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  • A Backyard Observatory For Under $500?

    Nov 15 2020 01:33 PM by Gork

    Back in my days as a Quality/Reliability Engineer, we had a motto by which we lived; “Good, cheap, easy……Pick any two”. For this project I chose cheap and easy. I would keep my computer, cameras, and accessories in my den when not in use, and the mount and telescope could stay, semi-permanently situated outside. The search began. Who in the world makes a portable or temporary structure large enough to provide security for a 10” f/4 newtonian riding on a Celestron CGX mount?

  • Musings over Mars

    Nov 15 2020 01:22 PM by TimVerst

    Braved the first frosty forecast of the season Tuesday evening GMT for a couple of hours at the eyepiece under clear South London skies to have a go at sketching the Red Planet before the distance becomes too great.

  • Photoelectric Photometry of Variable Stars - Past and Present

    Nov 15 2020 12:14 PM by Rustler46

    Someone on the Classic Telescopes forum asked me (see reply #3750) to share what I called "another story" of my experience with photoelectric photometry (PEP) of variable stars. I hope this article will encourage others to make such contributions to scientific studies of variable stars. So what follows will largely be what I remember about my experience as a photoelectric photometrist back 1985-90. Many of the concepts and techniques are still valid today. You'll find technology has improved greatly since 1990.


Cloudy Nights Announcements

COVID-19 and impact on our hobby, especially Star parties...

23 Nov 2020
Cloudy Nights recognizes the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our members and their families. We recognize the desire to return to normalcy including star parties and other group gatherings. Cloudy Nights cares about the health and wellbeing of... Full topic ›

Thank a Veteran today!

11 Nov 2020
A big thank you to all of our veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families for the sacrifices made to keep us free and secure!   Full topic ›

User Reviews

  • Review of the Hubble Optics 14 inch, f/4.6 Premium Ultra Light Dobsonian Telescope

    Sep 29 2020 12:35 PM by Chris Westland

    I looked at HO telescopes for some time before purchasing mine. On paper, the design is elegant, and takes advantage of the 6063-T6 aluminum alloy used in all of the telescope’s components. The sandwich mirror is innovative. The upper cage looks more rigid than a flat ring, but without being too heavy. In general the HO telescopes are unique and affordable. I am a previous owner of an Obsession Classic 20", and Dave Kriege’s scope set a standard for what I was expecting from a Dobsonian telescope.

  • My experience with the Starizona Landing Pad

    Aug 29 2020 12:31 PM by emgeesea

    I wanted to provide a review of my experience with a Starizona Landing Pad I recently purchased for my CPC 1100.

  • A quick Review of the MIGHTY MAX 12V 100AH BATTERY

    Aug 29 2020 11:20 AM by skunkwirks

    I would highly recommend this battery for your portable equipment, I am convinced.

  • Nexus II Review

    Aug 29 2020 10:54 AM by xrayvizhen

    SUMMARY: The Nexus II is an outstanding piece of equipment that allows anyone to use their Smartphone or tablet and see where their telescope is precisely pointed. It is an extremely cost effective and easy way for someone to add digital setting circles and a “Push-To” function to just about any telescope.

  • New Moon Telescopes 20”F/3.3 Review

    Aug 23 2020 12:37 PM by ilan_shapira

    This instrument answers to all my requirements from a big dob and is mostly used during my dark site trips. While double stars and planets are not the specialty of this scope, it handles them fairly well, but requires extra good conditions - backyard usage is not optimal as atmospheric disturbances dramatically affect the views. DSOs is where this instrument excels and provides the best performance under dark skies, especially with faint galaxies. During my last dark site session, after the COVID-19 restrictions lifted, I had barely time to observe myself as others lined up to view instead.

  • FIELD TEST OF THE BAADER MAXBRIGHT® II BINOVIEWER

    May 09 2020 01:38 PM by wapaolini

    Overall, using the MaxBright II Binovewer has been a transformative experience for me. I have been binoviewing with my telescopes for well over a decade, but the experience has never been what I would call a pleasant one due to the myriad of quirks I find when using the William Optics Binoviewers. However, with the MaxBright II Binoviewer all the issues I previously encountered are now fully resolved, making my experience binoviewing for the first time entirely enjoyable.

  • My Experience using SkyWatch for the Alphea All Sky Camera from Alcor Systems

    Mar 05 2020 08:17 AM by TeslaTrek

    The Alphea 6CL AllSky Camera is a well-made ruggedized outdoor color camera with equally ruggedized connectors. There is no bubble level to aid vertical alignment. The Alphea camera is very expensive given the accompanying SkyWatch software is not reliable and the user interface not well thought out. The software has the feel of an explorative research project into what can be done with an AllSkyCam. The overall slow performance is unimpressive. I discovered many bugs and quirks. It includes many features, which are not well documented. This along with almost non-existent user support makes for an expensive and frustrating AllSky Camera experience. Given the present state of the software, the user might want to consider AllSkyEye. In summary, given all the issues I found with SkyWatch, I would still look forward to a significant software update because SkyWatch does show much promise.

  • Astroart 7 - A Review and "How To" (Part 1)

    Feb 25 2020 03:29 PM by shadowoo2

    This tutorial/review will be a 2 part series. We will discuss in this series the capturing process from start to finish and then part 2 will delve into the processing of your acquired subs.

  • My experience using two 80-millimeter long-focus refractors

    Dec 13 2019 03:26 PM by caussade

    The Orion and TMB refracting telescopes are both a joy to use, and will undoubtedly stay with me for life. I sometimes get offers to sell but have politely declined; as the reader will suspect, the thought of a sale has never entered my mind.

  • GSO 8-inch TRUE CASSEGRAIN

    Dec 13 2019 02:43 PM by Larry Carlino

    GSO Cass can be regarded as somewhat of a specialist instrument. Its excellent overall optical quality, fine lunar and planetary performance, reasonable size and weight, and bargain price make it a fine choice where sterling deep-sky and rich-field capability are not a priority. It is a good alternative to much pricier 5 to 6-inch apochromatic refractors for both visual and ccd work. In the price- to- performance ratio, I don't see anything in its price range that comes close (except, perhaps for a high-quality long-focus Newtonian [but try to find one!]) as a dedicated lunar and planetary instrument.

  • Celestron Regal 65ED M2

    Oct 16 2019 04:17 PM by Riccardo_italy

    There is at the moment a heated discussion on Cloudynights about spotting scopes. I can only confirm my initial impressions: for a dual day&night scope, a good quality spotting scope is, IMHO, a very good choice. The scope performs nicely also for astronomy, and not only for daytime use. I do not agree with people that says a spotting scope cannot be used for astronomy.

  • Review: The Vixen FL55ss

    Sep 08 2019 11:31 AM by Hesiod

    Overall judge the FL55ss a good product. As a wide field astrograph is very proficient and easy to use, so would suggest it wholeheartedly, even to beginners (usually at this stages apreture does not matter, while the clever Vixen mini-refractor is very user-friendly and, at 300mm, gives a more forgiving sampling than the popular 60-80mm rebranded models).




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