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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
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Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6126828 - 10/09/13 11:39 AM

Having all the fuel in the world wont make a difference without clear skies.

Clear Skies rule all, I can still observe from my light polluted area when its clear with out fuel.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #6126886 - 10/09/13 12:20 PM

except clear skies isn't "equipment"...like the stars, it just is.....

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6126927 - 10/09/13 12:51 PM

"I used to read that there was no point in having a big telescope under brighter sky conditions."

I agree with you Ed. That makes zero sense. Aperture is the *only* real foil for light pollution if you're going to observe through light pollution. You'll see a lot more through a 14" scope than an 8" scope under suburban skies (or dark skies for that matter). But it's easier to get an 8" scope out to darker skies, and if the limiting magnitude delta between home and the boonies is large enough, you might go deeper in an 8" under dark skies than in a 14" at home. And the 8" is a lot cheaper and easier to mount, too.

So for an observer that doesn't mind burning some dinosaur butter to get out to darker skies, he or she might be able to finance that travel by opting for a smaller aperture, lighter mount, and larger petrol budget.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: bobhen]
      #6126968 - 10/09/13 01:09 PM

I have my doubts. I think for most visual astronomers, observation is akin to meditation. It represents a complete divergence from daily life. Lugging cameras and power and computers out to observe would totally kill the peacefulness experience for many of us. Those that already lug a laptop out to the field, though, are probably ripe for video.

Regards,

Jim


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6127155 - 10/09/13 02:32 PM

Agree about using my scope to "get away from it all"...besides, I've got enough to load up for a trip to the dark site; the dob takes up the back seat, the base the front passenger seat, (and if I take the XLT too, the mount/tripod lays on the floor of the car with the OTA in the trunk; then theres the accessory case, and the eyepiece case, and the other eyepiece case, and the even other eyepiece case, plus the chair, jackets, etc.....I wouldn't have room for AP equipment even if I wanted........

Actually, I usually don't take it all, usually just the dob, the accessory case (paracorr, controller, batteries, etc...) and one eyepiece case (whatever I chose for the night). Last week I was out during the week and the only eyepieces I used outside of the plossl to align the finder, were the 20mm and 14mm ES 100s.

For some of us, petrol $ are not an option, it's a requirement....


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: bobhen]
      #6127393 - 10/09/13 04:35 PM

Quote:


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




Absolutely. I have the luxury of a dark sky site and will take the camera views anytime. Don't forget you can still observe deep sky during a full Moon.

Don't have to take my word for it. Check out the Night Skies Network.

http://www.nightskiesnetwork.com/

No need for long drives or one of those monstrous Dobstrosities. Invest your money in a Mallincam. It will be the best return on your investments you have ever made.

Think about all the years people have spent trying to recapture the excitement they experienced when they first started observing. I get that experience almost every time I observe.


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RAKing
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Reged: 12/28/07

Loc: West of the D.C. Nebula
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Widespread]
      #6127525 - 10/09/13 05:46 PM

Quote:

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




+1

I won't argue the "Dark Skies Rule" idea, but I am happy anytime I can get outside under a clear, reasonably dark sky. I cannot handle the bigger apertures and as much as the Mallicam idea might be in my future, I still hate the thought of hauling a computer outside with me. I work with them all day - I don't want to play with them all night.

There is still plenty out there I haven't seen yet and I still treasure the time I get to spend under the stars - just check my tag line.

Ron


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iluxo
sage


Reged: 09/23/08

Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6127684 - 10/09/13 07:08 PM

Quote:

Perhaps it makes more sense to ...


Move to a country that still has dark skies (like Australia), and retire to a nice town in the country far from a big city.

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DavidNealMinnick
sage
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Reged: 03/06/06

Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: iluxo]
      #6127691 - 10/09/13 07:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Perhaps it makes more sense to ...


Move to a country that still has dark skies (like Australia), and retire to a nice town in the country far from a big city.




If they'd let me bring my guns, too, I'd sure consider it!


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killdabuddha
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/26/11

Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: RAKing]
      #6127695 - 10/09/13 07:16 PM

Well, having recently spent $800 on dinosaur butter, it's maybe interesting that I haven't had to resist any urge to ask, "Gee, what could we have bought with that instead?" But that's only because my wife had the time of her life. Now she's asking about the annual star party in the Keys...and for that, maybe I can convince her that a traveling refractor is just what we need to save me from driving and burning butter.

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City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6127714 - 10/09/13 07:29 PM

Quote:

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.




No argument here, I totally agree. However if fuel is king then for me vacation time from work is queen. I have equipment that I can get to a dark site and I have the money for the gas it takes to get there. What I don't have is enough time off from work to take advantage of it.


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #6127717 - 10/09/13 07:31 PM Attachment (8 downloads)

I sometimes (frequently) use fuel to get to dark skies. But a good lunar planetary scope does not require such excursions.

JimC


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brianb11213
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6127735 - 10/09/13 07:42 PM

Quote:

a good lunar planetary scope does not require such excursions.



But you're just trading the necessity of dark sky for the necessity of steady air. As a first approximation you want no built structures, roads etc. for several miles in the arc from south east to south west (in the northern hemisphere). Nor any exposed rock in the same arc. And no steep slopes anywhere in the vicinity.

The jet stream moves around but some regions are much more likely to be affected by jet stream smearing than others.

In fact the requirements for a good solar / lunar / planetary site are probably rather harder to meet than those for deep sky. And, if you find a site which has both dark skies and good seeing, it's probably already occupied by a professional observatory.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: killdabuddha]
      #6127807 - 10/09/13 08:20 PM

Bravo, Doug!

That was the best $800 in dino-grease you ever burned.

If you guys want a 'frac, let me know how big and what design. I may have something lying around collecting dust motes rather than photons.

Doug and his wife and seven others collectively burned up two T-rexes, an Apatosuar and an unknown number of Dimetrodons in order to join me in conclave in a haunted canyon in northwest New Mexico for a week. That's kind of what got me off on this train of thought, in fact.

- Jim


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Mirzam
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: brianb11213]
      #6127810 - 10/09/13 08:21 PM

We know the Jet Stream well where I live, and indeed, there are only a handful of really good nights each year when the seeing is excellent. But the perfect dark sky nights are equally illusive. There is dew, haze, pollution, moonlight, all of which combine to make perfection rarely attainable. So I don't accept that seeing conditions are more of a limitation for Lunar and planetary viewing than other limatations are for deep sky viewing.

JimC


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esd726
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/30/04

Loc: Rochester, IN
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6127934 - 10/09/13 09:35 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.



As much as it would be interesting to see REALLY dark skies, mine here are just fine. I barely seem to have enough time to observe here , let alone the thought (and $) of loading up and driving somewhere to try to do it

Edited by esd726 (10/09/13 09:37 PM)


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BKBrown
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Mirzam]
      #6128569 - 10/10/13 09:02 AM

Quote:

We know the Jet Stream well where I live, and indeed, there are only a handful of really good nights each year when the seeing is excellent. But the perfect dark sky nights are equally illusive. There is dew, haze, pollution, moonlight, all of which combine to make perfection rarely attainable. So I don't accept that seeing conditions are more of a limitation for Lunar and planetary viewing than other limatations are for deep sky viewing.

JimC




I concur with this completely. I do virtually all of my imaging from my red sky suburban back yard and get terrific results with modern lunar and planetary imaging gear. The 100+ frame-per-second rates often can beat down less-than-ideal seeing conditions on all but the worst nights to bring home decent, and often superb, lunar and planetary images. My recent forays into deep sky imaging also supports this, and narrow band imaging can only improve my options in the red zone. Yes we would all love to have pristine, dead calm dark sky over our heads but real life makes this tough to come by for most of us. So you learn how to deal with what you've got and appreciate the opportunities to be under better skies when you can...

Clear Skies,
Brian


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6128709 - 10/10/13 10:11 AM

What equipment is king? The lathe and the mill. With one of each you are only limited by your imagination and skill.

obin


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Pinbout
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6128844 - 10/10/13 11:11 AM

Quote:

What equipment is king? The lathe and the mill. With one of each you are only limited by your imagination and skill.

obin




fuel - tools to make things. I think for this question those answers are like taking the derivative to prime [x'] where the answer should only be x.

cause if you want to go prime the most valuable equip are my eyes = x' for such a visual hobby.


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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Which equipment is "king"? new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6128932 - 10/10/13 11:57 AM

Clouds must be the Joker then.....

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