From Orion XT8 to Zhumell Z12 - What to expect?
Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:32 PM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:39 PM
Got some great views in during my 6+ hours at the scope!! Most notable of the night was a revisit to NGC 2158, open cluster in Gemini. In previous viewings with the 8" it was a fairly faint, nebulous sphere with very little resolution of stars. With the 12"? Very nice resolution of many stars... huge improvement.
Dust lanes in M31? Yes, very well defined. Added definition in the Orion Nebula was very nice!
Picking up some of the 11 and 12 mag galaxies in Ursa Major that remained on my Herschel 400 list was a breeze. Will be interesting to revisit what I've already seen with the 8" to see what new details are visible!
Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:43 PM
Do folks out there name their scopes? The obvious choice is Big Bertha though that's not very original.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:00 PM
I doubt I'll ever bother using the scope's included finder... Does anyone actually use those?
I still like to use the RACI. If I get slightly off my target when switching EPs, it's a breeze to get right back.
Got some great views in during my 6+ hours at the scope!!
I'm impressed, given how cold it's been lately! I'm a winter viewing wimp. Really wanted to last night, but freezing temps kept me in.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:08 PM
If so that's great. Enjoy.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:33 PM
Tim, thanks for the tip. I'm so used to using the red dot that I'd not considered possible uses. There have been a couple occasions where I bumped the scope and had trouble making it back!
As for the cold, I'm wimpy too but I layer up with a crazy amount of layers... usually 4 pairs of pants, 2-3 shirts, jacket AND a coat then gloves, ski mask and of course 2 pairs of socks in insulated boots. Still, it's always the feet that get cold first.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:53 PM
Congratulations on your new scope...
12 inches is a great size, big enough to do some real damage but still compact enough to be easily transported...
Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:28 PM
Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:43 PM
Happens quickly with practice.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:17 AM
I like using my right angle finder in conjunction with a telrad. After a while it gets easy and quick. I find it helps me locate hard to find objects. 3 step process... locate most recognizable area or star with the telrad (closest you can get it.) then use right angle finder to get very close. Then use a finder eyepiece and confirm but remember everything is upside down and reversed.
Happens quickly with practice.
With a Telrad and reasonably dark skies, I find it is often possible to get "very close" by using the Telrad's reticule circles to point the scope, not need for the magnifying finder, I go straight to a low power eyepiece.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:24 PM
The Orion Nebula is my favorite test object to compare scopes and the extent and detail in a 12" are amazing.
The ONLY drawback to my Z12 is physically moving it across my rough yard.A scopehouse is a very good idea.
And thanks to Jon for his suggestion of the Sears digital level;the deluxe version with magnetic base and red laser is now sitting between the Z12 focuser and the RACI finder.The level gives me elevation angle to 1/10 of a degree.Once azimuth circle is put on the base then using Stellarium the Z12 will be practically "push-to" when desired.