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Shaun VS

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About Shaun VS

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    Variable stars and general visual observing.
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  1. As I have advised someone else recently with the same scope, I would avoid trying to go too wide, unless that is you are young and live in a date site. The main reason is exit pupil, for people over 50 it rarely exceeds 5mm, and any light source may affect dilation as well. As such I would go for a good quality wide angle eyepiece between 25 and 30mm max. Another benefit is that you are less likely to have problems with astigmatism. And finally whilst you will have a wider field, your limiting magnitude will be lower (increasing magnification means you see fainter stars, up to a point tha
  2. May was a spectacular month for clear skies, 21 in total. Despite the light nights I managed nearly 800 variable star estimates. This month, June has been cloudier but still logged 6 sessions. Saturday night was crystal clear after a thunder storm, seeing stars below 10.5 with my 20x80mm bins. When people are able to meet up again properly, try and get an observing session with someone, you would quickly learn.
  3. Hi Andy, welcome to the world of astronomy. Enjoy.
  4. Try to pick up the keystone of Hercules which will be to the right (preceding) of Vega. Now using binoculars find the upper right of the four stars, then from this star look to its lower right and you should see a small fuzzy ball, this is M13 a bright globular cluster.
  5. Please don’t go down this route. If you want higher magnification then go for a telescope. I use 10x50mm and 20x80mm binoculars every clear night.
  6. Just a quick note re your reference to a 32mm eyepiece. If you go down the line of the 150mm f5 reflector, please bare in mind that that this combination would give a exit pupil of approx 6.4mm. Now if you are an older observer(50+) or observing from a brighter location, then your pupil will not dilate to that size. In effect you will not get the full 150mm. i would therefore suggest your minimum magnification should be around 30, which equates to an eyepiece in the range of around 25mm. Should you go for the longer F ratio scope then 32mm is fine, even desirable.
  7. My observing sessions vary from 15 mins to 2 hrs depending o n commitments, weather and inclination. My main focus is variable stars for which my main instrument is a pair of 20x80mm bins. I will often go out for 15/20 mins when things first get dark then again later in the evening. if I am going to use one of my scopes then I have to be certain that it is going to be clear for at least an hour, to be worth setting up. My longest session ever (with short breaks) was 9 hrs.
  8. Great website and some fantastic photos, video. I shall keep an eye on your site to see how it progresses. Good luck
  9. Shaun VS

    I'm back!

    Welcome back Jim, certain aspects of our hobby have moved on with technology, but the beauty of the night sky is still there for all. I hope the darker skies of Dorset are rewarding. Shaun
  10. I would start by taking a look at some globular clusters, M3 in Canis Venatici’ M5 in Serpens and M13 and 92 in Hercules. You could then move on to others in Ophiuchus.
  11. The 10x50mm bins are the better choice. My main reason is the size of the exit pupil. On 7x50mm it works at a fraction over 7mm (50/7), whilst 10x50 give 5mm. Now as the typical dark adapted pupil is 7mm the 7x50mm appear ideal, however in urban skies or older as we age this figure drops so the wide field of 7x50mm cannot be used. In effect you are reducing the aperture of the lenses. Therefore 10x50mm are more useful. A second benefit is that the limiting magnitude in 10x50mm will be fainter and at such low magnifications it will split stars easier. I hope this helps
  12. From what I understand, at the moment you don’t own a Barlow. I would therefore suggest that you try out the eyepieces you have. A Barlow will not improve the eyepiece that you use, but if you buy a decent one it will double the magnifications of both eyepieces and be useful with any additional eyepieces you buy in the future. If however you are not happy with the eyepieces, in particular the 10mm then I would take the advice from flo. For what it’s worth I never use a Barlow on my 10” f4.
  13. I’ve seen M1 in my 20x80mm bins, but other than saying I saw it, I can’t add anymore. I agree that including M1 as a binocular object could to say the least cause frustration.
  14. I don’t know about anyone else in the UK but May has been the clearest month on record for me since one really cold, clear February in the 1980s. I’ve been out at least for a short while with my binoculars. The main issue that it doesn’t get dark enough till after 11pm (22:00 GMT), and even then it’s bright to the north till after midnight. Next month will be even worse! still, around 700 variable star estimates in one month is much higher than normal.
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