Friday, 28 March 2014

Dived right in

Today I got my telescope. I went for the Altair Astro 8 inch f/5 newtonian and the alt-azimuth Sabre mount.

Quite an upgrade from my 10x50 binoculars and if I'm honest, a little intimidating. However,  looking forward to Christen it when we get a clear evening.

Also,  I bought 'Turn Left at Orion' from Amazon. It's a book that takes you through the process to find hundreds of objects and is ideal for a Dobsonian like set up. Comes with some excellent reviews.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Decisions, decisions, decisions

For some time I have been certain that my first telescope will be a large Dobsonian. I have heard this called aperture fever; “I want the biggest and the best”. It recently dawned on me that the choice of telescope needs a little more thought.

I have read that the best scope is the one you use the most. I live in a second floor flat and a large Dobsonian could be heavy and awkward to move around. I don't want to risk the chance that I will buy a scope that will deter me because it is cumbersome to transport, so time to re-evaluate.

Now, I still want the Dobsonian experience ie, no tracking, no motors, no electricity. After some research, the solution I have found is to buy a Newtonian reflector and put this with an alt azimuth mount. Less bulky than a Dobsonian, and only expect a couple of trips to and from the car. Below is the scope and mount I plan to go for:



Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Observing Session Summary - Saturday 1st March 2014

Butser Ancient Farm was open Saturday. No Moon, so a good evening for observing.

I used the list of targets I didn't see from last couple of months and 'Philip's Stargazing with Binocular's' to plan the session. Here I provide the list of targets and a summary of the observations.

Kembles Cascade: Finally got to see the cascade. Forms an obvious line. A bit hazy and difficult to resolve individual stars. However, a nice target and looks best when using averted vision

M  44 (Open Cluster): Nice open cluster and found it quite easily. Could resolve about 10-15 stars. Also pretty sure I could see the cluster with the naked eye.

M  66 (Galaxy): Managed to locate where this one should be but could not see it. Think it must be too faint for my 10x50 bins.

M81 & M82: Struggled to find the galaxies. Think they must be too faint for my bins. I confirmed this when I Found these 2 in the March Sky and night binoculars tour. In here it suggest that a minimum of 15x70 bins. One for the telescope (when I get one).

Here is a link to my session log:

Clear Skies!!