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Everything posted by PeterStudz

  1. That sucks! I’ve just been out with the binoculars and had a scan about. It’s not bad but the cold and wind is enough for me. Orion is up and got a good view of the pleiades. However the stars are twinkling like mad and I wasn’t tempted to get a telescope out!
  2. In my book it’s definitely sensible! Similar weather here in Hampshire. Although with the wind chill it’s forecast as -7C later on. And this kind of damp northerly wind can make it feel even colder. However, in my limited experience every time I’ve tried to observe in windy weather the seeing has been rubbish.
  3. Well, I’m jealous. From my garden Venus is behind a neighbours tree
  4. Yes, my daughter (at the age of nine but she’s ten now) says she can see some colour on the Orion Nebula. She says that she can see a bit of pink in some parts of the cloud. To me it just looks totally grey. And I’ve had other examples too. Eg she was the first to see the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. I got a “Daddy I can see the spot”. At first I didn’t believe her and it was a “let me see that” moment. Sure enough when I looked carefully it was JUST appearing on the limb of the planet and as such still hard to see. Now I’ve learnt to ask her “what can you see?” Rather than telling her what she should see.
  5. Very good! And a nice idea, basically an observation table. I’m relatively new to this but there’s hardly a nighttime session where I don’t drop something. There’s got to be a better way, although simply being a bit more organised does help. Out of interest. Where do people put eyepiece, focuser & finder caps? I’m forever searching for those on the dark. Sometimes trying to shove different size caps from one make of eyepiece onto another.
  6. Well done! The primary mirror cell is a tight fit. Harder to get back in than take out. Any hits, tips, dos & don’ts when applying the flocking? And can you see any difference/improvements?
  7. I had some good views of Jupiter and Saturn in my 8” Skyliner in the summer and early part of autumn. But since then and recently the seeing has been poor to terrible. Not sure why but for me (every time I’ve tried) it’s no where near as good as it was earlier in the year.
  8. OK, you’ve convinced me now Can you tell me how much you used/needed to flock the whole tube?
  9. @Spile interested to see how this goes. I’m thinking of doing my 200p in the near future as I’ve got to take the mirrors out anyway.
  10. This is brilliant! Wish I’d seen it earlier. Should be a sticky/pin.
  11. Yes, that’s it. It’s getting on for how you might see them with your eye at the eyepiece IF you can. Although in this small telescope I could not see M82 (the top galaxy) at all using just my eyes. It was just too faint. M81 (at the bottom) I could JUST make out with averted vision. It was only when I took a picture that they both appeared. The phone camera, especially with a little extra exposure time, can bring out details and objects that your eye cannot see.
  12. I don’t see binoculars as an alternative to a telescope. They are an addition. Having said that my daughter is also interested in wild life. And you can’t use an Newtonian for that! We have a Skywatcher 1145p on a wobbly EQ1 and a Skywatcher Skyliner 200p which is obviously a Dob. The 1145p might have been a typical beginner mistake although we’ve had an enormous amount of fun with it. With that I have to do most of the “work”. An EQ mount (nothing to do with it being an EQ1) isn’t great for kid to use on their own. With the 200p I have to set it up (it’s too heavy for a small child) although once done she can now find things using the finder scope. However, it took a long while for her to get the hang of nudging the mount. In fact she still struggles at high magnification. With the EQ she found the slow motion controls far easier and intuitive - all I said was move these knobs and she got it. Maybe a smaller Dob would have been easier for her but I doubt it would have made much difference. Now the binoculars. When she spots the moon from our garden she whips the binoculars out, finds the moon in an instant, focuses herself (she had trouble with that at first on a telescopes) and is telling me what she can see. Meanwhile I’m lugging the 200p into the garden, then waiting for it to cool down. The binoculars actually give a better view of some objects than our telescopes. Eg The Pleiades - all I did there was say to her “see that smudge, point the binoculars at it”. And in an instant she found it and I got “I can see it… I can see it”. On holiday on Crete (the sky was so dark it was amazing on its own) but we could not have taken our telescopes there. Binoculars easy. Here another example… I spotted Andromeda in the binoculars - first time I’d seen it to - and I gave her instructions on how to find it using the patterns of the stars. She had no problem finding it on her own and as soon as she did I got another excited response. No setup, no waiting for mirrors to cool down, on nudging, no fiddling with eyepieces.
  13. She seems to. Although I haven’t got much to compare them with. Apart from a 7x50 old Russian set that I inherited from my late father. Built like a tank and obviously unsuitable for a child. And for astronomy unsuitable for anyone. Maybe something lighter would be an advantage but I haven’t noticed her struggling with the weight.
  14. I got the Opticron Adventurer 42mm T WP Binocular for my 10 yr old daughter. Long eyerelief as she wears glasses and has no trouble with them. £69 from FLO.
  15. There’s an example of a right-angled finder fitted to a 130p here…
  16. Here in Southampton I’ve done my best to help by taking week to do telescope maintenance and modifications. Although at my rate it’ll probably take a bit longer. Usually when that happens they sky magically clears
  17. @Kon is correct - without tracking star trailing will show on anything but the moon/planets. Although at low magnification you can get a reasonable image of something like the Orion Nebula. If nothing else the colours picked up by the phone that cannot be seen with the eye are certainly interesting.
  18. And don’t quite give up on galaxies, although your are not going to get anything that looks like a Hubble image. Here’s my first attempt with the same Skywatcher 1145p - galaxies M81 & M82 from earlier in the year. Used a cheap £29 motor to “track” for a single 30sec shot on an iPhone. Circle cropped to get hide some unpleasant edge distortion . This was in a Bortle 8 sky, so if taken somewhere darker it would surely be better.
  19. Not quite up there with @Dark Vader lovely shot but I got this last spring with a smaller aperture telescope than yours. This was with a 114mm - a Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145p - on a wobbly old EQ1. So you should be able to get something in between
  20. I have these cheap snow boots for £15. With thick socks they are enough to keep my feet warm. Even in the Alps, walking in the snow at -15 to -18C. https://www.decathlon.co.uk/p/men-s-warm-waterproof-snow-hiking-boots-sh100-x-warm/_/R-p-108105?mc=8344304
  21. Yes, I saw your moon pictures. They did turn out well! Much of this, inc phone adaptors, are what you get use to. I haven’t given up on the NexYZ and will certainly give it another good go. It’s probably better suited to something like my and your 200p.
  22. As soon as @Stu mentioned this app I downloaded it - thanks for that. I do think that an app like this, or some addition to the native iOS camera app, is they way forward. There must be a lot of untapped potential in smartphones and their cameras for this kind of thing. I had a quick go on Orion with Nocturne last week in my light polluted Bortle 7-8 sky. That’s the first picture. It seems to deal with light pollution well. The second is with my iPhone 12 native camera app using a 30 sec “exposure”. The light pollution is obvious plus (not surprisingly) there’s some star trailing. And I know that when I’ve used the native iOS app in Night Mode in a truly dark sky the background is almost dark. The 3rd picture is the native iOS shot with some quick and dirty editing. Since then things have been rather cloudy PS - the Nocturne shot looks more realistic & natural.
  23. I have an iPhone 12 (non Pro) and tried a few iPhone apps including… NightCap - ProCam - SlowShutter - Camera+ 2 - Lightroom - ImageCam - CortexCam - SpiralCam Both telescope afocal and wide-field on a tripod. Personally everything I’ve tried so far fails to beat the native iOS camera app. Mind, I might well be doing something wrong! However, I can see than one of the above apps might be better on an older iPhone. The iPhone 12 doesn’t have an astronomy mode. But it does have something called Night Mode which comes on in low light conditions. The allows “exposures” of up to 30 seconds. Although what it actually does is take several shots and stacks - ten 3 sec or nine 3.3 sec shots - depending on what/where you read. I’ve heard that the iPhone 13 goes further than this but I’ve no experience of using it. I had a quick go on Orion with Nocturne last week in my light polluted Bortle 7-8 sky. That’s the first picture. It seems to deal with light pollution well. The second is with my iPhone 12 native camera app using a 30 sec “exposure”. The light pollution is obvious plus (not surprisingly) there’s some star trailing. And I know that when I’ve used the native iOS app in Night Mode in a truly dark sky the background is almost dark. The 3rd picture is the native iOS shot with some quick and dirty editing.
  24. Thanks! Was pleased & pleasantly surprised the result. Have been very busy recently so only just had some spare time to reply. When I get hold of a PC I’ll try and take a proper look at the videos I’ve taken and try stacking. Maybe a nice winter evening activity. There are definitely some good frames in there! One of the things I found was, on my iPhone 12 at least, is that I got far better results when I zoomed in the video a little when recording. 1.7x seemed to be the limit. It wasn’t the same as zooming in via editing after the video had been taken. Odd, as I have learnt to avoid that on pictures through the eyepiece. On the iPhone 12 it’s digital zoom after all. The phone mount I used is the one shown in the pictures. The red marks are some mods I plan to do but haven’t got around to doing. Can’t remember who I bought it from but there seem to be a few people selling the same or very similar design. But can remember that I paid £9.99. It’s simple, light, easy to use in the dark once you get the hang of things and it fits the BST StarGuiders that I mostly use really well once the rubber eyecup is removed. Once on the eyepiece the the “z” adjustment is near perfect although you can get some movement by twisting up the barrel of the eyecup. I also have the Celestron NeXYZ but I find it heavy and on a small telescope with a basic focuser it pulls on the eyepiece/focuser assembly. It’s slight but enough to effectively put things out of collimation. On something larger and more substantial, like my Skyliner 200p, not so much but it’s still there. Also my phone doesn’t quite sit level on the mount. I bodged it with a bit of card packing but it’s annoying! Consequently I’ve stopped using it altogether.
  25. Not just me then. For me just observing but same here in Southampton. I thought it was a little extreme getting up at 2am in mid-June & still early hours In August but now I’m glad that I did.
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