I’ve got a bit of a dilemma. I have a couple of observing trips planned for next year and, although they’re at star parties and I can get the use of larger scopes at the star parties, I am thinking of getting a smaller refractor or Maksutov-Cassegrain for the times I don’t have access to anything else, i.e. before and after the star parties.

Because of airline cabin baggage restrictions, and not wanting to trust anything to the deprivations of baggage handlers, I am going to be restricted to an 80 or 90mm short-tube refractor or a slightly larger (102mm or even 127mm) Maksutov-Cassegrain. But the question is, which? A short-tube refractor would give me nice wide-field views but a Mak-Cass would give me a bit more aperture and magnification.

Nice dilemma to have though.

On a totally unrelated note, I’m watching The Hunt For Red October and, in one scene the main character is boarding a flight from London to Washington DC. Naturally, it being an American film and showing a scene in England, it’s dark and pissing down. Nice bit of stereotyping there. Of course, it’s always dark and wet here, same as it’s always nice, hot and sunny in the US, even in winter.