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CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.
This scope has been reviewed at great length in a comprehensive essay by William Paolini (http://www.cloudynights.com/page/articles/cat/user-reviews/first-impressions-of-the-lunt-152mm-f8-ed-apo-r2889), and I strongly recommend that prospective buyers study his excellent article. I will not repeat what he said except to emphasize that the scope has great optics, and nice fit and finish. It gives razor sharp views with no hint of false color. Definitely this is a great scope for visual or photographic purposes! Using this scope is fairly intuitive for anyone familiar with common telescopes. Unfortunately the scope does not come with any sort of manual, so there are a few items that may not be obvious when you take delivery of it. Here I wish to bring up two matters that may be of interest to prospective buyers.
More than four decades ago I happened upon dark skies quite by accident while on a cross country trip with my good friend Mike. The memory of that experience that has remained all these years is how the common Messier Objects and other DSO were all apparent with the naked eye, looking like bright fuzzy patches against the dark sky. Since then, my observing has primarily been only from suburban sites where the Milky Way is only rarely detectable. Today, I like many others, wonder what it would be like to observe at a truly dark site. We also wonder about what equipment we should take, whether it would be a waste to take such a trip and not acquire and bring the largest aperture telescope possible, and of course we wonder just how different the celestial objects we observe will appear at these darker skies.
This spring’s favorable placement of three major planets got me to thinking about how to put my scope on wheels. I was getting tired of lifting that awkward monster a few inches off the pavement and going umph-unk-umph-unk all the way up the driveway, hoping I wouldn’t snag a tripod foot between a pair of paving bricks (there is no such thing as flat ground in my suburb, par for the course around Denver).
Here I describe a 160mm apochromatic binocular telescope complemented by a mount and tripod aiming at a well-balanced compromise between optical performance, size and weight. I started the project already several years ago, the first version is described here at Cloudy Nights. Meanwhile a new, lighter and stiffer mount and tripod are finished and I think it is the right moment for describing the whole instrument.
In addition to more or less regular, weather permitting, observing sessions at Dan Parker’s Sonoma farm, and occasional public outreach, the club undertakes one or two dark sky camping trips a year. In addition to dark skies and astronomy, these quests also feature daytime activities well outside the day-to-day for most of us.
Muons can be detected with cloud chambers, Geiger counters, and scintillator detectors, but can also be recorded with common digital camera CCD and CMOS chips which are sensitive to charged particles. Muon flux at the surface of the Earth averages approximately 1 particle per square centimeter per minute. The surface area of the APS-C camera sensor (22.3 x 14.9 mm) is 3.3 cm2, which means that we can expect on average 3 muon strikes on the sensor during a 1 minute exposure.
I recently got a Carl Zeiss S-Tessar 300mm f5.6 barrel lens (no aperture nor shutter) that came out of an old copy machine or color comparator, not sure which. While only demanding $50-$100 on the used photographic market it was suggested it might make a good rich field telescope. So I made one.
Overall, my experience at the Museum was incredible and it was nearly sensory overload to see so many vintage telescopes that I have only read about and all in one place. The zeal, skill, and dedication of these fellow amateur astronomers is creating something unique in the entire world, a hands on experience dedicated to preserving the entire legacy and heritage of telescopes and astronomy in Japan, without which many of us would never have received that first telescope under the Christmas tree in our youth.
Most of us have had the desire to take a break from using the average telescope with its relatively high power and concomitant narrow field of view and difficulty in finding targets. The so- called rich field telescope or large binoculars seem to fill the bill with their low power and wide fields. The question then becomes how to mount the thing for comfortable, extended viewing.