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ST80 Hit List

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53 replies to this topic

#1 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 08:52 PM

I don't have much experience with refractors and my little ST80 is usually relegated to quick looks at Jupiter and Orion. Stuff it's not really good at.

 

For those of you with experience with this kind of scope, can you recommend a short list of targets and the size EP you would recommend for looking at them?



#2 GGK

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 09:06 PM

I don't have much experience with refractors and my little ST80 is usually relegated to quick looks at Jupiter and Orion. Stuff it's not really good at.

 

For those of you with experience with this kind of scope, can you recommend a short list of targets and the size EP you would recommend for looking at them?

2” or 1-1/4” focuser?



#3 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 09:10 PM

1-1/4” focuser



#4 PYeomans

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 09:11 PM

Glad to hear that you are giving the ST80 a try. It shines on open clusters and other large objects. Not so much for planetary use, galaxies, and globulars due to low magnification. I use mostly plossls like TV 32 and 20 and Pentax XL12.5. This is my grab and to scope and sees a fair amount of use lately.


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#5 Polyphemos

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 09:19 PM

Eyepieces are whatever frames the view you’re interested in, but three eyepieces will get you well started: a 32mm Plössl, and SvBony SV135 7-21mm and SV215 3-8mm zooms. A good fourth choice is a 25mm Plössl which fills the focal length gap between the 32mm Plössl and the 7-21mm zoom very nicely.

 

As for objects, all open clusters are great, Andromeda, the Orion Nebula, all of the action in Scorpius and Sagittarius, the moon, and Jupiter and Saturn near opposition. There’s plenty more.

 

Pick up a 45° correct image diagonal and you’ll also have a terrific spotting scope for terrestrial objects of interest. I use my own ST80 to watch in on the social and hunting activities of coyotes, and for bird watching.

 

Also, a #8 and #12 filters are great to have for toning down chromatic aberration on bright objects. GSO makes good ones for around $12 or so each.

 

The ST80 is a terrific scope and my first or second most used scope despite the ten or so other scopes I share with my wife. 


Edited by Polyphemos, 20 February 2024 - 09:29 PM.

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#6 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 09:20 PM

I bought the ST80 as a cheap gift to give my daughter. Turns out she didn't want it. So, I kept it but don't use it much. Just today I'm reading another thread and people are saying they're good for large objects. Duh... Okay. Makes sense, because I know it stinks at planets! But the fall sky is gone, and I have a brand-new sky to look at tonight. No clue what to look for or what it's capable of seeing. But I didn't want to waste a rare, nice night of potential viewing. So, I figured I'd ask for some help on picking some targets. 


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#7 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 09:32 PM

Is M108, M109, and NGC3953 doable with an ST80?



#8 kfiscus

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 10:07 PM

Those galaxies would be TOUGH in an 80.  I think they'd be detectable if you could get to a nice dark site.

 

The ST80 would be nice for the Pleiades, the Double Cluster, and comets with good tails.  It would be fun for romps around the Cassiopeia Open Cluster Palooza.

(Full disclosure:  I have upgraded to a 2" focuser and enjoy very wide fields.)


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#9 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 10:26 PM

Well, I'm about to head home and I guess I'll toss in the zoom and see what I can see. Leo has been directly over my back yard when I get home, and Orion is a few houses down the street. I'll see what I can see!

 

Thanks for the input!


Edited by Astro_In_Tampa, 20 February 2024 - 10:26 PM.


#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 10:33 PM

I've owned an 80mm f/5 Orion ShortTube 80 for over 20 years.  As a matter of fact, I wrote a chapter about it in Astronomy with Small Telescopes: Up to 5-inch, 125mm.  I've taken my ST80 to two total solar eclipses.

 

https://www.amazon.c...ormat=4&depth=1

 

I often use a 5mm Nagler Type 6 (80x), an 8-24mm Tele Vue Click Stop Zoom (17 to 50x), a 19mm Panoptic (21x), a 30mm Celestron Ultima (13x), and a 2x Barlow lens with my ST80.  While I have pushed it to higher magnifications, I rarely go above 80x with this telescope.

 

The objects that kfiscus mentioned would be good targets, along with Collinder 65, Collinder 69, Collinder 70, IC 4665, Kemble's Cascade, M6, M7, M8, M24, M31, M44, Melotte 20, Melotte 25, Melotte 111, NGC 752 and the Golf Putter asterism, NGC 7000, and the Sword of Orion (which includes M42).


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#11 Noto

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 10:38 PM

I don't have much experience with refractors and my little ST80 is usually relegated to quick looks at Jupiter and Orion. Stuff it's not really good at.

 

For those of you with experience with this kind of scope, can you recommend a short list of targets and the size EP you would recommend for looking at them?

I was able to share my ST80 with my lady friend, and we were able to really zoom in on the bands of Jupiter and "almost" the Trapezium in M42. Honestly, my best views with the ST80 are lunar, open clusters, and rudimentary exploration of double stars. The best thing about the ST80 are widefield views with a low power eyepiece. I have a GSO 2" focuser, and have been able to maximize the TFoV to around 6.5° with my Orion 38mm Q70. With a 1.25" focuser, I can get close to 4° with my Explore Scientific 24mm 68° eyepiece, which is my most used eyepiece with the ST80. Your AD12 with give you the ability to really zoom in on planets, the moon, and DSOs (depending upon your sky conditions, which I know are better than mine). The scopes are complimentary, in the sense that one is better for certain objects, while the other is better for others. I use my ST80 as a quick Grab-n-Go for the open clusters, Andromeda, and the moon, and my XT8 for higher mag views of globular clusters and planets. On great viewing nights with my ST80, I can use a 4.7mm 82° eyepiece in a 2x Barlow. On bad nights, I'm usually relegated to using 20mm or lower. Check out the list of Messier or Caldwell objects for open clusters; lots of stuff to see, and the widefield views of the ST80 with a low power eyepiece are best.


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#12 kfiscus

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 10:56 PM

Try for the Leo Trio.


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#13 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 20 February 2024 - 11:28 PM

Other than M31, which is sinking in the west quickly, probably the best galaxies to shoot for at present are M81 and M82.


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#14 Echolight

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 03:52 PM

I like a 14 UWA in mine the best.

2.8 degree field of view at 28x with a 2.8mm exit pupil.

IMG_20230329_183057084~8.jpg

 

But I'll run it up well over 100x with some regularity.

 

A 6mm Ethos would probably be a kick.


Edited by Echolight, 21 February 2024 - 03:55 PM.


#15 WillR

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 04:09 PM

This is not specifically for this scope, but is a list for smaller scopes in general of easy to find and observe targets.

Attached Files


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#16 Tony Flanders

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 05:35 PM

Is M108, M109, and NGC3953 doable with an ST80?

M108 is instantly obvious through my 70-mm refractor under dark skies, and it would presumably be a tad easier through an ST80.

 

M109 is somewhat tougher due both to lower surface brightness and to the fact that it tends to be drowned out by the glare of Gamma UMa (Phecda). Nonetheless it should be pretty easy to spot through an ST80 under dark skies.

 

I've never viewed NGC 3953 through any scope smaller than my 7-inch Dob, and my notes lead me to think that it's considerably tougher to spot than M109. I'm sure it's visible through an ST80, but I would expect it to require seriously dark skies and a fair bit of effort.

 

From Tampa? I doubt it.


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#17 PIEJr

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 05:43 PM

I use Stellarium to find objects to try for.

You can get the installed versions, or the online version to gaze at.

Either way, it's great way to get ideas from.

And it doesn't care what the sky looks like.....


Edited by PIEJr, 21 February 2024 - 05:44 PM.


#18 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 07:30 PM

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions! Since I'm a Leo and since Leo is directly overhead in my backyard when I get home tonight, I think the Leo Trio is going to be the primary target for this weekend. It looks like it has 3 neighbor galaxies (M95, M96, and M105). So those will be secondary targets. Between the ST80 and the AD12, combined with the anticipated good viewing weather; I should hopefully be able to report a positive outing before Sunday. (Tonight is my Friday and I have a three-day weekend! Yay.)

Attached Thumbnails

  • weekend.PNG

Edited by Astro_In_Tampa, 21 February 2024 - 07:31 PM.

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#19 jcj380

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 07:32 PM

No specific list of targets, although most galaxies are a straight-up "nope" in my home LP.  I usually use a 15mm Paradigm for random scanning and a 10mm SLV for higher mag.



#20 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 07:35 PM

Well, since I can find Andromeda with ease from my back yard (quit laughing Tony!!), I'm reasonably confident I will be able to find some of the Leo targets. Either way, I'll have a good time looking for new targets since I can FINALLY see the stars again! banjodance.gif



#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 08:56 PM

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions! Since I'm a Leo and since Leo is directly overhead in my backyard when I get home tonight, I think the Leo Trio is going to be the primary target for this weekend. It looks like it has 3 neighbor galaxies (M95, M96, and M105). So those will be secondary targets. Between the ST80 and the AD12, combined with the anticipated good viewing weather; I should hopefully be able to report a positive outing before Sunday. (Tonight is my Friday and I have a three-day weekend! Yay.)

The Moon will be full in Virgo on Saturday morning.  You're going to have to wait a bit to observe those galaxies in Leo.
 

https://www.calendar...r/2024/february

Attached Thumbnails

  • Leo Triplet & Moon 2-2-24 Stellarium CN.PNG

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#22 Astro_In_Tampa

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 10:22 PM

Good grief... Nothing's ever easy... bangbang.gif



#23 Keith Rivich

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Posted 21 February 2024 - 11:14 PM

I use an 80mm as a finder on my 25". I'm always mildly surprised at how many pretty faint DSO's I can see with it. With this small an aperture dark skies are a must to really get beyond the brighter Messiers. 


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#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 02:09 AM

BTW, the date on the screencap from Stellarium should read 2-24-24.


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#25 firemachine69

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 02:15 AM

Is M108, M109, and NGC3953 doable with an ST80?

 

 

 

Have done all three with my previous SW Equinox 80mm. Bortle 1 skies, however...




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