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1 inch APO vs 12 inch SCT

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#26 Codbear

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 01:37 PM

 "Does that really bother you, or do you just like to whine?" 

 

George

Absolutely one of the best lines of the year...I will put that in my signature with credit to you, George. 


Edited by Codbear, 31 December 2017 - 03:45 PM.

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#27 junomike

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 07:01 PM

All joking aside, with this weather we're having as of late (-20°) I'd gladly take a 1" ACHRO over a 12" SCT or larger (and smaller) telescope.

I'm all for Aperture (mainly for DSO's) but sometimes convenience trumps it.


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#28 Erik Bakker

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 07:14 PM

Happy New Year Mike waytogo.gif


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#29 CHASLX200

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 07:22 PM

Happy New Year Mike waytogo.gif

You got the soft buttons on the forks as i call them.  I never see any like yours for sale.



#30 mikona

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:56 PM

A good question. Let me answer it by saying, if a refractor guy offers you some Kool Aid, don't drink it.

I had  cpc1100 with great optics.  It wad a fantstic scope.  I then bought a like new used Takahashi FC100DF.  GAME CHANGER.  I finally sold the c11.  i simply prefered using the DF.  Although I don't see as much what I do see is of much higher quality.  I was like most of you until I tried the cool aid.  now I can drink enough.


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#31 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:41 AM

I'm actually amazed people even debate this with the amount of information that's available. A good friend of mine, Rogelio Bernal gave me these images to share public to explain perspectives. One of the issues I noticed with people who observe and take astrophotos are a lack of perspectives. Instead, they just look or image a few individual showpiece objects in the sky. M13 is a prime example. Imagers too are a dime a dozen. I've seen so many come in go it reminds me of these teenage girls with long fingernails and makeup, taking selfies with their cell phones. Imagers behave exactly the same. They're given all this fancy technology and they're horrible imagers. It's always the same objects. M31, M42, M8, the Rosette. Magazine publications get so many submissions of these objects, they just roll their eyes and visual observers are the same way.

I've provided the pictures to illustrate this which Rogelio gave to me to share in these forums. He demonstrated this at AIC event in San Jose CA. I also learned more about observing using two books. One is called Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen and the other is by Binocular Astronomy by Craig Crossen. He specializes in observations of star colors, widefield perspectives and much more. This to me was thinking and observing outside the box.

 

There are countless objects that actually don't even look good with excessive aperture, which also contributes to a narrower FOV. The issues with scintillating stars can also be demonstrated using the Pickering Scale. One major problem too is people don't read books anymore. They don't teach themselves how to observe or understand what tools are needed to observe. Instead they are just told to just buy the largest telescope they can transport. People also rely too heavily on computer programs that don't give much if any information on how to observe. If observers expanded their knowledge of objects more they would understand this. Here's an example. One object people don't realize they can see in stunning clarity from a dark sky is the North American Nebula. It amazes me how much propaganda and emphasis with detailed maps are given to the Horse Head Nebula, which is far more difficult to see than the North American, yet you can see the North America the best in stunning contrast with an 80mm or 100mm frac using a UHC filter. It doesn't look as good in my larger fracs. Try to see this in your SCT.

 

The Pipe Nebula is much better in a pair of binoculars or even naked eye. M24 is much nicer in a rich field scope, double stars are better in a  small frac. Star colors and variable stars are often more defined and clear in a small frac. IC4665 is better in a small frac, Stock 2, Collinder 69, Collinder 70 are all better in a small frac and I could go on an on. You people who have these strong ideologies about aperture is king seriously need to take some time and educate yourselves on what different optical aids do for observation. It's like trying to play an entire golf course with nothing but a driver. This has been done, but it isn't how you play golf. It's one thing to know that one scope yields higher contrast, but it's another thing to understand what it does in fact do better.

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Edited by Daniel Mounsey, 01 January 2018 - 10:42 AM.

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#32 Astrojensen

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:53 AM

 

One major problem too is people don't read books anymore. They don't teach themselves how to observe or understand what tools are needed to observe.

This. So very much this. 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=P3ALwKeSEYs

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#33 Erik Bakker

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:00 AM

A long time ago, the English started emphasizing: "horses for courses". So true today flowerred.gif


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#34 Erik Bakker

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:03 AM

To illustrate: under dark and transparent skies, the Veil Nebula shines in my 16" f/5, the North America Nebula more so in my small refractors or even 18x70 binoculars.


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#35 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:09 AM

Agreed and I love the intricate lace of it in a 16" with an OIII and a UHC.



#36 CHASLX200

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:17 AM

The size of a scope can really a make a diff on some deep sky scopes. I think M-6 and 7 look better in smaller 60 and 80mm scopes vs  a big 12.5" scope.  Same for M37 as it looks better in a 6 or 8" Newt vs a much bigger scope. PN Nebs are better in bigger scopes at higher powers as are globs.  



#37 Dwight J

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 12:40 PM

Threads like this just demo why many have more than one scope.  Things are crisper and contrastier in a refractor and they are often able to provide a wider field due to their small size and consequent shorter focal length.  They, however, have disadvantages with light grasp being the most obvious.  4" apos make cute finders on big telescopes.  


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#38 Mitrovarr

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 02:52 PM

I really wouldn't want to have just one or the other. There are some things that just look better in refractors. Double stars, for instance - I have never seen double stars look as good in anything as my 4" F/15 achro, even if the larger reflectors can technically split closer pairs. Smaller scopes can also get wider fields. On the other hand, some things just require aperture, no two ways about it. Scanning my 12" dob through the Virgo cluster and seeing galaxies just anywhere you look is an experience that no 4" apo is ever going to bring you. I find globular clusters benefit greatly from aperture as well.

 

I think the SCT/Apo combination is underrated. You can buy a decent mount (like an AVX) and use it with both a 8-9.25" SCT and a 4-5" apo. That way, you have both an aperture option and a refractor option, and all of it has goto and tracking. The dob/apo option combo good too, and then you get potentially more aperture and the large-aperture scope can do wide fields. But the dob won't have goto and tracking (well, it can, but then it's going to cost a lot and weight a ton).


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#39 SandyHouTex

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 08:51 PM

It’s actually a psychological issue.  When someone buys something that costs a lot of money, say a 5 inch APO for $7000, they then develop a “cognitive bias” where they need to justify to themselves that it was worth it.  Here’s an explanation from Wikipedia:

 

“In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias or post-purchase rationalization is the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. It is a cognitive bias. For example, if a person chooses option A instead of option B, they are likely to ignore or downplay the faults of option A while amplifying those of option B. Conversely, they are also likely to notice and amplify the advantages of option A and not notice or de-emphasize those of option B.l


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#40 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:19 PM

It’s actually a psychological issue.  When someone buys something that costs a lot of money, say a 5 inch APO for $7000, they then develop a “cognitive bias” where they need to justify to themselves that it was worth it.  Here’s an explanation from Wikipedia:

 

“In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias or post-purchase rationalization is the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. It is a cognitive bias. For example, if a person chooses option A instead of option B, they are likely to ignore or downplay the faults of option A while amplifying those of option B. Conversely, they are also likely to notice and amplify the advantages of option A and not notice or de-emphasize those of option B.l

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#41 OleCuss

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:39 PM

Having pointed out why I really like my refractors (and especially my 80mm spotter) I'd like to emphasize what some others have been suggesting.

 

You really need to think about what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how you want to do it - and with what budget.

 

This summer I had my NexStar 8SE set up for a public-viewing event not too far from a 180mm A-P refractor.  We both ended up aimed at the same target and while I never got to look through the A-P I've a relative who looked through both scopes.  He didn't think the view through the A-P was better than what I got with the far, far cheaper 8SE.

 

I'm betting that had I looked through the A-P that I would have liked the view better on most targets because I've a taste for a really crisp/contrasty view which refractors seem to give me.  But for my relative it would have been an incredible waste of money.

 

For that matter, even if I had the money on-hand and devoted to astronomy I've come to believe that I'd not get the big, beautiful A-P myself even though I think I'd prefer the view.  I'm simply not going to be hauling around a 6" refractor and mount and still be happy whereas I can move the 8SE around with ease.

 

There is a reason there are so many different telescopes (other than the cheap pieces of garbage some of us call "department store scopes") they each have their strengths and weaknesses.


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#42 mikona

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:48 PM

It’s actually a psychological issue.  When someone buys something that costs a lot of money, say a 5 inch APO for $7000, they then develop a “cognitive bias” where they need to justify to themselves that it was worth it.  Here’s an explanation from Wikipedia:

 

“In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias or post-purchase rationalization is the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. It is a cognitive bias. For example, if a person chooses option A instead of option B, they are likely to ignore or downplay the faults of option A while amplifying those of option B. Conversely, they are also likely to notice and amplify the advantages of option A and not notice or de-emphasize those of option B.l

Wow!   I am an organizational psychologist who has been involved in many scientific studies.  While there is merit in the Wiki quote (although Wiki is not considered a reliable source), I can assure you that objectively, I was able to determine that the quality of my view (pinpoint clean unbloated stars) in my 100mm was superior to my CPC1100.  


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#43 Mitrovarr

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:20 AM

You do realize that knowing about those biasing effects doesn't undo them, right? You cannot make a completely objective judgment by eye. Nobody can. Only a completely machine-based test can be totally objective. A blind or double-blind test can come pretty close, but is nearly always impossible in amateur astronomy.


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#44 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:22 AM

 

It’s actually a psychological issue.  When someone buys something that costs a lot of money, say a 5 inch APO for $7000, they then develop a “cognitive bias” where they need to justify to themselves that it was worth it.  Here’s an explanation from Wikipedia:

 

“In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias or post-purchase rationalization is the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. It is a cognitive bias. For example, if a person chooses option A instead of option B, they are likely to ignore or downplay the faults of option A while amplifying those of option B. Conversely, they are also likely to notice and amplify the advantages of option A and not notice or de-emphasize those of option B.l

Wow!   I am an organizational psychologist who has been involved in many scientific studies.  While there is merit in the Wiki quote (although Wiki is not considered a reliable source), I can assure you that objectively, I was able to determine that the quality of my view (pinpoint clean unbloated stars) in my 100mm was superior to my CPC1100.  

 

 

I think the point of the dissonance reduction explanation is that you value the thing you have invested in, not that you mis-perceive the functioning of that thing.

 

Having said that, there is evidence for psychological impacts on the judgment of the quality of subjective stimuli, like wine, based on how expensive it is.

 

It would be pretty cool if those effects translate to subjective evaluation of things like views through telescopes.


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#45 555aaa

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:24 AM

No, no, no, everyone knows you need a giant dob.

 

So... one thing I do think that can be a factor is that in an obstructed system, the secondary create a shadow at the exit pupil. If that is too big relative to the viewer's eye ability to accommodate, it would seem to me to cause problems. That doesn't happen in unobstructed systems. If I understand correctly, if you are using a long enough focal length eyepiece and your pupil adaptation is poor enough, you can't actually see on axis. You have to move your eye slightly off axis. In an obstructed system I think you have to be cognizant about your own (and your guests) pupil adaptation, your obstruction size, and eyepiece selection. 



#46 Peter Besenbruch

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:35 AM

Yes, and a lot of the observers with big scopes who live in more favorable climates seemingly cannot possibly comprehend how it is to live in a challenging one. Quite a lot of my observing are unplanned, surprise half-hour to one-hour sessions between showers or low-pressure fronts. Under such conditions, the small refractor reigns supreme and allows me to get the best of the preciously few available photons. Some large-scope observers have even told me, that they would give up and find another hobby, if they were forced to live where I do. Yeah, but I didn't give up, I just found the best tool for the job and try to make the best of it.

I, too, live on an island surrounded by ocean, so our observing conditions must be the same. ;)

 

People have reviewed why a refractor might perform better than a Cat. Yes, inch for inch, a refractor is better. Yes, the refractors cool better, and aren't as affected by temperature changes. Yes, refractors lack a central obstruction. Yes, there are a lot of bad SCTs out there (though those times are supposed to be far in the past).

 

What constitutes "bad?" My 1982 vintage, orange C8 had maybe two nights total of reaching 250x on planets. No, it didn't do all that well when pushed higher. Is that bad? I give it a "meh minus." An 80mm Pentax refractor (your basic f11 achromat) produced nice, crisp, clean images of up to 200x most of the time. So did a defective Vixen 4" achromat. I have had Newtonians perform very well indeed. I have looked at planets through many other SCTs, but they never impressed.

 

Then there is my 7" Cat., a Maksutov that has spent a few nights over 500x. Good optics coupled with the usual cheap mechanics. Yet even at lover magnifications the images it produces pop, much like a refractor.

 

So what is it about SCTs? It's not the cooling (this is Hawaii, after all), and probably not the central obstruction (it's 5% more than my Maksutov). The conditions are good here, and they still lag as a group. Yes, there may be bad ones, but why are there so few that perform well out here. I suspect it's something about the design that makes great performances close to impossible. Either the design itself limits performance, much like a short focus achromat struggling to reach high magnifications, or it's a very fussy design that is hard to execute well.


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#47 Freezout

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 04:35 AM

You do realize that knowing about those biasing effects doesn't undo them, right? You cannot make a completely objective judgment by eye. Nobody can. Only a completely machine-based test can be totally objective. A blind or double-blind test can come pretty close, but is nearly always impossible in amateur astronomy.

Did ever someone realize such a blind test, by putting telescopes next to each other in a kind of black box opened to the sky? At a star party for example, this could be a popular experience.

Of course with telescopes cooled down etc.

I never went to a star party, and will probably not be able to set up such a thing soon (small experience and no "club contacts"), but I'm curious. This experience could bring results interesting to compare with machine tests, to measure subjectivity and the importance of the "purchaser bias" that Sandy refers to. Especially with experienced astronomers.


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#48 Mitrovarr

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 04:57 AM


Yes, and a lot of the observers with big scopes who live in more favorable climates seemingly cannot possibly comprehend how it is to live in a challenging one. Quite a lot of my observing are unplanned, surprise half-hour to one-hour sessions between showers or low-pressure fronts. Under such conditions, the small refractor reigns supreme and allows me to get the best of the preciously few available photons. Some large-scope observers have even told me, that they would give up and find another hobby, if they were forced to live where I do. Yeah, but I didn't give up, I just found the best tool for the job and try to make the best of it.

I, too, live on an island surrounded by ocean, so our observing conditions must be the same. ;)

People have reviewed why a refractor might perform better than a Cat. Yes, inch for inch, a refractor is better. Yes, the refractors cool better, and aren't as affected by temperature changes. Yes, refractors lack a central obstruction. Yes, there are a lot of bad SCTs out there (though those times are supposed to be far in the past).

What constitutes "bad?" My 1982 vintage, orange C8 had maybe two nights total of reaching 250x on planets. No, it didn't do all that well when pushed higher. Is that bad? I give it a "meh minus." An 80mm Pentax refractor (your basic f11 achromat) produced nice, crisp, clean images of up to 200x most of the time. So did a defective Vixen 4" achromat. I have had Newtonians perform very well indeed. I have looked at planets through many other SCTs, but they never impressed.

Then there is my 7" Cat., a Maksutov that has spent a few nights over 500x. Good optics coupled with the usual cheap mechanics. Yet even at lover magnifications the images it produces pop, much like a refractor.

So what is it about SCTs? It's not the cooling (this is Hawaii, after all), and probably not the central obstruction (it's 5% more than my Maksutov). The conditions are good here, and they still lag as a group. Yes, there may be bad ones, but why are there so few that perform well out here. I suspect it's something about the design that makes great performances close to impossible. Either the design itself limits performance, much like a short focus achromat struggling to reach high magnifications, or it's a very fussy design that is hard to execute well.

Well, one thing I've noticed is that SCT owners are often absolutely terrified of working on their scopes, but SCTs need collimation almost like a newtonian does. I see so many miscollimated SCTs - and the bigger they are, the more likely it is.

Beyond that, I do think there's a lot of bad ones out there. I think bad reflectors get scrapped or refigured while bad SCTs circulate forever. They last better than newts and they cost more so nobody wants to be the one who finally 'retires' a lemon.
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#49 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 06:46 AM

 

Yes, and a lot of the observers with big scopes who live in more favorable climates seemingly cannot possibly comprehend how it is to live in a challenging one.

 

 

Just because one lives where the conditions are often favorable doesn't mean that one does not experience the other side of the coin.  Under normal conditions with a light westerly wind off the Pacific Ocean, the seeing can be quite good here.  On the other hand, when there's a high pressure center to east creating a "Santa Ana", winds blow over the mountains from the desert creating seeing that can be as bad as 10 arc-seconds. Under, such conditions, the scope's resolution doesn't really matter much.  

 

I make the distinction between what the scope is capable of and what the conditions allow and choose accordingly.  

 

I've always found that the ones who don't understand the attributes of each optical system are the ones who lack experience in the broader arena of deep sky observation.

 

 

That could be.  I tend to think that most of us choose the equipment that best suits their situation, their needs and interests but probably have a lesser awareness of just how different our individual situations can be.  Maybe that's just a different way of saying what you are saying. 

 

I use both refractors and reflectors and appreciate the views that both provide.  But I do question statements like "refractors provide sharper images" and "refractors" provide better contrast when my experience suggests otherwise.. It's true that inch for inch refractors provide more perfectly resolved stars and high contrast planetary views but in the big picture where scopes of different apertures are being compared, this no longer necessarily holds true. 
 

In terms of the deep sky attributes of each system, that's why when the skies are dark and clear, I'll setup some sort of larger reflector as well as at least one 3 or 4 inch fast refractor for those views the larger scope cannot provide.  

 

:shrug:

 

Jon


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#50 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 07:10 AM

One object people don't realize they can see in stunning clarity from a dark sky is the North American Nebula. It amazes me how much propaganda and emphasis with detailed maps are given to the Horse Head Nebula, which is far more difficult to see than the North American, yet you can see the North America the best in stunning contrast with an 80mm or 100mm frac using a UHC filter. It doesn't look as good in my larger fracs. Try to see this in your SCT.

 

 

Daniel:

 

So much publicity is given to things like the Horsehead and the central star in M57..  These are difficult targets that are Class II amazing: "amazing that you can see them at all."  There's so much hoopla about the central star in M57, one might have the impression that when one finally sees it, it suddenly becomes brighter than Sirius. :whee:  The reality, it's still just a faint star that's difficult to see because it's embedded in a Nebula.  I will admit to spending a lot of time on Horsehead, its one of those "the more you look, the more you see" objects.   

 

The North American, the Veil, these are Class I amazing.  that is, they're just amazing to look at.  The North American/Pelican complex is probably not much in an SCT but it's pretty awesome in a big dob with UHC filter, a large exit pupil and wide field of view.  The Veil, it's another one that is amazing is both smaller scopes with wider fields and large aperture scopes.  Its good my NP-101 with a 31mm Nagler or 41mm Panoptic with an O-III or the 16 inch or 22 inch.. Anything really.

 

I have had some amazing wide field views of the Veil with a 24mm TV WF fitter with a O-III filter in my 50mm SV finder.  

 

I was like most of you until I tried the cool aid.  now I can drink enough.

 

 

I have the "cool aid".  It's nice.  But it's just part of the picture.  If your C-11 didn't provide clean splits of near Dawes limit doubles I suspect it probably never reached thermal equilibrium on a night when the seeing was excellent.  Or maybe you just needed a Newtonian and the patience to make it strut its stuff.  :)

 

Jon


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