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View from a Scope | October 20, 2017

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A Change of Tact!

A Change of Tact!

I have been away from this blog and astronomy in truth for a while, For the last 9 months I have been embroiled in the most frustrating undertaking someone can embark on, Buying a House!. Unfortunately this has taken up almost all my time and thus I have had very little chance to concentrate on stargazing. Now that the house is bought I can finally get down to it all again. In this new light, I have decided to change tact slightly on my blog, I will be doing less and less news articles but more and more tips, tricks and observations about astronomy. To start this off, I will focus on my latest problem, the house I have moved into is closer to the village than where we used to live, so I want to chat a little about the issues behind light pollution, my new headache.

Shed some Light on it, No to much!!!

Since I have moved into the new house, towards the end of August I have only brought the telescope out once, I have however being keeping a naked eye on the sky to re-familiarise myself with it all. Astronomy I am sure is like many things, if you are away from it or you get moved out of your comfort zone it takes a while to get back into it. My comfort zone before was the ability to put my telescope outside my front door, have a great view of the southern sky and have some great physical pointers to get my aligned just right. All that has now changed, My new back garden is primarily facing East, with a little of the northern sky visibly. I am still able to align ok, but even this slight shift in in perspective, coupled with my time away means I am largely relearning the night sky. Although I am closer to the village there has been many nights were I got a great view of the milky way from the house, I was delighted with this and cant wait to get a proper observation deck set up so I can get some photos. Another thing I think I will have to get used to is actually driving out to a dark sky area. previously the dark sky area was about 4 foot from my front door, now to get the same thing I think I will need to travel. This has got me thinking about telescopes and ones that are easy to travel with, so I have decided that my next purchase will be a small startravel 80. Its funny how I have gone from a race for aperture to ease of use. But it is true what they say, “The best telescope you have is the one you use most”. There is no point in having a great 12″ scope if you never take it out because it takes to long to set up. I have come round to having something I can just take out put on a table and get stargazing with is every bit as important as the large aperture devices.

Conclusion

So all in all I am very happy that I can still get a great view of the milky way from my new house. but I am going to make more of an effort to leave the comfort of the back garden for darker skies. And to aid in this I will get the smaller scopes. My ultimate plan will be to have a shed / observatory where I can use larger scopes and have smaller ones to travel with. I think some investment will be needed in smarter mounts to get the most out of astrophotography, and seeing as the larger scopes and mounts need somewhere to be stored, this part of my plan will have to wait for now. so I think the next purchase will be the startravel followed by maybe a Coronado solar scope.

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