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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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gerfmon
member
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Reged: 07/19/12

Loc: Longmont, CO
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: clintwhitman]
      #5662322 - 02/04/13 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"


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Datapanic
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/17/09

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: gerfmon]
      #5662743 - 02/05/13 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.


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mustgobigger
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/12/07

Loc: Michigan
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: Datapanic]
      #5662971 - 02/05/13 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.


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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: mustgobigger]
      #5663333 - 02/05/13 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.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
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Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: clintwhitman]
      #5664320 - 02/05/13 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. ( )

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Dan /schechter
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/21/06

Loc: Long Beach, Calif.
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: GeneT]
      #5664606 - 02/06/13 02:46 AM

Mine was in 1991 when I just received my 6" AP Starfire EDT and pointed at Saturn. I can close my eyes and see it and feel that "WOW" feeling.
Dan


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clintwhitman
Caveman
*****

Reged: 01/01/07

Loc: CALI SoEasyACavemanCanSlewIt
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: Dan /schechter]
      #5664833 - 02/06/13 09:08 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

WOW Really? THE PAWN STARS ZEISS PICKUP DAN AND I WERE WOWED

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Edward E
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/26/06

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: clintwhitman]
      #5664911 - 02/06/13 10:11 AM

My WOW factor was my first look through a telescope. I was 8, living in Atlanta, GA, mid 70s, my dad took me to Fernbank Science Center to look at Saturn...through a 36" telescope! I was already awed by the dome, then the size of the scope but the view! Even my dad was impressed. I still feel the feeling 40 years past.

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astro140
super member


Reged: 01/28/08

Loc: Mayhill, New Mexico
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: mustgobigger]
      #5665343 - 02/06/13 02:05 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

Quote:

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.





Hi Brian,
My wow memory was similar using my AP 152 f/12 superplanetary refractor on Saturn.
Steve
NM


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: astro140]
      #5666012 - 02/06/13 09:07 PM

Four "Wow!" moments transformed me:

Seeing stars for the first time in third grade, upon getting my first prescription glasses;

Seeing the Milky Way thirty-five years later, after moving to dark skies;

Finding and seeing Saturn's rings for the first time, after buying my first good scope (the 60mm Jason 313 Towa); and,

Marveling at a member of my club blithely pointing a 16" f/4.5 Newt on GEM at anything anyone requested. He knew exactly where everything was. I wanted to learn to do that.


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Dan /schechter
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/21/06

Loc: Long Beach, Calif.
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: clintwhitman]
      #5666080 - 02/06/13 09:44 PM

Hey Clint,
The visit to Pawn Stars certainly was a WOW experience for both of us. Having them open the door for us while about one hundred people stood in line to get was icing on the cake as was the side visit with Ed Beyers on the way home.

Cheers,
Dan


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dgreyson
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/06/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5666181 - 02/06/13 10:41 PM

My Classic Telescope wow moment was when my classic 10" newtonian wasnt a classic yet. Saturn was up, the air was clear and still, the stars were intensely bright, and I had just realized my wooden English yoke mount was way too heavy to drag out of the shed for first light.

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mikey cee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: Dan /schechter]
      #5666190 - 02/06/13 10:47 PM

Hey Dan, who is that wearing the Groucho Marx mask? Mike

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Dan /schechter
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/21/06

Loc: Long Beach, Calif.
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5666226 - 02/06/13 11:13 PM

Hi Mike,
Your guess is as good as mine.
Cheers,
Dan


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clintwhitman
Caveman
*****

Reged: 01/01/07

Loc: CALI SoEasyACavemanCanSlewIt
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5666465 - 02/07/13 05:25 AM

SAY THE SECRET WORD AND WIN $50!!!
Mike only you would say I look weird while standing next to the oldman!!


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Rich (RLTYS)Moderator
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/18/04

Loc: New York (Long Island)
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: clintwhitman]
      #5666513 - 02/07/13 06:22 AM

My classic WOW moment was first light and my first view of the Pleiades (M45) with my brand new Tasco 6TE-5 refractor on Dec 26, 1967. I will always remember that night.

Rich (RLTYS)


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bremms
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: SC
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5666542 - 02/07/13 07:05 AM

Plieades is really such a beautiful object. Never gets old. It was the second thing my "new" D&G saw last night and it was Sooo nice

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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: Rich (RLTYS)]
      #5666695 - 02/07/13 09:27 AM

How could I have omitted this? I had my Pleiades moments, too. The monents were classic, but the scope was not.

For a midlife birthday, I had received my first astronomical telescope (if it counts as such), a 4" Celestron FirstScope f/4 tabletop Dob. With its short tube and lack of finder, it was hard to point. There was construction in my yard, so I climbed up onto a bulldozer. With the scope on the hood, I could stand lower on the treads to better sight skyward. Somehow, I found the Pleiades, and "Wow!"

Two years later, I took that scope to a public star party. From the trunk of the car, it gave a young man his "Wow!" moment. Still recall his face in the dark, stunned and awed.


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5666724 - 02/07/13 09:49 AM

Here's a classic moment with the 16" f/4.5 Newt in our club's dome: Saturn was boiling in the eyepiece. I was still awed, because I had never seen it so big. To compensate for the bad seeing, we stopped it down to a 6" f/12 off-axis, and "Wow!" It popped into superb clarity.

A few years later, our club's optician assembled one working Newt from two 8" long focus classics undergoing restoration, a Trecker and, I think, a Southern Pacific Instruments. The scope itself was stunningly long, evocative of a rare view; and, surely enough, the view of Saturn the best anyone had ever seen.

So many classic moments! Yes; they keep us going, always seeking the next.


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starman876
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/28/08

Loc: VA
Re: Classic "WOW FACTOR" Moments new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #5666740 - 02/07/13 09:58 AM

One WOW moment was when I had an old Coulter 13.1" Dob

One night I aimed at the Pleiades and there in that wonderdul starfield was also the blue gas around the stars that you normally only see in pictures. I had never seen it like that visually. I did go WOW over and over again. This was from light polutted Washington DC skies.


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