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

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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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« Day 34 - another clear night with the Moon rising later. | Main | Day 32 Clear night - Trial of 4" Refractor and SBIG ST9XE Combination »

Day 33 My 1969 visit to Frank Acfield at Forest Hall Observatory in Newcastle.

Not a bad day but I decided to give the full Moon its dominance today and did no observing.

I had been thinking about how I got started in serious practical astronomy and remembered Frank Acfield who I knew in the late sixties when I was a young electrical engineer based in Blyth Power Station in Northumberland but living in Manor House Road in Jesmond in Newcastle(A lot of people I have since met seemed to live temporarily in Jesmond for some reason!).

          Frank Acfield                     Forest Hall Observatory

I visited Frank at his observatory in Forest Hall in Newcastle about 4 miles from Jesmond (on the left - images courtesy of BBC Sky at Night) -  and looked through his ten inch reflector at the Moon. That view and his enthusiasm really got me hooked. I had been in the dome at the Godlee Observatory in the UMIST building in Manchester University - the building where I was a student for 3 years, but had never got to look through the telescope there. (See my recent Godlee visit images here). I had only used a 60mm refractor prior to Frank's reflector.

I joined his course at Newcastle University. There was a course "text" recommended by Frank called "Stars at a Glance" which he thought was ideal for an introductory astronomy course.


As part of the course which as you can see was called  "An Introduction to Astronomy" we all got to visit his observatory. I think he split us up into groups of appropriate size and got us to visit the dome on non- course nights when the Moon was at an apropriate phase. . I remember looking though his 10 " reflector at the Moon, being very impressed and thinking that I had to have one of those. Not too long later a 10" reflector was made for me by an amateur in Iver in Buckinghamshire.

I missed the first night of the course but took notes for all of the other lectures.(See later blog for details)

Frank Acfield was constantly referred to on The Sky at Night by Patrick Moore as his "very good friend Frank Acfield" Watch for the reference to Frank in this video