AR2736 development

AR2736 has developed rapidly, unusual, since we haven’t seen a decent sunspot for a while.

“Spaceweather” says:

“A few days ago, sunspot AR2736 didn’t exist. Now, the rapidly-growing active region stretches across more than 100,000 km of the solar surface and contains multiple dark cores larger than Earth. Moreover, it has a complicated magnetic field that is crackling with C-class solar flares.”

The images are fairly poor due to the extreme acute angle with the double glazing!

‘Almost’ Supermoon last night

HI Folks

*Update – sharpened the picture very slightly in PS ***

Last night was pretty clear for a while so I thought I’d do some prep work so I could get some good images of tonight’s Supermoon (21st March).

Well, as we can all see outside, that’s not going to happen (100% cloud here)

Anyway I got this nice one last night, with the SW 102 and the ZWO 174 camera, stacked in Registax 6 and tweaked slightly in PS

Enjoy !

“Electronic eyepiece” Visual experience – – – more

I have now mounted the screen (with Velcro) on the scope mount, which seems the best place for it. Last night’s almost full moon was on display, so here are some photos of the screen, Obviously nothing like as good as proper imaging, but it IS a computer-free visual experience!

The first one is with a focal reducer, the second straight into the camera, and the last two with a X2 barlow.

 

First light Orion Premium Linear Binoviewer with Orion UK Dobsonian 10 in telescope 20/3/19

First light last night with my new Orion Premium Linear Binoviewer used on my Orion 10 inch Dobsonian telescope. What excited me about his binoviewer when I got it was that it claimed not to need any in focus – an issue that has meant other binoviewers I have tried only work if a Barlow lens is also used which means they only work at high magnifications. The whole point (in my view) of using Dobsonian telescopes are the immersive wide angle views – and you need the wide angle at least initially with an object to find it in a Dob when you are star hopping!

Great news! The Orion (USA) Premium Linear Binoviewer does come to focus in my Orion UK (different company) 10 inch Dobsonian. In fact I needed to use a 35mm extension tube – although that is common too with eyepieces in this scope so does not imply that the binoviewer increases out focus. So I think the manufacturer’s claim that no extra in focus is required seems to be supported on this test.

I had more of a problem bringing images of the Moon and a couple of stars together with my two eyes in the binoviewer – I put this down to lack of experience. There were times when the Moon images did come together and then suddenly the Moon would be significantly brighter.

Mind you, I am being a bit unfair on the binoviewer here. Due to the Moon being located awkwardly behind a tree, I had to place the scope in an awkward position to get a view and my own body was somewhat awkwardly positioned too – so that it wasn’t easy to view properly through the binoviewer.

Andy

AR2736 flare – – -20/03/2019

According to “Spaceweather”:

“New sunspot AR2736 is growing rapidly in the sun’s northern hemisphere. This morning at 1118 UT, it announced itself with a C4-class solar flare.” 

Here is a fade animation of the AR2735 / AR2736 spot group pre and post this morning’s flare. The earlier image was at 09:38 UT taken with light cloud cover, the later one at 11:40 UT.

Fixing Extra Shoe to SkyWatcher 200P, with screws!

Hi All

After some discussion with Andy T on the benefits of a laser pointer for finding objects, I decided to get one of these. The laser and the bracket are yet to arrive but the extra shoe needed to mount it to the tube, ordered from Harrison Telescopes, arrived in 3 days. This is now fitted with the M4 countersunk screws and black nuts supplied. I will outline the method I used and tools needed, for comparison with Andy’s adhesive-based method (10 March) so you can decide which to use.

1. Make sure you think hard before you decide on the location; drilled holes are permanent. I placed mine about 20mm from the finder-scope shoe, to match the gap between it and the focuser base.

Tools needed

2. Attach masking tape to the area where it is to be attached.

3. Rest the tube horizontal up against a firm support with the focuser aperture above the area to be drilled, to prevent swarf/cuttings getting in. Also, I put newspaper directly under the drilling area to catch any cuttings and masking tape along the inner edge of the stiffener on the end of the tube. Time taken in preparation is well worth it. See the photo below. I would not advise doing this task with the tube in the mount.

4. Mark lines on the masking tape and use the shoe as a template to mark the locations of the two holes.

5. Check that the holes will clear the reinforcing plate (if fitted) inside the tube used for the finder-scope shoe.

6. Tubes are made of thin steel, work-hardened by the rolling process, so sharp drills are essential. Start with a small size drill, say 2.5mm and work up, in steps of 0.5mm, to 4mm diameter. This minimises the force needed to break through initially and subsequently to increase the hole size. Small drills break easily so do not apply too much force, have only a short length of drill protruding from the chuck and try to align the drill radially to the tube.To make sure the drill chuck could not touch and mark the tube, I pushed a rubber tap washer onto the drill, masking tape alone is not thick enough. Make sure you are in a comfortable position and able to control the pressure applied by the drill.

7. After drilling one hole, loosely attach the shoe and check the marked location of the 2nd hole.

8. If the 2nd screw will not insert, increase the hole size of one hole, or both if needed, to 4.5mm. Mine were fine with 4mm diameter.

9. Remove masking tape and the paper inside the tube and attach the shoe. I used a small spanner (shown in photo) to hold the nuts while tightening. Take care not to shear the screws as they have a small cross-section and not to scratch the black paint inside the tube.

Hold nut with small spanner
Job done

Once the bracket and laser arrive I will post a photo of the finished assembly, soon I hope!

Paul