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Bried

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Everything posted by Bried

  1. Bried

    Pluto

    On the NASA website it says that it will take 16 months to send back the 10 years worth of data that it has collected so far. http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-three-billion-mile-journey-to-pluto-reaches-historic-encounter Amazing pictures though. I can't wait to see more. Regards Brian
  2. There is also this http://www.thegreatcourses.co.uk/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=1810 There's no qualification at the end of it. But, if your only aim is to have the knowledge then £155 is money well spent in my book. This is a very good course.
  3. The open university is very good. I'm doing a degree in natural sciences, taking the physics route. Luckily I managed to get the transitional fees which means that I get to pay the original prices before the government thought it was a good idea to raise fees. This means it will cost me around £6000 over six years to complete my degree. If I were to start now without the transitional fees it would cost over £21,000! But if you live in Scotland or Wales then you can continue to study at the original prices. The good thing with the OU is that you can open a budgeting account where you can pay for your fees via a monthly direct debit. It's well worth it though and even more so if you live in Scotland or Wales.
  4. Bried

    365 Astronomy

    So, having recently sold my flat in the city and moving to darker skies in the peak district, I had some money left over from the sale which was begging to be used on an upgrade. For some time I have wanted to upgrade to a celestron C11. I was originally going to purchase one from another supplier but after recieving no call back on a price despite leaving numerous messages, I decided to take my business elsewhere. After doing a quick price comparrison on google I came across 365 astronomy. I telephone them, who to my delight, answered the phone straightaway. I had a great conversation with the owner, Zoltan, who was very helpful and accomodating. Zolton took my order and also agreed to fit the extra dovetail I purchased free of charge. It was an absolute pleasure dealing with 365 astronomy and I will definately be using them again. Oh, and as a bonus, my C11 arrived the very next day! How's that for a speedy service?! Brian
  5. I thought this might be of interest. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22292129
  6. Ah! Very good! I was thinking of passsing it off as my image captured with an SPC900N stacked in registax with a bit more detail brought out in photoshop.
  7. Hello All, I was just reading this bbc article about curiosity and then noticed the photo. Take a look and see if you can figure out how this was taken. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20345011 Regards Brian
  8. Hello there, At some point in the future I'm hoping to get my scope guided for astrophotography and I was just curious about some finer details. I was wondering if a scope is guided is there still a need for the mount to be accurately polar alligned? My thinking is that if the mount is almost alligned but maybe slightly out, won't the guided tracking compensate for the error and keep everything tracked without any star trails occuring. Regards Brian
  9. I've been wondering about distilled vs de-ionised water for a while now. Anyway, I took the plunge and cleaned my primary as I accidently spat all over it when I tried to blow a piece of dust off. I couldn't find distilled water anywhere but there was loads of de-ionised water. My thoughts are that using distilled water ensures no deposits are left to dry on the mirror caused by ions in normal tap water (hardwater). So anyway, I thought sod it I'm going to de-ionised water. At the end of the day I want water with a property that ensures no water spots are left on my primary. I'm not really bothered if the water was distilled or de-ionised but just want to be assured that it doesn't contain any cation/anions such as calcium, iron, chloride, sulfate etc. Anyway, jobs a good un as I've now cleaned my mirror and rinsed with de-ionised water and it's totally spotless and I'm very pleased with the results. So in my very humble opinion I would have to say that although there is a difference in the process by which distilled water and de-ionised water are produced, I believe they both are pure enough to do the job of rinsing a mirror without leaving any deposits behind. If anyone knows any different then I would be glad to hear. Regards Brian
  10. Right, I've been on youtube, checked out a tutorial on dso tweaking in photoshop. Here's my latest attempt to bring out a bit more detail. I decided not to crop it so much this time too.
  11. Thanks everyone for the kind comments. I'm very impressed with tweaking that Dave and Squeaky have done! That's amazing and from the jpeg that I converted it to to put on this this forum! I know what I can aim for now with regard to processing. I need to get practising this skill a little more. I took the image from a place called shell island in Wales, where I went at the weekend. The skies are pretty dark but I don't get the opportunity to go there very often. It was quite coudy too but know I've learnt that you don't need perfectly clear skies for imaging. Just wait for the breaks to appear and then snap away! RIght, I'm gonna go and find some tutorials on processing now. Thanks!
  12. Well, this is my first ever attempt at imaging other than planetary with a web cam. I used a canon 300D along with the equipment listed in my signature. I took 8 lights at 60 seconds each, 10 darks and 10 bias frames. I ran them through deep sky stacker and got this. To be honest, I can't really tell if there if this image is an improvement over any of the individual files. If anything, the stacked image appeared to come out darker! Is this normally the case? Brian
  13. I've just finished flocking my scope and during the process whilst removing all the bit and bobs, noticed that my primary mirror had quite a lot of dust on it. I removed as much as could with an air blower and replaced it without any further cleaning. It's now made me rethink how I store it. I normally stand it up with the primary mirror on the floor. My thinking behind this was that I didn't want it to be stood up being top heavy. The only problem is that over months of it being stored like this, dust has somehow managed to get in despite the dust cover always being on. I've now decided to store it stood up with the primary at the top in an attempt stop this happening any further. I was just wondering how other people store their Newtonians and have they experienced similar problems. Thanks Brian
  14. I go to the astronomy centre from time to time and am gutted to hear the news. My mate had over £3000 worth of musical equipment stolen from the boot of his car! It eventually turned up 3 or 4 months later in smackconverters erm I mean cashconverters. There were 2 basses, 2 effects units and a few other odds and ends. Everything was recovered! I think, like specialist musical equipment it will be a bit difficult for thieves to sell astronomy equipment down at the local pub (i can't imagine them lugging an EQ6 around under their coat!) and therefore they'll need to sell through a third party. I think it's important for people to keep an eye out for this gear a few months down the line because they could be keeping a low profile on it for now as they will know that it will have been reported missing.
  15. Hello there, I recently purchased a skywatcher 250pds and EQ6 mount. I noticed that the dovetail seemed to be the weak link so decided to up grade it to a wide Losmandy style one. I have now attached it and am wondering if it was really worth it. The flat parts of the tube rings are not really that flat and I can only use one bolt into each ring. I'm thinking now that the weak link is where the tube rings attach to the dovetail! I was just wondering if anyone else has upgraded their dovetail and had similar thoughts and what have you done in order to get the best possible sturdy fitting? I have considered drilling the dovetail either side of each bolt so that I can put two bolts through like the original skywatcher dovetail had to ensure that there is an opposing force going against the tube rings so that there is no play. I have also considered having someone mill the tube rings so that the surface that contacts the dovetail is perfectly flat. I thought about bolting the old dovetail onto the new one and have even considered looking into buying some better tube rings but can't seem to find any detailed photos which show exactly what I want. Is there a specific method which I should be using to ensure that everything is attached with maximum efficiency? Thanks in advance. I look forward to hearing your opinions. Brian
  16. I run stelarium v0.10.5 on my old acer aspire 5000 with 1gig ram running xp and it works fine. Not that it's got much to do with this thread but I remember recording 16 channels of simultaneous audio on a pentium III 400mhz (i think! Long time ago). We're a bit spoilt with processing power these days.
  17. I bought this eyepiece to replace the one that came with my 150p and the difference was immediately noticeable. The image is much more defined and sharp. I would definitely recommend but couldn't comment about other similar priced eyepieces as I haven't had any experience using them. I decided to go for televue as I had only heard good reports about them on this forum.
  18. I have thought about this solution myself for overcoming awkward viewing positions but have been led to believe that a diagonal can't be used on a reflector Is this not the case then?
  19. Hello there, Maplin's have their triple pack flight cases on a special deal for £29 again. Flight Case Triple Pack with Dividers : Flight & Rugged Cases : Maplin Electronics I missed it last time and wasn't going to pay £50 for them. Anyway. I've managed to get myself a set this time and just thought I would let you all know they're on offer again. I also picked up a hand trolley for £20 reduced from £37 which I thought would be really handy for wheeling around my cases. Especially my EQ6 mount head! Folding Trolley : Miscellaneous Tools : Maplin Electronics Cheers See ye later Brian
  20. Wow! Nice one! I'm well chuffed now. It was huge!
  21. Hello there, I just wondered if anyone saw a huge fireball thing streak across the sky just below the plough at around 10:50 this evening? I was in Eccles near Manchester and was wondering if anyone else nearby may have seen it. I am inclined to think it was some kind of firework as it looked huge. The only thing was is that it was coming downwards and it really didn't look like a firework. It didn't look like a usual small shooting star but more like a huge meteorite streaking down! I'm hoping that it was a meteorite but I am sure there is more boring explanation. Anyway, would be great to know if anyone else saw it and if so what their opinion is on what it was. Brian
  22. Really good! I've got a queue forming on facebook now for a look through my scope!
  23. I had exactly the same problem last night!!! Weird! My NEQ6 is new as well. The only thing that I can see that I was doing wrong from the advice above is I used the day light saving setting.
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