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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Nexstar 8se - First Light new
      #5671514 - 02/09/13 10:25 PM

All I can say is WOW!!! What a great scope. I couldn't do the auto align because I don't know my stars and were I was located in my front yard. I couldn't see Polaris due to my house being in the way. My daughter was getting kind of antsy. So I was like, forget it. I'll just do it the kind of old fashion way. I pulled out Google Sky Map. Found out where Jupiter was and slew the scope over to where Jupiter was. After doing some slewing around, I found Jupiter . And I was like "WOW!!". I put in my 15mm eye piece and got pretty close. I showed my daughter. She looked and then looked as me with her jaw dropped. She then ran into the house and got mom. By the time the wife came out, Jupiter moved so I had to switch eye pieces and found Jupiter again. The wife was like, "WOW!!" We viewed Jupiter for a little while manually following it. Then we decided to find something else. So we slewed over to Orion and found M42. We put in the 32mm eye piece and was completely amazed. We followed it for a while. I had to stop because my back was really hurting. So my next purchase is going to be an observing chair. Also, the wife asked me if there were wider viewing eye pieces. I told her yes. I want to go to 2in eye pieces and get a nice 40mm. She asked how much. I told her it would be like $250 to $300 for a nice one. She said, we need to get that.

I wish I could have stayed out all night long. It's 49 here so the cold wasn't that bad. Just my back was giving up the ghost.

Just for the 1 1/2 hours of viewing, it was worth it. Not only is my daughter very interested, but the wife is interested in it also.

Also, I need to get some blinds. The cars coming and going from my neighborhood was kind of annoying. Thinking of building something out of PVC and some tarps or black plastic.


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ke4kso
member
*****

Reged: 07/18/10

Loc: Chiefland Fl.
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: ben2112]
      #5671543 - 02/09/13 10:59 PM

Hi Ben you know you can do a solar system align on Jupiter, and if your tripod is level it will track pretty well, and get you close to the other objects you want to view, other objects may not be in the eyepiece with solar align but very close. and it will take you right back to Jupiter when you tell it to. David

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: ke4kso]
      #5671568 - 02/09/13 11:18 PM

Great first light report! Glad you got the whole family excited. Always good to have some support! Sounds like you're hooked!

-Dan


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Thanatos78621
member


Reged: 05/09/12

Loc: Elgin, TX
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5671809 - 02/10/13 04:40 AM

The 8SE is a great telescope to start with. I bought one last year and loved it (since upgraded to an NS11GPS). I'm in the market for a viewing chair as well since I have a bad back and the pain after a few hours of viewing can be distracting.

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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: Thanatos78621]
      #5671868 - 02/10/13 06:34 AM

I did some research and looked around the net. I have decided that I am getting the Stardust Observing Chair. I like the locking ladder setup more then a friction one. Already got permission to order on next payday.

I just can't get that image of Jupiter out of my head this morning. I can't wait to get to a darker area so I can see other great objects. I am so hooked now. I have decided to keep the scope in the garage covered up so I can drag it out on clear nights. Mars and Saturn are my next planets I want to see..


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Peter9
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: ben2112]
      #5671904 - 02/10/13 07:08 AM

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your report. Good to see that all the family are getting involved.
Persevere with alignment. Once mastered, it will add so much more to your enjoyment.

Regards. Peter.


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Thanatos78621
member


Reged: 05/09/12

Loc: Elgin, TX
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: Peter9]
      #5671922 - 02/10/13 07:42 AM

Jupiter is an amazing sight to see for the first time. I knew I made a good purchase last year when I saw Saturn for the first time with the 8SE.

This past week I took a couple of quick photos of M42 through my 'new to me' NS11GPS and that was pretty amazing as well.

Its a hobby worth getting into and I'm glad to hear the family is onboard as well.


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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: Peter9]
      #5671927 - 02/10/13 07:53 AM

Quote:

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your report. Good to see that all the family are getting involved.
Persevere with alignment. Once mastered, it will add so much more to your enjoyment.

Regards. Peter.




Peter - I think that a lot of people get frustrated with the technology of these Goto scopes but aren't familiar enough with the heavens to use it manually or know how to manually use the scope. What kept me at it, besides my own interest, was for my daughter's interest. She was so excited about setting it up. I didn't want to let her down. But like a lot of people, they think these things can just magically find stars. They have this idea when they buy a GoTo scope that they can just set it up and VOILA!! It will magically start finding stars and planets. But that isn't the case. It has to get bearings on where you are located and then through calculations, it can then start finding objects in the sky. I am glad I understood that before I even bought the scope. Lots of research including reading a ton of posts here on Cloudynights. I had a grasp of the controls and understanding how it worked before I even set it up. The only thing that I had to adjust to when I was manually adjusting the scope for objects in the eye piece was the direction I was adjusting. Down on the controller was up, left was right. But that was very minor, I was able to over come that pretty quickly. I will be keeping my eye on the weather. I can't wait to get out there again. Even though I am in a light pollution *BLEEP* hole, I can still enjoy what objects I can see.


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Arctic_Eddie
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/30/07

Loc: St. Petersburg, FL
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: Peter9]
      #5671980 - 02/10/13 08:57 AM

Ben
You can do an alignment without pointing at any star. From the alignment menu, select One Star Align. Select Polaris as your target then slew the scope to true north and elevate to an angle equal to your latitude. Hit Enter then Align and you're finished. Be sure that your time and location are entered correctly.


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hopskipson
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/24/10

Loc: Queens, New Yawk, Light pollut...
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: Arctic_Eddie]
      #5672006 - 02/10/13 09:21 AM

I've used the 3 star auto align plenty of times w/o any issues. You don't need to know the names of the stars you are pointing at, just keep away from planets.

Glad to see you had a good first light and your family is supportive.


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jturie
super member
*****

Reged: 11/19/12

Loc: Valley Forge, PA
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: ben2112]
      #5672501 - 02/10/13 02:44 PM

Quote:

I did some research and looked around the net. I have decided that I am getting the Stardust Observing Chair. I like the locking ladder setup more then a friction one. Already got permission to order on next payday.

I just can't get that image of Jupiter out of my head this morning. I can't wait to get to a darker area so I can see other great objects. I am so hooked now. I have decided to keep the scope in the garage covered up so I can drag it out on clear nights. Mars and Saturn are my next planets I want to see..




Great first light report, and I'm glad you are excited about your new toy. I love my 6SE, and am glad I picked it as my first telescope. Regarding a cheaper alternative for an observing chair:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=253081&Q=&...

A couple of folks have recommended this item. It's a lot cheaper, and the $$$ you save will go a long way to that dark hole that is eyepieces.

The auto two-star align works well....just take a few minutes to become familiar with some of the brighter stars, and you'll be slewing around in no time. Good luck


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: hopskipson]
      #5672514 - 02/10/13 02:51 PM

+1 on James' comment, except I don't think it is called "3 star auto align". At least I've never seen it like that. I think it is called "Sky Align". But it doesn't matter what you call it - do as James says, any three bright stars (not planets). Some have had lousy luck with Sky align, I've had very good results with it.

Another thought would be to download Stellarium (free). Using that to learn the location of one bright star that is up at the time you want to observe. Then when you go out use the Auto 2 Star Align (A2SA) method. With that all you need to know is the location of that first star (which you got from Stellarium) and the name of one star close to the other side of the sky, which you can also get from Stellarium (you don't need to know its exact location). The A2SA is the most reliable and popular alignment method used by all of us on this forum. It won't take you long to get it down pat. The whole process from switching the scope on until alignment is complete is ~ 2 minutes.

BTW, Saturn is up early in the morning right now. If you liked Jupiter, you will LOVE Saturn!! So will the wife and daughter.

Mars is almost directly on the other side of the sun right now, so up during the day and not visible. I believe it will be visible this fall early in the morning. Also, it is quite a distance from Earth and a very small target. Shoot, at its closest it is still small - tiny little planet, but still fun to look at when closest.


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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: Skip]
      #5672560 - 02/10/13 03:24 PM

Quote:

+1 on James' comment, except I don't think it is called "3 star auto align". At least I've never seen it like that. I think it is called "Sky Align". But it doesn't matter what you call it - do as James says, any three bright stars (not planets). Some have had lousy luck with Sky align, I've had very good results with it.

Another thought would be to download Stellarium (free). Using that to learn the location of one bright star that is up at the time you want to observe. Then when you go out use the Auto 2 Star Align (A2SA) method. With that all you need to know is the location of that first star (which you got from Stellarium) and the name of one star close to the other side of the sky, which you can also get from Stellarium (you don't need to know its exact location). The A2SA is the most reliable and popular alignment method used by all of us on this forum. It won't take you long to get it down pat. The whole process from switching the scope on until alignment is complete is ~ 2 minutes.

BTW, Saturn is up early in the morning right now. If you liked Jupiter, you will LOVE Saturn!! So will the wife and daughter.

Mars is almost directly on the other side of the sun right now, so up during the day and not visible. I believe it will be visible this fall early in the morning. Also, it is quite a distance from Earth and a very small target. Shoot, at its closest it is still small - tiny little planet, but still fun to look at when closest.




I am going to try the Sky Align and the others tonight. I have Stellarium. I use it to help plan my nights viewing. That is how I knew Jupiter was going to be available for viewing. It's going to be partly cloudy tonight, but I am still willing to give it a try. I am also going to use an old task chair with a missing back as a chair tonight.


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hopskipson
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/24/10

Loc: Queens, New Yawk, Light pollut...
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: ben2112]
      #5672670 - 02/10/13 04:45 PM

Your right Sip it's Sky Align. I couldn't think of the name. And after you get a confirmed alignment you can get the names of the stars you used by pressing undo and then scroll with the 6 and 9 buttons

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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: hopskipson]
      #5672993 - 02/10/13 08:25 PM

Well.. It's super cloudy out tonight.. So I am not going to the scope out. It's also going to do nothing but rain for this week.. But if the weather channel is right, next weekend should be nice. So I'll set it up again then.

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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: ben2112]
      #5674021 - 02/11/13 12:58 PM

Quote:

Your right Sip it's Sky Align. I couldn't think of the name.




I had exactly the same problem. For me, old age I guess. Like when you walk into a room and stand there looking around trying to figure out what you came in there for? It took me several minuites to remember it was called Skyalign. And then I wasn't sure.


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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light [Re: Skip]
      #5674763 - 02/11/13 08:32 PM

I know the feeling. It's terrible when you start getting old.

I did play around with the different alignments indoors. I think I am ready for next time. I also got the scope working with my laptop.


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Bob Griffiths
Getting Grouchy
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Frederick Maryland
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: ben2112]
      #5679260 - 02/14/13 11:34 AM

I do own a Stardust...BUT check this one out from Amazon a fellow club member purchased...

I honestly can not see any difference between the 2 chairs ether structurally of cosmetically...

http://www.amazon.com/Vestil-CPRO-600-Ergonomic-Worker-Capacity/dp/B0052PJF5E...

Darn good buy if you ask me...I'm thinking of buying one so I can have 2 chairs in the observatory ...one on each side of the scope...(Ok I'm lazy...lol)

Bob G.


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: Bob Griffiths]
      #5679703 - 02/14/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

I do own a Stardust...BUT check this one out from Amazon a fellow club member purchased...

I honestly can not see any difference between the 2 chairs ether structurally of cosmetically...

http://www.amazon.com/Vestil-CPRO-600-Ergonomic-Worker-Capacity/dp/B0052PJF5E...

Darn good buy if you ask me...I'm thinking of buying one so I can have 2 chairs in the observatory ...one on each side of the scope...(Ok I'm lazy...lol)

Bob G.



I can understand not wanting to pick up the chair each time you change viewing positions.

Anyway,I have just ordered one of the V chairs.Way more than I normally would spend on such a minimalist chair but am really tired of back pain during or after observing.Funny thing is there are several very good scopes here that cost(used) less than this chair!!!

But perhaps viewing comfort will be worth it.My resin lawn chair works well for only a limited portion of the sky.


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Nexstar 8se - First Light new [Re: ben2112]
      #5679718 - 02/14/13 03:13 PM

Ben,

Sounds like you are off to a great start.

My first views through an 8SE were very nice ,and I used SkyAlign because I didn't know the stars.

It is terrific that your wife and daughter are interested.


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