Adding ‘GoTo’ to EQ5 with a Skywatcher 200P?

Hi All

Having owned this mount and scope for nearly a year, I am thinking of adding a GoTo/tracking function by purchasing the SynScan Pro V3 Upgrade kit but would first like to seek the views of any members who have already added this feature or been down this route. At around £300 it should be an excellent accessory and all the utube videos and internet reviews support this.  Alternatively, is it possible to add just motor drives (at around £100) and control these with planetarium software, like Stellarium or Skysafari?

Any views, in favour or against are very welcome. Thanks.

Nightworld at Rosliston Forestry Centre 26/7/2019

Many members of RAG attended Nightworld tonight at Rosliston Forestry Centre. This annual event is open to the public and involves astronomy, bat walls, moths, and a variety of other night time science and conversation activities.

Thanks to Damian who provided transport for me following my operation, I was also able to attend and had a great time!

Many members of the public also learnt about telescopes and astronomy c/o RAG, also cloud and drizzle prevented any actual observing of the night sky. I wonder if a subscription to an online telescope service would be a good idea to give us some access to the night sky during these events even when it is cloudy or rains? One for the future to consider.


Lightning video & photos from Lichfield, UK, 26/07/2019 between 0223-0250

Rhys took the following video/photos on our Samsung S7 phone using the slow-mo video function and edited to stitch the lightning strikes together using VideoPad Video Editor.

Video & photos are copyright Rhys Thornett, 2019. All rights reserved.

Photos are single frames from the video.


Video links first with photos of good single frames from video at bottom of post:

Video hosted on YouTube:

Video hosted on 1and1 (mp4):



Moon 25/07/2019

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I coudn’t sleep last night, so looking out of the window, I could see almost an exact last quarter moon. It would seem then that one of my favourite targets, Rupes recta, or the Straight wall might be ideally lit in the (lunar) setting sun for a change.


And so it was! A couple of the details deserved a closer examination:

Dome Birt 1 was quite obvious on the detail image of the Straight wall.

It was also interesting to compare images of the Wall under rising and setting sun conditions.

I acquired the rising sun image a couple of years ago under similar (ie window-sill) conditions.

A little north of the Wall is the crater Lalande, and do I see a second “Lunar X”?!


M25 Sagittarius open cluster

Looking through my records for potential targets I noticed I had no recorded observation either image or sketch, of M25, a Sagittarius open cluster. This is probably because of its large size (30′) and low elevation. Anyway, it looked ideal for a window-sill image, so after a considerable time tracking it down (there aren’t any convenient stars to hop from), here it is: