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Everything posted by wibblefish

  1. Bit the bullet and have decided to purchase the pocket sky atlas jumbo edition and took the opportunity to grab the equally annoying to buy in the uk sissy haas double stars book. Will be interesting to see if / when they arrive and whether there will be additional import / delivery charges as its been a while since I imported anything from the US
  2. Thanks for the advice all, I didn't realise you could order the pocket sky atlas to the UK I might be tempted to do that and pick up the Collins Gem stars or Cambridge Atlas in the meantime I will also look at the free charts, the wife has a laminator
  3. I was tracking down the Eskimo nebula the other night and whilst my phone apps (Stellarium and Skyview) work fine I was hankering for a proper star map as I thought I'd identified various bits of the star hop across to it but struggled to pin it down (my mobile phone screen is super small which doesnt help!). Whilst this was likely due to the moon + some extra cloud cover that appeared (plus not really knowing what to look for at that point) it made me think maybe having a proper star map at the telescope would be a good thing. I read the best one is Pocket Sky Guide by Sky & Telesco
  4. Well put @Tiny Clanger @vlaiv Personally I imagine the price rises will be here to stay, its very rare for them to go down generally unless the market for the product collapses. That said how much the current stock exhaustion was driven by the lockdown boom in hobbies (rather than general factory / shipping issues) is probably going to be the key factor if they are to go down. I imagine that whilst people who are in the know will grumble they will still purchase because they want the item (they are already invested in an expensive hobby). People not in the know will not know any dif
  5. Good night when the heavy cloud cleared. I was using an ND polariser but still got blinded by the moon when observing with high mag. Found that my 12mm is the perfect balance between magnification and detail which is nice. I didnt have a plan otherwise so wandered with an 18mm investigating anything interesting with 12mm. As expected the moon washed out the sky however I am fairly certain I spotted something in Gemini which looked like a very diffuse dim cluster of stars which my apps suggested might be IC444. Will have to confirm another night
  6. Yeah, that one is an AZ pronto head and aluminum mount so its a little more meaty ST80 on a small photo tripod though it doesnt feel like alot of weight (the mount head is actually the heaviest bit) when I have disassembled before but I suspect the OTA length is the more unwieldy bit. I merely wondered as there was talk about an ST102 whether something similar would be a good half way house between the two but I am not overly familiar with the ST102 specs. I honestly think the OPs gut feel of a wide field 80mm portable setup is likely the way to go unless dead set on planetary in which case a
  7. Where I am its quite washed out (middle of town in Norfolk) at times I think its rated as Bortle 5 (19.25SQM) so it makes star hopping quite difficult (plus dodging bright lights in all directions). That said even if you can't see stars visually at times when viewed through a finderscope / main scope there is always a good view especially with a wide field refractor it seems I think DSO is tricky, I have only been at this since early Nov and I still struggle with them especially faint ones, often its trying to work where and what its meant to be but I think its a practice thing as well.
  8. Would something like the Evostar 90/660 and its ilk be of any use as a step between the 80 - 100 range? I have one and find its fairly portable moving around the garden but it wouldn't fit in a rucksack I don't think (tube is 75cm from diagonal to end cap). Its a typical short tube excels at clusters and wide field, I have seen a few brighter DSO, Mars is the only planetary target I have been able to see at present which you can observe some shadowing on the surface on good nights (though small), does some doubles where they aren't overly bright (you get to much CA halo'ing otherwise). Has its
  9. This recently came back into stock on the Cambridge University Press site and I think Amazon as well, I was debating this or Interstellarium deep sky atlas (which is twice the price)
  10. Feel your pain, I am hoping for clear skies tonight (its been green on ScopeNights all week) ... then this morning it flickered to yellow (partial cloudy), then red (full cloud cover) ... now its back to green (minimal). Guess it'll be a stick head out the back door and hope! Luckily the 90mm has almost zero cooldown time and I'm looking forward to my second night ever looking at the moon since it will finally be in a favorable part of the sky
  11. Just an update, I didnt have the right bits to actually do to much but pretty sure I could as there are a couple of useful countersunk holes in the middle of the dovetail I could attach a bolt and metal plate to hold weights. For now I have moved the dovetail forward and telescope forward in the rings which seems to have improved things significantly.
  12. I will admit I didn't know that down was glasses wearers good to know! I usually don't wear mine at the telescope though I am tempted as I need them to find the RDF target and often swapping them back on they haze up and then are useless. I also worked out the other night that my right eye is much better at observing than my left when I was trying to find some fuzzies, I guess its slightly stronger. One day I will overcome my dislike of contact lenses and that will solve everything
  13. Very cool, I think I probably need to look into this (or a really good star atlas) as I find the mobile version of Stellarium is totally unintuitive when I am out. My main trouble is getting guide stars available through the light pollution murk atm, I can see why GOTO is so popular
  14. Thanks for the suggestions! I am adding them to my targets list Sadly looking at my weather app we are back to snow and fully cloud for the next week but you never know maybe it will change.
  15. I find with my 8mm BST that it is a very fine line to in focus and slightly out of focus, I find its worse on very bright targets (i.e. Sirius / Rigel) to find correct focus but that is probably more due to refractor CA issues. I also find its harder to focus when I don't screw the eye cup all the way up If you can achieve focus on the same target with the 9mm vs 8mm that does seem a little odd to my mind as I wouldn't expect 1mm to make a huge difference when swapping between EP.
  16. No problems, I honestly hesitated about posting as I figured most people would know about this one / have seen it. I had heard of it but why I hadn't tried to locate it I don't actually know still another one off my list
  17. I haven't heard of the ET cluster but I have tried the others (oddly the beehive took me a few goes to find!) will add it to the list thank you for the suggestion!
  18. So last night in the cold after a fairly disappointing session trying to find various things with little luck I decided to just pan around the sky looking for interesting things. When I was panning around Cassiopeia (after finding a suitable stool to kneel on due to the scope angle!) I just stumbled across the Perseus Double Cluster (NGC 884 / NGC 869). It was an absolute gem and really made the whole night! I tried a few different EP on it and found the best view was with the 12mm which was able to fit both of the core of both clusters comfortably though they were nice and bright en
  19. Had a go towards the end of the session last night but much to low in the sky so it was mostly full of light pollution where I am sadly though I think I got in the right area If I manage a Fri / Sat night at some point I'll stay out a bit later (post-10pm) and see if I can get them when they are higher in the sky!
  20. Thanks for the options @John I'll have to see what might work for the az-pronto I guess its just the way they behave so that's reassuring at least, will have to update when I work out a suitable plan
  21. Yeah I like the slo-mo, the AZ5 does have it though but at £175 just for a mount head its almost the same price I paid for the whole telescope package so if I can find a cheap solution that'd be a lot better already spent plenty on new EP, diagonal, finders, filters etc as it is! Will try and McGuyver something together
  22. I bought this one the other week from Altair mostly for the compression ring which is making it so much easier to change EP. Not sure it makes a huge amount of difference to the seeing over the stock admittedly https://www.altairastro.com/125in-lightwave-premium-dielectric-diagonal-red-765-p.asp
  23. Thanks for the suggestion John I suspected it might be something like that. My counterweight attempt was to strap a wrist weight around the front part of the OTA but that then becomes precarious when elevated as it moves above the axis so I can see why the example in that post goes for something that will remain angled at the front. Ultimately I guess upgrading the mount head to a more conventional side arm style AZ4 / AZ5 etc. would be a solution but I might see what spare nuts and bolts are hanging about in the garage to put some weight on the front (I guess it'd have to be the dovetail
  24. I have a SW 90 short tube refractor mounted on an AZ Pronto. I am having some issues with altitude slipping either when doing slow mo or at times when the tripod is tapped / changing EP. This is worsened the higher the telescope goes towards the zenith. I suspect it is due to the weight of the BST EP I am using but I was wondering if there is anything I can do to counteract it. I have already moved the telescope as far forward on the dove tail as possible. I also tried to strap a weight on the front of the telescope but that seemed to make it worse though perhaps I added to much
  25. That was mildly depressing did mine, bortle 5 (19.94 SQM) and got 7 .... just about. I swear my night vision is terrible as well! I keep hoping the council will start to try and save money by turning off the street lights but no luck so far
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