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Found 10 results

  1. Hi all, First post on here looking for some telescope buying advise. I've searched and seen some similar topics which have been very useful but thought i'd summarise and see what the experts think. I'm looking at getting myself and my girlfriend a telescope as an anniversary gift. She's not scientifically minded at all but she really likes the aesthetic of the moon. The house is filled with 3D printed moon lamps, jewelry, cushion covers etc.. We're about to move into a new house in Forest Hill in SE London and the new house has a really large garden backing onto more gardens so quite sheltered from all street lights. We both said to eachother a telescope might be a nice thing to have in the new house and something we can enjoy together in the new garden. I've got a budget of up to £200 but by no means want to spend that much if I'm paying for features we don't need or will use. I've got some experience with a reflector scope that was my brothers. He got it years ago and we both obsessed over it for about a month and then once we'd seen the big planets and a few blurry distant clusters we got bored and it never got touched again. That was a 130mm DIA reflector (skywatcher I think). After the initial excitement, my overriding feeling towards it was it was not worth the faff! This was in dark Northumberland as well, not London. I've tried to explain this to my girlfriend when we've talked about it and said if we don't want the faff we might have to invest in a Go to electric telescope. The logic being if its quicker and easier to see stuff, we'll use it more. I did get then quite excited reading reviews and trying to find second-hand goto scopes and it seems like something in my budget (or slightly pushed budget) is something like a Celestron SLT 127. (have seen second hand ones go for £250). However having then done a bit of reading on here I think i've worked out that those cheaper Go-to's are still not that quick and simple to use, ultimately i'm I'm still only going to see fairly blurry planets and smudges of deep space clusters. I honestly don't think the girlfriend will be impressed and I'll probably get bored after a while too. So I think I've come to the conclusion that I want to get a much smaller refractor that would be much more accessible for viewing the moon and would allow us to see a smudgy Saturn and Jupiter on clear nights. A smartphone camera holder would be a bonus too as it adds a simple feature that would keep us entertained for longer. Do you think that's a fair approach or am I being a little too pessimistic about what I'm going to see? If so then what scopes could anyone recommend? Stepping down to a slightly lower budget there are so many more options and it's a bit bewildering. Thanks
  2. Hi guys, I used to do a lot of astrophotography work when I lived in Plymouth but then I sold all equipment and lived in California for a while. Now I live in London and really miss doing some astrophotography but never really bothered because of the light pollution. The light pollution should not be such a big issue for planetary imaging and of course for solar imaging. I am thinking to either get a Coronado and try solar imaging or get a decent refractor and focus on lunar and planetary imaging. Does anyone have an experience with planetary imaging from London? What would you do? What equipment would you go for? Previously I had 10" computerised celestron but now I think refractor would be a better choice. Any advice very much appreciated, Martin Peniak
  3. Just for a bit of fun yesterday I set up my C8 on my AZ4 and shot some footage of the moon. moonmovie.mp4 or, to save you having to download it, here it is on the bucket: http://vid46.photobucket.com/albums/f130/PaulRide/moonmovie_zpskhejuypw.mp4
  4. Next week the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers will be holding our next monthly meet at the Hub in Regent's Park London. Our star gazing will be held on 2016 February 21 or 22 or 23. The exact date will be decided on morning of Monday 20 when weather forecasts have been consulted. Anyone is welcome to attend, we are family friendly and the event is completely free of charge; no need to bring any equipment as there is always plenty of telescopes to look through. Last month BBC Radio London attended to interview Irregulars. Search Facebook for Baker Street Irregular Astronomers and visit www.bakerstreetastro.org
  5. Hello everybody. My name is Lorenzo and I am an amateur astronomer from Rome, Italy. I am writing since I moved in London one month ago where I will work for the next two years and I would like to introduce myself in UK astronomy world. First I am going to tell you something about me. I am 30 years old and I am a physicist. I got a PhD in material science, then I moved during postdoc to X-ray imaging field. After two years in Rome, more than half year in France, I moved to London for a postdoc position at the University College on a really amazing project. I have also passion for astrophotography and photography. The first since I was 10. I tried several telescopes, mount and accessories. My current setup is a FSQ106Ed telescope or Epsilon180 on a paramount MYT mount and Moravian G3-16200 ccd. I have also a Coronado PST and a stellarvue 102 refractor. If you are interested you can find my shots in my astrobin profile https://www.astrobin.com/users/LorenzoM/. Unfortunately, I gave up with astronomy for more than a year. First, the earthquake in center Italy destroyed the place where I was used to go. Then, I moved in France and finally in London. I couldn't bring the heavy setup with me. Moreover, I sold the FSQ106 to help my relocation in France and UK and I was never able to get the epsilon 180 working properly. However, when I was in France I started to build a portable setup including a Ioptron SmartEQ mount and photograhpic 300mm f4 Canon lens coupled with Canon 6D that I use also for normal photography and thus it is not modified. This setup has not seen the first light yet and I would like to add guiding system. Now, I am looking for a real telescope. I placed an add for an used epsilon 130, since I would like to continue to fight with these fast reflectors. Like I said, I've never seen stars yet in UK. Main for two reasons. First because I don't know locations or anyone and I am still embarrassed to speak since I am not fluent in English . Second, because I am a little bit scared about taking a car and driving for miles in UK. I hope to overtake these problems soon since it is also the best way to improve my English!!! As first thing I think I will join meeting of amateur astronomers in Regent's park in London. I know that I will see only planets from London's center but it is a way to meet somebody. And also to look at Jupiter with a real telescope. I will try to get some night landscapes with my canon. You can have fun with long exposures also on the ground
  6. Hey Guys, I have been a fan of the band called 'Public Service Broadcasting' for a long time now, since their first album in fact and just wondered if would be a band some of you may enjoy. They do not use live microphone vocals but instead use a variety of older audio and video clips from history to create beautiful songs with a real feel of nostalgia. They mainly focus on big events in history such as the war, invention of colour TV's, stereo sound and cars. I saw them live at the Norwich OPEN last year and they were definitely one of the best bands I've ever seen, personally. Their stage was supported by the Sputnik satellite which flew above the band members during the performance. I hope you can take a small amount of your time to just check their music out a second, if you haven't already before. Their most recent album, 'The Race For Space' may be something of interest as they create music inspired by the space race back from the 60's. Definitely up my alley, so maybe it will be up yours too! Here are a few of their songs that I personally find incredible:
  7. The next monthly meeting of the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers is planned for one April evening from our 'launch window' of 18th, 19th or 20th. The date to be decided on the 17th when weather forecasts have been considered. Held of the terrace of the Hub, Regent's Park from 6:30pm until 11.00pm, anyone is welcome to attend. The meetings are fun, educational, family friendly and free of charge; no need to bring any equipment. If you know London friends who have never seen Jupiter and its four Galilean moons through a telescope tell them not to miss this opportunity.
  8. This image of the Elephant Trunk was taken from London during the night of 12th and 13th September 2014 in poor conditions Skywatcher Esprit 100ED telescope Ioptron CEM 60 mount QSI 690CCD Ha x 6* 600 SII x 6 * 600 OIII x 6 * 600 https://www.flickr.com/photos/95267225@N06/15935456001/
  9. Hi All, When I first moved out of the New Forest I was advised not to bother taking telescope. I'd always taken it for granted that there wasn't any point pursuing astronomy as a hobby from London because of the light pollution. People will tell you that you can't see faint messier objects, you can't see stuff near the horizon and you certainly can't see the Milky Way. In fact ordinarily this is what I'd tell but sometimes a night comes along that defies common experience, and last night changed every assumption I had about what can be seen from an urban park... Of course I do have certain natural advantages - I have exceptional peripheral vision and I don't quite live in London. Teddington is pretty dark by London standards and Bushy Park is a huge asset for an astronomer because you can get out from all the sodium lamps. The Northern horizon is always a write-off but the rest of the sky can be surprisingly good. Coupled with recent thunderstorms that have washed the sky clean of its usual load of dirt, I did have it particularly easy. Even when I was walking down, ST80 slung over the shoulder, I was surprised by just how clear it was. Even from street level I could make out all the priniciple stars of the summer triangle constellations, even faint little Sagitta showing up. Once in the park I was truly astounded because the Southern horizon, normally an impenetrable glow of pollutants, was as sharp as I could hope with the teapot clearly visible. With this in mind, I immediately set up and went hunting for something I'd always wanted to see, the Lagoon Nebula. I never expected to see it from London with such a small scope but within minutes I had it clear in the viewfinder. Another astronomical lifelong ambition achieved. The stars of the cluster sparkled on their pool of glowing nebulosity, shockingly easy to see. This, I could tell, was going to be an epic one. I followed the advice of another user, andrew63, and swept the area with my trusty Nikon bins too, so I was able to check and double check that I'd seen all these things. I went through Sagittarius and found the following: M8 (Lagoon Nebula) - Beautful, surpassed all expectations M17 (Omega Nebula) - Found this one harder with just a faint glow of nebulosity and no real structure. Better view with bins M18 - Maybe not the most visually spectacular cluster I found M20 (Trifid Nebula) - Best view was with the bins, although clearly visible nebulosity in the ST80 M21, M23, M25 - Again, best views with the bins, although I found M25 especially lovely in the scope M22 - Astounding sight, nice large glow of globular cluster. A superlative object and a new favourite along with M8 M24 - Ah, the advantages of widefield telescope... Countless stars to sweep through. M28 - A little disappointing. Maybe I misread but TL@O seems to confuse the position of this one and M22. After that I moved on up the sky towards Scutum. M11 is now a permanent fixture on any night, but tonight I saw structure in it, and it held up well to a little more magnification. Having never seen M26 I thought I'd "tick off" Scutum, and indeed I did find it, a faint sparkling patch next to delta. The Wild Ducks were still the main highlight. The next bit was something of a shock though, and feel free to be as disbelieving as you like. I wouldn't believe me either, except I grew up in the New Forest. I've always been slightly confused that seeing the Milky Way is such a big deal for people - where I grew up it was just... there. In August it was this ever-present glow down the middle of the sky, and out on the Forest it would start to resolve into its countless stars. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful sight, but I never appreciated how wonderful it is until I moved to London and couldn't see it. That is until I looked up, resting my eyes from the eyepiece, stared into the transparent sky above me and saw a faint, diffuse glow arching through Cygnus and on into Aquila. I had to blink, but I wasn't imagining it because it had a big dark rift in the middle but I was actually looking at the Milky Way while inside the M25. I don't think nights like that come along too often. I should be clear about this though, it was exceptionally faint, but it's something I've grown up with and can recognise a mile off (Or a few hundred parsecs anyway) so I knew exactly what it was. I also had to let the wife know I might be a little late home... I then went ever higher and had another crack at M27 which was a revelation - with averted vision and a bit of magnification it started to reveal some of its structure wonderfully. Am I really still within the GLA I wondered? Next logical step was the Ring Nebula, and with the stability of the sky I was able to power it right up to 80x (Pushing it with my scope) and had the best view of it I have managed, with the hole clear with averted vision - better even than when we were n Pembrokeshire. I took out my bins again and searched out M39 in Cygnus, a lovely little haze of stars. And on a galactic note I finished off by looking for Andromeda as it creeps ever higher in the sky. Although not brilliant, I could make out the shape of the galaxy clearly, and the core was nice and crisp. I was satisfied too to find M32 lurking beneath it. M110 will have to wait until our autumn trip to the West country though. So that wraps it up. My messier count is up to about 34, I managed to find an awful lot I'd never seen before, and I am now perfectly satisfied that, at least from the periphery, astronomy is a worthwhile hobby here in London. I doubt the Milky Way is a regular sight even in Bushy Park though... DD
  10. Hi guys, Recently I have received quite a nice toy "Skywatcher 250 DOB GOTO" and now simply learning how to use it correctly. It is quite a big one, so I am able to use it from my back garden only, so I am able to see SOUTH, SE and SN directions. At the moment I use just a default 26mm EP without any other items, - I do have Bluer Filter which is left in the box till the moon will show up. During last two weeks I have managed to look at bright stars and M45 only, I always failed to see Andromeda, GOTO system helps me to find the location, but I do not see anything. I am not sure what can I see from back-garden in London as it is quite light polluted, can anyone advise me, please?
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