About

Hi and welcome to the blog !

My name is Mark Walters and I live on the Welsh border near Shrewsbury. I work professionally as a development control  archaeologist and i’m also an electronic musician in my spare time with releases on a number of experimental/electro-acoustic labels under the artist name Savaran. I’m happily married to my wife Gillian who is that rare thing, a true soul-mate in life, and suprisingly tolerant of my diverse interests. This blog diary follows my astronomical observations throughout each year and also comments occasionally on astronomical discoveries, science and news items.

I have a small home observatory ie. the back garden, or wherever I happen to be with a dark clear sky above me. My main interests are solar observation and photography, comet observation and photography, star clusters, all things lunar and observational astronomy in general. If you want to read more about my early years with astronomy go to the first blog post here https://sunnymeade.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/a-return-to-the-hobby/

My observing/imaging equipment currently includes (August 2011):

Vixen ED 115s 4.5″ apochromat refractor 890mm (F7.7) – Expensive but superb performer, requires no flattener for edge-to-edge pin sharp stars and on a level with Takahashi quality optically.

Skywatcher Equinox ED 80 3.1″ apochromat refrctor 500mm (F6.25)  – Good all-purpose wide angle and fairly fast aperture scope.

GSO 8″ F4 Newtonian Astrograph with Baader MPCC, Moonlite Crayford focusser – Very fast aperture photographic scope

Skywatcher EQ6 SKyScan Pro german equatorial mount

LVI Smartguider II

Celestron Alt/Az tripod mount – for casual solar/sky observing

Coronado PST Ha and CaK solar telescopes

Lunt Solar Systems CaK solar diagonal

White light solar diagonal

William Optics Dielectric Diagonal

Kendrick DigiFire 7 Dew Heater

Atik 16ic mono and an Atik 16HR-C one-shot colour CCD cameras

Canon 350D unmodified DSLR camera

Eyepieces: Meade Series 5000 (20mm, 9mm) plus a wonderful WO SWAN 32mm 2″ eyepiece for wide views. Celestron 2X Ultima Barlow. Televue Powermate 2.5x and 5x barlows.

Filters: Astronomik CLS, Ha, OIII, SII, UHC. Baader Solar Continuum. Atik UV/IR Block. Double Variable Polarizing. Aperture Solar Filters (white light)

Maxim DL and DSLR imaging software

Celestron 12v power pack for powering the EQ mount and dew heaters

An ageing Toshiba Tecra M3 Laptop which amazingly still runs everything without breaking into a sweat !

Numerous books

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