Author Topic: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?  (Read 3985 times)

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Offline rich_t

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Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« on: July 20, 2008, 11:10:39 PM »
I am thinking about buying a telescope and was wondering if we have any astronomers here that might be able to provide some input.
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Offline bijou

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 02:19:47 AM »
I think Ptarmigan may be able to help you, he's into astronomy. 



Offline Chris_

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 07:01:35 AM »
I am thinking about buying a telescope and was wondering if we have any astronomers here that might be able to provide some input.

Try Darwin Central -- they are all scientists over there: http://www.darwincentral.org
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Offline Wineslob

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 04:41:37 PM »
Quote
Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
   


Sure do!

I need a to know a couple of things,

What is your budget.

What do you mostly want to look at

Do you want to do photography


You can try this place first:


http://www.telescope.com/control/category/~category_id=dobsonians/~pcategory=telescopes

I'm pointing out "Dobs" first because they provide the most bang for the buck.
Dont bother with anything smaller than a 10" scope. They are great for looking at "deep sky" objects, nebulas, clusters, galaxies etc.. and are simple to use.

Some things to remember, you will not see color like in the photographs. Some objects will be faint, again not like the photos you see (the crab nebula is a good example) Most everything is greenish because thats what your eyes are most sensitive to. You may have to use "averted vision" to see many objects with a 8" "scope" (you look slightly away from what you are looking at so the most sensitive part of your retina is exposed to the light.
"Dobs" can also be used for planets, but you use a "stop", a cover with a smaller hole in it to change the effective focal length (ability of the scope to magnify/ it increases it's magnification) and make it act like a refractor scope (glass lens type)

Lots to "digest" but I'll check back and see what questions you may have.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 04:44:22 PM by Wineslob »
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Offline LC EFA

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 05:35:10 PM »
Quote from: Wineslob
Sure do!

I need a to know a couple of things,

What is your budget.

What do you mostly want to look at

Do you want to do photography

I'm interested in having a go at some astrophotography ; I have a dSLR camera that should be of an acceptable quality but am unsure as to what lens / telescope and converter would be the best value ,ie what focal length and f-stop I should be looking for.  I'd like an "all-rounder" that can be used for near and far objects with a mind to move towards deep sky shots once I have more idea what I'm doing. As for budget ; I wouldn't really want to spend more than 5K on glassware.


Offline Ptarmigan

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2008, 05:59:19 PM »
What is your budget and what is your interest? The closest thing to an ideal telescope is a 6 inch reflector that is Dobsonian mounted. Check out Cloudy Nights. It is very helpful on telescopes and amateur astronomy.
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Offline rich_t

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2008, 10:25:32 PM »
Thanks for the input folks.

I was originally think about something along these lines:

http://meade.com/lx200-acf/index.html

8 inch version.

That is a lot of money to shell out and I know I need to do a lot more research before I buy.  The links you guys provided look like great starting points.

As far as what I want to look at...  Everything.  Planets, star clusters, nebula etc.

Not sure about taking photo's yet but http://meade.com/dsi_3/index.html looks interesting.

I had a Meade ETX-90PE a few years ago and I was pretty impressed the 1st time I saw the rings around Saturn with it.

One of the things that caught my eye with the Meade scopes are their compact size.  Easier to store and transport than some of the longer optical tube scopes that I have seen.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 10:32:25 PM by rich_t »
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Offline Wineslob

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 12:44:40 PM »
For photography the scope you linked is very good, but I'm not sure you need a RC scope. You could also go for a Schmidt-Cassegrain. Celestron or Meade are both available. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schmidt-Cassegrain_telescope
They offer mounts that track correctly for photo's and have enough "light grasp" so you dont have overly long exposures in an 8" model.
Personally I'm not crazy about them (SC's) I feel there's too much light loss with the corrector plate and the center obstruction (mirror that bounces the light back through the center of the mirror)
Try looking for used scopes in CL etc.
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

        -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC (106-43 BC)

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"Practice random violence and senseless acts of brutality"

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Offline rich_t

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 10:18:07 PM »
For photography the scope you linked is very good, but I'm not sure you need a RC scope. You could also go for a Schmidt-Cassegrain. Celestron or Meade are both available. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schmidt-Cassegrain_telescope
They offer mounts that track correctly for photo's and have enough "light grasp" so you dont have overly long exposures in an 8" model.
Personally I'm not crazy about them (SC's) I feel there's too much light loss with the corrector plate and the center obstruction (mirror that bounces the light back through the center of the mirror)
Try looking for used scopes in CL etc.

Thanks for the tips. 

You stated that the scope I linked to is good for photography...  What about just general sky viewing?

In your opinion are the Meade scopes worth the cost?

Ease of tranport is a pretty important factor for me.  For casual planet viewing I can probably just set up in the back yard. But for any deep space viewing I think where I live probably has too much light interference so I would need to pack up the scope and head for the country.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 10:33:16 PM by rich_t »
"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." --Norman Thomas, 1944

Offline Wineslob

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2008, 04:42:43 PM »
One of the best things you could do is get a few copies of Sky and Telescope (Sky  now?) or any other astromomy related magazines. See who has the best deals on scopes around december (christmas deals!) Meade or Celestron are fine but I tend to lean to Celestron, they seem to be a little lower in price.
For the "ultimate" in deep sky viewing NOTHING beats a "Dob". They are so simple that the real cost is in the mirror assembly, so going for a 12"+ (a 16" I looked through one time was awesome!) is consideribly less than the SC's and RC's mentioned. They can be transported in 2 pieces, but you should have a truck because of the length of the scope tube.
You can also go for an equitorial mounted reflector, but costs do go up.
One other thing, what you save in buying a Dob scope can be used for eyepieces, where the REAL money can rack up.
With deep sky stuff one of my fav's is the Erfle (that wide angle is REALLY nice), and the Orthoscopic for planetary viewing. Explainations here: http://www.astro-tom.com/telescopes/eyepieces.htm

PS, Plossls are very, very expensive, but are the "best". Check out Televue.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 04:46:45 PM by Wineslob »
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

        -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC (106-43 BC)

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"Practice random violence and senseless acts of brutality"

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Offline rich_t

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2008, 01:37:57 PM »
Thanks Wineslob
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Offline franksolich

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2008, 01:51:15 PM »
You know, how does one truly observe the night skies in all their glory and majesty unless one is away from populated areas, where there's a lot of "light pollution" even late at night?

I imagine in blue cities, for example, it's hard enough to see the moon, much less the stars.

No wonder the nocturnally foul one, living in the congested northeast, thinks man is "big" enough to destroy the eart--er, planet, because he can't look outdoors and see how Eternal the universe and God are, and so the nocturnally foul one has a distorted and exaggerated notion of the powers of mankind.

That being said, the Sandhills of Nebraska, where there's more square miles per person, than persons per square miles, is most excellent for seeing thousands, hundreds of thousands, of stars on clear nights.

The only other places where I saw so much of what's in the skies at night were in south-central Russia, and anywhere in Ukraine when massive electrical outages occurred in the socialist paradise of the workers and peasants, making even very large cities dark as midnight.

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Offline Wineslob

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2008, 03:03:14 PM »
Thanks Wineslob

YW!   :cheersmate:


Frank, do you have some binoculars? If you have "dark skies" (sounds like you do like me) "bino's" can give you really good views of large objects, the Orion Nebula for one, and/or "open" clusters, such as the Pleiades, sometimes called the Seven Sisters. (looks like a mini Little Dipper)
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

        -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC (106-43 BC)

The unobtainable is unknown at Zombo.com



"Practice random violence and senseless acts of brutality"

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Offline Willow

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Offline Chris_

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2008, 10:23:14 PM »
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080721.html


pretty

The Astronomy Picture of the Day site is a permanent favorite.  It's on my daily list of Sites To Read.
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Offline RobJohnson

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2008, 09:56:28 AM »
I always see stars when I drink tequila.

Offline jinxmchue

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2008, 12:07:03 AM »
If you can afford it, buy big.  Get one of those computerized suckers that you need to climb up on a small ladder to use.  The weather guy from WCCO radio in the Twin Cities brought his out to this area a couple of Falls ago and the things he showed us were spectacular!  Little fuzzy blobs in the sky were shown to be densely-packed regions of stars.  It was like looking at hundreds of diamonds under bright light, but a million times better.

Offline Wineslob

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Re: Do any amateur astronomers postr here?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2008, 04:11:54 PM »
If you can afford it, buy big.  Get one of those computerized suckers that you need to climb up on a small ladder to use.  The weather guy from WCCO radio in the Twin Cities brought his out to this area a couple of Falls ago and the things he showed us were spectacular!  Little fuzzy blobs in the sky were shown to be densely-packed regions of stars.  It was like looking at hundreds of diamonds under bright light, but a million times better.

Globular clusters. The one in Hercules is awesome.
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

        -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC (106-43 BC)

The unobtainable is unknown at Zombo.com



"Practice random violence and senseless acts of brutality"

If you want a gender neutral bathroom, go pee in the forest.