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2014 RASC Observer's Handbook
By Tom Trusock

Join us as Tom Trusock takes a look at the 106th version of the venerable RASC Observer's Handbook.

April Skies
[Article | 04/05/14 | by Dick Cookman

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Galaxies Galore, Planet Plotting, April Moon

Focus Constellations: C. . .


Microscopic Telescope
[Article | 04/05/14 | by Josef Vnucko
For several months I have been using this type of telescope, which I invented, built and successfully used for planetary and other objects for which large . . .

Binocular Universe: A Few Hairy Objects
[Article | 04/05/14 | by Phil Harrington
Clear skies come few and far between at this time of year, at least in my neck of the woods, so I like to take advantage of just about every one that happe. . .

Alt-Az Pipe Mount: Digital Version with Encoders
[Article | 03/29/14 | by Miroslav Smolka
Home-made telescope mounts made of plumbing parts have been built and described before. Encouraged by these achievements, I decided to try utilizing my cur. . .


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Small Wonders

 A Deep Sky Guide for Amateur
 Astronomers by Tom Trusock.
[Article09/12/09
 Small Wonders: Observing the Hubble Sequence in the Fall Northern Sky
Small Wonders >
Binocular Universe

 Binocular Universe
 by Phil Harrington.
[Article04/05/14
 Binocular Universe: A Few Hairy Objects
Binocular Universe >
Fishing for Photons

 CCD / Imaging
  by Craig Stark.
[Article07/02/12
 Profiling the Long-Exposure Performance of a Canon DSLR
Fishing for Photons >
Small Wonders

 Monthly View of the Skies
 by Dick Cookman
[Article04/05/14
 April Skies
This Month's Skies >
Uncle Rod's Astro Blog

 Your Old Uncle Rod Shares His
 Adventures and Misadventures
[Article04/20/09
 The Cost of a Good Eyepiece Redux
Uncle Rod's Astro Blog >
What's Up . . .

 Professional Writer Steve Coe's
 Monthly Observing Column.
[Article03/29/14
 What's Up - M 42 the great nebula in Orion
What's Up . . . >
Mike's Corner

 Aimless ramblings
 by Mike Bieler
[Article05/06/11
 New Astronomics Office Part II
Mike's Corner >
January Winner:
Congratulations Asbytec!

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  Binoviewer eyepieces - a comparison
 TeleVue 85

Rigel Systems nFocus Review
[User Review]  | 03/29/14 | by Joe Sullivan
If you are looking for a step up from the 50-dollar focusers this is the smart choice.
Reveiw of Two TAL Finderscopes
[User Review]  | 03/01/14 | by William Paolini
Overall, both TAL finders are solidly executed with robust build quality and very good performing optics, better than the competitors they were tested against.
Review of Avalon T-Pod T-130 tripod
[User Review]  | 02/23/14 | by Peter Appow
If you love Italian beauty and style, appreciate great engineering and need rock solid stability, this is the mount for you.
The Istar Phoenix WFT 204 “Comet HUNTER “…
[User Review]  | 02/17/14 | by James Edwards
My conclusion and rating is simple. I give the Istar Phoenix 204 a 5 out of 5 rating in its class (Achromatic) and overall a 5 out of 5 in performance, fit and finish and the cost!!!
Orion XT6i Review
[User Review]  | 02/17/14 | by John MacDonough
I really like our Orion XT-6i Dobsonian telescope. In its stock form, it was a good introduction to observing for my son. I couldn’t help but tinker with it, though, and I’m happy with the results. The telescope now performs like a giant killer.
Orion SkyView Pro Update: GoTo Kit
[User Review]  | 02/17/14 | by John MacDonough
I wrote my original review of the SkyView Pro in 2008 when it had manual slow motion controls and the IntelliScope DSC system. I now have the SVP upgrade kit on my SVP mount. I’ve learned a couple of things that some will find obvious and wonder why it wasn’t to me; but some might find helpful.
Orion Sirius Review
[User Review]  | 02/09/14 | by John MacDonough
So, with all this, does the Sirius do what I’d hoped? Yes, it does.
iOptron SkyGuider Review
[User Review]  | 02/09/14 | by John Crisp
Pro’s
Lightweight
Travel bags for the tripod and mount
Easy setup and LED polar scope light
Quality of construction

Con’s
Ball head collides with motor box in certain situations
Paid app for the price of the product
Review of USB_Focus v3 (UFO)
[User Review]  | 01/19/14 | by Ralph Laplanche
Overall, I am very happy with my purchase of TWO USB_Focus v3 complete kits. In fact, I am so satisfied, that once I find a used FeatherTouch focuser for my 10” Meade LX200GPS, I will purchase a motor and bracket for the FeatherTouch. It’s great to be able to buy only what you need.
Denkmeier 2” IVB Star Diagonal with Power X Switch
[User Review]  | 01/11/14 | by Kevin Vaught
Back in October, I reviewed the Denkmeier 2” IVB (Interlocking Visual Back) Star Diagonal. This is a continuation of that review along with the Power X Switch that I added to the IVB in November.
Oberwerk 12x60 LW Binocular Review
[User Review]  | 12/21/13 | by Jim Van Dyke
Do I recommend the Oberwerk 12x60 for astronomy at $110? Yes. They perform amazingly well, are fun to use, and $110 is a great price. But be realistic. You are only getting equivalent 50mm light grasp, and these are not ultra wides. I expect all competitor 12x60 binoculars to be really 50mm or so at less field than advertised.
A Review of the Levenhuk 80mm triplet
[User Review]  | 11/09/13 | by Richard Flinn
The key word I keep coming back to in regard to this scope is "versatile." I am very pleased with the scope and expect to enjoy it for years to come for both observing and imaging. Great job, Levenhuk, and thank you for such a wonderful instrument!
The TAL Super Plössl
[User Review]  | 10/27/13 | by William Paolini
The TAL Super Plössls provide strong performance, keeping pace with other well respected Plössls and even Orthos for critical planetary observing. Their build quality is satisfyingly robust and sturdy, with fit and finish being generally good.
The TAL Super & Ultra Wide Angle Eyepieces
[User Review]  | 10/27/13 | by William Paolini
Overall, the TAL UWAs were my favorites of the two product lines. Considering how compact the 2" versions of the UWAs are, they were a joy to use in the field.
Denkmeier 2” IVB Star Diagonal: A Review
[User Review]  | 10/19/13 | by Kevin Vaught
All in all, this is a new and fresh product idea that works very well and is easy and simple to install and use.









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Saturday, April 19, 2014

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