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#4851 CowTipton


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Posted 24 September 2020 - 01:45 PM

Hi all,


Mike here, very much a newbie in the western Chicago burbs.

My only scope has been an old Tasco 9f (in poor condition) and currently am waiting for an AD8 Dob to be delivered (HPS says mid-late October.)


I've been a lurker on the boards for a few months and have become addicted to youtube videos explaining all the basics of amateur astronomy.

Learning from you all has been great and I hope you won't mind all the questions I'll surely be posting in the future.


Clear skies!

#4852 soch


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Posted 24 September 2020 - 07:11 PM

Just upgraded my small 3” to AD12. Waiting for cloudy skies to turn into starry skies in rainy NW.


Trying to find info on balancing.  Am I supposed to vary the balance knobs so that top side, with all the accessories and bottom side are equally balanced? That would mean the scope would remain horizontal if I keep the balancing know a loose.

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#4853 Pointsoflight


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Posted 25 September 2020 - 07:08 AM

Hi stargazers! I live in Ipswich, Queensland Australia. I enjoy reading your forums between scopin time Hope to add some southern hemisphere sky to the dialogue, keep up the great chitchat!

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#4854 Gop1ayoutside


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Posted 25 September 2020 - 07:23 PM

Hi everyone, checking in from Houston TX. I am a high school science teacher and ended up teaching an elective course that includes a bunch of astronomy and got interested in stargazing. Looking forward to learning more and passing what I can on to my students!

Edited by Gop1ayoutside, 25 September 2020 - 07:32 PM.

#4855 Venturetothestars


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Posted 26 September 2020 - 08:35 AM

Hello everyone! Nathan here, I'm originally from southern California but I've settled in the Puget Sound area of western Washington. I'm just getting into astronomy, having bought my first serious telescope this year (I had a very small one years ago that I gave to a friend). At present, I have a Meade 4504 with .965" eyepieces, which I upgraded with a 1.25" focuser cap and I'm awaiting shipment of a new set of eyepieces from Garry at Meademods. I only have my phone and a bracket at the moment, but looking at possibly getting a Svbony SV105 for now and working up from there.
I have 1 son who enjoys looking at the stars with me, and we sometimes bring friends along, more often when health concerns are less globally severe!
Other than astronomy, my interests include mycology (one of the few things keeping me here), woodworking, vintage stereo repair, computer repair, locksport/amateur locksmithing, and Magic: The Gathering (which I took so far as to become a judge).
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#4856 Chuckthe5th


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  • Loc: Boston, MA (Blacksburg, VA) Austin, TX

Posted 28 September 2020 - 07:56 AM

I'm a long-time casual amateur astronomer with a deep appreciation with a smidge of education in stellar astronomy. I recently finished grad school (totally unrelated subject matter and profession) and have started to actualize my long dreamed hobby of astrophotography.

I've been through my fair share of scopes from an old meade polaris 90mm refractor when I was a kid, to an 8" dob then a 6" newtonian.

Now I rock a lavishly traveled (been to almost every national park in the states) well cared for Meade 2080 likely as old as I am that I picked up from a traveling photographer years ago. It has an ancient worm drive (no goto or aux ports) a wedge with a custom welded assist and all the eyepieces and filters I've collected over the years.

I also recently picked up a flood-damaged LX90 mount with controller and I plan to attempt to restore and retrofit it onto my 2080 and explore what other reasonable upgrades I can make to my scope to accommodate my growing hobby.

Advise welcomed!

#4857 jsonAdventures


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Posted 28 September 2020 - 12:40 PM



I have recently took the plunge into Astrophotography after ~5 years of photographing nature, a few rocket launches, and during a trip to New Mexico I caught the Milky Way. Located in south Texas I hope to obtain rewarding pictures of the night sky and contribute scientific observations. My science background involves simulation and modeling with a M.S in Computer Science. I have been lurking here for a few months and fortunate to have found a strong community. Hope I can provide help to others along the way. Current gear is


- Sky Watcher Star Adventure Pro 2i

- Orion 60mm Guidescope

- ZWO ASI 290mm guide camera

- Astrotech 115 EDT f/7

- ZWO ASI 1600 mm

- ZWO EFW 36mm with LRGB , SHO filters

- Pegasus Power pack

- Pegasus Electronic Auto Focuser

- Minix small computer

- Nikon D7100  un-modified

- SkyWatcher EQ-6r Pro backordered for a while smile.gif but that's okay, give me time to get more data and learn processing techniques


Clear skies everyone!

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#4858 Blackjack56


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  • Loc: Missouri City, TX

Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:42 PM

Hi all.  Ordered my first scope today, to be delivered Thursday.  Been interested in astronomy for many years but never engaged as a hobbyist before now.  Have a ton to learn and looking forward to every bit of it - the expertise on this site is astounding.  Aside from my own interest, I hope this will continue to stimulate my grandchildren's interest in science and the stars.  Details on what I will be starting off with:


Celestron Nexstar Evolution 8" EdgeHD Telescope with Starsense

Celestron 1.25" Eyepiece and Filter Accessory Kit (includes Barlow lens and moon filter)

Celestron EclipSmart Solar Filter

Optical Tube Carrying Case


I know this will likely be just the start as I become more familiar with the equipment, capabilities and eventually photography.

I live in Missouri City, TX, just southwest of Houston, so the background lighting will be a continual challenge here.  I'll be joining the local astronomy club to get some help with decent nearby observation sites.


Looking forward to this adventure and learning all I can from folks here (like what do I do on Day 1! :)

#4859 Jt1323


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Posted 28 September 2020 - 11:47 PM

Hey everyone :) Just ordered by first scope, a Sky Watcher 8" Dob. I have some very basic untracked astrophotography experience, but other than that, this is my first deep dive into real astronomy! I'm very excited!


I'm a freshman college student this year with an undecided major. My interest in Astronomy has been enormous for years and I've spent hours looking through binoculars/cameras,I hope to possibly keep exploring this path. I'm glad I finally pushed myself to purchase a scope and I can't wait to get out there :)


thanks for having me, many questions to come

#4860 Squidink



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Posted 29 September 2020 - 12:13 AM

Hi, am new to the hobby. I just picked up a vintage 1987 Meade MTS SN6. I am told it is a Schmidt-Newtonian. It was inexpensive on Craigslist and has the original 25mm eyepiece. I suspect that I will want something with more magnification soon, and maybe a Barlow adapter. I’ll start by looking around the solar system and see if there’s a way to adapt my Canon 5D mk1 to it. Just for kicks. So I suppose I will cruise the classified ads for eyepieces next. I’m glad to have found the site. It seems quite friendly!

#4861 Syks7


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Posted 29 September 2020 - 01:33 AM

Hi everyone.  I've been interested in astronomy since I was a kid, luckily enough growing up in the black hole night sky of central Idaho.  I haven't had much opportunity to look up since I moved to Southern California almost 20 years ago, but my wife and I bought a place near Mt. Pinos a couple years back and I couldn't wait to start stargazing again.  I bought a Celestron 70mm travel scope as soon as we closed on the house and have been fiddling around with it here and there for the last couple years.  Its been fun and informative.  I recently decided to step up the quality of my optics and have been on a multi month research journey seesawing back and forth on what to get before realizing that I essentially wanted a stepped up version of what I had.  Light weight, easily transportable, primarily for visual, quickly set up , and with a reasonable but not giant aperture.  I basically want to keep doing what I'm doing with the flexibility to drive up to the top of Mt. Pinos and set up with no fuss, or to be able to put scope and mount in the car with both dogs, daughter, wife, and all the rest of the stuff that goes along with yearly trips to Idaho.  I ended up with a used C5 spotting scope with an AZ GTI mount.  For now I only have the 10 and 20mm eyepieces that came with the travel scope and the 25mm that came with C5.  Its a good start.  I think I'm going to upgrade the diagonal then dive into figuring out some better quality eyepieces.  


I'm glad I found this forum because it has been very informative for me research wise while I lurked around.  Looking forward to getting to know people.

#4862 Challenger75


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Posted 29 September 2020 - 02:13 PM

Hello all. I'm a photographer for 40+ years. Just started doing Astro with my mirrorless camera. Many years ago I owned a Meade LX200 with wedge. Was a great experience. Looking into getting a small tracker like an ioptron or small scope with EQ mount.

#4863 ian408



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Posted 30 September 2020 - 11:09 PM

Returning observer here. Decided to go big this time and picked up a LX200-14 with ASI294 color camera. To say it's been a challenge waiting for gear would be an understatement. Just waiting for the wedge and a couple of filters to arrive. 


I also enjoy photography and have dabbled a bit with WA MW shots. 


BTW, if anyone knows where to find a transport case, that'd be cool. I could have researched that better or perhaps gone with something other than the fork mount as there are literally no hard cases available (as in being made). 

#4864 Damyen


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Posted 02 October 2020 - 08:08 AM

Hi my name is Damiano from Italy I live in Bologna in the north italy exactly...im visual observer always only visual...and I use little fc76 dcu for grab and go but sometimes when seeing is better I use intes micro MN76 ...for planet moon and double star..thank you for accpet me this forum seem very interesting ...un abbraccio particolarea tutti gli astrofili from California per il brutto periodo che state vivendo ....

#4865 aeajr


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Posted 02 October 2020 - 08:14 AM

Welcome to our new members.  We are glad you joined and look forward to chatting.
Whether you are brand new to astronomy or or have been doing this for years, you will
find a large and welcoming group on Cloudy Nights.  

We don't answer questions in this thread so, if you have questions, start a
new discussion in the forum that most closely matches the topic of your

There are 10 major forums each with sub-forums.  Take a moment to explore them all. You will
find current discussions that can be a great source of information.

It is best to post your questions, comments or the like in the forum that most closely matches your
question.   And it is best not to inject a new question in the middle of someone else’s topic as it
can confuse the conversation.   Start a new discussion.

Beginner visual astronomy questions can be posted in this forum, the Beginner Forum.

If your question it is about Beginner Astrophotography or Imaging, it should be posted in the
Beginner Imaging forum.  If you have something informational to share, that should not
be posted in the beginner forums, they are for beginner questions.


Top right of the screen you will see your screen name with a little down arrow.
Go to My Settings.  This is where you can make a number of changes.

You can set whether you want to receive private messages from people and how
you want to be notified about posts.

COUNTRY/REGION/STATE:  A good thing to do, if you have not, is to go into
your profile and enter your country and/or your city so people who are
trying to help you will know approximately where you are in the world. 

SIGNATURE:    I recommend you create a signature (my settings)
where you can list your telescope your eyepieces or whatever you wish.  My
signature is at the bottom of this post.  A signature helps people help you
because they know what you have.  We get a lot of requests from people
saying, "I am new, what eyepieces should I get?"   Now we play 20 questions
to find out what telescope they have, what eyepieces they already own, etc..

BUDGET: When asking about things to buy it is good to provide a budget.   An
eyepiece can be $30 or it can be $300.  If we don't know your budget we
don't know how to advise you. 

Terms like "budget priced" or "low cost" have absolutely no meaning.  What
is low cost to me may be expensive to you.  We need numbers. In fact, consider
rephrasing to something like this, “I have the following telescope and
eyepieces and this much to spend.   What would you suggest?"   Give it a try.

LINKS: If you are asking a question about a specific product I suggest you
provide a link to that product so we know exactly what you are talking
about.  For example, Orion sells the Starseeker IV 150.   Well, it turns out
there are two different telescopes that could be described by that name.
One is a 150 mm Newtonian reflector and the other is a 150 mm
Maksutov-Cassegrain.   Which are you asking about?

Or someone says they just got a 4” Celestron GoTo
scope and wants to know what eyepieces to get.   Well, Celestron makes a
number of 4” GoTo scopes.   If there is no link then people will answer
based on the one they think you are asking about rather than the one you
want to know about.

If you are not in the USA, a link is even more important.   Offer a link to
a web site in your country that sells telescope equipment so we can try to
understand what things cost and what equipment is available in your country.

Part of what makes Cloudy Nights so great is that people are very happy to
help one another.  These tips just make it easier for us to help each other
or to understand what is being discussed in the thread.  I hope you find
these tips helpful.

Glad you decided to join us in the sky.   :)

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#4866 hyperhugs


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Posted 02 October 2020 - 05:19 PM

Hi everyone! My name is Jesse and I live in New Hampshire. I've always been interested in space and the stars, and now I'm taking my first steps to "get closer." After trying to take pictures of Neowise with my phone this summer, I'm looking to get into astrophotography and maybe also a pair of binoculars for moon observation. Happy to be here!

#4867 tonyUK


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Posted 02 October 2020 - 05:49 PM

Hello everyone,

Tony from the UK currently living in Hong Kong. Proper NOOB but went straight in with a celestron 6SE and looking forward to learning how to get the best out of it. Just looking at planets and the moon so far as still trying to work out alignment, collimation and wondering if Hong Kong is not the best place to look at the night sky.



#4868 mountainchris


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Posted 02 October 2020 - 05:55 PM

Hi all, 


I'm Chris, from the UK. I've been observing for a little while with binoculars, just bought my first scope, a 10" dob second hand and in the process of figuring it all out, including the bits and bobs that came with it! Now I just need the rain to stop!

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#4869 LekimOppilifnas


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  • Loc: Chapel Hill NC

Posted 03 October 2020 - 08:13 PM

Hi! I've been a lurker for a while, my current scope is an Edmund Astroscan, Which I'm in the process of ditching in favor of the next... What I don't know would fill volumes. The thing that keeps drawing me to this site is the overall friendliness of the posts, I see the same questions asked over and over again (what scope should I buy? how do I collimate?) and each one is treated with respect and a genuine desire to help. That is rare 'round here. Don't know how much I'll post. but I'll be actively checking back.




#4870 Ares F

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 01:08 PM

Hello everyone,


My name is François from Sherbrooke, Québec. I'm newbie to astronomy. My dad gave me his vintage scope few years ago, a 8" Meade 2080 1981, but I had no time at the moment to learn from him. Sadly he left us last year. This summer my daughter ask me to do astronomy with her. Since, we share great moments, and we know he is always with us. 

Living near city light pollution area, I mostly do planetary astronomy and brightest DSO. I'm looking to start astrophotography. Being on a mostly manual telescope, it will be a challenge, but I will keep it simple and I don't wanna be a photoshop specialist. 

The sky is fascinating by itself.

#4871 Zaros


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Posted 04 October 2020 - 04:19 PM

Hi everyone! I am a total newbie at sky watching. My dad and I recently tried watching the sky for a couple nights with a pretty decent telescope. We are able to view the moon really well, which was amazing, but struggled to target any other planets or stars. I only know two constellations (or fragments of constellations - Big Dipper and Draco). We figured we'd return the telescope and start with something more beginner to learn the sky more familiarly.


I'm here to learn and ask questions. Right now we want to decide on two binoculars but we're not sure if we should go for more magnification or more brightness. Hopefully I can make a post about this soon.



#4872 Meteorite finder

Meteorite finder

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 10:45 PM

Hello to all,

I have been meteorite hunting and collecting for awhile.  Haven’t really looked to the skies much other than observing meteor showers and hoping to see a fireball as it burns up in the atmosphere. I have seen one fireball and found numerous meteorites while hunting the SW desert areas near my home, finds in Nevada, Arizona, and California.  Luckily it is not too far away to observe the Milky Way at a Dark Sky sight, always with just my vision. I know that most meteorites find their way to earth from Vesta and the belt between Mars and Jupiter.  The origin of these space rocks is very interesting. My oldest meteorite is from Allende Mexico.  It is a CV3 carbonaceous chondrite that is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old, the start of our solar system.  
I was recently gifted a small 70mm travel scope which has opened up a whole new experience instead of looking on the ground I can look up and see amazing sights. I took it with me to Sedona Arizona and was blown away with planets and the Milky Way. I’m hooked, lol.  Unfortunately there is a tremendous amount of light pollution in Las Vegas so between the LP and smoke from fires the seeing is not so great.  I am on the far South side of town and can view looking South towards the open desert. Mostly the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Venus.  Hard to see constellations. 
In time a larger scope is in my sights, probably a SCT for weight and portability instead of a DOB.

I have also just joined the Las Vegas Astronomical Society.  Looking forward to learning as much as I can between CN website and the Astronomical Society.  
Thank you in advance for the knowledge I will gain.


#4873 Jaz5833


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Posted 05 October 2020 - 12:02 AM

Hello everyone, Jim Baker here.

Last month, my wife and I stayed several  nights in an AirBnB house just outside Malibu. My son, his wife and two young children were also staying. On a walk around the property we discovered two telescopes. Both were pointing straight up and covered in spiderwebs and dirt. My son and I commented to each other that they'd be fun to look at during one of the nights before we left. One was a Meade Model 390 and an older Celestron 80mm. That evening I grabbed some clean rags and the Meade. A short time later we had it pointed skyward. My son had a star app on his phone and pointed me towards Saturn. We were stunned when we realized that the rings were visible.  Soon, we were talking turns. My 4 year old granddaughter was particularly interested. You can see what's coming next......


Once back home, I started researching and combing the sale ads. On offer up, I came across a Sears Discoverer Model 4 6333-A for $60. My research here on Cloudy Nights told me this was a great scope so I ended up bringing it home.


I believe it's a 1965 model with wood tripod and cabinet. The cabinet is lacking the packing but nearly everything else is present. The tripod chains and manual are missing but a Sears publication titled,  How to Choose a Microscope and Telescope, was in the cabinet. Catalogs suggest this was only included in 1965. The scope and related gear are in excellent condition. The cabinet could use some attention but it's undamaged and solid. The tube has some superficial scratches and a minor dent near the objective. It is marked circle T. I have new rubber feet coming for the tripod and an adapter for modern eyepieces. The accessory tray light had experienced leaking batteries so a cleaning and rewire was completed. I also painted the bulb red.

Used terrestrially, the optics seem clear and crisp. I'm in San Diego so light pollution is excessive. I'll be heading for the mountains as soon as I learn how to use the Celestial mount and the dials.


I look forward to interacting and learning. 

More pics to follow soon.

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#4874 Transit


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Posted 05 October 2020 - 05:35 AM

Hi Folks!
Pete from Whanganui NZ here.
Getting pretty amazed by the big planet show in at the moment...Jupiter and Saturn seem like old friends and Mars is so huge he's almost audible...
So I snapped and bid 100 clams over my limit on a Saxon 150/1200 dob.
First real scope though my garage sale 60mm job might argue ...
Pretty stoked...now chasing through helpful threads :-)
I'm a furniture maker with decent workshop so hope an eq platform might be manifest...
Need to work on the city council to turn the blinking lights off

Edited by Transit, 05 October 2020 - 05:37 AM.

#4875 3rd Rock

3rd Rock


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  • Joined: 04 Oct 2020
  • Loc: North Florida

Posted 05 October 2020 - 07:14 AM

Hello new friends,

Another complete noob here.  I live in north central Florida an hour west of Tallahassee.

Immediately I am thankful for the impressive collection of information and resources this forum offers.  Hopefully "we" in this beginners thread, are able not only to use the site to advance our own understanding but also find ways to pay it forward to those that follow us.

Thank you for what you have made.


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