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.


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Clear Skies?

It is just as well that the internet was invented so that amateur astronomers can link to remote telescopes where skies are clearer. What is the prospect of a clear night tonight here in Lancashire? (6 p.m. at the moment)  Hang on - I will just pop out to my back door and take a quick photo of the sky with my iPhone. Back in a minute.


Well I used my Night Modes App to take that photo - a miserable night with more clouds so Lancashire is no good. What about the rest of the world?I just need to log in to iTel and check the situation. You need to hang on again. 


Well as you can see it is day time in New Mexico and California (the observatories are located at the two red dots) - my wall clocks tell all. I need to take some pictures of the clocks... This is the New Mexico clock.


So - it is 20 past 11 in the morning (Wednesday 30th December 2015) so no chance there. 

This is the Sierra Nevada California clock



California is one hour behind New Mexico so it is only 10:20 a.m. there.

Hang on - I spot in the iTelescope "Launchpad" above that T18 is free in Spain at Nerpio. I will just check the skies there. No - someone has grabbed that telescope and is taking an image.  Any way - this is the sky from the T18 dome at the moment.

So I have a picture of some stars at least! Clear skies in Spain then. The telescopes in Spain are based at Nerpio in the south. The time in Spain is 1 hour ahead of the UK at the moment so it is 7:20 p.m. local time there.



What about Australia? - you can see from the world map above that daylight is approaching and that Twilight Dawn has closed the roof on the Siding Spring shed. 

This is what my Siding Spring clock says - it is 20 past 5 in the morning. I only have three 24 hour clocks - one each for Australia, New Mexico and California. I use  ordinary 12 hour clocks for the UK and Spain as I always know what time of day it is in the UK and Spain is one or two hours away from that.


 So there is only one active telescope available on the iTel system but is in constant use. 

Looks like I need to go back to my books  - here is one recent purchase



This seems like a good introductory text - I particularly like the quick start guide to Stargazing. Mark is based in Norfolk. I have just joined the Noriwch Astronomical Society recently but have not had a chance to attend a meeting since then so I was pleased to see that they used my lunar eclipse images on the front page of the Winter 2015  Cygnus,  the Society newsletter.


I bought some books this morning online from "The Works". I particularly liked the price of this one - 


 Not bad for £2 including free postage. I must admit it led me to buy two more books- this one


 Not bad for £6 - it is £20 on Amazon currently - this is the hardback edition. I must say that I occasionally visit the Works shop in the Arndale Centre in Manchester - find a very much price reduced book and then walk round to Waterstones to find the same book at full price. Are the Works buying them cheaper than Waterstones?

I also bought this one for £4 - evidently the full price is £16!

All free delivery by second class mail.