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Tags astronomy , telescopes

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Old 29th January 2009, 06:04 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
States? What flaming states?
I'm in New Zealand!
Of course, but I couldn't say "I love that about New Zealand", since I've never been there.
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Old 29th January 2009, 07:35 AM   #42
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I had an eight inch Clestron, long barrel for many years, had to leave it behind when I moved to the states. If I had my time over, I would have bought a short barrel 10" Meade. The 8" was just the wrong height for for me and my ageing back lol

But the old adage of telescopes is the best one you can get is the one you are going to use.
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Old 29th January 2009, 01:05 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Now I'm getting inspired. What's the cost of a good, entry level telescope? (if this is not a naive question).
that depends on your level of interest. You can see most of the cool clusters with binocs.

basically as much as you want to spend. I like just looking at the stars.
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Old 29th January 2009, 03:24 PM   #44
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Lionking, I believe you are in Melb. I would recommend these guys

http://www.ozscopes.com.au/

Stay away from tasco scopes or virtually anything you find in a department store or camera shop. Particularly stay away from any telescope being sold by the amount of magnification it offers. The real trick to scopes is resolution.

In reality once a scope gets beyond 200 x magnification, sky conditions make it useless. It is better to have a larger scope ticking over at no more than about 48 x mag than to overdrive a smaller scope.

There is a specific calculation that attributes maximum usable magnification to the amount of glass you are using.

Personally if I was starting again, I would begin with binocs, if you get bored the binoculars are good for other things
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Old 29th January 2009, 04:27 PM   #45
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MG1962, well, REALLY high magnification can be useful for planetary work, where there is enough light to make a bright enough image. You just have to be patient and wait for that tenth-second of clear path through the atmosphere when you can briefly see detail. The caveat is that this is how the Canals on Mars originated; Its devilishly hard to remember accurately and record what you see in that instant.
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Old 29th January 2009, 05:25 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
MG1962, well, REALLY high magnification can be useful for planetary work, where there is enough light to make a bright enough image. You just have to be patient and wait for that tenth-second of clear path through the atmosphere when you can briefly see detail. The caveat is that this is how the Canals on Mars originated; Its devilishly hard to remember accurately and record what you see in that instant.
Agreed, however, you need a seriously stable mount to do that, and scopes such as the Tasco range simply would not allow you to take advantage of that rare moment, they tend to be the ones who boast 504 x magnification
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Old 29th January 2009, 06:39 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Agreed, however, you need a seriously stable mount to do that, and scopes such as the Tasco range simply would not allow you to take advantage of that rare moment, they tend to be the ones who boast 504 x magnification
Amazingly, you can make do with a really bad mounting if you are very patient!

This fellow did;
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Old 30th January 2009, 06:23 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Lionking, I believe you are in Melb.
I suggest you join the Ice in Space forum, an Australia based amateur astronomy community http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/
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Old 30th January 2009, 10:10 AM   #49
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Was just out with my ETX and full aperture solar filter.

WOW is the sun blank. No features I could discern at all and even without spots there is usually something you can detect that indicates activity.

What I really need (but cannot afford) is one of those very cool Coronado H-alpha filters.
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Old 30th January 2009, 10:34 AM   #50
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Bah! I hate you all! The night sky here is like pea soup. On an average
night I can just about see the moon. Maybe I should build a radio
telescope instead...
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Old 30th January 2009, 10:21 PM   #51
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For a good entry level scope I cant recommend dobsonians enough. Affordable for the size, easy to set up and use - especially nice for those just starting.
BTW for those of you using DSLR's for astrophotography - how did you overcome the problem of focus? I use a goto 8" SCT on a wedge with a Canon DSLR and 2" flip mirror and find focus is a big problem. (Might be my 40+ eyes)
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Old 30th January 2009, 10:22 PM   #52
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er...PAIR of 40 year old plus eyes that is.
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Old 31st January 2009, 12:41 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Humanzee View Post
BTW for those of you using DSLR's for astrophotography - how did you overcome the problem of focus?
I cut 5 cm of my OTA to shift the focal point so as to line up with the sensor.
You need to compensate by 5cm when you use the eyepieces.

A SCT will not like this approach.
You need to have an adapter that will allow you to move the camera either in or out to find focus.

I recommend you look at the IIS link in an earlier post
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Old 31st January 2009, 12:40 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Humanzee View Post
er...PAIR of 40 year old plus eyes that is.
Good because I was about to address you as Argus.
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Old 31st January 2009, 03:20 PM   #55
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Never underestimate normal binoculars for astronomy.
- Many people have them already - instant astronomy, no waiting.
- You can see lots of cool stuff, especially if you're lucky enough to have dark skies
- They're useful for lots of non-astronomy things
- They're super portable
- They don't have to be expensive (but make sure the optics are decent)
- Nice, wide field of view - great for learning your way around the sky
- Eyestrain is minimal over long periods
- When you get a scope you'll probably still want them
- They'll give you a good idea of whether you enjoy the hobby enough to get a scope

Cons:
- You can't see planetary detail
- Can't pull in the faint fuzzies
- Impractical to photograph through (but so are most scopes with cheap mounts)
- Less coolness factor
- What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a man with binoculars looking around at midnight? Doubly bad if the "horizon" happens to be over top of your neighbors window.

My favorite scope is an 8" Dob. It's very usable, and I mean that in the most positive way. I think that their popularity is well deserved.
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Old 31st January 2009, 03:47 PM   #56
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The dedicated astro-photographers get much better images than I do.
One I like a lot is this 4 a.m. wide field (135mm telephoto lens) of Halley rising in the pre-morning day.
And a serious Celestron farm.
And a hand-made wood scope assembly, using the optics from a Meade 8" Dobsonian, on an equatorial mount.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 12:29 AM   #57
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Thanks Skwinty for the link, I'll check it out...tho I will likely be very jealous of your southern skies.
It would be interesting to see some astro images made by JREF members if people would care to share.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 09:56 AM   #58
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Did anyone see the PBS special about Palomar? (I'm sure it will be on again.)
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Old 2nd February 2009, 07:59 PM   #59
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The Moon, Venus and Jupiter, Dec 1, 2008.
Casio point-n-shoot camera.
You don't always need the largest and bestest equipment to get a pleasing shot.
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Old 17th February 2009, 12:10 AM   #60
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Has anyone logged Comet Lulin yet?

I'm going to start keeping an eye on it as soon as the clouds piss off - should be visible for the rest of the month.
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Old 17th February 2009, 01:08 AM   #61
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Ive got a cheap crappy telescope (cost me $40) that I enjoy playing with from time to time - managed to get a good look at Jupiter and saw one of its moons and have had some great sessions just looking at the moon. Haven't tried to find any nebulae yet but they're next on the list. What are the easiest/clearest ones from NZ this time of year TA?
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Old 17th February 2009, 06:20 AM   #62
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You can look at the magellenic clouds!

I can't remember but you might be able to see Andromeda, it would be way low on your horizon.
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Old 17th February 2009, 07:06 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
You can look at the magellenic clouds!

I can't remember but you might be able to see Andromeda, it would be way low on your horizon.
You don't need a telescope for that.
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Old 17th February 2009, 07:16 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Ginarley View Post
Ive got a cheap crappy telescope (cost me $40) that I enjoy playing with from time to time - managed to get a good look at Jupiter and saw one of its moons and have had some great sessions just looking at the moon. Haven't tried to find any nebulae yet but they're next on the list. What are the easiest/clearest ones from NZ this time of year TA?
Definately M42 in Orion. It is the fuzzy little patch near the belt stars. When the Southern Cross is high in the sky. Have a look for the Jewel Box, and Omega Centari.

If you can pick out the Large and Small Magellenic Clouds with the naked eye. The LMC has a beautiful nebular known as the Tarantula. If it was in our own galaxy it would take up nearly 20 percent of the night sky

If you can spot the smaller of the two clouds. NGC 362 is just slightly north and worth a sticky beak.

Also worth looking for is 47 Tucana, or NGC 104. It is easy to find, but my memory is a little rusty, a quick Google should get you some info
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Old 17th February 2009, 09:11 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Ginarley View Post
Ive got a cheap crappy telescope (cost me $40) that I enjoy playing with from time to time - managed to get a good look at Jupiter and saw one of its moons and have had some great sessions just looking at the moon. Haven't tried to find any nebulae yet but they're next on the list. What are the easiest/clearest ones from NZ this time of year TA?
What MG said.

Plus, to find out exactly what's on view where, go here!

Why is everyone suddenly turning into guppies?
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Old 17th February 2009, 09:32 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Definately M42 in Orion. It is the fuzzy little patch near the belt stars. When the Southern Cross is high in the sky. Have a look for the Jewel Box, and Omega Centari.

If you can pick out the Large and Small Magellenic Clouds with the naked eye. The LMC has a beautiful nebular known as the Tarantula. If it was in our own galaxy it would take up nearly 20 percent of the night sky

If you can spot the smaller of the two clouds. NGC 362 is just slightly north and worth a sticky beak.

Also worth looking for is 47 Tucana, or NGC 104. It is easy to find, but my memory is a little rusty, a quick Google should get you some info
Good list for starters.
M42 is however in the middle of the sword rather than near the belt.
Expect to see huge whitish cloud like wings. This is ionised hydrogen and would appear reddish if your eye's were sensitive to infra red. Shows nicely when photographed.

If you PM me with your e-mail address I will send you a pdf file called "Deepsky Observers Companion" about 700kb pdf.
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Old 17th February 2009, 02:25 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Definately M42 in Orion. It is the fuzzy little patch near the belt stars. When the Southern Cross is high in the sky. Have a look for the Jewel Box, and Omega Centari.

If you can pick out the Large and Small Magellenic Clouds with the naked eye. The LMC has a beautiful nebular known as the Tarantula. If it was in our own galaxy it would take up nearly 20 percent of the night sky

If you can spot the smaller of the two clouds. NGC 362 is just slightly north and worth a sticky beak.

Also worth looking for is 47 Tucana, or NGC 104. It is easy to find, but my memory is a little rusty, a quick Google should get you some info
Excellent, thanks for that - next clear night I'll have a go and see what I can find!

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
What MG said.

Plus, to find out exactly what's on view where, go here!

Why is everyone suddenly turning into guppies?
Cool website Check out the aquarium of blood in the community section for the guppies lol.

Originally Posted by Skwinty View Post
Good list for starters.
M42 is however in the middle of the sword rather than near the belt.
Expect to see huge whitish cloud like wings. This is ionised hydrogen and would appear reddish if your eye's were sensitive to infra red. Shows nicely when photographed.

If you PM me with your e-mail address I will send you a pdf file called "Deepsky Observers Companion" about 700kb pdf.
Done, thanks
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Old 9th June 2019, 12:58 AM   #68
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I knew there was an astronomy thread here somewhere.

We had a rare clear and calm morning this morning, so I shook the kids out of bed to get a good look at the Jupiter & Saturn show on right now.

Absolutely stunning!

Jupiter's ring clearly visible and Saturn looking particularly glorious.

Anyone else looking up?
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Old 9th June 2019, 08:22 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I knew there was an astronomy thread here somewhere.

We had a rare clear and calm morning this morning, so I shook the kids out of bed to get a good look at the Jupiter & Saturn show on right now.

Absolutely stunning!

Jupiter's ring clearly visible
and Saturn looking particularly glorious.

Anyone else looking up?
Might wanna check your SkyGuide on that one...

Still, it's great to get kids interested in this sort of thing.
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Old 9th June 2019, 11:39 AM   #70
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Must've been the Klingons, then. Looked a lot like a faint ring to everyone here.
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Old 9th June 2019, 01:06 PM   #71
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Jupiter does have a ring (well, rings), but they are not visible to mere humans using ground-based "backyard" telescopes.

It does, however, have spectacular belts! And yes, they can be quite a sight.
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Old 10th June 2019, 08:59 AM   #72
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Thanks for drawing my attention to this thread.

I have a 12" Newtonian on a Dobson mount, and as a general rule I make a point of taking it out every night possible. However, the fact that I am not at our summer house every weekend (but almost), and the miserable Danish weather, has only made it possible four nights for the whole of the last season from September to April.

Light pollution has also caused a dent in the pleasure. When I first set a telescope up at the summer house, there were nights where we just were astounded of the beauty of the Milky Way, despite the light pollution from nearby towns, but now the best we can hope for is to be able to see the Milky Way at all, and we do not need a lamp to get around, even if we just come out of the house.

We used to ask the neighbours to switch off their lights, but it no longer makes a difference.

Still, a lot of things can still be seen, and the Moon and planets are always fine to show to guests.

However, it will take many years before Jupiter and Saturn return to our night skies before midnight.

The seeing is usually not so good, and it doesn't pay to use the larger magnification, but once in while there a nights where even my 6 mm eyepiece seems to allow for a closer look, and I am thinking of buying a Barlow in order to see even smaller features on the Moon that one evening every second year!
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Old 10th June 2019, 02:50 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Still, a lot of things can still be seen, and the Moon and planets are always fine to show to guests.
I love studying the moon and hope to one day chance on a meteor strike.

Pity about your location - while light pollution sucks as much here, at least we get plenty of nights to use. We don't get anywhere near cold enough to abort viewings in the winter.
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Old 10th June 2019, 10:49 PM   #74
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The Astronomy Thread.

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I love studying the moon and hope to one day chance on a meteor strike.
I have made a PDF with the "Lunar 100" from Sky & Telescope, and I try to locate as many of these sights as possible, but I need lots of time with the telescope to do this, and somehow the Moon is so overwhelming when looking at it live that I have found that many sights are only identified on photos afterwards.

I am strictly a visual astronomer, and I can only photograph with my iPhone, and even so, the photos do not catch the beauty that I see with my eyes, but I must admit that going through the few photos l have taken over the years, that I have missed a lot of interesting things during the live session.



Quote:
Pity about your location - while light pollution sucks as much here, at least we get plenty of nights to use. We don't get anywhere near cold enough to abort viewings in the winter.
How cold must it be for you to abort? The coldest nights are the darkest here, although seeing is often better on warmer nights. I believe the coldest I have stayed out is -6° C. My wife aborts at +5°!
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Old 11th June 2019, 12:46 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
How cold must it be for you to abort? The coldest nights are the darkest here, although seeing is often better on warmer nights. I believe the coldest I have stayed out is -6° C. My wife aborts at +5°!
We don't do negative temperatures. It gets close to zero on frosty nights, but never goes below.
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Old 11th June 2019, 06:22 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Must've been the Klingons, then. Looked a lot like a faint ring to everyone here.
Just to clarify -- did you mean a ring like Saturn or the bands on Jupiter's surface? I suppose the many moons of Jupiter could look like a ring also.

Not trying to be snarky, I'm just trying to picture what you saw. Heck, I may be able to see for myself in the next few days!
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Old 11th June 2019, 06:40 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Must've been the Klingons, then. Looked a lot like a faint ring to everyone here.
I vaguely remember that sometimes the telescope optics (or condensation on them) or slight moisture in the air can cause ring-like aberrations around very bright compact objects. Any possibility that one of these might have been the cause?
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Old 11th June 2019, 01:09 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Just to clarify -- did you mean a ring like Saturn or the bands on Jupiter's surface? I suppose the many moons of Jupiter could look like a ring also.

Not trying to be snarky, I'm just trying to picture what you saw. Heck, I may be able to see for myself in the next few days!
Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I vaguely remember that sometimes the telescope optics (or condensation on them) or slight moisture in the air can cause ring-like aberrations around very bright compact objects. Any possibility that one of these might have been the cause?
Definitely looked like a ring - the bands on the planet are easy.

Possibly a combination of both the above.
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Old 11th June 2019, 02:56 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Definitely looked like a ring - the bands on the planet are easy.

Possibly a combination of both the above.
OK. Cool. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 11th June 2019, 04:37 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Definitely looked like a ring - the bands on the planet are easy.

Possibly a combination of both the above.
I'd guess the "ring" was some moons.
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