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2014 RASC Observer

By Tom Trusock


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


Recent Additions

  • Three Deep Sky Video Cameras for Under $100

    Nov 27 2014 11:44 AM by

    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.

  • Sky-Watcher Flextube Dobsonian: SkyLiner 400p GoTo

    Nov 26 2014 12:57 PM by

    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.

  • The Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector

    Nov 26 2014 11:33 AM by

    We cannot influence the seeing conditions, but the refraction can certainly be kept under control; this is not well known in he amateur astronomy society.

    With this article we wish to change this.

  • Review of the LHIRES LIte Spectroscopy by Shely...

    Nov 26 2014 11:12 AM by

    The LHIRES Lite is a great hit at daytime public presentations; everyone likes color, and the detail in the spectrum impresses people. It’s a winner. I also use it as part of an in-class show about the Sun that has been very well received by schoolchildren. It can also present spectra of spectral calibration lamps, compact fluorescent bulbs, etc. These are not so visually impressive as the solar spectrum, but still show nice detail and are good for teaching purposes.


User Reviews

  • Three Deep Sky Video Cameras for Under $100

    Nov 27 2014 11:44 AM by

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • The Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector

    Nov 26 2014 11:33 AM by

    We cannot influence the seeing conditions, but the refraction can certainly be kept under control; this is not well known in he amateur astronomy society.

    With this article we wish to change this.

  • Review of the LHIRES LIte Spectroscopy by Shely...

    Nov 26 2014 11:12 AM by

    The LHIRES Lite is a great hit at daytime public presentations; everyone likes color, and the detail in the spectrum impresses people. It’s a winner. I also use it as part of an in-class show about the Sun that has been very well received by schoolchildren. It can also present spectra of spectral calibration lamps, compact fluorescent bulbs, etc. These are not so visually impressive as the solar spectrum, but still show nice detail and are good for teaching purposes.

  • Phone/Tablet Apps and the Practical Astronomer

    Nov 26 2014 10:49 AM by

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

  • Istar 228 First Report

    Nov 26 2014 10:46 AM by

    I am confident that my Istar 228 mm refractor build is a worthwhile project. I found that this instrument is awesome for observing deep-sky objects and fantastic for viewing the Moon. I enjoyed a lot about the planning and building of this refractor. Moreover, I continued to like it a lot during the first two nights of observations, and I will continue to do so in the future.

  • Product Review: Celestron Advanced AVX Mount w/...

    Nov 25 2014 02:07 PM by

    Would I recommend this system? The answer is yes but make sure to purchase the scope from a reputable dealer who has the ability to check the scope out before shipping. This sometimes costs a bit more but is well worth it (I wish that I had done this).

  • The Meade Infinity 102 AZ

    Nov 25 2014 01:53 PM by

    The Meade Infinity 102 AZ Altazimuth Refractor A Review by Bill Steen September, 2014 This review is in response to feedback I requested and received on an article submitted to Cloudy Nights on my thoughts on the two new lines of Meade entry level scopes, the Infinity Altazimuth and Polaris Equatorial series. After a few weeks, I received a cryptic email from Meade telling me that an Infinity 102 AZ Refractor and a Polaris 130 Equatorial Reflector were being sent to me for my review, with no other words.

  • Review - Orion Optics UK 12” f4 Solid Tube Dobs...

    Nov 24 2014 01:09 PM by

    Top quality mirrors, strong ergonomics, a fantastic focuser, super light OTA and very quick and easy transportation and setup are the key benefits of this telescope.

  • SkyWatcher ED Esprit 120mm Apochromatic Triplet

    Aug 23 2014 10:11 AM by

    I have always said that if I had to go from having a couple of scopes to one in weighing aperture versus portability, contrast and almost crystalline view, then that one scope would be a decent aperture refractor. This 120 might just be the ticket.

  • Product Review - Bresser Messier AR-127S/635

    Jul 07 2014 07:00 PM by Van Webster

    For the price, this telescope is a good value but don’t expect the performance of a top imported scope, at thousands of dollars more out of pocket.  Set reasonable expectations and you won’t be disappointed.

  • Orion Starseek Wifi Module Serial/USB

    Jun 13 2014 07:00 PM by David Aucoin

    All in all, I was quite pleased with the Starseek WiFi module. I would recommend this item to anyone who wants complete wireless control of their telescope.

  • A Watch for the Stars!

    Jun 07 2014 07:00 PM by Jeff Martin

    Its uniquely intuitive and powerful interface, surrounded by a variety of models to suit your taste make the Yes Watch a beautiful and valuable full-time companion. There's nothing quite like it!

  • Review: 10Micron GM2000HPS

    May 05 2014 07:00 PM by Per Frejvall

    This is a high end mount that delivers extraordinary performance and unguided imaging. It does not come cheap, but when comparing to other offerings it is important to note that this has absolute encoders – and they don’t come cheap.




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