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Schroter's Valley


Lurcher
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It was looking really doubtful that we would get any clear skies last night, we had a massive rain cloud come over us about an hour before heading out, but I was hopeful once that had passed the sky would clear, and thankfully it wasn't too bad.

The moon was of course so bright it was washing most other objects out, and the usually quiet farm track where I like to go was busy with large tipper trucks working so not the best of nights. Still, I was thinking I might get some photos of the moon, only to then discover I'd left the memory card out of the camera. So!! I was then left with the option of doing another sketch.

Thankfully I seemed to hit on what I now know is a fairly well known feature called Schroter's Valley. - The Valley has been photographed by some of the Apollo missions.

(P.S. I'm still having trouble with the motor on the base of my SkyWatcher Dobsonian slipping and not engaging properly and therefore not tracking correctly at low speeds. If anyone knows how to cure this I'd be very grateful. I'll keep taking the damned thing apart and trying different tensions in the meantime).

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23 minutes ago, Doc said:

I must get back into sketching.

It's really satisfying and rewarding, whatever the results look like. (Note to self - remember to pack a pencil eraser next time!).

I hadn't heard of the lunar 100 until I read your post. Sounds like a really good list to do. At the moment I'm just hitting on features that look interesting when I see them. I quite like the idea now of actually seeking out pre-determined features to sketch. Thank you.

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50 minutes ago, Stu said:

That's a great sketch of an area I really enjoy viewing. I've edited a smartphone image to match your sketch and it shows you've captured it really nicely

Oh wow thanks Stu. (That's a flipping good photo as well). Thanks for posting it. It is nice to compare it. My one annoyance is the crater Aristarchus was much brighter than it came out on my sketch; as it shows in your photo. I wish I had taken an eraser with me to take off some of the pencil. I must remember that for next time.

I'm pleased I happened upon an area other people know well.

Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Astro Imp said:

You've captured this very interesting feature really well.
Coincidentally the first time I observed this area was a few years ago when I stumbled upon it by pure chance.

Thank you. Yes I had no idea it was such a well known feature when I first saw it. Quite nice to find objects like that by chance isn't it? Although having said that I have now printed off the Lunar 100 list as mentioned in Doc's list of objects and equipment, which I'm looking forward to getting through. It would be easy to say I've now done number 17 on the list, but I'll wait to see if I can actually find it again.

(I hope you're getting on with your S/W Dob ok. I've just taken the motor out of the base again this evening and adjusted the tension bolt once again, in the hope I can finally stop it slipping. Fingers crossed for the next clear sky. . . .).

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10 hours ago, Lurcher said:

(I hope you're getting on with your S/W Dob ok. I've just taken the motor out of the base again this evening and adjusted the tension bolt once again, in the hope I can finally stop it slipping. Fingers crossed for the next clear sky. . . .).

Thank you, I'm really enjoying my DOB now. Initially I had to return the base as the noise when it was slewing in azimuth was far too much.  It is now much quieter. I believe @JOC had a similar issue with hers. 
 Enjoy the challenge of the Lunar 100, if like me you will find the first few not too difficult but some of the later features are quite tricky, I seem to have been stuck with about fifteen needed to complete the task for ages. The weather doesn't make it any easier. I have often identified a night to see a particular feature and when that night comes I've been clouded out.

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25 minutes ago, Astro Imp said:

I believe @JOC had a similar issue with hers.

I did - it sounded like it had a budgie trapped in it!  FLO were kind enough to take it back for a brief spell and when they sent it back to me it was fine and has been ever since.  

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35 minutes ago, Mike JW said:

Here is my take on the area.

Hi Mike, Blimey your drawing is so much neater than mine!

I think I'm learning I need to spend more time doing the one drawing rather than rushing it and moving on to something else. It pays off.

Thanks.

(I see you've only made a couple of posts, so welcome to the forum if I'm not too late to say that).

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23 hours ago, Lurcher said:

P.S. I'm still having trouble with the motor on the base of my SkyWatcher Dobsonian slipping and not engaging properly and therefore not tracking correctly at low speeds. If anyone knows how to cure this I'd be very grateful. I'll keep taking the damned thing apart and trying different tensions in the meantime

FWIW my issue initially was a squeak.  I still do have issues with slewing (not so much with tracking once I'm on target).  I think the systems are VERY sensitive to weight/balance and I find that my own problems of not finding intended targets with the Goto system appear magnified (LOL) when I have a large EP in the system.  If I slew with, say the original SW plossls in place, I get a far better results than if have the socking great Pentax in place.  It might be worth some experimentation to see if your tracking is better maintained with a lighter load at the EP end.  I even give up with my light shield at times too.  I def. find that the lighter the load the better the finding and this even manifests itself when I am initially calibrating the system.

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2 minutes ago, JOC said:

I still do have issues with slewing (not so much with tracking once I'm on target).  I think the systems are VERY sensitive to weight/balance

That's interesting to hear thank you. I don't have any large eyepieces at the moment apart from a 2" Moonfish eyepiece which I only add once I've found the target, and I don't use any light shroud or shield - but I was noticing that I only had to apply the slightest of pressure to the base with my hand while it was turning at low speed to stop it moving. So I realized that's why it worked ok indoors when I tested it but why it then had difficulties once outside with the weight of the scope sitting on it.

I'm glad to hear it's not just me that has the occasional problem with the base though. I was thinking it must be just mine that was sensitive like that.

I've managed to get it pretty tight now I think, so I am hoping it will work on it's next outing. But thanks, I have been thinking I've possibly bought a bit of a dud or maybe a worn out one.

Thanks. I will let you know how I get on!

 

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2 minutes ago, Lurcher said:

or maybe a worn out one.

Mind was brand spanking new and certainly wasn't without issues.  Mind you when you think what it's all trying to do inside the mechanism it's pretty clever it works at all.

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Hi Lurcher, thank you for your welcome.  I try to do one drawing per session. A friend showed me the idea behind the technique I used for my sketch. I do a basic outline with notes on shadows and any key features. This can take up to an hour at the e/p. Then I complete the sketch later. It took me about two years to become any good at this technique. I like your approach because it can be done at the e/p, captures the key details, acts as a useful reference for future revisits to the area, can be labelled. My approach is rather soft and small details cannot be easily shown. Your approach gives opportunity to capture fine detail.The pleasure and fun of sketching is that there is no right way. I must have a go at your cross hatch, shading technique. As always much to learn and much to enjoy from others approach. I will keep a watch out for your next sketch. Enjoy. Mike

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5 hours ago, JOC said:

Mind you when you think what it's all trying to do inside the mechanism it's pretty clever it works at all.

Absolutely! I still get a buzz from seeing it find a new object for me which I've never seen before.

That moment when you look through the eyepiece not wanting to get your hopes up, but then you see a fuzzy blur or a mass of stars and you know it's found what you were wanting.

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7 minutes ago, Lurcher said:

That moment when you look through the eyepiece not wanting to get your hopes up, but then you see a fuzzy blur or a mass of stars and you know it's found what you were wanting.

That's it! I'm glad it's not just me!  LOL

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