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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

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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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Day 113 Sunday 13th July 2014 T-Point Model, Galaxies in Lyra, M81,M82,M63 and Pluto.

Another hot clear day - will the clouds roll in tonight? It will be a bright Moon tonight.

I thought I would do some balancing experiments today to show how easily the telescope can be imbalanced - and hopefully how well it can be balanced. 

I start off with a video of the effect of putting the corrector plate cover on the telescope with the RA axis unclamped and loose.  Will it move when I add the cover?


Obviously the telescope is not quite balanced otherwise it would not move when I removed the cap.

A little more tweaking

 Not perfect but pretty close!

 No clouds but hard to see many stars with the very bright Moon. The seeing seemed pretty poor but nevertheless allowed me to map over 40 stars and carry out a Lyra galaxy imaging run. It seemed very humid and the images were mottled in some cases particularly when the temperature was reduced to 5 C or less. At ambient temperature of high 20's C a lot of heat generated dots - which were removed by dark frames but I tried to get a balance between the temperature and thermal "stars". I think it likely that I need to bake the camera dessicant plug in the oven again to improve its moisture capturing capability in the camera. The best compromise seemed at about 15 C. Bear in mind daytime temperatures go up to 35 degrees C here most days.

After the T-Point Model was established the following polar alignment adjustments were recommended



I think I will repeat the process to get another T Point model before making adjustments to the mount as I used stars on both sides of the meridian. T Point recommends only using a model built up on one side of the meridian for reliable polar alignment data.

I did a galaxy run of 39 Lyra galaxies to be able to use Grepnova with the previous run on the same galaxies a few weeks back. The images were all of poor quality.


PGC 62838


PGC 63165

NGC 6792

I took an image of M82 

M82 is the location of SN 2014J that I imaged in March with the 4 inch refractor

I also took images of M63 (left) and M81

I am still working on my "Pluto" project - following it for as long as I can

The above image is placed into the star chart below to show how small an area it actually covers compared to the constellation of Sagittarius