.
  13. Looking down all I see is my belly !!!!! I want to see the whole Earth with some black space around it.
  14. Added another planet to my extensive list ( ) last night - 6 now with my first sighting of Uranus. It's took quite a bit of finding with my Dob, mainly because I was running backwards and forwards into the house to check it's location, in Stellarium, relative to the stars I could see in my eyepiece. Finally managed to track it down after about 20mins. It looked decidedly blue in colour, and even at x375 very small, I thought I could see a hint of a phase but that may just have been poor seeing. I've now seen Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Uranus, still saving my pennies for Mr Branson so I can see Earth. Brian.
  15. I too had a great night last night, clocked-up another 3 Messiers M29 Open cluster and 2 Globulars M15 & M2. Decided to have my first look at a double star and picked Albireo, the colours were great, 1 orangee yellow and one blue. Also picked up the Coathanger asterism for the first time. Someone sure had fun when he put them stars in their places! Finally finished with two of my favourites M103 - the backwards question mark in Cassiopeia and your Owl NGC457. These two are my current favourites and I always have a quick look and say goodnight before I back up. The Owl is beautiful, each time you look at it you seem to see more detail, it's maybe just my eyes playing tricks but more and more stars seem to fill the body and wing areas. Brian.
  16. Today is also the 50th Anniversary of the Lovell Telescope @ Jodrell Bank. We (Blackpool & District Astronomical Society) had Prof Ian Morison give us a talk last night on it's development and use during the early years of the space race. It is still doing some very useful work now. Ian pointed us at his pages on the Jodrell Bank website which have a useful Night Sky Guide http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/nightsky.html and an award system which may be useful doe young (or not do young) budding astronomers, the The Astronomical A-List: Observing Awards http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/AList/AListconst.html http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/public/AList/Awards.html Brian.
  17. Another great guide gents - just need some clear skies! Can I put a request in for a future guide - Dec/Jan maybe - please please do Orion.... Brian.
  18. What a great piece of work, just managed to find most of the objects in Cassiopeia. The Owl Cluster was great. Roll on October's Guide. Brian.
  19. Just in case any of you missed the anouncement in S@N and happen to be in town for the Conservative Conference (Why???) or anywhere near Blackpool, BADAS (Blackpool & District Astronomical Society) have Professor Ian Morison coming to give us a talk on 50 years of the Lovell Telescope. It's at 7.30pm on Wednesday 3rd October at St Kentigerns Social Centre Check out the website @ http://www.blackpoolastronomy.org.uk/ Brian.
  20. It's a great scope - I was out with mine for a few hours last night. As you said the moon was a bit wobbly at high magnification. I also managed my first ever view of Mars at about 11.40pm It too was very wobbly. Get a Red Dot Finder and a 2" 30mm Revelation eyepiece and DSO hunting will become easy. Brian.
  21. Is there something else I can use instead of coal ?
  22. I use Stellarium (and sometimes Starry Night) But I guess what I am looking for is something like this Mars Oct '07-Mar '08, Jan '09-Apr '09, Nov '09 - Mar '10 Jupiter May'07 - Sep '07, Apr '09 - Sep'09, Saturn Jan '07 - Jun '07, Dec '07 - Mar '08, Aug '08 - Dec '08 etc without having to spend hours? loooking through the software. Thermos, That link is brilliant - I think it just about gives me what I want in text if not in a table. - Thanks. I'm just lazy !! Brian.
  23. Thermo/Gaz, Thanks for the info, my question though is where did you get it from, is it easily available, is there anywhere I find out when Jupiter will be back? Brian.
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