Orion Nebula Trapezium

Wednesday 12th December 2017
8.30 to 10pm Moon just past first quarter
A while ago at the club, someone suggested I try and see all six stars in the trapezium with my 16 inch Dobsonian.  Last night was really clear and I managed to see all six. I had a vague recollection I’d managed this before, but have only been able to see the four brighter stars the last few times I’ve tried. It must be something to do with seeing conditions/transparency.
All six stars were visible in my Vixen LVW 13mm eyepiece, which provides 155x magnification in my scope. The fainter two stars weren’t visible in my 8mm Televue Radian eyepiece, but I recall seeing them in an old Televue plossl eyepiece I used to own.
Comparing the two faint stars, the bottom one is slightly more inclined towards its neighbour, whereas the top one is pointing out more to open space. The bottom one is easier to see, but both stars were coming in and out of view, depending on atmospheric conditions.

David Geary

Starry Night

Well, it’ not starry, but I an around Damian and Julie’s watching Carols from Kings and Damian has leant me his favourite cup for coffee with brandy – well it tastes more like brandy with touch of coffee – delicious!

Probably closest I will get to s starry night tonight but Christmas is all about a baby born in a stable, pointed out by a star – possibly a kilonova? I wonder – the Star of Bethlehem might have been the first example in history if recorded kilonova.


Lichfield micro-meteorite project – making and setting up collector

On BBC Sky at Night TV show a few months ago, they collected micro-meteorites from roof collection at the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth, UK. Rhys and I ordered some neodychromium magnetd and today we mounted them on a piece of spare wood using some small screws through their central holes. We put the wood and magnets, magnet side down, in the guttering on the front of our house in Lichfield, UK.

Hopefully, this will extra small metallic debris from the water running off the roof when it rains over the next few months. Again hopefully some of this will turn out to be micro-meteorites.

Andy and Rhys

Fixing broken timer on Eppendorf 5315c centrifuge


The bargain centrifuge has one problem.. …the timer didn’t work – it was like this when I bought it from ebay. I purchased a new timer from America (see previous posts). It arrived today and I spent an enjoyable hour dismantling the centrifuge and replacing the timer. A lot of dirt and much inside after 30-40 years and the timer was all rusted up. It is spring driven – I know, unbelievable in this digital age! The new timer is supposed to be the same but in fact the casing is slightly different shape so out came my hammer and pliers to bend the bracket it fixes to in the centrifuge to a accommodate the new one. After modification the bracket could only be reattached at one end so my trusty glue gun sorted out the other side. Sounds Heath Robinson but all worked well enough and you can’t see anything once the case is put back together.

What impresses me most is that I have managed to fix this without the help of Ed or Led or Pete – great guys, really helpful, but I am pleased to manage to do it myself this time.