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Found 9 results

  1. Evening all. Thanks to you all so far for helping me working out my telescope purchase. In the intervening period I purchased a pair of 10x50 Olympus bins and spent a week outside at least an hour every night working out what I am looking at. I haven't kept a full log of each night in detail so I will summarise what I have seen. It is not particularly dark where I live but I had had a chance on two nights to go rural and then to 'dark sky site' all of which has spoiled me! Street lights go off after midnight here so I reckon that could make a big difference and will check later in the week. Jupiter - The first and easiest target on the very first night. I was taken back being able to see the moons in a straight line, one to the left and three to the right. Over the week I have seen the arrangement change in distance between moons and even number of moons visible. Saturn - Very small but clearly yellow. Sometimes I think I can see the rings and then I wonder if it is a blur on the lens or just not focusing. Something above and to the right diagonal of Jupiter - I am trying to work out what this is from Stellarium but I don't know for sure. A possible candidate is M26. I first saw it this evening and describe it as a definite white fuzz. Could anyone please suggest an object and advise me how to correctly describe the direction/method to find objects to other people? Coathanger - One of the first asterisms I came across by mistake and have used it every night as a way to find some other stuff I researched. M27 - Managed to navigate to this every time from Sagitta. From my garden is a faint white circle. Rural I saw a less faint white circle. Dark sky I saw a rather bright white circle and with some long blinking and everted vision I thought I could see faint details of the apple core shape at the top and bottom. M31 - I first found this at the rural location semi by mistake and working off a vague memory of a route I read to find it. Seeing this was the best feeling so far. The idea that I was looking at an entire galaxy through only a pair of binoculars seemed quite amazing. It was a white fuzz in the middle and with some blinking and averted vision I could see it spreading out sideways. I have found it again tonight but it mostly remains as a white fuzz blob but a rather large one. It seems to take a bit of time in to the night before it becomes visible. NGC6997 - I have inferred this was the object having looked around Deneb where there is quite a lot of action. It was a smallish cluster and not particularly bright but obviously a cluster and the only thing on Stellarium in this area. Milky Way - Whilst at the dark sky site I could very clearly follow the Milky Way and make out what I thought was dust between the stars. Mars - a very small but obviously red dot. Stars - Not so easy for me at the moment to name different stars. I know around Vega I have seen a double star one blue one more orange but this could equally have been somewhere else in the sky. I have also seen a lot of stars in pairs often of different colours around Cygnus.
  2. Guest

    Variable star

    Hi, I am doing an end of degree project on variable stars due next thursday and London's weather does not allow finish it. I was wondering if someone would do me the favour of observing the pulsating variable star V0460 Andromeda http://variablestars.net/stars/460/ in the Johnson R filter, for a period of 1 hour and 50 minutes? please? Thanks so much!
  3. Hi all , It started to clear very late last night and below the "arrowhead" of central Taurus I could just make out the shield of Orion , so I tried another window , this time a skylight at the front of the house , and most of Orion was rising behind the tree beside the house . Great to see him again for the first time since last winter ! It was 4.45am at this stage and far too late to start setting up equipment in the back garden , so I just grabbed the little 400/70 Celestron Travelscope and put the Seben 8-24mm zoom on it to have a go at M42 . At low magnification , 24mm is around X 16 and the view of M42 was excellent . With averted vision the nebulosity was very bright and pronounced ... and this was standing on a chair , leaning out the skylight and holding the scope by hand with arms and elbows acting as a tripod . It was definitely worth the effort . The second and last big target last night was M37 . Auriga was high in the sky at this stage and I thought I would have another try at M37 - I've tried this target many times over several weeks with different scopes and binoculars but to no avail ... nearby M36 and M38 were no problem before but this cluster was always annoyingly too low in the N/E sky to find but I was finally able to find it with 10x50 binoculars . Great to track down 2 targets in such a narrow window , literally and metaphorically in the case of M42 .
  4. Noticing a break in the cloud late evening on my 'Weather Channel' app; I decided to practice my new polar alignment skills on my wonderful sturdy AVX mount. Armed with my weapon of choice - the sensational Altair Starwave 102 F/11 Achro Frac which never fails to give me crystal clear and colourful views, I made my way onto the lush green grass of my girlfriends reasonable dark, edge of town garden lawn. It's fair to say that when I started it was very cloudy and it proved quite entertaining trying to catch alignment stars teasing me by peeping out between the white stuff. Last week I treated myself to an illuminated reticule which has turned out to be a fantastic addition to my armoury. Talk about centering stars in the field of view (perfect). Also following a suggestion from a practical friend I utilised my zoom EP for the first time when honing in on centering stars. Chuffed to bits with my new found polar alignment skills and equipment I proceeded to observe. I confirmed alignment by pin point precision by capturing some obvious targets. I then selected my 12mm Meade HD-60 and decided to whizz through some doubles and trust the handset tour to provide some interesting objects, using that EP gave me 100 x magnification. I actually think it was a great tactic as I didn't have to change my EP once (unit the end) So at 100x on everything. M11 the Wild Duck Cluster literally blew my pants off...! I acknowledged a smile when seeing 95 Her and 61 Cyg I noted as kind of yellow orange… Sissy Haas marks those as Amber Yellow so I was bang on :-) lovely! M57 The ring nebula was a Wow moment... Probably my imagination and my brain filling in what I knew was there but it looked in colour and so ‘ring like’ it was brilliant... M76 little dumbbell wasn't so clear but at least I could make it out ok. Delta Cep and Alberio were lovely and got me all double excited. 17 Cyg - Great and of course Zeta Lyra - lovely NGC 869 & ngc 844 The Double Cluster was sweet! I mean - really sweet and filled my field of view. Andromeda (was there) it's more what it is, that excites me more than what it looks like when you’ve seen it a few times (don't get me wrong I'm not under selling this great target). ‘Just to see Gamma Delphini is worth the price of a telescope’ So says Sissy Haas in the rather nice book 'Double Stars for small telescopes'. So I checked it out and can confirm that; Gamma Delphinium was amazing! like two tiny gold circles in the 102 so for this I decided to select my 6.5mm Meade for a closer look - and at 184x Gamma Delphini was stunning... I then did a few single stars which is good fun in that 102.. I love the sharpness of that frac. The AVX is such a solid mount and was really nice to set up. The 2" tripod is although heavy, very solid! Aligning with that illuminated reticle is brilliant and fair play to the sec suggesting the zoom EP for hunting initially. Last night felt like the damp is on it's way, although the kit stayed nice and dew free... I packed in not long after 11 as I had achieved my objective of super successful polar alignment and got to see some wonderful objects… As I cleared away the milky way gave me a farewell wave before being engulfed in the white stuff again. Great night, great timing and worth noting it would have been easy for me to pack up as I was starting due to the cloud but I hung in there waiting for that clear session... I’m back in love with this great but sometimes frustrating hobby :-) Bring on the long nights of winter!
  5. Just a quick report on some observations to test out the Skywatcher Discovery AZ Goto mount I got off Dobbie on SGL a week ago. Although I've tested it briefly before for a few hours on a couple of nights, tonight as it was getting dark looked promising, even with a few high clouds still floating around. From around 8:30pm the sky was nice and clear, and pretty steady too, although there was a small breeze blowing. After first setting the mount up, leveling it, and doing a 2 star align I got down to some testing. For this I used initially a Celestron 4SE which I'd got from Chris on here on Monday just gone. After aligning with both Vega, and then Polaris, I settled on the first Messier that was well placed up in Lyra to view, M57. The mount slewed to it and placed it in approximately in the 7 o'clock position near the edge of the view with a 32mm Celestron plossl EP. It was very easy to pick out still, even though not centred. Using the PAE option on the mount to centre M57 to fine tune the positioning, I then went across to M13. This got close again, but used the PAE again to centre it to fine tune it. As the sky was darkening well, and the seeing was pretty good M13 was a beautiful sight even at the low magnification with the 32mm EP. I then used my 14mm Baader Morpheus EP to get a closer look. After soaking up M13 for a few more minutes, I then slewed across back to M57 to look at that in the 14mm EP. I didn't use any filter at all on M57, and could quite easily see the ring structure pretty well. I then wanted to test the double double not far away in Lyra in the Celestron 4SE, so skewed across to that. Using the magnification with 10mm, 6mm & 5mm EPs with the 4SE I couldn't get a good enough focus with the scope, although this could have been down to the scope still cooling down perhaps. I then decided to try my new Altair Astro Starwave 102mm f11 frac on the stand, which was probably close to the max 5kg weigh on the mount, but was curious as to how it might do none the less. After carefully fixing it in position, I once again zoomed in on epsilon Lyrae. This fared better with the higher mags, but with the breeze blowing on the longer tube of the f11 frac this caused the view in the EP to wobble a little during gusts. Going back to M13 to see if the positioning was still OK, M13 honed into view very nicely. As the sky was looking the best it has been for a few weeks, I then decided to try for M81 & M82 in Ursa Major. These stood out extremely well in the 14mm Morpheus on the Starwave , and could just keep both galaxies within the same field of view with the Morpheus. I then went across to look at M27 in Vulpecula, which once again showed extremely nicely in the 14mm Morpheus EP. During this time a next door neighbour was having a party, as there were quite a few young teens walking around in the street behind my garden, so I decided to start calling it a night before too much alcohol was drunk, and nosey kids started noticing the large scope pointing up at the dark sky, but before I went in I decided to look for the Cats eye nebula in Draco (NGC6543) which I'd looked for before, but never found, so was hoping with the Goto it should be quite easy to find. After keying in to the keypad the NGC number, it slewed off and settled in what seemed like the correct area of Draco according to SkySafari. Looking through the Morpheus 14mm EP I could see straight away the Cats eye glowing away just off centre. Popping in the 10mm EP to make sure it wasn't just my imagination, it became obvious even more. I now know why it's called the cats eye nebula as it really does glow well for just over an 8th magnitude brightness. As the party was cranking up even more outside, I packed away all my gear, but even though I could have stayed out for another few hours at least, I was extremely happy to have notched up a new object to see in the Cats eye nebula. With clear skies, and the darker nights approaching even more, I'm hoping to notch up some more Astro candy for my eyes to feast on. Hoping that tomorrow night if the skies are clear I can get out once again if the skies are clear, with no boom box beating away in the background! The Goto mount is working very well, and seems to able to handle all my scopes, right up to the Starwave, although this does suffer with a little wobble if breezy. All in all a very nice night, if much shorter than I would have liked due to the party going on next door!
  6. Afternoon all , Equipment used last night was ED80 5,12,25mm BSTs and 10x50 binoculars . There was a lot of new stuff seen for the first time last night and the most memorable was the Trapezium and Orion's Mini-Belt in M42 ... I'd heard people mention the Trapezium on SGL before and had no idea what they were on about so it was good to find out . Several new clusters were the Hyades in Taurus , NGC 752 near Triangulum , M34 in Perseus and the Alpha Persei cluster . There was a certain amount of hit and miss last night , for example , some targets were found in 10x50 binoculars but not visible in the scope : the Eskimo nebula , the Crab nebula , the Rosette nebula and that Diffuse nebula near Omicron Persei - If you can clearly see the inner stars in a nebula but not the actual nebula itself in a scope does that count as a catch - or is a faint fuzzy in binoculars enough ? OIII filter ordered from FLO . Some old favourites were also visited last night , M33 and the Double cluster among them ?
  7. H-alpha solar sketch! Also put up my 90mm refractor beside my LS50. Date : 3/4/17. Time: 3:45 p.m. IST. Nothing much happening about prominances and filaments. AR 12644 still putting up a nice show. AR12645 is comparatively quiet, but spotted micro flare coming out of it during session. Looks like AR12647 and 12648 are developing! Clear skies!
  8. Hi, I am doing an end of degree project on variable stars due next thursday and London's weather does not allow finish it. I was wondering if someone would do me the favour of observing the pulsating variable star V0460 Andromeda http://variablestars.net/stars/460/ in the Johnson R filter, for a period of 1 hour and 50 minutes? please? Thanks so much!
  9. Evening all , Just a short report from tonight's observation ... Had the Dob downstairs and ready to go last night but clouds rolled in just as I opened the back door I've used a frac the last couple of times so wanted to get the 200P out to blow the metaphorical cobwebs off it and also use the 2 inch lenses again . The highlight of tonight's observation was finding Caroline's Rose NGC 7789 just beside Cassiopeia - Cassiopeia has become the centre of attention of late because of the amount of clusters in the region and I haven't even started on the double stars in Cassiopeia of which there are many . Other favorites were visited tonight as well : M57 , M11 , M13 , M45 and Perseus double among them . Clear skies . iPhone pic of tonight's set-up ?
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