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60mm Telescope and the Moon

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#26 vtornado

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:15 AM

I just want to emphasize this even more. Using modern eyepieces can really breathe new life into an old scope.

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Absolutely agree with this I picked up an 80mm f/15 towa classic refractor from craig's list. The objective and mechanics were excellent.  The original included eyepieces and diagonal were crap, and I mean crap (I spend a lot of time with bottom wrung equipment so I know crap when I see it).   I replaced the .965 diagonal with a hybrid mirror to take 1.25 inch eyepiece and used some cheap Chinese plossl's and BAM stunning views.


Edited by vtornado, 29 March 2020 - 09:20 AM.

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#27 Erik Bakker

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:30 AM

Mark,

 

In my experience, a good 55-60mm was a wonderful instrument to observe the moon. But because the aperture limits it's angular resolution, many smaller craterlets remain invisible.  Smoothening out the surface, with the standard features beautiful delineated, but leaving it to bigger scopes to lift that smooth veal.

 

With every centimeter in these small apertures, another veil get's lifted and smaller surface details emerge. The turnover point is around 3" of high quality aperture. The 4" is another step up, as is the mighty 5". But of course mounting requirements rise quickly too.

 

So optimize for your own preferences of the best balance between detail and presentation of the lunar surface vs weight and size of the scope.

 

A small high quality Mak wil also do well on the moon and is one of the fortes of the little Questar.


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#28 dusty99

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:40 AM

Mark: By all means you can have a lot of fun with an old 60mm achro.  I restored one a couple of years ago and it gave pleasing views of the moon (the yoke mount was less pleasing...).  But, you already own what I would consider a great moon scope in your TV85.


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#29 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:52 AM

I was beginning to think a 60mm was not going to be my future. However, after reading some of the reviews by happy owners, and comments like those from AstroJenson  and AndresEsteban, I am thinking a classic 60mm refractor with some modern oculars would be fun. There is just something very cool about those vintage long white tubed refractors.  Please keep your comments and observations coming. Mark

 

From a practical standpoint, tossing the scope in the back of your car and heading out, your TeleVue 85 will be the winner there.  

 

As far as a classic with modern eyepieces, as Thomas said, it is the only way to go.  This is my 60mm x F/13.3 Asahi-Pentax with a 16mm Type 2 Nagler.  

 

4758229-Pentax in front of fireplace.jpg
 
I have owned a number of classic 60mm.. This is how I see it. 
 
When looking for a classic 60mm, you want one known for very good optics.  The Asahi-Pentax's are known for this.
 
When looking for a classic 60mm, you want one with a solid mount, the tubes are long and prone to vibration, most of the mounts are on the shaky side, usually due to the tripod.  The Asahi-Pentax is the only Japanese 60mm I ever had with a super solid mount.  In the photo, you can see just how robust the tripod is. 
 
The other important thing is a focuser that is 1.25 inch capable. There are work-arounds but they generally compromise the view.  Some take a Vixen visual back and that's the best.  The Asahi-Pentax's have a back that's the same diameter but a different pitch, I got lucky with the two I had, I had a diagonal eyepiece holder that just happened to fit.
 
Thomas's Zeiss Telmentor is probably near the top of the list... 
 
Jon

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#30 davidmcgo

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 10:10 AM

I have both a TV85 and a TV60.  The 85 shows a lot of detail, the 60 is fun for a little while, especially with the 3-6 Zoom.  Where the TV60 comes in to its own is that it is rock solid on a very light Bogen tracker tripod and 410 geared head and a one hand carry.  The OTA will fit in a small insulated (padding) lunch bag with a diagonal and a couple of eyepieces in bolt cases and be a small part of what is in my carry on bag flying on vacation and the tripod easily goes in a checked suitcase.

 

The other fun thing the TV60 can do is Be carried same as any other spotter on hikes if weather is good and waterproofing isn’t needed, and is fantastic for tracking hawks with a 19 Panoptic!

TV also sells the XY mount for it to attach to other scopes like a finder but the alignment method is not very easy to adjust precisely but a fun idea.

 

For just night sky, it is a good hour or so scope for me, and does get some use around home.
 

It won’t show anything the 85 won’t and there is more field curvature due to the really short focal length that degrades image at the edge of the 19 Panoptic so if the ultra portability isn’t useful, then it won’t really show anything the 85 won’t.
 

Dave


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#31 daquad

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 10:22 AM

I enjoy using my Tele Vue 60 combined with Tele Pod mount for the Moon.  I use mainly use the Nagler 6-3mm zoom but also 3.5mm and 2.5mm T6 Nagler for the higher powers and wider field than the zoom.  Of course at the lower powers the view is stunning too.

 

It is a quick grab and go setup and I also use this for planets in the evening and morning twilight.  Have seen the chevron cloud feature on Venus many times easily as well as following Mars well past opposition towards conjunction.  I have seen a polar cap and Syrtis Major easily when Mars was at 5 arcsec diameter.  (By easily I mean there was a large bright area along one pole and dark area in the middle; a check with an ephemeris confirmed Syrtis major).  Contrast is superb with this telescope as is colour correction and image quality is simply stunning both at night and day when nature observing.  I really appreciate the lack of chromatic aberration.

 

At low power with a 24mm Panoptic (or 19mm for a slightly darker field), the telescope is a joy to use for sweeping the sky looking for DSOs.  You won’t get the bigger and brighter views offered in a larger instrument but simply detecting them in 60mm is what I enjoy doing and at 15x (4.3 deg) or 19x (3.4 deg) with the Tele Pod, I don’t get the shakes as I do holding a pair of 15x70 binoculars.

 

The TV-60 is a joy to use on a TelePod and as cool down time is barely a few minutes so I can be observing in the time it takes me to make a cup of tea.  It is at the premium end of cost but I have long since forgotten that.  Highly recommended!

 

Whatever you choose, enjoy!

Astro744, what is your NELM? 

 

Dom Q.



#32 Jeff Gardner

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 10:24 AM

I enjoy using my Tele Vue 60 combined with Tele Pod mount for the Moon.  I use mainly use the Nagler 6-3mm zoom but also 3.5mm and 2.5mm T6 Nagler for the higher powers and wider field than the zoom.  Of course at the lower powers the view is stunning too.

 

It is a quick grab and go setup and I also use this for planets in the evening and morning twilight.  Have seen the chevron cloud feature on Venus many times easily as well as following Mars well past opposition towards conjunction.  I have seen a polar cap and Syrtis Major easily when Mars was at 5 arcsec diameter.  (By easily I mean there was a large bright area along one pole and dark area in the middle; a check with an ephemeris confirmed Syrtis major).  Contrast is superb with this telescope as is colour correction and image quality is simply stunning both at night and day when nature observing.  I really appreciate the lack of chromatic aberration.

 

At low power with a 24mm Panoptic (or 19mm for a slightly darker field), the telescope is a joy to use for sweeping the sky looking for DSOs.  You won’t get the bigger and brighter views offered in a larger instrument but simply detecting them in 60mm is what I enjoy doing and at 15x (4.3 deg) or 19x (3.4 deg) with the Tele Pod, I don’t get the shakes as I do holding a pair of 15x70 binoculars.

 

The TV-60 is a joy to use on a TelePod and as cool down time is barely a few minutes so I can be observing in the time it takes me to make a cup of tea.  It is at the premium end of cost but I have long since forgotten that.  Highly recommended!

 

Whatever you choose, enjoy!

Great post! I have a TV-60, AT-60ED and several larger scopes. I really enjoy the 60mm scopes for quick astronomy or daytime spotting. The TV-60 optics are slightly better than the AT-60ED, but really close. The TV-60, also is more compact and lighter with the 1.25" helical focuser. A 24mm Panoptic or 32mm plossl are great in both scopes for a 4.3* field of view!


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#33 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 10:44 AM

If you can find an old school classic 1000mm focal length scope.

 

Here is my 7TE

All I can say is, “Love it.”



#34 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 10:45 AM

They certainly look cool:

 

gallery_55742_4772_288428.jpg

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

Really sweet setup.


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#35 astro744

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 11:51 AM

Astro744, what is your NELM? 

 

Dom Q.

I haven't made a quantitative measurement for some years but I'll endeavour to make an accurate assessment within the next lunar cycle.  I always wanted to get a SQM meter but just never got around to it.

 

I always prefer a slightly higher magnification when sweeping the sky which does give me a darker background but more importantly larger image scale making smaller objects easier to spot.


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#36 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 12:08 PM

I haven't made a quantitative measurement for some years but I'll endeavour to make an accurate assessment within the next lunar cycle.  I always wanted to get a SQM meter but just never got around to it.

 

I always prefer a slightly higher magnification when sweeping the sky which does give me a darker background but more importantly larger image scale making smaller objects easier to spot.

That would be great.



#37 Tyson M

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 01:11 PM

One of my favorite lunar scopes was an FOA60.  But all my 60's in the past were amazing on the moon


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#38 Sasa

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 01:17 PM

60mm is definitely fun on Moon and you can run on many interesting features. My favorite ones are domes. To give you a feeling, here is the last sketch made through 60mm refractor of Arago domes

 

Moon_Arago_domes_20200101_1610UT.jpg

 

Some more reports from 60-63mm refractors

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~...00101_FOA60.pdf

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~..._Telementor.pdf


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#39 Erik Bakker

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 02:23 PM

60mm is definitely fun on Moon and you can run on many interesting features. My favorite ones are domes. To give you a feeling, here is the last sketch made through 60mm refractor of Arago domes

 

Moon_Arago_domes_20200101_1610UT.jpg

 

Some more reports from 60-63mm refractors

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~...00101_FOA60.pdf

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~..._Telementor.pdf

That specific 60 mm is the finest ever made and would be my weapon of choice for visual use in 60mm land.


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#40 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 03:02 PM

60mm is definitely fun on Moon and you can run on many interesting features. My favorite ones are domes. To give you a feeling, here is the last sketch made through 60mm refractor of Arago domes

 

Moon_Arago_domes_20200101_1610UT.jpg

 

Some more reports from 60-63mm refractors

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~...00101_FOA60.pdf

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~..._Telementor.pdf

WOW, great drawing. Curious, do you draw while you are observing? How long does it take you to finish an image? Mark



#41 MarkGregory

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 03:04 PM

60mm is definitely fun on Moon and you can run on many interesting features. My favorite ones are domes. To give you a feeling, here is the last sketch made through 60mm refractor of Arago domes

 

Moon_Arago_domes_20200101_1610UT.jpg

 

Some more reports from 60-63mm refractors

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~...00101_FOA60.pdf

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~..._Telementor.pdf

WOW, great drawing. Curious, do you do the entire drawing while you are observing? How long does it take you to finish an image? P.s. just read your articles. Fantastic.  Mark


Edited by MarkGregory, 29 March 2020 - 03:07 PM.


#42 Sasa

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 04:31 PM

WOW, great drawing. Curious, do you do the entire drawing while you are observing? How long does it take you to finish an image? P.s. just read your articles. Fantastic.  Mark

Thanks Mark, so you found out that those sketches made with pencil are just 15-20 minutes rough drawings made at the eyepiece. From time to time, I also try to use old stippling technique. These are of course made later at home. I don't consider myself skilled at sketching, but it is fun and I found it more satisfying than imaging. You can find more Moon sketches from 60mm (and larger) telescopes on my web page:

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~...s/obj/moon.html


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#43 m9x18

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 10:48 PM

Thanks Mark, so you found out that those sketches made with pencil are just 15-20 minutes rough drawings made at the eyepiece. From time to time, I also try to use old stippling technique. These are of course made later at home. I don't consider myself skilled at sketching, but it is fun and I found it more satisfying than imaging. You can find more Moon sketches from 60mm (and larger) telescopes on my web page:

 

https://www.fzu.cz/~...s/obj/moon.html

 

I just visited your web page. You are very talented. I find your work very interesting and inspirational. Thank you for the link. 



#44 Helvetios

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 11:02 PM

I think you would be extremely happy with a Takahashi FS-60Q.  It's amazingly sharp, very lightweight, and quite versatile (600mm and 355 mm modes).

 

Richard


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#45 TNmike

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 11:43 AM

Actually, I've found that the time around full moon is the best time to hunt the craterlets in Plato. Then they're seen as tiny, bright spots against the dark floor of Plato, and this increases their contrast and apparent size, making them a little easier to see, in my experience. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Hmm, last night the weather was good and so I checked out Plato, and sure enough I couldn't be sure I saw any craterlets. The weather forecast is looking good again for this evening, and if so I'll try again. I would have thought that the illuminated/shadow contrast of the craterlets at a lower sun angle would make detection easier. But it appears you are correct! Does this also hold true for considerably larger scopes, say 5" and above?

 

Cheers


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#46 Astrojensen

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 11:47 AM

Hmm, last night the weather was good and so I checked out Plato, and sure enough I couldn't be sure I saw any craterlets. The weather forecast is looking good again for this evening, and if so I'll try again. I would have thought that the illuminated/shadow contrast of the craterlets at a lower sun angle would make detection easier. But it appears you are correct! Does this also hold true for considerably larger scopes, say 5" and above?

 

Cheers

I think so, but I'm not entirely sure. I've not had my 6" ED long enough to have had a chance to hunt the Plato craterlets in excellent seeing under different illuminations. Not all of the craterlets may appear bright under a high sun. If they don't they'll be much harder to detect near full, than close to the terminator.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 03 April 2020 - 11:49 AM.


#47 jayhopkins2001

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 10:04 PM

I wonder how a Vixen A62SS would be. I’ve been looking at that one.


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#48 astro744

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 06:36 PM

Astro744, what is your NELM? 

 

Dom Q.

 

 

I haven't made a quantitative measurement for some years but I'll endeavour to make an accurate assessment within the next lunar cycle.  I always wanted to get a SQM meter but just never got around to it.

 

I always prefer a slightly higher magnification when sweeping the sky which does give me a darker background but more importantly larger image scale making smaller objects easier to spot.

 

 

That would be great.

Ok.  I had a brief chance around 2am after Moonset about a week ago.  I will likely try again in the evening before Moonrise next last quarter cycle.  However I think I am going to invest in a SQM-L, sky quality meter as I feel that individual observer NELM readings are very subjective due to various factors including an observers visual acuity and pollution/dust/smoke particles that vary day to day and week to week and seasonally.

 

For the same reason I feel that the Bortle scale and description of what should and should not be visible needs to be is a bit subjective.  E.g. Whether M33 is visible not only depends on the amount of light pollution but also it’s maximum altitude that depends on the observers location.

 

According to a light pollution map I am on the border of Green/Yellow on the outskirts of suburbia I have green in one direction, yellow to the other with pockets of orange in the distance on the yellow side.  (Between Bortle 4 & 5, more 4 than 5 but beyond the green zone is rural so say 3 in that direction below 45 deg maybe).  I have a couple of LED street lights nearby of a flat design illuminating down only nearby but I can hide these from direct vision.

 

I started looking for 5.5 mag stars and very soon I identified these.  I then started looking for a tiny group of 6.0, 6.0, 6.1 stars around 55 deg altitude toward the green zone.  I probably should have looked at zenith but I felt it was darker in this direction.  I could only just see the two 6.0 stars but the 6.1 eluded me, this after 15 minutes only of dark adaptation whilst staring at the same region.  You could then say that for me, 6.0 was the NELM for this particular time, and perhaps given another 15 minutes I may have seen the 6.1 star and perhaps fainter.  (The two 6.0 stars were white and the. 6.1 was on the white side of yellow on the HR diagram).

 

My preference for scanning the sky at 19x with my 19mm Panoptic over 15x using the 24mm Panoptic is not that I get a grey background at the lower power, (far from it), just that I prefer the image scale at 19x where some galaxies show themselves just that little bit easier and the contrast is just a little bit better.


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#49 BigC

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 07:23 PM

Spot on regarding subjectivity of NELM. Mine varies hugely depending on moisture/particles in the air. Clean skies are much darker and light dome from city to the east is lower and fainter.

#50 kmparsons

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 07:38 PM

I keep my AT60ED  set up on an Orion XHD tripod with a Universal Astronomics DwarfStar mount. For me, this is the perfect true grab 'n' go. I find the views of the Moon breathtaking with copious detail. My AT92 has spoiled me on most objects, but for the moon, the little 60mm still works wonders. 


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