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About bluemac

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  1. Huzzah, that's the one. Really quite a nice thing to look at through 15x70s. I didn't get a chance to look at it through the scope on account of my frozen fingers. Nuggets out tonight ¬_¬. Cheers for the info!
  2. Hi all, Just thought I'd ask the question here, as I've not found anything written down about this. I was actually just looking around the general Albireo area and happened upon a group of stars resembling a cannon. Can anybody tell me what it is? I've attached a very quick sketch of its rough layout. Cheers! Matt.
  3. Thanks for this James, I have to say it's easier to have someone explain a method to you than try to interpret one from an instructional text. I'll definitely comb through your post and try your method next time (possible tonight if he sky clears a bit). Thanks again! Matt.
  4. Hi all, Further to the discussion I've been having over on another topic: Other topic. I was just wondering what the general consensus is with regard to the usage of Barlows vs. short focal length EPs? I'm using the provided standard Barlow and 10mm eyepiece to achieve the best view with what I have, however grear_bear suggested that a lot of people choose to forgo the use of a Barlow, and I have calculated that I can easily achieve the same magnification power and great using just eyepieces. So, any advice please? I have a feeling that my Barlow is reducing the brightness of the image a bit, and it does make it difficult to focus accurately. Is this the Barlow itself causing the problem, or simply the magnification it delivers (i.e. would it happen with just an eyepiece at the same power)? Thoughts, please? I suppose I'll put a poll on here so that people can give a quick answer to this question - what set up do you recommend for a good view of Jupiter or Saturn? Cheers! Matt.
  5. Hi all, Typically I'm a planetary kinda guy, however I thought I'd *try to* put the scope on something a little more distant tonight. Unfortunately it would seem I'm useless at it. After failing to locate any of the 7 Messier objects in Ursa Major, I did manage to find the Andromeda galaxy and what I think was the Sword Handle Cluster. Andromeda was visible both through my 15x70s and the scope, however I was unable to get a good look at it using any of my eyepieces. It just wouldn't focus! I know it should remain fairly fluffy however it was very, very dim and it could barely be seen. With regard to the Sword Handle, I'm pretty sure I was looking at it. I saw an incredibly high concentration of stars, and according to my fairly accurate red dot finder I should have been right on the spot(ish). Pretty nice, I have to say. Must have been hundreds of visible stars in my field of view. So, not a complete failure for a first go, but I really am not good at locating these things! Any advice for a relative noob of star hopping? I'd really like to do a tour of Ursa Major's DSOs, however I'm not entirely sure if I looked at them or not. All I seemed to see were stars, nothing galaxy shaped or otherwise! Cheers, Matt.
  6. Cheers for this, I'll be sure to take a look!
  7. Right, I have a feeling this is going to be a difficult one to call. I'm inclined to ask if Sky's The Limit will do me a huge favour and perhaps let me sample 3 eyepieces (4mm, 5mm and 6mm) before selecting one. I'm aware that there are of course limitations to telescopes, and that everybody probably wishes they could push their scope just that little bit more to bring out the detail they're after. I'm just hoping that by way of some crafty eyepieces and lenses etc. I may just satisfy my thirst for a better viewing experience. Regarding the branding of those TMB eyepieces then - I take it I'd be safe buying the 'un-official' pieces? To quote Sky's the Limit, 'If there is no difference - why pay it?'. Wise words. Thanks for all of this information, I'll sit down and properly process all of it a bit later on. If you feel I'm putting a foot wrong still in thinking on a 4mm eyepiece though, please tell me! Cheers, Matt.
  8. I've been looking into the advice you've given, and was hoping you might be able to provide a bit more info for me. You mentioned the 5mm and 6mm eyepieces from Sky's The Limit and their respective magnification powers of 180x and 150x. What would make the 180x 'too much'? I'm currently achieving 180x (I think) by way of a 10mm eyepiece and a 2x Barlow lens and it look good, focuses well on it. Reading about the scope itself apparently the maximum potential power would be 260x. So yeah, just wondering what you mean by 'too much' - I don't mean to sound iffy (I'm desperately trying to word my question without any negative tone, but seem to be failing), I'm genuinely interested. I of course would like to see Jupiter at the best my scope can offer, so I was thinking that perhaps one of the 4mm (which should give 225x) would be the best I could get away with whilst managing to actually focus on the object? Also, what's the difference between the 'TMB Designed' and 'TMB Planetary II', and which would provide the best performance for planetary viewing (I'm aware this sounds like a stupid question given the product names - but who knows!)? Thanks in advance! Matt.
  9. Damn, it's beautiful! I was wondering where the GRS was last night - I just could not get it to pop out for me Really great image though, nicely done.
  10. I have an inkling that you may be right about this. The Barlow provided seems useless on all but the brightest objects from what I've seen. Worth replacing this as well then?
  11. If it's of any use, I've read somewhere that using a filter of the 'opposite' colour to the feature you're trying to view will improve its contrast - i.e. a blue filter for the Great Red Spot and for the belts on Jupiter. This may just go without saying for you, but I'm a noob and I thought it to be an interesting idea. I've got one arriving in the post in the next couple of days.
  12. Sorry, I hope that didn't sound like I was putting you down - I was buzzing too the first time I got a good view of the moons.
  13. That would be 'Callisto', along with the others, yes. There's a very good chart in the Sky at Night magazine which will tell you which are which based on their position, I'm afraid I don't have mine handy otherwise I'd tell you.
  14. Hi all, I've taken the plunge and went along to my first observing session with Northants Amateur Astronomers at Newton, Northants. I'm very pleased I did - very friendly people, fantastically dark skies (compared to my village) and plenty of helpful advice given freely. I was reluctant to go due to my comparative lack of experience and knowledge, but all worries were laid to rest very quickly and I was warmly welcomed. So to those of you out there who are hesitant to go along to your local society I'd highly recommend you get in touch and arrange to go and try it out! -Matt.
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