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  #21  
Old 25-11-2021, 04:04 PM
astro744
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No worries. Enjoy surfing the stars. Note an object at a particular location in the sky at 3am will be in the same location at 1am one month later and at 11pm another month later. In a couple of months NGC 3242 will be in the evening sky. All objects rise approx 4 min. earlier each night which is approx 30 min. earlier per week or 2 hour per month or 24 hours per year and the seasons start again as the Earth makes another revolution around the Sun.
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  #22  
Old 26-11-2021, 01:08 AM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Maybe a bit too much light pollution.
I looked for the best part of an hour with 26, 20 and 15mm EP's.
Never mind, I'll get it another time.
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  #23  
Old 26-11-2021, 03:33 AM
astro744
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Keep trying. Globular cluster M30 is nearby too. Are you star hopping to the target? If you are sure you are pointing at the target then light pollution could be a factor. I said it was not difficult but it is considerably more difficult than 47 Tuc especially to a new observer without a trained eye on detecting the fainter grey patches of light that many DSOs are. I thought it would give you a challenge. There are many fainter and smaller DSOs (galaxies and small planetary nebula) considerably more difficult than the Helix. A dark sky and some experience and youíll soon be galaxy hopping in Virgo!

Note there is a free version of Sky Safari available for your mobile device. Stellarium for mobile too is available for a small cost. I prefer Sky Safari on mobile for everything except for time functions which the mobile version of Stellarium app does brilliantly. Simply tap the clock and drag the sky around moving forward and backward in time with your thumb. Tap again and it reverts back to dragging the sky around for positioning rather than time. Sky Safari uses the step forward/reverse and play forward/reverse buttons and you control the rate by selecting sec, min, hour, etc. Itís OK and you get used to it.

At the telescope though I prefer good old printed star charts (Sky Atlas 2000 and Uranometria) and a dim red torch (and a magnifying glass these days). I donít like bright electronic device screens in the dark as it ruins my night vision too much but maybe thatís just me these days as many prefer electronic charts for convenience. (Yes you can make them red and dim them). Not having the phone around though can be a good thing in other ways.
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  #24  
Old 26-11-2021, 03:43 AM
astro744
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Also try NGC 2070, 30 Doradus known as the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Itís approx between Canopus and 47 Tuc/Small Cloud in the south-east mid evening this time of year.
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  #25  
Old 26-11-2021, 12:02 PM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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I will have to try star hopping next time with the 26mm Plossal, the biggest I've got.

I have my laptop out with me, compass, inclinometer, beer, all the essentials really.

What l really need to do is fix/replace my focusser and balance my OTA on the EQ mount again.

Clear skies to you all, thanks heaps for the tips.
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  #26  
Old 26-11-2021, 12:24 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod-AR127 View Post
Martin that's exactly what l did last night.
Inclinometer on my phone held against the tube, compass in hand standing well away from the tripod and once l had found one object (TUC), l started to get a feeling for the scale of things as right now one arc minute may as well be a welding term.

Patrick I must clarify l then moved only a bit to the east and pointed the tube at 135į and 15į up.
Very close if not smack on to NGC 3372.

My focuser trouble is due to it being damaged when l dropped my tube the other year, it works but is missing som teeth of both the internal rack th and pinion.
I'll slowly replace when finances allow.
Rod,
Compass is a waste of time ( even if it has magnetic declination)
You have to find true south, then use azimuth to rotate to the correct position
I use my solar noon shadow method to find true south and mark a permanent line
Works really well , anywhere
Used it at 4 different locations
Cheers
Martin
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File Type: pdf Setting Tripod to Align to True South.pdf (21.2 KB, 7 views)
File Type: pdf Finding True South using Solar Noon Shadow Method.pdf (25.0 KB, 11 views)
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  #27  
Old 26-11-2021, 01:45 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Rod,
Compass is a waste of time ( even if it has magnetic declination)
You have to find true south, then use azimuth to rotate to the correct position
I use my solar noon shadow method to find true south and mark a permanent line
Works really well , anywhere
Used it at 4 different locations
Cheers
Martin
PS: Prior to using the solar noon shadow method , I did use a quality Silva compass with magnetic declination and a long flat strip of aluminium mounted on top of the tripod and found to many variations in readings for true south at my different sites. Im assuming the magnetic was affected by the surrounding compositions of mineral or ore deposits in the substrate or subsoil
The one good thing about the solar noon shadow method, the Sun doesnít lie , itís accurate wherever you decide to plonk your mount down ( unless your in the Antarctic or on the equator)
Cheers
Martin
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  #28  
Old 26-11-2021, 02:05 PM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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I'll get the true cardinal marks on my fences all lined up to the hills hoist, I'll be able to work out where to look depending on my setup location. I've got a large yard with a big tree in the middle so I'm usually skirting the perifery.
I can already see why it took me so long to find TUC.
I do know to keep my compass well away from my EQ mount to, sends it wild.
Also SCP is only about 1į or 3į from true south in WA (l think). Makes things easy for SCP set up.
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  #29  
Old 26-11-2021, 03:00 PM
astro744
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If you have your laptop out with you then finding south is easy. Use Stellarium and place the south cardinal point at the bottom of the screen. Zoom so you get a slightly curved horizon. Turn on the Alt-Az grid.

Now see if there are any stars slightly west and below the South Celestial Pole on the screen that you can also identify in the sky. Use triangles of stars to help you make sure you have a match. Once youíve picked a suitable star all you have to do us wait for that star to be on the vertical 180 deg. azimuth line. This is the meridian. It will cross right to left below the SCP and left to right above the SCP.

You can speed things up in the app by using the time forward button and pause when the star is on the meridian. Note the time. All you have to do is then is see where that same star is at the time noted in the real sky. It will be on the meridian. Drop avertical line to the horizon and that is true south. Works for any star south of zenith (for finding true south) and north of zenith for finding true north (motion reversed). The star must not yet have crossed the meridian otherwise pick another star but not one too far east or west or youíll be waiting a while. Works for the Sun too at solar noon. In winter the Sun is lower in the north and finding true north is easier as the plumb line is shorter True south is simply 180 deg. from true north if using this method in the day.

I used to use to Sun shadow method but I find the app method easier and quicker. Works great for Venus too in the daytime when itís not too close to the Sun. Simply find when it crosses the meridian and then go look for it at that time. Youíll only have to scan up and down on the meridian. In fact you can get the altitude of Venus using Stellarium making it even easier.
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  #30  
Old 26-11-2021, 10:20 PM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Thank you kindly for your insights and tips, greatly appreciated.
I received my William Paolini book "Choosing and Using Astronomical Eyepieces" today.

I like a good technical read, luckily.
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  #31  
Old 28-11-2021, 07:55 PM
Culford (Mick)
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Try Zeta Pavonis, double star. I haven't Checked this bad boy out yet but according to E Hartung (from his book) it is well worth a look.
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  #32  
Old 10-12-2021, 12:50 PM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Did l miss Andromeda galaxy?
Looks like it might be visible if l find a clear and low horizon.
Uranus is also on my list.

Have adjusted my still damaged focuser to be a bit smoother, the pinion gear is bent, looks like a new mid range Crayford and an adaptor made up.
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  #33  
Old 10-12-2021, 03:01 PM
astro744
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Originally Posted by Rod-AR127 View Post
Did l miss Andromeda galaxy?
Looks like it might be visible if l find a clear and low horizon.
Uranus is also on my list.

Have adjusted my still damaged focuser to be a bit smoother, the pinion gear is bent, looks like a new mid range Crayford and an adaptor made up.
Andromeda galaxy (M31) will be due north for you at 7:30pm (your local standard time) but it is still twilight. However you should be able to pick it in 30-45 min NNW. Try using binoculars.

Uranus will be due north at 9:30pm your local time. (Iím assuming WA does not have daylight saving). Also a binocular object but you need a telescope and mid to high magnification to see a disk. (In fact at mag. 5.7 in a dark sky it can be seen unaided).
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  #34  
Old 12-12-2021, 12:18 AM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Cloudy for two nights and possibly a touch of food poisoning
All l saw was the ceiling.
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  #35  
Old 12-12-2021, 06:55 AM
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floyd_2 (Dean)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod-AR127 View Post
I'll get the true cardinal marks on my fences all lined up to the hills hoist, I'll be able to work out where to look depending on my setup location. I've got a large yard with a big tree in the middle so I'm usually skirting the perifery.
I can already see why it took me so long to find TUC.
I do know to keep my compass well away from my EQ mount to, sends it wild.
Also SCP is only about 1į or 3į from true south in WA (l think). Makes things easy for SCP set up.
Hi Rod,
the other guys have the most accurate way of getting your bearings all sorted for you. I'm always wowed by the pool of knowledge here. If you're going to use your compass, you might need to correct it to true south if you haven't done so already. Take a look here for a calculator that can help to you calculate your offset from magnetic South: https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/cal...ml#declination

You could also use the compass on an iPhone, but would first have to go into Settings --> Compass and turn on USE TRUE NORTH.

In my case, I'm ALT/AZ so being super accurate really doesn't matter that much. I use my iPhone when setting up. The other methods mentioned here would certainly be more accurate and are worth learning. For quick and nasty though, the extra methods I've just listed might be worth a go too (especially if you're just setting up for a quick view)
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  #36  
Old 12-12-2021, 09:52 AM
bluesilver (Peter)
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I might be a tad late with this, but i use a very similar method that Martin has described.
I just use a pole on the surface making sure it is spot on square and level.
I get the Solar noon from here and found it to be a good site, you just put in your location,
Also shows you what planets are available to see and a few more things.
https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/@11746044
https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/night/@11746044
Might be of some help.
Cheers.
Peter.

Last edited by bluesilver; 12-12-2021 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Updated
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  #37  
Old 12-12-2021, 01:37 PM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Yeah thanks guys I'm all good for the true south alignment now.
So many different ways to calculate or observe true south.
Google tells me it's 1į 40' west of magnetic south here in Perth.
I'll have to compare that to my solar noon marked off of the hills hoist onto the fence.
Also, l stand well clear of metal objects when using my compass.
So for observational astronomy, once l dial in the first finder for the night l get myself lined up better and go from there.
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  #38  
Old 13-12-2021, 09:57 AM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Lovely conditions here last night, a bit smokey to the south but the rest of the sky was fantastically clear. By the time I'd exhausted myself around 1:30am ( there was beer involved) it was looking more like a country sky than a suburban one.
Had my neighbour over to show him Jupiter which was good, he liked that. I then swung back to Pleiades with the 20mm GSO super Plossal and then the beautiful M42 which we both really liked.
I let him loose on the moon which saw him start to master the EQ mount and find that straight line through some crater, google it and tell me what it was. A rhyll or something from memory, there was beer involved and he was starting to hog the scope so what was l to do.
He bid me good night around 10:30 and l settled in to find something good, anything.
My laptop had turned itself off long ago, l was too lazy to fetch the extension cord so l persisted with my phone and mobile Stellarium, on the hunt for Uranus.
Unfortunately too many beers had been enjoyed, often the way our nights go, him being a brewer both professionally and at home and, myself being a world class conisour of the amber gift from the God's.
No Usanus was found, and it was getting mighty cold so packed up and quietly slid into bed.

The best thing l learnered last night, having someone there to share it all with makes it way more enjoyable and, l now see the attraction of wide FOV EP's in the 30 to 40mm range. Trying to star hop is bloody difficult and having a wider FOV would make it so much easier.
That's all from me for now, I'll be back out tonight somewhere outside of Perth but not staying overnight as planned, too much to do around home.
Good morning and clear skies to you all.
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  #39  
Old 02-01-2022, 12:50 AM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Was able to locate Uranus this evening by star hopping from Hamel upwards.
Nice blue dot in the sky using the Orion Edge On Planetary 5 mm.

Heading back outside soon to see what else is about.
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  #40  
Old 02-01-2022, 04:20 AM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Well that was a reasonable nights viewing for a begginer.
Went back to what l know is easy with Pleiades and then a good look at Orion nebula with my 20 and 15mm GSO WA EPs and then the 5mm Orion. Getting used to what to expect to see. Also using the Stellarium features l was able to see the telescope view and match it up to what was in my EP. Getting to know how far things are from each other compared to what's on the screen was interesting. Was not able to eyeball the Rosetta nebula, there was a high probability l was looking right at it but didn't see it for the light pollution.

Swung around to the south and worked my way from aCrux across to the SMC with the finder scope, trying to get used to how it's backwards from the main ota and bino's. SMC ok but not 47 TUC. Not sure if l was looking too far away or right at it.
Tried to find some galaxy near Caldwell 104 but no luck, it's a mag 12 so l think that might be too dim for my location, plus with only the 15 then 5 mm EPs it's a difficult jump in magnification.

I really need to get my focusser sorted and a few more EPs about 10 and 8mm.

Highlight of the night, definately finding Uranus, and l like how childish that sounds.
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