My Astronomy


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My Telescopes

My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

My new Paramount MyT and 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien Telescope

MyT Hand Controller

My Meade 12 inch SCT on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

My 4 inch Meade Refractor with Sky Watcher Guidescope and ZWO camera on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

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About the Site

 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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Leyland Observatory Primary Optics upgraded

No - I haven't bought a new telescope - the power of laser technology has upgraded my distance vision to one line better than 20/20!

The operation was on the 2nd January and I am now able to see the stars with the naked eye as actual points of light for the first time in my life! Unfortunately I still have to wear reading glasses - an age thing I am afraid! Strangely I can also see the colour of the stars more clearly - Aldebaran and Betelgeuse are really red.

I have to be careful for a few weeks but the improvement was immediate.

A few days after the operation I performed a mapping run (following the laptop failure) that now has the telescope centering objects in the 11x11 minute field of view. (125 stars mapped).

The objects are centred to within about 45 seconds of arc in the region of sky (i.e. just left of the meridian) that I use for supernova searching.  Last night (17th Jan 10) I tried to precisely North align the camera but clouds kept appearing and I abandoned it for the next clear opportunity. The images were solving nicely with over 20 star matches which were able to tell me the current camera position angle. Once that is done I can resume my searching.

I am looking forward to my trip to Almeria in Spain in April to assess the skies there and will be taking my ETX 90. Hopefully I will be able to try it out with my DSLR to take some images. Almeria is the driest part of Europe (Lawrence of Arabia and the Spaghetti westerns were filmed there - as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark I believe). I am driving down with Harry the Westie!

I have really only used the ETX for partial eclipses - it worked really well for that  - short exposures only of course. I purchased the ETX on ebay (also where I bought my car) and got a very good system that had had all the "tuning" following I believe Mike Weasner's suggestions to tighten it up. The package included balance weights for a camera and a solar filter (mylar type). My DSLR worked very well with this to give some good images.