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Everything posted by sneeka

  1. The cloud/rain finally subsided last night, so I had chance to get the scope out again. Whilst the sun was going down I had a chance at viewing the moon with the scope for the first time (albeit through the patio window). It was pretty low, so the surface was bubbling away, but the views were still stunning - it's amazing how deep those craters are. I should have really got the Lunar 100 list out and ticked some items off, but I was too transfixed Once it had raced behind the rooftops, I humped the scope out into the garden to cool down whilst the skies got darker. Since my first report I'd ordered a right-angle finder and a rigel quikfinder to help with lining the scope up. Boy, what a difference they make. At a pinch, I could probably make do with just the quikfinder, but having the right-angle finder there to 'fine tune' the line up makes things all the more easier. At about 11:30pm I figured the skies were about as dark as they were going to get, so I started with Vega to make sure everything was lined up ok, and that the collimation was still fine. Then I scanned across to the double double again to see if I could split the second pair that defeated me last time. Still no discernible gap, but definite elongation - I guess I might need more magnification to split them both Aquila was staring me in the face, so I got out the Pocket Sky Atlas to see if there was anything of interest in that area. Above the head I spied M27 next to Sagitta so I slewed across and had a peek. It wasn't really the shape I was expecting - it's more of a disc with the image of a bowtie/dumbbell lightly drawn on top, rather than just the dumbbell shape as is shown in 'Turn Left..'. Anyway, it was nice and bright so I sat and gazed at that for a while. Scanning down I caught a glimpse of M71, which was very dim. Further down I switched to the finderscope and just flew down the Milky Way, down the length of Aquila. At the bottom of it's tail a faint haze caught my eye. I switched to the main eyepiece and WOW - M11! Very, very nice. Even better, imo, than M13. So many stars, it looked like someone had sprinkled glitter onto a patch of sky. I sat and just stared gormlessly at it for a good 15mins Over to the west I saw the Plough hovering over the horizon, so I tried for M51. No show .. I guess it was too near the horizon. Damn that light pollution I finished off with a revisit to M13, Albireo and a final gawp at M11. Come on you darker skies
  2. Yep, I have a TMB 6mm on the way - seems to have got good reviews everywhere, so I'm looking forward to the views through it
  3. Yes, yes, it's another Skyliner report Never had a telescope before - after much deliberation I plumped for the 250px. Here's my report on it so far.. First of all, stirling work by FLO. I ordered the scope Thursday night, yesterday morning I sent them an email to see if they had a rough ETA. Within half an hour they emailed back to say it should be arriving that day. A few hours later, Mr Fedex appeared with two boxes (a medium sized one and a.... bigger one ). Once I'd unpacked everything and assembled the base (which was refreshingly easy, after having recently put together some flatpack drawers with instructions translated by Tonto), I lowered the cannon on and.... um... well, it's quite big really, isn't it? .. I popped in a cheshire collimator and it was bang on the money, so no adjustment needed there yet. Finderscope was calibrated with the aid of a chimney pot about a mile away (the whole up-is-down, left-is-right took awhile to get used to ). Later on in the evening, the clouds looked like they were breaking, so I waddled the scope out into the garden. Arcturus was the first star I saw, so I aimed the finderscope at it and tried a star test. Collimation still seemed good, but it was more of a shimmering disc, rather than the solid concentric circles I've seen in the collimation guides - I assume this is down to the warm temperature? Thankfully the strongish wind cleared the clouds bit by bit until, by about 11pm, I had an almost completely clear sky (albeit with a bit of high haze). My first target was Albireo, which I've split quite easily with my 15x70 binos, but through the scope it was a cinch (apart from the aiming ) - bright blue with a pale orange companion, and a mammoth gap between them when using the 10mm ep. Next I panned upwards towards Vega and the double-double - at this point I realised what people say about straight-through finderscopes being a pain when pointing at the zenith .. Backpain aside, I got a lovely view of the double-double - I could just about see the second double on one of the pairs, the other pair just looked slightly elongated. From there I panned down, hoping to find the Ring Nebula (something my 15x70s have been incapable of finding). Some more nudging and budging later I finally found the smokey donut. Great feeling It looked like a small smoke ring hanging in the air, and in the 10mm I was able to see wisps of smoke off the side of the ring. Pleased with myself, I tried out M13. In the binos it's looked like a largish round smudge, through the scope it was amazing. Lots and lots of tiny points of light, too many to even begin counting. I tried the 10mm, but I lost many of the stars with that, so I stuck with the 26mm and just stared at it for ages. Come 1am, I decided it was time to pack up (the returning clouds thought so too). So, yeah, well pleased with it. Can't wait now for darker skies, or to see what the moon looks like through it. I've ordered a right-angle finderscope this morning to hopefully help with the back strain, along with a rigel red dot finder, although I suspect I might manage ok without the rigel. Sorry, I do ramble on
  4. Yeah, I thought maybe the 6mm TMB Planetary as a next eyepiece. That should give me 200x. I'm probably better off getting that than trying to barlow the stock eyepieces, as kniclander said.
  5. Ok, telescope has been ordered, just gotta wait now. Very excited I didn't bother with the barlow in the end, I figured the money might be better off going towards the inevitable next eyepiece. *drums fingers impatiently* Ooh look, clouds on Monday, and Tuesday....
  6. Cheers guys Just wanted to know if I'd missed anything glaringly obvious before I hit the buy button. I suspect a red dot finder or a right-angled finder might be the next purchase though, going on the general consensus I'm guessing the stock finder isn't much cop? I'll stick a star chart on the front of the scope and just pretend then Shame it looks like I missed out on Saturn as well. Ah well. Jupiter on the way.
  7. Yes, I think I'll wait until next payday before I start looking at other eyepieces Hopefully the stock eyepieces that the scope comes with aren't that bad to start on.
  8. Well, after around six months of gazing at the skies with my binoculars (10x50, 15x70), I figured it's high time I bought a scope to take me deeper into the black abyss Here's what I have on the order form so far: Skywatcher Skyliner 250PX Dobsonian Tal 2x barlow Cheshire Collimating Eyepiece Variable Polarizing Moon Filter And I already have: Red torch Sky Atlas 2000.0 Pocket Sky Atlas Turn Left at Orion Various garden chairs Is there anything else important I'm missing to start with? I have the fortnight off work after this week, so I'm hoping to at least get one night where the sky is clear when I can spend some serious time outside. If not I suppose I'll just spend the whole two weeks learning to collimate
  9. Orion Nebula - a mexican who's been run over by a truck
  10. Yeah, I'm not really bother about the tracking/goto really. I'll be happy with manual (I think). If I get into photography later on I can always put it on an EQ6 as said above, but for observing purposes the manual 'nudge' tracking should do me In anycase, it looks like 10" is slowly becoming the winner here. If I end up in traction I'll send you lot the bill
  11. Thanks for the all the advice so far I suppose I'd have to think about light pollution as well. As a benchmark, I can see M3 and M13 quite clearly through my 15x70s, and can only JUST make out M81. Would the light pollution make the size difference moot? I guess I could drive to a dark site, but then I've got to think about size there too, as I only have a Fiesta. I dunno. My heart says 10" and my head tells me 8" ... Argh 12" is definitely out though
  12. Hi all, first time poster, long time lurker After many months of studying the skies with two sets of binoculars (10x50s and 15x70s), I think I'm now ready for a scope. The Skywatcher Skyliner dobs seem to get favourable reviews, so I've set my sights on them. My dilemma though: 8" or 10"? The 8" is lighter, so I guess it would be easier to hump in and out of the garden, not to mention a hundred quid cheaper (which could go towards eyepieces). However, would the tradeoff in aperture be worth it? Anyone bought an 8" and wish they had a 10" instead? Does 2" really make that much difference? (ahem) It might be worth saying that I'm just into viewing at the moment, no photography. Mainly interested in DSOs with maybe a planet or two, and of course the Moon.
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