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Everything posted by gareththegeek

  1. I got 23 last night but I'm not sure how accurate this survey will be. One of my friends and my brother were there too and their counts were 8 and 10. I think eyesight may play more of a part than light pollution!
  2. Don't know what kind of scope you are using but I believe the horsehead nebula is mainly a photo only target. The 'cotton wool ball' could be Andromeda or more specifically the core of Andromeda, in my 100mm refractor under dark skies I can make out a fainter much larger patch around the core, too big to fit into the view at 45x. I think you need more like 8"+ to see any more detail on it. I find the setting circles on my CG-5 mount are accurate enough to get the object I am looking for somewhere in the view finder, I use them all the time. HTH
  3. Interesting, I expect it does time you out but your browser remembers your credentials so you can get back in again.
  4. Star hoping classic Its thick cloud here and xcweather.co.uk is reading 0% cloud pretty much all weekend too
  5. Dunno if its the best thing to do but I certainly do the old ctrl+a ctrl+c before submitting a long post I think they have set the timeout a little bit low on this forum but nm. Usually I can get the post back again though without needing to paste it, what browser are you using?
  6. This may be a stupid quesiton but something that has always puzzled me about optics is why the image needs to be upside-down and back-to-front. My understanding is that the lens at the aperture causes the light to converge in a cone shape, the light is then allowed to cross-over before reaching the eye piece lens, which makes the edges of the light cone become parallel again. .......___ aperture \..../ .\../ ..\/___ cross-over ../\ ___ eye piece .|.| ___ eye here What I don't understand is why the eye piece lens can't just cause the light to diverge before it reaches the point of cross-over, giving a magnified, in focus and correctly oriented image. Wouldn't you just need the lens to be cancave instead of convex (or the other way around, I get confused ). ......___ aperture \..../ .\../ ___ eye piece .|.| ___ eye here I'm sure there must be a reason otherwise telescopes would work this way but what is it?
  7. British weather plugin, excellent! I would like a plugin that lets me make a 'shopping list' of things to see and prints it out as a list with the coordinates etc.
  8. Enjoyed the post, but wait... Now you've gone too far!
  9. Thanks for all the advice! I think getting the AZ-4 or the Giro is pushing things a bit out of my price range! £130 is probably the limit leaving around £50 for the mount If this isn't do-able I will probably just go with the EQ1. The Redsnapper tripods look promising but the comment about tripods being difficult to use is off-putting. Which would you pick given the situation? Or are there any more suggestions... That's a sweet setup btw, Russ, I am very envious
  10. We took our scope on holiday with us last year and while it was fun it sure takes up a lot of room so I was considering getting a StarTravel 80 for grab and go and holidays and such. I was wondering what the best way to mount it might be. On FLO it comes OTA only or with an EQ1 mount. I think an EQ mount would be overkill, it would take longer to set up and be heavier since it would have counterweights etc. Is it possible to just use a fluid head tripod like you use with camcorders etc? If so, how do you attach the dovetail plate to it? Would something cheap like this do? Pro Heavy Duty Camera Photo Tripod 62" with case on eBay (end time 06-Feb-11 06:15:53 GMT) I am really looking for the cheapest, lightest, quickest to set up and use tripod I can get away with without compromising the viewing too much
  11. The important thing is that no one on here is looking back
  12. I was always interested in space as a child but never got a telescope or anything. Then last year someone gave us a free telescope (only a cheap one but I wasn't complaining ) We managed to catch sight of Saturn and I was hooked so I unloaded my savings into an ED refractor and haven't looked back. Now if someone could just invent a weather machine...
  13. First clear night I've been able to go out with the scope in about two months and the moon was out in force. Nevermind its great just to be able to get out there and see something Bagged my first sight of the Orion Nebula and even with the moon right next to it it was a beauty. I can't wait to see it again with dark skies. I took a look at Andromeda too, and that looked pretty boring compared to when I've seen it before with dark skies so I think the Orion Nebula will be fantastic! I started stargazing last year in April and it was also nice to see some of my old friends like Gemini and Leo coming back out to play
  14. I use the setting circles on my CG-5 mount everytime. It is much easier to quickly note down some coordinates from stellarium than it is to learn to star hop to each object you want to see in a session. I couldn't find any DSOs until I started using the setting circles tbh. I prefer to spend my time looking at my target rather than searching for it
  15. Increments of ten? Hmm that probably explains it my DEC wheel has increments of 2 and my RA wheel 10 minutes IIRC...
  16. I use the setting circles on my CG5 mount every time I use my scope and don't have any problems, I find them invaluable. I usually calibrate the setting cirlces on a star near the objects I am going to be viewing to reduce error. The setting circles will get me close enough to see the object I am looking for near the centre of the view finder and then a minor correction will get the object in sight. I find it saves a lot of time because rather than planning a route using star hopping, I can just write down some coordinates from stellarium before heading out.
  17. I mainly read 50s/60s/70s sci-fi... +1 for Philip K [removed word] esp Ubik I also highly recommend 'The Stars My Destination' by Alfred Bester, a sci-fi take on 'The Count of Monty Cristo'. +1 for the Gollancz Sci-fi Masterworks books, I have about 15 of them now and have enjoyed them all.
  18. Just occured to me that I should measure the diameter of the dew shield (duh) so the diameter is just under 130mm so I think the 130mm filter should work. In future I should think first and post second
  19. I was thinking of getting a solar filter for my C100ED telescope. I was looking at the Baader filter on firstlightoptics here: Solar Filters - AstroZap Baader Solar Filter However there is no 100mm size (the closest seems to be 105mm), does anyone know whether this will fit my scope correctly or is there an alternative? I'd rather not have to build something myself as I feel it'd be safer to go with a prefabricated filter. Thanks
  20. You can definitely put the 200p on an EQ stand at a later date, just need to buy some tube rings which are relatively cheap. An eq5 or a cg5 will do the trick. I expect the 200p you have bought will have a fairly 'fast' focal ratio (f6 if it is the Skyliner) and so will benefit from more expensive lenses. I'm not sure about the other modifications since I don't have a newtonian but my advice is to try to be patient and hold of doing anything like that until you've had the scope for a while and had a chance to test it out unmodified.
  21. I bought a C100ED CG5, my first scope, recently and am very happy with it. I would certainly agree that it is likely to be more portable than a 200mm reflector although a lot of the weight/difficulty in moving it around is the stand rather than the tube. I would expect it is easier to manoeuvre than a reflector since as it rotates on its mount I simply unscrew and rotate the star diagonal to compensate. Also requires no collimation which is a plus. It gives excellent views of the moon, stars and planets. It splits double stars with ease and shows good colour (no glare or false colour). It is capable of seeing all the main 'sights' in terms of galaxies, globular clusters and nebulas but I expect the reflector would do much better in this area. All depends what you are most interested in seeing but I have found my scope to be a good introduction to astronomy and would eventually like to supplement it with a 200mm reflector in any case to get the best of both worlds!
  22. I am able to make out a slight 'graininess' in M92 using my 4" scope from my back garden so I would have thought you could make out something. Need to use averted vision though.
  23. I bet they are stunning, I guess I'm just bitter because I can't afford one.
  24. Oh yeah, far out, you're right. It is a bit higher than soil. Obviously not had enough coffee when I posted that.
  25. I have an ED and get no colour problems except on very, very bright objects. It is hard to imagine how much better the image could get with a triplet apo and considering the price difference... IMO ED is worth that little bit extra but Triplet APO is not, just my 2p's worth.
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