My Astronomy




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

Astronomy Blog Index
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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Setting up a new 0.8X Focal Reducer /Flattener

In an attempt to improve the quality of the images using my SBIG camera I have obtained a 0.8X Focal Reducer from TS Optics in Germany. The advantage of this particular reducer is that it actually slides fully into my TCF-Si Focuser. Hopefully this will reduce the level of vignetting and coma that I get compared to the f/6.3 Meade FR that I usually use. Of course there will be a smaller field and a subsequent requirement for more accurate pointing.

 I have also acquired The SkyX from Software Bisque which is very good for generating databases from imported data - particularly its ability to import Supernovae lists in a simple cut and paste operation. However I am still using The Sky6 to refine pointing with T-Point for Windows as I would need to buy the T-Point add on for Sky X! I can't see any advantages in paying for the add on at the moment!

The positioning of the 0.8X focal reducer is critical and the base of the male thread on the camera side needs to be exactly 9.75 cm from the plane of the CCD chip.

To achieve this I am using a variable length extension tube so that a precise distance can be achieved.


(More to follow including diagrams)