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Ships and Stars

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About Ships and Stars

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    Star Forming

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    NE Scotland
  1. Good stuff! Getting to try some scopes out at a meet is the way to go. When I started looking at scopes the dobsonians looked a bit odd to me. I didn't understand how something with only two mirrors could do the job. Little did I know! I like refractors, but for deep space objects, the dobsons offer the best views for the money. It's simply a Newtonian reflector on a very simple swivel mount smoothly adjustable in altitude and azimuth, so up down left right... Hope you enjoy the meet and happy observing. Any questions about places in the ne to view from, etc let me know. I work between Inverness down to Dundee, lots of places to park up, no one looks twice. Just act like you own the place! Politely of course, ha. Cheers
  2. I have one, it's a big ep but equally epic views, especially in a bigger scope. It won't last long! Good price too.
  3. Welcome Garry! I have the 500p. Be prepared to be amazed if you haven't used it yet! Get thy hands on a 21mm Ethos when you can. They were made for these scopes. The Veil is incredible with a good OIII. I mainly use the 21mm, a 36mm Baader (not bad actually, esp for price) and a Leica zoom. I also have a a Baader 17.5 Morpheus, 13mm Ethos and a 9mm Delite plus a 2x powermate and a ES coma corrector, which I only really use with the 21mm or 13mm. A decent but relatively small collection, not any other EP's I need. and some overlap here for sure. I carefully trimmed small notches in the primary mirror cover so I can remove it when the truss rods are in place. I removed the two spring-loaded truss-tightening handles at the bottom that can't turn fully because of the base and just use a 12mm socket on a 1/4" ratchet. Much faster. ALso taped up the ends of the GOTO cable after drawing blood half a dozen times. If you use battery power, I picked up a Yuasa leisure battery 70Ah from Tanya battery UK for £62, plenty of power for dew prevention and GOTO all night long. These scopes thrive in dark sky conditions and are actually fairly portable once you've set it up a couple of times. I use small tie downs to hold it gently but securely in my van when transporting to dark sites. I'm going for the Cocoon and Horsehead nebulas as soon as the moon wanes enough and I get my hands on a decent Hb filter this week. I haven't used mine a ton, but if you have any questions, ask away. Happy observing!
  4. Hello all, Has anyone individually or as part of a group ever registered a Dark Sky site in the UK? If so, would it carry any legal weight for preventing future light pollution in the area, or is that more of a local council matter? I'm in contact with someone on the west coast of Scotland who leads a group thinking about it. Light pollution map shows 22.00sqm and 0.00 artificial light over a large area. Top class Bortle 1 area, it deserves it! Cheers all for any insights.
  5. If you buy a sky atlas (Sky and Telescope do an excellent one, under £20 for the jumbo one I believe), a decent quick finder like a telrad (£40) and a free phone app like sky safari, stellarium or skyview, you can learn your way around fairly quickly without goto. Goto is good for the harder to find, smaller objects not located near any easily identifiable stars. I have goto on one scope, it's fun, fast and at times handy, but don't need it. If you have terrible light pollution, it helps I suppose. I've not been observing that long, less than a year. It's fun to navigate to objects without goto as well, though can be a little frustrating. The biggest advantage of goto if you are married is that you see more objects before your wife rings demanding you come home.
  6. That's my worry, we have another wee one on the way so my chances are going to be even more limited and need to make them count. I love my Astronomik OIII! I have both a 1.25 and a 2" in perfect condition, might be willing to swap the 1.25 for a nice UHC or Hb if anyone picks this up (shall edit original post to reflect, now I think of it). Thanks Geoff!
  7. At home it's Bortle 5 or worse, very tricky to maintain dark adaptation (though I just received my eyepatch today in the post, argh matey!), my local dark site is 21.6 B4 easy to keep dark adaptation, and my good site is about a 21.94, about as good as I can hope for in the UK without going to North Uist! A narrow CCD filter might do the trick for me with enough aperture.
  8. The dilemma is whether or not to risk a cheap filter for something I might not have too many chances to see under the right conditions, e.g. Cocoon or HH and NOT see it, versus using a quality filter and seeing it, or at least knowing if I didn't, it wasn't the filter's fault and then second guessing my strategy and equipment- if all this makes sense!
  9. I've come across the 1000 Oaks brand recently, they seem to have lots of good reviews on CN.
  10. Yes, I'm a bit confused about filter adverts saying they are for CCDs but listed under the visual filter category on websites? The Altair filter sounds quite intriguing! It would be so nice to just have about a dozen different filters to hand and swap them quickly for a test on something challenging, there are just so many options out there and I bet two thirds of them are made by the same factory. I'm needing a UHC for general observation, but also the Hb for Cocoon and HH neb this season.
  11. Hi all, Wondering if anyone has a quality H beta or UHC filter for visual astro in preferably 2", but 1.25" is also of interest. Looking for Astronomik or Lumicon, but other quality makes are of possible interest. Orion ultrablock, Thousand Oaks, etc. My Astronomik OIII works wonderfully and Lumicon is highly respected. I'm not super fussy on condition as long as it's usable and the threads aren't damaged as long as price reflects. Please ping me a message if you have one lying about in need of some use (weather permitting as always!) NB - I have the Astronomik OIII in both 2" and 1.25" in perfect condition. I would possibly swap the smaller 1.25" Astronomik OIII for a Lumicon or Astronomik UHC or Hb for another 1.25 or 2" plus £ - please see pic below of 1.25. Just a thought if anyone's interested. Clear skies all.
  12. (UPDATE - I see your map now, missed it first time). I live near Aberdeen, there are some good spots around that aren't too far. The Cabrach up on the N side of the Cairngorms is the one if you don't mind a little drive. Dallas looks good too (not Texas, lol) With a portable scope like yours you can easily rock up to a layby and have a look. Try car parks for walkers, national trust sites, scheduled ancient monuments, etc. There are loads of places to park. Under the Scottish outdoor code, you can park up to 30ft off a road, but must move if asked. No one's ever bothered me and I've spent quite a few nights both astronomy or mainly just camping off a B road or single track somewhere. Any questions ping me a message. I study the light pollution map constantly! PS try the walkhighlands map for walking routes, then see where the car parks are at for the start of the route - you'll get dozens of places to park without bother. If you get tired of the 70mm 700, a Skyliner 200 or 250p dobsonian scope or a used 200p on a used EQ5 mount is a big, big step up and not too expensive if you find a deal.
  13. I posted earlier how I'd love to use the UH88 2.2m/22m focal length F10 scope at Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Assuming it takes 2" eyepieces, this is what the Dumbbell Nebula would look like through a 55mm TV plossl. A perfect fit! Only 406x mag and a nice 5.5mm exit pupil to boot. It's nice to dream.
  14. All perspective isn't it! I'm still learning the stars, but after a year or so, I can walk outside now and name many of the brighter stars and point roughly where different DSOs should be. I've been know to be off a few degrees though! Those of you who have been doing this for decades using any type of scope from cheap binos to triplets and then sharing your experience on here, hats off to you!
  15. Aye, but that's the hi-vis non-slip grip tube with ED triplet glass in there! A wolf in sheep's clothing. The looks are simply a clever design to reduce theft, unless you happen to be six. I do note the absence of a focuser however. Maybe it has internal focus like the old Zeiss, but controlled via a wifi app? NB-I know we've strayed a bit here from the original post, couldn't resist though... It would be interesting to have a budget vs high-end scope/EP combo 'shootout' of some sort and see what's what. I'm pretty happy with my £55 36mm Baader aspheric that has received terrible reviews. I've happily used mine against a 21mm Ethos on some objects!
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