Geomagnetic/Auroral Activity for past 24 hours

This chart auto-calibrates to the response of each magnetic sensor over time. As it does, accuracy should improve.

The 8 Inch reflector

This is about an 8 inch newtonian reflecting telescope that I "inherited" from a friend of mine. This has been his telescope for many years that he hand made.

It wasnt long, after moving the scope in and out of doors, banging and thumping it out of optical alignment and then finally cracking my elbow that I decided it had to become and "outside" scope. My orginal solution was to bolt the base to the ground. This lasted until the first strong wind, which literally bowled it down the garden. Miraculously, nothing was broken, but as a result the telescope was brought back inside and stayed there for some time.

Initally I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to make an equatorial mounting. Scrounging around the scrapyard found a piece of heavey brass tube and the following plan was born:

Laziness and poverty got the better of me and in the end I decided to utilise exising materials to make a "heavy duty" alt-az mount, recycling as much of the original telescope as I could. The original telescope cradle was cut in half and re-tied with threaded rod to make it easier to adjust the balance of the telescope. The rockebox was reinforced and instead of sitting on a groundboard, it effectivly pivots on a brass spike, like one of Texereau's telescopes.


Painting painting painting

The finished mounting. A new wide and heavy base means the telescope will not tip over! It's also very solid and performs well. The eyepiece is higher than it used to be. Not see in the picture, but I added 2 small dumbell plates (2.5kg ea) to the top end, forcing the the eypeice end to shimmy down hte mount to compemsate. I can now see though if without a stepladder, but the tail does foul on the base. A bit of a compromise, but not a huge inconvenience.