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James

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James last won the day on August 19 2018

James had the most liked content!

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About James

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    Main Sequence

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  • Website URL
    http://firstlightoptics.com/

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    East Devon
  1. Welcome to SGL John, I've been a couple of times to La Palma and two things struck me, one - seeing the Milky Way from inside the kitchen where we were staying, with lights on, the view was great literally just walking out the door and two, when up on the Roque one night seeing both detail in the Milky way almost horizon to horizon and the fact that the stars even low down on the horizon weren't twinkling. That was a bit eerie to me!
  2. Lovely images as always Dave Good to see you remembered your camera and tripod You've controlled the light pollution well Dave - isn't the first one aimed straight at Holt? (runs off to look at a map!) James
  3. I used an Esprit 100 on my HEQ5 Pro quite comfortably, with filter wheel, guide scope etc. The Esprit 120 is heavier and a fair bit longer which makes a fair bit of difference so an EQ6 is probably a minimum.
  4. A lead acid battery giving 11.7v is effectively dead for use with the scope. Connecting it to another battery (or any charger) for a few minutes will result in the voltage going up, but it won’t last, check again in half an hour and it will probably be back down at 11.7. You really need to get a proper charger for it (I suspect you’ll need a new battery, lead acids don’t like being emptied all the way). If you use AC power then things will probably improve but if your are away from an easy source of power then you’ll need a new, fully charged battery
  5. Will you have access to a car? It's common for the coasts to be cloudy/foggy and the clear skies to be higher up.. I've never been on one of the guided tours at the observatories but yes, they need to be booked well in advance (and it'll be chilly up there potentially!). I can't say whether one of the tours hosted by companies like Alacants link above ( http://www.starsislandlapalma.es/en/starsislands-companies/specialized-companies/astro-la-palma/ ) are going to be suitable for you but it's definitely worth speaking to them/picking their brains. If you do have a car then it depends what part of the island you're on - distances are short as the crow flies but very long otherwise due to the winding roads!. If you're in the north west then try driving part (or all the way) up to the observatories and find a spot next to the road. This also applies if you're on the east side near Santa Cruz. If in the south west, get up as high as possible - I haven't tried around the Volcano visitor centre area but I bet it's nice up there. If in the middle area (Los Llanos/El Paso) then try driving up to one of the viewpoints ( https://www.adastralapalma.com/astronomical-viewpoints/ ). Not the best of maps. The astro tour folks usually go to these miradors, some don't serve the title of viewpoint, at least not for astronomy (one in Puntagorda near where I've stayed has a streetlight at the corner!) but prepare for a treat though. I could see the Milky Way through the kitchen window from where we were staying. With the lights on. (albeit fairly dim ones). let us know when you know more precisely where you'll be staying James
  6. First night out imaging in quite a while.. and typically it's full moon ... but... it's a night out!
  7. Obviously this image doesn't show the seeing, but it was a good night (I'm now paying for it!) The scope looking at Saturn is an old SW ED100. I broke the front lens a few months back but was able to swap it out with an equally old (10 years+) lens from another... Pot Noodle and biscuits strategically hidden by the chair... (Photo cropped to remove the glow of Exeter from the right...) James
  8. Hope you all, or at least some of you have been out tonight. Completely different, fantastic detail on Jupiter, Cassini vision in Saturn’s rings (just...).
  9. I didn't pick a good night to test a couple of scopes did I? One that had been dropped and one that has had a lens cell pilfered from another scope. Seeing was terrible so I feared the worst with the scopes but I've been reassured by others reports of bad seeing!! But I'm getting a kick from being out just a week after the shortest night.. James
  10. Everytime I suggest to my wife that a bigger telescope or an observatory is a good idea she asks "Oh yes? And how often will you be able to use it?" So, no bigger scope or observatory yet... American and Australian astronomers must face the same pressure?? Surely? James
  11. Thank you for the kind comments . I'd substitute the expression "OCD" for experience above I love my little Polarie but I have used it almost exclusively at 14mm-35mm focal length where I could be fairly relaxed about polar alignment. I've also used other trackers and yes, it's tricky to get a polar alignment that you then don't lose by adding more kit on. In such cases, where I've wanted to be more careful with the PA a wedge is essential, in the case of the Polarie I used their Polar Fine adjustment Unit which is very helpful, very small, if pricey. I've also attached a Polemaster to another tracker (and am waiting to try the iOptron with iPolar built in!). I think, with a bit of care you'll be able to get some length of guiding time set up but you'd have to be confident that none of it will move when you're changing/setting stuff up. I found that holding the Polarie with a ball head just wasn't enough - with the fine adjustment unit I could move it much more precisely.. James
  12. Hmmm... IGAD refers to part of the manufacturing process (Ion Gun Assisted Deposition) and the 31.7mm just means it's a 1.25" filter but I'm not aware of a Type Z filter. It may be a very old filter that IDAS used to do? The I in the name suggests type 1 in which case it's very old! Sorry can't help more. James
  13. Thank you Mark The beach is illuminated by the lights of Budleigh Salterton right behind me, many of those lights go off at 1.30am ish (12.30 ish in winter) - half an hour after taking that shot it was much darker. Had I looked the other way I'd have been flooded with light pollution from Budleigh, Exmouth and Exeter It's the 'public' beach but it's quiet usually at night - the occasional dog walker excepted. To the left of the image you might see a little water. Catch it at higher tide and you can get some nice photos of the water there and the trees with stars beyond. In early July it's pretty light but you should be able to get some Milky Way shots, around 1am would be best/darkest with Sagittarius just a little past due south. I would recommend Dartmoor... but... due south from Dartmoor you get a bit of LP from Torquay/Torbay etc and to the south west you have Plymouth in the distance.. but it's all relative, I don't know what you're light pollution is like at home Where I am in East Devon it's generally dark imaging anything to the east - but by July the Milky Way is slipping overhead and to the west. I'll haver a think Mark and PM you James
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