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Astro goodies in Singapore?

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#1 SkyRanger

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 11:30 AM

I will be in Singapore for about a week next February. This is my first and probably my only trip to this part of the world.  

 

I see that there is a science center there with public viewing on several scopes and an active sidewalk astronomy group.  I am wondering, though, if there is any place there with smoking deals on astronomy gear?

The good news is that I don't really NEED anything.  Chinese made apos are the logical quest, but I already have a small apo, don't image, and don't need any scopes.  Is there any place there where I might find small items like EPs, filters, etc at bargain prices?  I wouldn't expect to find bargains there on TV or Baader, but perhaps on Leica, Pentax, Nikon, etc?  After 50 years in the hobby I don't really need any EPs, but I would like to explore the possibilities.  

Thanks!

GG



#2 DMach

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 12:59 AM

Hi there,

I've been living and working in Singapore for a while now, only just got into astronomy recently ... will follow this thread with interest!

What I've learned so far:

There is an astronomy shop at the Science Centre (astro.com.sg) but the markup is quite high. But then we are talking about a very niche market in the most light polluted country in the world, so their markups probably *need* to be high to make their business viable.

I've also found astrobargains.com, run by a very nice fellow, but out of his house so it might be a bit hard to find if you're just visiting.

To be honest though, if you're looking for "smoking deals" on any consumer goods in Singapore, you're probably going to be disappointed.

Hong Kong would be a better bet, have heard of a couple of telescope shops there with good prices on Tak 'scopes for example.

For me, I wait until I have a business trip to the US and buy from there.

But maybe someone on this forum knows something I don't! wink.gif


Edited by DMach, 09 December 2018 - 01:15 AM.

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#3 cheesified

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 03:45 AM

as far as I know, pretty much as DMach has mentioned. unfortunately so..



#4 SkyRanger

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 04:36 PM

Thanks, guys!  My visions of Leica eyepieces for $100. is just a fantasy.  I’m not coming there to shop, anyway; and it’s extremely unlikely that I will make any side trips from Singapore.

 

I did check out the website for astro bargains.  Thanks!

 

I will definitely plan on enjoying the symphony while I’m there.

 

Gordon G



#5 PEterW

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 12:24 PM

When I visited the only Astro objects I coukd see from downtown were the moon and Mars... the stars seem to have taken a break! Impressive place to visit, the climate is a shock for someone from the U.K!

Peter

#6 SkyRanger

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 04:30 PM

To my fellow astronomers in Singapore:

Is there any easy way to travel out of the city so I can see the Southern Cross?

It may be a once in a lifetime shot!

Thanks!

GG



#7 DMach

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:23 PM

When I visited the only Astro objects I coukd see from downtown were the moon and Mars... the stars seem to have taken a break! Impressive place to visit, the climate is a shock for someone from the U.K!

Peter

Completely agree on the climate piece - I've been living here for years now, still struggle with the humidity. (I grew up and spent most of my life in Melbourne, Australia ... may seem a strange thing to say, but I miss winter!)

 

From downtown, yes you'll struggle to see anything ... the government seems to be obsessed with illuminating every square centimetre of space with the brightest lights they can get their hands on lol.

 

A little further out of the city centre, things are slightly better - my apartment is not far from East Coast Park and, on a clear moon-less night**, I can get down to magnitude 3.8 to 3.9 stars if I try hard enough.

 

**Herein lies the problem though: being in the tropics with very high humidity, nights with excellent transparency are hard to come by ... even on "cloudless" nights, there's often a significant amount of high-level haze.

 

To my fellow astronomers in Singapore:

Is there any easy way to travel out of the city so I can see the Southern Cross?

It may be a once in a lifetime shot!

Thanks!

GG

Following on from my comment above, there are locations within Singapore where you'll be able to see the Southern Cross. My balcony has a southern aspect and I'm not too far from the southern coast line, so the worst of the light pollution is "behind me" and I can easily see it ... makes me a little homesick every time lol.

 

There are other sites within Singapore with improved views - maybe get in touch with the local Astronomy Society and ask them for suggestions:

 

http://tasos.org.sg/

 

If you are willing to travel slightly out of Singapore, I recently found a pretty good location on Bintan Island. You can reach Bintan by ferry (takes around one hour). It is part of Indonesia, so check on your visa requirements etc.

 

If you are willing to travel a further 60-90 minutes by car (your hotel can arrange a pickup from the ferry terminal) there are places to stay along the eastern coast of the island with pretty low light pollution - see the light pollution map below.

 

Bintan light pollution map.JPG

 

I recently tried one of these out (Trikora Beach Club) and was pleased to be able to see the milky way. The resort is good but not great - limited dining options is the main challenge, but I was there for the skies anyway.

 

Only had my binoculars with me, will drag my telescope along next time.

 

If you do go, bring some binoculars along at least ... plenty of southern sights to see! (Not far from the Southern Cross there's the Jewelbox cluster, the Southern Pleiades, Carina, and maybe even Omega Centauri.) You might also be able to catch some of the sights near the galactic centre just before dawn. All of these will be a little low in the sky though, around 30 deg max.

 

Plus of course you'll be able to see Orion riding high in the sky for optimal viewing (at zenith).  smile.gif

 

Just have to keep you fingers crossed for clear skies!  wink.gif


Edited by DMach, 12 December 2018 - 09:52 AM.


#8 SkyRanger

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 11:20 PM

Thanks for the great info.  This gives me hope that I’ll manage to see it!

 

GG




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