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chiltonstar

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About chiltonstar

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf
  • Birthday 19/12/45

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Wildlife photography + astronomy of course
  • Location
    Wessex/N. Berkshire Downs
  1. Horse Head Nebula - Seeing the 'Snout'

    It will be interesting to see how you get on John - I have yet to get a convincing view of the HH (a "hint" only several times). Chris
  2. Logically, alcohol should improve vision by increasing blood flow to the eye etc, but there is probably a point at which the detrimental effects set in! We know how our visual acuity decreases with age, eg the above post re the Pleiades, but how about sensitivity to low level light - does that decrease too? Chris
  3. I've seen it a few times only from dark locations after rain. You have to check it is not dewing of course! I used the 180 Mak this time. Chris
  4. 5th movement - After the storm. Glorious seeing last night after the clouds had gone, with tricky little devils like Lambda Cygni showing a clean split and Epsilon Lyrae well up to text book standards. Even Uranus was a nice clean disk scudding along at mag. 350. The transparency was goodish here too with M74 (one of my more difficult to spot Messier objects) showing well, and a nice clean view of the M45 nebulosity. Chris
  5. I've balanced my 180 Mak on my Vixen SP and it is at the limit, but works. Chris
  6. On other fora, there are frequent mentions of C8 scopes with poor optics -presumably these quality failures get sold on to some poor mug. I've not found cooling much of a problem with my 180 Mak, but it is heavy and needs a good mount, and can track fairly easily at X 300 on an alt-az mount with patience. I like the view through a good C8, although the field edge stars did not impress me...... Chris
  7. Moonlight doubles and a little more

    Excellent stuff John! I was out too, on the same mission. I was surprised at the good seeing and transparency - very little haze, so many stars could be seen. I concentrated on a new (to me) double-double, viz. Eta Draconis and Struve 2054 (a "Sissy" double). Both could be clearly split with the 180 Mak despite the mag differences and well worth a try on a night when the Moon is about! Amazing how loud a Tawny Owl can be when it's sitting in a Scots Pine about 50m away and calling non-stop! Chris
  8. Harvest Moon

    Impressive John. I was out for a couple of hours looking at doubles, and the intensity of the moonlight was amazing, although very little haze here so you could still see the stars. I had a Tawny Owl flying back and forwards from a Scots Pine near my house hooting all evening as well - very atmospheric, and went well with the full Moon. Chris
  9. But it’s not real astronomy...

    I had someone recently comment "you actually still do visual astronomy?" Such remarks may of course just have been attempts at humour. Chris
  10. Crème de la crème.

    What a thread! A few Big Wow moments for me..... definitely the comet fragment scars on Jupiter - I had my 4" frac set up for a couple of nights in my front garden, and neighbours looked as they walked their dogs. All were stunned. A few months ago, a young women with a babe came up to me in Sainsburys and reminded me of that - she'd been a child then of course! The first good view of Saturn (very high in the sky then!), seeing Cassini and moons. The aurora from a field station in Sweden - the same evening we saw the tracks and poo, but didn't see the wolf unfortunately! A starry night from the peak of Monte Rosa at ca. 15,000 feet. Recently, at a dark sky location in Cornwall seeing an oval out of the corner of my eye as I was watching an owl hunting and realising it was M31 - galaxy shape with naked eye! Chris
  11. Double Trouble

    I started with a 102mm frac, and it was a superb intro to astronomy for 30 years......but then I wanted more aperture (and convenience) which is how I went down the Mak route. First 127mm, then 180mm which seemed a good way to get the aperture of a larger frac without the huge cost and the long tube which would have required me to be on my back on icy ground during the Winter - not to be recommended at my age! I was turned off reflectors at an early age after I was asked to babysit one for 6 months while its owner was in the US, and to be honest, it just didn't suit even though it performed reasonably well when collimated. Chris
  12. Double Trouble

    Mak + altaz mount + Skysafari is certainly an excellent way to see the Night Sky! Chris
  13. AuroraWatch red alert!

    I was being slightly facetious Dave. .... Chris
  14. AuroraWatch red alert!

    I did think the clouds looked slightly red tinted here (Oxford), but it may have been the Shiraz I was drowning my astrosorrows with..... Chris
  15. Vixen Porta II

    I have one and I like it - my grab 'n go mount. The tripod is a little lightweight, but that is the point, it is lightweight! Chris
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