Deep Sky Binocular and other stories

I’ve added a new page to the ‘Articles’ section. It’s a follow-up to the AL binocular Messier project I did and is about my little project to observe the objects listed in the Astronomical League’s Deep Sky Binocular Club list. This wee projectette lasted from October 24th 2008 until June 19th 2010 and I observed all the objects on the list. Some were easier than others and some took more than one attempt to find, thanks to conditions on the night, but I got them all eventually. Click here to see the article.
I could, I suppose, send my observations in to the AL and claim the certificate and pin, as I did with the Messier list, but I let my membership lapse – at £40 it is a little expensive for what you actually get – and haven’t the spare funds to renew it at present. I will renew it eventually and do some more of the observing projects. Judging by what I see and hear, both at home and over in the US, observing programs (particularly organised ones like the AL’s) are more popular State-side than they are here. I’ve no idea why that is the case, I suppose it’s because we English don’t like sticking rigidly to anything!

My 18 inch scope is now complete, David has received the payment ok (I am always a little worried that bank transfers will vanish into the ether!) and I am hoping to go and collect it tomorrow, barring any hitches with work/vans/travel/whatever. It’s up in Nottingham, which is a fair trek from the Island, a 400-mile round trip via the A3M, M25 London Orbital and M1 motorways. This will be my only chance to collect it before the end of the month, so I hope that there are no hitches, last minute or otherwise, tomorrow!

I don’t think the new scope will go in my little Citroen C3; it would fit in it ok, but actually getting it into the car in the first place would be a problem, due to lack of clearance on the tailgate. I’m planning to get a new car anyway, I’m fed up with driving such a small car and getting run into the hedge by idiots in 4x4s, it isn’t that cheap to run either and it is starting to cost me money in repairs, so if I am going to change it I may as well get a bigger vehicle while I’m at it. The next car will be something like a Ford Focus estate (estate=station wagon in the US) – something large enough to fit a scope in. Unfortunately, that might mean scrapping any plans for a trip to Australia in 2013, but needs must – there’s no public transport here, we’re in an isolated community and a reliable car is essential. Whatever car I end up getting, and whenever it will be, I will be measuring it to see if my telescope will fit…