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About magic612

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    Star Forming

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    South of the Chicago IL light pollution "soup"
  1. Hi there, Your scope has an equatorial - or "eq" - mount. An eq mount seems intimidating - lots of knobs and and such, and it does seems confusing at first. The primary thing to know is that what it does is, when aligned properly, is help you "track" objects with one slow motion control (or a motor drive) with your telescope across the sky as the Earth rotates. So first things first: Learn how to align the scope - one video of that was posted above; I also made on here which goes through the process step-by-step: The next thing that gets asked after aligning an eq mount is, "Okay, how do I USE the thing now!?!?!" Fair question! It's not like a camera tripod with it's "up/down" and "swivel around" motions. I made another video showing how to do that. Pay attention to how I manipulate the black telescope in this next video; yours is like that one, and you'll want to do similar motions and adjustments to use it well. And finally, it helps to understand telescopes, and how to know the sky well enough that you can find things in it. These series of videos may help you with additional information and understanding: http://eyesonthesky.com/Videos/StargazingBasics.aspx http://eyesonthesky.com/Videos/TelescopeBasics.aspx There's lots of people here (including me, when I find the time!) to help you out. But those resources should get you going and help you understand what you have and how to use it.
  2. For any given telescope, often the practical magnification limit is often 150x or so - and occasionally as little as 100x or 125x. That has more to do with the atmosphere over your head than the telescope next to your feet. That said, the atmosphere can - and sometimes does - cooperate more. When it does, the stars will not "twinkle" as much, and appear steady. On those nights, you can often push the magnification higher. For your scope (which appears to be a 650mm focal length instrument), the maximum practical magnification is about 250x. That's the best you're going to do on the very best nights, which might happen once or twice a year (well, at least near me). More often, you'll achieve somewhere in-between that 150x and 250x. For that, the barlowed 6mm at 2x is going to be okay. But again, on GOOD nights of seeing. The other problem is cooling - the atmosphere may be steady, but if your mirror is releasing heat into the tube because it was indoors and you go outside with it where the temp is much cooler, the image at the eyepiece will be less than perfect. Until your mirror finishes (or is closer to) contracting fully, it will also alter the image that can be focused. For practical viewing purposes, I think you would be well-served to have an 8mm eyepiece, and barlow it to achieve 150x on most nights. It will also give you medium power views un-barlowed at around 75x. Hope that helps.
  3. I've tried to keep my posts of these videos to a minimum here lately so as not to clutter up this section with them. But I have introduced a slightly new format and some changes to the video this week, and I thought I'd post it for those who have seen them to review, and of course for beginners to astronomy looking for objects to find and see with their telescopes. Hope you enjoy - constructive criticism welcomed and appreciated. Clear and dark skies!
  4. i know this thread is several days old, but I would recommend getting in contact with (and perhaps joining) the Calumet Astronomical Society. They have an observing site in Lowell IN, along with some members having sites that are in even darker areas not too much further away.
  5. Ummm... okay, what I see in the "preview" is not showing up in my posts for some reason (and I wish I could edit my previous posts to fix them). Anyway, hopefully one of THESE will work this time:
  6. See this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7HVDKAZ6eM
  7. Continuing the Herschel double stars theme from last week, Eyes on the Sky looks at a few more, this time in Andromeda - PLUS - how to find M31. And, what the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are up to this week.
  8. William Herschel had a significant impact on the world of astronomy. He discovered Uranus! (Cue bad jokes here.) No seriously, he did discover - well, sort of - the seventh planet in our solar system. And he observed a number of fun-to-see double stars that you can find and see easily in a small telescope. Check it out here:
  9. So the Moon is full phase, which means terrible viewing for astronomy, right? Not so: Look AT the Moon! Seriously, there's good stuff to see along the eastern limb that highlights craters and features often missed due to thin waxing crescents not being visible to us. Then by mid-week, North American observers get a great shot at seeing the shadow of Ganymede on the face of Jupiter while Io peeks out from behind not long after the shadow's first contact. And Europe will have a front-row view this weekend as Europa makes a long shadow transit as well.
  10. Joe / Tony / Paul / Greg - thank you. Greg, regarding the backgrounds, check the credits, as I am not sure which background you are thinking of (there are at least three I used in that video). In the credits, I list all the media I use but have not created myself (most of which I paid to use).
  11. Thank you Dirk. Hope others did too, and weren't doing this: (Blending the science of astronomy and comedy/theatrical performances ain't easy.)
  12. Would you like to know about some really colorful orange and red stars in Pegasus? Do you like Halloween season? You're in luck! Because... here's both, all wrapped up into one:
  13. And as always, thank YOU for the kind compliments! Anyone have any luck tracking down the comet? I saw it on Monday night with a 6" reflector - small and dim, but with direct vision. And anyone looking around in Aquarius should definitely have a look for M2 - it's quite a nice globular.
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