Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

A Newbie's Early Observation Log - Join me!

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
9204 replies to this topic

#51 M57Guy

M57Guy

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 965
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2015
  • Loc: a yellow submarine

Posted 21 July 2015 - 11:33 PM

Nice report nickajeglin,

 

I wish (1) I was camping, and (2) it wasn’t cloudy here.


 

#52 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 22 July 2015 - 11:11 AM

I am using 10X50 binoculars and like the grab and go, quick nature of binoculars.  For those using similar binoculars, I tried out a pair of 15X70s at a camera store yesterday.  48 ounces.   I was able to step outside the store to view the sky and some distant items.  Not too bad to hold for a short period but I would want to brace my arms, use a monopod resting on something or a tripod for any long viewings.  Still, well within the range of hand holdable for short viewings or quick grab and go.  Or something more convenient than a telescope for trips or vacations where you might want to have something and a scope would be too inconvenient.   Did not buy them but thinking about it.

 

This is what I tried - Meade 15X70 - $120

http://www.amazon.co...5X70 binoculars

 

Also looking at Celestron which are about 1/3 cheaper and come with a tripod adapter - $80

http://www.amazon.co...QWNKZ03V4C900XJ

 

Less expensive still are these Barshka 15X70 that come with tripod adapter and a mini tripod. - $52

http://www.amazon.co...PGESMNDWV3GB3XQ

 

I have seen various positive reports on the Celestron 15X70s.  Have not seen reports on the others.  I am tempted to take a chance with the Barshka for $50. through Amazon since they have such a great return policy.  If I was considering $120 I would probably put that toward a telescope.

 

Considering the 10X50s I am using now are $20 and work well, I am sure these would probably be adequate till I make a commitment to a telescope.

 

Any experience with these binoculars among the folks in this thread?

 

 

Found this great article on eyepieces that may be of interest.  it explains their function and talks about the various types.

http://members.shaw....ience/opt04.htm

 

 

 

Oh, and I am so excited!  I am going to an observation night with one of the local clubs.  Spoke today with the club president.   This is going to be soooo cool!  I will definitely report back for the team here.   I can't wait! 


Edited by aeajr, 22 July 2015 - 11:44 AM.

 

#53 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 22 July 2015 - 03:14 PM

Interesting Telescope simulator.   You pick the scope, the eyepiece and the target and it shows what that would look like in the eyepiece.   Have no idea how accurate it is so perhaps the knowledgeable people on this thread can comment.  Does not seem to adjust for aperature so they all seem equally bright.   Just a matter of how much of the eyepiece is filled.  Mars is tiny!

http://www.12dstring...e=Omegon LE 5mm


Edited by aeajr, 22 July 2015 - 03:39 PM.

 

#54 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 99,655
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 22 July 2015 - 06:03 PM

If you haven't seen it already, you may find my post at http://www.cloudynig...ur-astronomers/ (#22) useful. Part of it contains information on binocular observing.

 

Dave Mitsky


 

#55 bosox1002

bosox1002

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 13 Jul 2015

Posted 22 July 2015 - 10:20 PM

Wow! Finally got to test my Pentax 10x50s I picked up last weekend after the clouds cleared after what seems like two weeks of overcast. And I was stunned by how many stars I could see when using them! I was able to see saturn and use that as a guide to locate the libra constellation and guessed that I saw the star Vega overhead as well. But really, it seemed like there were 10 extra stars for every one I saw with the naked eye.
 

#56 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 22 July 2015 - 10:47 PM

Observation Night with the Astronomical Society of Long Island

http://www.asliclub....Telescopes.html

 

Arrived at 8 pm, still quite light out, but already there must have been 15 scopes set up and more coming out of cars.  Big ones and little ones.  Refractors and reflectors and every kind of mount.   What a great evening.

 

The main targets were the moon and Saturn with people hopping all around the sky as it got darker, finding other targets.  But this was not a dark site. This was next to the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium.    http://www.vanderbil...um.org/mansion/

 

There were lights on the building so it was not all that dark.  But the main observation targets were away from the building.

 

I saw 4-12" Dobsonians, 90 mm to 8" refractors.   A mix of SCTs from 5 to 11 inches and a few Newtonians from 3" to about 7".  One was home made of plywood.

 

I saw an 8" truss refractor on an equatorial mount.  Basically looked a lot like a truss dobsonian but it was long and skinny.  Great view.

 

One kid, maybe 14 was the owner of a 12" Dobsonian, don't recall the make,.  He was a wizard at finding things in the sky.  He would swing that scope around, take a look in the finder and he was on it in seconds.   He was very happy to help me.

 

I watched one person with a 5" celestron go to with GPS.  Pretty cool the way that worked.  I think it was similar to this

http://www.celestron...rized-telescope

 

 

One little girl had a Celestron First Scope, 3",  that a friend gave her.  I did not get to see in that one.

http://www.celestron...scope-telescope

 

There was a fellow with a Celestron CPC 1100.  Big scope and brilliant views but he said he was sorry he bought it because it was so heavy. The Scope and the mount head weigh 75 pounds and he has trouble handling it by himself.

http://www.celestron...rized-telescope

 

Saw a bunch of Sky-watcher scopes, a lot of Celestrons and then a mix of other makes.

 

I even pulled out my Sears Telescope and tried it on Saturn.   Nope!  Could not see the rings.  Just a fuzzy blob so I could tell it was not a star but that was about it.  Not sharp at all.   Saturn looked better in my binoculars.

 

General impressions.  

 

From the smallest to the biggest, Saturn was not very big.  I was quite surprised.  Even on the 12" dob with an 8 mm eyepiece Saturn was pretty small.  You could see 5 moons as dots of light.  Very cool but much smaller than I expected.  The best view was in the 8" refractor at about 200 mag, but even then it was not that big.  But you could clearly see the rings, the moons and the separation in the rings.

 

The detail that could be seen in the craters of the moon was good on all the scopes and spectacular in all the scopes over 5".  Again that 8" refractor (one of his many scopes) was the best.

 

I also got to try a 20X80 set of binoculars on a tripod.  Great view of the moon but you could not resolve the rings of Saturn with it.  You could tell it was not a star but that was about it.

 

I was able to try a pair of Celestron 15X70s.   Much better than my 10X50s.   Heavier but not so much that I could not hold them, but the shake which is a bother with my 10X50s is much more pronounced with the 15X70s.   Again, Saturn's rings could not be resolved.  I looked at a double star with my 10X50 and could see they were a double but with the 15X70s the separation was much more pronounced and you could see one was white and one was more blue.

 

My wife came with me.  She took a look through a couple.   Not really interested.   But she was asking where I had decided what I wanted to buy.  I told her no, but she kept discussing it with me.  I told her of the strong recommendations for a Dob from many while others prefer the computerized scopes due to light pollution as they could find things that would be hard to find by star hopping.  She was open to the computerized scopes even at the higher prices.   So, if I decide to go that way it is good to know she is supportive.  That was the best result of the evening.

 

Go to an observation with the local club.  It will be a great experience. 


Edited by aeajr, 23 July 2015 - 11:40 PM.

 

#57 nickajeglin

nickajeglin

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 40
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2015

Posted 22 July 2015 - 10:56 PM

If you haven't seen it already, you may find my post at http://www.cloudynig...ur-astronomers/ (#22) useful. Part of it contains information on binocular observing.

 

Dave Mitsky

 

Dave, that thread has been a huge help to me already. It turned me on to the astro league observing programs. I'm not filling out the sheets yet, but I've gone through the binocular messier program and found each of them on my charts, and am working through them in an informal way, mostly based on convenience from my sites. 

 

The detailed star hopping tips are great too. At first I had no idea what to look for, but after following a few of your instructions, I found it's much easier to work out my own "hops". 


 

#58 SeaBee1

SeaBee1

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,257
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2015
  • Loc: Under the DFW light barrier

Posted 27 July 2015 - 05:04 PM

Hi Ed

 

Here are some pics of me and my granddaughter on my granddaughter's first night at the telescope. My wife took the pics. We arrived at 20:35 at a hill outside the city where we live and began a brief collimation excercise, and then aligned the TELRAD on a distant cell tower. We were able to view Venus in crescent, Luna at half moon stage. My granddaughter loved it! Unfortunately, she did not love the location! (There is a cemetery located nearby!) An iphone 5 with an adapter to fit on the eyepiece was used to grab the pics. We also got Saturn, but that pic is just ugly! The image was sharp in the eyepiece, we were able to see the Cassini division and some banding on the planet, but the iphone just couldn't focus well on it. Ah well, better luck next time...

 

Hannah%20and%20Opa_zpsupnuldad.png

 

Hannah%20at%20the%20eyepiece%201_zpspg8j

 

Viewing Venus right after sunset...^^^

 

 

Half%20moon%201_zpsqfdencgb.png

 

Luna came out pretty good... ^^^

 

Saturn%202_zps3jdyaegu.png

 

Saturn, not so much... ^^^, but we had fun!

 

Best regards!

 

CB


 

#59 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 27 July 2015 - 05:41 PM

That's great.   I envy you  getting to do this with your daughter.   These will be some of her best memories.  Cherish these moments together.  They grow up so fast, but they do remember.


 

#60 SeaBee1

SeaBee1

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,257
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2015
  • Loc: Under the DFW light barrier

Posted 28 July 2015 - 08:27 AM

Went out again last night with my oldest son and his 2 sons. Got a better shot of Saturn, but I left the image small, since blowing it up makes it become just a big blob. This image was with an iPhone 4S, using the 6" reflector with a 9mm lens, giving a magnification of 132x. My grandsons (ages 6, and 4) were wowed, and didn't want me or their dad to "get in their way", they became real eyepiece hogs!

 

We tried to split some doubles, but were unsuccessful, not enough magnification I am thinking.

 

Anyway, here is a better Saturn pic (it is small, but it looked great in the eyepiece, we were able to see the Cassini division, one of Saturn's moons (Titan I think?) and were able to see banding on the planet, which was a light tan color against the white color of the planet. I am amazed at what this little 6" f/8 is doing! All in all, another very pleasant evening under the stars...

 

Saturn%207-27-2015_zps39ikamwp.png


 

#61 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 29 July 2015 - 07:03 AM

Things have been busy so no extensive observing reports.   But each time I walk out the door in the evening, if the sky is clear I try to identify my touch point stars and asterisms.   Vega, Deneb, Altair, Summer Triangle, Northern Cross, Big dipper and such.  I recite the names of the stars I now.

 

Last night I was putting the trash out and, low and behold, a mostly clear sky.   Grabbed the binoculars for a quick look at the half moon, stars and basically just looking around the sky.   15 minutes but I enjoyed it.

 

I find I am having a lot of trouble translating the position of stars and formations on flat Planisphere, star charts and the like to the actual positions in the sky.   I look at the charts and see that the big dipper should be here, but when I look there I don't see it, it is over there. 

 

This is part of the reason I have focused in on these easily identified asterisms.   Kinda like the way a Celestron SE6 aligns.  Find me 3 stars and I can start to orient myself.  

 

The problem is when I am looking for something new.   I see where it is on the chart, but how does that translate to the sky.   Need some work on this as I think I am looking in the wrong direction when I am looking for new things.

 

All in time.


Edited by aeajr, 29 July 2015 - 07:10 AM.

 

#62 ron2k_1

ron2k_1

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 417
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Belize, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Virgo Supercluster

Posted 29 July 2015 - 01:29 PM

Things have been busy so no extensive observing reports.   But each time I walk out the door in the evening, if the sky is clear I try to identify my touch point stars and asterisms.   Vega, Deneb, Altair, Summer Triangle, Northern Cross, Big dipper and such.  I recite the names of the stars I now.

 

Last night I was putting the trash out and, low and behold, a mostly clear sky.   Grabbed the binoculars for a quick look at the half moon, stars and basically just looking around the sky.   15 minutes but I enjoyed it.

 

I find I am having a lot of trouble translating the position of stars and formations on flat Planisphere, star charts and the like to the actual positions in the sky.   I look at the charts and see that the big dipper should be here, but when I look there I don't see it, it is over there. 

 

This is part of the reason I have focused in on these easily identified asterisms.   Kinda like the way a Celestron SE6 aligns.  Find me 3 stars and I can start to orient myself.  

 

The problem is when I am looking for something new.   I see where it is on the chart, but how does that translate to the sky.   Need some work on this as I think I am looking in the wrong direction when I am looking for new things.

 

All in time.

Here in the Caribbean, we are on full blown hurricane season, so it's cloudy and hazy all the time - humidity to the max.  It should clear a bit for Aug and Sept and bit.  By mid-Sep, the convection shifts to northern central America, so we (Belize) will be on path of all systems.  So that means, more rain and more cloudyness.  Plus, my mount came broken, and the Alt-Az mount I bought is useless for astronomy, so my astroviewing is limited to planisphere and naked eye viewing on a light polluted Belize City (White/Orange zone).

 

Which planisphere do you have?  Is it made for your longitude range?  Remember that you need to turn the outer hourly ring to the specific date.  Then you need to put the planisphere upside down (south on top), then place it horizontally above your head and to point the center (usually a hole) to Polaris.  For your location, polaris will be due north and 41 degrees up.  Mine works good, sort of; light pollution and buildings everywhere is my biggest grip and turnoff.

 

I'll load Sky Safary Pro on my iPad, but I'm waiting to see if there will be a sale anytime soon on it.  $40 quids is a bit too rich for my blood after spending thousands on new equipment.


Edited by ron2k_1, 29 July 2015 - 01:31 PM.

 

#63 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 31 July 2015 - 09:30 PM

As you have figured out by now I am a rabid researcher. 

 

I am itching to get something as a step-up from my binoculars. I found a whole bunch of reviews for the Orion 80mm GoScope and most of them are pretty good.  So I am feeling I might want to get it as a first upgrade to the 10X50 binoculars.  I was going to get 15X70 Celestrons but they will be hard to hold and I am not going to get a big parallelogram tripod.  So I am thinking a small fast refractor might be a good idea as a next step.  And a lot of people say these little refractors in the 80 mm get a lot of use even when they have larger scopes.

 

For anyone who is interested.

 

Orion 80 mm Table top – $129 – Overall good reviews
Amazon.com : Orion 10013 GoScope 80mm TableTop Refractor Telescope (Burgundy) : Refracting Telescopes : Camera & Photo

 

home made camera adapter
https://www.youtube....h?v=iv3OAmYSyls

 

These are pretty positive, and many of these have other scopes.
Orion GoScope 80mm TableTop Refractor Telescope | Orion Telescopes

 

Sky and Telescope review – very favorable
http://www.skyandtel...opes-review.pdf

 

First light review
http://www.astronomy...ght-report.html

 

Starry Night Education
Starry Night® Times - January 2010

 

 

Observation Tonight

I was out food shopping with my wife, but I was thinking about tonight's blue moon.  So when we got home we brought in the groceries.   Then I pulled out a folding chair, my binoculars and my old sears 60 mm scope. 

 

I am really trying to find something good about the old sears scope but it just ain't got what it takes.   Maybe it has degraded with age or maybe it was never much good.   I was a kid when I got it, what did I know.  Even trained on the bight moon, using the 15X setting focus was poor and focus  seemed to wander as I looked through the scope.  I could get it to soft focus at the 30X setting.  The image was larger but there was little detail.

There was CA all around the moon but frankly it does not bother me at all.   I don't see any CA in my 10X50 cheapo binoculars.  And the image is much more crisp if not as big.

I also got a real taste of narrow FOV vs. wide FOV.   The Telescope has a much more narrow FOV than the binoculars and though the image was smaller in the binoculars I liked it better.

I may get that GoScope.  I really like the small format and the mini Dobsonian type mount.   I can see me using it for years as a real grab and go adjunct to the binoculars even after I get the larger scope, whatever that might be.  I could set it up on a folding table, on the hood of the car, a rock or on the tripod.  It is just so darn cute.  :D

 

The moon looked great with the binoculars but I am itching for something with more aperture and a 90 degree star angle on a mount.  

 

Just hanging around looking up.

Hope you have clear skies.


Edited by aeajr, 31 July 2015 - 09:31 PM.

 

#64 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 02 August 2015 - 11:14 PM

Telescope(s)

 

So I had binoculars and an old sears telescope that is going to likely be thrown out.  I was all set to get the Orion GoTo scope but really started to see the limitations so I kept looking.  I found the Meade ETX80, $230 at Amazon.  Lots of good reviews.  Full GoTo.  So yesterday I decided to pull the trigger and ordered it.

http://www.amazon.co...ds=Meade ETX 80

 

In case you are interested - ETX80 reviews
http://telescopes.to...-tc-review.html
http://www.amazon.co...iews/B000BTPVHW
http://www.opticspla...de-etx70at.html
http://www.scopeview...uk/MeadeETX.htm

 

 

Today I happen to be talking to a friend and mentioned this new interest in astronomy.   Out comes a 76mm Tasco Newtonian telescope that had belonged to her father.   She said no one will ever use it, I should take it.   Wouldn't take any money for it.    This is an old scope but in good condition.   I can't find any real info on it but it seems to be almost identical to the Orion’s 3-inch Altaz Reflector.  Only problem is that the only eyepiece is a high mag 2.5 mm so sighting the scope s hard.  Will be much better with a 25 mm eyepiece.

http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B00D05BKP6

 

So I went ffrom no real working telescope to a 76 mm Newtonian and an 80 mm goto refractor in one weekend. 

New toys.

 

 

Observation

 

I took the Tasco Newtonian out to get the scope and the finder scope aligned.  I used the moon as my target.  Due to the high mag of the eyepiece the moon filled the entire eyepiece.   Sky was somewhat hazy so could not get a sharp focus. I did also point it at some stars.  I was able to get sharp focus.  But the FOV is so small with this eyepiece that it was hard to tell if I was pointed at the right star.  And the finder scope is not perfectly aligned yet.   This will take some time.

 

With two new scopes I should start getting to see some more interesting things.  And the ETX 80 has a tour feature that will take you through interesting sights from your location.  That should be fun.

 

Clear skies to everyone.


 

#65 ron2k_1

ron2k_1

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 417
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Belize, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Virgo Supercluster

Posted 03 August 2015 - 12:18 AM

Congo-ratz on the purchase and gift. I wish I had friends that would give me inherited scopes :D

 

Did you buy any eyepieces for the ETX? I assume it comes with 1.25" 90° Prizm. Find out if you can upgrade it to a 2" dielectric mirror and start amassing those 2" eyepieces. You'll get some serious wide field views with that.  You're cheating yourself if you have a refractor with 1.25" EPS. You can always keep the 2" diagonal and 2" EPS for your future scopes.

 

Align the newt to a fixed terrestrial object like a cell tower or the like that's at least 0.5 miles away. Fir that you need a 25 or thereabouts mm EP.

 

Enjoy your new toys.


 

#66 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 03 August 2015 - 07:07 AM

The ETX comes with a 9mm and a 26 mm eyepiece.  I don't think I need to go to a 2" eyepiece for an 80mm scope.   BTW the ETX has a built in flip barlo to double the mag on each of these.

 

I think the Tasco has a .96 eyepiece so I will likely get an .96 to 1.25 adapter so I can use the 1.25 ETX eyepieces with the Tasco  Will confirm when the ETS arrives this week.


 

#67 ron2k_1

ron2k_1

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 417
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Belize, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Virgo Supercluster

Posted 03 August 2015 - 01:14 PM

The ETX comes with a 9mm and a 26 mm eyepiece.  I don't think I need to go to a 2" eyepiece for an 80mm scope.   BTW the ETX has a built in flip barlo to double the mag on each of these.

 

I think the Tasco has a .96 eyepiece so I will likely get an .96 to 1.25 adapter so I can use the 1.25 ETX eyepieces with the Tasco  Will confirm when the ETS arrives this week.

TFoV on refractors are determined by the field stop of focusers. But I think you're right. I don't think this specific 80mm refrac can have the focuser upgraded to a 2"

http://cdn.shopify.c...727be5653f.jpeg

 

You should really look into upgrading the 0.965 focuser on the gift telescope.  The adapter will work, but no matter what type of EP you use, the focuser on that scope will bump you back down 0.965 opening.


 

#68 Stargezzer

Stargezzer

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 811
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Catalina Mountains AZ

Posted 03 August 2015 - 10:20 PM

Hello Ed. I have been keeping a computer journal of everything I do in regard to my astronomy hobby. I document every session. I describe everything I do and didn't do, what my goals were and my results. I also plan out what I want towork on next time. I add in my images good and bad with data on each. The new imaging programs are great for documenting your settings and provide excellent references. I keep track of what I purchase and why. This years journal is now up to 50 pages (12,000 words + images). This also helps me critique myself and I can always go back and find useful notes if I need details. I'm afraid if I don't keep track I will forget things which is becoming a regular event as I get older. I find it to be very gratifying to read over past sessions. I also document my work with processing and other computer programs I use. Being a retired Entomologist I have always kept copious records so this has been very easy for me. It is also something you can give the grand kids...may make grand dad look like a nerd when they are young but they will be impressed when they get older.

Good luck

George
 

#69 M57Guy

M57Guy

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 965
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2015
  • Loc: a yellow submarine

Posted 04 August 2015 - 12:40 AM

So I had binoculars and an old sears telescope that is going to likely be thrown out.

Hello Ed,

 

Don't toss your ol' Sears scope just yet. Its from the 60's, right?

 

This summer we had 3 generations viewing through my father's 1950's vintage 50mm refractor. They don't make stuff like that anymore, and memories like that are even harder to come by. You might one day look fondly at that little refractor (parked next to your 30" dob, 5" APO and 12" SCT) as your "first scope".

 

At the very least, you could donate the scope. Someone would love it.

 

I have a soft spot for rescued scopes. Does it show? ;)

 

M57Guy


 

#70 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 04 August 2015 - 05:51 AM

Hello Ed. I have been keeping a computer journal of everything I do in regard to my astronomy hobby. I document every session. I describe everything I do and didn't do, what my goals were and my results. I also plan out what I want towork on next time. I add in my images good and bad with data on each. The new imaging programs are great for documenting your settings and provide excellent references. I keep track of what I purchase and why. This years journal is now up to 50 pages (12,000 words + images). This also helps me critique myself and I can always go back and find useful notes if I need details. I'm afraid if I don't keep track I will forget things which is becoming a regular event as I get older. I find it to be very gratifying to read over past sessions. I also document my work with processing and other computer programs I use. Being a retired Entomologist I have always kept copious records so this has been very easy for me. It is also something you can give the grand kids...may make grand dad look like a nerd when they are young but they will be impressed when they get older.

Good luck

George


That is great George. Sounds like you are not really a newbie at all. Sound like you have been doing this a while.
 

#71 Stargezzer

Stargezzer

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 811
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Catalina Mountains AZ

Posted 05 August 2015 - 04:11 PM

Ed I guess you would be correct about me being a newbie. I started 54 years ago with a small refractor scope my dad bought for my 10th birthday. I dabbled with various scopes over the years but college and then my career and another stint in college took almost all my time. It has only been over the last 8 years that I have had the time to pursue this hobby. I kept a hand written journal in the past but the computer version is so much better. My hand writing and drawings look like cave paintings by comparison. I am having a lot of fun with astronomy in general and  imaging in particular.

 

Thanks for starting this thread. The input has been very interesting.

 

 

George


 

#72 Fark

Fark

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 81
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2015
  • Loc: Sherbrooke, Quebec

Posted 06 August 2015 - 02:19 PM

One thing I learned was that my eyes take a long time to fully adjust to the dark. Even as I was looking at the sky, stars seem to appear from nowhere. Even in the binoculars, as I was looking at a star it seemed like other stars were becoming more visible. Nothing much accomplished but getting my 

 

Another thing that could account for this is "averted Vision". I believe it to do with most of the cones in your eye being in the centre and most of the rods being around the edges. During the night rods pick up most of the light while cones aren't as sensitive. You can use averted vision to view things you may otherwise have trouble seeing. It is a technique that you should learn to use to your advantage. Look it up and then try some experiments on your next outing.

 

Advice from one beginner to another. 

 

cheers and clear skies.

 

-Mark


 

#73 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 09 August 2015 - 10:44 PM

Got the Meade ETX 80 working tonight and this thing is cool!   I had it out last night but there was so much cloud cover that I could not tell if it was finding the correct stars or not.  I did release the clutches and do some manual viewing but as the clouds rolled over I gave up and put it away.

 

Tonight was very different.  It took me a couple of tries to get it aligned.  I don't think I was setting it up properly but now I can do it easily in the dark.  Once the scope is aligned it will take you to the stars and things you want to see. It does a real good job of finding things.  They are not always perfectly in the center of the eyepiece, but close enough on 15X.  Then I center them and can switch to the high power 40X or flip in a 2X barlow for 80X. 

 

First benefit was to confirm that the stars I thought I knew I did know.  And I finally got to see Saturn.  At 15X there was no clear evidence of rings but at 40X, there is was, a little bitty Saturn floating out there in space.  And at 80X, using a flip barlo I could see more detail.  Unfortunately the scope was pointing very close to a street light so I am not sure how much that diminished the view.   I pulled out the 10X50 binoculars.  I could see it there but could not tell it was not a star.

 

And I finally saw Albiero as a double star.   In the 10X50 binoculars I could not tell it was a double.   Even at 15X in the Meade it was not obviously a double star but at 40X it was clear there were two stars of two different colors. 

 

At one point I set it no Deneb then went in the house to get a drink.   After about 10 minutes I went back out and the scope was still tracking deneb.  Cool!

 

Tonight was mostly about exploring the features of the scope and getting used to using the GoTo features.  It has a really neat Tour feature.  It formulates a list interesting things in tonight's sky.  It starts with bright items, like Vega and Albiero and works its way to dimmer and dimmer things.   It included some of the bright stars but it also included some star clusters and it tried to show me the Dumbell Nebulea,  but either the scope is too small or there was just to much light pollution as I could not see this one.

 

I did not make a list of what it was showing me.  I was not really observing, I would take a look then go to the next item to see if I could see it.  In many cases it was pointing to a part of the sky that was completely blank to me.  Several times I pulled the binoculars out to see if I could see what the scope was showing me using the binoculars, and I could not.

 

So, first night out with my new toy and I am loving it!  Can't imagine what it will be like at a dark site.

I am going to enjoy this scope!


Edited by aeajr, 09 August 2015 - 10:44 PM.

 

#74 Exoplanet1

Exoplanet1

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 88
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2015
  • Loc: Washington D.C

Posted 10 August 2015 - 08:40 AM

Good Luck, and if it's not too low M6 and M7 are beautiful in binoculars and small telescopes.


 

#75 aeajr

aeajr

    Hubble

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 15,734
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2015
  • Loc: Long Island, New York, USA

Posted 10 August 2015 - 09:31 AM

I got a look at M6 with the Meade.  Very nice.  But the part of the sky where M6 was located was as blank as could be.  I guess the light pollution really makes it hard to see.  After the scope found it and I looked, I tried to scan the same area with the binoculars and could not find it.    I don't recall what eyepiece I had in the scope at the time.

 

Have to start making observation logs.


 


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics