My Astronomy


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My New Book May 2018My previous e-book



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.


My Recent Tweets
« Tuesday 15th July 2014 I rediscover a Dwarf Nova - already discovered in 1998 - that was classified incorrectly as a supernova! | Main | Day 113 Sunday 13th July 2014 T-Point Model, Galaxies in Lyra, M81,M82,M63 and Pluto. »

Monday July 14th 2014 Just like being on Mars

Tonight, following the Polar Alignment Hints on page 40 of the T-Point Manual, I managed to map 20 stars on the West side of the Meridian, add terms as specified and extract the polar alignment data that is given by the software. I adjusted the mount following this information. I had used Mars which happened to be very close to the Home position to Synch the star chart to the mechanical position. Following the mount adjustment I deleted the T-Point model which was now no longer useful, homed the mount and Synched on Mars again. I tried to slew to Spica which is immediately below and very close to Mars tonight but could not find it. It was only when I went outside and realised that cloud had descended , no stars were visible and the corrector plate of the C14 was completely covered in moisture. I picked up the corrector plate cover which was soaking wet and put it on the scope and put on its cover and switched off.

Looking at the panorama below, it is hard to believe that this is another planet. I can go out and see Mars as a small red dot every night at the moment and here it is from a Martian's viewpoint. Amazing. Make sure you watch it full screen,

Mars Panorama - Curiosity rover: Martian solar day 673 in Out of this World


I like this "selfie" of Curiosity! Holding out its arm to take a photo!





The Curiosity story - 11 minutes long.