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Posts posted by Davidv

  1. On 04/02/2021 at 11:55, wibblefish said:

    Glad you found it, I am going to see if I can find the other one Mu Cephei (Garnet Star) which is just off the great square (I think) next time I am out. What doubles did you look at? (Always up for more of those, finding them quite enjoyable at the moment!)

    118 Tauri is a double quite easy to find about halfway between Elnath and Tien Kwan on your chart which I found for the first time the other night.

    I also couldn't find M1 though I've seen it plenty of times before - must have been poor seeing and light pollution.

    White Dwarf has beaten me to it mentioning Iota in Cancer, a beautiful double, and another of my favourites which never seems to get a mention is Gamma Arietis, a beautiful pair.



  2. Similar to Ben's mine has a sturdy brass handle near to the base of the rotating section and no handle at the top of the box where I just grab the edge and carry it on its side in front of me.

    The handle is fitted to the back of the box, not one of the sides.

    The handle is horizontal to the ground and the box is about two feet high and made of 3/4 inch ply.

    The whole thing is fairly useless actually (sticktion, vibration etc but easy to carry).




  3. I've always thought people wouldn't pay hundreds of pounds for a decent commercial mount if you could make something just as good with a bit of wood and some teflon pads at a fraction of the cost. I've had a home made 8.75" f7.2 Newtonian for thirty years which has been on several home made dobsonian mounts - all scrapped for the reasons mentioned on this post. Partly my own fault for not following proper designs or plans but I've wasted untold time on this and this post has reminded me not to waste any more time on dobsonian mounts. I've read some articles which indicate that you really need to know what you're doing to design and build a good dobsonian mount otherwise you can waste a lot of time and effort.

  4. Gamma (γ) Arietis

    This appears to be a neglected double (on the Lounge at any rate) though it’s well worth a look and not difficult to find.

    According to Google it was last mentioned on Stargazers Lounge in January 2012.

    I decided to track it down after finding a scribbled note reminding myself to look for it. No idea where I heard about it in the first place.

    I am using a Vixen 80Mf for its portability factor but some fainter doubles I’ve found rather disappointing. However, I was not disappointed by Gamma Arietis which appeared as a bright white pair of stars at x 45 also x 100.

    Next on my list is 59 Andromedae (Struve 222) and Struve 79, also in Andromeda. (from www.theskyscrapers.org)


  5. Phil,

    I can only imagine Saturn would appear too bright in a 130mm scope at low power - i.e. your 25mm eyepice.

    This would give a bright and small image hardly big enough to show the rings let alone any detail. Your barlow should be a bit better at x 52.

    Your 10mm eyepiece with the barlow giving x 130 really should look very nice. Saturn is also very low down in the sky this year so you have got lots of atmospheric murk to look through which won't help regards seeing lots of detail.

    Stick with it! Dave

    SW 130p specs below.

    • Magnifications (with optics supplied): x26 & x65
    • Diameter of Primary Mirror: 130mm
    • Telescope Focal Length: 650mm (f/5)
  6. Castor in Gemini is a very impressive double. Algieba in Leo (Gamma Leonis) is also easy to find. You should split them with your 8 or 6mm eyepiece.

    Cor Caroli in Canes Venatici is a beautiful double on a par with Albireo. It will be better placed as spring comes around as it is below the "handle" of the Plough, Ursa Major.

    Another one, not quite so easy to find but worth the effort, is Beta Monocerotis in Monoceros to the left of Orion. This looks like a double but if you raise the magnification you will see it is a triple star. Your 6mm eyepiece should show it at x125. (I am assuming your 150p is F5, not F8)

    Hope you find them and enjoy them.


  7. Unless you have horrendous light pollution where you are, you should find it in an 8". I think it's about a degree away from Zeta Tauri ( to the NE, as you say)

    Try something like a 25mm eyepiece or one with a bit more magnification. You sometimes need just enough magnification to darken the background sky to improve contrast and pick out the object. It looks like a very faint oval smudge. Getting back to the Beehive, there are also quite a few double stars in Cancer but not very spectacular on account of being quite faint.

    Good luck.


    • Like 1
  8. I know you TAL 100RS owners love ‘em to bits but how do you get on with the chromatic aberration? I only ask because I am again considering getting another scope but looked through a TAL 100R several years back and the CA on Venus was atrocious. (I realise Venus is the worst possible thing to view for showing CA)

    Unfortunately, I don’t remember seeing anything else through it – maybe the clouds rolled in.

    I found a table which showed that a 100mm f10 achromat would show “filterable levels” of CA. Do you use filters with your TALs?

    Has anyone any experience of comparing the view with a Skymax 127?

    I’m wondering if the Skymax would show equal lunar and planetary detail but without the CA. Also a bit more manageable with its lighter, shorter tube.

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts.


  9. Can't say I remember Hyakutake but Hale-Bopp was very impressive. I just happened to be on holiday in the Lake Distict at the time so enjoyed seeing it with minimal light pollution. I took some some photos with a scotch mount setup and 400 asa slide film which came out very well. (just like the photo above though mine were taken with a 50mm lens so gave a smaller image). Must mention Comet Bennet while I'm at it. I saw this looking to the east from my bedroom window at about 4 am in April 1970. It was easily as impressive as Hale-Bopp and stretched for several degrees across the sky if I remember correctly. Definitely another comet of the century.


  10. Hi Putthi,

    Mars is currently showing an apparent disk size of about 7 arcseconds but when it's closest to us at opposition next March it will be twice that diameter at nearly 14 arcseconds. Unfortunately, this won't be as good the 25 arcseconds size which the disk can present at favourable oppositions when Mars is at its very closest to us. However, with your 10" dob you should get some good views of it sooner or later.


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