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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge
      #5782252 - 04/06/13 05:33 PM

The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge

By James Barnett


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Scott in NCAdministrator
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5782270 - 04/06/13 05:42 PM

Very nice, Jim! My vintage Tasco 7TE-5 60/1000 and I are up for the challenge.

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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5782409 - 04/06/13 06:51 PM

Good show. I'm hoping we get quite a few takers. I'm waiting on my Desert Sky Astro DSV-1 which should be here pretty soon. I'm going to mount up one of the Cartons on one side and the AT60EDT on the other, bust out the atlases and start chasing the targets. I'll get some pictures up of my 60mm challenge setup as soon as I have the mount.

Regards,

Jim


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EJN
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5782447 - 04/06/13 07:20 PM

See this post I made last July

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=deep&N...


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droidModerator
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5782458 - 04/06/13 07:23 PM

Now you know with the 60mm telescope group in my sig line , Id love the idea.
I have both 1000mm and 700mm 60mm scopes.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: EJN]
      #5782473 - 04/06/13 07:29 PM

You're ahead of the game. I haven't crossreferenced your observing notes from the other thread with the 60mm challenge target list (embedded as a pdf in the article), but I'll bet your targets are in there somewhere. May as well observe the rest.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: droid]
      #5782842 - 04/06/13 10:45 PM

Hey Andy! I've actually observed with Carol Widger at the OFLI Farm site. She and her hubby are very nice. Carol fielded a nifty little 50mm scope that night and I was using a Carton 60/1000. I hope you'll download the pdf list embedded in the article and give some of the targets a try. (Apologies in advance - the list is about 65 pages .)

I should probably let the 60mm scope club crew know that the gauntlet has been thrown.

- Jim


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jgraham
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5782867 - 04/06/13 11:04 PM

What a neat idea! My first love was a Sears 50mm refractor way back circa 1962. Some of my most treasured posessions are my two 60mm Tascos on thier wibbly wobbly mounts. However, I've found that they respond quite well when handled with the tender loving care that comes with age and experience. I thought that it was neat how you mounted your little refractor on a CG5 and I was pondering something similar when I had a duh moment... I've already got a 60mm refractor on a GoTo mount... an ETX-60! This'll be a great project for this little scope. I'm also getting an ol' 10" LX6 that is fitted with an ETX-60 mounted as a finder. It'll be really neat to use these two scopes in tandem to explore this list.

Neat stuff!


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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jgraham]
      #5782948 - 04/07/13 12:28 AM

This is timely- and kind of weird. A couple of years ago, I picked up a 50mm f/20 achromat and started building a telescope around it, with the idea of revisiting as many deep-sky objects as it would reveal to me. Working on-and-off on the project (more off than on), the OTA is nearly finished and now I'm working on mating it to one of two small GEMs I have on-hand. I was hoping to start the observing program this summer. Imagine my surprise at finding this article/challenge!
I also have a 60mm f/16 Penncrest (JC Penny) refractor, pretty much complete in original wooden case, with all the accessories and a nice GEM mount with manual slow-motions, but I want to see the program through with the 50mm f/20. It has a 1.25" focuser, so I can use some halfway decent eyepieces.
I had thought that I'd give it a go with my old Kellners, orthos, Erfles, and yes, even a couple of old Edmund Ramsdens I still have. The stuff I used back in the late sixties and early seventies.

I also have a 42mm f/18 achromat that will probably find it's way into an OTA if I have fun with the 50mm.

It's nice to know that others have had the same idea, and it will be interesting to see just what the little scope can reveal.

Talk about a time warp!


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jgraham]
      #5782973 - 04/07/13 12:54 AM

Fantastic John and Chuck. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you both. It's all a matter of perspective I suppose. Though just 2.4" (or a bit less in the case of your 50mm, Chuck), I suspect the optical quality of our scopes is considerably better than that of any instrument Messier or Mechain used. Likewise, Galileo would have given a kidney and his eye teeth to have a 60mm achromat. Boy are we spoiled!

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/07/13 12:56 AM)


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5783118 - 04/07/13 04:51 AM

I just took a glance at the challenge list and boy, do I find many things in the DSO list that I disagree with! I have to ask, Jim, to make things clearer for me, was the list made with a somewhat light polluted sky in mind? I was flabbergasted when I found M33 described as being very difficult. The list is riddled with examples like this. Things that I find extremely obvious, like M82, are described as being hard to see. Why is NGC 7662 very difficult, while NGC 6826 is very easy? They're very close to each other in size and brightness, in my experience.

And where's NGC 7789, the wonderful OC in Cassiopeia? Lots of examples like these.

I need to dig up my observing logs and crossreference the list. I think there's a truckload of stuff I've seen quite easily that's not on the list.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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rocketman
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5783211 - 04/07/13 07:04 AM

Quote:

Hey Andy! I've actually observed with Carol Widger at the OFLI Farm site. She and her hubby are very nice. Carol fielded a nifty little 50mm scope that night and I was using a Carton 60/1000. I hope you'll download the pdf list embedded in the article and give some of the targets a try. (Apologies in advance - the list is about 65 pages .)

I should probably let the 60mm scope club crew know that the gauntlet has been thrown.

- Jim




Jim; I've never met Carol in person or her husband. But she's a good friend. The widger scope listed in my sig line was a scope brand scope, that was in very bad shape when she mailed in cross country. It has a Towa lens and after an extensive upgrade list, I named it the Widger scope.

Yep let the 60mm group know about this.

The group owner Pete will like it.

Thomas who replied below is one thee 60mm groups better observers.


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jgraham
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5783278 - 04/07/13 08:23 AM

Just glancing throughbthe list it paints a broad stroke including objects that should be easy to impossible depending on your sky conditions. For example, I have never ever ever been able to see M33 from my back yard visually with any scope. However, for this journey I'm going to make a special effort. I am looking forward to hearing how others do on the list with their own experience and conditions.

Fun stuff.


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Don Taylor
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5783443 - 04/07/13 09:57 AM

Jim: this is a great idea and good timing. I've just completed a small scope as a grab & go for a couple of reasons, to have a convenient quick look scope, and to revisit my first observing experiences.

That first scope of many moons ago was a 60mm but one of those sliding draw tube - variable power - erect image alt-azimuth scopes. I don't remember the brand but it was 20x - 60x if I recall correctly, not a yoke mount but a clamshell that pivoted in elevation below the tube.

No finder, too short wobbly mount, the whole works. My parents found it advertised in the newspaper (used) nearby and they were asking $12. I believe they accepted $10. I was in heaven!

Eventually i just had to adapt the zoom (egad!) eyepiece from my microscope to it and fashion longer legs for the tripod. Must have been about 12 years old. I remember viewing the moon but especially Saturn. I'm sure I looked at lots of things but the memory is not clear.

But that was the seed that led to countless nights under the stars, many friends, infecting others to join this amazing hobby, building some interesting scopes, and even doing serious astrophotography with observatory class scopes. Quite the journey!

But in the last year I've been working on turning back the clock to revisit those nights looking at the sky with that little 60mm - and was also thinking about doing the Messier objects with one. After all, Messier observed from Paris, albeit before the invention of electric light but I suspect the sky was anything but clear from cooking and heating fires. Can I see what he saw?

And then, along comes this challenge!

While I plan to keep my eye out for a scope like my first, the little grab&go I now have will do - all I need is an aperture mask and I'm set. Of course the optical quality is likely quite a bit better that the scope of 45 years ago - but alas, I'll just have to put up with it I guess.

Thanks for putting together the challenge. This will be fun, even just dabbling in the list.

Thanks Jim!


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5783475 - 04/07/13 10:22 AM

Hi Thomas. Yes, the list assumes an experienced middle-aged, suburban observer with Mag 4.5 skies, moderately clean optics and a 38N location. The actual rating formula, though, is the one built into the SkyTools3 application, so I included it without much independent scrutiny.

I wouldn't get too wrapped around the axle on the assigned difficulty ratings, nor worry too much about missing objects or objects on the list that are too tough for small aperture. It's a big menu, but like any restaurant's menu, there are going to be dishes you like that are not offered and things you can't stand that are.

Do let us know how many of the 889 listed targets you've already seen with a 60. It will give the rest of us encouragement.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Don Taylor]
      #5783517 - 04/07/13 10:44 AM

Thank you Don.

It's interesting that a number of us who fit the demographic mentioned in the article have all had similar nostalgic regressions to smaller aperture scopes from out early days.

It did seem like it was time. And your attitude is perfect. Use what you have and sample from the list. It's an exercise in aesthetic enjoyment as much as a "challenge". In fact, the challenge may be more about challenging oneself to bypass larger aperture and dedicate some observing time to a small scope.

One other item. There's a William Herschel quotation somewhere that I have misplaced, but it paraphrases like this: "Once you find an object in a bigger telescope, it is easier to then find that same object in a smaller telescope." For targets that put up a fight at 60mm, by all means find them with more aperture, but then give 60mm another try on the target with your fresh larger aperture bearings in mind.

It's drizzling here now, but if we get sun later today I will take some pictures of my intended 60mm playmates for this effort.

Regards,

Jim


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t.r.
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5783605 - 04/07/13 11:35 AM

Nice article and quite the list. I'm familiar with Freeman's work and he always maintained that published magnitudes may need to be re-examined. Some objects listed at 13 and even 14th magnitude have been bagged, so I think for an experienced observer, much is possible. My 2 Jason 313's, one of which I used as a kid, are standing by ready for fun...I will join in, but I have no idea how many of your objects I will see before, well, the hunger for more aperture calls me away! My seeing/season is too precious to not use the better scopes I have. But, I'll have fun and submit a few reports for the year end wrap up. I think many will be pleasantly suprised how much can actually be done with 60mm!

EDIT: After pondering this, I've decided to pick from the list, a number of objects that I feel will be a challenge from my mag 6+ skies and report on those. Perhaps, I'll dub it the Barnett 100!


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5783752 - 04/07/13 12:56 PM

Quote:

Yes, the list assumes an experienced middle-aged, suburban observer with Mag 4.5 skies, moderately clean optics and a 38N location. The actual rating formula, though, is the one built into the SkyTools3 application, so I included it without much independent scrutiny.




Okay, that explains a lot of things, such as the inclusion of Markarian 381 in Bootes...

Quote:

I wouldn't get too wrapped around the axle on the assigned difficulty ratings, nor worry too much about missing objects or objects on the list that are too tough for small aperture. It's a big menu, but like any restaurant's menu, there are going to be dishes you like that are not offered and things you can't stand that are.




I do think it's quite a big deal not to include big, famous objects that are easily visible, while including several that are extremely faint and difficult.

Quote:

Do let us know how many of the 889 listed targets you've already seen with a 60. It will give the rest of us encouragement.




Haven't counted them yet, but I see *lots* of familiar names, so I guess the number is going to be a couple of hundred or so, perhaps more. There are several constellations I have barely worked at, such as Monoceros.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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davidpitre
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5783881 - 04/07/13 02:06 PM

Quote:

The actual rating formula, though, is the one built into the SkyTools3 application, so I included it without much independent scrutiny.




I am not an expert observer and my eyes are worse than average from decades of outdoor work, but I find the SkyTools difficulty ratings always pessimistic. It is one of the poorer aspects of the program. When sorting by difficulty I always list a darker sky than actual, and still find the ratings overly pessimistic.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: t.r.]
      #5783892 - 04/07/13 02:14 PM

Aww, Tim, no need for that (i.e., the B100 list). I'm very mindful, though, that there are parts of the world where the number of clear nights are few. For such places what I would suggest is this. Find a way to mount a 60 with your larger scope. That way, only moments during each session rather than entire sessions are spent on the challenge.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5783920 - 04/07/13 02:26 PM

I would agree, David.

But it is what it is. More important than the "absolute" rating, however, is whether the "relativity" of the ratings is accurate. In other words, you have two targets, one ranked "difficult" and the other "very challenging" (which is two notches harder on the ST3 ratings scale). Even is one is really "obvious" and the other "difficult" (i.e., two notches harder), the rating system has some value. Maybe it's just not very well calibrated.

Also, the rating system around double stars is a little wonky in its own right. When using the database power search feature and there are actually two different "difficulty"-like filtering systems - one for visibility and the other for splitability. I sometimes forget to modify one or the other and then get funny results in the generated list columns.

Still, it's a handy tool for sorting and such. Oh, I also normalized the list for a spring night in 2013 (on the theory that spring is Messier Marathon season and offers as good a range of dates as any for generating a year-round list. That might have been an erroneous assumption, but it is what it is. In any case, plenty to chase.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5783955 - 04/07/13 02:42 PM

"I do think it's quite a big deal not to include big, famous objects that are easily visible, while including several that are extremely faint and difficult."

That's where we differ. Anything that inspires folks to try out too-often underestimated small aperture on any group of targets is worthwhile. The list could have had 50 targets or 10,000 targets, and from the perspective kindling interest in the format would have been just as useful.

Besides, Herschel's list includes many erroneous listings (i.e., no object at the position given) and also omits objects that were within the capability of his equipment. So too Messier did not catalog every object that it would have been possible for him to observe. The challenge list is in that sense in good company.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/07/13 02:45 PM)


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5784115 - 04/07/13 03:41 PM

Quote:

Anything that inspires folks to try out too-often underestimated small aperture on any group of targets is worthwhile.




True, but why then confuse them with near-impossible targets? Or even nonexisting ones?

I think the list is a great idea, make no mistake, but it desperately needs revision in my opinion, to weed out nonexisting objects and very faint ones that are out of range of a 60mm, unless you stick a CCD on it.

I've made such a list some years ago, actually. It's in the 60mm Club archives somewhere. I actually made two lists. One with only easy objects and one also with faint objects, also threshold ones, with galaxies to mag 11.5 and planetary nebulae to mag 13. It has over 1100 objects. I have not seen every object on them, of course, but I weeded the list as well as I could, using DSS to check dubious cases, such as anonymous PGC galaxies or the MCG "galaxies" in Orion (they're actually small diffuse and reflection nebulae).

Since some time back, I've been working on a ~100 object list with non-messier deep-sky objects for a 60mm that I've actually observed. Mostly bright objects that are easy to see, but with a few challenges for a dark sky thrown in here and there. Sort of a "Hidden Treasure" list for 60mm scopes.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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t.r.
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5784183 - 04/07/13 04:08 PM

I'm surprised that the Astro League doesn't have a 60mm observing program, long overdue.

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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: t.r.]
      #5784248 - 04/07/13 04:30 PM

Quote:

I'm surprised that the Astro League doesn't have a 60mm observing program, long overdue.




Now that you mention it. They really should have. Perhaps they think the Messier list suffices?


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5784256 - 04/07/13 04:33 PM

I had planned to try some difficult solar system objects as well, such as planetary satellites and minor planets. Any interest?

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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5784257 - 04/07/13 04:33 PM

BTW, I was reading through Jim's list, when I discovered that it's slightly less than 50 pages long, not 65, as the DSO part is listed twice... It begins anew on page 49!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5784260 - 04/07/13 04:34 PM

Quote:

I had planned to try some difficult solar system objects as well, such as planetary satellites and minor planets. Any interest?




You bet! Go for it!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5784286 - 04/07/13 04:49 PM

Quote:

More important than the "absolute" rating, however, is whether the "relativity" of the ratings is accurate.




It isn't. I've looked at the list and how can it list a NAKED EYE STAR CLUSTER such as fifth-magnitude M41 as "Difficult"???? And M35 is only "detectable"... In a 60mm? And there are literally dozens of such examples.

To me, at least, "detectable" means something is very, very faint and barely visible with great effort, it is beyond challenging, shows no details other than a very faint smudge, perhaps with some elongation, but no other details. We are talking naked eye open clusters here, for spaghetti's sake.

But I guess I need to walk the walk and not just talk and talk and actually come up with a better list.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5784301 - 04/07/13 04:55 PM

It should be remembered that "difficulty" can be considered a moving target. Aperture aside, image scale (magnification and field of view) can play a huge role in how visible an object is. Something that is borderline in a small telescope can suddenly become almost obvious if the right eyepiece is used. One of my first "discoveries" as a rank beginner all those decades ago.

It's part of the challenge.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5784369 - 04/07/13 05:28 PM

Bah! Formatting. Moving ST3 data into MS-Word tables. Part of the double star list, too, is duplicated I see. Sorry. I can update it on Monday. All Mac OS X at home; no Sky Tools.

However, the list is the list for this exercise. As clearly stated in the article, this is *not* supposed to be a comprehensive list of everything you can see in a 60mm telescope, nor is there any guarantee that it's possible to see everything on this list in a 60mm (many targets will, indeed, be *very challenging* even factoring in ST3's pessimistic rankings). From the article:

"Below is a carefully considered list of targets that *may* be within reach of a 60mm telescope to a middle-aged experienced observer under typical suburban skies. The list was constructed using thoughtful, deliberate filtering in SkyTools 3 normalized for my home observing site at 38N. It does not necessarily list every target potentially visible in a 60mm. Nor is every target on the list necessarily visible to anyone, anywhere, in a 60mm telescope."

The objective of the challenge is NOT to assemble a 60mm "best targets" list. Rather it is to push participants to try and find the limits of a 60mm telescope and, hopefully, come away with the sense that 60mm is larger and more competent than they expected or, if they cut their teeth with such a scope, more capable than they remembered .

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/07/13 05:37 PM)


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5784401 - 04/07/13 05:49 PM

Or maybe the "Urban Observers Program".

Here are the 60mm scopes I plan on using for the effort:











Granted the mount is a bit nicer than the one that my old Jason came with.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/07/13 05:50 PM)


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5784409 - 04/07/13 05:54 PM

Quote:

It should be remembered that "difficulty" can be considered a moving target. Aperture aside, image scale (magnification and field of view) can play a huge role in how visible an object is. Something that is borderline in a small telescope can suddenly become almost obvious if the right eyepiece is used. One of my first "discoveries" as a rank beginner all those decades ago.

It's part of the challenge.




Absolutely true.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5784412 - 04/07/13 05:55 PM

Jim, that's an incredibly nice setup!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5784438 - 04/07/13 06:05 PM

Quote:

As clearly stated in the article, this is *not* supposed to be a comprehensive list of everything you can see in a 60mm telescope




Such a list is incredibly difficult to make, since the observer's skill is a moving target and with increased skill, you can see fainter and fainter objects, so the list needs to get bigger and bigger. It was in no way my intention to suggest that your list was trying to be a comprehensive list of objects for a 60mm.

But I still thinks it needs to be scrutinized and the errors removed. Some of them are genuine catalog errors, such as stars instead of galaxies and such. That PGC galaxy in Andromeda is a star, for example.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5784598 - 04/07/13 07:30 PM

Actually perhaps flagging the errors in the list would be of assistance to the Sky Tools 3 author as the classifications are all based on the designations in the application.

Regards,

Jim


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5785239 - 04/08/13 02:59 AM

Quote:

Actually perhaps flagging the errors in the list would be of assistance to the Sky Tools 3 author as the classifications are all based on the designations in the application.




Good idea.

BTW, I am working very early in the morning this week, or else I would be out there with the 63mm, bagging stuff from the list. I have a day off today, but of course it was cloudy yesterday evening.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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yashi
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5785573 - 04/08/13 10:22 AM

awesome idea

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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: yashi]
      #5785633 - 04/08/13 10:54 AM Attachment (78 downloads)

Thank you yashi.

I'm have an updated 60mm Challenge List, modified to remove duplications in both the double star and DSO sub-lists. I'll see about getting the version embedded in the article replaced with this one. 33 pages is more manageable than 65. Unfortunately it is too large to attach to forum posts, even if I publish it as two lists; one for multiples/doubles and another for DSOs. In the meantime, if you would like the updated list in either PDF or Doc format, let me know by PM and I will e-mail it to you.

I should also clarify that the difficulty rating scale for DSOs in ST3 ranges like this, from easiest to hardest:

Easy->Obvious->Detectable->Difficult->Challenging->Very Challenging

One other thing to bear in mind is this. The list was generated using the optimal date for a Messier Marathon as the reference date in the tool. When the complex difficulty rating model is applied to the filter data, including this date at my site, targets that don't get out of the soup will reflect a higher difficulty rating than they would at a time of year where that target is at or near the meridian.

The difficulty ratings are only one guideline. Using the stated magnitude, too, may be helpful. I can also generate and provide custom formatted tables with other information columns (alternate names, dimensions of object, relative surface brightness, etc.), but went with the format in the article for simplicity. PM me if you'd like a different cut of the data.

EDIT: I've attached the updated list with redundancies eliminated to this post in Rich Text Format. Everyone should feel free to do whatever you like with the data table and its format.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/08/13 11:37 AM)


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Jim Romanski
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5785673 - 04/08/13 11:07 AM

What fun! Nice idea Jim. I never had a small refractor as a kid. I started out with a 100mm Celestron SCT that my Dad let me use.

I do remember fondly a camping trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado. It was extremely dark in the Canyon. M6 and M7 were ablaze it seemed. All I had was a 7x35 Fujinon binoculars. I was surprised to be able to sweep up about 35 Messier objects just sitting at the picnic table. Even the little globulars under the Teapot in Sagittarius at 7X. Dark and dry skies can do wonders for your observing.

Not sure what instrument(s) I'll use. Gotta knock off 3mm from my AT72.
So what if you use a 60mm refractor and mount a really BIG eyepiece on the other end. But then you look through the 60mm objective and out through the eyepiece...would that be cheating?


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dermarkus
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5785684 - 04/08/13 11:10 AM

I love that idea. I do not own any 60mm scope, but plan to use my 80mm refractor stopped down to 60mm instead.

Jim, is there any chance that you can provide that list in a format that can be imported into a spread sheet ? I was not
able to do that with the PDF.
The spread sheet would allow me to sort the objects differently. I live on 51 deg latitude and i will not be
able to see some of the southern objects. Sorting them allows me to filter on declination for example.

Thanks
Markus


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Jim Romanski]
      #5785736 - 04/08/13 11:30 AM

Funny you should mention the really big eyepiece on a 60mm. In my picture of my two 60mm scopes on an alt-az mount, the AT60EDT on the left has a 40mm Sterling Plossl (a little over 5-degree TFOV ) loaded in the diagonal.

When I was taking the pictures, I noticed that there was a lovely view of the sky and clouds overhead when looking into the objective, so I'd say no, so long as the eyepiece has an eye lens no larger than 69mm in diameter, it isn't cheating.

It also occurs to me that using the "Herschel Principle" (i.e., once you spot a target in a larger scope, your chances of seeing the same object in a smaller scope are better), participants using an aperture mask on a larger instrument may also have a decided advantage. Specifically they can locate and observe the target at full aperture and then put the mask in place to see if they can still detect it at the smaller aperture. IMO, that is not cheating either.

Because I will be using a side-by-side configuration for my 60mm scopes, provided that I align each saddle, I'll have the opportunity to put a 60mm on one side and a larger instrument on the other, and work back and forth between them. For especially challenging targets I may do something like that.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (04/08/13 12:07 PM)


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: dermarkus]
      #5785762 - 04/08/13 11:42 AM

Hi Markus. I just updated post #5785633, above, and attached a Rich Text Format version of the cleaned up list. That should be pretty easy to dump into a spreadsheet. I had to select a skinny font and low point count to minimize the size of the attachment, so you may want to update the font size as well as the font itself for readability before moving it to a spreadsheet.

Regards,

Jim


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CharlieB
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5785916 - 04/08/13 12:47 PM

I'm well armed in the 50-60mm scope range, so I plan on participating as much as New England will allow. This will be a fun project.

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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5785982 - 04/08/13 01:12 PM

Quote:

The objective of the challenge is NOT to assemble a 60mm "best targets" list. Rather it is to push participants to try and find the limits of a 60mm telescope and, hopefully, come away with the sense that 60mm is larger and more competent than they expected or, if they cut their teeth with such a scope, more capable than they remembered .





Exactly. In fact my motivations are pretty selfish; I just want to see what the little scope can do now that I have decades of observing experience under my belt. Any contribution to cleaning-up or establishing some kind of list is a very distant second. I'm doing it just for fun.


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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5786079 - 04/08/13 01:43 PM

so there is a new pdf, or the original has been modified?

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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: droid]
      #5786141 - 04/08/13 02:25 PM

I eliminated target duplications that Thomas noted in the original pdf list embedded in the article, and attached a Rich Text Format updated version of the list a few posts up in this thread. I'd also like to update the pdf in the article and have sent Charlie an e-mail about the feasibility of doing that.

Regards,

Jim


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5786311 - 04/08/13 04:11 PM

Quote:

I should also clarify that the difficulty rating scale for DSOs in ST3 ranges like this, from easiest to hardest:

Easy->Obvious->Detectable->Difficult->Challenging->Very Challenging




Oh, that suddenly makes the difficult rating a lot more meaningful.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5787088 - 04/08/13 10:48 PM

I'm with you Thomas. The difficulty level names aren't necessarily logical or intuitive, but that's the way they rank in the application.

Incidentally, I also looked at a few 60mm to 70mm currently available scopes that might be nice options. The Meade NG-60 runs about $80 and looks like a modernized iteration of the classic alt-az mounted beginner's 60mm achromat.

A Vixen 70lf or Meade NG-70 or, stopped down a millimeter or two, also, might be an option as well.

I'm sure there are other options too.

Regards,

Jim


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5787374 - 04/09/13 04:45 AM

Quote:

Incidentally, I also looked at a few 60mm to 70mm currently available scopes that might be nice options. The Meade NG-60 runs about $80 and looks like a modernized iteration of the classic alt-az mounted beginner's 60mm achromat.

A Vixen 70lf or Meade NG-70 or, stopped down a millimeter or two, also, might be an option as well.




I've compared my 63mm Zeiss and my 72mm WO ED and the 72mm is quite noticeably brighter, giving it a real advantage on faint objects. If this is supposed to be a challenge for 60mm scopes, you should probably limit the max allowed aperture to ~65mm - 66mm (I am being completely selfish here, as this would still allow my 63mm Zeiss! ). A 66mm aperture would also allow the modern 66mm ED's and apochromats to participate.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5787811 - 04/09/13 10:57 AM

Yup. The range permitted in the article is any aperture from 60mm to 69mm, so the Zeiss is definitely a valid tool for the attempt based on the guideline.

In fact, I would even accept a well-constructed argument that a considerably larger catadioptric (such as a 90mm MCT) was inefficient enough to deliver actual light grasp on par with a much smaller unobstructed scope. If folks want to come up with a calculation of equivalent unobstructed light grasp for small catadioptrics, I'd have no objection.

If I do this with my Celestron C90 (aluminum with SiO2 overcoat on primary and secondary, multi-coatings front and back on the corrector) here's what I come up with: 90% reflectivity for each mirror surface, 99.5% transmission for each surface of the corrector (the corrector is not XLT coated, but rather standard Synta multi-coated), and a secondary obstruction of 10% by area, I get something like a 75mm fully multi-coated refractor equivalency. You'd still need to stop the average 90mm MCT down to meet the requirements, but by something more like 7-8mm rather than 30mm.

Regards,

Jim


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t.r.
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5788248 - 04/09/13 02:15 PM

Well, I have taken this challenge seriously after Jim suggested piggybacking my 60 on my primary scope so as to not miss out on valuable observing time with my larger scope. But, I feel I need to upgrade the focuser to accomodate the better 1 1/4" format eyepieces and really let my Towa lens loose and perform to it's full potential. So, just got off the phone with Dan at Crawmach about a focuser and extended flange assembly to get the extra long focal length required to reach focus with my Jason(has the inner drawtube which sags). He has done one of these "longer" focusers before and said once my measured specs are received, about a month build time. Of course rings will be ordered too!

http://www.crawmach.com/



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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: t.r.]
      #5788641 - 04/09/13 04:30 PM

I've found a piece of aluminum tube that fits a custom cell for one of my Zeiss C63/840 objectives perfectly. Most interestingly the Baader/Zeiss M68 extension tubes also fit perfectly inside this tube, so that with a few such tubes, a readily available adapter and a few other off the shelf items, I can build a C63/840 with true 2" focuser.

I can already use 2" eyepieces on my Zeiss Telemator, but it does vignette a bit. The extremely fine focus of a 2" crayford with microfocuser would also be most welcome at high magnifications. I sometimes use 380x on my Telemator when studying planetary nebulae, so a superb focuser would not just be a rarely needed luxury, but a very useful item.

This idea has been ruminating at the back of my head since I found the aluminum tube, but perhaps I should see this project as a sign to do something about it.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: t.r.]
      #5788692 - 04/09/13 04:52 PM

Right on, Tim.

Sometimes you can find mass-produced R&P direct replacements for vintage 0.965" focusers too.

For example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Meade-1-25-60mm-Refractor-Telescope-FOCUSER-your-Eyep...

I'm using Anatres model FOCR2s on my three Cartons. I don't know if Antares offers these any longer, but of they do, they're actually a very smooth R&P unit. I think I paid about $29 each for these focusers.

Welcome aboard, matey!

- Jim


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Jim Romanski
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5789961 - 04/10/13 10:39 AM

Quote:

In fact, I would even accept a well-constructed argument that a considerably larger catadioptric (such as a 90mm MCT) was inefficient enough to deliver actual light grasp on par with a much smaller unobstructed scope. If folks want to come up with a calculation of equivalent unobstructed light grasp for small catadioptrics, I'd have no objection.




Hmmm...what if I let my AT72 get REALLY dirty so that it cuts down on light throughput?


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Jim Romanski]
      #5790545 - 04/10/13 03:19 PM

Works for me Jim. Or perhaps add an 85% transmission ND filter to the diagonal.

- Jim


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Gardner
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5791128 - 04/10/13 07:40 PM

This looks like lots of fun! Last year at our Messier Marathon I paired my FS60 and C9.25 on my G11. Lots of stuff is beyond the limiting magnitude of myself and the FS60, but it was fun to try anyway.

Would it be possible to publish the list as an observing list downloadable to Sky Tools 3? The double star list looks intriguing.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Gardner]
      #5791544 - 04/10/13 11:12 PM

You bet, Gardner. I'm all Mac here at home, but tomorrow at work I'll fire up ST3 and upload the list in ST3 format to this thread.

Regards,

Jim


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Glen A W
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5792017 - 04/11/13 09:51 AM

I've done a lot of those on the list, back when the 60mm was all I had. Hey, I figured it was a perfectly good galaxy telescope at the time. And, it's amazing how much I saw. I am not sure I would want to go back to one, though. I just don't get that much enjoyment from it, now. Glen

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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5792043 - 04/11/13 10:08 AM

Quote:

I'm using Anatres model FOCR2s on my three Cartons. I don't know if Antares offers these any longer, but of they do, they're actually a very smooth R&P unit. I think I paid about $29 each for these focusers.





It's a terrific focuser for a small refractor. I bought 5 of them some years ago, down to just two left that aren't dedicated to a project or already in use. IIRC, they had two models, one with a short drawtube, one with a long one. I grabbed the long ones. If anyone knows if they are still available, I'd sure appreciate hearing about it.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5792663 - 04/11/13 04:00 PM

Yep, Chuck, the FOCR2s have the 150mm long drawtube barrel and the FOCR1s had a shorter drawtube barrel. I wish I'd picked up a couple more when I was buying them, too. The quality was decent for the price, and they work well as direct bolt-on replacements for most 60mm vintage achromats. Which reminds me, I may swap one onto the Sears scope pictured in the article to see how this focuser works with a 900mm focal length scope.

Regards,

Jim


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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5792715 - 04/11/13 04:18 PM

I lathe-turned one down for the 50mm f/20 scope I'm using for this project, to fit 2" OD aluminum tubing. There was just enough material left to tap some threads in the casting.
Then I got fancy, and installed a pair of those "mag wheel" knobs that Orion used to sell.

It's like pimping a Geo Metro.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Gardner]
      #5793069 - 04/11/13 06:58 PM

Hi Gardner.

I was just kicking around in ST3. It will allow me to export the file in either simple text format or Sky Safari format. Do you want either of those formats, or is there another way for me to export list files from ST3?

Let me know.

Regards,

Jim


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Gardner
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5793136 - 04/11/13 07:30 PM

Jim,

I think text is fine. It looks like ST3 can create an observing list from text, but I've never done it. I'll talk to my local ST3 users and see what they have to say about it.

Thanks again for this cool idea and list. I like visual challenges!


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Gardner]
      #5793499 - 04/11/13 11:07 PM

Okay, I'll post the simple text version tomorrow and you can give it a try.

I think next year, after this project is concluded, I'll do something similar with the ubiquitous C8.

Regards,

Jim


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buddyjesus
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5793683 - 04/12/13 01:20 AM

that list might get a bit too long!

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Gardner
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5794439 - 04/12/13 01:19 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Jim,

I talked to a friend who is much more fluent in ST3 than I am. He provided detailed instructions on how to share lists in the format ST3 can export and import. With his permission, I'm sharing his pics and instructions here.

It is really easy. Here are some screen shots.


Click Data
Click Share Lists
Click the list you want to share
Click Share


You will get a window prompting you on where to save the STX. From there, just email or post. Others can then down and import into Skytools.


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Gardner
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Gardner]
      #5794447 - 04/12/13 01:22 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

pt. 2

To Import.


Click Data
Click Import Shared Data Tab
Click Browse local/network files
Click Browse to navigate to the location of the STX file
Click Import




Edited by Gardner (04/12/13 01:28 PM)


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Gardner
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Gardner]
      #5794464 - 04/12/13 01:29 PM

One thing I would add is that you need to click on the file you want to import (it will then highlight) before you click Import.

This process worked for me. I shared the AL Double Star to my desktop, then deleted it from ST3. I then imported it back from the desktop and it was like it never left.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Gardner]
      #5794676 - 04/12/13 02:51 PM

Gracias!



- Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Gardner]
      #5794770 - 04/12/13 03:39 PM

Gardner unfortunately CN doesn't let me upload the ST3 ".stx" format files. There is a notice that pops up warning that .stx is not one of the permitted attachment formats.

PM me your e-mail address and I'll e-mail you the list in .stx format.

Regards,

Jim


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Vesper818
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5794805 - 04/12/13 03:59 PM

Ok! Ok! I'm in!
We've finally cleared out and have some gorgeous clear weather! And now a really serious project to work on too!
Thomas I am going to print up yours and Jim's lists and put them all in a binder to work on.
I'll bring the pink Swift 60mm f9 and a Towa 60 F6.7 on Saturday night to Fisher Lane in Sonoma. Jim, please pm me with the address again so we get there before dark! My computer's on the fritz and I don't have your email ...
Clear skies and apple pies!
lc Carol


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DOTrevino
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5794815 - 04/12/13 04:06 PM

perhaps my nominal vixen 70 is really 69.99 mm in aperture :-) and therefore qualifies for the challenge

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desertstars

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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: DOTrevino]
      #5795261 - 04/12/13 07:25 PM

I haven't been logging on to CN as much as once was the case. An understatement - but the day job crowds the writing time, leaving not much left over for passtimes. Thought I'd take a look at this when the 60mm folks on Yahoo started talking about it.

Interesting list, interesting concept, and about darned time, if you ask me.

My approach would reflect how I organize observing projects in general, a divide and conquer principle that sorts objects between dark skies and suburban conditions. By way of example, I work double star lists at home, and hunt for galaxies and various nebulae from dark sky locations in the desert. Star clusters are a grey area; some show up well from my Tucson home, others need a bit of darkness to help them. I try things at home, and shift objects from one list to the other as needed.

"Year long"? More like "year 'round," for me. That time crunch business again. We'll see how it goes.

The Old Scope has been idle of late. I believe that's about to change...


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: DOTrevino]
      #5795436 - 04/12/13 09:38 PM

If it's a little dirty, or you put a skylight filter in the diagonal to attenuate the throughput by 2% or so, you should be in like Flynn.

- Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: desertstars]
      #5795450 - 04/12/13 09:48 PM

Good thoughts. I too am figuring out what my strategy is going to be. Like Carol, I'll kick off my formal effort tomorrow (Saturday) at the OFLI monthly star party. I'm leaning toward picking a handful of constellations that will be well placed during the session, and concentrating on those, mixing doubles and DSOs.

I can already hear the grief from the OFLI crew, though, when I field two 60mm scopes Saturday. But I'm used to it by now.

- Jim


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desertstars

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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5795615 - 04/12/13 11:24 PM

Fortunately, the crowd I observe with is aware of the Old Scope's history. They treat it with the respect a "vintage" telescope deserves.

Hmmm... does a 1970 60mm refractor really qualify as "vintage?" Because if it does, well, I bought the thing for myself. Which would make me... Uh... Mature.


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buddyjesus
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: desertstars]
      #5795694 - 04/13/13 12:17 AM

No love for Uranus, Neptune or Titan?

One of my favorite small scope targets was overlooked, probably because it is naked eye and is tough to fit in the field of view of a telescope. The Alpha Persei association. Didn't see M76 either unless I am mistaken. muhahahahaha!

BTW, in my home site, I wouldn't be able to complete this list because of the light pollution and Michigan skies with my 4" scope. There is no miracles, except power outages, but they don't occur when there is no clouds out around here.

I really dig your showing of love for doubles!

Edited by buddyjesus (04/13/13 12:43 AM)


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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: desertstars]
      #5795965 - 04/13/13 06:02 AM

Quote:

Fortunately, the crowd I observe with is aware of the Old Scope's history. They treat it with the respect a "vintage" telescope deserves.

Hmmm... does a 1970 60mm refractor really qualify as "vintage?" Because if it does, well, I bought the thing for myself. Which would make me... Uh... Mature.





A star geezer?

We are battling clouds, clouds and rain , non stop.


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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5796272 - 04/13/13 09:57 AM

Quote:

No love for Uranus, Neptune or Titan?





Right on!

I mentioned planetary satellites and asteroids earlier in this thread, and will certainly try for as many as possible. Patience is the key with minor planets, since you need to notice motion over time in order to positively ID them visually. How crowded the star field is can also add to the difficulty.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5796376 - 04/13/13 10:46 AM

Okay. Just for you two guys. Here's a bonus 60mm target. Ceres. Now you have 890 targets to chase. Okay, okay. Let's make it 891. Vesta, too.

This list has some very hard inclusions. To conflate and transliterate W.T. Olcott and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, "We ain't in Starland anymore, and we don't even have a 3-inch telescope!" There's plenty within reach of a 60mm that isn't listed. But also there's plenty on the list that may not be reachable by any 60mm, anywhere on Earth, by anyone. I just don't know. That's what makes it a challenge. Think of it like this. You're out taking a peek at Luna and Saturn, and..."I'll piggy back the 60mm and knock off a few we'll placed targets on that list while I'm out. Hmm...that wasn't too bad. I'll try these three tougher ones. Man, am I shocked or what? Who knew you could see *that* in a 60mm from the 'burbs?" To me that would be success for this project.

I like the challenge concept. Dave Mitsky and his "challenge objects" postings have always been inspirational and aspirational for me. This is the first "Challenge" type article for me, and I don't expect it to be perfect, though I do hope that it is a perfectly adequate start to a larger process.

Who knows. Perhaps a whole separate Solar, Lunar and Planetary "solar system" small scope challenge, or the C8 "bests" challenge mentioned earlier, or a Virgo-CVn-Com single night galaxy marathon called "Markarian's Revenge", or a "Loveliest double star in a XXmm telescope, and why" participatory essay contest (with bonus points for more flowery written description of said star), etc. Other possibilities include aperture specific cross-over efforts with other CN articles. For example, Steve Coe's "What's up" column is a rich source of seasonally grouped targets. Perhaps tackle the targets in one month's column with 4-inchers? The possibilities are virtually endless.

60mm, though, because it was a starting point for so many of us of a certain age seems to me to be a pretty good place to start on the "challenge article" concept. If there's a subtext here, it is this. In my opinion, the single most over-estimated characteristic of a telescope is...aperture. Aperture not only isn't king, it's scarcely even "royal". A fat stack of contrast transfer graphs isn't worth the paper it's printed on next to the real king. Far and away skill, experience and persistence rule all in our hobby.

Regards,

Jim


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Vesper818
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5796877 - 04/13/13 03:46 PM

Thomas
In the 60mm Club files, that list that Larry put into xls files was your compilation, correct?
I could not access your doc file, so formatted and printed his list .

Edited by Vesper818 (04/13/13 03:53 PM)


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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5797465 - 04/13/13 08:47 PM

Quote:

Okay. Just for you two guys. Here's a bonus 60mm target. Ceres. Now you have 890 targets to chase. Okay, okay. Let's make it 891. Vesta, too.




Oh, I'll go a bit deeper than those two, but thanks for tossing us a semi-official bone.
I've seen those in the 8x20mm binos stashed in the glove compartment of my Mazda.

I really want to push the 50mm f/20 as far as I can. I could break out my vintage Penncrest 60mm f/16.6, but it's .965" focuser and eyepieces really don't instill much confidence. Maybe a hybrid diagonal is the answer, so I could use 1.25" eyepieces. I don't want to retrofit a 1.25" focuser because the scope is just about mint, and I want to keep it bone-stock.
I've got several 60mm objectives of assorted pedigree, and could just put an OTA with 1.25" focuser together I suppose, but the 50mm is calling to me. I'll give the little guy a shot first.

One modern crutch I'll be using is a dielectric diagonal. Need to conserve every photon since there aren't any to spare.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5798679 - 04/14/13 03:58 PM

Though some who have purchased optical groups from the same source have claimed otherwise, the Carton doublets I have are uncoated. I've had all three of them apart for deep cleaning and they are as shiny and reflective as window glass. Nonetheless, I did get a chance to use the modern 60mm triplet and one of the Carton's last night under terrible seeing, high thin clouds and with a sliver Moon in the west. I'll put up my observing report in a few when I get my notes out of the car during unloading, but what I found is that at least under suburban skies it's all about managing exit pupil and increasing contrast with these little guys. The long focal length of the Carton made small exit pupils mandatory. It did help contrast on galaxies in particular.

I won't say my session was everything I dreamed it would be, given the non-optimal conditions, but I am off to the races on the list. Thinking back, I'd say that I probably observed around a dozen list targets and a couple of others not on the list. The AT60EDT with a 50mm 2" Plossl was riotous in finder role. The Pleiades were a small-ish cluster in the center of a much larger star field in the scope. It's tough to perfectly mutually align each half of the dual mount, but I shimmed the dovetail on the Carton and got the two scopes close enough to aligned that anything in the center of the Carton's FOV at 90x was only slightly off center in the AT60EDT's low power field. Very workable.

Regards,

Jim


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5799191 - 04/14/13 07:31 PM

Quote:

Gardner unfortunately CN doesn't let me upload the ST3 ".stx" format files. There is a notice that pops up warning that .stx is not one of the permitted attachment formats.

PM me your e-mail address and I'll e-mail you the list in .stx format.

Regards,

Jim




Jim, try "zipping" the file.

Charlie


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #5799285 - 04/14/13 08:02 PM

Thanks Charlie. I'll give it a shot.

Regards,

Jim


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yashi
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5806095 - 04/18/13 05:24 AM

does anyone have this list as a excel/google docs/ calc table?


the formating is making the convertion complicated :/

how did you compile this list in the first place? based on which data?

edit: nvm. i managed to do it


Edited by yashi (04/18/13 06:57 AM)


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: yashi]
      #5806523 - 04/18/13 12:23 PM

Yashi, the list was generated using Sky Tools 3, an observation planning application for Windows PCs.

Regards,

Jim


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yashi
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5808163 - 04/19/13 06:01 AM

thank you.

How exactly does this program creates these lists? Do you filter the known objects by different properties, like (brighter than x, separation bigger than x -> for multiplestar-objects?)


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: yashi]
      #5808927 - 04/19/13 03:19 PM

Exactly.

The application contains an enormous database of stellar and non-stellar objects. It also has models and algorithms for user variables, telescope and eyepiece variables, location and site condition variables, etc. This particular list assumes a 38N location (Santa Rosa, CA), an early April 2013 date, a clean 60mm telescope, a middle aged experienced observer, and ignores daylight and the difficulty of the target in the stated aperture. Only doubles stars with Bayer designations, commmon names or Flamsteed numbers were selected. DSOs were less restricted by catalog.

The difficulty designations are based on a rating formula used by the application for the values I set for the variables. There are several applications that work similarly to Sky Tools, including one for the Mac OS and another excellent one for Windows.

Regards,

Jim


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PitchHitter
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5809951 - 04/20/13 01:44 AM

Actually Jim, I would claim the title of The most interesting Astronomer. After all I coined the term Clear Skies at the 1974 WAA convention as a sign-off on formal letters and general greetings to bring attention to the problems of light pollution. Prior I started the first sanctioned Astronomy and Rocketry Club in California and after looking through my Homemade 6" telescope around 1970 George Lucas became so enthralled at Saturn and Jupiter from the streets of Del Mar that he dusted off his manuscripts and finished "Star Wars" resulting in over a $100 billion industry. Then in 1976 I was the WAA Convention Chairman at 21, again with the purpose of bringing attention to the plight of the 200" Hale Telescope on Mt. Palomar and I moderated the 2 hr. worldwide broadcast on Space Exploration with NASA, JPL, L-5 and the Planetary Society. Then I began work with family friend Bill Bradley to write San Diego County's Dark Sky Ordinance and my terms were used in the Federal Ordinance and finally again in California in 2001. I could go own but natural Crockett modesty prevails.

Now Jim, wouldn't you say every time I used my 60mm finderscope, I was meeting your challenge? Then I follow it up by a 9mm exit pupil, 28x general scan. No ! 8mm is not a limit for everybody.

No matter what is in the field, the longest line is to the scope I bring.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: PitchHitter]
      #5811015 - 04/20/13 02:20 PM

Problem is, when you speak you don't use words that would break the jaw if spoken by a lesser man. But I will give you an "A" for effort, and dub thee "Most Interesting Astronomer in Southern California". And everyone knows that it's what we grow here in NorCal that gave Lucas his creative genius not a peek at Saturn! And before anyone gets up in my grill about TOS and this being a family channel and such, we grow the finest WINE GRAPES in the world. Among other things. Like apples.

Regards,

Jim


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yashi
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5814604 - 04/22/13 03:28 AM

thank you very much. This list looks like a great start into "structured" astronomy then. Although im living at 52° it should work for the most part.

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demiles
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: yashi]
      #5816390 - 04/22/13 09:18 PM

I take my AT66 out to SQM 21 skies at least a few times year and it's amazing how deep you can go with such small scope. I'll work on the list next time I go out.

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GlennLeDrew
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: demiles]
      #5892613 - 05/30/13 02:39 PM

To qualify as a "challenge" listing, a great many spectacular (even naked eye) objects should be removed, and other accessible fare added. I should hope that more than those suffering significant light pollution can contribute. And if only the light polluted need apply, to what level of sky brightness?

I know that two-eyed viewing affords a gain in signal to noise of 41%, effectively increasing the aperture by 19%. But my 60mm bino is limited to 20.8X, which does impact depth of penetration for stars and smaller objects. Just a few of the many objects seen with my bino and which are not on the list:

Cocoon neb
California neb
Heart and Soul nebulae (although the related clusters are on the list)
Gamma Cyg neb
North America and Pelican neb
Veil neb, incl. Pickering's wisp.
NGC 4565 edge-on galaxy

And how about dark nebulae? With my binos I see scores of them.

For larger objects, a large field of view is most advantageous. In the mono scope arena, a 60mm f/7 taking 1.25" eyepieces will deliver a 3.6 degree FOV. And a narrow band filter will bring out those really low surface brightness nebulae.

One interesting observation made years ago with just such a Carton 70mm f/7. I stacked a couple of Barlows to obtain a quite tiny exit pupil. I actually resolved a handful of M13's brightest giants!


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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5893771 - 05/31/13 08:34 AM

Boy, Glenn, NGC 7000 might be a toughie for my 50mm f/20, at least all in one bite. I'm not sure I could fit the entire complex into the FOV, no matter what eyepiece I used.

But you've piqued my curiosity and I'm going to give it a go.

The best views I've ever had of the North America nebula were with the naked-eye, followed closely by a 3X "spy" binocular (field glass, really).


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5894543 - 05/31/13 03:35 PM

Quote:

Boy, Glenn, NGC 7000 might be a toughie for my 50mm f/20, at least all in one bite. I'm not sure I could fit the entire complex into the FOV, no matter what eyepiece I used.




I've seen it with my 63mm Zeiss and several different eyepieces. Most of the continent shape fits in an eyepiece giving a 2° TFOV. If your scope can use 2" eyepieces (unlikely, I'll admit, but if not, you should consider making a different OTA, with a 2" focuser!), a 40mm/70° eyepiece should do the trick.

2" eyepieces on small long-focus achromats can make for breathtaking views. Users of Zeiss Telementor 2's and Zeiss Telemators and AS63/840s with original OTAs should be aware that adapters to fit 2" diagonals and eyepieces to these scopes are readily available from Baader Planetarium. Adapters also exists to fit 2" equipment to Vixen M43 threads.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5896226 - 06/01/13 03:07 PM

I've long advocated the notion of slapping a 2" focuser on those long, skinny 60mm 'soda straws'. as Thomas notes, the views are spectacular! Even the really cheap eyepieces deliver at those long f/ratios.

Imagine a 46mm field stop behind a 1,000mm objective; the TFoV would be 2.6 degrees. And if the eyepiece were a TV 55 or Meade 56, that would be 18X at a 3.3mm exit pupil. Such notorious objects as M33 would be a doddle. You could easily use a narrow band nebula filter, and all those big, low surface brightness nebulae would suddenly be accessible.

Restricting to 0.965" (and even 1.25" eyepieces) is a veritable crime, when a most highly corrected, wide field can be obtained.

My bino (interchangeable 50mm and 60mm objectives) has 2" focusers. With the 60mm f/4.5 objectives and 30mm 70 degree AFoV eyepieces (working together as a 9X60), I enjoy a 7.7 degree TFoV. H-beta filters nicely bring out such fare as the California nebula.


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5896422 - 06/01/13 04:56 PM

I never understood the reason to limit even very small scopes to 0.965" eyepieces, which is one reason I'm not a huge fan of older Japanese scopes. It limits TFOV somewhat terribly. At least Zeiss understood this from the very beginning and put M44 (1.7") focusers on all their 60mm scopes ever made, from 1898 to 1995, giving you the option to use eyepieces much bigger than 0.965", if you wanted.

My first 2" eyepiece was a 40mm GSO Kellner. It was *insanely* sharp on the 63mm f/13.3 Zeiss. That eyepiece mysteriously got lost at a star party and was replaced at the next star party by a 42mm Sky-Watcher Reverse Kellner, which I won in a raffle. Justice! That 42mm eyepiece is even sharper, notably around the edge, but eye comfort isn't as good. Still, it is fantastically sharp and throws up some amazing views. It is now more or less replaced with a 30mm ES82, which is a *fabulous* eyepiece on the 63mm Zeiss. Eventually, I think I'll get a 40mm ES68, for those lowest power views. Just for the heck of it!

People who have never experienced a 60mm long-focus achromat with a 30mm or 40mm 2" wide field eyepiece under dark skies just simply have no idea of what these scopes are capable of and underrate them terribly.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Chuck Hards
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #5896637 - 06/01/13 07:32 PM

The 50mm f/20 is home-built. It uses a 1.25" focuser that I turned on the lathe to fit the 2" OD main tube. I too have no use for the .965" format.



That's an erecting diagonal in the photo because the last time I used it was for some birding. At night, I use a dielectric mirror diagonal.

Attaching a 2" focuser, while possible, probably won't happen on that little guy, and would look very odd- the eyepiece barrel would be the same size as the main tube, lol!

I do have 80mm & 100mm ED scopes with 2" focusers, as well as a 110mm doublet with a 2", though of course they don't have long focal ratios without using a Barlow. I would never retrofit a 2" focuser to my 60mm f/16 Penncrest because it would lose value if no longer stock. It's pristine.

I have a drawer full of long-focus 60mm doublets so perhaps I'll build an OTA with one of those and incorporate a 2" focuser.


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5942131 - 06/26/13 09:05 PM

Interesting. I have 1.25" focusers on my 60mm project scopes. I didn't even think about looking for 2" alternatives. How's that for conditioning? Egad. I am pretty happy with the 24.5mm Meade Series 4000 (1.25" 68-deg AFOV) eyepiece in the 60mm f/16.7 scopes, though. ~1.6 degrees TFOV with a 1.5mm exit pupil. I can only imagine an eyepiece with twice the focal length in that scope.

- Jim


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jrbarnett
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5942152 - 06/26/13 09:16 PM

Here's a shot of some 60mm tomfoolery underway...



- Jim


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Maverick199
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5977385 - 07/18/13 08:02 AM

I read the article and wish I owned a 60mm scope. Even though I live in a city, it would have been great to try as many objects possible under city pollution. At least some data could be gathered. What I have is a Z71mm WO.

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tnakazon
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5988505 - 07/24/13 09:17 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Quote:

...Incidentally, I also looked at a few 60mm to 70mm currently available scopes that might be nice options. The Meade NG-60 runs about $80 and looks like a modernized iteration of the classic alt-az mounted beginner's 60mm achromat...



My Meade NG60-SM 60mm achromat came in yesterday (on sale from Meade for $36.75, which includes shipping and sales tax). Haven't tested it out yet, but it's a good-looking scope. Especially like the mount and slow-motion controls.


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Astrojensen
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5992393 - 07/27/13 03:12 AM

Quote:

I read the article and wish I owned a 60mm scope. Even though I live in a city, it would have been great to try as many objects possible under city pollution. At least some data could be gathered. What I have is a Z71mm WO.




Just go ahead and work on the list with the 71mm. The difference between a 60mm and a 71mm is not huge. Start with the bright objects to build up confidence and work your way to the fainter ones as you get more experience working under the bright sky.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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Mr Onions
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Astrojensen]
      #6103891 - 09/27/13 10:40 AM

Or you could use a 60mm stop.

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bremms
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Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: Mr Onions]
      #6104222 - 09/27/13 01:19 PM

Seeing NGC7000 is all about transparency and sky darkness. It is a pretty easy object in a good 60mm from a dark site. My 80mm F5 showed it clearly from a green zone.
I could try and add to this group as my 60mm collection is not small.

60mm Zeiss traveller
60mm GOTO F20
60mm Edmund Rank
60mm Sans and Streiff 800mm FL(Asahi)
60mm carton F15
60mm Unitron F15 lens.
62mm Quad element Military lens (APO)
60mm Famisco Tomy with borg ED lens.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: bremms]
      #6478827 - 04/21/14 10:56 AM

Tempus fugit.

One Sol has passed. Time to talk victories with our little friends.

What have you seen in your small aperture scopes over the past year?

Sirius B in a 60mm f/16.7 was probably my most challenging achievement. My favorite targets in the scope, though, are probably rich open clusters like M37 and M67 under dark skies.

Regards,

Jim


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tnakazon
sage


Reged: 06/26/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: The Year-Long 60mm Telescope Challenge new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6481854 - 04/22/14 06:57 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

From my review of the Meade NG60-SM 60mm F/11.7 scope on Cloudy Nights (http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2905) back in August of last year:

Deep-sky objects – orange zone site

Scorpius: NGC 6541, M6, M7
Sagittarius: M28, M22, M8, M24, M20, M21, M25, M18, M17, M54, M70, M69, NGC 6818
Serpens: M16

Open clusters M6 and M7 were beautiful at 22X, while the M24 star cloud filled up the entire FOV at that magnification. At 78X, the stock MH9 eyepiece provided the magnification necessary for an optimal view of the small open cluster M18, partial resolution of globular cluster M22 (showing a few stars glimmering from the grainy cloud), and the non-stellar nature of tiny planetary nebula NGC 6818. M17 (the Omega or Swan Nebula) responded well to both nebula filters, especially the narrowband.

I have since added two more 60mm refractors to my collection: the Meade 60AZ-T F/5.8 (from the mid 2000's, now discontinued) and a Sears "straight-through" vintage scope with 0.965" focuser from the 1960's (Circle "K" made). M44 looked beautiful through the 60AZ-T in light-polluted skies, though I haven't tested either one outside urban skies.


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