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Observing with friends, kids, visitors - the Wow factor of the ZOOM

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#1 aeajr

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 09:39 AM

Observing with friends, kids, visitors - the Wow factor of the ZOOM

 

I have been telling friends about my new hobby and people have been interested to come and share an evening of observation with me.  I set up 2 telescopes and two binoculars and give them the tour.   Recently I have been using the Orion Nebulae as my demonstration target as you can just barley see it by naked eye where I live. Sort of a lighter spot below and to the right of Orion's belt.  So they can look and see and find it when they go home.  

 

I show them the Nebulae in 10X50 binoculars as a first look. "Look for the stars that seem to have a fuzzy cloud around them." I use a green laser to help them find it.

 

Then I take them to the 80 mm scope with the 8-24 zoom.   They look they smile, they may even comment on how cool this is. 

 

OK, now twist the barrel and go up in magnification.   WOW!   There is always a wow with the zoom, especially with kids.  

 

Then I take them to the 8" Dob so they can see that view.

 

The zoom works so much better than taking the scope back to swap from this fixed FL eyepiece to that fixed FL eyepiece.  Swapping eyepieces does not have the same impact and you don't get that clear and obvious change in magnification.  But the zoom gets a wow every time. 

 

If I put it on the moon I may also drop in a 2X barlow and then zoom, WOW! 

 

 

I like the zoom personally. 

 

In the ETX 80, 400 mm FL,  I grab that 8-24 mm zoom and a 2X barlow and I can view all night. In my ETX 80 this gives me 16X to 50X with no switch of the eyepiece.  Drop in the barlow and I have 32 to 100.  For most things that is all I need.

 

In my 8" Dob, 1200 mm FL,  this gives me 50 to 150X.  Add the 2X barlow and I now have 100 to 300X.  

 

If I want to get a better view on something I can drop in a fixed FL eyepiece but most of the time this is fine.   And it gets that WOW when I am showing astronomy to other people.

 

 

Offered for your consideration.

 

zoom eyepiece review
http://www.chuckhawk...m_eyepieces.htm

 

This is the one I have - Celestron 8-24X

https://www.astronom...pieces_c63.aspx

 

 


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#2 REC

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 10:25 AM

I bought the Celestron version for $45 and it works pretty well overall. Depending on the object, moon and planets are good and for DSO's I'll swich out to a SWA EP when I find the right power with the zoom.


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#3 davidmclifton

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for sharing

#4 Stargezzer

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 12:21 PM

Ed I get the same results with my zoom. Interesting that the goto mount gets a lot of wows as well. One night last summer I had a group of neighbors that wanted me to point the scope at just about everything in the data base. They thought that was the coolest thing going.

 

 

Thanks

 

George


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#5 aeajr

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 12:25 PM

Ed I get the same results with my zoom. Interesting that the goto mount gets a lot of wows as well. One night last summer I had a group of neighbors that wanted me to point the scope at just about everything in the data base. They thought that was the coolest thing going.

 

 

Thanks

 

George

 

Yes, I get a similar result from Goto.   Many people have the interest but feel they don't know enough. Or they might like to get something for their kids but don't know how to help them.   Knowing the scope will find the targets has opened their eyes to the possibility for them or for their children.  And the ETX 80 GoTo at $230 has really opened their eyes.  

 

After seeing things through this scope they are giving some further thought to this.  Some lucky kids may get ETX 80s for Christmas.


Edited by aeajr, 08 December 2015 - 12:27 PM.


#6 blackadder1620

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 02:10 PM

I second this, still hasn't saved me from wanting more ep's but, it has gotten its use no question.  



#7 aeajr

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 02:11 PM

I find it valuable to start the sessions with binoculars.   Most people, including myself, had never considered using binoculars for astronomy.  Many own binoculars but have never turned them skyward.   And the ones I use were $20 at Harbor Freight.  Now they are seeing more than ever and doing it with a $20 pair of binoculars.  Hey, maybe this could be fun.

 

I had a friend over the other night.  He was really enjoying the evening, including the wow of the zoom.  However he seemed more excited by the 10X50s then he was by the telescopes because he felt more comfortable with them AND he was amazed at how many more stars he could see by simply using these inexpensive binoculars.   This was an entry point he understood and knew it could be very low cost.

 

I let him take my 10X50s and my Planisphere home with him to enjoy for a couple of weeks. 

 

My ETX 80, with a 26 mm Meade Plossl is about 15X and a 3.3 degree FOV so it feels like an easy step up from the binoculars without the shake of my 15X70s.  If I fit it with the 8-24 zoom then it goes from 16.6X to 50X.   When you hit the zoom they love it. 

 

I am a salesman by profession so I understand how to help people engage in something new, something different.  It is not about the specs, it is about the experience and the feel of wonder.  That is what I go for and that is what they will take with them when they go home.  That is what keeps me coming back to look at the sky.


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#8 aeajr

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 09:08 AM

What targets do you like to use when showing astronomy to friends?

 

As noted above I am currently using the Orion Nebulae.  What do you use?



#9 SeaBee1

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 09:59 AM

Hi Ed!

 

A couple of weeks ago I showed my 22 year old son and his wife Orion as well. They were blown away! And this through 15X70 binos! They both said they could see a blue tint to the nebula. Is this possible? I do not know what color the nebula would emit in (I SHOULD look that up!). I only saw a milky cloudiness and several of the stars within, one of them a double (or so it seemed). Can't wait to finish building my scope!

 

Best regards!

 

CB



#10 Mark9473

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Posted 13 December 2015 - 10:18 AM

What targets do you like to use when showing astronomy to friends?

 

As noted above I am currently using the Orion Nebulae.  What do you use?

 

In this season, the Pleiades and the Perseus double cluster are pretty cool targets. If you're under a dark sky and can see M35 with the naked eye, that would be a good one too.

In early evening, the Double-Double in Lyra can be cool, just two stars in your binoculars, then suddenly four stars in a telescope.




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