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Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments

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#1 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:46 AM

Well we kinda hijacked the Ebay thread taking about this so I though it might work in a post.
Being associated this this great hobby for many years and after owning and using telescopes from just about every design type there have been candidates of all the major design types that have given me "The Wow factor Moments" You know you open the box or walked into that garage, or your friend invited you over to see his latest find and out popped a telescope that made your jaw drop and you just said WOW!!! Tell the Story, Post that Photo, Share the Wow,
:foreheadslap:
I have had some great ones as some of you have seen the posts.
(aveman

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#2 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:00 AM

My greatest WOW MOMENT to date was a few years ago when a friend from this group Lew Chilton called me at home and said " Clint you have been invited to a special Star party in north holly wood by a guy named John Pons" I will never in my lifetime forget Debbie and I driving down a side street in North Holly Wood CA and looking ahead and on the left and seeing Johns 10" F15 Zeiss and the 1956 Goto Kogaku Telescopes set up in the driveway! This was really a life changing event for me. After my jaw dropped, it stayed that way the entire evening. I really needed a Jaw Sling by 9 pm that night! :smirk:

Here is a link to perhaps the greatest WOW EVER.
FULL MOON STAR PARTY

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#3 Astrojensen

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:27 AM

My WOW! moment was kind of subtle, but when I first saw the 85mm f/19 Zeiss A apochromat in my friend's observatory, repainted, flaking, dirty, corroded, standing folorn and almost forgotten in a corner, I can't say it was a WOW! moment, but somehow, I knew I stood in front of something really special and because of that, the memory is precious to me and I recall it vividly.

Later, during a conversation on the phone, I mentioned that it was the kind of scope I would like to own. He gave it to me, on the condition that I had to transport it home myself. I took him on his word and carried it home on my back, by foot, train, ferry and bus. Then I restored it and this is how it looks now:

Posted Image

Posted Image

The lens is truly special. It shows no visual color and will take the highest magnifications before breakdown. I've used it for solar projection with 800x magnification. 200x - 300x hardly breaks a sweat. It will resolve M13 right across the core with an 8mm Ethos like you'll never believe.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#4 strdst

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:48 AM

Thomas,

Your WOW moment becomes mine. Thanks!

#5 bob midiri

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:06 AM

Great idea Clint. Well my first WOW factor was about 10 years ago while observing Saturn one rare steady night with my homemade 16"F6.5 dob. The steady atmosphere was allowing me IIRC to use some very high powers that we just normally don't get the chance to use in mid-atlantic. I remember climbing up the ladder and then just looking at Saturn around 500 power and seeing all this granulation in the rings, it was incredible I never again saw that... My second "WOW" factor was with my Classic C14, observing Jupiter one night under steady skies, I couldn't believe what I was seeing, the image was so detailed and seeing shades of colors in the belt areas, looked like a Hubble picture....I need to get these scopes to some steadier skies more often. Bob

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#6 bremms

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:44 AM

My best one was with my now gone 10" f6. For months the seeing was terrible when I got the mirror. I could never seem to get it to reach equilibrium. One evening I took it to my Dads to do some good deep sky.
Left the scope out covered to get up at 4:30 to look at Jupiter and Saturn.
Holy Crud! was my first statement. It was slightly foggy but the sky was a10/10 for seeing. Shadings in the cloud belts, unbelievable detail and contrast. That's the first time I realized how good the mirror was.

#7 sgorton99

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:01 AM

My "WOW" was when my wife and I met up with Harald in Amsterdam. Clint had suggested in a thread if anyone is in Amsterdam, they look Harald up to see his classic scopes.

After some communication with Harald, we were all set. He and his elderly father met us at a restaurant near his dad's retirement residence and treated us to a very nice meal. Harald then played the piano for the patrons as he is a well know jazz pianist. He also loaned us a phone and gave us 2 train tickets to come see him and his girlfriend in a town about 30 miles away. There was an outdoor art tour in that town that day, and Harald had two bicycles for my wife and I to use.

Of course this is about classic telescopes, so attached is a picture of Harald and I and one of his classic Zeiss telescopes. My wife still kids about me meeting guys online in Amsterdam...

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#8 bendab

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:16 AM

Clint,
How in the world can assemble a scope like this without using a crane looks even to big just for two guy's to handle ?

#9 Eric P

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

Clint,
How in the world can assemble a scope like this without using a crane looks even to big just for two guy's to handle ?


That's what I want to know :D

#10 Peter B

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

My classic wow factor was in meeting a classic individual: Clyde Tombaugh! I went to college at New Mexico State Univ. where he was a visiting/guest professor. I was out riding my bike one day and saw this old and bent over gentleman with a really big telescope. He invited me over to see it and his wife brought out the lemonade. Had a nice visit with the two of them. Not a classic scope, but a classic nevertheless! I also met Walter H. Haas of A.L.P.O. fame in Las Cruces too!

#11 starman876

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

Mt first was in 1957 and watching Sputnik going overhead. That was the first time I started looking at the stars with interest. Then my neighbors 8" newtionian and seeing Jupiter for the first time That was back in the 50's when light pollution was not so bad yet. The next wow was when I set up my 5" F12 AP and looked around in light polluted skies. Up until then I had a Meade 10" SCT that just could not deliver. The next wow came when I set up the 6" F8 AP. My last wow was when i started using my 12.5" portaball with the Zambutti mirror. After one night of good seeing with that mirror I sold the new C14 I had which had some of the best optics in any SCT I have ever seen. Still kept the Orange C14 for sentimental reasons. Hope that is not that many wows? but every scope provided a new wow I was not expecting.

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#12 actionhac

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:19 AM

I'd been having trouble achieving a sharp focus with this ebay lens and like a good monkey I started fiddling with tools and sticks and scissors and after much scientific guessing I hit the correct spacing and distinctly remember a WOW! and a sore jaw!
Here it is in my "laboratory" on that evening:

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#13 droid

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:32 AM

Mine occured at the Horstmans, I was there for a star party and Scott opened up the 12/12.5? inch f8/10? reflector, I got to the ep, and Jupiter just was glorious, liked I never seen before,if anyone had been standing under the ladder they would have needed a rain coat.
Alas others wanted to look too, so I got down.But went back when ever I could.
The image is still burned into my mind.I still wanted one of my own, until last year when I picked up my 16 inch f/4.5...I have high hopes it will recreate that moment.

#14 droid

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

Dan; what size and focal length is that, it sure is pretty to look at.

#15 droid

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

Clint,
How in the world can assemble a scope like this without using a crane looks even to big just for two guy's to handle ?


Why you think they call him the cave man??? obviously he grunts, plops it on his shoulder :roflmao: :roflmao:

#16 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

Thomas, Great story 85mm Zeiss Awesome!! Dan has given me a few WOW Zeiss moments.

Bob and Mark, I hadn't thought at all of any of the viewing WOW Moments, these are really what its all about! To bad these 10 seeing moments are not within our control. All we can do is show up and hope nature provides a night like this once in a while. Great photo Mr Bob.

Steve, Harold is one in a million and I totally love the fact you went to see our good friend. WOW! One day Debbie and I will get over there.

Bruce and Eric, Mr John Pons is 74 or so and he puts that thing together completely by himself. He has let me help him one time with the OTA and other than that he swears he assembles this giant on his own. Another WOW moment to see that.

Peter, Meeting man that wrote the book,Clyde Tombaugh. Always great moments!

Johann you have a million great moments,

Robert don't you just love it when, just when you think it all a total loss, your at the end of your rope and you try the "last Thing" and it works! These are always the best of the best moments. If you get your Perfect 6" Refractor to be Perfect That's a WOW Moment.

Great posts you guys!!

#17 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:30 PM

Andy,
Nature will one day provide the seeing and your reflector will blow your mind, provided you show up at the eyepiece.

The Pearl has held over 700 power on four different nights. Two at Pinos and Two in our observatory. I am suspicionin that there are way more 10 plus nights at Pinos than in my back yard. :grin:

Another WOW moment: I spent 60 to 100 hours restoring my 1965 Cave 10" F8, I had it finished for about a month and was having some really great sessions with her. John Pons had another star party so I loaded up the Cave and set it up under his Zeiss thinking it would get Blown away by the monster refractor and know one would even want a look in it.

This was not you typical star party. Ed Grisom, Edward Zucardi, Lewis Chilton and John Pons were there. Around LA these are the best known telescope men around and they were all friends with Tom Cave and the Beck Brothers. After an hour of darkness Ed Zucardi was over looking through the Cave and he stated yelling for John Pons to come over. John and Ed were pretty much glued to the eyepiece for 30 minutes viewing Jupiter. They both started using words like perfect mirror one in a million, don't ever sell this mirror, it was the best of the best and needed to be installed in a optimized OTA..
:foreheadslap: :roflmao: After pouring my Heart into the restoration of this old Classic Telescope, and not really knowing if it was worth all that time. It was a huge WOW moment to have these particular telescope men tell me this was a one in a million telescope..
Once again I have to Thank our friend Lew Chilton for the photo. He captured the moment when John first looked in the Cave

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#18 starman876

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:32 PM

If it were not for all the new wows we keep seeing we would not stay in this hobby for long. We search the heavens for that new wow every night we observe always hoping to see that object like we have never seen it before.

#19 clintwhitman

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:41 AM

Exactly! :roflmao:

#20 Jim Curry

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:52 PM

Clint:
It's been several years since I looked at that Full Moon thread. Wow, thanks for bringing that up again. That should be in its own "Best of the Best" thread.

Jim

#21 gerfmon

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:09 PM

It's the early 1980's. I'm a young adult with a decent job. At a local astronomy shop I buy a pair of Swift 11x80 astronomical binoculars. From my light polluted back yard the views were nice, but not as nice as what I had expected from these handheld "light buckets".

So a trip to the great dark, the eastern plains of Colorado was in store. I drove about 75 miles east of the Front Range light pollution. I found a spot on a back road. It was dark, really dark. The kind of dark where you still can't see your own hand after 10 minutes. And I think the stars shown brighter than I'd every seen. I swept the October night sky with the big binoculars over the Milky Way, the star numbers were beyond comprehension. Then I swept over to the west. HOLY COW, there it was, M31, Andromeda..not a faint fuzzy as I would have expected. I could see the whole galaxy! The bright core, the spiral arms, even the dust lanes! Like the photos I'd seen in Sky & Telescope! I began to wonder if someone had slipped some acid into my soda pop, that this was all a big hallucination. :) But it wasn't. There was M31 in all it's glory, another galaxy almost 3 million light years away. I laid there in the dark and soaked up the view for a good hour. Anyway, that was probably the biggest WOW moment of my life (astronomy wise). And even though the Swift binoculars were new then, I think they could be classified as "classics" 30+ years later. :) And I still have that same pair in the closet. I still dig them out now and again, but the views from my backyard can't come close to comparing to what I saw out in the "Great Dark" :)

#22 Datapanic

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:18 AM

My Classic Wow Factor was when the 1975 8" f/7 Lightweight Deluxe arrived. I had waited 13 long weeks from ordering it until it was delivered. It was shipped via United Freight and I guess my Dad took off from work and accepted delivery of it and put the crate and boxes downstairs of our split-level house. That day, when I came home later than normal, my two sisters were hiding downstairs around the corner to see what I would do when I saw it. I didn't know they were there. I came home, and looked downstairs and saw the crate with the OTA inside it - with a big surprise and a 'Yahoo!' I jumped all the steps down and said stuff like 'Wow', 'Boss', 'Oh Yeah' and lots of other things; my sisters laughed at me, I didn't care!

I uncrated and unpacked it that afternoon, following the awful assembly directions provided, and I still remember that Parks Tube smell... I don't remember if it was clear that night or not, but I had several Wow Moments with it from then on and still do. I had moved up from a 60mm refractor to an 8" reflector and I think that scope (which I still have) started my affection towards the hobby like nothing else would have before.

#23 mustgobigger

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:09 AM

mine was first view of saturn with the 6" AP
superplanetary ...cranking it up to over 600 x
and thinking i need to buy some higher power eyepieces.
etched in my mind forever.
:grin:

#24 terraclarke

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:48 AM

Mine was my first view of Saturn with my first telescope (60mm). My second would have to be my first views through my home built (and home ground and figured mirror) 6 inch F4.5 rich field reflector of the Scutum Star Cloud a year and a half later. I was so amazed for see all those stars and nebulosity through something I had made my self.

#25 GeneT

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:09 PM

My greatest WOW moment was the first time I looked through a telescope. It was 1957, in Ely, Nevada. A friend's father invited me to drive with them to Ruth, Nevada, about 7 miles away. A doctor had just received a 3.5 inch Questar. The Moon was about half. The doctor aimed it in the eyepiece. It was just a smooth, white globe. No details. We all thought that was how the moon was to look. I saw a small cylinder sticking up. I turned it--and the moon snapped into focus, revealing craters, mountains and so on. It was stunning. The others were also stunned. That view stayed with me the rest of my life, and motivated me to get into the greatest hobby on earth. ( :grin:)






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