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Dreamsphere

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Everything posted by Dreamsphere

  1. Hi Peter - A very warm welcome from a fellow Cumbrian (near Penrith). Feel free to come and join us in the Cumbrian Lounge here. Are you a member of any of the astronomy societies in the region? Feel free to PM me if you want details. Best wishes
  2. Now why didn't I think of that? :-) I've been contemplating fitting a single ring with a standard 1/4" camera fixing stud but the ones available here are pricy at $96 + shipping. My concern is how much additional strain they'll put on the motors.
  3. Do you mind me asking where you intend buying your rings please? Best wishes
  4. £9.22 with free delivery from Amazon Wonders of the Solar System: Amazon.co.uk: Professor Brian Cox, Andrew Cohen: Books
  5. Still a bargain (providing you didn't spend £5 in fuel as I'd have to do to drive to my nearest Tesco's!).
  6. ... and just £9.49 delivered from Amazon!
  7. I finally decided on the two piece polarising filter from Sherwoods and have found it to be a very useful piece of equipment to date.
  8. I'm quite sure you won't be disappointed! Might even see you there.
  9. I admit it seems steep but works out very competitively if you buy (say) 4 prints. The prints come in a flat, boartd backed envelope, sandwiched in corrugated plastic so it's not hard to see where their charge comes from. Best wishes
  10. For very competitively priced professional printing try Pro-Am in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Embed their Fuji printer profile, upload one day, prints often returned next day. Stunning quality, amazingly cheap. No affiliation. Just a very satisfied customer.
  11. We had another amazing visit there last night. This time the weather was kind and we were rewarded with breathtaking dark skies and amazing views of M13 and M51 through the 20" Dob plus incredible views of Saturn via the 14" Meade LX200. After everyone else had drifted away we spent another hour chatting with Gary on the observing deck (big enough to set up a dozen or more private scopes) and just sky watched. The low arc of the Milky Way was clearly visible in the north and we were fortunate to see 4 meteors, one of which had a very bright, long burn. No sign of the aurora but it's not hard to see why it can be regularly seen from there with appropriate activity. Gary is a very affable, experienced astronomer with a great deal of scientific, cosmological understanding which he readily shares with enormous passion. The observatory was his vision and it's not hard to see how his determination made the project happen. Highly recommended and we'll soon be back!
  12. Thanks for the info. I find the learning curve a little easier if I can emulate the success of others and it seems to avoid some of the pitfalls by learning from other people's mistakes. In the meantime, keep guessing. You're doing a great job!
  13. A very detailed result. Congratulations! What capture software are you using with your SPC webcam please?
  14. It seems to be the case that if goods are shipped via Fedex or UPS they attract the (correct) duty and VAT plus the RM handlig fee if they're involved. My experience is that when other carriers are involved items seem to get through without the charges. Some people (ahem) ask for packages to be marked 'Gift' or 'Samples - of no commercial value' but the problem then is if an item is damaged in transit then the insurance is worthless. Without doubt some items are cheaper even after paying all the necessary fees but consideration needs to be given to such elements as warranty and customer support. What would be useful is a clear indication of exactly what the customs charges and VAT are payable when importing but my efforts to find such information has failed. I'm sure we'd all prefer to support our local supplier (not that we really have a dedicated astronomy retailer in Cumbria) and especially when a potenmtial supplier offers histime, experience and advice only to find the customer then buys from the cheapest source available. That said, none of us likes having our leg lifted or can afford to ignore significant savings in these austere times (even if the Government has kindly informed us that the recession is over...)
  15. Seriously impressive and a very professional, stunning image.
  16. Cheers Nick. Funnily enough I have that very page open in another tab ready to click 'Buy'! Regards
  17. Thanks JJ et al. All I need now is an opportunity to actually observe something. 10/10 cloud for night after night here :-(
  18. Thanks for your advice Keith. I particularly like your lateral thinking in using sunglasses! It appears there are three types of polarising filter. One with the two elements close together and another with a deeper barrel arrangement. Adsjustment is as you said, by twisting one element at a different rotation to the other. One retailer on eBay is advertising a single element version but obviously this isn't variable. I've since discovered this thread which suggests a red filter can helkp and another good idea where the observer uses a diagonal to fix one polarising element and the other is fixed on the eye piece as normal. This method allows the eye piece to be rotated to obtain the desired degree of polarisation without having to remove it to adjust the filter. Now if only I could actually see the darned thing instead or cloud it would be handy! Thanks again. Kind regards.
  19. I'm looking to purchase a good quality filter for lunar observations and in particular, for 'bright' conditions. Would a polarising (two-part) filter be a better option than an equivalent quality (say) ND filter? If so, what make/model would anyone care to recommend please? Scope is a Meade ETX125 with MEade 4000 Plossl eye pieces (possibly to be upgraded with Baader orthoscopics). Thanks in advance.
  20. Not downloadable but the laminated Sky & Telescope Mirror Image Moon Map is approximately A3 which you could scan (n 2 halves if necessary) and turn into a useable pdf. Available new on Amazon for just £3.04 Alternatively Virtual Moon Atlas (free download) allows you to flip E-W, N-S.
  21. Whilst believing in the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' philosphy I've read of many Meade ETX owners on Mike Weasner's superb Mighty ETX site (mostly in the USA) who have said their scope performance was significantly improved by servicing. Seemingly Meade are known for the over use of lubricants and there is 'slack' in some of the gears which can be taken up. Does anyone have experience of a service agent who knows how to do more than just clean and align the optics please? Thanks in advance.
  22. Mike Weasner has just posted this awesome shot on Twitter using his iPhone afocal with 26mm eyepiece through his 8" Meade.
  23. I'm beginning to believe cloud cover is inversely proportionate to the desire to observe and exponentially related to the acquisition of new kit!
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