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Top 3 things observed with a Classic

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#1 Bonco2


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Posted 13 February 2018 - 04:14 PM

Might be interesting to read the top 3 most interesting observations made with classic telescopes.

For starters here's my top 3


1. Comet crash effect on Jupiter. Had good weather for several nights and enjoyed the visual event to the most.

Cave 10 inch F/6


2. Watching one of Jupiter's moons eclipse another. Due to albedo differences I could see the disk of the closer moon as it tracked across the more distant moon.

6 inch F/8 AP refractor at 600X


3. Omega Centauri from the Florida Keys. Looks unreal and leaves one breathless

Cave 10 inch f/6  

These 3 really stand out in my memory of great observations. 


Edited by Bonco2, 13 February 2018 - 04:18 PM.

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#2 rolo


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Posted 13 February 2018 - 04:48 PM

In the past 40 yrs of observing just about everything worth looking at.

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#3 rcwolpert



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Posted 13 February 2018 - 04:50 PM

1. Comet crash on Jupiter with my 12.5" f/6.3 scope with Coulter mirror.  Also saw Pluto with that scope.

2. August 2017 Solar Eclipse with a Questar 3.5.

3. Hundreds of amazing double star observations with my Mayflower 816.

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#4 Augustus


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Posted 13 February 2018 - 05:32 PM

1. My first Jupiter shadow transit with the Edmund Super Space Conqueror (still have the rusty mount and tube; focuser and optics sold)


2. Seeing 40 or so craterlets in Clavius with the Super Space Conqueror on a night of good seeing - the night that made me realize that my Meade 2080 was a dog optically (I could hardly see twenty with it, despite being able to see about that many with my C60 - my 6" f/4.5 shows about 45 craters).


3. Resolving the cores of M13, M92, and M71 with my Meade 2080 (since sold).

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#5 steve t

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:04 PM

1. First time I saw M13 through a large scope (Cave 10" F6)

2. Jupiter Comet Crash (6" Newtonian)

3. First time I found the Ring Nebula with my 4" F8.5 Newt.

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#6 Chuck Hards

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:12 PM

Gotta list four, sorry.


First time I saw Jupiter & Saturn in a "large" scope, Edmund 4.25" Palomar Jr., 1968.


Comet West in 1976.  Home made 8" f/7 Newt, Parks tube, Coulter mirror, Astrola 1.5" shaft mount.  Best naked-eye & bino however.


Shoemaker-Levy 9 Jupiter impact 1994.  10" f/5.6 Newt, another Coulter mirror.  


Total solar eclipse 2017.  Unitron 105.   

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#7 clamchip



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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:44 PM

When I trained my newly purchased orange C14 on Mars and saw a moldy cheese ball the size of a Oreo cookie 

I nearly had a litter of kittens right then and there.

Jupiter and a Meade 10 inch SCT, humongous out of focus planet, I wasn't expecting it to be so big, it's burned into my 

memory for all of eternity.

My long gone Starsplitter 14.5 inch f/4.5, the lunar surface was shades of gray's and whites, and browns, it reminded

me of my Weber barbecue ash, I was really worried about hurting my eye it was so bright.

I used a wide field eyepiece and let the satellite drift across my field of view and I swear I felt like I was there about

to touch down. I was worried about snagging a knee cap on a crater rim, it was awesome, what

a scope that was.



Edited by actionhac, 13 February 2018 - 10:08 PM.

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#8 rolo


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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:49 PM

Three is just not enough...


Firts time I ever saw Jupiter, and Saturn found them by mistake the first night I used my 60mm Jason in 1977.


Omega Centauri from Puerto Rico


Jupiter, Saturn & Mars at 762x to 950x 12.5" f/6 Cave. Mind boggling detail!

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#9 dave brock

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:28 PM

Does it still count if the telescope wasn't a classic at the time? confused1.gif 



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#10 Mike Allen

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:48 PM

1.  2003 opposition of Mars with an orange tube C8.  Detail was amazing in with perfect seeing.


2.  2004 transit of Venus in Rome, Italy with a vintage 50mm Micronta achromatic refractor.  


3.  Comet Halley observed from Texas with a 4-inch Unitron.

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#11 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:35 AM

Three I remember:


- My first view of Orion in a broken down 60mm refractor.  I had zero idea of what I was doing. I had one eyepiece, no finder but somehow I stumbled on M42 and that was the beginning of a long story. 


- The November 8, 2006 transit of Mercury.  I had a 1970's black tube C-5 f/10 and I took it to work and we observed the transit from the courtyard.


(lower left) 


4624525-transit of mercury.jpg
When I observed the transit of 2012 transit of Venus, I hadn't really thought much about it and I was expecting Venus to be equally small. Big surprise.. 
- A double shadow transit on Jupiter with a 60mm Asahi-Pentax refractor. 


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#12 Kasmos



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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:37 AM

My telescopes weren't old enough to be classics at the time.


To have my own first telescope (Mayflower 814 back in 1976), to observe the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn for as long as I wanted on any clear night was pretty exciting. Before that, my only observations had been done after waiting in line for a look through the Griffith Park Observatory's 12" Zeiss refractor. But, in those days (1970s), it was so much mellower that on some nights you could spend much more time at the eyepiece and then get back in line with only one or two people, or just wait until no one else was there to have another nice long look.


Like others have mentioned, the Shoemaker-Levy impact in 1994 was pretty special. I had some friends over so I believe it's the only time I had both my C8 and the Jaegers 4" set up for the same viewing session. In those days my Mayflower 814 was always riding piggy back on the 4", so three of my then four telescopes were in use for that session.

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#13 shredder1656



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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:50 AM

1.  My youngest daughter and I happened to stumble across a garage sale with a telescope sitting in the driveway.  It is/was not a classic, but it started us down this path.  Hurtling down this path, might be a better way of putting it.  The scope was a rickety, dusty, and delightful, Tasco Luminova 60mm refractor.  We bought it for $3.  It came with eyepieces, the mount/tripod, and diagonal.  The finder had been long lost.  One of the very few times I have ever voluntarily stopped at a garage sale.  The other times were for some tool, or dirt bike, that could be seen from the road.  I am glad we did.  


Even though I was skeptical that it would be worth the $3, I paid it since I had never had the opportunity to sate my curiosity regarding telescopes, etc.  Especially for pennies.  We took it home, and checked out the moon.  The crater detail, and brightness was a shock.  But, what blew my mind was seeing Saturn, and with enough resolution to KNOW what I was looking at.  It was beautiful, and can best be described as a tiny bb that was encircled by a barely perceptible thing piece of thread.  It was a yellowish color, wavy, and was quickly knocked out of our fov by the slight touch of my eyelashes against the ep.  lol.gif 


All three of our kids that are still at home, and my wife, each had a turn at the ep, once I was able get it back in view.  It was a fun experience, and turned us (me) onto this hobby.  I remember it like it was just last year...because it was.  


That started me on the search for a "real" scope.  I quickly realized that the recommended dobs, and others, were interesting, but when I started looking at classics, I saw that I could get some real quality for almost pennies on the dollar.  Sucked into this rabbit hole, here we are today.  


(the observations with actual classics)


2.  The morning that I first tripped over myself and "discovered" Jupiter.  I was up early, and was astounded that I saw the 4 moons of Venus, because that was what I was looking for.  After looking at what I had found, and confirming that I was truly seeing what I thought I was seeing, I went inside to Google whether I was seeing more moons or less than most people saw around Venus.  Yeah...I was seeing more moons than anyone had ever seen around Venus, because I was looking at Jupiter.  Regardless, it was awesome that first time.  Like they say, ignorance is bliss.  Asahi Pentax.  


3.  Every I look at Pleiades and Orion they are awesome.  Love it through my little S&S.  Looking forward to it with the Edmund 4".  

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#14 Karl Fabian

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:56 PM

1. Sirius B in 1982 with 4-1/4" Edmund Palomar  F10.6 Newtonian.


2. Jupiter impact scars with 4-1/2" Tasco "Lunagrosso" and B&L 8001


3. Venus transit with black drop effect and Aureole with  B+L 4000

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#15 Geo31


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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:27 PM

NGC1300. To see the arms of this barred spiral was simply amazing.


Jupiter. Multiple swirling cloud bands with incredible colors.


M1.  Incredible yellow-green structure with red filaments.


82" Otto Struve at McDonald Observatory.

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#16 JIMZ7


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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:52 PM

In December 1972 watched Apollo 17 last Moon launch from Cape Kennedy Florida. Followed it 500 miles down range with a mid 60s purchase of a Edmund 75mm f/15 equatorial refractor.

In 1988 observed Mars opposition with a homemade Coulter 8" f/6.9 mirror. Didn't have filters so when cumulus clouds came I was going to quit observing but they acted like a filter and brought out stunning views like in pictures. Wow!!!

Going back a few years again in 1970 viewed my first comet with a homemade 6" f/4 mirror equatorial reflector made by Polaris Telescope Shop in Dearborn Michigan. Comet Bennett appeared in the eastern sky going south to north or maybe it was the reverse. Anyways it was quite spectacular because it looked like a vapor trail or a very narrow search light which extended a long ways. Of course Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 was no slouch!!!


Edited by JIMZ7, 14 February 2018 - 05:54 PM.

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#17 John Higbee

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:18 PM

The Moon (via a C14 Orange Tube from the '70s, and a Galaxy 5 smartphone):


IMG_3549 (2).jpg



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#18 davidmcgo



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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:52 PM

Top 3 that pop into my mind are:


Mars in 1988 with a 4" Alvan Clark and Sons at the NJAA Observatory in New Jersey.  It was probably a 1920s vintage.  The mount was an Edmund 1" shaft on a huge surplus TV camera tripod I had donated.


Transit of Mercury in 1999 or so with the 5" Clark built for one of the late 1800s transit of Venus expeditions owned by John Briggs when he was at Sloan Digital Sky Survey.


Tracking down the Cygnus Egg in my 1965 Celestron C10 from my back yard here in suburban San Diego.



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#19 terraclarke



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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:42 PM

1. Comet Ikeya Seki, December 1965, w/ Mayflower #814 60mm x 700mm (APL)
2. S-L9 impact with Jupiter, Summer 1994, w/ Mayflower #814 60mm x 700mm (APL)
3. August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, w/ Mayflower #814 60mm x 700mm (APL)

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#20 Bomber Bob

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:38 PM

The first few years with my D&G 5" F10 refractor:


-- July 1989 Saturn occultation of 28 Sgr (recorded the ring timing "flashes" and submitted the results -- while I was on SIOP Alert!)

-- July 1994 Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 fragments impact Jupiter!   I both observed & videotaped this one.  (Wish I could find that old tape!)


And with my CZJ Telementor 2:


-- Mercury Transit of 2016.  My coworkers got to enjoy this event as well.

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#21 L. Regira

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 04:44 PM

1. Seeing the Encke (or is it the Keeler) Gap on Saturn's rings with my Cave 12.5 inch.

2. Seeing Sirius B again with the Cave.

3. When I was about 9 with my new Sears 60mm scope I was able to see the time on a guy's watch from about 80 yards away as he was at the top of a tv antenna repairing it!

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