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Star Party &/or Outreach telescopes.

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#1 25585

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:10 PM

I imagine for events closed to the general public, you all bring out your best glassware. 

 

What telescopes are you happiest letting other folks try out?

 

I use my C8 and Vixen A80M on a Skytee 2 mount, former side saddle, latter top. 


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#2 Gary Z

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:13 PM

C8 on an Evolution Mount.  Easy setup, and lightweight.

 

Gary


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#3 cuzimthedad

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:46 PM

I found that during star parties, almost everyone there would come and view through my 20" Obsession either if having to climb the ladder or stand or squat on the ground. However, at public outreach events, the non-initiated were less willing to climb the ladder than the initiated were. I think the difference was that since other amateur astronomers made up the bulk of the population at the event, and the 20" was normally the largest aperture scope there, they wanted to compare views of objects between their's and my scopes. Whereas at public events, many people just don't like to climb ladders and in some cases, didn't realize that the dob was actually even a telescope!



#4 sg6

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:18 PM

At outreach ETX-70, ETX-105 or a 102/600 Bresser on an EQ5. Find that outreach and a small goto works well.

 

At a star party I think I trust the people there less then at outreach. Public I have found take more care, at a star party people assume that as they are also astronomers they can sometimes interfere more. Sometimes too many opinions.



#5 lsfinn

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:26 PM

I've three scopes: two portable, one permanently installed in a home observatory. I regard both of my portable scopes as serious observing instruments. I've taken both to outreach events. The only thing that makes me prefer one over the other for this purpose is the difficulty of set-up. 

 

That being said, I do believe that there is something to be said for using a refractor for outreach: people just seem to respond with greater interest and comfort to a telescope that comports with their idea of a telescope. 



#6 Napp

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 09:55 PM

I have an 8 inch sct, an 80mm refractor, a 10 inch dob and a 16 inch dob. I usually use the 8 inch sct on a computer driven equatorial mount for outreach.  Folks look at the scopes usually on display and don’t think the 80mm is big enough and skip it.  I don’t mind nudging the dobs for myself but for outreach crowds the computer driven equatorial mount is easier to keep the target in view.  As mentioned above the dobs may require ladders for some targets for shorter individuals.



#7 izar187

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:22 AM

I imagine for events closed to the general public, you all bring out your best glassware. 

 

What telescopes are you happiest letting other folks try out?

 

I use my C8 and Vixen A80M on a Skytee 2 mount, former side saddle, latter top. 

Glassware...  Any, and have, for much of 4 decades.

Just match the target to the chosen scope, for the best experience for the guests.

As has been mentioned before by others, I've done more damage to my own glass than guests ever could.

Having said that, none of my big and little glassware is tip-top end. My choice.


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#8 Eddgie

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 03:10 PM

I bring three image intensifiers.

 

pwang99 And I go to star parties together, and we generally have by far and away the longest lines, and I have seen people loop though the line three times.

 

I don't generally give them any specific targets to look at.  I just hand them a device, show them how to focus it, and let them go.   Usually it is working at 1x, but sometimes for closer study of larger nebula, I will put on a 3x lens.

 

I never cease to be amused at the remarks people make, and it is fun to watch them spinning around in circles going "WOW!" or saying any range of expletives that I can't repeat on CN.

 

Sometimes we will use a laser pointer to point out things like the North American Nebula or Gamma Cygni complex.  When people pass on the image intensifier, they often want us to point where they were looking in the sky.

 

Of course the Milky Way is a major grab, and people are stunned by the shear spectacle of it.  Most have never been to dark skies, and even those that say they have seen it will almost always say it was nothing like the view in the image intensifier.

 

Peter will sometimes put an image intensifier in his scope at prime focus and point it to something like the Eagle or Swan nebula (Both are brimming with detail, and in the 16", the Pillars of Creation are dead easy to see), but I prefer to let let them "Drive" their own experience.  If there is something they see when they are scanning around and wish to know more about the object, I give them a red laser pointer and have them point at it so I can see where they are looking and then tell them what they are looking at. 

 

I would never do outreach with conventional eyepieces again.  It is far too exciting to see people "discover" things like the Lagoon Nebula or the Pac Man nebula on their own. 
 



#9 Raginar

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:17 PM

I imagine for events closed to the general public, you all bring out your best glassware.

What telescopes are you happiest letting other folks try out?

I use my C8 and Vixen A80M on a Skytee 2 mount, former side saddle, latter top.


Any of the alt azimuth Meade/Celestron scopes. The views are solid and they’re easy to setup.

GEMs take too long to setup for the limited time you have a crowd.

#10 Pauls72

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:22 PM

I normally take my C11 SCT, my Atlas EQ-G mount and a couple of my best eyepieces. I leave the eyepiece cases locked in the SUV. I use a twist lock diagonal to keep the eyepieces held in securely.

I show them how to focus and then let them focus. If some one does a lot of focusing, I will check the focus after them. I just ask them not to grab or hold on to anything and why.

My friends and I believe in giving the public the best views possible, so we all take our good scopes & eyepieces.

 

I recently bought a StarSense for Skywatcher to get the mount aligned quicker and earlier at outreach events.

 

A number of years ago, I had an incident where a lady pulled the eyepiece out of the diagonal on my 102mm MCT as I'm saying not to touch it, she dropped it in the pavement. It was just a 25mm Plossol and a 1.25" diagonal with only 1 thumb screw. Hence I went to twist lock's and only ever take 1 scope.

 

Being able to tell people what they are looking and giving them some information or being able to answer questions about it increases the WOW factor.


Edited by Pauls72, 18 June 2019 - 05:50 PM.

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#11 cturek

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 01:34 PM

Most of my available time is dedicated to our club's weekly public outreach events. I bring my good EP's, but only ones with at least 20mm of eye relief and with eyecups that can be raised to keep the eyelashes off the lens. I have no issue with the public using my collection of Delos and DeLite eyepieces among others. Its very rare that I have to clean them any more.


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