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Observer's Handbook - 2019 Updated Preview

By Tom T


Tom Trusock and Denise Moser takes a look at the upcoming 2019 edition of the RASC Observer's Handbook.


Recent Additions

  • BASIC EXTRAGALACTIC ASTRONOMY - Part 3: Luminosity Corrections, Cosmological Extinction, and Mas...

    Jan 16 2020 08:54 AM by rekokich

    The only primary evidence available to an astronomer about a very remote object consists of photometric measurements, a spectrogram, and an image which is in many cases no more than a pinpoint of light. In this article we present basic cosmological concepts and simplified mathematical methods which allow an amateur to derive from this meager data a surprising number of physical properties of distant extragalactic objects with a precision of several percent within professional results.

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

    Dec 13 2019 02:26 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 01:43 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.



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Cloudy Nights Announcements

Fred Bieler, founder of Astronomics and Owner of Cloudy N...

23 Oct 2019
  It's hard to write with eyes full of tears.   It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must tell you all that my father, Fred Bieler, passed away on October 19th, 2019.    I could go on and tell you that Fred was a vis... Full topic ›

Bid on the Prototype Tele Vue Apollo 11 Eyepiece. 100% O...

13 Sep 2019
The Nagler family has been an institution for the astronomy community since 1977 providing world class optics through their Tele Vue brand.  Their eyepieces and telescopes deliver outstanding views and are reference standards in the field.... Full topic ›

User Reviews

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

    Dec 13 2019 08:26 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 07:43 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 09:17 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 04:31 PM 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).

  • PrimaLuceLab Eagle Review

    Jul 29 2019 08:22 PM by chriscorkill

    After using the Eagle for about three years I can comfortably say I would purchase this product all over again. Seeing the product in person and being able to hold it in my hand really helped with my decision to make my purchases with PrimaLuceLab. With it's ease of use, safety, customer support and conveniences, I say that this is a winner in my book. I would give this product a 9/10 stars.

  • interstellarum Deep Sky Guide Desk Edition

    Feb 03 2019 06:09 PM by Ray Cash

    I’ve long preferred to have images—and/or drawings--of deep sky objects near my atlas, observing list, and, of course, my telescope. David J. Eicher’s The Universe from Your Backyard (1988) was an early, well-loved companion of mine, as was Burnham’s Celestial Handbook. So was the self-published 1994 John C. Vickers’ Deep Space CCD Atlas: North (and South). Vickers’ CCD atlases are images only, and rather primitive ones by today’s standards; but the atlases were not meant to be a compilation of ‘pretty pictures’; but rather a source of black and white images of interesting deep-sky objects that amateurs might want to hunt down with their warm, moist eyes, or sub-ambient-temperature imaging equipment. Enter the above masterpiece!

  • Chronicling the Golden Age of Astronomy: A History of Visual Observing from Harriot to Moore by...

    Feb 03 2019 03:09 PM by Piechowski2

    Chronicling the Golden Age of Astronomy: A History of Visual Observing from Harriot to Moore is a good-read for “we stargazers” and telescopists of a mellowed age. As winter approaches, I can imagine myself re-reading the hard cover version of this book, sitting in my soft recliner, snuggled into a warm throw with my dog on my lap and a steaming cup of hot chocolate or tea on the lamp stand alongside, as the snow drifts down or as the bright stars of the winter constellatory asterism appear outside my window.

  • Omegon Mini Track LX2 Review

    Feb 05 2019 03:27 PM by project nightflight

    The Mini Track LX2 is a small camera tracker that provides 60 minutes of tracking time. It was developed by Italian astrophotographer Christian Fattinnanzi and is distributed by Omegon. The device stands out among the other available sky trackers, since it is driven by a mechanical clock that needs no electrical power source. Besides that, it brings another innovation: To compensate for the camera weight, it features a spring mechanism that helps to stabilize the tracking rate.

  • Review of the APM 152 ED serial number 245

    Dec 24 2018 05:42 PM by hfjacinto

    So here are my thoughts. No matter how much you paid for a premium triplet, on most objects the 152MM can keep up with it. If you want to see no false color and need your ego stroked because the scope is not expensive, don't buy the APM. Get a TAK/TEC/AP, you'll feel better about yourself. If you consider the value, this scope is just an excellent buy. It’s like the EON version of the SW150. You get a better focuser/case/sliding dew shield/rings/ and a much prettier scope.

  • THE BURGESS 24MM MODIFIED ERFLE & 10MM ULTRAMONO

    Dec 24 2018 05:04 PM by wapaolini

    The Burgess 24mm Modified Erfle and 10mm Ultra Monocentric eyepieces are relatively new offerings from Burgess Optical. The Ultra Monocentric has been long promised so nice to see it finally coming to fruition.

  • APM 140mm DOUBLET APO REFRACTOR

    Sep 10 2018 01:44 PM by Larry Carlino

    Some two dozen observing sessions and direct comparisons with instruments of known quality have convinced me that this APM 140ED is indeed an excellent telescope. It is well built, nicely finished, and it boasts very fine optical quality. In addition, its relatively light weight and short tube length allows the effective use of a mid-size equatorial or alt-azimuth mount. It has almost the punch of a 6-inch refractor in a package that is clearly more portable.

  • Comparison of the Boltwood II and Sky Alert Cloud Sensors

    Jun 09 2018 11:42 AM by theastroimager

    This review is a side-by-side comparison of the Boltwood II Cloud Sensor from Diffraction Limited/Cynagon , and the SkyAlert Cloud Sensor from Interactive Astronomy. Both units were purchased new by the author. The sellers were not made aware that I would be doing a review of their products, so no temptation was held to send me anything other than a typical unit.




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