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Viewing the Cosmos

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A few nights ago, the weather seemed just great to take my telescope outside and do some viewing. I saw a particularly bright object in the East-Southeastern sky, so I decided to check it out. I have no idea why I was initially confused about what I saw, but after a few minutes, came to the conclusion that it just had to be Jupiter, as I could clearly see two distinct diagonal brownish bands, and indeed it turned out that it was Jupiter I was looking at that very night.

 

The very next night, but a couple of hours later in the evening, I decided to view the Moon, which was beginning to come out of full phase, so I knew there'd be some interesting details visible in the terminator area. A few degrees south of the moon, I noticed another particularly bright object, so swung my telescope over to take a peek. To my utter amazement, I was looking straight at Saturn, with the rings being very clearly visible.

 

A quick Google indicated that Saturn is 746 million miles from Earth. I find it utterly amazing that I can sit out on the deck, and clearly view an object that's 746 million miles from the back yard; just completely mesmerizing stuff. I was so enthused that I immediately jumped on Amazon to seek out an 8" telescope, only to very quickly realize that's not going to happen.

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Had a smaller telescope as a kid, and used to plead with my dad to take me out in the back yard and look through it on starry nights.

 

I never got to see anything like Jupiter, but I was utterly amazed at how close amd detailed the full moon looked

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On 6/5/2018 at 4:02 PM, Out2gtcha said:

Had a smaller telescope as a kid, and used to plead with my dad to take me out in the back yard and look through it on starry nights.

 

I never got to see anything like Jupiter, but I was utterly amazed at how close amd detailed the full moon looked

 

My telescope is what might be considered a "starter" scope, Meade 102mm (4"), so not real high end stuff, but more than ample to see things like the Orion Nebula, Moon, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. Using a 3:1 Barlow lens on the eyepiece, the views of the Moon, in particular, are extraordinary sharp and clear, amazingly so, as I see it.

 

hwMkOC.jpg

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Guest Peterpools

Kev

I had no idea and seeing the planets is simply amazing

:)

Peter

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Kev

I had no idea and seeing the planets is simply amazing

:)

Peter

 

Indeed it is, Pete. The last time I saw Saturn with my own eyes, was when I was a kid, viewing it through the 6" reflector that my dad owned. Cool stuff, no question about it.

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Guest Martinnfb

This would be something interesting to try, not sure about the quality, but it seems to be a great idea.

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Big binoculars with a parallelogram mount are interesting for deep sky and dark sky work and for the moon. Planets are difficult to see with small telescopes, but it is fascinating what some people do with digital signal processing, stacking up thousands of images and selecting the best. The moon is most satisfying with binoculars. You can look at it and not have eye fatigue from just one eye bright.

 

Check out Yahoo groups on Mars observers to see some amazing photos built up that way.

 

You can spend much more than your model budget for a single eyepiece.... but they are fun.

 

Tnarg

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If I could suggest . . . try a Dobsonian.  You can now get 10" tracking Dobs for considerably under $2,000:

 

 

https://www.telescope.com/Orion-SkyQuest-XT10g-Computerized-GoTo-Dobsonian-Telescope/p/102020.uts

 

10" is a heckuva light bucket, especially compared to a 4".  You can also buy 8" ones, as well as 12" and even 16".  And the autotracking feature is really nice.  About the only thing you can't really do easily with Dobs is astrophotography.  But they're otherwise outstanding scopes.

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If I could suggest . . . try a Dobsonian.  You can now get 10" tracking Dobs for considerably under $2,000:

 

 

https://www.telescope.com/Orion-SkyQuest-XT10g-Computerized-GoTo-Dobsonian-Telescope/p/102020.uts

 

10" is a heckuva light bucket, especially compared to a 4".  You can also buy 8" ones, as well as 12" and even 16".  And the autotracking feature is really nice.  About the only thing you can't really do easily with Dobs is astrophotography.  But they're otherwise outstanding scopes.

 

When I was trying to figure out what best suited my needs (mostly financial), I checked on both reflectors and refractors, Dobsonians, Newtonians and Cassegrain variants, and determined that this particular refractor was the ideal choice for my budget and viewing preferences. Being automated would be totally cool, but I find it pretty easy to live without that particular feature.

 

In an ideal world, I'd have a 12", no doubt about it.

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I live on the SE coast of Florida, about 100 miles away from Kennedy Space Center.

 

At night, we can see satellite rocket launches very clearly, complete with booster separation and what not.

 

We have also seen the international space station 3 times now.  It looks like a very bright dot of light, and man, does that thing absolutely FLY through the sky.  

 

I was amazed the first time we saw a satellite launch.  I didn't know what to expect, faced north, scanned around and boom!  There it was clear as day...

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When I was trying to figure out what best suited my needs (mostly financial), I checked on both reflectors and refractors, Dobsonians, Newtonians and Cassegrain variants, and determined that this particular refractor was the ideal choice for my budget and viewing preferences. Being automated would be totally cool, but I find it pretty easy to live without that particular feature.

 

In an ideal world, I'd have a 12", no doubt about it.

 

I entirely understand.  The Dobs can be unwieldy to use, apart from anything else.  I only commented because I saw you post about wanting an 8" but finding the price too high. 

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i got hooked when I went to space camp as a kid, I was able to see the rings of Saturn from the campus roof top via telescope, blown away.

Growing up in rural Michigan on the lake shore, many a night was spent 5 miles off shore floating and staring up into the sky.

I've been able to capture some fun stellar events with camera's over the years, like Jupiter crossing the Sun, many lunar events etc with a 500mm catadioptic lense.

 

3517642970_f175be2824_o.jpg

Edited by Shawn M

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