RSS Feed

Category Archives: Astronomy

The Planets


Finally there has been a break in the clouds without the star blocking haze as their replacement. I could not set up the telescopes outside due to the time of night so they were set up in the bedroom.

I was not expecting a photo of any sort as my equipment, for this shot, was a Bresser 70/700, a Celestron 15mm, a mobile phone holder and a Nokia Lumia 1020, my old phone, kept for the 42mp camera more than anything else.

I know that this equipment will never get to the wow stage for most, but for me building up a catalogue of shots will be my Eye Spy book of astronomy for big kids. Heck, I couldn’t even see Jupiter through the first telescope I got as a Christmas present when I was a nipper.

Astronomy is a funny thing… even though the stars have been seen by millions – before you, and they have been mapped out – before you, photographed – before you, the thrill of actually looking for and seeing the planet, galaxy or start clusters with your own eyes matches the thrill of the first people to see them. The explorer that beats within our souls has the opportunity to to do just that, Explore!

Even knowing where ‘it’ is does not help with finding ‘it’ as ‘it’ moves. When you get to a certain magnification that movement is fast.

So… Jupiter… found!

On a side note, I did not realise that Jupiter had four large moons so I am really chuffed I caught them. Total Newb .


fullsizeoutput_12fSome times you start a new hobby and the first month is the most intense, only to start wavering when it did not pan out how you imagined. My first month has passed and I have spent an hour on doing it, but several prepping for it, I bought secondhand, so there has been cleaning to do.

My hobby…Astronomy, with telescopes.

What have I seen through them? Clouds, lots and lots of clouds, with the occasional glimpse of the night sky.

When I was a wee nipper, I had a telescope, only a cheep one, nothing fancy. I also remember how disappointing it was, I could see the moon and that was about it. As a sci-fi fan, that started about the same age, I wanted to look up and spot the UFO’s, Mars, Saturn and Venus, the things that were on the films, and the only thing that I could see was the moon and not much detail at that.

That telescope sat for years on top of a shelf, Unused. I think it went to a car boot sale in the end. My eyes however always wandered the sky, especially when on holiday where there are infinitesimally more. Nothing more than a couple of constellations were leant though.

So what bought back the urge to start looking up again? An old Sky at Night video with Sir Patrick Moore. Took me right back to my childhood.

After a couple of weeks research I decided on a size and type along with a budget. Ebay was scanned, and a bargain was gotten. Only when I got it home the bargain was…Not so much.

I bought a 130mm diameter reflector and travelled a 100 miles, in total, to fetch it. Not having one before it looked BIG, and the info sticker was not on it. But having downloaded the manual, which covered a few models, it started to look wrong. Upon measuring it is the 114mm model. Emails back and forth a partial refund was had. When I resell it I will get my money back and it is still bigger than my 76mm table top reflector I bought from my brother in law, to use with my son, and get two compatible lenses. I will have a better idea on what my next size will be with using both.

On the walks with Spot, the moon has been shining down, including a full moon and the stars have been bright the week either side of the New Moon. I get back home eager to find out if I have set up the telescopes correctly only to stare out of the window at mist, rain and clouds. It is as if someone has access to a weather switch and is winding me up.

And so my first month…Peek-a-boo with the moon.