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    Birmingham Alabama, US
  1. ... after a few years of tears and anguish, even a new refractor... I have finally collimated my old dob. It supposedly isn't a hard process but something about it just confused me. So after years of seeing it lonely in a corner all sad I drug it out tonight and did what no one in their sane mind should probably do.... I took it a part mirrors and all. It worked too. After slowly and carefully putting it all back together again I followed the normal collimating procedure and for the first time in three years got a clear bead on Saturn. So for all of you crying over collimation stick with it my friends.... stick with it.
  2. My gear is a celestron omni xlt 120 on and cg-4 EQ mount. I just took my new scope of for a trial run. I managed to catch Jupiter through a hole in the clouds. The only problem I encountered was it was near its zenith and I had to lay on the ground practically to look through the eyepiece. I was wondering if it would be ok to loosen the scope rings and pull the scope up in the rings to pull the eye piece up some. I know that would throw my balance off but since I'm pointing almost straight up it wouldn't matter would it?
  3. My optimisim didn't pay off to well. The cloud cover has been thick and dark with rain moving in tonight. Friday night is forcasted to be clear but extremely cold with a low of 19F (-7C) and then the following days with lows at night into 10F (-12C). I dont care as long as the sky is clear I will be out there. I am itching to get this thing out under the stars for a good test.
  4. nice shot looks like you got a shadow of a moon too!
  5. It should be here on the 31st in time for the new year. So far the sky is holding steady but rain is in the forecast for the weekend maybe it will blow through and leave the skys crisp and sharp
  6. you can see Orions nebula with naked eye in even pretty heavy LP. If you look under his belt its going to look like a smudge in the sky or even to those with sharp eyes can make out some stars. In a small scope or binos it wont leave any doubt. Its looks faint green to me. Let your eyes get dark adapted my help too.
  7. Among my circle of people by in large I'm the only "space geek". To be fair though my best friend shows of interest and my wife always goes with me if I take the scope somewhere so I won't be alone but I carry the banner pretty much alone. I think space is something most people take for granted. To quote Doctor Who who quoted the lion king "From the day they arrive on the planet, and blinking step into the sun. There is more to see than can ever be seen." We are amazed as children as we glance skyward but as we get older we lose this excitement in the daily grind of life. I may be wrong but I think astronomers by in large are dreamers and people that have vivid and awesome imaginations. At least I find this to be true in my case. But in today's society with instant media and tv etc... room for imagination is shrinking.
  8. Well after days of turmoil and excruciatingly fun research I have placed an order of a Celestron Omni XLT 120 w/CG-4 mount. I am super excited, this will be my first experience with a refractor and an EQ mount. With that being said I am so so sorry for the six months of cloudy weather and rain. Since I live in the southern US maybe it wont effect too many of you!
  9. Please excuse the spelling errors its been a long day
  10. First off is my equipment... Cannon T3i and a Cannon 75mm-300mm lens I just want to be able to take clear crips images of the moon in its various phases, nothing to fancy really. Here are my first attempts. I can really achieve the "crispness" I would like too. This was taken at maximim zoom on manual focus (the moon in the view finder was very sharp), ISO 100, F8 to F11, and shutter speeds of around 1/25 to 1/30. I am also using a tripod and a timer on the camera to minimize vibrations etc... Is there anything else I can play around with to help achieve better clarity of the moon or with my current equipment is this kinda the best I can achieve. This picture was the best I have taken so far. Any advice would be great.
  11. Pleiades has always been my favorite night sky sight. Especially if I wear my glasses I can make it out as plain as any other star. Great sight!
  12. "The Universe" can be very good. Sometimes you will come across an episode here and there thats more science fiction that fact though. The earlier seasons tend to be better I think. I repeatedly watch some of them over and over.
  13. nah I think naming something creates a kind of bond with it. Besides all vehicles of exploration have a name and what is a telescope if nothing but your personal vehicle of exploration.
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