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2015 RASC Observer's Guide

By Tom Trusock


Join us as Tom Trusock takes a look at the 107th version of the venerable RASC Observer's Handbook.


Recent Additions

  • Altair Astro Starbase Tripod Review

    Dec 07 2014 06:27 AM by Timothy Giles

    From the moment I saw it, to putting it together and using it over 3 months - I have been extremely happy with the Starbase. It costs a bit more than a T-Pod 130 but its specifications are also far greater. The build quality is as good as it gets, the design is engineered well and executed perfectly.

  • A Beginner's Look at GoTo Dobsonians and th...

    Dec 06 2014 05:50 PM by jayhall0315

    Overall, I really like the Orion XT10g. I give it 4.5 out of five stars. It takes the large apertures, lower cost and simple base of the classic Dobsonian design and upgrades it to allow modern motorized GoTo targeting for a complete newbie. The tracking is very good, and becomes excellent once PAE is performed for a specific section of the sky under observation.

  • Binocular review for 20X80 Konus Giants

    Dec 06 2014 05:28 AM by orion61

    Konus really knocked it out of the park with these. I have looked through other large binoculars costing 2-3X as much, with these as good or actually better!

  • Hutech IDAS LPS-P2 vs Chroma LoGlow

    Dec 01 2014 12:53 PM by whwiii

    As a testament to the fact that I purchase too many filters, I was given a Chroma LoGlow filter to test. So I've compared it the the Hutech IDAS LPS-P2 filter which many (including me) consider the gold standard light pollution filter.



This Month's Skies



Imaging/Sketching Contest


User Reviews

  • Takahashi FS - 102 Fluorite Doublet Apochromat

    Feb 20 2015 08:49 AM by admin

    While my nine year old son and I were out in our rural backyard one clear evening this past Fall, my son gazed up into the sky and remarked on the endless number of stars visible to him. He was especially drawn to a couple of extraordinarily bright objects. " Hey dad, there's the North Star ", he exclaimed. As I looked up at the bright object that he was referencing, I advised him that he had found the planet Jupiter. "Wow", Jupiter, he said! I then proceeded to point out Saturn, Polaris, the alignment of the pointer stars in the Big Dipper to find Polaris, etc. I then ran into the house and dug out my old Minolta 10x50's and gave him a glimpse of M-42, of course, after outlining the asterism of Orion the Warrior.

  • If you want to Master your craft, read Lessons...

    Jan 07 2015 11:29 AM by AstroDad

    Lessons from the Masters: Current Concepts in Astronomical Image Processing (Springer, 2013.) edited by Robert Gendler is an essential addition to library of every serious astrophotographer. Gendler, who edited this 387 page work is himself a Master of the art and science of astrophotography with a rich portfolio of astrophoto accolades and achievements, including 107 NASA APOD selections. Gendler is a physician by profession and therefore technically an "amateur" astronomer. However he routinely teams with the world's leading professional observatories to create masterful images from their exquisite data sets.

  • Phone/Tablet Apps and the Practical Astronomer

    Jan 07 2015 10:32 AM by zubiriman

    How can an astronomer harness the great power of these new devices, without wasting enormous amounts of time figuring out what is really useful?

  • Celestron Ultima 80

    Dec 16 2014 05:54 PM by Gianluca67

    I had the opportunity to observe the sky with this spotting scope during my holidays last Summer. My Father in law happened to own the Celestron Ultima 80 for nature watching and shooting sport and had left the scope at his holiday house near the seaside where I spent my holidays with my family. The sky there is pretty good so you can see 5.0-5.5 magnitude stars with the unaided eye at the zenith.

  • 10 Micron GM1000HPS --- My Experience

    Dec 15 2014 12:54 PM by sayitfast

    My first setup was working OK for me. I had a Celestron 11 inch HD scope a Hyperstar, Atik camera and a Celestron CGEM mount. I was getting images that I thought were wonderful and was overall very happy. The one major pain point I had was set up time and accuracy of the mount using was not always a fast fun experience. I found the CGEM mount overall worked well but there were some things that frustrated me which I will not go into here. I also wanted to do more advanced imagery… namely Satellites and Comets and I wanted it to be as easy as possible of course.

  • Altair Astro Starbase Tripod Review

    Dec 07 2014 06:27 AM by Timothy Giles

    From the moment I saw it, to putting it together and using it over 3 months - I have been extremely happy with the Starbase. It costs a bit more than a T-Pod 130 but its specifications are also far greater. The build quality is as good as it gets, the design is engineered well and executed perfectly.

  • A Beginner's Look at GoTo Dobsonians and th...

    Dec 06 2014 05:50 PM by jayhall0315

    Overall, I really like the Orion XT10g. I give it 4.5 out of five stars. It takes the large apertures, lower cost and simple base of the classic Dobsonian design and upgrades it to allow modern motorized GoTo targeting for a complete newbie. The tracking is very good, and becomes excellent once PAE is performed for a specific section of the sky under observation.

  • Binocular review for 20X80 Konus Giants

    Dec 06 2014 05:28 AM by orion61

    Konus really knocked it out of the park with these. I have looked through other large binoculars costing 2-3X as much, with these as good or actually better!

  • Review & Comparison of Takahashi FS-128...

    Dec 03 2014 07:32 AM by werison

    Side-by-side comparison of the Takahashi FS-128 & TEC 140 apochromats, including observing solar system and deep sky targets.

  • Hutech IDAS LPS-P2 vs Chroma LoGlow

    Dec 01 2014 12:53 PM by whwiii

    As a testament to the fact that I purchase too many filters, I was given a Chroma LoGlow filter to test. So I've compared it the the Hutech IDAS LPS-P2 filter which many (including me) consider the gold standard light pollution filter.

  • WO XWA 9mm Eyepiece Review

    Nov 29 2014 10:21 AM by timmbottoni

    I really like the WO XWA 9mm. It really has me rethinking trying to buy more eyepieces from this line because even though a 9mm is a heavily used focal length, I think a 20mm would be perfect for my old Celestron C8 SCT. It is just a really crisp and fun eyepiece to use, and if the other focal lengths are as good as this one, this is going to be a real winner for William Optics.

  • The William Optics FLT 151 Triplet APO Refractor

    Nov 29 2014 09:48 AM by Reptilicus

    Overall, The William Optics FLT 151 OTA is an impressive telescope with exemplary craftsmanship and excellent optical performance. I would highly recommend this telescope to anyone wanting a fine 6” refractor.

  • Three Deep Sky Video Cameras for Under $100

    Nov 27 2014 11:44 AM by CurtisCA17

    Video astronomy has been around for more than 20 years. And most will associate it with lunar, solar and planetary imaging/viewing. However, with the advances in video surveillance cameras and astronomy specific adaptations of these cameras in the late 90's and early 2000's, video cameras have been increasingly directed at a wide range of deep sky objects. While it is possible to spend hundreds of dollars to nearly two thousand dollars on some of the latest video astronomy cameras, I have been amazed at the depth and breath of deep sky objects which are accessible with cameras available for less than $100.

  • William Optics WO-Star71 71mm f/4.9 Apo Imaging...

    Nov 27 2014 11:29 AM by wbogardus

    William Optics WO-Star71 71mm f/4.9 Apo Imaging Refractor It is very well designed, solidly built and produces sharp images. What more could you want?

  • Cloudy Nights Review: Half-Hitch Free-Turn-X (F...

    Nov 27 2014 11:10 AM by mrn

    Of all the mounts I have purchased over the years this one is quickly becoming my favorite.

  • Sky-Watcher Flextube Dobsonian: SkyLiner 400p GoTo

    Nov 26 2014 12:57 PM by Magnitospheria

    Overall, I love this telescope, it has a few niggles but in terms of the purpose it was built for, and the purpose I wanted it for, it serves excellently. However, its size and its bulkiness are a serious problem, on reflection, if I was to go back and buy again, I would go for the 14" version, the 16" is that little bit too large for it to be practical. Over all though, I am very fond of this scope, and you'd be hard pushed to find something better for the price.




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