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Altair40

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Everything posted by Altair40

  1. Mine is sometimes refered to as the name for one of Terry Pratchetts Camels in the book 'Pyramids'. Not the one who lives in Tsort!
  2. My problem is I'll have to chop a tree down to get that far East at 4:30 am! I think Mercury appears to be as far out as it gets from the Sun according to Stellarium. I may be wrong - beginner! I've looked at about 5am these past few days but clouds are there. I'll also have to remember to careful of the Sun rising!!!
  3. I find my red dot finder useful to an extent if you can see the target by naked eye. I tried for M13 last night but no luck even though I could find it through bins. I'm going to duck tape my monocular to the other side of the scope over a block of wood. Somewhere near the centre of pivot but I'll still need to re balance the scope. I'll look horrible but I want M13! And some sort of finder...
  4. I feel your pain - my dad once closed the back door on me and my thumb was at the hinge side. Yeeeeooowwwww!
  5. No but when I was trying to find M13 after observing saturn last night, a satellite zoomed through my field of view! If I've coincidently seen a satellite twice in maybe six or eight hours of observing, this might be quite common... I once saw a red light that appeared, wobbled about and vanished over a couple of minutes - I put that one down to a weather balloon catching the just over the horizon sun.
  6. It's great to have clear sky for a few days... Congratulations on Saturn! I had a look last night from Durham, UK and finally managed to get myself, my 130mm newt, a 10mm EP and a 2x barlow lens all pointed at Saturn - a decent size image at last. As this was after a barbie where not a few beverages were consumed this was slightly amazing. As for jumping about - I nearly fell into the pond! I could see Titan and maybe a few specs that may have been other moons but with averted vision. I'll have to get one of your 4mm Plossl EP's.... I'll never tire of Saturn!
  7. 'I like to think there always are; possiblilities' James. T. Kirk...
  8. I honestly can't remember my trigger! It could have been through sci-fi books, film, TV or 'The Sky at Night'... May have been the Pioneer and Voyager probes - I was a kid in 1970's - 'Blakes 7' etc. Sir Patrick may have been a strong influence. I met him when I was eight and he signed one of his books for me...
  9. After a month or so's break from observing, I spent an hour and a half on Saturn last night, up until 1am or so. Before the cloud rolled in, that is! I could not convince myself I could see the Cassini division but I think I saw Titan - it seemed the right distance from the planet and stayed at the same distance over the hour or so. About mag 6? I thought it looked orange, but then I'm not sure if you can see colour through a newt. I'll look that one up. *Edit - Titan should be about mag 8, but it was in the right place (considering newt mirror giving inverted image) and I was very dark adapted * I've only a 130mm Skywatcher (manual everything) and only managed to hold the planet with the 10mm, 20mm and 20mm plus 2x barlow but not 10mm and 2x barlow. It was a bit 'wavery' to start but that was probably the scope cooling down. Need more practice, but I'll never tire of Saturn...! For me, that's amazing - I've never seen a moon around another planet apart from our own and the Gallelain satellites around Jupiter. BTW, if it's any help, the first 'target' I thought might be Saturn, last night, was in fact Vega! Spica was hidden by a Leylandi hedge...
  10. You have a coke splurt for that one! Wasn't made of Al and had gull wing doors, did it?
  11. My sights are set for Saturn at 10pm one night before too long. But. I can't find my compass to check the bearing (in alt az) to my 'window' between some trees. Will that do?!
  12. Wasn't the Lunar Rover built by Porsche? Not kidding - I seem to remember that from the 80's... Maybe NASA helped by Porsche - sort of 'how do you do this?!' I don't know. Might be worth the cash to go and get it!
  13. Well that probably qualifies most of us as responsible observers... I've seen a red object wander around and vanish - I put that down to a weather balloon. If I ever was 'borrowed' by an interestingly technological set of extra terrestrials my response would probably be: - 'I'm a Human - Get me out of here!'
  14. Sorry I'm taking liberties with your patience starting a new thread on this - I still know next to not a lot. According to Stellarium, that most fantastic software, ISS(Zarya) and Discovery will be passing through Orion tonight at approx 19:13 - 19:14 tonight. To the South... From what I can make of it, Orion's belt will have a new star for less than a second. From my perspective. Wow! I've wanted to try to get ISS in my not that large scope for a while. I'm hoping to get the 130mm set up with a 20mm lens in the area just before that and hope that ISS passes through my field of view. Might work, might not - I'll try! There is no chance I can get a pic - I'm not good enough anyway!
  15. I hope to be out for a look at a few other items tonight - probably too late for this event but will keep eyes peeled in Durham, Co Durham. Very oddly, not too much LP where I am. I should add this to my general list of things to be aware of happening occasionally and at random. As a total aside but still to do with Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Flares I was thinking of how you build a detector at home for warning of possible Aurora sightings. Probably, I can't but I will share this: I used to be an electron microscopist using mainly SEM with EDX or basically an x-ray detector. We were on the top floor of a four story building. Very occasionally the detector would go absolutely crackers in terms of dead time to those who are aware of this sort of thing - it was used to detect x-rays in the region of 0.1 to 20 kV to identify elements in my specimens. Whatever those events were I don't think they were anything to do with the microscope electronics or power supply. We had enough of those but that's another story not relevant. Whatever it was went through two inches of aluminium to get to the detector and it was always one event, then back to normal. Maybe one event per couple of months. I put it down to a gamma frequency cosmic ray... You are welcome to 'shoot me down'...
  16. I hope to be out for a look at a few other items tonight - probably too late for this event but will keep eyes peeled in Durham, Co Durham. Very oddly, not too much LP where I am. I should add this to my general list of things to be aware of happening occasionally and at random. As a total aside but still to do with Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Flares I was thinking of how you build a detector at home for warning of possible Aurora sightings. Probably, I can't but I will share this: I used to be an electron microscopist using mainly SEM with EDX or basically an x-ray detector. We were on the top floor of a four story building. Very occasionally the detector would go absolutely crackers in terms of dead time to those who are aware of this sort of thing - it was used to detect x-rays in the region of 0.1 to 20 kV to identify elements in my specimens. Whatever those events were I don't think they were anything to do with the microscope electronics or power supply. We had enough of those but that's another story not relevant. Whatever it was went through two inches of aluminium to get to the detector and it was always one event, then back to normal. Maybe one event per couple of months. I put it down to a gamma frequency cosmic ray... You are welcome to 'shoot me down'...
  17. Nice one! I'm going to have a look later, if clear. Also to see if I can spot any moons of Saturn... Evil glint there on my part. Titan may show (to me) as a star... Makes a change staying up late rather than getting up stupidly early. Looking at Stellarium, it should pass through my ESE tree window and over a house at about midnight. The good thing about observing stupidly early in a very cold winter was that everything had cooled down. Houses included. I'll see. Or not!
  18. Cloudy here in Durham now as it has been all day . Rats! I've never seen Aurora... Aside - Did note the crater 'Plato' on the moon the night before last but that was through cloud also. Sort of get the scope out and point it at something. I wonder how Radio astronomy might work on detecting very loud solar flares?
  19. I don't see why you can't do both trillion pixel imaging and bog roll powered filters. Given enough spare cash and without causing your own divorce! I don't know enough yet to try imaging and the subject (BIG scopes and I'm not quite sure what else) needs to be approached by the attrition method in addition to getting out there at every opportunity to prove genuine apeture fever (the opposite of Man Flu and of course the house must be spotless, despite teenagers) and pointing out the good bits when you've found something... I am an example of the many forms of Nerd. I've machined bit's of model steam engines for other people to exhibit. And liked it. Real Ale is goood. I prefer warm clothes. Listen to either Classical or AC/DC. But I still jump out of planes at 10,000ft in -15C and other odder things than that. Airsoft is one. There's a hole in the back garden (ex-pond) full of bricks five feet from a weather proof power source. Kiln! Apologies: thinking about self made mirror... ! Oh, we have seven cats. All neuters, most rescued. ;_)
  20. Altair40

    Is it worth ?

    Hi KevDan, Welcome! I'm three months down the line from buying a Skywatcher 130, manual everything from FLO. I'm amazed at what it can do for the mirror size and the cost. We also have a 76mm newt 'Heritage' from Celestron. This was incredibly kindly pointed out to me by a board member who has posted on this thread. I had this out of the box and pointed at Jupiter in less than a minute. We found the Andromeda Galaxy in ten minutes! I'm sure a lot of dissapointment in this hobby is due to high expectations of what equipment can do for you. In some ways I wish I'd waited to get a 10 or 12" Dobsonian mounted Newtonian Reflector. Or a TEC 140 - but these are 5,000 USD! I just wanted to get into the hobby again with something that cost 130 UKP and a pair of binoculars. That was something my family could cope with to see how strong my interest was... I've been out looking at this and that maybe three or four evenings a week for the past couple of weeks at least. I'm still learning!
  21. I was just amazed I could find something so dim (well magnitude 8.5 actually) with a full moon about. There happened to be a tree in the right place to hide some of the lunar glare from my eyesight. I could see the atmosphere itself glow from the moonlight 45 degrees away! Just trying to use the rudimentary but fine for me setting circles to put me in the general area of a target. The only pain is I can't move the scope once aligned as I tend to do. Bad habit, probably! I didn't actually swear so badly you could hear me on Mars. But I did talk to myself quite a bit!
  22. That zip dob idea blew my socks off! I can make a kiln, I can get plate glass an inch thick (I'm into Aquaria also). Question is that you could make a parabola by allowing plate glass (what grade, please - E -glass, Soda-lime etc?) to deform over a mould (made of what - a ceramic?) at 900 odd C but would the mirror blank have to be circular? I could get very cheap square sections of 'plate' glass, theoretically bend it into a parabola but the rest would be square. Any problems with that if the mount and mirror cell were designed for it?! Aluminium honeycomb, I was thinking. Wonder if I can do a 20nm silver mirror coat? Probably nothing to see here either...
  23. Excellent! That makes me wish to attempt to find an observatory near here.
  24. That looks correct to me. If there are 60 arc minutes to one degree, then 2.5 degrees is the same as 150 arc minutes. *edit: sorry, missed the point on that - I need to look up some optics theory. Trig, yes, optics - not as good as I should be and I'll never stop learning*
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