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Any astronomers in here

#5
Anyone got the star watching bug and what bit of kit have you picked up.
I used to use a 20" telescope, but now I have to make do with a pair of cheap binoculars, a 70 mm spotter, an 80 mm with solar filter and a 90 mm - all let down by shaky mounts and lots of light pollution.
 
M

Mark The Convict

Guest
#11
I used to use a 20" telescope, but now I have to make do with a pair of cheap binoculars, a 70 mm spotter, an 80 mm with solar filter and a 90 mm - all let down by shaky mounts and lots of light pollution.
You're bitter, aren't you?
 
#17
That's why Santa didn't bring you a new telescope this year.
Err, no. I think I was on his Naughty List for a number of other things plus some I'd asked to be taken into account.

Although, my 7-yr old, who's just looked over my shoulder, says you're probably right.

Mind you, Santa's on my GBAD List if he doesn't stump up a decent 120 refractor on an EQ-5 mount this year.
 
#20
I used to use a 20" telescope, but now I have to make do with a pair of cheap binoculars, a 70 mm spotter, an 80 mm with solar filter and a 90 mm - all let down by shaky mounts and lots of light pollution.
I've just acquired a second-hand Celestron XLT-102 (102 mm objective, f9.8 refractor on a CG-4 equatorial mount) for about 1/3 of the going rate for a new one. Although the sky earlier this evening was largely overcast by thin, high cloud, there were a few relatively clear patches; in particular, looking low in the south, Saturn was visible to the east of Spica and was a natural for comparing the new scope to the smaller ones (and a 114 mm reflector I forgot to mention, but excluding the bins (broken) and the 70 mm (down at the caravan)). After roughly aligning the mount on Polaris, I put the 25 mm eyepiece in the 102 and was rewarded with a (surprisingly) sharp image of Saturn, the rings nicely showing and what I think was Titan off to one side. Swapping to a 6 mm eyepiece gave a very nice view indeed. The mount was very stable and I could, for the first time, manually adjust the scope without too much vibration and settling time was almost instant - a vast improvement on the other mounts. I did a quick comparison with the other scopes, which verified my initial impressions of the 102's better optics, but, more importantly, highlighted the tremendous difference that a decent mount makes to the viewing experience. Definitely money well spent.

If I get time, I'll have to play around with connecting a laptop & camera (tried afocal smartphone but it didn't pan out). Santa can still get me a 120 mm scope (or better) but, failing that, an equatorial motor drive would seem to be the logical next step.
 

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