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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  john Crockatt 5 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #2817

    Anonymous
    0p

    Hi guys, great site you have here.

    I have just started less than 1 month ago looking at the night sky and i started with a small Meade 114mm reflector which has helped teach me the very beginning basics like aiming and focus. Last night (04/03/12) was the first clear enough sky for me to see saturn!. Was a great sight

    Just as a side question, are there any locations nearby within an hour drive where the sky is a lot darker than it is in the city area? (6miles away from the city)

    Cheers

    #3444

    Brendan Martin
    Administrator
    1p

    Hi Phil, glad to see you are making best use of your scope, Saturn is becoming more favourable now, the nearest dark skies are in North Wales and within an hours drive of the city.
    clear skies
    Brendan

    #3445

    Anonymous
    0p

    Great thanks, might have to take a trip and find somewhere nice to take it and get some better views, Light pollution is fairly bad so close to the city i think.

    Will more than likely upgrade to something more substantial once i get the hang of things, like something that can track! although finding everything manually is fun. I just wish i could see gas formations like the ones near Orion, i dont think im able to get them with such a small telescope but i could be wrong.

    #3446

    Colin Murray
    Registered user
    3p

    You could always try the car park at Formby Point, that’s about 16 miles and 45 minutes drive. Although it’s not a dark sky site, you still get some light poluttion from Formby but at least the trees manage to mask most of it. I went there a few months ago with my telescope, it was OK although I had to share it with other people but at least they left me alone and you’ll have the problem of car headlights coming towards you but you can minimize the effect of that by choosing your site carefully.

    #3447

    Daniel kenealy
    Registered user
    0p

    if LP is an issue your welcome to come over to mine at halewood its abit better than the city if you dont fancy the hours drive and if the weather turns bad there’s always plenty of t and coffee, oh yeah hi im danny lol

    #3448

    Anonymous
    0p

    Just got back from formby point car park, was excellent. Very good views of Jupiter, venus and mars and some excellent views of the moon.

    I think the moon in its current state lessens what you can see in the sky though so i think i will need to go back in a couple of weeks when the moon isnt as bright.

    Out of interest, in decent conditions what can i expect to be able to see through the 4″, im able to make out the planets fairly well, venus seems tricky because of the brightness of it but can make out one clear band of jupiter and see 4 moons, with saturn i could clearly see the rings and a gap between them and the planet.

    Would really love to be able to see Andromeda and the orion nebulae

    #3449

    Brendan Martin
    Administrator
    1p

    Hi Phil, you should easily be able to see the Andromeda galaxy and the Orion neb through your telescope, although as you say the Moon is washing them out and they would be best viewed with it out of the way, do you have a planisphere you could take with you on your obs.
    cheers
    Brendan

    #3450

    Anonymous
    0p

    I have been using printouts and google sky app to help me identify what im looking at although i dont think its all that accurate all of the time.

    #3451

    Michael J. Hill
    Registered user
    0p

    A top tip to observing fainter objects is to allow your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust the dark. So if you want to use a mobile to check where an object is make sure you cover the screen with a red acetate (red light is ok).
    Another top tip (newbie too) is to take your time. Don’t try and rush your way around everything available. The longer at the eyepiece the more you resolve. Averted vision works well (observed object off centre).
    I also found the collimation (alignment of optical components) of my 8″ Newtonian shocking at delivery. If your confident at DIY have a browse and have a go. Old 35mm camera film cannister, a pin and a few minutes twiddling, Bingo. My experience is that a little knowledge can save £’s and reap BIG benefits.
    Make a focus mask out of cardboard, it worked for me! Piece of cardboard, three similar sized circular holes, serated edge folded over the outside of you scope, Pop it on when looking at a target, vary focus until all three images form one. Pop it off the scope Hey presto! Big advantage.
    One last thought, your first scope is your first step in astronomy. Don’t expect ‘magazine’ views, but the wonder of real science in real time right in front of your eyes.

    PS Live near Runcorn/Widnes Jubilee uplighter (bridge) and some fool is opening a 24 hour Tesco round the corner next week. My pollution is shocking too, but there are ways and means.

    PPS Try weekly meet at Leighton Observatory in Cronton. Not the darkest skies, but darker, elevated position, tea, coffee, buscuits (I’ve seen cumbs), cake (so rumour has it), great scopes and lots of advice. Clear skies too on occasion!! Well worth a visit as I can testify.

    #3452

    Keith Carmon
    Registered user
    0p

    If you can, try Pex Hill in Widnes. With luck, the telescope may be in use or you could use one of the Societies telescopes. On one occasion in the company of a Society member I actually saw a meteorite travelling N-S something that the member had never seen (I might add that I too had never seen one). If you are lucky you may also see the ISS

    All the best

    Keith C in Widnes

    #3453

    Anonymous
    0p

    Great!

    I will try those things, and i will try to get down to Pex Hill in the next couple of weeks and have a chat with some of you guys. Sounds like a lot of fun.

    Thanks

    #3454

    john Crockatt
    Registered user
    0p

    Phil,

    You have been advised to go to Leighton Observatory in Cronton, and to Pex Hill in Widnes.

    I hope you realise that these are two names for the same place !

    John

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