A big welcome to the Cymbeline Observatory website.

The Cymbeline Observatory website was created in 2005 because I wanted to share the work I was doing with the observatory build, the equipment it housed and the astronomical objects, planets and deep sky objects that I observe and image.

Please take some time to have a look round the site and explore, use the menu above to navigate around the site.

Thanks to everyone who visits the site and I hope you leave with the intention of returning. I'll update every so often when I have enough new stuff to make it an interesting job to do, but for now...


Latest News 2024/06/19

It's mid-June and the weather has decided to be a bit kind. It's been patchy cloudy, but nice and dry. The last three days have been good for solar imaging and as a result I've added more full disk and sunspot images to the Solar System page.

News 2024/06/05

It's been a terrible year for weather so far, so I've not managed to do very much. However, things started looking better at the beginning of June and I managed to get an image of the Sun. I have added that image to the Solar System page.

In addition I had a go at an early summer project using iTelescope T80 in Spain, I chose to do a mosaic of the constellation of Cygnus, I've posted the resulting image here.

News 2024/02/18

I've started a winter project to capture the whole area around Monoceros and Orion using T80 on iTelescope.net. I'm thinking of adding a Projects page to the Observations menu where I can include this type of project. But for now I've added 3 new images to the iTelescope page that show individual images that will be used in the project. See here.

News 2024/01/20

I've had a busy week as there have been 4 clear nights in a row, so I've done plenty more imaging of the Moon (mainly) and Jupiter. I took the chance to use a barlow lens to get a closer view of both targets. So again I have added the new images to the Solar System page.

News, 2023/11/25

After an enforced break, due to an issue with the mount (and it looked like it could have been a condensation problem), the observatory got back online last night. The mount went back yesterday morning and last night I got it Polar aligned and Three Star aligned. I had a good view of Jupiter and also Uranus, and then took some more videos of the Moon. So I have added the new images to the Solar System page.

News, 2023/10/30

Last night and tonight I've been doing some imaging of Jupiter and the Moon (1 day past full moon) so now I have some new images added to the Solar System page.

News, 2023/09/25

I have resolved the pier height problem. I purchased an adaptor plate from Altair Astro and fitted it to the pier using three stainless steel support bars which I drilled and tapped to fit.

pier extension

It raises the pier height about 250 mm and that should be plenty to allow the scopes to get a better view over the observatory wall height.

News, 2023/09/07

So, we had four clear nights from 2nd to 5th September, and I managed to get mostly set up over these nights. With the refractor mounted I used the iOptron iPolar software to get the mount polar aligned, iPolar actually made this quite easy, but I wasn't too happy with it - the GoTo seemed to be a bit off - I was having to move onto the object of interest by moving the telescope after the slew. The following day I fitted the reflector, so I re-did the Polar Alignment because the different telescope will make the mount behave slightly differently. A third attempt showed me that I hadn't tightened the RA and Dec locking screws down tightly, so any slew would have been likely to move the mount slightly and give me errors. It then also occured to me that a two star alignment might help, so i did one. The mount then wanted to do a three star alignment, so I did that too - and wow, the GoTo now works very well.

I spent some time trying to get a view of Saturn. Now I have another problem, due to the height of the observatory walls and the distance to the slit opening, I was not able to see it through the main scope although it was visible through the finder. My mount needs to be raised by about 200mm I think. So that is my next job, then I'll have to go through the set up all over again, but at least I'll know what to do next time.

Both telescopes are giving me extremely pleasing views. But I'm going to have to get used to using a German equatorial type mount again. Having used a fork mounted telescope for many years it is very rare to get into an awkward observing position, but that's not the case with the CEM40, especially with stuff near the zenith! That will improve once I've raised the mount though.

News, 2023/08/28

The last two days have been spent erecting the new 2.2m Pulsar Observatory, the walls wemt up yesterday and today the job was finished off by adding the dome.

So I have added a new page documenting the build here.

2.2m Pulsar Observatory

News, 2023/08/23

Yesterday (22nd August 2023) I collected the 2.2m Pulsar Observatory. I hired a medium wheelbase van from a local firm, and got to play as Van Man for the day. The journey was uneventful, loading took us about 45 minutes and when I got home I stored the observatory in the garage pending installation in the next few days.

News, 2023/07/28

Well it has been a long time since I did an update here, about 10 years by the looks of it. A lot has happened in those ten years, I am now a retired person and my astronomy adventure had taken a step back due to work commitments. Unfortunately then, once I finished work and re-started this hobby, the telescope was no longer working properly - I guess that it was sulking due to neglect.

This left me in a dilemma as to how to handle the situation, so it only got worse. Earlier this year I decided to make a return, but I found to my dismay that the telescope had now expired completely. There was only one thing left for me to do and that was to make a completely new start.

I had several options available, sell the 12" LX200 , refurbish/repair the LX200, defork the LX200 and remount on a GEM of some kind (would need a substantial one, the LX200 weighs nearly 20kg). In any case I would need to refurbish Cymbeline Observatory (and that would require a dismantle and rebuild).

The decision was made when I saw an advert for a second hand 2.2m Pulsar Observatory, so I made the guy an offer (presumably one that he couldn't refuse). Within a week of that I had sold Cymbeline Observatory, the LX200 and equatorial wedge and most of my imaging kit and then set about looking for new kit.

Right now, Cymbeline Observatory has been dismantled and is awaiting collection. I have the new equipment - which I can't use yet.

picture of the observatory in bits

And then I decide to get the website updated to recount the continuing story of Cymbeline Observatory- I must be mad!, maybe I'll rename it to Phoenix Observatory.

You can access the old version of the website here.