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#6160156 Show me a Selfie with your gear

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


  • Paul G, paul hart, NHRob and 16 others like this

#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 !! )



  • rnabholz, Vesper818, jjbird and 13 others like this

#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

  • desertstars, Greg K., Lew Zealand and 13 others like this

#6340126 This Classic back Under the Stars

Posted by orion61 on 10 December 2014 - 01:55 PM

Well I finally was able to make a major step forward after my 2nd heart Attack, It was only for about 10 or 12 minutes before I

ran out of gas, But last night with the help of a member here I was able to view the Gibbous Moon and a look at the Double Cluster.

The Member (who does not want to be named) Helped me by sending a Short tube Little Classic and Med. Duty Tripod and head,

to me on long term loan! I tried but ran out of gas before being able to lug out any of my other scopes. Even the Mayflower was beyond

my tolerance and enegery level.

Plus a couple accys to help use my Classic C-90 which was set up for Terrestrial viewing.

You cannot imagine the feeling being able to view again, even tho it was a short session. I might have tried to push it a bit but the clouds had other


Thanks again for helping, you know who you are... and as you said, when it comes time, I will pay this forward....

My love and respect to all..

your Brother,


  • Jon Isaacs, Mr Magoo, Vesper818 and 11 others like this

#6330600 Jupiter from Kiev 02/12/14 good seeing

Posted by S.Fire on 03 December 2014 - 07:50 PM

Hi all,
It was cold night with medium transparensy and good seeing conditions. Io and Europa transit.
Thanks for viewing.


WS-180 + EQDrive + newt 350 mm + Powermate 5x + Astronomik filters + Basler aca640.


Animation of Red channel.


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  • CarlosEH, Sunspot, DzmitryK and 11 others like this

#6269676 Abbe vs Plossl

Posted by BillP on 24 October 2014 - 11:16 AM

Tak is on the left :grin:


Some preliminary observations...


Went out this morning and was treated to some really trnasparent skies and good (not great) seeing.  So took the opportunity for some observations with the 4 eyepieces.  These are preliminary so will see how well they hold over time and other targets, but here's what I saw:


1) All eyepieces portrayed M42 in the Lunt 152 (48x) fairly consistently.  At this low magnification there was very little difference.  The TV, UO, and Tak all showed the nebula at the same brightness and the same extent.  There was a nuance-level difference that the TV may have been showing the mottled structure a hair better, but it was very slight if there at all.  The Sterling was the only one of the group that had what I consider a more than nuance difference at showing the nebula as brighter and with the wings extending further and M43 nicely brighter and larger.  All the faintest stars in the nebula's cloud were visible equally well by all EPs.


2) Barlowing the EPs with an APM 2.7x ED (130x) and things changed.  The nebula cloud looked about the same when Barlowed, but Trap-F was not.  Barlowed, the star points were a little tighter with both the Abbes.  With both the Plossls there was an immediate impression to my eye that the star points were just a little bloated in comparison to the Abbes.  The other obvious difference was that I could only catch Trap-F with the Barlowed Abbes (UO and Tak).  It was consistent and easy each time I tried.  And with the Plossls it was consistent that I could not get it with numerous tries.  I've commented many time in other threads how I do not like the Sterlings Barlowed for planetary...this experience is making me wonder if it a chanracteristic of Plossls in general now as the Sterling and TV both were behaving this way.


3) On the Double Cluster, I just made some brief observations so not the detail time I wanted.  Again, little difference IMO between the TV, UO, and Tak.  They all showed these clusters wonderfully.  However, next to how the Sterling showed them, in the TV, UO, and Tak the clusters lacked the Pop/Presence/Liveliness that the Sterling was conveying.  So the clusters looked flat in the other EPs compared to the Sterling.  That's all I noticed this morning in the breif time I had with the Double Cluster.


4) Jupiter Unbarlowed -- This was showing nicely this morning with steady enough seeing to get 4 good belts and lots of polar region details (best seeing usually gets me 6-7 belts).  All eyepieces showed similar levels of distortion of the planet's orb when placed at the field stop.  So distortion was enough in the TV, UO, and Tak to bring Jupiter from its oblate shape to perfect round.  I did not test the Sterling but am sure it is worse since it has notable AMD at the far off-axis.  Other than this all the eyepieces showed Jupiter similarly.


5) Jupiter Barlowed -- OK, at 130x was nice to see good structure within the two main belts and wonderful amounts of border edge details...plus the polar regions exploded with striations and hue changes.  The interesting difference between them here, was in the Abbe vs Plossl category.  The Abbes Barlowed were showing a crisper view!  It was quite obvious to my eye when switching between either Plossl to either Abbe.  Both the TV and Sterling showed good details, but in comparison these details were softer showing less distinction, particularly at the borders of the SEB and NEB.  The Abbes showed the entire orb like I was going from normal television to HD television.  Everything just had a crisper and more defined look to it.  The polar regions also showed more discrete and discernable boundaries to the hue changes so they had a great striated texture to them.  NTeB and STeB also extended all the way to the edge of the planet, whereas in the Barlowed Plossls they faded out prior to reaching the edge.  This was a surprising result for me and totally unexpected.  Anyway, appears that the Abbe design plain does better Barlowed.


6) Abbe AFOV - Yes...the AFOV is slightly larger in the Tak than in the UO.  Not much but an easy tell observing and confirmed when holding them both up and merging the FOVs.


That's it.  Again...I am telling you things as they go so don't take them as conclusions as things may change as I repeat observations and change scopes.  But for now, quite interesting.

  • Jeff Morgan, Andy Howie, dugun and 11 others like this

#6352289 A gift that improved my star hopping!

Posted by Kevdog on 18 December 2014 - 04:24 PM

I made this for my wife for Christmas.  It took quite a while to woodburn the star field and it's not totally accurate (I can't use my Telrad circles with it) but much of the starfield is pretty close for doing it by hand.   I had to get really good at recognizing the star patterns so I could keep my place!





We saw a bear paper cutting that was similar at an art show.   I couldn't do the paper cutting, but can do wood burning so went at it.   I also added some experiences we've shared.  


We're buying land in NM with the pine trees on the top of a hill.   While we were up there at night checking how dark it was (SQM 21.16 from horizon to horizon) we saw a fireball rip through the sky and light up a pine tree.   You can see that in the lower right.


M51 was the first galaxy we saw at the Grand Canyon Star Party in 2013.   Last year we also saw the 2014 supernova in M82 (which is probably hard to see in this picture).


I hope she likes it!

  • Carol L, gmartin02, jmclaugh2001 and 9 others like this

#6345481 "Magic" box ends California drought

Posted by Vesper818 on 14 December 2014 - 12:30 AM





Yes, I had been sent a slim light, beautiful classic refractor, one of the few 50x750 made,a gorgeous Swift 838!!!



Long enough focal length for planetary and lunar exploration, but small enough to be assembled and carried with one hand!!!




Needless to say, I was flabbergasted and joyful to receive such a gift. Cloudy nights is full of wonderful people. This one, in particular, was a gift from all the Classic folks, as many helped in the adjustment of the objective. The 10 minute first light, of the 3rd day moon, a few weeks ago, showed it to be perfectly tuned, sharp and sweet.

Many thanks to Keith, Strdst, for trusting me with the care of this wonderful scope!

  • orion61, xavier, Astrojensen and 9 others like this

#6290922 Where are Brandons made?

Posted by t.r. on 07 November 2014 - 09:57 AM

I'm compelled to continue with this...


No other eyepiece garners such polarizing comments on opposite ends of the spectrum as Brandons do. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why. Then, a statement in a post about refractors gave me an epiphany. It is simply about expectations. Having the correct expectation for these eyepieces is the key to happiness and indeed, cult like appreciation, with them. If you expect them to have the off-axis correction of a Televue...you will be disappointed. If you expect them to have the wide-field views of a Televue...you will be disappointed. If you expect them to have the transmission of Sterlings...you will be disappointed.


What is left for eyepiece performance you may ask? Well, for one, the on-center view having the lowest scatter of most eyepieces. Two, the darkest field background of any eyepiece I've looked through producing an HD effect to any object I look at. Third, a very light build, which when binoviewing or swapping out eyepieces becomes immediately appreciated. There are others. And, just like any eyepiece, they work for some and not others, due to expectations and what the individual deems as important.


I think a lot of folks have viewed Brandons with utter disdain because of their expectations, biases and the "secret" aire about their production, which some equate to "Snake Oil". I may have thought the same if, I hadn't tried them for myself or I hadn't found out the above information about their production. They are indeed the "real deal" as far as how they are made and what they deliver. It may be a dated design, but it still delivers what it is supposed to. You may have a different set of expectations when assessing Brandons than the folks that appreciate them for what they are. That's okay. Just please, bashing this product is really a moot point for those who know where and who produces the components of the eyepiece. They are made to a higher level (scratch-dig ratio/polish/glasses/effort) than the naysayers think they are. They are worth the dollar for what they are. They may work for you, if, you have the expectations in line with what they deliver. Of course, as always, they may not work for your individual needs...but if you haven't actually owned them and tried them for your individual set of needs, please, refrain from your rhetorical comments. If I had listened to the party line, I would have missed out on some incredible views with these. As always, the disclaimer... YMMV. :grin:

  • Jeff Morgan, Larry Geary, SteveG and 9 others like this

#6216170 Your First Telescope, You still Have it? Your Story.

Posted by terraclarke on 19 September 2014 - 10:10 AM

My first real telescope was a Japanese-made (APL) Mayflower 60mm x 700mm yoke and clamshell mounted alt-az refractor. I got it for in October of 1965 for my 16th birthday. I had gotten interested in astronomy when I was 14 when one summer evening we went to visit some family friends who lived in the mountains of Southern California. We were there for dinner and their son, who was about my age had a 3" Edmund reflector. (The Space Conqueror I believe). After dinner, we went outside to look through it while the parents visited. From that point  on I was hooked. I got a copy of the little Golden Book, The Stars, by Zim (How many of us started with that?!), and by October, I had talked them into getting me a pair of binoculars, some Japanese 8x40s that my dad ordered from his Herter's catalog. I also got a copy of The Stars by Rey and I was off and running. At Christmas I got the Peterson Guide and by the following birthday, I got the Mayflower. I had wanted a Unitron Model 114 but that was out of the question, the Mayflower cost about half as much at Fedco, our "big box" store back then. I was not disappointed! The first thing I looked at was Saturn! Then I split the double double as Lyra was going down. Then I stayed up late to see the Orion Nebula and the Trapezium! Zowwie! I was in love!


I will have had my little Mayflower 49 years next month! I have had it all of these years. About 10 years ago, (I had a 4" Vixen on a GP by then and a 3" Stellarvue on a TV mount and had sort of moved on) so I loaned to some good friends. Then I moved out of town and I  thought it was gone for good. But two years ago the friend that I had loaned it to, called and said it was unused and in her attic. I asked her if I could swing by her place the next time I was in town and get it, and she said sure. So it came home. It was kind of a sad sight. The yoke mount gearing, which had been showing its age for some time, and broken down. The cast gear housings had actually broken. The finder was gone, so was the accessory tray. But the optics were still perfect, the eyepieces still present, the box and tube in good shape. So I got Danny Crawford to make me some rings and a mounting plate for it (one of Crawmach's last), and I bought a Unitron alt-az mount, tripod and spreader from a friend and member on here. I also bought a little GEM that fit perfect on the original legs from another friend here and made a chain spreader. I also put a vixen finder dovetail on it and a 6 x 30 finder that was way better than the original, and I added a 1.25" Vixen V.B.


Over the years, that was often my one and only telescope. In fact up until around 15 years ago, the only telescopes I had were the Mayflower, the 6" RFT I built a year of so after getting the Mayflower (and still have), and those old binoculars (one of my daughters has those now). The Mayflower always stayed in its box when it wasn't being used. (The box has been refinished once or twice.) So it stayed in good use and was always ready to go, and go it did. It was the family scope, the travel scope, the grab and go scope for over 30 years. With it we saw solar and lunar eclipses, comets, the transit of Mercury, and the S-L impact scars on Jupiter. I indoctrinated by two girls with that telescope to the point that one of them, a film maker, has made an astronomy themed Sci-Fi short film and the other one named her son Orion. Oh the memories that scope holds!


I lost my parents in 2000 and 2001. That Mayflower is especially important to me for that reason. Sometimes, it just takes a while to realize the true worth of things, but as my mentor in grad school used to tell me, "to soon we get old, to late we get smart." I once threw it over (euphamism) for a 4" fluorite Vixen, which is long gone. If someone now offered me the Vixen back in return for the Mayflower, I'd have to say no. It's gone through some changes, but it is still basically the same little scope with that wonderful APL objective that I have seen so many wonderful things with over the years. It's more than a telescope. It's a talisman and a time machine. I will always remember my mom coming out from the kitchen to the backyard to take a look at what ever I was looking at. I can use it now and see her standing right beside me. It will be the last scope I ever let go. Yes, I thought I had lost it but got it a few years ago. But I never realized just how valuable it was to me. I do now, and when I got it back, I vowed it will never again leave me.


PS- I also saw my first comet with this telescope: Comet Ikeya-Seki in December of 1965!

  • Starlon, orion61, roscoe and 9 others like this

#6315618 Jovian system on November 19: Callisto occults Ganymede

Posted by DzmitryK on 23 November 2014 - 09:34 AM


I would like to present a short timelapse animation showing the occultation of Ganymede by Callisto on Novemver 19, 2014. Shortly after the event, Ganymede was eclipsed by the Jovian shadow.

Please, follow the link to watch:





The timelapse is made of 27 images, prepared from videos taken on November 19 (2:49 - 3:34 UT) with a TAL-250K telescope, ASI120MM camera and Baader red CCD filter. The time delay between frames is 2 min, with the exception of the occultation event (frames #5-16), which was slowed down twice (1 min interval).


And here I am also enclosing a couple of colour Jupiter images taken a little bit later the same day.



  • Angela G, R Botero, mak5 and 8 others like this

#6304321 Which Unitron is your favorite

Posted by starman876 on 15 November 2014 - 09:21 PM

Desires of what we want in a telescope is different for all of us.  For me it is appreciating old world craftsmanship.  The wood tripods, the wood cases, and the way it all fits together.   Enjoying the quality of these scopes has become a love.  They might not have the best optics that are currently available, but the first time I looked through a 75mm Unitron I said to myself, it is going to take a hell of an ED optic set to beat this.  I am sure a lot of you have an old long focal length vintage telescope that provided images that would take a lot of money to get a better image.   It does not have to be a Unitron that is your favorite vintage telescope.  If you own it, you use it, you are happy with the performance it is the best feeling in the world.  A vintage scope that performs.   There is a good reason why we all love collecting vintage telescopes.  They are amazing telescopes that give you a special feeling like the scopes of today just cannot give you.  Like many of you I am sure you all get that special satisfaction restoring a vintage telescope.  Sometimes, you get a vintage scope that only needs enjoyment.  This is a great hobby and we all have our favorites.  

  • Bonco, xavier, ScottAstroNut and 8 others like this

#6236428 What do people see in Schmidt-Cassegrains?

Posted by jhayes_tucson on 02 October 2014 - 11:26 AM

Upper:  DOB

Lower:  SCT


Contest over.








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  • Ron Luxemburg, A6Q6, terraclarke and 8 others like this

#6221082 A conversation with Larry Hardin

Posted by turk123 on 22 September 2014 - 03:37 PM

I just got off the phone with Larry Hardin.  I had written him to see if he was going to renew the  trademark "Astrola".  He called me this afternoon.


Larry is an interesting guy.  He is 71 and head of Hardin Optical company who mostly deals with government and commercial account. As a young man he worked for Cave Optical Company.   We hit it off great.  I had him go to the Cave website to look at some of the historical documents and pictures.  He was rattling off all the name of the men working with Alika Herring and even pointed to a picture of himself in one of the catalogs.


He is a wealth of information for this period of time.  Here is an example. Something I'm ask  all the time:  "Was that Tom Cave's corvette parked outside the Cave store?"  "It is not Tom's Corvette.  He had a Chevy Nomad." Larry said.  "The corvette belonged to Bob Crawford the picture on your website to the left of Herring.  The one where he is facing away from the camera."  Case closed.  :-)


Larry is going to renew the trademark.  I have nothing to fear with the website and now it will be protected from others who may not respect it.  Larry Hardin agreed.  "I just might make a new line of classic telescopes one day." He said.  I've heard that he said this to others before, but never followed through.  I think he has good feelings about the name.  He can keep it a bit longer now.


I ask if he would do an article for the Cave-astrola website.  He said he liked that idea.  When pressed with doing so we kind of "compromised" with me doing several long recorded interviews with him.  He was going to talk to his wife about this.  He said it would be fun to recreate with her the days of him going to work and what all the "guys" did on a day to day basis.  Everything from grinding mirrors, figuring the optics and even the morning coffee breaks with Alika showing off his drawings of the moon.  I told him that would be wonderful.


Hardin still has Evered Kreimer's 12.5" telescope and promised to take pictures of Evered's revolutionary liquid cooled Camera for me. I have an upcoming article on Kreimer along with Jason's article.   Hardin owns several Cave telescopes, 6" - 10" and the 12.5".  They have not been restored.


Larry talked of Parks showing up at the store to deliver tubes to Tom Cave.  He said there was always a lot going on.  


So in the interest of preserving the history, I guess I have another project.





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  • Jon Isaacs, bob midiri, tim53 and 8 others like this

#6204098 Nice Telescope Drawing

Posted by pbealo on 10 September 2014 - 09:28 PM

Just picked this beauty up. This original pencil drawing by Russell W Porter will go together with the matching copper printing plate I have of it that was used to print a page in ATM Book 1.


There's even a handwritten Porter note on the back about how it's going to Ingalls.


I like how the arm extends out of the frame, something the book cut off.


Peter B.


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  • rnabholz, xavier, A6Q6 and 8 others like this

#6194087 Post a picture of your refractors (PART 7)

Posted by opticsguy on 03 September 2014 - 11:24 PM

This is my recently completed 10" on Display at TMSP. 2014

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  • Lew Zealand, ngc2289, rushintuit and 8 others like this

#6175125 A Beginner's Guide To Fall Skies of 2014

Posted by DSObserver2000 on 22 August 2014 - 07:42 PM

September-November marks the start of a new bunch of constellations and events, here is a beginners guide to some of mother nature's goodies. :) All dates are in Central Standard Time



For the friends of the nearest rock in the sky:


First Quarter on September 2nd.

Full Moon on September 9th. 

Last Quarter on September 16th. 

New Moon on September 24th. 

First Quarter on October 1st. 

Full Moon on October 8th. 

Total Lunar Eclipse on October 8th. http://en.wikipedia....4_lunar_eclipse

Last Quarter on October 15th.

New Moon on October 23rd.

First Quarter on October 31st. 

Full Moon on November 6th. 

Last Quarter on November 14th. 

New Moon on November 22nd. 

First Quarter on November 29th. 



For those who enjoy the nearest star:


Partial Solar Eclipse on October 23rd. http://en.wikipedia....ctober_23,_2014




For planetary people:


Uranus at opposition on October 7th



For falling rock fanatics:


Comet Jacques (c/2014 e2) visible through a small telescope into September

Draconids peak on October 8th with a variable ZHR

Southern Taurids peak on October 9th with a ZHR of 5

Orionids peak on October 22nd with a ZHR of 20

Northern Taurids peak on November 13th with a ZHR of 5

Leonids peak on November 18th with a ZHR of 15



For deep sky hunters:


Open Clusters:

M25 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_25

M23 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_23

M18 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_18

IC 4665 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IC_4665

M29 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_29

M39 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_39

Double Cluster http://en.wikipedia..../Double_Cluster

M52 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_52

M11 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_11

M34 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_34

M45 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_45

M36 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_36

M37 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_37

M38 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_38

Hyades http://en.wikipedia...._(star_cluster)


Globular Clusters:

M2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_2

M15 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_15

M22 http://en.wikipedia....iki/Messier_22 

M28 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_28

M13 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_13

M92 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_92



M31 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_31

M32 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_32

M110 http://en.wikipedia....iki/Messier_110

M33 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_33

M77 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_77

NGC 253 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_253


Diffuse Nebulae

M17 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_17

M8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_8

M20 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_20

NGC 7000 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_7000


Planetary Nebulae

M27 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_27

M57 http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Messier_57


Most of the deep sky objects are visible in binoculars, all of them are visible in even the smallest telescopes under dark skies. It took me all day to make this. I probably missed a few deep sky objects but this is plenty enough to get a beginner going. :)

  • daniel_h, Michael Cox, txmnjim and 8 others like this

#6354402 What started it all

Posted by Carol L on Yesterday, 04:34 AM

The night sky has been a source of wonderment since I was a small child - my Dad introduced me to it on our yearly vacations to my Great-Uncle's farm, located about an hour east of where I now live. I was born and raised in Chicago and never saw the Milky Way until Dad began our 'starwalks' on the gravel road in front of the rural Wisconsin farm. His feet echoed a slow 'crunch-crunch' as we walked - slowly enough for my childlegs to keep up. His huge, warm hand enclosed mine as he answered his little tomboy's never-ending questions.


The sky was absolutely stunning. My tiny eyes saw bright and dark islands in a Milky river flowing over our heads. Some of the stars looked orange, and others were a brilliant blue-white. I'd never seen anything so lovely - it was as though someone had strewn the contents of a jewelbox across a piece of black velvet.


During one of our starwalks, the crunching sound under Dad's feet suddenly stopped, and he reached down to pick me up. The droning of the crickets was making me sleepy, so I laid my head on his shoulder - happy to sleep the rest of the way back to the farmhouse. But Dad didn't walk - he just stood there, holding me in the silence and said "Shhhh.. the starlight's falling on us... can you hear it?" I listened and listened, but couldn't hear anything except the sleepy crickets. 


We stood in the middle of the silent gravel road for what seemed like hours. I lifted my head from his shoulder and turned my face towards his to ask yet another question - but stopped when I saw tears streaming down his weathered cheeks. My tiny hands instinctively reached out to brush them away, and the spell was broken. He looked at me in the tender way only a Father can, and smiled. He carried me back to the farmhouse in a companiable silence as a mild Aurora began to send up delicate green needles from the northern horizon.


Yep, I was hooked. :)


Fast forward many decades....
A grown woman receives a beneficiary check from her Dad's estate. A telescope is purchased, and a new adventure is embarked upon - he would have liked that. The telescope enabled me to get a close-up view of the bright and dark islands Dad and I used to love - the orange and blue stars, too. There were galaxies, too - and star clusters. And nebulosities so stunning that they literally make me weep.


Sometimes a feeling of unimaginable peace flows through me while observing, and I hear Dad say "Shhhh ... can you hear it?" So I step aside and let him see the beautiful things we used to marvel at. As he looks, my eyes are drawn upwards - filled with the starlight I struggled to hear so many years ago. :flowerred:

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#6323246 The Ever-Ready 4" Refractor

Posted by BillP on 28 November 2014 - 08:08 PM

Tonight, in VA just west of Washington D.C., the outside temp is 27 deg F or about 45 degrees colder than inside where my scopes are (and 75% humidity!!).  Placed a few scopes outside about an hour ago, including my TSA-102 for some casual viewing.  Of course the others are still struggling reaching temp, but the trusty 4" is rock-n-rollin' showing pinpoint stars and airy disks.  Just always thrills me how cooperative a 4" refractor is...needing zero attention...always delivering with a smile...and providing some really great views.  Observing is just never a struggle, never an effort, and never a let down with a good 4" refractor.  Always ready when I am regardless of the temps and always eager to please.  Can't imagine not having good ole trusty 4" refractor...an observer's best friend as far as I'm concerned! :grin:  

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#6314568 Jupiter November 22

Posted by Alexander Obukhov on 22 November 2014 - 01:52 PM

Good conditions again!


2014/11/22 03:01:24(UT)
CM1=328.5 CM2=208.2 CM3=100.0
280mm S-C (Celestron C11), IMG132E, Baader IRCut, Baader Hyperion zoom x2.25 barlow.
Seeing 7/10, Trans 7-8/10




Best regards,
Alexander Obukhov

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