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The Skies of December, 2023

Dec 07 2023 11:30 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, December Moon Focus Constellations: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cygnus, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Gemini, Auriga, Perseus, Andromeda, Pegasus, Pisces, Aries, Taurus

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Cosmic Challenge: NGC 51 Galaxy Group

Dec 01 2023 07:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Of the dozens of galaxy groups scattered around the autumn sky, the 136-million-light-year-distant NGC 51 group is one of the more difficult bunches to spot. Although they are not listed among Paul Hickson's compact galaxy groups, the six galaxies here are ideally placed near the zenith in early December evenings for observers at mid-northern latitudes. Its high altitude carries the group far enough above any horizon-hugging interferences that might spoil some of our other challenges.

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Celestron CGE Pro Equatorial Mount: Replacing The Internal Battery

Dec 01 2023 07:00 AM | Carolina Observer in Articles

I’ve been having to reset the time or clock on my Celestron CGE-Pro equatorial mount before observing. I just recently found out from others, there is a CR2025 battery that requires changing from time to time.

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Review of the 20” f/3.4 Reginato Supermaser

Dec 01 2023 07:00 AM | davidefg in User Reviews

It is difficult to find downsides for such a telescope. There are certainly some aspects that can be improved, as I pointed out in the review, but overall it is a jewel. The best proof is that since I have it I used the Takahashi four times: twice to compare it to the Supermaser and twice for observations with friends (one of them broke his leg and couldn’t reach the eyepiece with the Supermaser).

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Newtonian Reflections

Dec 01 2023 07:00 AM | bmwscopeguy in Articles

The Newtonian reflector was what most of us either started with and/or grew up with. But somewhere along the way, it got replaced by sexier SCTs and refractors… and seems to have fallen out of favor, and perhaps for all the wrong reasons.

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The Skies of November, 2023

Nov 06 2023 09:43 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, November Moon Focus Constellations: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Auriga, Taurus, Perseus, Andromeda, Pegasus, Cygnus

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North Star Equatorial Platform

Nov 01 2023 05:04 AM | Feidb in User Reviews

If you’ve got a light scope and don’t mind the gross lack of precision, this might be the platform for you, but I wouldn’t use anything larger than a 12, and that’s pushing it, if you can even get it undamaged right out of the box. I’ve heard other stories of it working fine especially if tweaked, but in my experience it was an expensive failed lesson.

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Cosmic Challenge: NGC 7354

Nov 01 2023 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Of the constellations that line the autumn Milky Way, King Cepheus, the king of Aethiopia in Greek mythology, is trod upon by relatively few amateur astronomers. While this is most likely because the constellation's brightest stars are faint compared to his wife, Queen Cassiopeia, the King has many royal deep-sky subjects is his own right that merit a look, including this month's challenge.

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Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ

Nov 01 2023 05:00 AM | bmwscopeguy in User Reviews

Bottom line: They’re worthless – don’t buy one. If someone gives you one, put it in the garbage and cut them out of your will. They put out so much good astro gear. I can only think that this scope and other bargain basement scopes must fall under a different division. But I suppose as long as Walmart, Costco and the rest of the retailers can sell them to an unsuspecting public – it will continue. Celestron should be embarrassed to sell this scope. I can only wonder how many budding astronomists have been turned off by scopes like these?

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Time to Lighten Up

Nov 01 2023 05:00 AM | Gork in Articles

I recently relocated to a new house that happens to be closer to town (Tucson, AZ) because of my age and health. Among other things, this move signaled the need for a smaller scope and mount. After years of multiple telescope designs and exotic mounts, I am now officially an “old guy” with a combination of hardware suitable to last until I become that well known computer geek enjoying what everybody else was doing while munching my pizza in my warm recliner watching YouTubers that were still “doing” and not just “watching”.

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