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Star gazing

Discussion in 'Members Hobbies' started by martin-f, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. martin-f

    martin-f Plant Hardiness Zone 8b

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    Hi, ive just bought a cheap telescope, i am unsure how far i am going to go with the hobby but i will post my progress as and when here,

    I would like to thank @ARMANDII for his help with this, if you get a moment A would you please merge post from the Juno thread to here please many thanks in advance,

    http://gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum/threads/juno-probe.115152/page-2#post-1035266

    I started lining the spotter scope up today, i know you said there no good it was just something to do, anyhow i thought the scope was broke everything was up side down, i had to google to make sure this was normal :heehee:.
     
  2. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    I often watch it with the telescope and it never fails to make my jaw drop. While it's easy to see the 4 Moons, Ganymede, Europa, Io, and Callisto, I'd love to see the other 59 Moons Jupiter has.:snorky: This year has not been brilliant for Planet watching due to the weather and the fact that Mars is quite low on the horizon although it is in it's closest position for two years. But Jupiter you can see shining brightly with the naked eye and with binoculars and it's amazing to think when you gaze up to look at it that we've got a probe out there. It's a great time for Astronomy and Science.:hapydancsmil::hapfeet:
    How low on the horizon A, is it possible in certain areas please, a view of the stairs from my back garden a few week ago.
     
  3. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Hi Martin, have you got the free downloadable progam "Stellarium" on whatever computer/Ipad/phone you've got. If you get that it will show you your night sky for any night in what ever direction you want. My garden faces South and I get good views in the Observatory East, South, West, and partially North East so I get a good view of the skies...when the weather is good.
    How low?, well, on the Stellarium it shows it to be at +15 degrees above the horizon. I have high trees, about 70/80 feet high about 300 yards to the South and so, this year, that places Mars and Saturn at just above tree height. But around midnight they clear the trees placing them on the right of the trees. So I would say the trees block me, in Earth's present tilt and orbit up to around +12 degrees.[​IMG]

    Last year was good as Mars and Saturn were higher and I got good views of them from early evening throughout the night. But this year, with the later sunsets, I don't really get them visible until they're due South and just above the trees, which will continue as they will both be lowish on the horizon for the next couple of years.:dunno::snorky:

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    All places are to a wise man
    Ports and happy havens, so in
    All gardens and in all gardeners
    We find a home and brothers
     
  4. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    How low on the horizon A,
    As an example of my viewing, martin, the trees would come up level with Antares and finish just around Spica.
     
  5. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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  6. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Well it will have to have this option on it whatever I get :).
     
  7. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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  8. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Shame the trees are in the way A :frown:, I can get 70E to 61W with my satellite setup so I should be good for some low viewing when I get a scope.
    It's actually not that much of a problem, Martin, because at that level my SCT Scope is almost horizontal at about 5"6" height and it makes the eyepiece high enough to be awkward to get your eye on.:dunno::heehee: So, I would probably rarely look at below that altitude. Also, you're looking through a lot more atmosphere the lower your scope is looking which can degrade viewing, so I still get very good viewing at +12degrees and above when the atmosphere is stable and permits good "seeing"

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    All places are to a wise man
     
  9. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Hi A, what's your thoughts on this please, what i would like to do when i get one is connect it up to the laptop to control and view remotely.
    Newtonian:
    [​IMG]

    Refractor
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    SCT
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    Oh, that's a question that leads down many paths!!!:whistle::heehee: There are, basically, 3 kinds of scopes, Newtonians, Refractors [they look like the traditional type scope], and Schmidt Cassegrain [SCT].
    Firstly, let me tell you how I started. I bought a old, but in good condition, 8 inch aperture Newtonian telescope that I improved by, taking apart and cleaning the primary and secondary mirrors, adding a better focuser, and putting in a matt black lining inside the tube bringing it back up to almost new standards. Then later I bought a bigger new Newtonian [10 inch aperture] and after that a new 12 inch aperture Newtonian which are also known as Light Buckets.......why?? Well, the bigger the aperture of a scope the more light is gathered and the better the image you're viewing.........so light gathering is important. However, no type of scope is perfect in every area.
    I found with a Newtonian that when turning the scope to a target the eye piece, which is at the top end of the scope, was too high or in an very awkward position:gaah:. Also a Newtonian needs collimating frequently when being moved. Collimating is calibrating the primary mirror with the secondary mirror and is simple enough to do but time consuming.
    So the Nexstar 130 is a good scope but has a couple of things against it [a] the 130mm aperture is only 5.1 inches and therefore has limited light gathering power. It's a Newtonian which will need collimating nearly every time you take it outside to use, so you'll need a Cheshire [calibrating device.....not expensive] and learn how to use it. Some people find it easy, some don't. Also, you'll find that new kit comes with mediocre eye pieces that after a while will make you want to get better quality kit.
    My 3 Newtonians are now safe and sound, wrapped in plastic, in my garage and I now use a 9.25mm aperture SCT, a Mak 180 a version of the SCT, and a 12 inch aperture SCT because they require very little collimating and the eyepiece is normally within easy reach of the eye.
    But, it all comes down to budget, whether or not it's just casual use and short term interest, ease of use, and personal choice!!:dunno::snorky: I would think hard before you choose as obviously money is at issue. I, admittedly, wasted money along the road trying to find my "perfect" scope [there isn't one:doh:] but I learned a lot on the way. Personally, I
    see if you can find a local Astronomy Club and have a look at their scopes which will be a mixture of Newtonians, SCT's and Refractors.....and all members claiming their type is the best!! If you can actually see the scopes and see the drawbacks in all of them it will help you on the way. But, aperture is King as it will gather more light for your viewing so bear that in mind while trying not to break the Bank or getting the scope that is not as good as the Marketing Blurb says.:coffee::snorky:
     
  10. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Buying second hand maybe the way to go, but what problems could i face buying used please ? i don't want to spend 3/4 hundred pound on something that needs repair thanks again for your time and information.
     
  11. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Many thanks A, that sounds straight forward thank you i do have a magnetic digital inclinometer that I use for setting satellite dishes up I can use that,

    Would a different remote make it a goto or would it be remote and mount/motor please?, I don't like the one I have, for some reason i have two identical lenses.
    [​IMG]


    Martin's Work in Progress
     
  12. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Unfortunately, each Hand control contains it's own software designed to talk/with it's own specific mount. Your mount/tripod will never be a GOTO as it's just designed for one basic function, that is to move East to West along the Azimuth. The GPS function just helps it decide, once it knows approximately at what latitude it is, to calculate the degree of the azimuth path. A GOTO mount has two axes right ascension and declination that it can follow in synchronisation whereas the arm of your scope mount is only designed to track in one direction. So if you want a GOTO that's more expense and you'd probably want/need a mount/tripod called a EQ3 or it's equivalent.
    [​IMG]

    I have a GOTO NEQ6 Pro that is designed for taking large scopes like this 10 inch aperature Newtonian. Now the NEQ6 is installed in the Observatory
    [​IMG]
    with the 12 inch aperture Meade SCT on it.
    [​IMG]

    Do yourself a favour and learn how to use the scope that you've bought first and by doing that you'll understand why some things work and some things don't, why you can do some things with the scope and not other things [usually what you want:doh:] that you can't. That will, honestly, make things a lot easier later on because the experience will help you understand why, not just how, you're doing things. Understanding why on what seems to be a clear night the seeing is not very good and viewing or image taking is pretty poor is another essential to stop frustration.....it's all down to turbulence at difference heights that your eyes can't see but the telescope will pick up:doh::wallbanging:.
    Astro imaging is not just a case of sticking a camera, of any sort, on a scope and just pointing and shooting despite all the advertising blurb you see and read!! You're more prone to give up on it all if you just follow instructions and thinking it'll work and give you Hubble quality pics. It's a great hobby, Martin, but there are problems. setbacks etc and I still get them now but I try to figure it out and fall back on the experience of other problems I've had.

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  13. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    "I don't like the one you have"???? Are you referring to the scope or the eye pieces?

    Don't worry about having two identical lenses, if you drop one and damage it you'll have the other to fall back on. It's possible the guy who had the scope previously had a Bino Viewer
    [​IMG]
    where you can use two identical eye pieces and allows you to use both eyes instead of just the Cyclops one:heehee: I have one and use two 20mm eye pieces.
    I couldn't make out the focal size of your eye pieces:dunno: But they are Super Plossi's which is a very good type. The Barlow is a 2x type which which half the focal length of the eye pieces, doubling the magnification, and basically giving you another set of scopes.:hapydancsmil:
     
  14. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Buying second hand maybe the way to go, but what problems could i face buying used please ? i don't want to spend 3/4 hundred pound on something that needs repair thanks again for your time and information.
    Only two of my 5 scopes are brand new and the others were bought on e-bay, Martin. I've just bought 3 more used high end eye pieces [Televue Naglers and a Pentax XL] this week on e-bay and in all my previous buys they have been trouble free. I tend to separate, when buying, telescopes from the mounts/tripods as, to me, the telescope is the most important as that's what you're viewing through. There is very little that can go wrong with a scope unless you mistreat it or drop it. Astronomy tripod/mounts can be got quite cheaply and motorised ones are quite reliable.
    As an aside, I see there is a new Skywatcher 130M Motorised scope on e-bay for £168 against the one you were quoting. They're both the same scope made by the same manufacturer [Synta] but just with different brand names.
    Celestron, Skywatcher, Orion, are companies that buy from Synta [Chinese] and sell theidentical scopes under their brands. Meade who also make scopes is an American company and so the two main companies in the world making scopes are Meade and Synta, with Synta scope being rebranded and sold under different badges. Some come with just push/pull manual tripods, some with motor drive and some with GOTO motorised tripods. I invested in a GOTO tripod, and NEQ6, as I could use it for all the scopes I've got. So I've never, apart from the very first old used scope, ever bought a scope and tripod together.
    If you do get "grabbed by the throat" by Astronomy........beware!!! As it can/will lead you wanting better equipment than the stuff that came with your scope!!

    All places are to a wise man
     
  15. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Thank you A :), I think I will just order the one on eBay, it will get me started and leave me with some money to get a camera sorted out for it,

    There is two types ?

    EQ2
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sky-Watch...276615?hash=item36031a1b87:g:eQkAAOSwNNxWFXBJ

    £169 including delivery

    None EQ2 ? £168+£10 delivery
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Skywatche...403893?hash=item51ba077cf5:g:noIAAMXQyY1TV9mr

    Are all cameras compatible with any scope please A, a quick google and this type came up,

    http://www.telescope.com/Astrophoto...m_medium=aff&utm_campaign=commission+junction

    Another reason for wanting one is a feature for the summer house window it will look the part if I do get fed up, if not I will replace it with a better one :),


    If my calculations are correct A this is mars from my back window :).
    [​IMG]

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