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#6356976 The Vintage Better Paradigm

Posted by terraclarke on 21 December 2014 - 10:11 PM

Robert (actionhac) said it all in my book when he mentioned the "warm and fuzzy" feeling. How do you put a price on the intangible quality of nostalga? It's so personal. The old scopes are embued with an essense that can't be manufactured into something modern. They have acquired it through time and use. All telescopes look back in time when you look through them and take in the expanse of space, but old telescopes from the 1950s and 60s let me look back into my own past as well. They are a talisman. Beyond my own past an even older telescope can take me back to an earlier gemeration.


A while back, I wrote this post about appreciaing older telescopes in another thread:


"There is a certain genteel beauty in the wear and use patterns that comes with age. I can only think of it as an aspect of what the Japanese call 'shibui', a certain, subtle aesthetic seasoning that grows with time. It's is almost as if the inanimate, through interaction with the animate acquires something of a soul."


Chuck mentioned the love for old telescopes even being "esoteric". I could take that to mean then, that in a way, they put us in touch with ghosts. I love that!

  • semiosteve, Vesper818, Adam S and 20 others like this

#6529111 International Space Station with C14HD

Posted by sulcis2000 on 05 April 2015 - 05:12 PM

Hi guys


here is a short video of ISS taken with C14HD edge & 10 Micron GM2000QCI Mount

Camera: Basler acA640 mono (640x480 :grin: )




This is the final image obtained with AS2! & PS.







  • Carol L, Gustavo Pöhls, chuck p and 19 others like this

#6533374 Jupiter, GRS, and Io - April 6 - v. good seeing

Posted by MvZ on 08 April 2015 - 05:38 PM

An hour after imaging Venus, I was almost done imaging Jupiter already. Here is one of the last recordings I made of Jupiter and Io with its shadow still just on the edge of Jupiter. Processing and combining the data was a bit of a pita (always for moon/shadow transits...).


The seeing was unusually good for Dutch skies, just watching the live stream of data coming in was quite a joy already :)

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  • Sunspot, brstars, Angela G and 18 others like this

#6500648 24" Clark Telescope - Reinstallation Begins!

Posted by rockethead26 on 18 March 2015 - 07:48 PM

The 24" Clark Telescope at Lowell Observatory in starting to come back together. These shots are from yesterday. I'll post more as I get them. Current target date to have it back on line is May 1st. Sorry for the quality of the iPhone images, but that's all we had.


The refurbished pier awaits in the restored dome:




First up in  the equatorial head, counterweights (less 800 lbs worth) and the center tube section:




Steady as she goes:





Thread the needle:





Swish!!! That's our head engineer, Ralph Nye, reaching out to steady the 10,000 lb load:





Ah, it's safely in place:





Then the first of the two long tube sections:





Thread the needle:





Lucky says, "What's all the fuss???"



  • MattT, George N, dan777 and 18 others like this

#6481717 My thanks to everyone here

Posted by DocFinance on 06 March 2015 - 12:40 PM

I started to just send a few notes of thanks, but the list got to be too long.  So I hope the mods will indulge me.  (Please)


I wanted to thank everyone who participates in the Classics forum.  I surf a couple every week, but this one seems like home to me.


For various reasons I can't always get outside when the stars are there, but you folks help me stay connected to a hobby that I really love.  It's been so many years since I've been able to enjoy this hobby like I once did, and this forum has brought so much back to me that I thought was gone.  Plus, it's helped me share my passion for the sky with my daughter.


Amateur astronomy has helped me find wellness, peace and perspective over many years, and Cloudy Nights and the folks on Classics have helped and  encouraged me, to reconnect with the sky.  Thank you, all of you, for your comments and questions and discussion that keeps this place going.  Your passion and love of this lifestyle come through the Internet, and I thank you for all of the smiles you've given me over the past year or so.

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#6160156 Show me a Selfie with your gear

Posted by jrbarnett on 12 August 2014 - 09:46 PM


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#6544804 C14 First Light -- Jupiter Good Seeing

Posted by GeorgeInDallas on 16 April 2015 - 11:12 AM

Last night was the first good night for imaging for 2 months in Dallas. I took the opportunity to make the first images with my new (to me) C14. Seeing was good (7/10). I took 2 min. videos for each channel (RGB). Selection @ 25% in Autostakkert (1.5xDrizzle). Wavelet Processing in Registax 6. RGB derotation/combine with WinJupos. Final sharpening and saturation adjustments with Photoshop/Topaz. Image scale reduced back to 67%. The scope had cooled outside for 3 hr before this image was made. I collimated prior to imaging. I am happy with the results. I believe this scope is a keeper.  I believe that is Io's shadow in transit.



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#6510033 John A Brashear Time Capsule found & Opened!

Posted by Al Paslow on 24 March 2015 - 10:53 PM

Hi all,


As you may well know the John A. Brashear Factory located in Pittsburgh, PA was razed recently when a wall collapsed apparently rendering the building structurally unsound.


I have been visiting in an attempt to document the site for historical reasons.


Upon my visit again today Tuesday March 24, 2015;  I was approached by one of the members of the demolition crew who claimed to have found a corner stone with a time capsule.


After we pondered for a while it was decided to open this piece of history to determine what mysteries lie within. So a group consisting of only three crew members and myself saw what no living person has previously witnessed.


When the capsule was opened we were greeted by a letter from John followed by newspaper articles from 1891 and most recently as August 9, 1894. Pictures in the capsule of Brashear's mother and father and family members were examined and perhaps prominent people of the time including those of the Cities of Pittsburgh and Allegheny.


Some of the most interesting finds were a piece of glass with the inscription "One of the first pieces of optical Glass made in America; and a lock of his wife Phobe's hair within a small envelope and labeled a such.


Other noteworthy items; a letter from Warner and Swasey congratulating Brashear on his new factory signed by W.A. Warner and Ambrose Swasey and a book labeled "In Memorandum of William Thaw" complete with photographs in wonderful condition. A typed and signed letter from Langley with a Smithsonian letterhead was another treasure.


So here is the story in pictures at my website. Understand the images you are about to see are my exclusive property. Share  as you wish but please cite proper credit to me.


More will be uploaded with the next 24 hours or so but here's the story as it happened today.




Hope you enjoy this one!


Al Paslow


  • bierbelly, bob midiri, BarabinoSr and 16 others like this

#6521944 CN 4.0 COMING SOON!

Posted by ypsiladdie on 01 April 2015 - 09:50 AM

No, it is real.


1. There will be new forums, such as:


VIP Room - where the same five guys talk to each other.

Contrarian Observers -for observers who can't agree with anyone and are pretty sure you're wrong.

Microastronomics - for enthusiasts who insist they can see everything with a 60mm scope



2. and an entertainment link with documentaries, live feeds, and dramatic presentations, such as:


Ken Burn's eight part documentary "AREA 51"

Live from Mauna Loa, it's Saturday Night.

Hoarders - Eyepiece Edition with Medical Advice.

The Innovators - interviews with guys who build otas out of coffee cans, grind lenses with brillo pads, etc.

Ask Scott - Advice for North Carolinians

The Rebranders - a docudrama which covers the four points of the globe, from California to Taiwan, mainland China to Russia, across Europe and the Seven Seas. Join your host The Most Interesting Astronomer in the Universe and his posse as they scour the back alleys and warehouse districts of the world searching for The Rebranders.


Stay tuned. :lol:

  • Relativist, Carol L, stevew and 15 others like this

#6506308 Jupiter and Io March 21, Finland

Posted by Arctic eye on 22 March 2015 - 02:41 PM

Finally some decent seeing for testing the ASI174MM. 5x Televue was acting as 7x and gave 12800mm focal length for my 16" Flextube dob. Jupiter was at 46 deg altitude and with an ADC corrector I decided to try L-channel with ir/uv block filter. The result was surprisingly good.


L-image, 25% of 8000 frames stacked




And then L-RGB


  • Sunspot, microflite, brstars and 15 others like this

#6456699 Saturn with ASI174MM...

Posted by Kokatha man on 19 February 2015 - 08:03 PM

Hi all - spent a couple of nights down in the Mallee trying to find a bit of clear air.....the forecasts looked good but being brutally honest the seeing was nowhere near as good as BoM or SkippySky suggested - not that we place terribly much credence in any forecasts anytime tbh..! :(

And just to be clear about things like "great air" etc that might get bandied around here ;) let me be frank herein - naturally all these appraisals are "relative" to each & every one of us...but there was no way whatsoever that the last 2 mornings qualified for anything more than "barely passable" seeing - I think we've been around long enough to know our own situations to a reasonable degree! ;)

Ok - with that "off my chest" :lol: we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome on Saturn: Jove is a bit of a dog down here at only 38-39° & requires quite extra-ordinary seeing to deliver decent outcomes - love to shoot up North for a week or 2 but we're broke & I can't keep on using Pat's lappy constantly so pennies are sort here..!

So to get a decent Saturn with plenty of surface detail in very pedestrian seeing is quite an accomplishment & suggests this camera is a "go-er"...we've managed said with the 120MM-S but without nearly as much histogram control that the software gain gives us with the 174MM. :)

I have a lot more experimenting/investigation & queries re this camera, plus the new FireCapture beta program used, but I think the preceding paragraph is a good valid observation for starters...

Of note is the fact that Pat's Dell is only a standard duo-core (with hyper-threading, thus acts like a 4-core to a certain degree) with a standard HD - we switched off the Wi-Fi & disabled Norton AV, cleared all surplus data of the drive & had no trouble keeping up the FPS...even at 200fps using 512X440 ROI on Ol' Jove.

As said the Jupiter caps weren't worthwhile but the fps with Pat's lappy showed that this machine could take it...I want a super-fast replacement to my old dead lappy but this works in the meantime! :)

If we opened WinJupos etc during captures the FPS saved did lag behind the capture rate but caught up again pretty quickly before the avi finished its' set time-span.....so it looks like you don't necessarily need the fastest machines out there. ;)

We had only a couple of spots on the camera window which were most likely the result of me having the covers off for a lot of time trying to get an optimum imaging train set-up at short notice: seems like ZWO have done some work there over time :waytogo: ...I certainly don't think the (almost) 10 metres f/l was ideal in the conditions but that must count as another plus for the specific image...

I'm making up a new imaging train & still want variability in the arrangement but think I might have an answer...

Anyway, here's a Saturn with promise, plenty of bright spots visible on the disk & whilst I'd "love" some Jovian opportunities further North atm that's not going to happen...and in many ways surface detail on Saturn is much more demanding than great Jovian resolution so we're pretty satisfied with our first efforts - but a whole lot more trialling & also investigations/queries to be done! :)

A big "thank you" to Sam at ZWO - without his generosity this would not be possible..! :waytogo:

  • Carol L, Deep13, Sunspot and 15 others like this

#6538135 Post a picture of your refractors (PART 7)

Posted by Paul G on 11 April 2015 - 11:48 PM

Just couldn't resist posting another pic of no. 52 ... still pinching myself, I must be dreaming!


Pretty picture! Here's my 175 tonight, had good seeing for the Io shadow transit, looked very sharp. It's on a 900 GTO. I'm 6'2" and 180 lbs for size reference.

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  • stevew, SteveG, M44 and 14 others like this

#6533038 Venus, April 6

Posted by MvZ on 08 April 2015 - 01:25 PM

Venus under better than average seeing conditions on April 6. It is a false light image: red is infrared, blue is UV*, and green is a 50/50 combination of the two. The seeing was ok, but especially in UV and with such a big scope (and at only 25 degrees altitude) it is nearly impossible to get a good steady view.



*unfortunately my UV filter had some issues... The filter I use is a combination of a W47 + BG39, and the BG39 has degraded significantly in the past couple of years; as the image of Venus moved around on the chip, its brightness changed significantly. I'm looking to get a replacement filter, probably the Astrodon UVenus filter because of its high performance (in terms of transmittance).


I'll probably also experiment a bit with other filters like the BG40 (in combination with the Wratten 47). If anyone has other thoughts, let me know! 

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  • Sunspot, brstars, Angela G and 14 others like this

#6459385 Jupiter Feb.20th from Bangkok

Posted by Tizianobkk on 21 February 2015 - 10:28 AM


attached on of my best image of Jupiter, last night seeing was excellent in spite of fast moving low clouds and moderate wind. I was impressed by the level of details visible through the green and blue filters.

I hope you like it



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#6424787 Refractors that Make You Smile...

Posted by Astrojensen on 31 January 2015 - 05:10 PM

Oh, I have several, but one in particular stands out, not only because it makes me smile, but also because it sometimes makes me cry a little (such as right now).





It's my 85/1600mm Zeiss A apochromat from 1903. It was given to me in 1995 by the best amateur astronomer friend I've ever had. He passed away in 2007, the day after his 89th year birthday. I can't ever use this scope without remembering him and recall the lazy, wonderful hours spend in his tiny living room, surrounded by telescopes, eyepieces and books in every corner, eating sandwiches and sipping tea, while reading old Zeiss catalogues and hearing my friend recall his younger days, observing with his homemade scopes during the war, and visiting famous astronomers. In my mind, I can still, in every detail, recall his home, its smells and sounds, the magazines on the table, the books on the many shelfs. I can still recall the places of many of them. Sometimes, when I'm alone, I close my eyes and walk around his house again. 


Sadly, it's just a memory now, but those memories are precious to me like nothing else. He's the only living person I've ever met in real life, who truly understood my passion for the art of observing, optics, telescopes and their shared history. 


I've got other telescopes, also some that are pretty special to me, such as my Zeiss Telemator, but they're replaceable. I can get another, if I want to. I can't get another refractor from my best friend.


I hope you understand why it also makes me cry a little now and then. 



Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


PS: I only have the OTA, the mount in the picture is a common EQ-6

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#6411387 Triple Shadow Transit!

Posted by AstroEthan on 24 January 2015 - 10:48 AM

I was very fortunate to have clear skies within hours of the event starting. I thought I would post a single image out of all 238 images before I go to PAX South. It is one of the better ones that did not have dew on the front of the scope.


  • Carol L, Sunspot, Doug Neal and 14 others like this

#6511851 Jupiter - 25Mar2015 - C14HD - Arizona

Posted by djhanson on 25 March 2015 - 11:29 PM

Jupiter 25-March-2015 03:29UT

TMB 1.8xBarlow/ZWO RGB/ZWO ASI120MM-S/Moonlite

3 RGB sets (AS!2/WinJUPOS/Reg6/AstraImage/CS6)
1 hr cool down, TEMPest fans. Imaging temp of 76F (24C). 
Above average seeing for 90 minutes after sunset with very good seeing for the first 30 minutes.

cheers, dj



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#6340548 Cloudynights spirit is alive and well !

Posted by midnitexplorer on 10 December 2014 - 06:27 PM

So heres a little story about two strangers.  Way back in August ( techno time that is ) I saw an ad on Kijiji for a Tasco 7TE-5.  I emailed the seller in Toronto wanting to know whether she would be willing to ship.  Now its ALWAYS a bonus when a local ad ships, especially from thousands of miles away, especially when the seller is really hoping to sell locally.  The seller politely answered the email - No.  Ok I thought, move on.  Besides, judging by the ad pictures, she was a real beauty.  Those shiny tripod legs reflecting the light, that thousand millimetre unscathed tube, and the pristine interior of the case told me this one wasn't going to be around long, but, the no shipping clause really eliminated a few prospective purchasers, me included.  Collecting only domestically, I know over the last 3 years or so how many TE5's have come up for sale across Canada.  I got one in Vancouver, lets see, that leaves about 4 !  Maybe I missed a few, but I mentally keep track of the frequency I see model numbers listed here, which is probably 1 - 100 compared to the U.S. , so I knew this one was pretty rare  ( for here ) .  ...oh well, ...


Three weeks ago, guess what, the same 7TE-5 appeared again for sale .  Alright I thought ,  she'll ship now !   NOT !   


I couldn't turn away, I'd been watching a Carton 76mm x 1400 for sale in Kelowna.  The 10 hour return drive I could handle but not the $200 return ferry fare !  I looked to connect with someone, I actually placed a help wanted ad here and at work.  And I did get a few gracious offers, but the logistics where too complicated and I still had to deal with the ferry.  Good bye Carton !  Besides, that Royal Astro 7TE-5 was such a beaut and I couldn't take my mind off it.


TORONTO !  Does nobody in a city of 4 million want that Tasco ?  Maybe I could hook up with somebody there ?  I know nobody there !  But I did !  I just didn't know it !


I decided to search Cloudynights with Toronto.  I found a few posts with reference to Toronto but only one indicated they lived there.  Shot in the dark.  Literallly, I shot off a quick pm to the lucky CN recipient, explaining my quest.  Had no clue who I was contacting, and while waiting for a reply ( I wasn't to excited because I hadnt seen any of his posts since past june ) I decided to research who I was contacting.  Found a little here and there, hmm, seems like an ok guy.  Hey ... he's only a few miles away in downtown, how good is that.  What did I have to loose ?  


FIFTEEN minutes later, I received a CN PM email !!!   Hi Greg,  Sure, I can have a  look at it this weekend and it looks as good as the images I can get it for you.  Jim


I thought this was just amazing !   Really, such little effort.  On the weekend, Jim went and looked at the Tasco, bought it, then went home and emailed me his report ... "It's as good as the images in Kijiji imply. I didn't dicker with her price because she warned me that $200 was more or less firm and I would say you still got a deal.  The scope has been properly stored in a dry attic and there is zero corrosion anywhere, looks very sparingly used since no marks anywhere to be found. "


Jim packed the telescope, took it to the Post Office, mailed, THEN emailed me to say, ok, how do you want to pay me ?  I online Interac-ed the payment and a few minutes later we where done.


So, I have many success stories about obtaining telescopes for my collection, but none exemplify the true spirit of our hobby as much as this one.  Considering I cant drive the 15 miles to work each day without being bullied by someones horn, or high beams in my rear view mirror or cut off, this is the type of thing that gets me home and on with life.


And much consideration to Astronomics for providing this accessible online community for all us to hang out in.  It REALLY makes for a small universe !


Somewhere, between Toronto and Ladysmith ... there is a truck ... a truck with a telescope ... a telescope that has a story.  ( this line should be read in the voice of Rod Stirling !! )



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#6147222 Yeah, it's slow. Yeah, we're missing stuff... Please read...

Posted by Tom T on 04 August 2014 - 05:25 PM

Just an FYI - yup, you may have noticed (by the fact that you are reading this post), that we've reopened the forums.
Well, we have. 
We aren't done with the conversion yet.  Until we do finish, please expect very slow performance, missing and/or broken links, and missing content on all portions of the site.  Please rest assured that our faithful programmer is hard at work trying to get all this fixed.  Be patient with him (and us) and this place will (hopefully) be humming right along in a few days.
Thank you!
Tom T

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#6542768 Jupiter - 14Apr2015 - C14HD - Arizona

Posted by djhanson on 14 April 2015 - 11:32 PM

Jupiter 14-April-2015 03:00UT

TMB 1.8xBarlow/ZWO RGB/ZWO ASI120MM-S/Moonlite
3 RGB sets (AS!2/WinJUPOS/Reg6/AstraImage/CS6)
60min cool down, TEMPest fans. Imaging temp of 81F (27C) and no dew.  Above average seeing for most of the night.  Very good seeing for the first 5min.
cheers, dj




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