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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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Chuck Hards
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/03/10

Loc: The Great Basin
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! [Re: tim53]
      #5952622 - 07/03/13 07:34 AM

The Black Mtns. fire is wild, and estimated at 750 acres as of this morning.

http://www.utahfireinfo.gov/

Tim, is your wife an archeology professor? Some of my college friends (and a roommate, for a while) were arch. majors and I used to tag-along with them on field school, back in the late '70's and early '80's. Sometimes they'd do contract work in the summer too, and I would show-up with my tent when they had a few days off. I'd bring my telescope along though most folks were too drunk & wasted by the time it got dark enough to do any observing. I visited sites from northern California, through Nevada, and into central and southern Utah. Pretty much the whole Great Basin. It was then that I got my introduction to the concept of the "sweat lodge". Ah, the memories!

My sister got her BS and Master's in arch. & anthro at the UofU, then went into social work & teaching, but she still misses the digs.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5952989 - 07/03/13 12:01 PM

It's weird because it seems every year or so there's a big fire there. I love the drive through there, though it is one of the more dangerous stretches of highway. Not because it's particularly steep and mountainous, but because it's just steep and winding enough that people go too fast and lose control on the curves. In the 40 years I've been driving out here, we've come across a few accidents. One a few years ago a gal was driving too fast at night and went off the side of the road and down a slope. She wasn't hurt, but it took me and a couple other guys who stopped about a half hour to get her car back up on the road.

At night, but particularly in the winter, the deer like to graze right on the highway after one of the blind curves. Even I've had to hit the brakes harder than I'd like on more than one occasion, and I know better!

Yes, my wife teaches at Pasadena City College. She was born in Milford, and came here to visit her grandparents during the summers. Her dad was military, so Milford was the most like "home" to her, growing up.

It's been my experience, as well, that archaeologists have a tendency to partake of the inebriants more even than geologists (and I always thought we were "bad"). At least the youngsters.

Last night, the students came back within about an hour while I was just getting ready to take my first image sequence, so I didn't want to take the camera off and plunk in an eyepiece. But they seemed fascinated by the detail I could pull out of M51 with the Canon. We moved to a couple other objects and then I did take the camera off to show them some visuals. I thought they'd stay up a while longer, but they went to their tents right after that. About midnight.

I stayed until about 1am, when the clouds obscured most of the sky. I had just gotten my Scorpion camera set up with a 70-200mm zoom as a guide scope, and guided a 5 minute exposure of M51 through the Epsilon. Saturation was looking good, but my focus had slipped! I was going to try again, so I had to move to a bright star to focus. When I did, I realized that the clouds were thickening. By the time I was back to M51, it was getting pretty bad, so I packed it in.

At least I know I can guide this thing manually. I didn't even try the Vixen flex cable on the dec slow motion. The mount was steady enough that my adjusting the slow motion knob didn't jar the telescope.

-Tim.


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gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5953230 - 07/03/13 02:19 PM

Tim,

Sounds like you have a good start with the little 130.

Congratulations - I would love to have one of the little Tak astrographs. I have been drooling at the Tak Epsilon 180ED, but boy are those things pricey!

Greg


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5953245 - 07/03/13 02:26 PM

Greg:

It's a joy to play with! I still need to tweak the collimation some. But I was surprised at how easy it is to guide manually. The mount is really steady. I kept thinking, "how the heck do they expect you to take good astrophotos with a manual dec on a short solid shaft?" But it doesn't shake!

-Tim.


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Chuck Hards
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/03/10

Loc: The Great Basin
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5953258 - 07/03/13 02:32 PM

There are two other fires to your northeast. I can smell smoke up north here so wonder if the winds are shifting more out of the south. It was out of the west last night, and looking at the circulation pattern, Milford was just about dead-center in the low.

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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5953990 - 07/03/13 10:56 PM

It's not looking good for tonight. Sky is probably about 80% overcast, though a lot if the overhead stuff is moderate to thin. Weather app says its going to stay cloudy until about sunup. I won't wait up! Got the parade tomorrow, then we're going to Lehman Caves, and then Milford has a great fireworks display after dark.

Then its two more nights before I head home.

Tim


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5954008 - 07/03/13 11:02 PM

The Black Mtn fire apparently died down during the day, but its making quite a plume now. Judging from the cloud, the winds aloft must be to the south southwest. I've been watching the clouds over us and if they're moving at all, it's also slowly to the south. That's not good because the thicker clouds are to the north.

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Chuck Hards
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/03/10

Loc: The Great Basin
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5954029 - 07/03/13 11:20 PM

I have tomorrow off, so of course its totally socked-in up here.

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Chuck Hards
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/03/10

Loc: The Great Basin
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5954585 - 07/04/13 10:46 AM

Wow Tim, lightning and 1/2 inch of soaking rain last night! The first precipitation I've had in over a month. Good for the lawn, but the scope stayed indoors. What was the weather in Milford last night?

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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5954615 - 07/04/13 11:24 AM

Well, I gave up around 10pm and came back to the house without setting up the scope. When I got back, it was cloudy here, but when I turned in around 12:30, I looked outside and it was maybe 50% clear. I was too tired to set up by then, and when I got up this AM it was cloudy again. It's partly cloudy now, but I don't know what's in the plan for tonight yet.

-Tim.


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Chuck Hards
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/03/10

Loc: The Great Basin
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5954640 - 07/04/13 11:40 AM

I just checked the rain gauge and it reads a bit over 1". It was a real soaker and totally unexpected, as the cloud base was pretty high at sunset last night.

Hopefully you'll get some clear skies tonight, Tim.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Chuck Hards]
      #5955477 - 07/05/13 01:09 AM Attachment (7 downloads)

I'm totally socked in tonight. Forecast is for partial cloudy at 5am and sunny most of tomorrow, with partial clouds again beginning around sunset and clearing up toward midnight.

So there may be a chance for tomorrow, but definitely not tonight.

We took my wife's class to Lehman Caves today, and there was a big sign up for a star party put on by the NPS tonight and tomorrow night. They had a couple coronados, a Lunt (I think, but it was black) and a Meade 12" SCT set up for solar right outside the cave entrance. Several of the students and I took a look, and I chatted with the ranger volunteers for a few minutes before we went on our tour of the cave.

By the time we left at about 6pm, it was completely socked in, so they're not observing tonight! ...but nether am I.

So, since I can't take pictures of the sky and we all know what the underside of clouds look like, how about a picture from under a bunch of rocks? With a bloody iPhone, no less!


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956792 - 07/05/13 09:53 PM

I'm going to give it one last shot tonight, before heading home tomorrow.

I actually poked my head outside around 1am last night and saw that there was about 50% clearing, but with thin clouds in most of the holes.

This evening, it's about 50% clear, with patchy thunderboomers in the distance. We got hailed on early this afternoon.

Tonight's forecast went from partly cloudy for an hour or so past sunset to partly cloudy until midnight. But my experience tells me that it's probably worth going down to the site and setting up anyway, just in case. I can always rig down and come back to the house and stare at my eyelids for a few more hours before the drive home.

-Tim.


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Steve_M_M
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/04

Loc: Moorpark, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956858 - 07/05/13 10:51 PM



Can't wait. The images have been amazing. At CSPAMP you and I will have to set up the imaging corner


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: Steve_M_M]
      #5956874 - 07/05/13 11:03 PM

Deal!

Well I got to the site early so I don't have to set up in the dark. My wife and the students went to the nearest movie theater to celebrate their last day in the field. They should be back here within the half hour. I also set up the meade 390 so theres something for them to gee whiz through if im imaging, though they had fun watching me the other night. That is, if theres anything to see.

It looks really bad right now, with maybe a 5% sky sucker hole above the southwest horizon. But maybe we'll see Venus and or Saturn through the sucker hole.

Tim


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Chuck Hards
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/03/10

Loc: The Great Basin
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956881 - 07/05/13 11:06 PM

Tim, I just watched the weather on TV and it looks like you might get a break if you can hold-out just a bit longer. Seems to be clearing in the Milford area, and nothing to the west of you.

Partial clearing up here but another storm is moving in in the next hour or two. This weekend is a total washout for northern Utah.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956889 - 07/05/13 11:10 PM

Well the western sucker hole appears to slowly be growing, though there are high clouds scattered in it. The rest of the sky is bad, particularly to the north where a huge not-quite-thunderhead is hanging. It was calm before but now its starting to get breezy. I hope it isn't the air rushing toward the cloud. Haven't set up the Tak yet. But I will soon before it gets too dark.

Tim


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956896 - 07/05/13 11:15 PM

Okay! I'll hang in there!

It's dark enough twilight now that I should see Venus if there was t one of those horizon hugger clouds that way. I did get to see the sunset though, so maybe Venus will pop out for a bit before it takes that final plunge.

Tim


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Chuck Hards
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/03/10

Loc: The Great Basin
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956898 - 07/05/13 11:16 PM

Patience, I think you'll be rewarded tonight. I'm thinking good thoughts for you.

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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Tak Epsilon 130 in the dark! new [Re: tim53]
      #5956899 - 07/05/13 11:16 PM

Got Venus! Needed to look up a little higher.

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