Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Which equipment is "king"?
      #6125208 - 10/08/13 03:25 PM

The telescope? The eyepiece? The experience and eyesight of the user? The camera? The mount?

All good answers, but sadly all incorrect.

Fuel is king.

In these days of expanding light pollution and dwindling dark sky resources, the surest way to increase the performance of any telescope is to load it into a vehicle and drive to an observing site at least two darkness zones darker than your usual observing site.

For the price of an Ethos the average astronomer in North America could fund travel for a dozen or two dark sky trips, provided he or she doesn't mind camping out.

Save for targets that require resolution, going darker with what you have is very much like going bigger and staying put. If you observe under magnitude 4.5 skies as I do, going to Magnitude 6.5 skies makes an HUGE difference on what is seen. A 12" at home is given a run for its money by a mere 8" at such a dark sky site.

Perhaps it makes more sense to spend less and obtain a smaller telescope, and apply the savings to dark sky travel to extract the most out of that equipment?

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astrojensen
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Bornholm, Denmark
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6125255 - 10/08/13 03:46 PM

Sad, but true.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6125387 - 10/08/13 04:33 PM

I've always said the gas filter is the best piece of equipment I have.....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Crow Haven
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/09/09

Loc: Oregon USA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6125401 - 10/08/13 04:43 PM

This is always true! I will only add that having the larger aperture available every night at a less dark but permanent site has enabled a lot of great observing, out-manuvering the fickle weather deities which have a way of ruining planned dark sky trips. I love my Lumicon UHC & OIII filters!
---Maya


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Eddgie
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/01/06

Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Crow Haven]
      #6125424 - 10/08/13 04:55 PM

Yes, this mirrors my own finding and something I have mentioned many times before.

Even in my Central Austin home, I did a lot of productive observing with my C14.

Using a 3mm or 4mm exit pupil helps keep the sky pretty dark, and I have observed hundreds and hundreds of objects from my back yard.

True, all of them look better under dark sky conditions. Not debating that.

But driving a 90 minutes out of the city to get to dark sky conditions is not something I want to do with the frequency I observe.

I can roll out and align my Go-to dob in less than 10 minutes and be observing before you can load a small mount, telescope, eyepiece cases, battery packs, and all of that other stuff you need.

I don't have to dig holes in the desert to use the bathroom. I can go right inside.

And sometimes, I like a little vodka with my stars, so no need to worry about warping while drinking.

I used to read that there was no point in having a big telescope un brighter sky conditions. It used to be common for retailers to say that in their brochures.

Thankfully, they no longer say that, and as I have said for so many years now, aperture is your friend.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
brianb11213
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6125435 - 10/08/13 04:58 PM

Quote:

Fuel is king.



Umm, yeah, ideally (to minimise observing time wastage) live at a good observing site & commute to shops / job.

You can save a great deal on fuel price by driving a sensible vehicle. It's not hard these days to find comfortable vehicles with reasonable load carrying capability & performance that will still deliver 60 mpg or more on long runs.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Aquarist
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6125456 - 10/08/13 05:09 PM

Well, for my wife and I, traveling to dark sites is infeasible. So we built an observatory in our backyard and we can be up and running in under 10 minutes. When the weather is good, we are good to observe. Of course, during the day, the sun is also a great target.

Still, in the long run we may also get a dob and wheel it out into the back on the patio (probably would not fit in the observatory) so we can increase aperture. Sure dark site viewing would be great . . . no argument there.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6125461 - 10/08/13 05:11 PM

Quote:

Fuel is king.




In my case, no. I'm quite content observing right here at home with SQM readings of averaging 21.50/21.70. I have no desire to observe elsewhere.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bobhen
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/25/05

Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6125507 - 10/08/13 05:38 PM


For more and more people, the video camera (Mallincam, Stellcam 3, and others) are or will be king.

I live just outside Philadelphia, PA. It's impractical for me to travel to a decently dark sky. But my video camera allows me to not only continue to do deep sky observing (thank goodness) but to "see" objects and details that would require a huge telescope and very dark sky.

I think my situation will become the norm for a lot of astronomers in the future.

Bob


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
faltered
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/01/05

Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: bobhen]
      #6125553 - 10/08/13 06:02 PM

Interesting post. I agree with you. I really only enjoy this hobby from dark sky. Backyard viewing for me is getting really old, and not as enjoyable. I think sometimes I only do that to say I am still in the hobby and justify the equipment.

Nothing like dark sky. Its king. So yep, Fuel is king!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6125592 - 10/08/13 06:20 PM

The ideal would be to live in a dark sky site. Next best would be to have an observatory and some simple living quarters at a dark sky site, and drive to it on weekends, and holidays. Most of the time I have to observe in Mag. 4.8-5.0 skies. Due to my schedule it is difficult to get to the really dark sites.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: GeneT]
      #6125683 - 10/08/13 07:10 PM

Fuel, for both my vehicle and myself, and some essential sleeping gear.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Gastrol]
      #6125735 - 10/08/13 07:40 PM

For best views, Fuel is king. But for frequency of viewing, 'tis Convenience who wears the crown.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6125804 - 10/08/13 08:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Fuel is king.




In my case, no. I'm quite content observing right here at home with SQM readings of averaging 21.50/21.70. I have no desire to observe elsewhere.






Fuel is not king,fuel is cheap...

Time is king... time to observe...

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6125891 - 10/08/13 09:29 PM

Time to observe under dark skies.

Dark skies.

Jack


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: mountain monk]
      #6125976 - 10/08/13 10:16 PM

Well, with the cost of my equipment, I will not quibble over a little gas. But I refuse to drive long distances to get a possible good night.

I am fortunate enough to have a private club site 56 miles from home that I go to each month. Not the absolute best, but overall a good situation.
Blueman


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: blueman]
      #6126008 - 10/08/13 10:33 PM

Quote:

Well, with the cost of my equipment, I will not quibble over a little gas. But I refuse to drive long distances to get a possible good night.

I am fortunate enough to have a private club site 56 miles from home that I go to each month. Not the absolute best, but overall a good situation.
Blueman




Floyd:

I am happy to drive long distances to locations with pristine dark skies.. But I am happy to make the journey regardless of whether the night sky warrants the trip.. The places themselves, the trip itself, these are sufficient.

My wife and I are fortunate to have 4 acres in the mountains with a small house and a good sized garage. It's 70 miles from home, the skies not the darkest but the Milky Way with it's branches into Ophiuchus blaze away overhead. It's a nice place to be even when the skies are not clear..

Jon


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BKBrown
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6126042 - 10/08/13 10:51 PM

Since the title of this thread is Which equipment is "king", and since I spend 90% of my astro time in my red sky backyard - I would say a CCD mono camera loaded up with narrowband filters. One can image under light polluted skies, be they man made or lunar induced, and still get stunning images of the night sky. And imaging will always show me more than I will ever see through the eyepiece, even at the darkest dark site with my equipment. I love visual astronomy, but my home location and steadily declining observing conditions drove me toward the decision to focus on lunar and planetary work, splitting doubles...and imaging. Good thing I really enjoy those options

Clear Skies,
Brian


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6126163 - 10/09/13 12:05 AM

Thus the growing popularity of remote observatories for imagers. Arizona and New Mexico are hot spots for these but I recently read about one in the western foothills of the Sierras and wow were those lots expensive. For imagers, remote observatories and the equipment to operate them may become the king.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6126516 - 10/09/13 08:29 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Fuel is king.




In my case, no. I'm quite content observing right here at home with SQM readings of averaging 21.50/21.70. I have no desire to observe elsewhere.




But we gotta get to your place somehow...look at those SQM readings!!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | (show all)


Extra information
12 registered and 26 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  cbwerner, tecmage, rflinn68 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 2705

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics