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

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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Saturday
May172014

Saturday 17th May 2014 Electric focuser has solved the problems I had way back in 2010.

In 2010 not having an electric focuser was making my life difficult as in the report below from December 2010.

Last night was clear again - I managed to do a complete run of galaxies in the Perseus region using 30 second exposures.Issues encountered were:

  • The process of setting up the telescope is the most difficult. Although it is southern Spain, it is winter and (although it may be sunny during the day and not too cold)  the wind does tend to be chilly and very uncomfortable. I have trailing cables down the front of the Villa through the sitting room window to my laptop so once the setup is complete and the script is running I can monitor images in comfort. I need to connect my Netbook to the telescope on the terrace so that I can check alignment and focus. Focusing is quite difficult with the LX200 as I have to ensure that the main mirror is clamped then use the external focuser to get precise focus which I find quite difficult. It is very annoying to set the focus - disconnect the Netbook ,connect up to the laptop downstairs and then find that the focus has changed involving changing back to the Netbook again to refocus. 
  • Over an extended period it was necessary to stop the process and recentre the object although galaxies were always well in the field of view. When comparing new galaxy images with library images it is easier if the object is always in the centre.
  • The mount and OTA do tend to respond to the gusty wind that blows across the terrace with the result that stars can be enlarged and elongated during a 30s exposure.

This is one of the fifty images taken - NGC 846