My Astronomy


Click here for main

Home Page

Latest History of Astronomy Weekly 

Latest ANS Weekly


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.


My Recent Tweets
« Day 189 Saturday 4th October 2014 Effects of the lightning strike | Main | Day 187 Thursday 2nd October 2014 Cepheid Variable CF Cas Calculation of its apparent Magnitude and Colour Inde »

Day 188 Friday 3rd October Lightning strike. Is my equipment damaged?

This is the first day when it appears that we will not be having storms or lightning. On Monday during one of the many lightning storms I was having dinner at about 8pm and there was an extremely loud crack that made me jump about a foot out of my chair - it sounded as though the lightning had struck within the room. All the power in the house went out.

Today - with the possibility of a clear night I tried to set up the equipment ready to observe, The telescope switched on fine - responding to the hand controller as usual and slewing to home with 2 button presses as normal.

Back at the computer in the house however it was a different matter - when I plugged in the USB cable to the port - I did not get the usual bing-bong. I tried my wireless mouse - no bing-bong. None of the ports were working. I googled the problem as usual finding a range of solutions none of which worked. Then the laptop told me that it was low on power and switched itself off - even though it was plugged in. I soon realised that the power supply had failed. I tested the powered USB cable to the telescope on my other laptop - and saw that it was not working. A strange coincidence of three failures at the same time. Maybe not - I think the lightning "strike" caused a surge which blew the laptop power supply and the 30m powered cable  connected to its own electronics and to the laptop ports causing them to blow. I think the telescope , camera and focuser which all connect to that same powered cable through a hub are OK but will not know until I set the sotfware and drivers up on my other laptop - tomorrow's job. I think somebody up there is not in favour of me discovering a supernova!! Maybe I am missing a simpler solution but have not spotted it yet.