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My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

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

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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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 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 96 Thursday 26th June 2014 | Main | Day 94 Tuesday 24th June 2014 »

Day 95 Wednesday 25th June 2014 

A good day and a clear night. My pointing seemed to have gone since the previous evening and, because of the small image size I could not find a single object using the camera remotely. I even tried taking images and trying to plate solve them but the SKyX could not identify the field because it was being fed incorrect RA/Dec data from the software due to apparent incorrect polar alignment/T Point data.  I am hoping this was not caused be the recent very strong winds perhaps shifting the scope a little. It did not appear to have moved and was starpped securely to the Sierra Cabrera mountain range!! Both the 8 X 50 finder and the Telrad were misaligned- as it worked out only by a small amount - but enough to miss the field of the camera!  After a very long time I had to admit defeat and remove the camera. I used a 32mm eyepiece  and was able to get Saturn centred in the eyepiece and align the Telrad and the 8 X 50 finder. I then replaced the camera and Saturn was in the 12 minute square field! It was the early hours of the morning by then. I synched on Saturn. I was able to map a few very nearby stars.

I kept finding myself in the "horizontal counterweights" situation and stalling the mount with the resulting continuous beeps - they seem very loud at 2.30 a.m.  I must check the balance in the morning and restart the entire polar alignment process from scratch - hopefully tomorrow night.


I have always had this sort of problem when moving the paramount away from its permanent pier. I am sure I will resolve them soon.

The sky was clear and moonless - the Milky Way stretching across from the mountain range - Scorpius is very prominent and Mars and Saturn very bright with Spia in Virgo between the two but nearer to Mars.. Saturn was quite a sight through the 32mm eyepiece with the C14 but I didn't have time to look at it closely.

The summer triangle was prominent but not as clearly separated from the other stars as it is in light polluted Lancashire.