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About Jasonb

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    Star Forming

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  1. Great, thanks for your response, I appreciate the breakdown in types.
  2. Hi there, So, I'm new to the hobby, and I was wondering about mounts. I have a Skywatcher StarQuest 130P (Sky-Watcher StarQuest-130P f/5 Parabolic Newtonian Reflector Telescope | First Light Optics). It comes with an EQ mount. But I don't know the 'type' of EQ mount. I've read EQ1, EQ2, EQ3, EQ5 etc. but I don't know if they're standard mounts (i.e. different manufacturers all make EQ1s and EQ3) or if that just what Skywatcher calls their mounts. If they are standard mounts, what's the difference between an EQ1, EQ3 or EQ5? Skywatcher have an EQ3-2, is that some variation on the EQ3 standard? What type of mount came with my scope, is it EQ1, something else? I suppose I'm just trying to research the different types of EQ mounts out there, not really from a buying point of view, just from a gaining knowledge point of view. Also, are the legs/tripod considered part of the mount (so an EQ1 mount means a certain type of legs, like aluminium for example) are are they treated as a separate part? Any help appreciated, even if you can just point me towards a link or two! Thanks...
  3. Welcome to the forum, it's a very friendly bunch here! I'll start this by saying I'm a newbie too. But if what you're describing is that the when you move your eye around while looking in the eyepiece, the image in the eyepiece moves as well, then as far as I know that's perfectly normal, and nothing to do with collimation or anything like that. I know you say you've a pretty basic eyepiece and scope, but while the 25mm that comes with Skywatcher telescopes is considered basic but ok, your 200p Dobsonian I wouldn't call basic at all, that's a great scope and you should be very happy with it! I've a 130p and I love it, and you'll get a lot more light with the 200p. Enjoy...
  4. Yep, also a vote for SkySafari Plus. I got it for about €7, I think they do sales every now and then. I've barely scratched the surface with it, but as has already been mentioned, the Observation lists, and the ability to change the FOV circles displayed on it based on your own telescope and eye pieces is really handy. Star hopping is so much easier if the circle on the screen matches the circle in front of your eye, I wouldn't have found Neptune a few days ago without it!
  5. Well that all makes sense and is well explained, thanks! So basically, as long as the threads of the Barlow can get enough 'grip' (let's say a few turns) in an eyepiece, you can still use it even if it's not fully screwed in? Assuming that the Barlow barrel above the threads has enough room inside the eyepiece and the eyepiece lenses etc. don't get in the way? And all of that assuming you can still get a decent focus point and eye relief distance? Sounds fine to me, looking forward to trying it out now!
  6. Hi all, Another question from me, and probably one with an obvious answer! I just got my hands on a Baader Q-Barlow. It's the one that's 2.25x if you use the full thing and 1.3x if you just screw the bottom part into the eyepiece. I'm aware that people say the bottom part alone doesn't work with some eyepieces as they don't have enough room to screw it in fully. From that description, before I got it, I assumed there was a lens in the top part of the Barlow as well as lenses in the bottom part that screws out. But there isn't, the top part is just a tube, basically an eyepiece adapter. So, does that mean that the bottom part is the actual Barlow, and the only reason the top part is there is to increase the effect it gives, as your eyepiece is held further away from the Barlow? In other words, if the top part was longer, there would be even more of an effect (say 3x for example)? And if that's the case, what's the issue with the lower part not fully fitting into some eyepieces? Why does it need to fully fit? Let's say it gives 1.3x if it fully fits, won't it just give say 1.4 or 1.5 if it's a little further out as it doesn't screw in the whole way? I'd appreciate someone explaining this to me, as I'm not sure if I'm missing something or not! Thanks...
  7. So that's what it looks like! Excellent image, I'm still trying to get to see it with my bins/scope, but I'll get it eventually!
  8. Great report, I was so happy seeing that Mars was in fact a disc, not a point of light, and I was lucj enough to see the rings of Saturn and 4 of Jupiters moons before they got too low in the sky. For those of us starting in this hobby we're lucky, as nearly everything we see is new and exciting! Cool pics too, very good for a smartphone held up against an eyepiece!
  9. A far more succinct report Heather!
  10. Another update, but once again not actually part of the Moore Winter Marathon, sorry! Decided it was time to take my Scope on the road, so I did a little drive this afternoon to find some potential places to observe from. I'm on the outskirts of a town, so a few minutes drive south gets me into the country and from Bortle 5 to Bortle 4. Found two places to try, so once it was dark and the skies were clear, I packed up everything and off I went. The first place was the entrance to a race course, but unfortunately it had lights on outside etc. so it wasn't much good. The next place was slightly further away and it was a car park for a cemetery! When I parked up and got out, the sky was amazing, so much darker, I could see parts of the Milky Way to the left of Orion as I looked around. So that was where I set up. It was my first time setting up 'in public' so to speak, though the only spectators I had were dead ones. That said, the cemetery was just beside a road, and unfortunately it was relatively busy. That meant cars going by with full headlights on every so often, and that meant me either stopping what I was doing and covering my eyes, or just putting up with it and seeing less! Anyhow, as the scope cooled down I had a look around with my Binoculars, so many stars to see, and so many satellites too! M31 was easy to find, and I had a go at a few other favourites as well. I didn't really have a plan for the evening, it was more about trying a different site. But as it was darker I decided to give M33 a go. I spent a good while at it, but had no luck unfortunately. I definitely was in the right place, certain shapes of stars nearby told me that, but I just couldn't see the smudge I was looking for. I got a little surprise though as just when I was confirming I was in exactly the right part of the sky, a satellite went straight through my EP FOV. I then jumped back into the car to heat up for a while, and on a whim decided to have a look at Skysafari to see where Neptune was. It was in a portion of sky I could see, and it was also close to some stars in Aquarius that would help find it, so back out I went. Unfortunately I'd left my 25mm EP in the scope and it was now dewed up! I had a go with the 10mm, but found it too hard to locate the stars I was looking for (Psi1, 2 and 3 Aquarii which form a nice little flattened triangle shape.) So I dried off the 25mm as best as I could, and then found that shape easily. Then I had a little moment of clarity using Skysafari and the Scope Display settings, which displayed a circle around the FOV of my EP. That meant that after getting those three stars in view, I could see the next bright star on the way to Neptune (Chi Aquarii) and I knew that I'd see it entering the FOV as Psi1 and Psi2 were leaving it, and that's exactly what happened. I used the same system again to get Phi Aquarii entering the FOV as CHi was leaving. So far so good. I was very close to Neptune now. And then my phone died. Or, as I found out, it didn't die, but it turned itself off. Because it was too cold! It was -3 out and I was feeling it myself it must be said. I went back to the car and charged the phone to make sure it was ok (it gave me a warning saying charging would be slower due to low temperature!) and after a little while I went back out again. Of course by then the earth had moved so I had to go find Psi1, 2 and 3 again, all through rapidly deteriorating conditions due to dew. I spent a good few minutes running back and forth between car (where the phone was plugged in and warming up) and scope, getting closer each time. Finally got back to Phi Aquarii and knew that with it near the top left of my FOV, Neptune should be in the middle, forming a right angle with 96 Aquarii and HR 8879. Both of them I identifed, and through the dewy haze I thought I could see Neptune, but it was touch and go. I then spent a while trying the 10mm, but not having any lucky finding it, and when I thought I had maybe got the planet, I went back to the 25mm to see was I still in the right place, to find that I'm managed to focus on either HR 8879 or 96 Aquarii (6.2 and 5.6 Mag respectively) rather than the 7.9 Mag Naptune. Back and forth I went, finding the correct place with the 25mm, and losing it with the 10mm. Eventually though, I got lucky, and either the dew cleared enough, or the skies were kind to me for a second, and with the 10mm in I suddenly saw what I was looking for, an 'elongated parallelogram' shape, with HD 212676 (Mag 9.2) in the top left, HD 219687 (Mag 8.8) in the bottom left, HD 219789 (Mag 8.7) in the bottom right and my target, Neptune, in the top right. I saw it for a couple of seconds or so, and then the seeing went again and it was vague. But it was enough for me (for the moment anyhow!) to say it had been found. Definitely no sense of a disk, or of colour, or anything like that, just a very quick glimpse of a star that was exactly in the same place that Skysafari told me Neptune was. That was enough for me, I was cold and the telescope was more dew than glass at that stage, so I packed up. A lot of time for basically one main target, but it was good to finally leave the back garden, and well worthwhile. I just need to find somewhere further from a road and headlights! And I definitely improved my star-hopping skills while using the telescope and Skysafari, so that was well worth it too, the more I practice the better I get (surprising that!). And I've had two nights' observing in a row, from an astronomy point of view 2021 hasn't been too bad so far. Sorry for the long report, I just wanted a record of my search!
  11. Excellent, thanks! Unless the postage is crazy money I think it's safe to assume I'll take it off you, PM me whenever suits you. Thanks..
  12. Hi @daz, I'm interested in the polarising filter. Am I right that it's a variable one, you twist it to change the level of polarisation? Can you screw in eye pieces/filters on either end of it, or only at one end? Sorry if the questions are silly ones, I'm still a newbie! Final question, could you let me know how much shipping to Ireland would be? Thanks!
  13. Hey Heather... Yep, it was definitely a bit of a challenge finding it, with no obvious stars nearby to help. Like you I'm sure I saw it once or twice without knowing for sure before I confirmed it. But it was great to hunt it down. Neptune will be a lot tougher, I think I'll need to leave my back garden for darker skies for that one, or at least wait for the New Moon. That would be excellent if you could send me the foam, I'd really appreciate it. I'll send you a PM, thanks!
  14. New Year, and the first night is a clear one! Well, apart from smoke coming from nearby chimneys. I kinda continued my deviation from the Moore Winter Marathon though, and went back to a target that has so far eluded me, Uranus. I've gone looking for it a few times, but have never found it. It's kinda in the middle of no-mans land at the moment and not really near anything obvious, to help it stand out. But I thought I'd give it another go, using Mars and the curved line formed by Hamal - Sheratan - Mesarthim - Iota Arietis as a guide. I spent a good 20-30 mintues at it and just couldn't get there. I could get the correct area with my biconulars, but couldn't with the scope - I'm still struggling a little with the change of orientation with the scope - I can star hop a lot better with binoculars than with a scope. I was using my usual system of looking for patterns in the stars to help me locate where I was, and once thought I had found Uranus as one of two stars at the base of a triangle, but couldn't confirm it and decided it wasn't it. Noticing on Skysafari that Uranus nearly formed a right angle between Hamal and Mars, I decided to just eyeball the scope into that area using the RDF. Once I looked at the EP I once again saw that triangle. This time, instead of using the 'flip' feature on Skysafari to try to get what I was seeing to orient with the app, I went old fashioned and just turned the phone in my hand until the triangle was set up the same way. It suddenly it clicked; two smaller stars off to one side on the app were there in the EP, and moving around a very small amount with the slow motion controls I could see another couple of stars exactly where they should be. That was enough to confirm it, I had finally found Uranus! I switched to the 10mm (65x in my scope) and it didn't make very much difference. Occasionally I thought I could see it as a disk, but obviously a very small one and it was probably my eyes playing tricks on me. That didn't bother me though, I was just delighted to finally hunt it down! So that's 5 planets seen through the scope (I had a look at Earth when aligning the RDF! ) and 3 left - Mercury, Venus and Neptune. I stayed out for a little while, fighting the cold (I need to get some of those Astro Gloves!) and the Dew (and a Dew Shield) and had a look at a couple of favourites, including the Pleiades, Orion's Sword, Andromeda and then finally the Moon as it came up over the houses to my left. Even had a bit of fun taking some pictures holding my smartphone up to the EP, and removed the small cap in the Aperture Cover and then put the cover on to reduce the amount of light coming in. The pics were better than I thought they'd be, relatively well focused which surprised me. I've attached the best one here. With that it was time to come in! I still haven't got to any darker skies, the cold and a new lockdown where we're not allowed to travel more than 5k is making it tough. I'll hopefully have my Barlow next week, which will open some new opportunities though. And, our of sheer optimism, I had a look at an Air BnB we stayed at in the West of Ireland last year (our single 4 night holiday of the year, when we were allowed travel). We'd love to go back if we can this year, and a quick look at a Light Pollution map tells me that it's Bortle 2 there! I can see the scope being brought, and might even plan the little trip around a new moon...
  15. Looks excellent to my un-educated eyes!
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