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    • Belper Dark Site open - WITH RESTRICTIONS.
      I am pleased to announce that we have the green light from Sharon to start holding meets again but (and its a strong but), there are a number of restrictions in place.
      If you intend to go up to the Belper dark site, then the following MUST BE ADHERED TOO......
      1. You can ONLY go up to the site Monday to Thursday (No weekends).
      2. You will have to set up in the middle of the field (NOT at the edges).
      3. 6 people MAXIMUM will be permitted to attend at any one time and the 2 meter rule is to be adhered too.
      4. NO looking through other peoples equipment and / or sharing of equipment.
      5. You must state you are going up to the site by creating a post on here, it will be 6 people only and first come, first served.  EMS staff still need to agree gate openings with Sharon.  Sharon will also monitor amount of people in attendance.
      6. No exceptions to the above.
      Also, this can be revoked at any time in line with local and national guidelines, if we the staff decided to, or if Sharon decides too.
      Please bear in mind that the site is Sharon's business and livelihood, so please DO NOT abuse the above instructions.
      I also need to point out that school holidays are now in affect, so it is very likely that she will be busy on weekdays too, I know from talking to Sharon that she is fully booked up at weekends for many weeks to come, hence why there are NO meets at weekends.  If it turns out that she is at full capacity during the week, then meets may be temporarily suspended, until a time that number of people on site reduce.
      This applies to the BELPER DARK SITE ONLY - Wymeswold IS STILL CLOSED.
      Any questions, please ask a member of staff.
      • 3 replies
    • Important: Internet Explorer Support Ending
      Internet Explorer will no longer be supported. Internet Explorer has been clinging to life for a lot longer than many anticipated. It uses an archaic rendering engine, has numerous vulnerabilities that impact both security and privacy, requires workarounds to get it to work with many websites, including ours, and has been surpassed by Microsoft's own newer Edge browsers (in two versions.)
      • 2 replies
    • Heroes in blue - NHS
      This is a brilliant and moving poem about our heroes in the NHS fighting the virus. The poem was heard on the radio and the creator of this video combined it with images of the crisis in our hospitals. Please stay safe everyone.
      • 2 replies
    • 2020 UK Astro Show Dates
      Some Astro show dates for your diary's.
      European Astrofest 2020 :  Friday January 31 + Saturday February 1st      Kensington, London.  (yes, its early this year !)   Links below for full details :
      Practical Astronomy Show 2020 :  Saturday 21 March 2020     Kettering     Show link and speaker info just released below :
      International Astronomy Show 2020 :   Dates in November to be confirmed.   Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.   Link below to homepage for more info :
      After 15 consecutive visits to Astrofest, i have decided to give it a miss this year 😓
      Reasons include me being disappointed with the show in 2018 & 2019, the travel involved, as well as 2 other shows closer to home.
      But i will definitely be at the PAS in March and almost certainly at the IAS in November as well.
      I thought the PAS was excellent last year, and for a first show for them, they hit the ground running and its all for free !!
      @Derbyshire Dave : you may be interested in the 'APT' talk ?
      Hopefully i'll see some of you there in Kettering ??  
      Regards, Rob 😀
      • 14 replies
    • IC 405 SHO
      Really needs more data
      3 x 1800 S2
      3 x 1800 Ha
      1x 1800 O3
      Tak102 reduced to 5.7
      • 3 replies
    • Prism Shoot-Out
      I decided on a shoot-out with two conventional 1.25" prism diagonals: a Takahashi TAKSD1 and a Baader Planetarium T-2. The telescope used was an Orion 90mm StarMax Maksutov.

      Baader Planetarium Prism Diagonal T-2/90deg and Takahashi TAKSD1
      These two prism diagonals were also compared against a third which is a 1.25" Baader Zeiss Amici (also equipped with a helical focuser).

      Baader Zeiss Amici
      The target was primarily a setting twilight Venus, although I also intended to view Saturn as it was in conjunction with Venus on the 11th of December. I didn’t have much time before both planets were too low so I primarily used an 18mm Astro Hutech, giving 69x. Venus was very bright and easily seen early on with a 25mm AH orthoscopic. For Venus I also employed a Baader Double Polarising filter.

      Venus/Saturn conjunction
      The Tak’ was up first.

      It is a lightweight diagonal and I have read reviews stating that the housing is plastic. I'm pretty sure it isn't and is a light metal alloy or possibly aluminium. I'm not so sure about the base plate, but I'm not totally convinced it isn’t also metal. It could very well be be a hard type of plastic. Unlike the Baader diagonals there is no filter thread in the nosepiece. Some have complained about the Tak's plastic collet snagging undercuts. I haven’t had any real problems although it helps if you use smoothies and barrels with shallow undercuts or those with lower lip flares (GSO, Tele Vue). The TAKSD1 gave a bright, sharp image with no light scatter and easily revealed the Venusian phase. The conventional Baader was next, followed by the Amici. Apart from the mirror reversing I could tell no difference between the Tak’ and the Amici. There was no hint of the prism roof with the Zeiss Amici. The Baader Planetarium T-2 also gave a sharp image, although I thought it was fractionally darker.

      The amount was almost imperceptible though and may have been my imagination. As Saturn became more prominent I switched all three to that.

      I can't choose a real winner. The Takahashi gave a bright, sharp image as did the Baader Zeiss Amici. The Baader bog-standard wasn't really any different and had the advantage over the Tak' of having a helical focuser. The Takahashi and standard Baader diagonals are about the same price.
      • 5 replies
    • Meteors Sept, Oct & Nov
      Meteor detection counts September - November 2019
      Although I've not really posted any results, my meteor detector has been running since mid August without too many major issues.  It's tucked away in a corner and I often forget it's still running.
      I've finally got around to updating my spreadsheet from the data automatically captured by the Spectrum Lab RMOB files.
      I had a few problems in September with local interference causing some crazy readings (hundreds per hour in some cases), i zeroed out those that were obviously wrong.
      I'm fairly certain some of it was due to heavy electrical equipment being used over the road and in direct line of sight of the antenna.
      October and November were both much better with good levels of hits per day and no problems from external interference.



      I've seen posts on the RMOB facebook page of people detecting Elon Musk's Starlink chain as it goes over Southern France.
      I've checked my captures and not seen anything that I can link to the pass times ...... which is good as I don't actually want them!
      Current RMOB data for December:  This is live so will update each hour with the latest results.

      • 5 replies
    • Moon 3 December ..
      Very, very rarely do I have a go at the moon, but it was so prominent last night I had a go at 18:30. Plan was to go to an observatory meeting and then come back and go deep sky. When I git back it had all gone ☹️
      Still, pleased with this, 500 frames on the ASI183MM through the GT81, processed in Autostakkert and Registax..
      • 2 replies
    • Picture of the Month November 2019
      Picture of the Month November 2019
      A poor month clear sky wise unfortunately but some hardy folk have been out there catching photons, well done all.
      • 10 replies
    • It's Christmas Time!
      We've made a few festive tweaks to the forum to celebrate the festive season: twinkling lights, a snowy logo and falling snow. 🎅🏻 Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
      • 9 replies
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