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Everything posted by SeedyF

  1. Nice image. Saturn is a fantastic sight. It was clear through the early hours here - now I am regretting not getting up!
  2. You lucky person, well done Cloudy as hell here. But then lifting the scope outside and scanning the cloudy sky from horizon to horizon for an hour was the only exercise I have had this week
  3. I still do - otherwise the image is a bit wobblier than normal! It also gives the clouds time to roll in out of nowhere
  4. Almost total cloud cover in my spot in Hertfordshire. It was beautiful and clear when I left work in Westminster I put the scope out focussed it on Jupiter during a fleeting gap then waited for anything anywhere near the track the asteroid was going to follow but nothing came my way. Hey-ho, as someone else said at least I tried I am working on the logic that the DA14 rock was only discovered last year so there will be more passing by before I hang up my scope
  5. Hey, that's a lot of progress, getting some good detail there. Keep going
  6. Simon - I use a page on sky & telescopes website to tell me when the great red spot or a transit are going to be visible. Have a look on this page http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/javascript If you use stelarium you should be able to go to the date & time and check as well.
  7. Finally had a clear sky and time on my hands last night. I have been itching to use the new stuff I got for Christmas Fingerless mittens (with flap to cover the tips) - from Debenhams. Snug as a bug in these and they made things nice and easy when using the laptop trackpad and the smart phone. Need to remember not to be tempted to handle eyepieces with the finger flaps over my fingers, they are a bit too slippy. Nearly came to grief with the barlow lens! Skywatcher right angle finder. This will take a bit of getting used to! I still kept bending down to look through the end. And when I did look through the right bit I found it difficult to gauge where in the sky I had the scope pointing. But it was much more comfortable once I started to get the hang of it, and it was really only during alignment that I needed to gauge where I was pointing. Vixen NPL 15mm eyepiece - I think this might become my eyepiece of choice, nice and crisp views, solid build, good grip and seemed to work really well with the TAL 3x Barlow. A good investment at £35 in place of the stock 10mm eyepiece I have been sticking with. I've missed astronomy The goto told me I had not powered up the scope sing 5/12/12
  8. Imagine my surprise when I had that rare combination of time and clear sky and then finding there would be a transit of Io!! I watched (who am I kidding, I tried to watch!!) the moon's transit but I'm not sure I could actually make it out So I did a little observing then came back for the shadow transit. The seeing wasn't very good so not the sharpest Jupiter I have caught but the best shadow transit I have manged - the only one since I got this scope. So all in all I was quite pleased. I meant to add the capture details, Skywatcher 250 Dob + Philips SPC900 Capture in sharpcap, processed in Registax 4 min AVIs each at 10 fps
  9. Good work, I am just processing mine - same thing, first image of the year and was lucky to discover there would be a transit to coincide with the first evening I had a chance to take the scope out. You seem to have got better detail than I think I will get, so good result!
  10. Hmmm, going to have to find a hill if I need to see it close to the western horizon. Google maps here I come
  11. This is a simple 20 sec exposure on the Canon 400D, no post image processing. You can really pick out the details too If anyone is interested this is what they are http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B0030BJRWS
  12. I don't need any motivation as such - if its clear and I am not doing anything I take the scope out. It gets depressing when I have something to do and it's clear after waiting for the cloud to clear all week most times. As for staying motivated whilst waiting for the cloud to clear I try not to look into what I am missing! If it's clear I'll do a half hour of research into what's up at the time while I wait for the scope to cool. I finf if I look forward to some astro event (that damned transit of Venus Lol) then I get annoyed by the weather and that's real bad for motivation.
  13. Stu - I did the GCSE with starlearner in 2010. It was reasonably priced and they provided me with good support during the course. The material and sylabus has changed since I did the course but I found it really enjoyable. I learned a lot in general about astronomy and even though I had been observing for a few years it was really interesting. I was worried about the maths as I had forgotten everything I learnt back in the 80s but it wasn't too challenging. You can find the sylabus and supporting material on the Edexcel website if you haven't already looked at it. I arranged the exam myself as my son was doing his GCSEs at the same time so I persuaded the school to allow me to do it there. But starlearner would have helped arrange that as well. Sitting the exam in my son's school - at the same time he was doing his GCSEs - was a bit odd though
  14. This is going to be so close we ought to be able to hear it roar like the one on Armaggedon (or Deep Impact whichever one it was) . Its 58m according to Spaceweather but 45 per NASA and should be just under 22,000 miles at its nearest point (34,500 km). I can't wait. Not sure whether it will be on the UK side of the earth but it's closest approach is about 19:30 GMT according to the NASA page. That should make it visible to us in the UK - if my logic is correct! http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news174.html
  15. I have had the same scope (assuming its the flextube) for about 16 months with no problem with the synscan. I did have to have the base replaced as I had a dodgy motor when it arrived, and I've seen other issues on here that may point towards quality control issues. Hope you get yours sorted - it really is a fantastic piece of kit when it works properly.
  16. Brilliant, that is just what I wanted but hadn't realised there was the opportunity fix it inside the tube and not obstruct the mirror. Off to sports direct for me this afternoon to get a new camping mat I'll cut up the old one to make a dew shield!
  17. Looks good Russ and much neater than the round the outside one I made. However - how are you going to store it to keep it in that shape? As mine is wrapped around, has holes for the handles and velcro to secure it doesnt matter if I store it rolled up tight. I can keep it small for storage and the fact that it is stretched out to fit means it's not a problem that the mat wants to stay rolled up when I get it out! Or does your mat naturally want to stay flat?
  18. Jules - welcome to the lounge I am no expert, and I have never looked through a 200 skyliner, but I own a 250PX Skyliner. There is some very good advice above from some people I know know what they are talking about. Unfortunately as you can see it's never black and white and in the end you will have to use your judgement and pick the combination that best suits your goals. But it's well worth heading some advice above. Make sure you can carry & set up quickly whatever you buy - otherwise you will never use it. Go to a shop or an astro meet and take a look at the scopes because you may be surprised by their size/weight. Don't be tempted to jump in too deep - there's plenty of value in starting smaller and getting confidence It may not be wise/possible to get to your final goal immediately so be prepared to build up your kit list over time. Now for my experience with the 250. I moved up from a 150 on an equatorial mount in Oct 2011. I was absolutely blown away by the views of DSOs from day one - even with the slightly crummy stock eyepieces. So my instinct is to say go with the aperture - but be patient . I have invested in moderate eyepieces and they made enormous improvements. First I got a Meade 4000 32ml which gives lovely views of things like the Pleiades, globular clusters and Orion nebula. And I just acquired a Vixen NPL 15mm. Both cost less than £40 and are a big improvement on the stock eyepieces. In the longer term I want to spend some money on a really good eyepiece or two but for now these modest improvements give me a lot of pleasure. I knew when I bought the scope (I splashed over £900 on the flextube GOTO) I would have to spread my investment over a couple of years. Hope this helps a little
  19. I'm guessing you meant to post a link in this? What did you find?
  20. Mrs F bought me an eyepiece from FLO for my birthday and she wrapped it with a flat little box that came with it. Me - "oooh what's this, two boxes inside this wrapping" Mrs F - "no idea what's in the flat one" Me - *thinks* "there was nothing flat on the wish list, what the hell is this?" Me - on opening the square box "excellent the 15mm eyepiece I wanted, so what's the flat one?" Mrs F - "I don't know, I don't think I ordered it" Me - "where did you buy it" Mrs F - "FLO, like it said on your wishlist" So I opened it - it was a sachet of instant coffee and two bendicks chocolates which I had for breakfast
  21. No damage to it luckily. I plan to do something to store it for posterity and will probably actually buy another copy when it hits the shops.
  22. Stupid father in law came round today so I showed him the magazine. He promptly folded the page with the photo on it and laughed when I went nuts and asked him not to crease the page. Some people have no idea........
  23. Very true, I wear a thermal base layer if its cold plus thermal socks and walking boots from Costco that are super warm. Then my body has plenty of spare heat to send down my arms, but I still have gloves on I can be outside for hours before I actually start to feel the cold anywhere other than on my face & head - I rarely wear a hat, they drive me mad for some reason.
  24. Made me laugh out loud, and Mrs F when I read it out to her I have some thin thermal gloves by Karrimor - for running/outdoor sports. They are pretty good for feeling what I am doing and I can do quite a lot with them on when observing. I just acquired some flip-top finger-less mittens having put them on my birthday wish list. If the rain relents I can try them out!! These should be a big improvement - at least I wont keep taking them off, setting them down and losing them in the dark
  25. That's a great effort!! Thanks for sharing. It was cloudy as hell here so light pollution + part cloud beats my view hands down every time PS - love your washing line line post. Reminds me of my Gran's house in Methil
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