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Everything posted by Vega

  1. Despite the early start for organisers, its a brilliant idea. The timing for the kids is perfect as they won't start watching the eclipse as it starts, then have a long wait before things really get interesting! Children this age need constant engagement. I would recommend however being prepared for every eventuality (i.e. cloud/rain) and set up a screen indoors with internet access to one of the many live webcasts that will undoubtedly be available. Also, don't rule out eyepiece projection, pinhole projection and the use of hand held objects to see how shadow's are cast during the partial eclipse. Also, maybe a viewing area under a tree to see how the branch shadows look? On the safety side of things, as always encourage them NOT to look at the sun but don't forget that some kids wont resist. Even if you don't want to encourage it, its always good to have eclipse viewing shades at hand. Matt
  2. I'll have a go tonight. The reason its a pest is that my friend is using stellarium scope for mount control and at some point needs to minimise/window Stellarium to fire up PHD and get guiding set up once target is acquired. Cheers
  3. Please help Im using a windows 8.1 64bit laptop and installed the latest 64bit version of stellarium. I cannot for the life of me work out how to run it windowed. I've right clicked the stellarium icon to make sure it says open windowed. I've also edited the config.ini file to make sure it says full screen: 'false' under the video section I've tried alt-f11, ctrl-enter, alt-tab and escape None of these commands do anything to stellarium. The only way to get out is to click the close option in stellariums bottom menu! There is no minimise/restore/close option in the top right corner. Help! :-)
  4. Thanks all, Ascom worked fine. There was an issue with the Telescope Finder (via com part) feature. It gave an error message saying is 32bit and will not work on a 64bit system. This caused serious problems setting up the Celestron mount in drop down lists for software like PHD and Stellarium scope. It was eventually solved by using the Telescope finder (via .net) feature in ASCOM. I had to check the show all ports to find the com port though! What a headache!
  5. I always thought you shouldn't use the hand controller's goto function at the same time as using a laptop connection for telescope control. I always turn off and start a new session when using telescope control (using stellarium scope). I might be wrong though. The only other thing I can think of is you're Lat Long might be set to South instead of North or East in stead of West etc. It wouldn't explain the fact that it worked on two previous objects though ... hmmm
  6. Ah silly me. Just spotted it in the plugins list duh
  7. Hi Can anyone else access the Observability Analysis Plugin for Stellarium?? From this page I cant seem to access it - http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Built-in_Plugins Its a useful tool in my case for calculating when a targeted object will be transitting (ie meridian flip warning)
  8. Just found something on the Ascom Projects in Progress Page "The current generation of the ASCOM Platform provides compatibility with Windows 7 and Windows 8 enhanced security and 64-bit systems"
  9. Can anyone confirm if ASCOM drivers work with Windows 8.1 64bit? I'm helping a friend who intends to order a new laptop and don't want him to fall in to any traps with regard to scope automation. I notice on their website, they mention disabling .NET Framework 3.5.1 in Windows 7 in order for ASCOM to work. Is this the case with Windows 8.1 also? Any help greatly appreciated. Regards
  10. I spotted and imaged Lovejoy tonight not uploaded any pics yet. Will do tomorrow. Moon destroyed the show later. Hard to distinguish a tail, but the nucleus is bright for sure.
  11. What a great idea! They should release a 3D version
  12. Hi Paul Here ya go... http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk/dublin/ Cheers
  13. March 20th. Definatly booking that one off. Sun almost 85% eclipsed from my location. http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk/bristol/ However. Living in Inverness would have been ideal ) http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk/inverness/
  14. Firstly, once star is centred, the adjustments should only be made with the alt/azm bolts. The RA and Dec bolts should be tightened and the levelling left alone. Also, you don't adjust so that the star is simply re-centered each time. You make small adjustments depending on the star's direction of drift. Its too much to type here, but here is a good guide - http://www.backyardastronomy.net/drift_alignment.html Also there is software out there that can watch the star for you via webcam and illustrate exactly what adjustments to make (with markers on screen). Do a google search for drift alignment software Cheers
  15. I have a link to a live webcast of the event on my site - mattastro.com Exciting times, hope it all goes well for them. it should be headline news all over the world IMO Cheers
  16. The first thing you need to find out is if your mount has an autoguider port. If it doesn't, you would have to go the hand controller route as Dr JuJu says. However autoguiding does require a guide camera and mounting system for it. The cheap route could be using a small guide scope that attaches to your finderscope bracket then sticking a standard webcam on the end for guiding with PHD software. A more expensive option is to have an extra dovetail, guide rings and small refractor fixed on top of your current scope rings. There are more sophisticated guide cameras out there that are more sensitive and can 'see' more stars to guide from (making things easier when selecting a guide star near your target). It all depends on budget vs ease of use. Cheers
  17. Awesome. Thanks for sharing the pics. I can but only dream of such a thing...
  18. That's Pornography! My little mind cant handle it
  19. Vega

    Buying a Dob

    ...and the second rule about the dob mob.... Never forget rule number one. ...Sorry I got that Friday feeling, it just takes over sometimes
  20. Nice one, just in the nick of time..... Cheers Steve
  21. Did you check the moon forecast for the 5th as well? I wouldn't worry too much about how much viewing/imaging will be lost this week
  22. I've seen Saturn in the daytime through my 250px tracking on an EQ6. At the time, it would have been below the visual brightness of a number of stars such as Arcturus, Vega, Capella and Rigel. However, all of these are brighter than mag 1. It's something I quite fancy testing. I suppose Spica would be the best candidate as a close to mag 1 star. hmmm...
  23. One excellent solution is a double finderscope bracket (like in a Y shape). You can the get one of those Orion guiders that fits in a finderscope bracket while still being able to use your finderscope as well.
  24. Another vote for sky safarI 4 here. Great app.
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