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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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Wednesday 23rd July 2014 How close will this comet get to Mars in October?

This afternoon I managed to capture a 10 minute exposure of Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) from a telescope only a few metres away from the AAT at Siding Spring. I tracked the comet's path over the next few months using SkyX - and it comes extremely close to Mars in October. Not a brilliant image but it shows the comet clearly. The comet is currently in the constellation of Fornax.

Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) 600 seconds exposure Telescope T9 Siding Spring New South Wales

 Here is more information from NASA.

 Watch this video to find out more!

A clear night here in Spain but very humid. I used the SkyX with the camera add on and T Point for the first time to map stars close to the home position and provide polar alignment information. I found the large collection of menus littering the screen very confusing - obviously something I will have to get used to. During focusing the image of a star kept disappearing and reappearing - not quite sure why and there seems to be a period when the camera is " taking an image" then "exposing light" so is considerably slower than when using CCDSoft. At the moment I am assuming that I have an incorrect setting because it is difficult to use whilst shuffling menus round in circles to see what is going on. I must admit I would have preferred Sky6 and CCDSoft to have been upgraded as they were to add the extra features but I suspect it was a decision more related to income generation with "new" products. I used the polar alignment information - T Point said the elevation was perfect but had to adust the azimuth by a couple of tics on the knob.

I had to abandon any further work because the humidity was so high that every metal surface was soaked and it did not feel safe. The sky was quite clear and the Milky Way clearly visible.