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Northeastern US (Maine) Discussion & Introductions

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#26 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 04:11 PM

Cpk133,

 

 oh how I wish I could look out the windows at the sky and stay warm! My house is notched into a hillside and we just got the first floor done and capped it over for the winter and my second floor gets done in the spring as I'm building it myself. My view right now are trees and my little Pygmy goat pets who stare at me from their house and me at them when it's cold out. All though, I admit that they come inside to get warm and have snacks. Sorry for the sidetrack there... no I'm not crazy either, they are great pets and better behaved than dogs I've had. 

 Anyway, back on track, I only have tiny binos at the moment and I've had this stigma (wrongly I know) of using only telescopes for viewing the night sky. I just can't seem to aim the money at binos when I'm saving for the next two scopes and I know that dumb since a good set are a wonderful asset. Maybe I should get going and get a good pair. I'm glad you posted that! Since giving into this hobby finally I have revamped the window selections for my upstairs and have added huge slider windows and mulled monster sliders in the master bedroom. Peering through glass isn't optimal but it can be enough to scratch the itch and NOT FREEZE TO DEATH!


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#27 hawk82

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 06:22 PM

I've found that the best way to learn the sky, for me, is to have someone experienced show you the night sky. What the constellations are, what to look at, etc. Astronomy groups are the best for this, in my opinion. A couple of weeks ago I made it down to the Southworth Planetarium and met the guys from the Southern Maine Astronomical Society. Real good group of people there. Although they mostly do presentations and not outdoor observatory, they do have access to the planetarium and it was fun to show what is up in the night sky currently. Pretty amazing piece of craftsmanship, the optical planetarium projector.



#28 buddy ny

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 07:02 PM

I will guarantee that if you get involved with a local club and start attending their events your knowledge and skill will grow exponentially. I'd also suggest holding off on further purchases until you attend a star party or two and try the views through a wide range of scopes and eyepieces there. I often say to newbies, you would not buy a car without test driving it; same applies to a scope.

great advice

Try befor u buy

its mighty easy to impulse buy in this hobby



#29 clearwaterdave

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:35 AM

Hello and welcome from a fellow Mainer.,I'm up near Farmington.,with pretty dark skies. A planisphere is a great tool for learning the way the constellations move across the sky.,and to show what part of the sky is going to be viewable for each night. Learning the constellations is key to helping you to find all the faint fuzzies. Using bino's through the window is how I started to learn to star hop.,my 7x35x bino matched the charts just about right for what stars I could see with them.,and it's fun not to freeze.,Good luck.,,stay warm.,get to a club meeting if you can.,

#30 vtornado

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:58 AM

After your 10" dob comes, I would play with it before getting the larger Mak's.  The only issues that a 10 inch dob has is the size,

and you need to cool it before you use it.  I have one and it is my favorite scope.  It works well on planets, and dso's. With a nice 2 inch 

eyepiece it can achieve a medium filed of view.

 

If you have not already purchased your dob, you may want to consider a

10" orion dob with the intelliscope feature.  This has a computer to tell you where to push the scope to get items into view.

I do not have one of these, but others here love them.  You are not obligated to use the computer, you can push this around like

any other dob with no guiding. 

 

If you have a traditional  dob, you can make a set of manual setting circles.  I have some on mine.   If you download

sky-safari to a tablet.  It will give you real time altitude and azimuth coordinates of any object in the sky.  You then use your manual

"circles" to find the object by pushing your dob to the given settings.  This link should get you started.

http://www.cloudynig...es/#entry813804.

 

 

The Mak's take about as long to cool.  The front elements are very susceptible to dew or frost.  They have fairly narrow fields of view.



#31 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 10:47 AM

Great info all! Clearwaterdave, greetings from Sebago Lake and sebago Maine. Hawk82, glad you met up with them, I have an invitation to as well after speaking to Robert but I couldn't make it. The planetarium stufff is interesting yes but I really rather prefer the hands on approach myself. Get my hands dirty and since I own a landscaping company that's most of the time.

As far as buying the equipment as I've said before, it's true. If you can try before you buy that is great! But not all of us can do that. Sometimes we don't have the time required to get out for that since the limited time we do have is split so many different ways. I read and educated myself as much as I could and got two totally different and inexpensive starter scopes to try them out. Thing is, they are like firearms to me as in they all have the niches and I love my firearm collection because of the diversity and differing in application. I'm a ballistics nut as well.

Maksutov and Newtonian so far purchased and love them both for their differences, strengths and weaknesses inherent to their respective designs and I am getting larger versions of both and then a good apo refractor. After that a Schmitt and cassegrain. I'm enjoying the collecting as much as the learning how to use each one. And then there are the eyepieces and the mounts etc.. So far I've seen Orion Nebula, Pleiades, m31, Jupiter, moon of course, m37, mars, venus, and Uranus and as you all know better than me, many many more to see. I haven't had this much fun in a long time I must admit!

It's also the learning curve that I'm appreciating so much. As a firearm collector I've purchased, sold traded and kept so many of them it's mind boggling and until someone invents a plasma rifle or a light saber for real, there isn't much more I can learn.

Elephant Guns, military variant rifles, revolvers, handloading my own ammo etc, etc, etc. been there and done that. This is new to me in the equipment sense and it's very rewarding as well as really frustrating at times and there in lies the beauty. To me, it's like learning to control the recoil of a 600 nitro express rifle. It hits you like a prize fighter and the effect on your nervous system is the same as a head on car crash at 50mph without a seatbelt. Not getting hurt or detaching your retina is something learned over many years of practice. And I've noticed the neighbors aren't so upset about a quiet telescope as they are a 470 nitro express going off. Funny.

This is a fantastic site and great people and I and others new to the hobby truly appreciate the thoughts and efforts of those who give their opinions and experience and do so freely without charge. In this day and age, anyone doing anything without their hand out is novel. Maybe someday there will be star party close to where I am and some other Mainers might be in attendance! Thanks everyone,
Best,
Sean

VTornado: I will indeed be looking up the sting circles. Thank you for that link. I'll be checking it out shortly!

#32 W. T. Riker

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 10:57 AM

I may sound crazy but I can assure you, I am quite rational, just scratching a long term itch and bringing some kids along for the ride as far as they'd like to go. 

Haha! Just wait till your eyepieces start reproducing. 



#33 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 11:00 AM

R.T- not funny! Well maybe a little funny but really... don't say that!

#34 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 11:00 AM

W.T I meant. Okay, note to self: iPhone does some really strange auto corrects!

#35 W. T. Riker

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 11:50 AM

R.T- not funny! Well maybe a little funny but really... don't say that!


Haha.. To be consistent: Eyepieces <=> Ammo

#36 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:23 PM

Mr. Riker! 

 

I'll have you know that eyepieces will certainly NOT grow or multiply in my collection in any way like ammo. Why how preposterous of an idea could one have! I mean really! It's not like I've begun to look through my gun collection to see if I really NEED to have some of the ones that I have and haven't shot in ten years and duplicate others that I prefer just a tad more due to something called a televu ethos. Or Nagler something or other. Who would name something after what a wife does daily to her poor husband and ad an "re" as a suffix of sorts. It isn't like my kids and I are attempting to figure out whether or not we could add an observatory dome to one end of my not yet completed house this spring. And I'll have you know, a 16" dobsonian is perfectly reasonable to have in ones living room replacing a frequently used sofa or chair. In the future sir, keep your opinions to yourself, thank you very much and good day to you!   ;)

 

seriously... this could be an issue....

 

Sean



#37 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:26 PM

Autocorrect strikes again... "er"... not "re". **** you, Apple. 



#38 Greyhaven

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 11:02 AM

Maine and astronomy go together like... like.... well actually they really don't go together. They have to be coaxed and prodded and each has to be accepted on its own terms. My own small ROR observatory sits without a path cleared since mid December. I've been physically unable to wrest it from Maine's icy grip this year. This too will pass. Until then much shorter outings with binos will have to feed the need for photons. A few years ago I joined the group at the planetarium. They provided some very interesting meetings with excellent speakers and a welcoming atmosphere unfortunately my wife's health prevents me from attending meetings now and I have been inactive in any outreach activities other than Cloudy Nights. Astronomy has to be one one the most flexible and forgiving hobbies I can think of. Advances in EAA and imaging really help some of us aging amateurs feel like we can still "see" what is going on. The web allows us 24/7/365 access to fellow observers yet still allows me the quiet, intimate, 1 on 1  moments I need to renew my contract with the sky. Welcome to CN and I wish you the best in your dance with the stars.

Grey


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#39 caveman_astronomer

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 01:04 PM

Maine and astronomy go together like... like.... well actually they really don't go together. 

+2.  No, +3.



#40 vtornado

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 01:22 PM

Regarding the altitude scale, just buy a magnetic digitical inclinometer, and just stick it on your tube.

I did not really see that option discussed in the thread.  Get one that uses AAA, or AA batteries, they

last a lot longer than the one that uses button cell batteries.



#41 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 01:27 PM

Grey,

Thank you for the warm welcome and that was well spoken. Winter is pretty rough here at times and more snow tonight. It is wonderful that you are still watching even if it's through binos when the weather has other ideas. Have a wonderful day sir and thank you again. Spring will come...
Sean

#42 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 01:29 PM

Vtornado
I have never heard of one before in my life. I'll look that up after my grocery run. Eating takes away time from looking at scopes and eyepieces but the family expects it. Thank you very much, I'll be at the research later today!

Sean

#43 treadmarks

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 02:32 PM

Maine and astronomy go together like... like.... well actually they really don't go together.

Hey now, last year I had some amazing observing sessions in Maine, in the summer ;) Anyway as someone who recently learned the night sky, in Maine no less, I'd like to emphasize one thing...

 

Constellations. These are actually REALLY USEFUL. The problem with star charts is that up doesn't always mean up. It could mean north (Polaris), which is not the same thing as "up," so you'll go off in the wrong direction and get lost. However it's a lot harder to confuse yourself when you follow the shape of a constellation as your reference point. For example, I found Andromeda when I finally used the square of Pegasus.

 

Also another very important note about light pollution. It looks like most of Sebago is a yellow zone, which is what I have at my Maine location too. This has a huge effect on what you'll be able to find. When the moon is full, it gives off light equivalent to a red zone. DSO can be subtle if you've never seen them before. It's important to make sure you're observing under the best possible light pollution conditions.



#44 vtornado

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 02:35 PM

Digital angle meter / inclinometer at home depot.

 

http://www.homedepot...AQ&gclsrc=aw.ds



#45 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 03:46 PM

Treadmarks,

 

Constellations yes! I've been working on them and turning to learn them as I go but what they were drinking (fermented cactus juice or something?) when they created them I'll never know since even though I was pretty good as a child with connect the dots these things have me befuddled at times. But they do indeed give you a jumping off point. That's how I found everything so far other than the moon and the planets, those even I couldn't miss. Well... let's just say I didn't miss, not that I couldn't. A yellow zone? Makes me think I am gong to be towed. Sorry, I thought that was funny. Another member on here led me to a site that showed sky conditions as far as weather etc but I lost the link I think. Might have been due to all of the rummaging ion the iPad going from site to site looking at eyepieces and refractors. Can you tell me how you got the yellow zone and what that means? Thanks! And thank you for reaching out. 

 

VTornado, I am looking at that link right now... 



#46 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:03 PM

Vtornado- that's pretty cool. I've only used setting circles so far (I hate those nefarious little buggers) and have officially given up. I guess many people don't use them anymore either so I'm in good company. The ones on my cheap E.Q mount was created in hell by Satan himself I think. 

 

So in relation to my dob... wait for it.... do I just I stick this on at a read of 0 or something? I've never used one, even when building a house, so bare with me here and no forehead slapping... how would install it? No, I know it's magnetic but in what position would the scope be in so it reads correctly when elevated? And all you wanted to do was give a guy a hand I know. I mean, I get the idea for sure and then what do you do for AZM? I mean if you tell me there's a magnetic for that one too I'm going to pass out. This is pretty cool by the way, kinda like having a "manual" goto system without paying for it! I may have to sneak some candy and a soda into the movie theater after this! Kinda like cheating but nobody gets hurt or an embarrassing video on YouTube. 

 

best,

sean



#47 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:04 PM

I will be buying that meter.



#48 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:07 PM

I'm thinking that folks maybe attach a regular compass on a bracket of sorts to the mount base for AZM and have it far enough away as to not be effected by any of the metal in the scope? 



#49 clearwaterdave

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 05:03 PM

Here are the circles on my OneSky.,Note the home brew ALT gauge on the back.,

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#50 Mainemaksutov

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 05:21 PM

Clearwater- that's pretty ingenious. I'm guessing it works pretty good too. I thinking you set that with a level on the tube first then mark it at 0 (while on a flat and level surface for the base) and then run it up 90 degrees and make the mark for 90 then divide it evenly in quadrants 0-90? Set the base with a compass facing north to begin the taped marks ?


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