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Nice to be back.

andy jack

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This is really not an hello more of an hello again.

A minor car accident in November left me with a bad back and effectively nipped my new found interest in astronomy in the bud. Initially I could not even look upwards without being in discomfort. I continued to visit the site but with my scope mothballed, my activity has been limited to the occasional read.

My back is now much improved, more niggly than debilitating however, it is not quite up to the efforts of lugging my equipment outside and spending lengths of time bent over an eyepiece. Last night the lure of a perfectly clear sky simply got the better of me and for better or worse, I struggled outside with my scope, leaving it to cool while I fired up stellurium in search for likely looking targets.

Not surprisingly the effort has aggravated my back and I am in a little discomfort today. With a little help from Mr brufen however, it is not that bad and in the scheme of things a small price to pay.

There was only one target for a newbie like me and it had to be my first look at Saturn. Having experienced some stunning views of Jupiter last year I was sort of prepared for what I was going to see and as such probably not quite so blown away as I may have otherwise been. That all said, I was still really impressed with what I was seeing. The view was very clear and crisp but it was very bright making it difficult to pick out any detail. I could just about make out Titan and Dione as tiny but very bright pin pricks but the glare was obliterating any other detail. I obviously had to drag my wife and two daughters out into the cold to share my excitement and despite having very little real interest, they were all really impressed. In fact the familiar image was so crisp and almost animated that my wife was convinced at one point that I was playing a trick on her and was somehow generating the image by fraudulent means LOL.

I am probably not quite ready to be hauling my scope outdoors with every break in the cloud however, over the next couple of months, weather permitting, I hope to slowly get back into the swing of things and re-start my own personal voyage of discovery.

Here’s to cloudless nights and good seeing, its good to be back if only tentatively. :)

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Hello Andy,

my wife was convinced at one point that I was playing a trick on her and was somehow generating the image by fraudulent means

Well that's the thing about Saturn - it does tend to look almost comically clichéd at times.

Hope you're functioning 100% before too long.

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About Saturn, wait until next year, and then show them the planet again.

When they see it with the rings open to our line of sight, post here their reactions.:)

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Hi Andy - welcome to the group :)

Don't know if it occured to you but you sound like a candidate for a right angled finder scope - your back will thank me for the idea lol

Edited by brantuk
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Thanks for the warm welcome back and all the good wishes. :)

I am now already looking forward to viewing Saturn next year.

Don't know if what I am doing is right, or indeed if there is a right or wrong way, but to date I don’t tend to use my finder scope all that much? I use it briefly just to get me in the general area and then tend to go hopping with my 26mm which is currently my EP with the largest field of view. This appears to have worked well for me however, that could be symptomatic of my finder scope being rubbish and very awkward to use and the fact that excluding the ring nebula all my targets to date have been fairly obvious and easy to find.

A better quality right angled finder scope was already penciled in on my “list of things to buy later” if my bad back persists I may take up your good advice and make that purchase a priority.

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