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Orange Smartie

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Everything posted by Orange Smartie

  1. I have the SL 10 inch, as I've mentioned elsewhere on this forum and originally I was worried that I'd use my Heritage 150p much more because of the hassle of moving the big dob. In practice, the opposite has happened - the whole experience of observing is so much better with the SL (proper focuser, RACI finder plus add-on Rigel, smoother base etc, not to mention better resolution and light grasp) that I hardly use the 150p now. The SL is a big thing, however and I'm lucky that my super-tolerant wife is ok with it sitting in the lounge.
  2. Other, more qualified people will be along shortly. However, quick answers: Your mirror will take a lot of dirt before it needs to be cleaned, so unless it's really filthy, I wouldn't worry. It is something you can do, but needs to be done with care, so I personally wouldn't be in a rush to do it. There are normally 6 screws on the base of the tube - as you note, 3 are to adjust collimation, the other 3 are to lock everything in in place. You can get replacements if you feel you need them, but they aren't strictly necessary for the normal function of the telescope. As it happens, I noticed this week that mine were all loose as I'd forgotten to retighten them after adjusting the primary mirror. Pete Edited to say that I wasn't implying that the above 2 posts weren't from qualified people - they must've posted while I was typing - merely that I myself am a relative newbie.
  3. Looking good! If someone could also get round to inventing a right-angled Rigel or Telrad as well, I'd be happy.
  4. Just for your peace of mind, here's my Heritage 150p secondary - looks just the same as yours.
  5. .....or this: https://popastro.com/documents/PA_jan-mar2009_p12-13_telescopetopics_startesting.pdf Which mentions the "bleeding effect", which I hadn't realised was attributable to inadequate cooling. You learn something new every day....
  6. Hi. Do you mean the sides of the secondary (appear frosty in your picture)? These aren't going to be in the optical path so shouldn't make any difference. You may be experiencing coma, especially at the edges of the field of view (especially with lower-power eyepieces) - in my 10" dob, the coma can be quite bad (the dreaded "seagulls"!), but as I'm normally concentrating on the centre of the field of view, I tend to ignore it. Obviously that doesn't happen when you look at a photo. Have you tried a star test to make sure your collimation is ok? Find Polaris and switch to a high power eyepiece. When the star is slightly de-focussed, you should see the rings all nicely concentric - if they're off-kilter, you may need to tweak the collimation. Search this forum for "star test" or see this: https://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/advice/how-to-star-test-a-telescope/ Pete
  7. My "go to" is the Cambridge Star Atlas, which although not really that small, at about 24cm x 30cm, is spiral bound and gives a good overview of the constellation you're looking at. Stars down to mag 6 are included - sometimes I need a bit more detail than is available and defer to the Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas, which is definitely NOT small (or cheap). The Cambridge atlas lists the major astronomical features on the page with the RA and Dec, so if you're trying to find an interesting target within a constellation, it gives you the best (or easiest) things you might want to look at. I've used it loads now. Pete
  8. I've used a 6" Dobsonian, which is only a little bit bigger in size to your daughter's and have managed to see a lot of stuff in a relatively short space of time, so you've made a good choice with what you bought. A lot depends on the conditions you're going to observe under so it's difficult to make specific recommendations for targets. However, I would recommend a couple of things: 1) a copy of Turn Left at Orion and 2) a good free astronomy app such as Stellarium or SkySafari for your phone. That's going to help you see what part of the sky is in the right place at the right time to match your viewing schedule. Don't forget the moon as a target - it's a fabulous sight in my small binoculars and will blow you away through your telescope. The Turn Left at Orion has sections outlining what features you'll see based on the current moon phase.
  9. Just from memory I think it was easy to split, but more a case of being able to see the B star with all the glare around it. If you know the angle it should be at, I bet you'll see it no problem. Have a look at Almaak (gamma Andromedae) if you get the chance - not hard to split and a lovely colour contrast. Also tonight I saw eta Perseii for the first time, which appeared as a lovely golden yellow primary with a dimmer blue secondary - gorgeous!
  10. Have you split Rigel before? It's a while since I've looked at it, but if my memory serves me right, the B component is very dim and easily overwhelmed by the primary star. You almost need to know you're looking at it to see it.
  11. I've been cluster-hunting with Mrs Smartie, who loves her OCs. M37/38/36/NGC 1907 in Auriga. Double cluster, M34, NGC 1342 in Perseus. Chucked in a quick look at M33 in Triangulum and a definite but unimpressive positive ID of NGC 1023 Perseus, now after a hot drink I'm off to see if I can find the emission nebula NGC 1491 and the OCs NGC 1528/1582. It's great just to be able to see something again!
  12. A folding table, as Cajen2 suggests would be ok. I have a Heritage 150p table-top Dob that I took to my Mum's over christmas, and we had it on a kitchen stool in the garden, so the stand doesn't have to be particularly bulky. I also have a 10" Dobsonian, which is quite a beast - really not something I'd carry around (although people do drive them to dark sites). On its own it's not really tall enough, so I have that on a water butt stand in the garden when I use it.
  13. Not a silly question. Dobsonian refers to a particular type of simple mount. These will be free standing or for use on a table top. Many people observe from an adjustable chair.
  14. Hello and welcome. This is a great site, full of helpful knowledgeable people.
  15. Welcome! If is any consolation, the weather is miserable in the UK too.
  16. Congrats! Does this mean you're going to buy us all a pint?
  17. P.S. feel the need to add that I'm a beginner so I'm sure others may have different experience, but I haven't found the need to change my secondary collimation in normal use, but the primary of my 10 inch dob does seem to move a bit. The primary is very easy to align though.
  18. This is how I find the Andromeda galaxy. Find the big square of Pegasus (almost square, with 4 bright stars). Count 1, 2 bright stars to the left. There should be a brightish star above the one you've reached - step to this and then the same distance again and there you are. It's very large and so you'll need your lowest magnification, but it should be easily visible assuming the sky is reasonably dark. The teal circles are the 4 stars making the square, the lilac circles are the two stars you count to the left. Arrow marks the star you step to first and the red ellipse is your target. Sorry it's a rubbish diagram made in haste, but you get the idea! If noone has already suggested it, I would get yourself a copy of Turn Left at Orion - an excellent beginner's guide.
  19. Not the postman exactly, but this looks brilliant.
  20. I don't think I've ever been so excited about someone else's telescope purchase! Good luck and well done for doing so much homework.
  21. I've only looked through my own telescopes, so I don't have anything to compare against, but I would like to look through a decent refractor, if only to see what the views were like. Suspect that I'd prefer the light gathering power of my biggish dobsonian for anything faint and fuzzy. I also feel like I'd enjoy a mak for the ability to look at double stars, preferably on a tracking mount. Again, I've never looked through one, so it's pure conjecture. I've already got a 10 inch dob looming over the sitting room, so feel it might be pushing my luck to get anything else.
  22. For ultimate dark adaptation, I go like this:
  23. I always close my "scope eye" if I have to go indoors or switch my white torch on for any reason. The difference between what I can see with my dark-adapted eye and the one I've exposed to indoor lighting is incredible.
  24. Evening all. I managed a little session last night with my StellaLyra 10 inch. Most enjoyable apart from some issues with stars looking quite "fat" (especially bright ones). Is this down to poor seeing? I felt that my telescope is pretty well collimated, so I'm hoping it's not that. Pete
  25. To give you a bit of a feel for how it works for me, I have quite a bad back and have to be careful about how much I can lift. However, as yet I've not had an issue with mine. I remove the OTA and place it on the sofa. I take the base out and come back for the OTA. I find it helpful to slightly tighten the screws that adjust the OTA tension on the base or they spin round when I'm trying to drop it into place. Otherwise it's not difficult. For the 10 inch, I think OTA is about 16kg and the base slightly less. I do have an awkward carry (low ceilings, narrow doors, steps blah blah), but so far, no issues.
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