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Everything posted by PeterM

  1. If I could I'd probably stay out a bit later but as it doesn't get properly dark here in the summer I tend to stick to the moon and planets, and where those aren't available do other non-astronomy stuff.
  2. Hello! Everyone goes through the same process, so you're not alone. However you go about it you will end up buying: 1. a 32mm 2" EP - highly recommend the 32mm Panaview. 2. a 15-17mm 1.25" EP - the BST Explorers look good in this range or a 16mm Skywatcher Nirvana if you feel like splashing out. That is all, Pete
  3. I don't think I was that clear but to confirm as far as I know you can't move the scope manually without power. So you need the system switched on but use the up, down, left, right controls to point it rather than making it point at a target with GOTO.
  4. If the price isn't a problem then the GOTO mount sounds like the a good option. Just because you have it doesn't mean you have to use it all the time and if your partner prefers to find stuff the old fashioned way and you prefer GOTO then that mount is capable of accomodating both of your requirements.
  5. It's OK! This particular FES (not all flat earthers mind, they're mad) is meant to parody the kinds of people that go around believing strange stuff like that. I'm sure they send out lots of complementary membership type stuff to "celebrities" without them necessarily joining so take any membership lists with a large grain of salt.
  6. It does help a bit where the spotting scope has ended up in a difficult position. But yes, rory, stuff right overhead is hard to get on. If you don't have one a red dot finder, Quikfinder etc will help a lot. Or just accept you'll have to crawl on the floor sometimes and try and set up somewhere dry.
  7. I've given up on anything other than planets and the moon now thanks to my neighbours new habit of leaving an external light on from dark until midnight every day. Sometimes one of them forgets and switches it off for a bit but it soon goes back on and there's only one place I can stand in the garden where it doesn't shine straight into my face. I'd love to mention it but as I've spent the last five years going around to ask them to stop their son kicking a ball against my house I'm not sure our relationship is that warm. [removed word].
  8. Awesome! Thank you very much for the pointer.
  9. Eh, either just work out where the sun rises or where it sets and go from there, surely?
  10. That's awesome, well done for doing that.
  11. I also concur that nudging is more or less irrelevant. Obviously with planets it is better to be able to keep the object centered smoothly but it's all a compromise with cost. The thing I dislike most about Dobs is the difficulty I find in getting them on target in the first place. With tripod mounted scopes it's easy to sight along the tube and be roughly on target but that's far tricker with a regular sized Dob and for targets high up can involve bodily contortions and laying on the cold ground.
  12. Great image dude, I love how you've captured the natural glossy luminosity.
  13. You already have a nice range with the 28mm and 7mm so perhaps a 16mm (well, 15mm-17mm would widen your options a lot) would be a natural focal length to bridge the gap between the two. There are masses of eyepieces in that focal length range, do you have a budget in mind?
  14. Quite a poor first episode I thought. It was kind of bitty, more like a sequence of him in amazing locations without the over-arcing narrative he pulled off in the other series. However, I'm more than willing to give the series the benefit of the doubt and will no doubt watch all the rest.
  15. Solaris - the original, naturally, not the remake Sunshine - love this in spite of it going a bit mental 2/3 way through. I have part of Surface of the Sun as my ringtone 2001 - nuff said Moon - great little low budget number Silent Running Star Wars Starship Troopers - yes, I know, but I like it all the same EDIT - Can't believe I missed out WALL-E! One book that I'd love to see adapted is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Such a classic.
  16. That sounds about right to me size-wise. You're going to need higher mag (maybe a 6mm EP) to get the best out of Saturn. There is far, far less detail on Saturn compared to Jupiter so it doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with your kit. It's commonly a very bright disc with a ring, sometimes you see more in the rings, sometimes not.
  17. In terms of weight and balance, the Rigel is light as a feather and is very unlikely to cause balance problems on your dob. Dunno about the Telrad, I understand it's a bit chunkier than the Rigel but I would be very surprised if it wasn't fine.
  18. I use ROR (Residual Oil Remover) and PEC Pads, mainly because when I needed to buy cleaning stuff the Baader Wonderfluid was temporarily out of stock most places in the UK. They work pretty well.
  19. The main features of Plossl eyepieces is that by modern standards they can tend to have a relatively narrow field of view and have eye relief that lessens that shorter the focal length of the EP. That's it. The eye relief thing won't really come into play until you get under around 10mm focal length or the the longer end of things, or unless you have to wear glasses to look through the scope (most people prefer not to use their glasses if they can get away with it). I've never found them any less comfortable than any other EP for extended observation. Things might get a little more troublesome at the short end of things (eg 5mm) but that's partly why manufacturers have introduced variations on the theme like the X-Cel range you mentioned. It's pretty easy to make a good Plossl EP, hence why there are loads of differently branded ranges but I think it's fair to say that unless you pick an absolute dog then you'll probably be happy with almost any Plossl. There's less glass in them and views can be really crisp, sharp and vibrant especially compared to some of the lesser wide angle alternatives.
  20. RAW all the way for any kind of photography! There's far, far more data captured in a RAW shot and a skilled (or even semi-skilled operator following an internet guide) can bring out far more with post-processing than any camera can. With jpg you're just chucking away vital data that you might well need in the future. There's not really any need to go for one or the other as most cameras have some kind of RAW+jpeg setting which is the best of both worlds if you just like the standard camera-produced images but want to archive the RAW shots for later.
  21. You have my sympathy, it's not fun when you just can't see what everyone assures you is an astronomical wonder just because of a big tree. I'm in a similar-ish kind of situation as our garden is quite short but wide and along the southern view our neighbour has grown a very tall conifer hedge. This thing is huge, it must be getting on for 30' tall now and it's got so bad that I can only just get a view of Orion if I'm right up against our house. It also casts so much shade that the lawn is just moss. I did go around a couple of years ago to ask kindly if there was some kind of compromise we could arrive at to keep their privacy but also let us glimpse the summer sun but I received an, er, less than warm welcome. Thing is, I do sympathise with them being as they've lived there for 25 years and we're newcomers with a mere five years under our belt but it is starting to get on my nerves. It is too high, under hedge laws, so we could technically force them to cut it down but, you know, it's difficult.
  22. Something's definitely not quite right as I regularly get very nice views using 8mm (barlowed 16mm) in an eight inch dob. Light pollution (or light of any kind including from the moon) dramatically shrinks what you can see to just the central stars and a little bit of nebulosity, so that sounds like what you're experiencing. With the naked eye can you see any kind of fuzziness around the middle star in Orion's sword? Pleides is far more robust and stands up well under even a full moon, which adds more weight to the LP problem. A UHC filter would probably vastly improve the situation.
  23. Is that just the manual CG-5 mount? If so I've been using one for ages and it's been great in every respect for visual work. I know at some point some apparently crucial inner bits of the mount were improved so maybe criticisms relate to the old-style or for guided use in imaging. Is there anything in particular that concerns you? edit: sorry, just saw that you mentioned photography. That'll teach me to read before mouthing off.
  24. Kind of by accident. My wife and I moved to a village, the skies are noticeably darker than we'd been used to and when I would go and feed our rabbit at night I'd often spend ages in the garden just gawping upwards. So she bought me a scope for Christmas one year with a copy of Turn Left at Orion, and I've never looked back.
  25. Yes, it's definitely worth getting the binoculars, especially if you've been enjoying the view enough to spend time just looking at it with the naked eye. A southern view is a good one, I think if most people had to choose only one view it would be South, and you'll have no shortage of targets from home. Some of the northern targets can get quite high (I'm thinking mainly Cassiopeia here) and might be visible if you can look straight up and back a bit!
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