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From: TerryMoselat signaol.com
Date: 15 December 2006 22:02:23 GMT
Subject: Aurora, Lidl Bargains, ISS, Ursids

Hi all,

1. AURORA  There was a good auroral display widely seen over UK last
night - they had clear skies whereas we didn't! There MIGHT be more
activity tonight, so have a look when it's clear.

2. Some more last minute pre-Xmas bargains from Lidls, on sale from
21/12/06:

A. The 70mm Skylux refractor (or a clone) on equatorial mount with
manual slow motion drives, 2 eyepieces, 6x30 finder, star
diagonal & "Star Navigator CD" will be on sale again at £39.99, or
€59.99 in ROI. An excellent little scope for the money! Good for solar
observing, BUT ONL:Y WITH A PROPER FILTER, or by PROJECTION! If you
don't know how to observe the Sun safely, DON'T DO IT AT ALL - ask your
local astronomy club for advice. You risk blindness if you don't do it
right!

B. The Bresser / Meade 10x50 binocs + case will also be on sale again at
£13.99 / €17.99. These have blue-coated lenses, and BK7 rather than BAK
4 prisms, but they are good value at that price, for a spare pair, or a
prezzie for a young person just starting in astronomy.

C. "Astronomy Book", 384pp, Hardback, at £8.99, or €12.99 - that's all
it says about it!

D. 90mm Telescope. This is described as a "Cassegrain", but that appears
to be a mistake! It doesn't look like any Cass I've ever seen! It seems
to be a typical terrestrial / birdwatching 'scope, with erecting prisms
to give a right-way-up image, and lens & eyepiece caps. It has a FOV of
19m at 1000m, fully coated lenses, & is nitrogen filled to prevent
internal condensation. It is shown mounted on a tripod, but I don't know
if that's included in the price of £99.99. N.B. This is NOT shown as
available in ROI.

Instead in ROI they have:

E. "Computer Telescope" 70mm lens, 350mm FL, with carry rucksack, and
Autostar Guide. Eyepiece is 31.5mm diam so should be interchangeable. It
appears to be a clone of the well-known Meade 'GoTo' or similar. Price
€169.99. NOT shown as available in N.I.

3. The ISS will start another series of evening passes over Ireland on
19 December. See the excellent, free, www.heavens-above.com.

4. It seems to have been cloudy over most of Ireland for the Geminids,
but there's one more minor shower before Xmas - the Ursids, peaking
around Dec 20-22. They usually have a ZHR of around 10, but sometimes
rates of up to 20 or 25 have been observed. The radiant is just N of
Kocab, or Beta UMa.

Clear Skies,

Terry Moseley

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