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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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Through my Binoculars

Today's Amateur Night Sky Daily is all about Binoculars and astronomy.

It was partially clear last night and I looked at a few objects with my Russian 7X50 Binoculars. They are an exceptionally solid pair with very good optics. the focusing is smooth and accurate. I know that in 1945 much of the Carl Zeiss factory in Jena Germany was transferred to Russian operation resulting in a quality boost to Russian Products. I inherited these binoculars and can't check how old they are but there seem to be a number of similar pairs selling online. Mine are like a new pair with no marks or damage.

The first constellation I spotted on going out was Cassiopeia - it was almost overhead and because of its position an M shape rather than the W shape I normally think of.

The Milky Way was all around and seemed more dispersed Alpha Perseus Regionthan normal - perhaps I was seeing more of it in the very clear sky. To the right of Cassiopeia was the constellation of Perseus  - the binocular view of the stars around Alpha Perseii (Mirfak) is one of my favourites. Alpha Persii is magnitude 1.72. In between Cassiopeia and Perseus was the Double Cluster - quite Double Cluster in Perseus. Len Adambriliant as always but with 7 X 50 binoculars handheld a little shaky. I need a better way of holding binoculars - I find just putting them on a tripod does help but makes for a stiff neck. The image on the right through my 4 inch refractor earlier this month gives an idea of the view through the 7X50 binoculars. The most spectacular view through my binoculars were the Hyades and Aldebaran. Aldebaran was a really bright orange and the main stars of the Hyades cluster fitted well into the field of view of my binoculars. Orion was sideways rising over the mountains towards the east and the Pleiades were very Pleiades Len Adam

bright almost overhead.

There was cloud to the south over the mountain tops which restricted the view in that direction and clouds were moving in rapidly.


This morning at 6 a.m. it had cleared and I took a 30 second image of Jupiter and Leo using my Sony DSLR

This is the annotated version - I have identified some of the stars in the image. Note the faint smudge of M44 at top right.

This is the pair of Russian 7X50 binoculars I used last night.

This is how I attach them to my tripod.

This morning I invented a way of using my i-phone as a finder using the "Sky View" App


To use Sky View as a finder for the Sun I selected Search

then chose the Solar System

then the Sun - an arrow shows the direction to move the binocular/phone combination

almost there

and there it is

spot on