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About chiltonstar

  • Rank
    Brown Dwarf

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Wildlife photography + astronomy of course
  • Location
    Wessex/N. Berkshire Downs
  1. chiltonstar

    Gazing Doubles - Live Report

    Pretty much what I do, but I was thinking of the all-to-often nights with bright moonlight, haze, partial cloud etc etc when a bit of direction might be helpful. Chris
  2. chiltonstar

    Gazing Doubles - Live Report

    Great stuff, some wonderful targets. You said you were manually star-hopping Mike - have you tried using the altaz setting circles shown on the mount with something like SkySafari to find targets? Chris
  3. chiltonstar

    Mak wrap - should really break the CoC

    Glad it seems to work Stu! Chris
  4. chiltonstar

    Mak wrap - should really break the CoC

    I think "buffering" is perhaps the best word to describe the benefit of the insulating wrap. Aesthetics? Well, my first car was a VW Beetle, not a pretty car, but it went very well and I did 250,000 km in it in eight years with very few problems apart from getting stuck in the odd six foot snow drift! Chris
  5. I tried a camping mat at one stage, but again it was too thick unless I made the hole for the dovetail fairly large. How thick is yours? Chris
  6. I have noticed several times that on occasions when the heat plume is all but absent, tipping the scope up towards the zenith has caused the plume to re-appear slightly. Maybe trapped heat rising from the front corrector? Another issue worth mentioning is heat bleed through the 180 Mak back plate. This is a seriously solid chunk of metal, attached effectively to the mirror by three sets of bolts set at 120 degrees. Without a jacket, on nights when the temperature is dropping fast, heat appears to bleed from the mirror to the colder backplate, creating three colder zones on the mirror, giving rise to the slight three bladed "propeller" effect seen in the diff rings of a captured image at high magnification (less obvious visually). Judging by images with other, different scopes, this is quite a common effect in dobs as well. Covering the backplate of the Mak does seem to reduce it. Chris
  7. I tried the thicker bubble material, but it made mounting the scope onto the dovetail difficult, so I used the thinner material that B&Q sell for insulating walls behind radiators, and fixed it together with aluminium plumbers' tape. Chris
  8. As Stu indicates, I've been using an insulating jacket on my 180 Mak for six months, with generally a large reduction in cool-down problems. The o-o-f thermal plume is absent or much reduced, and a close test double almost perfectly resolved within a minute or so of setting the scope up. I do keep mine outside though in a hermetically sealed box with silica gel sachets to keep the air inside the scope dry, so it is always close to ambient temperature. Clearly, on evenings when the seeing is poor, the insulating jacket cannot improve the view, but it helps a lot particularly on nights when the the temperature is dropping fast. An additional benefit is that dewing is much reduced, in fact I have it more often with my RACI and RDF than the scope itself - I presume the heat held inside the scope keeps the body above ambient. A view of the setup:- Chris
  9. chiltonstar

    Sirius B and E/F stars - what does it take!?

    You can set up the SkySafari to be reversed like your scope view - this may help but I personally find it confusing. Chris
  10. chiltonstar

    Sirius B and E/F stars - what does it take!?

    Yes, that's right Mark. Maks, SCTs and refractors do this, whereas DOBs invert. Chris
  11. chiltonstar

    Sirius B and E/F stars - what does it take!?

    Yes, the star moves to the left (W), followed by the Pup. When I set up the camera on the Mak, I play around with the rotation until it is aligned correctly (ie like a compass rose). (If you have the book "Turn Left at Orion", there are nice graphics on p13 showing the orientation through the eyepiece for each type of scope. Ones with a star diagonal, like the Mak, show true compass orientation, ie E and W reversed compared with the naked eye.) Chris
  12. chiltonstar

    Sirius B and E/F stars - what does it take!?

    That is the orientation as seen in the Mak, which shows E at 90 degrees and W at 270 degrees, as they should be on a compass. As John says, the Pup drifts behind Sirius when the drive is not running and is therefore nearly true E of Sirius. Chris
  13. chiltonstar

    Sirius B and E/F stars - what does it take!?

    Like the OP, I have a 127 Mak. I have managed to split Sirius A and B (the Pup) on a number of occasions from near Oxford (52 degrees), but it does take nearly perfect seeing and a very well acclimatised scope. I found it easier to image than to see, possibly because the averaging process helps reduce the seeing wobbles, for example see attached. E and F are a different challenge with this scope - I find that they need good seeing and good transparency. Chris
  14. chiltonstar

    Show us your Observatory in the Snow

    My "observatory" is my garden, and I have a favourite spot with good views to the E and S. Unfortunately, it acquired 6" of snow yesterday, and to add insult to injury, a hare or rabbit (??) ran across it last night (see attached). The sets of tracks are 7 feet apart. Chris
  15. chiltonstar

    Hubble capture of beautiful SN remnant

    Wow! A bit better than you can do with your smartphone Stu? Chris

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