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I am one happy newbie.
A short break in the cloud last night and I got my first hit on Andromeda.
At first it was a small grey patch but with persistence and averted vision I got glimpses of a bright central core with grey "cloud" extending out from each side.
So my question from my LP back garden what might I be able to do to improve or at least get a more consistent visual.
I have a skywatcher 130p the best views came with the supplied 20mm.
Would flocking and a dew shield help with contrast? A 25 or 32mm eyepiece clean up the image? Or maybe a colour filter to make it pop a little?
I understand the limitations of both the scope and viewing site both have a major effect but there must be steps I can take to get the best from what I have.
Thanks in advance Ian
Last week on august 5th we were treated to a coronal hole followed by some G1 auroral activity here in New Zealand.
Unfortunately I live a bit too far north to capture the spectacular Auroral images.
However, ever the optimist, I set my canon 6d with a Samyang 14mm lens up in my backyard and captured 300 or so shots (20 seconds at iso 3000) which I then sent through to lightroon timelapse.
I'm quite pleased with the result. Definitely some colour there.
By Andy Cole
I'm a newbie here but not totally new to astronomy. I've had a telescope since I was a teenager (over 30 years!) and only ever had 1 telescope - a Tasco 40x40mm reflector. I expect members my age are familiar with it - thin and white with a thin metal tripod and a push and pull focuser. It's still functional at more than 30 years old although the thread on the eyepiece is worn so the eyepiece falls off regularly! I've only ever used it to look at the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and that's always been good enough for me. Now I have been thinking of getting a new scope. I have a very limited budget and so I am wondering whether I will get any significant improvements on what I can see.
My earliest memories of the Tasco from childhood were that I could see the rings of Saturn as a line across the circle of the planet. Having rekindled my interest in the last few years, I have started to use it again, and nowadays, when Saturn is visible, I can clearly see the rings 'as a ring' and the gap between the planet and the rings, which I don't remember seeing as a kid.
Vieing Jupiter I can usually see about 4 moons.
I've heard that the Skywatcher Heritage 130P Dobsonian is a good 'budget' telescope, and great for casual use, which is what appeals to me most. I don't want a telescope with complicated setup or one that takes up a lot of space. TheSkywatcher seems to fit the bill, and it also fits my very limited budget.
What I am most interested to find out is whill I get an improved view of the things I have already experienced? I have read some reviews that describe what you can see with this scope and it sounds like it's pretty much what I can already see. And it's maximum 65x magnification doesn't seem like much better than the Tasco's 40x. But will the wider aperture make a bigger difference than the magnification?
I'm also interested to know if I could use this scope for basic astrophotography - I have numerous cameras - phone cameras, compacts and DSLR's (photohraphy is my main hobby). I'm not talking about hour long exposures of dark sky objects, just what can be seen easily through this scope.
I'd love to know what people's opinions are, especially if you own or have used this scope. I'm also interested to hear recommendations for other scopes, but please remember I have limited budget and space. I know that an 8" or more is better and I would love one but they are just too expensive and too large for me.
The August galaxy of the month (the 100th one actually) from the Webb Society is NGC 7042 in Pegasus.
So I thought, better get that new 20 inch dob out and try it. The sky was a bit milky and there was a lot of high cloud around but that was not going to stop me!
Well I found NGC 7042 fairly easily. You can tell its a spiral as it has that characteristic low surface brightness glow across its entire face. It sits next to a triangle of stars. I then worked hard to see if I could see NGC 7043. I could not see it last time I tried when I had a 14 inch scope. Well this time I got it just! Very faint even with averted vision but definitely there. I managed to see stars to mag 14.9 despite the poor skies.
Here is my observation:
I also had a look at a few more galaxies on my target list, IC 1473 in Pegasus (within a triangle of stars) and IC1550 in Andromeda. That brings my total galaxies observed up to 1800.
Here is IC1550 from Aladin. Perhaps not galaxy of the month but it was special to me as no 1800 and it looks lovely next to that field star. I read that it is about 275 million light years away behind the Perseus-Pisces supercluster wall of galaxies.
Another great night of observing with the new 20 inch scope.
Do give any of the above targets a go as they are well placed to the east at the moment (which is best for me over the Cotswolds!) and let me know how you get on.
Thank you to Owen for the inspiration.
Here is a picture I took with my wife on holiday in France. It was a rare evening of stargazing after 3 year toddler hiatus.
We took it on a canon 6d with a 16mm wide angle sitting on the star adventurer.
It’s based on 3 exposures where I stacked the sky part whilst only using 1 layer for the foreground. Maybe 20 second exposures I can’t quite recall now. Then bumped up the levels also in photoshop.