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Second Time Around

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About Second Time Around

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    Kent countryside

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  1. I gather that it works in the following way. Each site uses similar source data but there are a number of such sources. Different sites use a different combination of sources. Even if each site used exactly the same data, they combine them in different ways to get a series of model runs. From these a forecast is derived. Other factors include how often the published forecasts are updated. Then the sites vary in their presentation - I use percentage cloud cover where shown rather than symbols as below. BBC gives just cloudy, partly cloudy and clear. Met Office gives just o
  2. Here's the May results. This time Wunderground were poor with the Met Office being best. The conclusion I take from the data is that none of the forecasts is statistically better or worse than any other. The best option is to look at several each evening.
  3. I had the same problem. Here are pictures of how I solved it. I got the 2 parts from Starpal on AliExpress. The first is a standard Synta finder dovetail that's widely available in the UK. However, the Starpal ones are more useful as they have a slot as well as a hole. They come in various sizes but I used their smallest one for this project. Go to https://www.aliexpress.com/i/4000127933644.html The key is what StarPal call the Standard Equatorial Dovetail Plate shown in the second picture. Unlike other dovetails this also has holes on the side rather than just top/bottom to at
  4. Something happened to me. I used to hacksaw to get it off.
  5. It looks as though you've fallen on your feet! I agree with John Inderby. IMHO the mount is one of the most important parts of any scope. You can easily upgrade almost everything else on a Dob, but it's much harder to get an upgraded mount at low cost unless you build your own. The Explore Scientific/Bresser Dobs has got the best such mount of all the mass market scopes due to the very big altitude rings. These enable you to both rotate and slide the tube up and down for balance as well. You can also use an altitude ring to carry the scope more easily, with the tube in one hand a
  6. Don't wait for lots of replies, just grab it before it goes! It's a really excellent scope if it suits your needs - considered by many here as the best in class. It's late in the UK but I'll reply more fully tomorrow.
  7. I can't open Don's link but I assume it's to very useful tests done by Ernest Maratovich in Russia. The table shows the results of a test on a second-hand Baader Mk III zoom that was sent in by a member of Ernest's forum, that Ernest described as "battered". He's since done a test on a later Baader MK IV zoom that came out very much better! This is how Ernest described the image quality: "Based on the results of star observations under conditions of a 1: 5 apochromat. At all focal lengths, the main field aberration is the curvature of the field of view. Curvature is more pronounced at
  8. The downside of zooms is the small field of view at the low power end. You're therefore going to need an additional wide angle, long focal length eyepiece. The best focal length would depend on how dark your skies go - the darker the skies, the longer the focal length you could make use of. If the focal length is too long you'll waste some of your 10 inches of aperture. However, the field of view is likely to be bigger. I haven't been to Ilkley for a great many years. However, looking at the light pollution map at https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoom=4.00&lat=45.8720&lon
  9. I'd very much recommend a zoom eyepiece as your workhorse. One zoom eyepiece will cover multiple focal lengths and so is really excellent value for money. Despite having high quality fixed focal length eyepieces, I use my zooms a lot more often. The zoom plus a Barlow lens and a low power, wide field eyepiece is often all I use the whole evening. Fixed focal length eyepieces may be slightly better corrected when compared with a zoom at the same magnification. But that's not always a fair comparison as that magnification may not be the optimum for a given object. This is becau
  10. I also agree that 8x42s would be better. I can see as much detail with 8x as 10x as I can hold them steadier. The field of view will be wider as well. You mentioned that your kids would use them too. You need to be aware that some binoculars aren't suitable for kids as they don't allow the eyepieces to be pushed close enough together. This parameter is known as the IPD (interpupilary distance). The Vortex Diamondback is better than the Oberwerk here as the minimum IPD is 55mm vs 57mm. Even better in this respect is the Opticron Discovery 8x42 that goes as low as 53mm. These d
  11. Wow! It's almost 3D. Congratulations on such a good pic that low down.
  12. Many thanks indeed to those of you who pointed this out. Now deleted.
  13. The StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ seems like a good fit. The app is very easy to use. However, Celestron have just brought out 5 and 6 inch SCTs equipped with Starsense Explorer and these are worth investigating. They're now in stock in the UK, but you'll need to check whether they're available yet in the States. I also agree that a zoom eyepiece would be perfect for your father. If you do a search here you'll find lots about them.
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