Gitzo Systematic Series 5 GT5532S Carbon Fibre Tripod Review

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The Gitzo Systematic Series 5 GT5532S Carbon Fibre tripod is an excellent choice for the travelling astronomer. With a closed length of less than 63cm and weight of only 2.8kg, it travels easily, but with a load capacity of 40kg and fantastic torsional rigidity, it provides a very stable base for high power observing. Click to read more

First Ring System Found Around an Asteroid

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One significant feature that links Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is the presence of ring system.  Now a fifth solar system body can be added to this rarefied group, and it is a rather surprising addition.  Observations at several sites in South America including ESO’s La Silla Observatory have discovered… Click to read more

A large Lunar Impact Blast on 11 September 2013

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On the 11th September 2013 at 20hrs 07min 28.68secs ±0.01secs UTC, two telescopes operated in MIDAS network recorded an bright flash produced by the impact on the Moon of a large meteoroid. The peak brightness of this flash reached 2.9 ± 0.2 mag in V and it lasted over 8 seconds, with estimated energy of 15.6 ± 2.5 tons of TNT. Work has important implications for impact flux on Earth. Click to read more

First International Dark Sky Reserve Named in Ireland

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More good news for those of us who treasure dark skies to enjoy the wonders of the universe.  On January 27, 2014, the International Dark Sky Association named its first International Dark Sky Place in the Republic of Ireland.  Not only is the first in Ireland, but Kerry International Dark… Click to read more

Schmitt-Cassegrain Collimation Made Easy Using a Duncan Mask

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For any telescope to perform at its best, the optical elements must be aligned. With its magnifying secondary mirror, a Schmitt-Cassegrain is particularly sensitive to collimation. This process can be made quite simple by using a Duncan Mask which is very easy to make yourself and it removes the ambiguity of whether you have the optical elements precisely aligned. Click to read more