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Everything posted by selkie72

  1. Hi Robin, Thanks for the link to your previous thread, have read the posts. I will definitely try using stars further apart in AZ for alignment and also levelling the scope and pointing north for tracking without alignment. This should be all I need to do to take long exposure wide angle photos. Quite windy here last Friday night but not as bad as expected. NE Scotland seemed to get the worst of the storm for a change. Have a good festive! Cheers, Ryan
  2. Hi Robin, thanks for your reply. Will try using stars further apart in AZ for alignment as you suggest. Will check mount with a spirit level. Power is from a Skywatcher Powertank. Tripod supplied with the mount is very stable and the scope I was using for alignment was a small spotting scope so no balance problems. Forecast for the weekend here in Shetland is horrendous, so will probably be next week before skies are clear again!
  3. Position I have set is correct, 60.1542 in degrees and minutes is 60 degs 09 mins to the nearest minute.
  4. I recently bought a new Sky Watcher Allview Mount to take wide angle tracked photos of the Milky Way etc. I am having problems aligning the mount using the Synscan handset. In Astronomical mode I have set the location using Long / Lat (in that order) for Lerwick - 001 09' W 60 09' N. Set time zone to UTC. Set date in mm/dd/yyyy format - 12/13/2012. Entered correct time. Set daylight saving to NO. Began Alignment using Brightest Star in SE sky. Synscan selected Jupiter which I centred in the spotting scope I was using. Then I selected Castor and centred. Got Alignment Successful message. I then selected Jupiter as a test object and the mount slewed down towards the horizon and about 20 degrees to the E of Jupiter's position. Have tried repeating the entire alignment process with no better results. Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong?
  5. 10 pics taken with a Nikon D3100 + 2 x Barlow through a Skyliner 300P Dobsonian. Merged in MS ICE and sharpened in Photoshop Elements. Scope positioned between a dry stone wall and my house in an attempt to reduce movement due to ever present wind!
  6. Wildlife! Have a great sea view from my house and have my binoculars + tripod set up all the time. Have seen seals, otters, killer whales, minke whales, porpoises and many species of sea birds. Use my spotting scope to (hopefully) see my arrows in the ten ring at 90 metres!
  7. I recently bought a 305mm Skyliner Flex Tube after a number of years observing with 11 x 80 binoculars. The views are impressive but it is a big scope and does need collimating at the start of each observing session. Filters certainly help bring out the detail on the surface of the planets, such as the bands of Jupiter. Have added a Telrad and downloaded the finder charts from Utah Skies website, so more DSO's are now on the target list. A dark site is most definitely required to get the most out of the scope. The beams of light sweeping my garden from a nearby lighthouse do not help dark adaptation!!
  8. We got an superb view of the eclipse this morning in Shetland! The sky was clear when I first went out at 0720, about half the Moon was in shadow. Venus was so bright, low in the sky to the SE, I could see it's reflection in the sea! I drove to a dark site out of town to watch as the shadow covered the Moon. The eclipse was still visible when I got to work, but now the clouds have rolled in and it's snowing!
  9. Fine auroral display here in Shetland tonight! Huge green arcs of light are filling the sky from the northern horizon to the plough with occasional spikes reaching higher into the sky. An awesome sight!
  10. Comet Hale-Bopp! Had always been interested in astronomy but the views of the comet from a dark site with Carl Ziess 10 x 50 binoculars were outstanding. Very much looking forward to the next cometary close encounter now that I have a scope!
  11. There is real problem here in Shetland with Chinese lanterns. When they drift out over the sea they are often mistaken for marine distress flares and reported to the Coastguard. The Coastguard are then duty bound to investigate these reports which can involve launching the local RNLI Lifeboat, contacting shipping in the area and calling out volunteers to search the coastline. This can then delay the response to real emergencies and involves considerable costs. If it were up to me, I would make the irresponsible idiots that set these things off pay for the Lifeboat's fuel bill!
  12. Got in from work about 11pm last night to see the sky had cleared to the south and west. Set up my new Skywatcher Flextube 300p and after checking the collimation and allowing some time for cooling pointed the scope towards Jupiter. Even though seeing conditions were not the best the detail, when the conditions momentarily improved, was excellent. Io was transiting the planet at the time so I spent some time following it's progress across the disc. Amazing to see changes in the system happening in real time! Nagler 7mm eyepiece and colour filters on order so looking forward to discovering the scope's full planetary potential! After Io's transit was over I located the Andromeda Galaxy which filled the 25mm FOV. Moon had by now come out from behind the clouds so the glare put an end to deep sky viewing for the night. Ended session having a look at the craters along the terminator of a seriously bright Moon. Filter definitely required! Have an unusual light pollution problem, the beam of light from a nearby lighthouse sweeps my garden at regular intervals! On the plus side, the wind had dropped completely so the soundtrack to my observations was the waves breaking on the rocks below my house and the haunting cries of a number of grey seals in the bay. Superb!
  13. Many thanks for all the welcome messages. Dark skies have returned to Shetland (it doesn't really get dark mid-summer at 60 deg N!) so I'm hoping for some clear skies when I get the new scope.
  14. Hi, I'm Ryan from Lerwick in Shetland. Been interested in astronomy for many years, up till now have only had a pair of Helios 11 x 80 binoculars. Always planned on getting a scope and with Jupiter approaching opposition and a timely discount being offered by Telescope House, I decided to order a Skyliner 300p Flex Tube Dobsonian. Have picked up a few tips from the forum already. Looking forward to getting the scope and pointing it towards the Jovian system!
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