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What's your most memorable "First Light"?

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#26 steve t

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 02:05 PM

For me there are two memorable first lights, first view of Jupiter in 1973, through my newly finished 4" Newtonian. Next was my first view of M13 through a 10" Cave Observatory newtonian, the view was so amazing it brought to mind a  quote from 2001 a Space Odyssey `oh my god it's full of stars"

Steve T 

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#27 AstroKerr


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Posted 28 October 2018 - 04:19 PM

Robert, oh Robert, aren't you forgetting something? like where's the clamchip on that fabulous lens?

Sorry, I almost forgot, here it is at 11 O' clock:


attachicon.gif post-50896-14073904174202_thumb.jpg

What's the story behind the clamchip, Robert?  I'm looking at that photo of you holding the Brandt thinking  "if he had a mohawk, he'd be some sort of post apocalyptic warrior readying himself for a round of Zombie pithering or Triffid gouging..." - you know, doing with it the sorts of things that might well cause a worthy clamchip and thereby the assignation of the 'clamchip' moniker. 


I ask because I'm a bit down in the chops and could appreciate a tale of telescopic travail wth furious action and loud shouts. Something 'Boo-Yah!' or 'Gung-Ho!' in nature would be nice.


And, I wanted to ask if you have a better photo of the clamchip in question - it's indistinct in that one you've posted.


Many Thanks,



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#28 clamchip



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Posted 28 October 2018 - 06:34 PM

It's the only picture I have of that clamchip.

The lens came from ebay with the chip. It was made clear in the seller's description,

"The lens has a big chip for no extra charge."

It was mounted in a cardboard tube and on a rickety mount so it probably fell over

and the higher they are the harder they hit.

I built the telescope for the lens. Yes! it does look like it could be some kind of portable photon

torpedo launcher.

Looking for a better photo of the clamchip I found this picture of the scope on it's mounting.




Edited by clamchip, 28 October 2018 - 06:46 PM.

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#29 starman876



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Posted 29 October 2018 - 08:24 AM

My first light was through my neighbors 8" newtonian during the day.  He had it set up so he watch Jupiter in the day time.  I was hooked after I saw that.  He gave me some lenses so I could build my first scope.  5" achromat which I attached onto the end of a carpet tube.  I have no idea what happened to that lens.  I was about 12 at the time.  I really only looked at the moon with it.  Only thing I could find with such a long focal length and no mount.   Would use tree branches to hold the scope steady. Was amazing to see the craters for the first time.   

Edited by starman876, 29 October 2018 - 08:25 AM.

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#30 Piggyback


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Posted 29 October 2018 - 12:29 PM

My most memorable first light must have been looking at the sun with with a DayStar 0.7A H-alpha filter attached to an orange C8.


I never forget watching live prominences changing shape within a minutes time. It was the middle 70´s and I had spent my life savings to make this dream come true. I was hooked and ended up meeting the late Del Woods at his DayStar works in Pomona. I became german rep for DayStar in Germany and our families spent quality vacation time together. Our friendship lasted until his sad demise 12 years ago. He was also godfather to my son. I miss my friend Del dearly.

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#31 AstroKerr


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Posted 30 October 2018 - 11:31 AM

That is a fine story even without Zombies and Triffids, and that truly is an awesome telescope, as is the Photon Warrior who built it.

And that is a very nice horizon for viewing - you, Sir, are well-sited and well seated. And that reminds me of Tyco Bass and The Mushroom Planet series, which I shall now have to re-read after some 50 years abstinence. I seem to recall a graphic in one of the books which had Mr. Bass seated before a long scope, which yours reminded me of. I don't think, by the by, your head is round enough for you to be a Mycetian, but that's beside the point.

Edited by AstroKerr, 30 October 2018 - 11:35 AM.

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#32 Exnihilo



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Posted 30 October 2018 - 04:37 PM

Probably viewing M13 for the first time in my first scope, Tasco 7TE-5, about 1971.
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#33 rolo



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Posted 30 October 2018 - 04:56 PM

Amazing how we can remember the details after so many years! 

Edited by rolo, 30 October 2018 - 05:12 PM.

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#34 rcwolpert



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Posted 30 October 2018 - 05:03 PM

1) The Veil Nebula with my 12.5" f/6.3 at Stellafane, soon after I finished the scope and put it on a very rough Dobsonian mount.

2) Saturn with my C-11 the night when it was so steady that the Enke Div was clearly visible and I could no stop saying "Wow!"

3) The first time I looked at Jupiter with my Mayflower 816.


I'm sure there are others, but those are the 3 that immediately come to mind.

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#35 k5apl



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Posted 01 November 2018 - 05:55 PM

I was 12 years old in 1953 and was very interested in astronomy. I did not own a telescope but had some cheap binoculars.  My dad

would drive me to the local Phoenix Astronomy club meetings and I would sit by myself, overhearing other's conversations (they had

no regard for a kid attending their meetings).  One night at a meeting, a man brought his home made short focal length 5 inch Newtonian reflector that was on a small mount/tripod.  It was sitting on a picnic table and the members all looked through it and re-marked what a good job the man did.  After a while, they tired of looking and went back to their conversations.  It beckoned me to take a look and I did.  I remember it was summertime, early in the night, and it was looking about straight up.  I didn't dare touch it to move it, so I looked and saw beautiful brilliant bright stars on a very dark background.  I then fell in love with the Visual part of astronomy.  That image was burned into my mind, and every time I look through a telescope at star fields I think I compare the view with my memory of that night 65 years ago.  I still wish I had a scope like that today!

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