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Posts posted by AlexxxAA

  1. Hi everyone!

    Here is probably the most challenging object I've observed so far. It was quite small and easy to miss. But I noticed something that wasn't quite a star and zoomed in...

    Not much detail on this one since its so small. I did notice a slight separation through the middle of a trapezoid, with one corner of the trapezoid much brighter than the rest of the object.

    I wish my collimating was better so that I could have maybe tried a Barlow to see if some more details were visible. Maybe some other time.

    You guys should give it a try and see if you notice anything else I missed?

    Clear Skies!


  2. Hi Ian

    Thank you for your kind honest feedback.

    Indeed the light pollution here where i live is quite bad since I'm only about 20km from downtown Los Angeles. But the only salvation I have is that 12" of aperture and the OIII filter work wonders together. When I tried to see M27 without the filter it was almost missable. The filter really brought out the nebula into easy view. I really recommend getting one. It would be a great team with your C8 :laugh:

  3. Hi everyone. So I finally managed to get out of apartment living and move into a house with my wife. That means I actually have my own yard space to set up the beasts! So after a year, I finally took an hour Thursday night (Sept. 5) to set up the LightBridge and check out of few things. Mostly around the zenith since I didn't have all my leveling tools.

    So in the excitement I decided to also try a sketch after so long. M27 would be a nice, bright, easy target. But to my surprise, even with the 12", the Dumbell was very faint due to the horrible light pollution here in LA, particularly bad being a weekday... I tried the UHC filter, but with very little improvement. On the other hand, the oxygen filter made a huge difference. Even all the nebulosity around the apple-core was very noticeable.

    Hope you guys enjoy the sketch. I think I did a little too much emphasis on the apple-core. And there should have been a few more faint stars in the view but I was running out of time being a weeknight.

    Suggestions for improvement are welcome. Thanks for looking guys.

  4. Hi guys...

    Ive been enjoying my new lightbridge for the past month. Everything is great.

    The only complaint i have is due to the coma caused by its fast optics (f/5).

    I'm using an Explore Scientific 24mm 68-degree, a 5mm Nagler Type 6, and some Agena SuperWide 70 degree eyepieces: 20mm, 15mm, and 9mm. ( i totally recommend these eyepieces to you guys. Great price for good quality www.agenaastro.com)

    I know that TeleVue tests their eyepieces to work down to fast scopes. And i don't seem to have noticed anything wrong on starfields with the Nagler. But that's why they are worth big bucks, and unfortunately upgrading all my eyepieces to TeleVue is impossible. The rest of my eyepieces give great, wide views. However, at about 25-40% of the radiaus, the stars start to become a little fuzzy and round instead of pointy and sharp like in the center.

    So one cost effective solution would be to get a coma-corrector for my scope right?

    However, i wanted to ask you guys if getting one for $200 is worth the trouble? Will it solve the visual problem? or is it mostly for astrophotography? Does anyone use one on a regular basis visually?

    It just catches my attention more to spend only $200 on a coma-corrector, instead of a couple of thousand for a set of TeleVue's :p

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance to everyone :grin:

  5. Great write up Steve and a great nights viewing by the sounds of things. I have had a few visits to the Veil complex myself in recent weeks and would agree, it truly is a stunning object. The only thing I yearn for is more tfov, as the 26mm Nagler limits me to around 1.4°. I have considered swapping it for the 31mm on a few occasions (still wouldn't come close to fitting the entire Veil complex in but every little helps!) but haven't been able to commit??

    Same here. Im trying to find a good deal on a good 30, 31, or 32 mm eyepiece just for these few wide items like the veil, M31, etc... It would make the views even more epic if we could manage to fit as much as possible into the singe view.

  6. This past saturday night i finally took my own telescope to a star party 1hr outside of Los Angeles. The skies werent pitch-black, but it was a huge difference compared to where i live. I took my 12" and tried to look for the Veil for the first time. I searched with my Lumicon OIII filter and found it right away....

    WOW! i was blown away by the view. As a fellow viewer there with me said, it was an "eery" presence (did i spell that right?) in the eyepiece. Probably the most memorable view in my 15 years in this wonderful hobby. And i know its only just beginning since ive only had my Lightbridge for a month lol

    Anyways back to the discussion... I also compared views of the Veil with OIII, UHC, and unfiltered. 1.) Unfiltered it was nowhere to be seen. Not a single trace of it. 2.) With my Baader UHC-s, the view was much less aprarent than with the OIII. Very faint with only the brightest parts of the nebula visible with averted vision. 3.) With my Lumicon OIII the view was amazing! It really made the Veil present. Even with direct vision the Veil was faint but pleasant to view. With averted vision, the nebula just popped into the field with beautiful curvature.

    I totally recommend the Lumicon OIII filter for anyone who is thinking about getting one. It really makes a HUGE different on nebulas. Even here in the horrible light pollution of Los Angeles, planetaries just pop into view where they were nearly invisible before.

    Im going to see if the Veil reappears here in LA with the OIII :grin:

  7. Beautiful new additions mike!

    May I ask what kind of pencil you are using on your sketches?

    On the few sketches that I have done I simply used a No. 2 pencil on white paper. But your renditions on black paper seem so much more natural and true to what we see in the eyepiece.

  8. Like Steve (swamp thing) mentioned above, i suggest you check on a bright star or a planet just to double check that your finder and telrad are pointing in the right direction. Once that is cleared, checking the general location on a star map and looking throught the telrad and the finder should be enough. I do this and look through my 24mm from here in Los Angeles with horrible light pollution and find the objects without much trouble.

    Just keep in mind that if you live near a big city, some objects will not be available for you. Things like wide/faint nebulas such as the veil and North American, and galaxies are most likely not going to happen.

    But bright things such as star clusters, bright globulars, and bright nebula like Orion, the Ring, Lagoon, should all be within your reach.

    Good luck!!!

  9. Likewise George! It was a pleasure. And thanks for showing me your items on your telescope. Now i have an idea of what i should work on for my telescope.

    Eventhough i havent been there in a year, i really enjoyed going again. And there are great friendly people who go there. And it feels nice to show things to curious people and hear "WOW!" Im already planning on returning on the 18th next month :grin:

    I know the sky isnt the best it could be, but it not a bad drive, and that makes up for it a little bit.

  10. There are two different parking lots there. One is for the people with telescopes and one for people who are just visiting. And when you take your telescope you get to set up right next to your vehicle, so no hauling required. The parking for people with telescopes is also somewhat separated as well. Usually people who are there to image stay together on one side, and people to are there to observe stay on the other side of the parking area.

    And it's a long, thin parking area. A single lane with parking lines on either side, do everyone sticks together and chats and checks out each other's equipment.

    And it's kinda cool as well in the sense that it's kind-of a community thing of that park/city. So in the early evening there are a lot of people and kids who are jut there to see what it's all about and are just curious to learn about astronomy. And as the evening progresses, only the hardcore people people remain lol. And everyone just walks around and talks about their equipment.

    I haven't gone since last year in June, and I had the rare privilege of looking through a 5" or 6" astrophysics refractor... Just wow!

    I'm not sure if everyone stays all night? I assume they do since people are probably there doing some deep imaging projects. Maybe you can call them at Woodland Hills Telescope? I'm sure they'll know.

  11. Sounds great George! Im almost sure that i will be going up to the Oak Park location i told you about. Im pretty sure ill be taking my dob as well. Im really excited about being in a dark site again, and actually taking my scope this time.

    Depending on how tomorrow goes for me and my scope, i might sum up the courage to make the drive to Mt. Pinos next month.

  12. Hi John. I see your dilemma. I learned the hard way on my own years ago before i found out about these forums that could help me out.

    About 4 years ago i purchased a Nexstar 8SE. When i got the urge to get into astrophotography, i realized that the mount was going to be a huge problem. So then i traded the mount for a CG-5 and purchased a small refractor for guiding with the 8SE for imaging. Then i realized that the telescope was not ideal for imaging still. Then i traded the optical tube for a 8" f/4 Newtonian, and did a lot of alterations to the mount set up and etc..

    In short, for the amount of money you are going to spend on the 11", you can get a very sweet astrophotography set-up :grin:

    -A sturdy EQ mount like a CG-5 costs $650. You could maybe even upgrade to a CGEM for about $1500. A fast 8" f/4 optical tube costs about $300 or $450 at optcorp.com.

    -There is also the option of a good quality refractor like William Optics from agenaastro.com. That's if you're also interested in wide views, a 70mm refractor costs about $420 and a 80mm about $640.

    There are many options. And good sturdy mounts like the ones mentioned here give you 1 or 2 minute exposures by themselves when they are properly aligned. And later on as you get better at imaging and processing, there is the option of adding a little extra cash for guiding scope and an autoguider possibly.

    Hope i didnt confuse you more!!! :eek:

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