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What did you NOT observe with your classic telescope today?

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#1 rcwolpert

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 01:01 PM

I have a confession to make. This is really embarrassing. Over the last few years I’ve really started to try to come up with reasons to NOT take my classic telescopes outside to do some observing. I look for distant clouds that might possibly come rolling in. Perhaps it’s a bit too hot and humid. That’s certainly true for the summer months here in Florida. Too many bugs! That’s a good excuse! Too much light pollution - can't forget that! But to be totally honest, it’s usually just that I don’t have the motivation and would rather sit in front of the TV and stream some movie with a glass of good bourbon in my hand.

 

I wasn’t always this way. Until the time I was 30 I was totally dedicated and there was nothing that could keep me from getting outside with my scope. I’d clear 2 feet of snow with a path and telescope setup area and go out in single digits with 5 layers of clothes on and stay out there until my toes and fingers were totally numb. Not anymore. Now below 65 degrees is another really good excuse not to take my classic scope out.

 

Maybe it’s my age (71), or the fact that it takes me 5 trips up and down the condo stairs to get all my equipment out there, or the fact that I can seldom see stars dimmer than 9th magnitude with any of my remaining classic telescopes, but I now finding myself always looking for reasons NOT to observe with my classic scopes.

 

Just wondering if there is anyone else here who has found themself looking for reasons NOT to observe with your classic scopes. Maybe we need a support group! smile.gif


Edited by rcwolpert, 06 April 2021 - 01:01 PM.

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#2 Eye stein

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 01:27 PM

wow, 5 trips /condo stairs....If it were me I would use a balcony with the Questar...It is certainly worse now in S.Fla. then it use to be.

Hang in there> Best

JL


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#3 petert913

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 01:29 PM

For me, it's because my vintage Tasco is disassembled and stored in it's wooden box.  This means assembling the entire thing.  Lots of washers and wingnuts, etc.   Then - I find the mount to be pretty shaky compared to what I am used to, so that's frustrating.  It's become more of a touchstone to my youth.  But I like knowing it's there.


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#4 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 01:53 PM

BTDT, seen it all many times before. Something new comes along and I'm out there. However, when camping in a wilderness dark sky place I take it all with me and enjoy the sky like I did in my youth. No TV or other distractions to get in the way.


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#5 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 02:47 PM

Andromeda    is it in the trees?

The   F    in the trap    need more aperture.......

 

Oh wait  i guess that is what I thought the thread was looking for....i'll try again.

 

So yes    any scope not yet set up    that requires   fishing out of its storage area, setting it up careful like not to scratch it   and maybe thinking   it is just a 60mm anyway....

 

or    man I love my Sears 6336 but that pedestal is killing me  (I sent it to Guido)

 

I'm tired.    big day tomorrow with important hearing....

or   it is dark already   I should have set up an hour ago....I'll make a drink instead....

 

 

 

Today's best excuse  is  got my second shot of Pfizer yesterday  and today     well today I am okay     but the only complaint is the Earth's   gravity seems stronger   seriously.

 

Actually     if these are the biggest problems I have to face   bring it on....


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 07 April 2021 - 08:28 AM.

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#6 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 02:56 PM

A  possible workable solution for the   hassle excuse ......assuming you feel like it

Keep a Grab and Go at the ready....maybe one that clears the stairs all set up or two trips only...

 

For me it is easier.....big garage...big pool table high school kids room now my man cave with no stairs to the garage and or patio

Attached Thumbnails

  • Tak76.100.8IMG_2339.jpg

Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 07 April 2021 - 08:28 AM.

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#7 steve t

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 03:06 PM

A workable solution for the   hassle excuse ......

Keep a Grab and Go at the ready....maybe one that clears the stairs all set up or two trips only...

 

For me it is easier.....big garage...big pool table high school kids room now my man cave with no stairs to the garage and or patio

 

Two  nights ago        the new Grab and Go star of my fleet is the old style FC -76(1992) on the easy peasy Unistar...... Also out the sliders to the patio in two short level  trips is the big brother    FC-100 (1990)

 

 

 

p.s.   thanks for the reminder for when we downsize in the next few years      must have garage or family room on first floor  even in   a condo

+1

I've down sized to only a G&G scope and have found I do quite a bit more observing.  


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#8 clamchip

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 04:14 PM

I've been thinking about those nights I'm feeling "it's too good of a night to not 

go out, but I just don't feel like it."

I thought I'd try a goto telescope and let the scope show me the sky show.

I can program the evening and I'll just sit back in my lawn chair and when the grinding

stops have a look in the eyepiece. 

I've bought and repaired many of these 'goto' telescopes but I always chicken out when

it comes running one.

I recently bought a Celestron 6SE SCT with a dead mount and I was able to revive it

with a diode replacement. The Celestron goto seems easier to use, I think I'll give it a

try. 

Something else nice about the 6SE is it has a standard Vixen dovetail clamp for the OTA

so you can use older classics, like a C5, C8, anything if it's short enough.

 

Robert


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#9 Bonco2

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 04:22 PM

As much as I like to get out the main thing that keeps me from setting up is the light polluted skies that I can only visually see to 3rd magnitude. Next is my neighbor's trees have grown over the years and I have limited viewing areas. In spring I can look up in my backyard and  only see a few stars, can't even detect constellations. At 73 when daylight saving kicks in, hey I'm ready for the sack by the time it's dark. But, I still do lunar, planetary and double star observations off and on throughout the year.

Getting to like my Unitron 128 more and more as I get older.

Bill


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#10 godelescher

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 04:32 PM

I Love this post!

 

You're doing fine, rcwolpert. For the vast majority of us, astronomy is a pleasurable pastime. If you get out there every once in a while and enjoy yourself when you do, that's all that matters.

 

You're 71. Do what you enjoy. If that means a big glass of E.H. Taylor and a Schitt's Creek marathon, good for you! I've done the same thing on the best viewing nights of the year. You don't owe astronomy anything.

 

For what it's worth, I think 90% of the people on CN talk way bigger than they act. I love telescopes, and I love using telescopes, but that's not the only thing I love and it's not all I want to do. There are plenty of times when I'm just worn out and want to be entertained without lifting a finger.

 

I think it's ballsy for you to write this post and I'm so happy you did. There's a whole air of "the emporer's new clothes" about viewing here and no one admits to just being a normal person who enjoys viewing in normal amounts at normal frequencies.

 

If you make your way to Pennsylvania, look me up and we can sit around the firepit drinking bourbon and get up once every fifteen minutes or so and check in on the scope.

 

Slainte


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#11 rcwolpert

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 05:54 PM

Bill and godelescher, you both get it! It's not a matter of using a grab and go (I have a great one and a number of amazing binoculars), it's more "what do I really feeling like doing tonight" and am I going to feel guilty for not taking out a telescope.

 

Godelescher,  I used to live in York, PA and in Schnecksville, PA, and would love to sit around a firepit with you, drinking some bourbon or single malt, (and maybe a cigar or two), and occasionally check out the view in the scope.

 

Slainte!

Bob

 
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#12 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 06:14 PM

My 18" Obsession has not been out in over a month. I am just not into deep sky and it will be sitting until Jupiter is up enough in about a month. Jupiter is really the only object i care about.  But i did roll it out tonite as i want to see a few winter objects before they get too low bro.

 

So it will be the same old things i always look at. M37-35 and NGC-2158 and maybe M41 and 42. I just don't remember what objects to look for anymore since GO-TO ruined me in the later 90's. I could use to find 100's of objects pre GO-TO days.  I look up and draw a blank anymore.  I never liked Galaxies so the spring sky is boring to me other than M3 and 53.


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#13 clamchip

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 06:57 PM

Something else to kick the fun up a notch is a really complex optical system.

You will forget all about TV, your job, the slipping transmission in your auto, etc.

A double martini is in order after the hair pulling!

Vixen VMC200L sub aperture corrected Mak should do it!

Or better yet a Rutten Maksutov with it's collimatable meniscus, and collimatable

secondary, AND collimatable primary!

 

Robert


Edited by clamchip, 06 April 2021 - 07:03 PM.

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#14 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 07:44 PM

You can have all that collimation nitemare scopes and soft sct's.  A good old Newt works everytime in my book. Was in a darker sky this weekend and used the 90mm achro on M37 and it sure looked nice. Just half a mag darker makes a world of Diff.  A 18" blows up M37 too much and i always said smaller scopes did better on many open clusters.  


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#15 Borodog

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 07:51 PM

Today I eagerly plugged my new ASI183MC into the Crayford dual speed on the back of my 1977 C90 behind a Thousand Oaks solar filter and tried to image the sun. Turns out in white light the sun is a virtually featureless white ball right now. I packed it in after about 5 minutes.


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#16 davidmcgo

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 07:53 PM

Chas, get that 18” on NGC3242 in Hydra on a steady night and get the scope over 600x, maybe up to 1000x.  It should be amazing.

 

Dave


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#17 rcwolpert

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 07:56 PM

Something else to kick the fun up a notch is a really complex optical system.

You will forget all about TV, your job, the slipping transmission in your auto, etc.

A double martini is in order after the hair pulling!

Vixen VMC200L sub aperture corrected Mak should do it!

Or better yet a Rutten Maksutov with it's collimatable meniscus, and collimatable

secondary, AND collimatable primary!

 

Robert

Good point! I’ve been looking at something like the Takahashi Mewlon 180C or 210..


Edited by rcwolpert, 06 April 2021 - 07:57 PM.

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#18 Augustus

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 08:14 PM

Was going to stick the damaged secondary mirror back in the RV6 (replacement is en route, giving away the old one with an uncoated 6" f/8 primary) and try it out but vax appointment at 8:45 AM.... I gotta get to bed!


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#19 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 08:16 PM

Chas, get that 18” on NGC3242 in Hydra on a steady night and get the scope over 600x, maybe up to 1000x.  It should be amazing.

 

Dave

What is that?  Ghost of Jupiter?  Maybe my mind is going, but i just looked at 2158 next to M-35 and i could just see it in the 18" and i remember when i first saw it in a 10" F/9.6 Newt in 1978 and it seemed much brighter. Mars was a tiny ball with a 16mm Nag and not very sharp as the seeing is not great. M37 was great as always with a 22mm Nag.  So that will be it for another month until Jupiter is high enough to slap up the power to 700+


Edited by CHASLX200, 06 April 2021 - 08:18 PM.

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#20 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 08:29 PM

On those nights when I do not want to bother   but I feel the sky is good I usually just pop out now and then with binocs  and the guilt goes away......taking the dogs out with a set of 10 50's around my neck   its  good as well     then back in to whatever I was doing even if it was nothing....

 

yeah godelescher makes a good point and no we don't go out every good night  .... still have to keep my day job   and teach ethics as well on Tuesday nights      and we have started working on the boat/

   

  but I do think he points out   what I never thought of before    that with the nice optics and a clear night    guilt can be an influence    but I do want to see if they ever find treasure on Oak Island  so there is that.......................  


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 06 April 2021 - 08:33 PM.

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#21 davidmcgo

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 08:57 PM

Yes, the Ghost of Jupiter.  Really high power makes all the internal shells and knots pop.

 

Dave

What is that?  Ghost of Jupiter?  Maybe my mind is going, but i just looked at 2158 next to M-35 and i could just see it in the 18" and i remember when i first saw it in a 10" F/9.6 Newt in 1978 and it seemed much brighter. Mars was a tiny ball with a 16mm Nag and not very sharp as the seeing is not great. M37 was great as always with a 22mm Nag.  So that will be it for another month until Jupiter is high enough to slap up the power to 700+


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#22 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 09:48 PM

... the fact that it takes me 5 trips up and down the condo stairs to get all my equipment out there ...

 

I think you're in good company - the No Way! Gang.  In your situation, I'd carry the FC-50 with Vixen Turret on the VersaGo, in One Trip.  That would be it.  Shoot!  When it's 95* + 80% R/H + Mosquito Swarms, I have no interest in toting, or rolling a rig out of the shed... a whopping 10 feet.  And no steps, much less stairs.  Nope.  Not motivated - even when Mars / Jupiter / Saturn is at opposition...


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#23 apfever

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:18 PM

I did not observe progress on the new restoration project.


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#24 Terra Nova

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:26 PM

I totally get this:

It's not a matter of using a grab and go (I have a great one and a number of amazing binoculars), it's more "what do I really feeling like doing tonight" and am I going to feel guilty for not taking out a telescope.”

I’ve run thru all the same excuses: clouds, haze light pollution, obstructions etc. and for me, Temperature is a big one, except my cut-off is 45° unless there is some interesting transient or periodic phenomenon I want to see. Truth be told, I only regularly observe (once or twice a week) six month out of the year (mid April to mid October). Truth be told, for me it’s lack of energy and lack of motivation. I’m 71 too! And I ain’t what I used to be! Plus, here in the Ohio Valley, the weather is so variable that it’s almost impossible ever to plan. That’s probably the biggest reason I’ve been paring stuff down, I just don’t get the opportunity to use it that much, or have the energy and motivation to use it that much, and I hate having stuff taking up space that I don’t use. And I’m pretty much a solitary observer and it gets lonely! I have one good observing buddy but we don’t get out that often (he’s four years older than me). So thank you Bob for being brave enough to bring this up and start this topic. I too have been a silent sufferer of this affliction and also am another guilty party.


Edited by Terra Nova, 07 April 2021 - 03:23 PM.

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#25 brian dewelles

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:29 PM

I am lucky i guess because the place i have lived for the last 18+ years has the best dark skies of anywhere i have ever lived. I would maybe feel different if i had light polluted skies. I was devoted to the hobby as a kid but took a long break from it until my kids were in college. Our son played travel hockey and our daughter was a figure skater so Robin and i literally spent every weekend for years at ice rinks.

Since the early 90's i've been all in with the hobby. I have friends who were bigtime observers more than me and they got bored with the hobby but its never happend to me. I appreciate scopes but i love observing and outreach the most. 

Its already been suggested but dark skies really can rekindle the passion. Amateurs are a small group to begin with, as "Badger" Bob Johnson legendary hockey coach for the University of Wisconsin is famous for saying "It's a great day for hockey"  its always a "great night for astronomy" as long as its clear.


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