Quark; Fun in the Sun! Sunday 2nd July, 2017

Sunday afternoon’s weather was better than expected, so I decided to give the Quark its second run out…

Thought it was a good chance to run it from my RavPower LiPoly battery pack that I use to power the Nexus WiFi device and occasionally the iPad running SkySafari (rather than the mains adapter). Useful to know for when mains isn’t available when doing outreach and the like. Andy finds that one of his packs turns off periodically – when the Quark has heated up and then stops drawing power… note also new, matching ‘red/black’ micro USB cable (a single pound from Amazon… all the way from China!)

As well as the 32mm Plossl used before, I’d acquired a S/H 40mm Televue (awaiting the 25mm) off eBay, so it was a chance to try out that as well.

Rather than using white pencil on black paper as previous, I’d been thinking of other methods – so this time I was going to experiment with a new Pentel 0.7mm Graphgear 1000 mechanical pencil with red leads onto white paper.

Pleased to find that the battery doesn’t auto switch-off and over the 2 hours of observing didn’t even drop a quarter of it’s power (according to its four little blue lights). The 40mm is useful for when the conditions don’t allow for the 32 (although the eye relief is too much – I’m going to get some of them TV eye extenders I think).

It’s amazing the difference my black (night time observing), cloth increases the view, but it is a little too heavy and warm… so I took a chance and purchased one of those photo studio flash umbrellas from eBay for £6, that was mentioned in a thread a few weeks ago on StargazersLounge. I have a plan to attach it to my homemade sun-shield… or something !

Sketches from the day. Inverted in Photoshop. I’m liking the red pencil leads although they are slightly hard. I’ve got some hopefully softer leads on the way and will probably change paper stock as well.

Copyright: GONG/NSO/AURA/NSF.

GONG image included for comparison. My sketches above not inverted but you can match up easily the ‘second’ and ‘fifth’ sketches to  those on the upper left and right of the GONG image. When I was drawing the ‘fifth’ one around 5.15, I thought it reminded me of a fishing fly… it still does here!

The Quark behaved admirably yet again and seems a good match to the TSA, showing superb prominence structure and plenty of surface features (despite the lack of them yesterday!)

Clear skies,

Damian

 

 

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