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About chiltonstar

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Wildlife photography + astronomy of course
  • Location
    Wessex/N. Berkshire Downs
  1. The Veil Unveiled (Well, Partly!)

    Interesting last night here - cloud with some clear patches, showing breathtakingly good transparency. I set my 15x70s up on a large photo tripod (Unitron) and waited for the clear patches to cross Cygnus; no difficulty at all in seeing both W and E parts of the Veil, first time for me from this location I think with bins and no filtration (I added my UHC to one EP of the bins and it was a lot clearer of course.) Chris
  2. Mine is f12.6 ie true fl = 1500mm, true aperture is actually 119mm (some Maks have oversized mirrors and are "as stated" on the tin). If you use extension tubes or a dual focuser then the fl will be extended making the f number larger. Chris
  3. Stunning clear night.

    What does it look like with 12"? Chris
  4. Stunning clear night.

    It was a superb night, wasn't it! Nice report Nick. I included a couple of the above, three of Sissy's difficult unequal doubles, and finished off with the glorious Pi Aquilae (beautifully split, a yard apart) and Iota Cass to soak up the colours that a really clear night can give to some doubles. Then it clouded over in seconds.... Chris
  5. Observing in the summer

    In addition to the glorious views of eg Cygnus in Summer, there are often good views to be had of many doubles; the warm evenings can deliver amazingly good seeing, something that the twinkly nights of Winter doesn't! There is the wildlife as well - Summer stargazing is often livened up by a few moths, bats and the odd vixen! Chris
  6. Normally lead would give a pale blue (not very clear) colour in a flame test Dave?? Chris
  7. I had the good fortune to catch a very bright fireball in the '80s that went from left horizon to right horizon - that definitely made a whoosh-type noise that was coincident with the light emission, so I suppose the rf hypothesis seems reasonable. There are quite a few spectra published showing the nature of the light emission, which do explain the colours seen. A Perseid I saw a few nights ago was definitely a faint lilac colour (may of course be a contrast effect compared with background stars). Chris
  8. I would say "a few times" a year, several times recently because of the warm evenings and excellent seeing. It does depend on what you're looking at of course - not much use for Jupiter, but ok for Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and multiple stars. Chris
  9. The third component is quite a bit fainter - sometimes difficult to see with haze/thin coud etc, although at least the seeing was excellent last night! With Epsilon Lyrae, I had a near-textbook view at x270 (180 Mak), with the Airy disks close to theoretical diameter and beautiful diffraction rings, although the fainter stars between the two pairs were difficult to see. Chris
  10. Meteor Showers

    Despite the 50% cloud, I just caught a very nice one at 24:00, with a nice 1 second train. Too much cloud after that.... Chris
  11. 2 nights on the run after 2 years

    Welcome back! Re the 6 year olds, I found that inviting them out into the garden at midnight to see something-or-other (yawn) was enough to send them off to sleep! It's a lifelong hobby - we all take breaks but the night sky draws us back into her spell....... Chris
  12. Cassiopeia continued.

    Constellation of Erinaceinae I think, Alan. Chris
  13. Cassiopeia continued.

    Nice sketches, as ever Nick! I was out hunting a difficult series of doubles in Scutum and Serpens - poor conditions with a haze, dew and the Moon, but the slugs and snails seem to like it (I even had one on the outside of my 180 Mak which must have sprinted up a tripod leg when I wasn't looking....) Chris
  14. Celestron Skymaster 15x70 or 25x70

    I use the 15x70s quite a bit, particularly on holiday. I use the top of the car as a support (up to a certain latitude) or my photo monopod (I have used a decent tripod but struggle to get my eyes or the bins at a comfortable height). Chris
  15. Seben Zoom 8-24mm, Cheap Zoom Eyepiece

    I use a Seben 8-24 in my Maks occasionally, and I have to say it's ok - great for setting up, and for little folk, who have the habit of leaving conjunctivitis behind on EPs. I don't feel too worried about cleaning the optics of a cheap zoom with an antiseptic lens wipe which I might not want to do with something more costly..... John - you seem to be the in-house EP expert...... Does the spec for a lens get passed to a lot of different factories, so products emerge with a superficial similarity, but very different performance? I wonder too whether quality failures appear on the market with a different brand name? (I prefer the word "similar" to "identical"). Chris