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Observer's Handbook 2016

By Tom Trusock


Tom Trusock takes a look at the 2016 edition of the RASC Observer's Handbook.


Recent Additions

  • Discovery 17.5” Split Tube Dobsonian Telescope

    Yesterday, 03:20 PM by clay1022

    I love this scope, I knew it was what I wanted the moment I saw it. Not a bunch of poles to put together, collimation holds, no stray light in the optical path, dew is not an issue, and it is just a base and two pieces, 3 minutes and I'm together, another 2 minutes tops and Im collimated.

  • Night Vision Astronomy 2015: Three Perspectives

    Jan 07 2016 06:19 PM by 18UCinVa

    Night Vision technology is a powerful tool to enhance observing. Like any observing method, it had its advantages and drawbacks. Three Cloudy Nights members offer their experience.

  • REVIEW OF SUMERIAN OPTICS ALKAID 16” TRAVEL SCOPE

    Nov 26 2015 11:38 AM by alexvh

    If you want a high quality scope that is also transportable then this is about as good as it gets. Honestly I have owned several high quality scopes and this is one of the most refined ones available. I am overall very happy with this scope, and it is now my most used instrument.

  • There's a Catch!

    Nov 25 2015 06:32 PM by Ray Taylor

    For at least 10 years, observers have complained in forums about eyepiece barrel undercuts causing various problems, but especially catches. Because of my own experiences with catches occurring during insertion or extraction of an eyepiece when used with an adapter, I decided to do some investigation as to why. Catches, I found, are not a one sided issue.





Imaging/Sketching Contest


User Reviews

  • Discovery 17.5” Split Tube Dobsonian Telescope

    Today, 09:20 AM by clay1022

    I love this scope, I knew it was what I wanted the moment I saw it. Not a bunch of poles to put together, collimation holds, no stray light in the optical path, dew is not an issue, and it is just a base and two pieces, 3 minutes and I'm together, another 2 minutes tops and Im collimated.

  • REVIEW OF SUMERIAN OPTICS ALKAID 16” TRAVEL SCOPE

    Nov 26 2015 05:38 AM by alexvh

    If you want a high quality scope that is also transportable then this is about as good as it gets. Honestly I have owned several high quality scopes and this is one of the most refined ones available. I am overall very happy with this scope, and it is now my most used instrument.

  • Astrotrac TP3065 Pier Review

    Nov 20 2015 08:03 AM by James Waters

    I purchased the Astrotrac TP3065 pier because of its carrying capacity and design. The pier performs well, is stable, well made and has a padded shoulder carrying bag. It can also carry a heavy load.

  • Apo-tmosphere: Gutekunst ADC Review

    Sep 23 2015 11:18 AM by pbsastro

    Having apo-optics is not enough if we have achro-atmosphere. That is why I called this review Apo-tmosphere, because that is what this ADC brings to us.

  • Optolong LRGB Filter Testing and Comparison wit...

    Sep 22 2015 01:41 PM by turbo399

    I was recently contacted by Optolong, a filter manufacture in China who asked me to test their filters. They sent me a set of 36mm un mounted LRGB and a set of 36mm Narrowband Filters, H-Alpha 7nm, OIII and SII 12nm. I was impressed when they arrived, nice packaging and presentation in a similar plastic case to the Baader.

  • First Light Review: Teeter Custom TT Planet Kil...

    Sep 04 2015 12:57 PM by Zellmer

    About a year ago I decided to get back into astronomy after a 7 year hiatus. I live in the Portland OR metro area, where the weather can be astronomically gloomy for long stretches of time. Previously I had concentrated primarily on Astrophotography (published in Sky & Tel and Astronomy magazines), and have owned a wide variety of scopes and mounts

  • The Baader Planetarium Morpheus

    Aug 20 2015 10:45 AM by wapaolini

    Morpheus, in Greek mythology known as the god of dreams, and now the new Baader Planetarium entry in the field of high-performance wide fields.  In field tests, Morpheus eyepieces proved themselves to be a very sizable step up in both performance and ergonomics compared to the older Hyperion line.

  • Book Review: Astro-Imaging Projects for Amateur...

    Aug 15 2015 10:08 PM by Kenny2004

    Anyone who reads Jim Chung’s book will want to have a look at their existing astronomy gear and wonder what they can do to make their hobby better. The book shows how any amateur astronomer can modify or make astronomy gear from readily available parts, or by recycling parts while being mindful of costs. The broad spectrum of subject matter is written well and detailed, and balances nicely with the right amount of material and illustrations.

  • The Baader ASTF White Light Solar Filter

    Aug 03 2015 06:28 AM by wapaolini

    Overall I am extremely pleased with the performance of the ASTF.  It exceeded my expectations and provided a white light solar view that was brighter and more detailed than the standard full aperture glass filter I have could provide. 

  • The Lederman Optical Array LOA-21 3D Eyepiece

    Aug 03 2015 07:54 AM by wapaolini

    The LOA-21s and the new technology they introduce to astronomical observing has provided that long awaited next leap I have been eagerly looking for in visual astronomy.

  • Ghosts in the Machine: the Astro-Tech AT111EDT...

    Jun 13 2015 11:23 AM by jrbarnett

    The AT111EDT is a doubly haunted scope.  Haunted by the tragic, premature death of the illustrious designer of its optical group, and haunted also by the turbulent financial times into which it was born.  Will there be another run of this fabulous instrument?  I certainly hope so, but telescopes are a tough business, and the landscape of the refractor market in particular changes quickly.

  • My NexStar 5 Journey

    Jun 13 2015 10:29 AM by orion61

    How much do I love my NexStar 5? It could be the best scope I have ever owned. The SCT 5" in my opinion is the size of scope that gives good Planetary views, and DSO's start to be able to be studied in detail. It is also a nice non pain in the back weight wise.

  • Review of the William Optics 102 GT

    May 25 2015 11:22 AM by Perseus_m45

    Would I purchase this scope again?  Yes, I would.  Would I recommend it to a friend?  Yes, I would.  As I wrote earlier, the main reason I bought this scope was to step up my grab and go kit.  Often there just isn't time between the clouds to open up the observatory.  This scope will be parked on an alt-az mount, at the ready for the quick viewing slot that happens so much of the time here in western Pennsylvania.

  • Review- Printing Astro photos on Metal with Bay...

    Apr 16 2015 02:36 PM by ScenicCityPhoto

    I've printed on metallic paper, and with other metal printing companies, but have yet to find anything that is as stunning as the metal print presentation at Bay Photo. Most people that walk into my office immediately say, "WOW!". My AP photos are my own, not perfect, not veteran level perfect, just my own with my personal touch to the editing and presentation. I love the color that is out there, and I strive to show it in my photos.

  • 16” F/4.5 Teeter Stark Review

    Apr 15 2015 02:46 PM by donsell

    I could blame my observing partner Jim Kvasnicka for this.  We often observe together and look forward to the Nebraska Star Party each year.  At NSP 2014, Jim announced that he was going to buy a new premium 16 inch telescope.  That got me to start looking at the different options.

    So, after Jim’s announcement, I asked the Cloudy Nights forum participants if I’d be happy with upgrading my 12” Lightbridge by getting the mirror refigured and coated, getting a new plywood base and a Moonlite focuser, or should I go with Jim and get a new scope from a premium telescope maker.  Consensus was that I’d be happiest with a premium scope if I could afford it.

  • Vixen Ascot Super Wide 10x50 Binocular Review

    Apr 15 2015 11:02 AM by jvandyke

    Are the Vixen Ascot 10x50 the final answer to wide field astronomy?

    Although the wide field is thrilling, I am disappointed by Vixen's lack of quality control on the Chinese optics.  One pair had a blurry upper half, and the second pair could not focus sharply.  I would be reluctant to buy a pair without looking through them first.




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