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Posted: 12/26/2011 8:54:01 AM EST
Any amateur Astronomers in here?

I bought my son's a Telescope for Christmas this year (from Santa). Last night we watched Jupiter for almost 4 hours, we tracked it damn near the whole way across the sky. It had 4 visible moons around it. It was really cool, we drew what we saw and are going to look again tonight and compare our drawings to what we see tonight. I showed them this drawing system and told them about how ancient Astronomers used to do that, so they could track objects that move. They loved it.

Anybody else do this with their kids? Any advice on things to look for?
Link Posted: 12/26/2011 9:10:33 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/26/2011 2:23:47 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/26/2011 3:05:05 PM EST
Thank you MRW. I'll check it out. We're getting ready to go our now and look up. And thank you for the link ninja! This is an awesome hobby!
Link Posted: 12/28/2011 4:58:19 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 5:04:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By Slavac:
A few resources you should check out:

GoogleSky (Android) or Skymap (Mac) have camera interfaces on them that, when combined with GPS and acceleration data, shows you a real time map of the sky on your phone simply by pointing your camera at the sky.

AWN mentioned Sky and Telescope. They put out digital copies of their magazine each month for free which is really nice to read up on.

Bring a red lensed flashlight with you. It's fun to point out objects of interest, or figure out how to open your brandy bottle without killing your night vision.


I have google skymap, and it has been awesome weather around here for viewing. What kind of telescope do you guys own? What kind are you aiming to get?
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 8:21:14 PM EST
I'm interested in this, but have not bought a telescope yet. To be honest, I'm not sure I will any time soon. With school and work I just don't have the time to stand outside at night and look at stars like I'd like to. But maybe one day.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 9:53:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 9:54:58 AM EST by thirsty]
I just bought an Orion 80mm f/6 Apochromatic Refractor. I'm upgrading all my old, cheap crap with better optics and equipment for deep-sky astrophotography. From what I've read the Orion tube is a very good value and on the low end of the cost spectrum at $800.

Right now in fact I'm trying hard not to splurge on a Celestron C8-A XLT Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube. Really, really trying not to because I still have to buy a motorized equatorial mount tripod.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 1:01:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 1:01:55 PM EST by benw8887]
Originally Posted By thirsty:
I just bought an Orion 80mm f/6 Apochromatic Refractor. I'm upgrading all my old, cheap crap with better optics and equipment for deep-sky astrophotography. From what I've read the Orion tube is a very good value and on the low end of the cost spectrum at $800.

Right now in fact I'm trying hard not to splurge on a Celestron C8-A XLT Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube. Really, really trying not to because I still have to buy a motorized equatorial mount tripod.


Tag for pics when your up and running with that thing bro! I thats gonna be awesome viewing!


Originally Posted By spoil9:
I'm interested in this, but have not bought a telescope yet. To be honest, I'm not sure I will any time soon. With school and work I just don't have the time to stand outside at night and look at stars like I'd like to. But maybe one day.


It doesn't take much, $80 bucks for a Celestron, and 10 mins after sunset! You can't bet it, take a cup of coffee (I like mine with Baileys) with ya and Google sky map.
Link Posted: 2/23/2012 4:32:06 AM EST
I just reassembled my crappy 4.5 inch reflector this week, I plan on buying at least a 10in scope this year.

I would love to get into astrophotography but I'm not sure I feel like spending the money to get what I really want, I'll probably just end up buying a dob with good optics.
Link Posted: 2/24/2012 1:06:09 PM EST
I stare up all the time. A 10 inch newt is plenty of glass. The key is finding a dark sky near you. Light pollution is the biggest problem for backyard work. I am an astronomy student, at 45 no less.
Link Posted: 2/25/2012 6:41:16 AM EST
Originally Posted By ErikS:
I stare up all the time. A 10 inch newt is plenty of glass. The key is finding a dark sky near you. Light pollution is the biggest problem for backyard work. I am an astronomy student, at 45 no less.


I gave up a 10 inch reflector years ago when the sky glow from Washington, DC started requiring a long drive to escape (like almost Front Royal).

Centreville, Virginia was OK in the mid 1970s, but by the early 1980s was no good any more (had to drive to Marshall at least.
Link Posted: 3/13/2012 5:42:46 AM EST
Jupiter and Venus are 3 degrees apart tonight. Some good telescoping tonight.

Telescope- Check
Good coffee- Check
Baileys Irish cream-check
Good folding chair- Check
Link Posted: 3/28/2012 8:29:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By benw8887:
Jupiter and Venus are 3 degrees apart tonight. Some good telescoping tonight.

Telescope- Check
Good coffee- Check
Baileys Irish cream-check
Good folding chair- Check


what kind of scope are you using?
Link Posted: 3/28/2012 8:41:04 AM EST
I have an 8" Dobsonian with two lenses. It is great for looking at the moon, but when I look at Jupiter, I see the planet and four-five dots.

It is not as large as I expected and I think my lenses need to be aligned.

Does collimating the lenses add much to the clarity?

I have had this scope for years and it seems like I am not getting the 'bang for the buck' that I expected from it.

TRG
Link Posted: 3/28/2012 10:22:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
I have an 8" Dobsonian with two lenses. It is great for looking at the moon, but when I look at Jupiter, I see the planet and four-five dots.

It is not as large as I expected and I think my lenses need to be aligned.

Does collimating the lenses add much to the clarity?

I have had this scope for years and it seems like I am not getting the 'bang for the buck' that I expected from it.

TRG


if the lenses are aligned then you will at least be getting the best that you can get out of them. But eye pieces are half of your optics and there is a difference between low end a higher end ones.

How do deep sky objects look in the dob? such as Andromeda or the whirlpool galaxies?
Link Posted: 3/28/2012 10:26:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/28/2012 10:27:20 AM EST by hellbound]
if you have an iPhone or iPad, I highly recommend investing a few dollars in the star walk app... it's very awesome, I wish I had it when I was a kid, much easier to use and interact with than the old star maps that spun. since it uses the GPS, Compass, and accelerometer you literally point it into the sky and it shows you the exact same picture on your phone. you can click on planets, stars, etc for details.
Link Posted: 3/28/2012 5:55:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ciraxis:
Originally Posted By benw8887:
Jupiter and Venus are 3 degrees apart tonight. Some good telescoping tonight.

Telescope- Check
Good coffee- Check
Baileys Irish cream-check
Good folding chair- Check


what kind of scope are you using?[/quote

My wife bought our kids a Celestron Powerseeker 70 for Christmas last year, so we have been out looking at least 4 times a week so far. When it gets warmer I'm looking forward to being out more.
Celestron
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 3:26:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/29/2012 3:28:37 AM EST by Ciraxis]
I just bought this one used off of http://www.astromart.com/ its like ebay but for astronomy stuff and you get crazy good deals on it.

this scope I got for $650, the guy sold it with about $300 worth of accessories.

Its a celestron C6 SGT, it goes for about $1100 new without the extras.



while this eyepiece kit isn't top of the line its enough to get me started before I buy nice ones









the skies are supposed to clear tonight so hopefully I can try out the tracking drive

Not a bad deal at all, the mirrors are flawless, and over all its only a bit dusty from shipping but everything works fine.
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 4:36:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By Ciraxis:
I just bought this one used off of http://www.astromart.com/ its like ebay but for astronomy stuff and you get crazy good deals on it.

this scope I got for $650, the guy sold it with about $300 worth of accessories.

Its a celestron C6 SGT, it goes for about $1100 new without the extras.

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg840/scaled.php?server=840&filename=img8246i.jpg&res=medium

while this eyepiece kit isn't top of the line its enough to get me started before I buy nice ones

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg818/scaled.php?server=818&filename=img8248w.jpg&res=medium

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg163/scaled.php?server=163&filename=img8247g.jpg&res=medium

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg198/scaled.php?server=198&filename=img8245rb.jpg&res=medium

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg836/scaled.php?server=836&filename=img8249w.jpg&res=medium

the skies are supposed to clear tonight so hopefully I can try out the tracking drive

Not a bad deal at all, the mirrors are flawless, and over all its only a bit dusty from shipping but everything works fine.


That's awesome man! Thank you for the link to Astromart, I had no idea that place even existed. We have clear skies here just about every night, I'm thankful for that. Good luck and keep us updated on how your scope works.
Link Posted: 3/29/2012 6:18:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By benw8887:
Originally Posted By Ciraxis:
I just bought this one used off of http://www.astromart.com/ its like ebay but for astronomy stuff and you get crazy good deals on it.

this scope I got for $650, the guy sold it with about $300 worth of accessories.

Its a celestron C6 SGT, it goes for about $1100 new without the extras.

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg840/scaled.php?server=840&filename=img8246i.jpg&res=medium

while this eyepiece kit isn't top of the line its enough to get me started before I buy nice ones

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg818/scaled.php?server=818&filename=img8248w.jpg&res=medium

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg163/scaled.php?server=163&filename=img8247g.jpg&res=medium

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg198/scaled.php?server=198&filename=img8245rb.jpg&res=medium

http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg836/scaled.php?server=836&filename=img8249w.jpg&res=medium

the skies are supposed to clear tonight so hopefully I can try out the tracking drive

Not a bad deal at all, the mirrors are flawless, and over all its only a bit dusty from shipping but everything works fine.


That's awesome man! Thank you for the link to Astromart, I had no idea that place even existed. We have clear skies here just about every night, I'm thankful for that. Good luck and keep us updated on how your scope works.


also another great site to check out is Dark Sky Finder you can find good viewing sites.
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