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Orange Smartie

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Everything posted by Orange Smartie

  1. I think most of the challenge with maintaining the attention of a young child (or in my case, a spouse!) is that the majority of targets that you or I might consider interesting, are simply not visually impressive enough without the additional consideration of what you're looking at/how far away it is etc, etc. Choosing the right targets (saturn, jupiter, moon) is far more likely to result in a pleasing experience for a child, in my opinion. Of course your experience may be different, as children are all different. Don't underestimate the fun of looking at the moon, especially if you start trying to identify visible features. It's very easy to find too! Edited to say that I realise this wasn't really what you were asking. Plus I'd say that if you spend a bit of time on your own, you'll get fairly used to finding things quickly (assuming reasonably dark skies), so the fear of "it's going to disappear out of view" won't last that long.
  2. I've been asked to suggest Chrimbo presents that I might like..... is the double star atlas worth getting if I already have the other atlas?
  3. I have a Heritage 150p - one size up from the 130 you are considering. In a dark place, on a good night, I've been able to see a lot of stuff so it's a pretty decent instrument for the money. Regarding bashing it around, it has exposed optical surfaces that won't perform so well if sticky fingers get on them..... or if anything is dropped into the scope. You can make a lightshield (plenty of threads on this), which will give you an element of protection. It's fairly stable in terms of the collimation, and depending on what you're looking at, I wouldn't get too fixated on whether the collimation is perfect. You can learn how to adjust the primary mirror in a few minutes and it won't be a major problem to set up if it does get a bit out of kilter. The small scope you mention in the post above, although more techy, will give you narrower fields of view and involve more setup (I would imagine). At least with the heritage dob or the short tube refractor, it's a point and look type affair.
  4. Agree with Captain Magenta. I have an RDF on my Heritage 150p and find it perfectly adequate.
  5. All other things being equal, the larger aperture (tube size) will give the better view - about 70-80% more light grasp and better resolution. I have not heard of Omegon, so I'm not sure about the build quality. Couple of other things to consider - the larger telescope will be heavier, and might require a little more storage space. You'll probably also want to budget a little more for a couple of better eyepieces - the ones supplied will most likely not be very good.
  6. On the train to that London, I've just seen a con trail that appears to be going straight up. See photo below, taken near Beaconsfield. Rocket? Jet fighter? Edit: maybe planes from RAF Northolt?
  7. I'm in a Bortle 4 area of semi-rural oxfordshire. The garden has a pretty good southerly view and my neighbours have indicated that they will turn off extraneous lights when and if I ask. It's about 30 or 40 minutes drive to my nearest club, so so far I've only observed at home.
  8. Great report - thanks for sharing your session. There are a couple of free apps you can get for identifying moons of Jupiter/Saturn, called Moons of Jupiter and Moons of Saturn. I normally check out the orientation of these indoors and draw a quick sketch of then to take out with me. The Moons of Jupiter app is particularly nice, because it show the shadows of the moon passing over Jupiter's surface, which I like to try to spot if the timings and seeing are right.
  9. That Bresser looks quite nice. The rack and pinion focuser would be a plus for me. Also its a solid tube, which is both good and bad; good because the secondary is better protected (from user contact and stray light), worse because it would require most storage space.
  10. You'll probably find that you use the Rigel and the RACI together- at least I do. The Rigel to get you in the ballpark and the RACI to spot patterns of fainter stars guiding you to your target. Clear skies!
  11. I would contact the supplier about that as well. As Ricochet says, may not make any difference, but it's a new scope - it's should be right.
  12. A lot depends on the quality of a "seeing"; that is the stability of the atmosphere on the nights you are using it, but on a good day, you'll easily see the 4 Gallilean moons of jupiter, saturn's rings etc. You should be able to make out some banding patterns on Jupiter. The images will not be anything like as good as a properly processed photograph, but to me, seeing something in real time out in space, is thrill enough. The moon will look amazing - especially at the terminator, where the shadow begins. In a dark place, you'll be able to see distant galaxies too, although they will appear as a faint smudge in the night sky - but when you think what you're actually looking at, that's the "wow" moment. A 150p was my first "proper" telescope and I've seen a lot of stuff with it. As Steve says above, being in a dark place helps enormously in terms of the objects you'll be able to see. You might want to read the "what can I expect to see" thread elsewhere on this forum before pushing the button.... Pete
  13. Bear in mind that the maximum useful magnification is limited by a number of factors, not least of which is the stability of the atmosphere you are looking though. To put this into context, when observing say, Jupiter, on a reasonable night with my 10" dob, I find my 8mm BST eyepiece gives me a very satisfying view at a shade over 150x magnification. The Gallilean moons are visible within the field of view and I can see some decent detail on Jupiter itself. If I step up to 250x with my 5mm eyepiece, unless the seeing is pretty good, I'm merely seeing a larger fuzzy disk, rather than the smaller fuzzy disk that, being smaller, gives the impression of crisper detail! So although it might be theoretically possible to go up to about 500x with my telescope, in reality I know I'm never going to do that. The eyepieces I regularly use are 25mm (50x), 12mm (about 104x) and the 8mm. Secondly, and not insignificantly, if you're using a dobsonian, you'll find that the object you are observing can move pretty rapidly through the field of view at high power! And in order to keep it in sight, you're going to have to be constantly nudging the telescope. Personally, I find it more relaxing to have a wider field of view and more leisurely experience. For a laugh, I once tracked the ISS through my telescope, just to see if I could - it wasn't easy! Pete
  14. I'll have to show these to Mrs Smartie and see how she feels about a slightly bigger dob at some point in the future..... My 10" StellaLyra "hiding" in the corner of our lounge.
  15. I have a StellaLyra 10" solid tube, which I bought to complement my Heritage 150p. I live in an 1850s house and the ceilings and doors are quite low - I would struggle to move anything larger through the house. As it is I have to: Remove OTA from stand and place on the sofa. Take dob base (14kg) outside and place at observing spot. Return for OTA (about 16kg) and negotiate low ceilings, double doors, several steps, overhanging trees and an uneven lawn, before I can put it on its base. 10" is definitely manageable, even as with this week, when I knew I only had a brief window of opportunity. 12" would be too big for me unless I could store it outside. I have no experience of the collapsible ones, but I do understand that they would be heavier. I thought about an 8", but decided that if the optical performance was not sufficiently better than the 150p, I might become lazy about getting it out. As it is, the 10" is so obviously superior to the 6" that I don't mind the extra effort, but I think I would probably not put up with so much faff for a small improvement. In terms of balance, note that the StellaLyra has an adjustable pivot point (not really adjustable in use) so you can balance it against the majority of your eyepieces.
  16. Congrats on your purchase, you will have loads to see with it! If you're new to the hobby, I'd agree with Kon that Turn Left at Orion is a really good purchase. Not only will it help you to find objects in the night sky, it will also help you to set your expectations as to what things will look like. Good luck with the new 'scope! Pete
  17. I dont have a Telrad, but a Rigel, which is essentially the same kind of thing. It sits between my focuser and RACI finder and I use it all the time for easy to find objects or to get me in the general vicinity for the main finder. My only issue is that I don't use my glasses for the finder or the scope, but I do for the Rigel, so there is normally a comedic juggling of spectacles between views.
  18. I love camping, but unfortunately there are often inconsiderate people who spoil it, wherever you go. We had a lovely 2 weeks near St Ives this year. Part-way into the holiday a group of 4 adults plus a few children turned up - shouting and swearing at 11pm and insisting on driving their cars up and down the campsite just to go to the toilet. One of the guys was lighting a fire on the ground when the campsite owner turned up and told him it had to be off the ground to avoid damage to the grass - so he put it in the back of his van ("it's a ***expletive*** shed anyway", was his explanation). Near the end of the holiday we had another family (2 adults, 3 kids) put their tent literally 5 feet from ours (on a site with plenty of space) and they were genuinely surprised when ours had "migrated" away from them on their return from a day out! Nowt queer as folk.
  19. Coathanger looks good...and will be in a good position for my garden. I have a 10" dob (and a 6" too). I'm guessing that Uranus and Neptune will be too small to see as disks? I haven't seen either yet.
  20. Maybe I should lay on some colouring books or make mobiles with them afterwards....
  21. Yes, good call. M34 could be difficult with my view, but the double cluster should be easy to find.....and maybe the Owl cluster.
  22. Good advice! It might be worth having my Heritage 150p out at the same time, just in case one or more of them want to linger on a particular target. I like the idea of starting closer to home and moving out - sets some context for what we're looking at.
  23. Thanks Heather, checking out the Moon Atlas now. I agree, Moon/Jupiter/Saturn are probably the "wow" targets, but hopefully they'll be sufficiently interested in the idea of stepping outside our solar system to want to see some nebulae and faint fuzzies.
  24. Thank you for these. Yes non-astro friends. All intelligent people, who will probably have lots of questions, so I want to have a bit of a "programme" planned so that I can be a little prepared. Saturn nebula would be a new one for me, so I might include that....plus there are some clusters in the vicinity that I could take a look at at the same time.
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