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My Telescopes

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 68 Easter Sunday - The Sky this week and the Sorbas Fire.

The Sky next week from Sky and Telescope

In the evening I had a call from Andy Devey who had spotted a large fire near Sorbas moving from the west towards the mountains. It was extremely windy in the direction of Cabrera which had been evacuated under similar circumstances on previous occasions. Following Andy's directions I went out - still on the phone to him -  to see if I could spot it. Going though the arch at Cabrera I looked to the south west and could see a bright red cloud reflecting the fire. Andy confirmed that he could see the same red cloud from El Pinar de Bedar where he has a good view of the entire mountain range to his South and East. From Cabrera the fire had not reached the crest of the most distant hills - I could only see the reflected glow. A neighbour came out who had also spotted it. During the night I checked a couple of times - it seemed to be diminishing as seen from Cabrera.

David Jackson has blogged about it.

(Scroll down to April 20th to see the details on David's Blog about this fire - it is constantly updated.)


On one of my checks during the night I went up the hill to try and get a view of the fire - which I could not - and switched off my torch. The stars were bright with Mars brilliant over the "Onion Dome" a large house with a Moorish dome that dominates much of Cabrera. Street lights in Cabrera are carefully designed and are only on walkways with 9W bulbs I believe. There are very few of them leaving an excellent dark sky.