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Ships and Stars

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Ships and Stars last won the day on September 27 2020

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About Ships and Stars

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    Sub Dwarf

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    NE Scotland

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  1. Great report Gerry! I've been off the page for a while, the weather here...well you've probably heard about our snowfall. I think I've seen stars momentarily one night since my last observing report Jan19th. We 'only' managed -23C at Braemar, not far from some of my fav viewing areas, though I haven't been for ages with lockdown and weather. Tomorrow night might be ok until midnight, but the moon is setting around then but might drag the 12" out and blow the dust off. It was looking and feeling arctic here until yesterday, temps rising dramatically along the coast, perhaps 8 or
  2. Under 21.5sqm I had an excellent view of the Rosette with my 15x70 Apollos using a combination of UHC/Nebustar II filters or OIII/Nebustar II, can't remember which pair worked best, but it was right there and a lovely sight. Just popped right out. A large object! The first time I saw it with a 20" dob and 20mm APM 100deg eyepiece and 2" OIII filter, that was astounding, but couldn't fit it in the entire FOV. I think my 12" dob at 1500mm focal length with just squeeze it all in. Seeing it in filtered binoculars really gives you a good impression of overall size, but the darker th
  3. I have a ton of 18650 batteries, one of those would power a DIY mini-dew heater with some resistors wired in-line for the 20/40x100 bins, there's plenty of room to strap stuff to the top or side That's a rainy day project though after I've sorted the 50 other rainy day projects...
  4. The Giottos blower is really good, has a valve to prevent dust getting sucked in and you can wash the inside by popping out the spout, plus the bulb is made of real rubber, so it works in all temps and doesn't split. I use mine on all sorts of stuff, bought it back when I did photography daily, but it stays on my desk, very handy. The front dew strip elements would be good for my obsy bins!
  5. Nice one! I finally see some names I recognise, haha M1 in the moonlight is a real challenge, well done. It can be tricky or underwhelming even on dark nights with my 12". Auriga is an all-around interesting constellation. There is IC405 The Flaming Star nebula in Auriga. You'll see an asterism at the bottom (would that be the top for you?) that I call the Auriga Ladder, it's official asterism name is the flying minnow. Just next to the ladder is IC405. You'll need an OIII filter, but if you are out in whoop whoop (my kind of place!) on a clear moonless night you should be ab
  6. I use a Giotto rocket blower one of the squeeze blowers for camera lenses. The Giotto is larger than most at 60mm/dia and really pumps the air out. It's a bit pricey at £15-£20 but I haven't shopped for lowest price. I've had mine for probably 10 years now, I can even blow light dust off my 20" primary and I've successfully used it to quickly demist my secondary - it's saved me on a few occasions without a dew heater. It clears eyepieces or binocular oculars easily in my experience and they tend not to fog so quickly after that.
  7. It's a mess. I think shipping times will improve slightly, but that's all. The trade deal will have to be completely renegotiated.
  8. I sent an important parcel 48hr on the 11th to an EU country with the required paperwork in quadruple as requested via a normally fast and reliable courier. It's still in the UK distribution hub. Businesses are apparently being told by HMRC reps over the phone if they don't like it, they can relocate to an EU country. Between shipping and charges, this effectively halts purchases of astronomy equipment from the EU unless you are happy to pay a third more or it's under £39. Without saying more, I'll let people decide if this is a good thing for the UK, especially with our
  9. Great job! M101 is hard enough for me to see with a large scope and no moon. The skies here tonight have the best seeing I can recall since I started a few years ago. Moon was tack sharp at 300x.
  10. Nice! I have to get a 3D printer, there are so many things I want to make. Nothing like a layer of dew to cut short an astro session, these look like they will definitely do the job.
  11. Welcome, I'm jealous of your Nevada night skies, I have Loveluck NV on one of my clear skies app just to see how many clear nights there are. The answer - a lot apparently! This is a good group, very friendly and helpful. Have learned a lot.
  12. No haven't seen this, thank you. I'm imagining the views in the 24", with all these galaxies hanging in space! Wonderful. Thinking about it, I haven't done any late winter/early spring galaxy hunting with the 20" from a dark site, we were in lockdown last year in March I think, and may be again. I'm hoping to return to this site near home again during next new moon. Switching from mainly nebula to galaxies now! Leo is coming up quickly here and UMa is right there as well. PS great website! Cheers
  13. Cool, I'll have a go at that! Did you see the elongated edge on galaxy just left, below the bear paw? I caught it on the computer. IC2233 or something like that. Could be interesting? Looks unusual...
  14. Definitely Hubble's variable nebula, need to go back through reports to see if I was confident on the Cone. I had the 20" that night and conditions were really good, but don't recall much about the Cone! Suggets I may have passed on it. We're in full lockdown here, you can travel for outdoor recreation, but it's not recommended. Not sure how the police would react with me carting the dob around at 3am. Probably ok going to my local site, but who knows...
  15. I'll try ARP6, is it very faint? I'll break out the 10BCO or barlow the 13mm. I can cruise through the NGCs in S&T Atlas, but HCG55 threw me for a loop last night. I spent 30 minutes looking for it. I checked ocular view in stellarium first, then flipped the view over to match that of a reflector, not realising in my fatigue that Stellarium already did that for me! So I was looking in the opposite direction with the 13mm and 9mm. It's hard to find things when you're moving the scope away from it!! PS it's hard to use a lot of magnification here most of the time. Last night would have
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