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Cosmic Challenge: Seyfert's Sextet

Jul 06 2020 03:00 PM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Seyfert's Sextet, known to many as Hickson Compact Galaxy Group 79, is a tight gathering of galaxies in the northern corner of Serpens Caput. Serpens Caput is the western segment of this bisected constellation, marking the triangular head of the serpent that Ophiuchus is handling. Observing Seyfert's Sextet has been one of my pet projects for years. It's a fun little galactic rat pack for summer outings before we plunge headlong into the summer Milky Way.

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June - July Skies

Jul 06 2020 02:38 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Summer Solstice, Planet Plotting, June/July Moon Focus Constellations: Leo, Coma Berenices, Bootes, Ursa Major, Draco, Ursa Minor, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cygnus, Aquila, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Hercules, Corona Borealis

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Some Useability Improvements for Celestron 8” EdgeHD and Similar Telescopes

Jun 22 2020 10:16 AM | tom_fowler in Articles

Everyone who has worked with the Celestron 8” EdgeHD telescope, and I’m sure other 8” SCTs, knows their useability problems: (1) the scope is difficult to focus, and (2) the screw-on diagonal provided by Celestron is difficult to tighten enough to prevent eyepiece rotation, and when it is tight enough, very difficult to loosen. I worked on these problems for some time, and have come up with what I believe are very worthwhile improvements.

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Jun 22 2020 09:40 AM | LB Myers in Articles

Back in 2002, a friend gave me an old 8” Criterion Newtonian, circa 1963, as a wedding gift. It was in a questionable, but useable state. I set it up a few times but for the most part, it sat in storage. I did discover back then that it had an old Cave mirror and not the original Criterion mirror. When collimated, the images were outstanding. Fast forward 15 years and plus one son. I decided that I would fix up the old Criterion for his 10th birthday.

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SubframeSelector Weighting Tool (SWT), v 1.0.0

Jun 22 2020 07:43 AM | Aworonow in Articles

This document describes a user-friendly spreadsheet designed to assist in the comprehensive, methodical assignment of relative weights to subframes. The tool, named the “SubframeSelector Weighting Tool” (SWT), interacts with PixInsight’s SubframeSelector script, serving both as the source of its inputs and as the recipient of its weighting-equation output. We explain the rationale for the approach implemented within SWT and the procedural steps required to generate its weighting-equation output.

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Cosmic Challenge: Rupes Recta (Straight Wall), Huygen's Sword, Birt, and Rima Birt

Jun 01 2020 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

What is your favorite lunar feature? Maybe it's the mighty craters Copernicus or Tycho. Or could it be the historic Sea of Tranquility? Perhaps you enjoy visiting the rugged southern highlands around Clavius, or the Apennine and Alp Mountains. If I had to come up with my favorite target, it would have to be a far more modest sight. I always enjoy looking for and at the Straight Wall.

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Low Cost Deep Sky Astrophotography

May 12 2020 04:05 PM | the Elf in Articles

Now that my 50th birthday is near I am able to buy what in my eyes is a decent astro photography rig. Many CNers are in the same shoes now as I was then, especially in the current COVID crisis when salary is reduced or people even lose their jobs. Having plenty of time it is, of course, the right thing to do something and not just hang around. Being thrilled about a topic obviously causes people to accept a lot of compromises. In this article I would like to show possible ways to get into this hobby even with a very low budget. More importantly I would like to show what limitations come with low priced equipment and hopefully save someone from great disappointment when the first image is processed.

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30 years into the Void: A History of the Hubble Space Telescope

May 09 2020 02:26 PM | JoeR in Articles

On August 24, 1990 the Space Shuttle Discovery embarked on mission STS-31 which deployed a very special payload into orbit: a $1.5 billion Ritchey–Chrétien astrograph known as the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). It was equipped with a 2.4m primary mirror and 57600mm of focal length. HST was the first of its kind, a visual light reflector telescope operating outside of the Earth’s atmosphere giving it a clear, undistorted view of the Universe.

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May 09 2020 01:56 PM | LB Myers in Articles

All in all, the project took about a year and a half. There were times when I wondered if I would ever finish it. The optics turned out to be better than expected. Views of the planets and moon are just what you would expect from a classic Cave 10” F-6. When I have taken it to a dark sky location the deep space views were fabulous. It was a very worthwhile project.

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May 09 2020 12:27 PM | BillP in User Reviews

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.

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