Mark Thompson Astronomy

Mark Thompson's Astronomy Blog

Follow my posts on all things Astronomy flavoured.

iOptron CEM60

March 13th, 2015 No Comments

Interesting challenges with my new iOptron CEM60 mount. All setup in observatory but last job was to polar align it. Polar alignment is an essential task that aligns the mount with the Earth’s axis of rotation so that a motor drive can easily track objects across the sky. Powered it all up to start polar alignment routine but not a hint of the motor tracking! Read more »

24 Hour Space Show – Companies….I Need You!

February 22nd, 2015 No Comments

IMG_3423No stranger to public speaking, Mark is embarking on perhaps the most ambitious live science show ever undertaken.

In October 2015 Mark will be presenting his 24 Hour Space Spectacular at the Royal Institution in London! The event, which is being arranged in aid of Marie Curie will take audiences on an ambitious and fascinating journey around the entire Universe in the time it takes the Earth to spin once on its axis. Read more »

Your last chance for 8,000 years. Comet Lovejoy Observing Guide

January 7th, 2015 No Comments

Comet Lovejoy Comets have been in the news a lot lately especially with the excitement of the Rosetta mission to Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It seemed nothing could top the succesful landing of the Philae probe on the comets surface to whip up some celestial excitement among the public until Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy started to make an appearance. Read more »

Santa in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace.

December 16th, 2014 No Comments

imageChristmas is a great time of year, more so for young children. I get quite annoyed when I hear do-gooders ranting on about how it is terrible to perpetuate the lie about Santa, is there really anything wrong about conjouring a wonderful magical memory for children to grow up with? If you like me, love to get kids excited about the forthcoming festivities then there is some great news, on Christmas Eve you can take them outside and they can see the big fella flying over, right there in the sky. How excited are they goning be to see him flying over for themselves (although I suspect it will make it even harder to get your little ones to bed after seeing it)? Read more »

Mark’s Remote Observatory-II (MRO-II)

October 9th, 2014 No Comments

You may well recall the Mars Renaissance Orbiter which is studying the red planet. Well MRO-II is not entirely related to the NASA mission that cost $720 million and I hope at least, that it will come in a little cheaper. MRO-II is a slightly less ambitious project to setup my telescope system at a remote location, about 20 kilometres away from my home. As the project proceeds I will be posting updates right here, warts and all. You can join in with my successes and commiserate with the inevitable mistakes and frustrations along the way. Keep checking back for updates.

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