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mantrain
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/22/11

Loc: San Diego
Which scope for lunar observing
      #6512081 - 05/07/14 02:11 PM

I think I have avoided lunar observing because it's just so obvious, I have searched for more exotic DSOs.

Which scope would be better for lunar observing: my 8" SCT fully computerized, or my hand driven 16" Dob?

I am thinking the SCT is a shoe in bc it's motorized, but won't I get a lore more detail with the 16" hunk a glass?
Or will the constant movement be too bothersome.

Also, what is considered the best time of the month to view?

Any tips for a moon virgen to make it more interesting?


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craigLambert55
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Reged: 04/05/14

Loc: Oregon
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6512294 - 05/07/14 03:55 PM

Which scope would be better for lunar observing: my 8" SCT fully computerized, or my hand driven 16" Dob?

I would go with the driven scope.

Also, what is considered the best time of the month to view?

Around first quarter. It's well placed and you don't have to stay up late. Lots of shadows along the terminator as well.


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star dropModerator
contra contrail
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Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: craigLambert55]
      #6512628 - 05/07/14 07:11 PM

Use either one. Try the same magnification with each telescope and pick your favorite. Constant movement doesn't bother me anywhere near as much as the poor seeing conditions in my area.

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desertstars

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Reged: 11/05/03

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: star drop]
      #6512665 - 05/07/14 07:29 PM

What Ted said. Experiment, and see if one pleases you more than the other. I observe the Moon at various times with one of three scopes: 60mm refractor, 102mm refractor, or an 8" Newtonian. The Newt gives the most detailed views, but the refractors are a lot easier to set up and take down on a weary weekday night, when I just can't say "no" to the Moon.

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Rod
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: desertstars]
      #6512869 - 05/07/14 09:21 PM

I do very nicely with my 70mm f/10 refractor - if the seeing is right near first quarter I can get lovely views with my 6.3mm Plössl eyepiece. The moon works with any telescope!

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Ptarmigan
Lagopus lagopus
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Reged: 09/23/04

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Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6513098 - 05/07/14 11:42 PM

Any scope will do. In your case, I would go with the motorized SCT. I use a 8 inch f/6 Newtonian to look at the Moon and it gives me spectacular views. The best time to look at the Moon is half Moon phase as you can see craters better.

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desertstars

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Reged: 11/05/03

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6513111 - 05/07/14 11:48 PM

Quote:

Any tips for a moon virgen to make it more interesting?




Buy a basic map and start by learning to recognize the larger, more prominent features. This is a good one:

http://www.shopatsky.com/product/Sky-and-Telescope-Field-Map-Of-The-Moon/maps...


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mantrain
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/22/11

Loc: San Diego
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: desertstars]
      #6513210 - 05/08/14 01:01 AM

Thanks, rather than having to spend $ right now, are there any good internet sources with lunar maps? Or is it a 'get what you pay for' kinda thing?

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acr_astro
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Reged: 01/16/13

Loc: Germany, Dusseldorf area
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6513273 - 05/08/14 02:31 AM

Hi,

yes there are plenty of free online resources available. Here are just two for the beginning:

A map (JPG format) based on the LROC data with color coded topographic information can be found here: Maurice Collins Near Side Moon Map

And a good free lunar atlas is here:
Lunar Field Atlas

Achim

P.S: The S&T Field Map referenced in one of the posts above is really worth the money. I use it often at the telescope. But the printable free online resources would give you a good start as well.


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OrdinaryLight
sage
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Reged: 11/06/13

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: acr_astro]
      #6513726 - 05/08/14 11:09 AM

In addition to a map or atlas (I like the S&T field maps combined with an indoor reference atlas) a Lunar observing program will give you an organized list of subjects and focus your observing. I've been using the Isabel Williamson Lunar Observing Program with scopes from 72mm to 10" (it has some naked eye and binocular targets as well). There's a recent thread on the program here: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php//Number/6247388/

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desertstars

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Reged: 11/05/03

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6514674 - 05/08/14 08:25 PM

Quote:

Thanks, rather than having to spend $ right now, are there any good internet sources with lunar maps? Or is it a 'get what you pay for' kinda thing?




There's also the Virtual Moon Atlas, a free download, which I should have thought of right off:

http://ap-i.net/avl/en/start


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azure1961p
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Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: desertstars]
      #6514790 - 05/08/14 09:47 PM

Both the 8" and the 16" will show an overload of details. The 16" however will need unusually good sky's to realize its full potential while the 8" will see its potential realized more often. Again however, both will reveal a grand amount of details. The 16" will show more ultimately but this would be in the finer details to be sure. Its there to be had - it's something a more seasoned observer would appreciate whose familiar with the finest details and appreciates the edge of double the angular resolution. For the average guy, 8" will keep you satisfied forever.

Pete


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mantrain
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/22/11

Loc: San Diego
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: azure1961p]
      #6514867 - 05/08/14 10:20 PM

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?

See, I have forever been into (anyu maybe you guys also have) DSO's, galaxies and star clusters for the sheer amazement of distance away, plus, star- clusters are just so pretty.


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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6515113 - 05/09/14 01:02 AM

The moon has lots of features to study, its like many galaxies in one place. I dont understand people that think the moon is boring. I find new interesting things and then keep focusing on that area to get better info.
The great wall is my latest target and got it last night finally.


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desertstars

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Reged: 11/05/03

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: NeilMac]
      #6516053 - 05/09/14 02:52 PM

There are a lot of reasons I'm drawn to the Moon as an observer. Seeing actual landscapes on an alien world and the beautiful and intricate play of light and stark shadow are just two that come to mind right off. Sheer accessibility plays a role, too. How do you pass up such an easy target that can give you such amazing sights?

The Moon was my original astronomical interest, perhaps at least in part because I grew up during the space race, for which the Moon was the target. It was the first thing I studied using a telescope. I've never lost my interest in the Moon in all the years since.


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A6Q6
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/31/11

Loc: Stroudsburg,Pa,U.S.A
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6516999 - 05/10/14 12:02 AM

DSO is just one slice of the pie, How about the Sun,planets, double stars and yes our Moon: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=pollution&...,, use a telescope that gives the sharpest view in good seeing.

Edited by A6Q6 (05/10/14 12:07 AM)


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pdxmoon
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: A6Q6]
      #6517094 - 05/10/14 02:11 AM

It's the kid in me: born into the golden age of NASA, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Always hoped I'd go to he moon. Through my scopes is the closest I'll get. I'd rather observe the moon than just about any other target.

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DJastronomer
member


Reged: 05/20/13

Loc: Sweden
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6518012 - 05/10/14 04:32 PM

Hi!

I observe the moon with 90mm and 127mm Maks. The first one on Az3, the other on Eq-3. I do not find alt-az mount to be a problem when I observe the moon, even at fairly high powers.

I think that as long as the moon is high above the horizon, then it is a good time for observing it, regardless of phase. When the moon is a thin crescent it is fun to try to observe some major details that are lit by earthshine. During gibbous phase many cool craters can be observed ( Gassendi, Shickard, Wargentin). And during the fullmoon it is interesting to study the ray systems. And then of course we have first/ last quarter with their many showpieces.


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coopman
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: DJastronomer]
      #6518072 - 05/10/14 05:36 PM

The C8 with tracking should work great for lunar viewing. All of my mounts are alt-az, so I have to play the "nudge game" whenever I observe.

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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6518400 - 05/10/14 10:06 PM

Quote:

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?




cause it goes round and round



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cbwerner
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/27/05

Loc: Maidens, VA
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6518452 - 05/10/14 10:31 PM

Quote:

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?

See, I have forever been into (anyu maybe you guys also have) DSO's, galaxies and star clusters for the sheer amazement of distance away, plus, star- clusters are just so pretty.




I once heard it said that there are two things to look at in the night sky: the landscapes of the Moon, and everything else.


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Rod
member


Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6521243 - 05/12/14 03:22 PM

If the moon was good enough for Sir Patrick Moore, it's good enough for me!

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star dropModerator
contra contrail
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Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6521542 - 05/12/14 05:38 PM

Quote:

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?



The moon reminds me of my road, full of hills, bumps and craters.


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Xxray
member


Reged: 02/23/14

Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6522273 - 05/13/14 02:51 AM

Well I admit it would be better if the moon had bands of neon rings gravitating around it, or a giant red storm raging its equator for centuries ... But I am quite content for what it is, a fascinating celestial body whos existence is closely tied in with our own.

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dianen
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Reged: 01/07/14

Loc: Arizona
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: Xxray]
      #6525366 - 05/14/14 05:05 PM

If you have an iPad or iPhone, there's a great app called Moon Globe by Midnight Martian. There's both a free version and a 99 cent HD version. It has a night vision mode, so I keep it right out there with me to refer to. Very accurate and useful. --Diane

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320mb
member


Reged: 06/20/13

Loc: Southern Arizona
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: star drop]
      #6527125 - 05/15/14 03:18 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

Quote:

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?



Craters, Mountain ranges.....


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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: 320mb]
      #6529389 - 05/16/14 04:18 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?



Craters, Mountain ranges.....




and that its soooooo close. high resolution detail to the sq mile.


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mark8888
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/24/10

Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: 320mb]
      #6530108 - 05/17/14 12:04 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

What is it about the moon that grabs you all here?



Craters, Mountain ranges.....




Ya, most definitely ... and for me, bottom line, the moon is just incredibly gorgeous to look at. So I like to look at it for the same reason people like to gaze at a sunset. Sheer gorgeousness...

(big version of this May 10 moon pic )


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pdxmoon
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/27/13

Loc: Oregon
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mark8888]
      #6545813 - 05/25/14 11:25 PM

It is gorgeous. Those of us who love to observe it are fortunate indeed: beautiful, endlessly interesting, easy to find, any number of instruments will observe it to advantage, from naked eye on up.

Edited by pdxmoon (05/25/14 11:26 PM)


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Gimpdiggity
member


Reged: 05/12/14

Loc: Jackson, Michigan, United Stat...
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: pdxmoon]
      #6546097 - 05/26/14 05:47 AM

I'm new, but I bought my telescope primarily to look at the moon and the other planets in the solar system.

To me the fascination of the moon is that, well, we've been there. It's the only thing other than earth that humans have ever stepped foot on.

I find myself looking at it with just my naked eye and marveling at the fact that we actually sent men there to investigate. I find myself hoping that it truly is only the first step in what will eventually be more and more distant travels from our home planet.

I guess I just find the moon to be an incredibly fascinating, mysterious, and mesmerizing object that floats in the sky above us.

I also read something the other day that I had never really thought of...the moon is one of the only things that probably every single human has seen at least once in their lifetime. When you think about it, it's kind of a strange way that we are all connected to each other. I had never thought of that before, and when I read it for some reason it had a real impact on me.

Plus...the moon is cool.


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kcb
super member


Reged: 07/18/13

Loc: georgian bay,ontario
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: Gimpdiggity]
      #6556542 - 06/01/14 03:09 AM

hi,
great to see your interest in luna,my first celestial object at age 9 was the moon with an 80mm cardboard tube kit refractor ,push/pull fixed eyepiece,the view sent me into visual observations of everything out there,now at 51 i seem to need to return to the moon for more serious studies,as i rekindle my childhood love for the moon i study every phase and have realized the moon can be a lifelong journey ,i now have different instruments, books maps, projects, collections of maps,movies with the moon ,you name it i got it,the moon is the only celestial body to see the surface up close and personal,very much enjoying my new found passion for luna,on georgian bay ontario canada,K.C ( for my scrutiny 4-6'' quality refractors work best for the most sharply defined detail, because of how they handle seeing conditions they are my workhorses for the moon that i mostly choose even over my 10'' and 14'' cassegrains )


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aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: kcb]
      #6561129 - 06/03/14 01:31 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

i like using my Meade 80mm F/15 since the aperture doesn't blow out your eyes with brightness and you can still easily get 300x out of the scope without using a barlow, and the scope is very sharp for being an F/15.


...Ralph


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kcb
super member


Reged: 07/18/13

Loc: georgian bay,ontario
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: aa6ww]
      #6561370 - 06/03/14 03:32 PM

nice scope ralph,i have not seen the meade 80mm f/15 in years,kevin

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aa6ww
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: kcb]
      #6561908 - 06/03/14 08:26 PM

I recently picked it up out here for just over $200. Its really is in excellent condition. I added some 90mm Orion tube rings and just added some extra felt to them to make them fit.
I also made my own finder bracket and used my Stellarvue 50mm RA finder which is usable for me since I can use my own eyepieces.
A few other simple mods were, I made my own 1.25" visual back just using a 1.25" ID alumimum pipe and slid it over the 0.965 chrome draw tube. That worked out nicely.
On the mount, I just added some slow motion controls to my Vixen GP-DX mount, and the whole package turned out very nice for very little cost.
Most of the ideas came from the classic scope section of this site.

Its a Meade Model 300, 80mm F/15.

Pretty fun!!

...Ralph


Quote:

nice scope ralph,i have not seen the meade 80mm f/15 in years,kevin




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BillP
Postmaster
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Reged: 11/26/06

Loc: Vienna, VA
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: mantrain]
      #6566734 - 06/06/14 10:17 AM

Quote:

Any tips for a moon virgen to make it more interesting?




1. Binoview. However, make sure to take an over the counter motion sickness pill first if your stomach is sensitive to wild rides

2. Full Moon whole Moon viewing. Don't forget to do this occassionally. Yes it is bright and blows your vision out, but the contrast and etched sharpness is increadible when using an eyepiece where the entire full moon easily fits in the entire FOV. Personally, I like it when the full Moon only takes up about 1/2 to 3/4 if the FOV.

3. Limb Mountains. I always find it fun to use high magnification and view portions of the limb looking for mountains popping up over the horizon. Neat to see the mountains from their side views.

4. Crater challenges. If you enjoy splitting double stars at the limit of your scope's resolution, then you can do the same type of activity with the Moon. On average, the distance from the surface of the Earth to the surface of the Moon is 247,545 miles. Using the formula that follows, then have the smallest object you can observe on the Moon (in miles) using the Dawes Limit criterion would be Size_in_miles=247,545*(Arcsec_Resolution_of_your_Telescope/206,265). So this is the quick and dirty formula. The more detailed formula to account for the varying distance the Moon is from the Earth would be FYI: formula S=D*(R/(3600*180/Pi)) or S=D*(R/206,265) where S is the size or diameter in miles of what you can resolve, where D is the distance from Earth to Moon, and where R is your telescope’s resolution in arcseconds. With this formula, whatever unit of measure you use for D, is the unit of measure that S will be in. So if you plug in the distance to the Moon in meters, then S will be in meters also. So do the calculations for your scope, then use a Moon atlas to determine craters that meet the criteria and have fun hunting down craters at the limit of your scope’s resolution


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Asbytec
Guy in a furry hat
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Reged: 08/08/07

Loc: La Union, PI
Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: BillP]
      #6573708 - 06/09/14 10:25 PM

Bill, I cannot resist the excitement of observing a tiny crater just 0.9 miles across on Plato's floor. The lighting was optimal and the crater subtended about 0.7" arc diameter, well below the Dawes limit for a 150mm aperture. It was beautiful watching it briefly resolve nicely in crater form.

So, yea, crater challenges are enjoyable and enlightening. I would put the limit to crater formation generally at about 9/D(inches) and more rarely at something near 6/D(inches) or slightly better when everything, seeing, collimation, cooling) comes together perfectly to offer those jaw dropping moments we all live for. Sometimes if feels like you can observe dust on the lunar surface.

Oh, one night I ran across a pair of peaks along the limb. A month later I could not find them. Apparently the moons irregular rotation rotated them over the horizon. When seeing is nice, sometimes you can observe foothills on the limb that look a bit like the Appalachian mountain chain or maybe the Rockies. You can observe one hill's slope descending in front of another. It's quite beautiful, so much to see.

As for the bast scope? I dunno, pick one. I've been impressed with the Mak, but it's really a function of the very good seeing conditions even with (and probably complimenting) a modest aperture.


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csrlice12
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Re: Which scope for lunar observing new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6577684 - 06/11/14 10:56 PM

Ask yourself this...if any other planet in our solar system could be seen as easily as the moon, would you complain..I wouldn't and love viewing the moon....there's also the fact that lately, the full moon is the only times the skies are clear...and you can still view the moon despite the seeing and transparancy.

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