Another check off the old bucket list!
Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:37 PM
It was an EBay purchase (Thanks Matt!). I have heard of scams on Ebay but this owner was the real thing and knew his Questar too. I am very happy to give it a good home and use it often. It will not be a "Hanger Queen"
I am looking forward to viewing Jupiter and all my favorite doubles soon as I get a break in the weather!
Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:19 AM
Congrats on your new aquisition.
Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:05 PM
It took me 50 years to get a Questar. I think you'll agree the wait was worth it.
Send us some pix of this beauty!
I agree they were not meant to be hangar queens. Although we may have to do some hangar observing for a day or two more. We're under the clouds here in the Southeast also. At least the nasty weather is gone for a while.
Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:39 AM
Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:55 AM
But, in the Summer it is a great place to be. Lots of great spots to take your grab and go and of course black skies for your big tubes to ogle.
Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:15 PM
I have mostly been viewing doubles. Polaris is a great first check since you need to look at it to align with the pole anyway. Nice airy discs and instant snap-to focus. Turn the knob just a tiny bit inside or outside focus and you instantly see the result. There is no guessing where focus is.
Jupiter is excellent. We have had a pronounced inversion here the last week or so and though it kills the transparency, the atmosphere is very steady. Images are great at the eyepiece. I have to admit I am spoiled by my nice Teleview eyepieces. The Brandons are nice and clear but the field of view is much narrower unless you have complete darkness for your eyes to adjust. I have too many lights around. I have tried my 10mm Radian and the view with the better eyepieces is impressive.
Last night I decided to try my SBIG STi guider/planet cam. Results weren't too bad for a first try on the Q. I didn't have it as accurately aligned with the pole as I should have so the image kept drifting slowly out of the field. The Powerguide works well to keep correcting for the next exposure though. I will try to attach a couple shots here.
Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:56 PM
Ah, the Oregon weather. Cannot imagine a worse climate for astronomy, at least in the "winter." Well, maybe all things considered, Michigan is worse. . .
Bill, there are two Oregons and the one you're thinking of is on the Pacific ocean side of the Cascade Mountains. I live 120 North of the Oregon boarder and on the Pacific Mountain side of the Cascades as well. So I'm quite familiar witht the the Pacific NW weather but on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountain Range in Oregon the seeing conditions are much better. For the past 12 years I've made between 1 - 3 trips down there every year to do observing there between the months of April to October.
Last September I finally made it to Steens Mountain in the far Southeast Corner of Oregon State and was able to drive up to 9720 feet on that mountain and observe at one of the darkest locations to be found anywhere in the lower 48 states. It was also amazing to have a site like that on a mild/moonless Sept night all to myself and for an astronomer it was like heaven on earth.
Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:23 PM
Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:46 PM
We're going out to The Steens this Summer! I can hardly wait.
Some advice if you're thinking about Steens. First, make sure the weather forecast is for clear and sunny skies for several days in a row when you're going down there. It can get quite windy up on the top and it also has a reputation for violent thunderstorms. Don't take the risk if the weather looks like it might be iffy during the time when you're thinking of going. Be patient, one of these years the conditions will be just right and that's why I went last September.
Second, go in August or Sept but not July. In July there is still a fair amount of snow up top and lots of mosquitos up there. I ran into that problem during the Summer of 1998 and it ruined my visit/ observing trip down there that year.
Also there are many other locations you can go to in Lake, Harney or Malheur counties to observe (with elevations ranging from 4,000 - 7,000 feet). They're not as high or dark as the top of Steens, but they're still very dark. The southeast corner of Oregon has some of the darkest skies to be found anywhere in the continental US.
Posted 09 February 2013 - 03:20 AM
Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:43 AM
Thanks for the advice! I have been out there before but never to just observe with my telescopes. We used to hunt Antelope out that way and go every couple years on a Varmint safari in the entire surrounding area. Even if you don't get in any shooting it is a fascinating part of Oregon to explore.
Great varmint hunting outside of Fort Bidwell. Don't know if they still do it, but Cedarville just to the south, used to put on an annual depradation shoot, known as "The Squirrel Wars". The area also has dark skies.