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Everything posted by SoulFrenzy

  1. That's for the help. I think I'm finally grasping it. I think I'm making most of this a ok harder than it is really. I do tend to over complicate things lol. Yeah I know star hoping is by far easier and I'm really good at that. But the RA/DE has always intrigued me and I can't stand it if there is something I can't understand. Its like a personal challenge to me to figure it out. I think the sidereal time is the one thing I was missing for this to make sense.
  2. I consider myself a smart guy. I can grasp certain concepts really well. However right ascension and declination are really making my head pound. Its time to gets the meds out and take something. Here is what I do understand, and I am going to start at the basics. The north and south celestial poles are the imaginary lines drawn out through the rotational axis of the earth. It is the axis in which the sky appears to rotate on. I got that. Right ascension is the equivalent to longitude here on earth. It tells how high something is from the celestial equator. Right ascension is divided into 24 hours because that is the rotational period of the earth. I got that barely. From here on out is where my brain apparently begins to shut down and the head ache starts. Declination is how high something is off the celestial equator..... what the hell is the celestial equator... or rather how do I know where the celestial equator is to figure out where an object is. Lets say I had no idea where M42 is in the night sky but I knew its RA/DE how, by looking at the north celestial pole at 11pm, do I find M42. There has to be a starting point for me to start at. I know that the vernal equinox (I even know what that is. The point in space where the ecliptic crosses the celestial equator) is 0h and 0 degrees. So if I am in an open field at night exactly where do I look to go "Hey there is where I start"? If I can figure out the "starting point" I know how to tick back 05 34.5 (RA) and down 05 27 (DE) to find M42. But whats killing me is that if I am outside at night with ten books, a compass, a bottle of headache meds, and whiskey I still couldn't figure out where something is based off of the RA and DC system. Am I making this way more difficult than it really is, or am I just as little stupid here and need to give up on learning how this works.
  3. Im pretty happy with it. The base is pretty heavy it doesn't move around to much. I got lucky enough to get a bucket seat that still had the rails on the bottom where I could slide it back and forth so I slide the rails back to where it pretty much keeps its center of balance. Now I need a clear night to really put it through some tests.
  4. I recently acquired a car bucket seat from a thrift store and with some modification I turned into a Bino chair. What do you think. Offer some criticism or thoughts on how to make it better. I attached a swivel to the bottom to allow me to swivel around. The binos attach to a tripod head that I took apart. The rope that leads to the top of the tripod head allows the whole assembly to swing up and down. Its a pretty simple design on most of it but it seems to work really well. It's still a little wobbly due to the cheap tripod head and looking straight up is possible but it isn't very easy. I even added a nice cup holder for those cold nights and warm coffee. Anyways tell me what you think!!
  5. Me and my brother-in-law went to a field not far from the house that was reasonably dark and I had what was probably my best night viewing ever. The night started out with a gratuitous shooting star and I knew the night was going to be lucky. I saw all my old faithfuls like the Seven Sisters and Orion's nebula but what truly took my breath away was this was the first time I had seen the Andromeda galaxy under good conditions. It was mesmerizing to gaze upon. It filled my eyepiece and for the first time I could start to make out the actual structure of the galaxy. I just had to share it. It feels good to have a bit of luck and a good nights viewing.
  6. Ok...here it goes. I have kept this to myself for as long as I possibly can, but can I even call myself an astronomer when....... I hate being outside by myself outside at night? I'm not scared of the dark. I just get jumpy cause its generally so quiet and my attention is so fixed to the view through the eyepiece that any sound behind or around me takes almost ten years off my life. Anyone else have this affliction??
  7. Yeah I remember driving home one evening when Venus was high in the western sky and I was paying more attention to it than the road.
  8. Have you been eaves dropping on my conversations with my co-workers. They continually berate me for "looking into windows" and does "Uranus have a ring around it". And for the first 1,000 times I laughed it off but now I just let it drop. I rarely even bring it up at work anymore. As stated earlier its hard to realize that just because I am so interested in astronomy doesn't mean everyone else is too.... though I cant figure out why not!!
  9. at the 1:00 mark Orion can be seen rising... I just spotted it... and how cool is that!
  10. I like how on the products main page there is actually a +/- to buy more than one at a time....
  11. Thanks for the imput...... I know that I have the wrong scope entirely for taking pictures, but I just love the idea of capturing an imaging of something out in space. As the old saying goes "Where there is a will, there is a way", and believe me I do not know when to quit on an idea. My wife has a DSLR camera and I was already looking at the Orion camera mount and try to take pictures afocal focus that way.
  12. I understand that with a Dob 75% of photography is out of the question. But with a webcam or the Orion StarShoot Camera would it still be possible to grab some decent lunar and planetary images? Astrophotography is what got me into this hobby and its killing me to not be able to take pics of something. Even if its just down to lunar pics only I am ok with that.
  13. I have an Orion XT8 and when I first got it the optics where sharp and clear.... now everything looks slightly out of focus. It isn't bad but it isn't as crisp as it was either. It isn't just myself that noticed this either. Last weekend I had it out and my brother in law noticed the same same problem. I have check and checked...... and rechecked the collimation and to the best of my knowledge every things appears to be in order. But is it possible that I have my primary mirror shoved to far up or back in the cell. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
  14. I hadn't had my scope too long and I had it out one night showing my brother in law a few things and I was trying to find something... maybe a star cluster or something.... and I have seen satellites in my scope before like little white dots moving rather quickly. what ever it was, it looked just like that but it was stationary and it seemed to blink. I haven't that faintest idea of what it was. I always chalked it up to geosynchronous satellite.
  15. Thanks for all the advice... I greatly appreciate it. My equipment is in no danger of being sold. lol I love my gear and I value it greatly. Yeah I think I am going to give myself objectives and a "to do" list of things to find. I have a Messier map on my study wall and I used to check off all my finds but I got lazy and stopped. I am going to restart that so I can get a visual on what I am finding. My old high school has a field and I am going to try to secure the their permission to use it, the main problem is they want to know when I will be coming and as we all know the sky sometimes dictates when we view and I may not know until basically Im ready to walk out of the house. Its good to know that Im not alone. I am think I am going to start building some stuff. I love to make things and I made a little "copy scope" a few weeks ago. Its practically useless but its something I made and that makes it awesome to me. Next on my list is I want to make a tripod for it and my bino's ... My interest is still alive just maybe not in actually observing time... but its a phase and I'll pass through it. Thanks for the help!!
  16. When I first entered into the hobby I had a fire that as almost annoying to those around me, but as of the past 6-7 months I have almost lost it. I still enjoy the topic of astronomy and I still read up on it as much as I ever have but I just don't seem to put as many hours behind the eyepiece of my telescope as I once did. My main problem is that I have no good site to set up and my driveway offers only a minimal view of the western sky and the things that track through it. So needless to say my knowledge of that small slice of the sky is exceptional... and other than that I just haven't seen that much stuff. I was wondering if any one else has been through or passed through this slump before and how did you get through it? I want to rekindle that passion tat I once had. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  17. I have a pair of 15x70 from Celestron and to be honest I use them almost more than my telescope. The view is nice and sharp and they are handy to use. I would imagine that the 25x70 would be just as good... although as stated a nice sturdy tripod would make life a little easier for you.
  18. Everything seems slightly out of focus on my dob. The first thing I checked was the collimation and it seems to be spot on. I have taken my scope out and everything seems to be like I'm looking through a bubble almost. I know reflectors have a coma problem and I think that is whats wrong with mine. Although I don't have a clue as how to fix it. I have a Celestron EP kit that has 5 different EP's and I have tried them all and it seems to be worse on the larger mm EP like the 25mm and the 35mm. I was viewing the moon last night as when I put a 17mm in and the moon filled the EP when I get the outer portion in focus the middle seemed out and vice versa. What do I do? Should I loosen the collimation and locking screws back my mirror up and re-collimate will that fix my problem? Or is it a case of its always been a problem and now I just notice it more? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also I have the stock 2" Crayford focuser which seems to be working fine. I dont think thats the problem but if it is Im willing to adress it too.
  19. The weather here in the south eastern US has been dismal to say the least. It has rain and been cloudy I think ever day. We have had a few days where the sky will be a brilliant sapphire blue, on one such day I ran outside an hour before dark got all my gear set up, got the camera ready trying to capture a nice picture of Orion. So after setting up I slid back inside to eat some dinner and I went to go back out and its like a cloak descended over the sky and I couldn't even see the moon. Clouds everywhere!! Now for tomorrow the weather man is predicting severe weather with hail and straight line winds and tornadoes. Ill be glad when all this fades away for awhile.
  20. I stayed up one night, late late, to get a glimpse of the Andromeda galaxy if I recall correctly. Left the red dot on and the battery was dead and to top it off it was so humid the scope didn't cool down and it fogged up. It was disastrous outing. So lesson learned... I pack spares now.
  21. I often use my binocs as much as or more then my telescope. I have an adapter that I use to put them on a camera tripod but using that is a test of patience and temper. Ive seen some tripods being sold that have the binoculars on the end of swing arm with a counter weight on the other side. I was wonder has anyone attempted to build one? Any tips, tricks, or pictures that you could post? If I could get a good look at one I'm positive I could build one. The problem area is mainly how to attach the swing arm to the actual tripod to where it will be sturdy and yet have some functional mobility.
  22. I'd like to take a look at that!! maybe if these stupid clouds will go away. All it has done lately is rain, rain, and rain some more.
  23. Thanks for all the help!! I may ride out this weekend and scout out some locations. Mainly I want somewhere safe and I really don't want to get shot at. The main problem I don't want some nosy bored cop to ride up and give me a hard time. My wife has no problem going with me, she takes her Kindle and falls asleep in about five minutes but at least I wont be out in the middle of nowhere by myself. The main frustration is, people for some unknown reason feel the need to put up a **** light to illuminate an empty field with absolutely nothing in it. I understand the need in some places for security purposes but now days its just crazy.
  24. How do you go about finding a dark sky site? I live in south US, and I have plenty of country around. I have a large city, Birmingham Al, about 10-15 miles away, and getting away from its light pollution isn't easy. From my front yard where I normally set my gear up I can count 5 street lights and my neighbor across the way never ever turns off her porch light. People feel the need to set up a dang street light up to cast light on a drive way or part of a yard. Its quite annoying. So how do any of you go about finding a dark sky site. I am tempted to drive out into the country and just start asking random people if I can use their field, or calling county court houses to see if they have any country land that I can use. I just get irritated at the amount of lights.
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