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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

  • The Amazing HyperStar: A Guide to Optimize Perf...

    Sep 29 2015 10:03 AM by jhayes_tucson

    In spite of its advantages, the HyperStar system is not quite as easy to use as a modern day apochromatic astrograph and many users have trouble achieving good results. The problem generally isn’t with the optical system; it’s often the result of not knowing how to properly align and use the system. Although Starizona provides user instructions for aligning and using the HyperStar system, the manual is fairly basic. This guide is intended to provide additional information to get the best performance out of the HypeStar System.

  • Blue Skies, Red Sunsets & Company: Part4 -...

    Sep 24 2015 04:14 PM by Snickersnee

    Refraction changes the shape of the setting sun. The oval shape most commonly seen is just the simplest example. Much more complex changes in appearance can occur because of refraction and these are called mirages.

  • Apo-tmosphere: Gutekunst ADC Review

    Sep 23 2015 12:18 PM 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.

  • Revisiting Celestron’s Compustar: The Grand Dad...

    Sep 23 2015 10:39 AM by orion61

    I can’t tell you how many negative things I had heard about them, but in their day everybody wanted one. They were the first, each one was removed from the factory, had the electronics added on and shipped back for delivery.

Imaging/Sketching Contest

User Reviews

  • Apo-tmosphere: Gutekunst ADC Review

    Sep 23 2015 05:18 PM 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 07:41 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 06:57 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 04:45 PM 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 16 2015 04:08 AM 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 12:28 PM 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 01:54 PM 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 05:23 PM 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 04:29 PM 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 05:22 PM 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 08:36 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 08:46 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 05:02 PM 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.

  • My Odyssey

    Mar 21 2015 05:54 PM by Gil V

    I think what Coulter did was remarkable. They made the best they could with what they had, and brought large apertures to the public at an unheard-of price.

    All things considered, I am thrilled with my Odyssey.

  • Innovations Foresight On-Axis Guide and Starlig...

    Mar 17 2015 02:25 PM by GazingSkyward

    Would I recommend the ONAG?  Absolutely.  The benefits of near-infrared guiding on-axis are not simply theoretical, you can see them right there in your guide camera images and in the results that you take home at dawn.

  • The Celestron C80 ‘ Regal’ Spotting scope. And...

    Mar 21 2015 01:54 PM by waxinggibbous

    In summation, if you’re like me and get the shakes taking your expensive glass into the bush, then you can do much worse than the C80 Regal.

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