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skfboiler

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Everything posted by skfboiler

  1. I finally got around to reading the August issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Just happens to be an article on our topic, spectroscopy. If you can get a copy of this article, it will be another resource to learn and get in to it.
  2. A short while ago I was interested in spectroscopy. I read a couple of books but never went any further. I did come across a book by Ken M. Harrison called "Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs". Bought it from Amazon.com. I thought it was a very good read. He has a other books on the subject as well. Ken Harrison also has Yahoo user group on spectroscopy that seems to be very active. Perhaps a good resource if you join the group. Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs https://www.amazon.com/Astronomical-...y+for+amateurs Spectroscopy Yahoo User group https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...ctroscopy/info
  3. The central star in the "The Blinking Nebula", NGC 6826 in Cygnus is easy to see. Very easy when you alternate looking directly at it and using averted vision.
  4. If you are using the ring technique, you need to know the FOV of your finder scope. Then with what ever atlas you are using, make the ring the diameter that will match the FOV of the finder scope. The ring will now only be unique to that particular atlas. I made my ring with my atlas, "Pocket Sky Atlas". I cannot use this ring with "Cambridge" or any other atlas.
  5. For folks that are trying to learn how to star hop, I am that glad you brought this topic up about making rings to match the FOV of the finders scope. For me, star hopping did not click in my head until I made such a ring. During the day I can practice the star hops with my star chart of the objects I plan to see that night. Sure enough the star field inside the ring on my star chart is pretty close to the star field at the finders scope. Just keep in mind the type of finder that you have, a straight through finder or a right angle, correct image (RACI) finder. If you have a straight through finder that does not correct, turn your star chart upside down. Now, the star hop movements with the ring on the chart will match the star hop movements at the finders scope. The link below really helped me learn how to star hop with my Orion Astroview 6 EQ. http://www.washedoutastronomy.com/washedoutastronomy.com/content/star-hopping-tutorial-lesson-one-m57/index.html
  6. The washers is a great idea for my Orion Astroview mount. I see myself doing this particularly for solar viewing in the daytime. At night I can set the tripod in my spot and then get a good polar alignment. Then set the washers under the feet.
  7. As far as polar alignment, if I'm in a hurry I just set my mount to north using the compass on my phone. You have to ensure that the compass is set for TRUE north. That is also what I do when I'm setting up to look at the sun because obviously you cannot see Polaris in the daytime.
  8. My Orion Astroview 6 EQ is an EQ-3 mount and it shakes a bit while focusing. I solve the shakes by installing a motorized focuser. Contact Celestron and see if they have one compatible to your focuser.
  9. My Orion Astroview 6 is a similar scope to your Skywatcher. I bought a case from amazon.com that is awesome for it. It is the Plano Model 1819 case and it even has wheels. It is no Pelican but it gets the job done. I can get the OTA, tripod, mount, counterweights and more all inside. https://www.amazon.com/Plano-Molding-1819-XXL-Storage/dp/B000UPGMXY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1490239661&sr=8-4&keywords=plano+1819 Here is a picture of it with my gear inside. Keep the original packaging for protection.
  10. That mount looks familiar. Anyhow just one correction, the knob you circled is actually called the "Latitude adjustment knob". There one in the back, like the one you circled and one in the front. In addition, in the front of the mount under the front "Latitude adjustment knob", there are 2 round knobs called the "Azimuth Adjustment Knobs". After I set the scope on the ground I point the leg with the label "N" towards the star Polaris, eyeballed the best I can. Then I adjust these knobs until Polaris is centered in the eyepiece. To adjust the knobs you loosen one and the tighten the other, then tighten the one, then loosen the other.
  11. There is nothing like an EQ mount that tracks. Here is an article on using the setting circles. I've had some success using the setting circles and some failures. More success however. Here is a link to the article on how to use the setting circles. It sure helped me. You really need to get a very good polar alignment in order to have a chance for the setting circles to work. To improve accuracy of the setting circles go to and use the coordinates of a bright star near the object you are trying to find. For example, due to my light pollution I had trouble star hopping to M11. Therefore, I moved the scope to the star in Aquila, Altair. I dialed in the coordinates of Altair and and then dialed in the coordinates of M11. There is was at the very edge of the field of view of my 24mm eyepiece. Similarly with M3 and M5 I use the star in Bootes, Arcturus as the starting point. Sometimes the object may be outside of the field of view of the eyepiece. Slow turns of the RA knob may bring it into the field of view. A test in using the setting circles since they are close together is to try to find M51 using the coordinates of Alkaid in the Big Dipper. http://astro-tom.com/telescopes/setting_circles.htm
  12. The 150p might similar to my Astroview 6 from Orion. I'm able to get prime focus two ways. One way is with my DSLR with t-ring and t-adapter placed into my Barlow. Second, my eyepiece holder on my focused can unscrewed and removed. Threads are exposed where a camera with only the t-ring can be attached to the focused. Your focuser may be the same as these scopes may be made by the same folks, Synta.
  13. I can get prime focus with my DSLR with my Orion Astroview 6, a 6 inch f/5 two ways. One, with my 2x Barlow. I attach a t-ring with t-adapter to the camera and place then put it into the Barlow. The second way is that I found out, the instructions didn't say, that my eyepiece holder can be removed exposing threads. Now my camera with the t-ring, no t-adapter, can be attached to the focuser for prime focus. Perhaps your focuser is similar where you can remove the eyepiece holder if it has one. If not you may have to replace your focuser with a low profile one. There are several vendors like GSO or moonlight that has one for your 8 inch OTA.
  14. First of all, what mount do you have? I polar align my mount in the following steps. 1) Set tripod/mount on the ground with the label on the the leg labeled with an "N" facing true north or Polaris if you can see it from your observation site. 2) Level the mount. Use the bubble level on the tripod if you have one or use a regular level. 3) Set the latitude scale to the latitude of your location of your observing site. On the side of the mount there is a scale that can be adjusted with loosening and tightening the latitude adjustment knob until the marker points to your latitude. It does not have to be exact. You can search the internet for your latitude. 4) Center Polaris in the finder scope and eyepiece. Place a low power eyepiece in the eyepiece holder and align the finder scope to the OTA. You can use a star or if during the day, something like the top[ of a distant light pole or something. I align my finder scope to my OTA on the light on top of a distant water tower. Anyhow, look through the finder scope and because you aimed the mount/tripod to true north or Polaris, Polaris should be in the field of view. Now with the aforementioned latitude adjustment knobs and the azimuth adjustment knobs, knob that adjust the mount like a turret, adjust so that Polaris is in the center of the field of view of your finder scope. Then look in the your low power eyepiece and Polaris should be in the center of the FOV. If not this is a good time to align with the finder scope. You should be now polar aligned. I pasted a video from David Fuller from eyesonthesky.com. Subscribe to his channel as he has a lot of good videos including "How to Use an Equatorial Mount" which I found helpful when I was learning how to use my mount. How to Align an Equatorial Mount https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plx6XXDgf2E I'm not sure on what you mean by aligning your RA setting circle. Here is a link I found on how to use the setting circles on an EQ mount. I've used the setting circles and achieved mixed results. I did find a few objects with them in my light polluted backyard where I could not see any good stars to star hop with. http://astro-tom.com/telescopes/setting_circles.htm
  15. I got into this hobby about 6 years ago and bought my first scope, 6 inch reflector on an EQ mount. I learn how to use an EQ mount and got good at star hopping. However, I live just outside of Chicago and the light pollution is bad. Some nights I can barely make out the keystone in Hercules. I could star hop to the easy stuff like the Messier globs,open clusters and bright nebulae. It came to a point where I could not star hop to some of harder stuff because there no stars to star hop to. Then I started to learn and use the setting circles with mixed results. I did find some stuff with the setting circles. I then decided to get a goto scope with a larger aperture, my Orion XT12g. I can tell you that was the best investment. I am now able to find and see a lot of faint galaxies that I can only dream of finding with my Orion Astroview 6 EQ. Now I spend more time observing than finding stuff. I can observe, sketch if I like and then move on to the next object. The XT12g locates and tracks well. I still star hop some when I'm in the mood to fool around with astrophotography.
  16. I forgot to paste the link to Orion's site for the 10i. Again check out the reviews. http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/GoTo-Computerized-Telescopes/Orion-SkyQuest-XT10i-IntelliScope-Dobsonian-Telescope/pc/-1/c/1/sc/15/p/102013.uts
  17. Yes, nice capture. I can still see a heck of a lot of detail in it.
  18. From what I've heard, these are wonderful scopes. I've been an Orion customer for several years and please with their products and service. I have a manual 6 inch EQ setup and the 12 inch goto, the XT12g. Speaking of service if you buy from Orion direct the customer service is wonderful. If you buy second hand, they will not help. I pasted a link to their website. Scroll and click on "Reviews". There are several reviews to read and get a feel on the how folks are using the scope.
  19. You can spend most of the night looking in the Sagittarius/Scorpius area. Sagittarius has so many globular clusters to see; including several Messier globulars with M22 being my favorite globular cluster. Don't be afraid and throw some magnification at these globular clusters. You also have several other Messier objects like M20, the Trifid Nebula, M8, the Lagoon Nebula. Without a filter these are wonderful targets to see. However, with an OIII or UHC filter they should pop out in your scope. Other Messiers to see in Sagittarius are M16, the Eagle Nebula and M17, the Swan Nebula. There are also Messier open clusters to see like M25, M23, M21, M18. In Scorpius you have more Messier stuff like the globulars M4 and M80. You have bright open clusters like M6 and M7. These may look better in your finder scope.
  20. The Pinwheel is a tough object to see, particularly if you have light pollution like I do. I can't even see it in my 12 inch scope. With your 3 inch scope it is going to be a challenge to bring in enough light for galaxies. I would practice with easy bright targets and stars very close to your target such as M57 using the star Vega as the calibration star. M17 and M22 using the star Altair. Andromeda using the star Mirach. M5 using Arcturus. M13 using Vega etc. Remember, to key is getting a precise polar alignment with the polar scope. As far star hopping, TLAO is a fine book, however, what I like to star hop with is with the atlas called "Pocket Sky Atlas". It is compact and perfect to use at the scope. The thing about "Pocket Sky Atlas" is that on the inside cover has a template to make a circular disk the diameter of your finder scope field of view. There is even a scale template for Telrad folks as well. My finder scope field of view is 7°. With this circular disk and "Pocket Sky Atlas" you can practice star hopping during the day of the targets you plan on seeing. The link below gives a good idea of how to do this. This method gave me a sense of scale. http://www.washedoutastronomy.com/washedoutastronomy.com/content/star-hopping-tutorial-lesson-one-m57/index.html
  21. If you follow that Astro Baby polar alignment guide you should be well on your way. In addition to that here are a couple of videos by David Fuller from eyesonthesky.com that helped me with my EQ mount. Subscribe to his channel as he has a lot of other interesting videos on astronomy. How to Align an Equatorial mount https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plx6XXDgf2E How to use an Equatorial mount https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7HVDKAZ6eM
  22. It would be a good idea to join this club. If it is like the club I belong to, as a member you will have full access to their observing site(s). Plus these clubs are a good place to network with other astronomy enthusiasts. They will also have good speakers to speak at the meetings. At the last meeting at my club we had a speaker who is an astronomy professor from Northwestern University. Most likely this club in Columbus will have speakers from The Ohio State University from time to time. If you don't want to join the club, non-members are welcome to attend the meetings. if you want to go it alone. The website http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/index.php?lat=41.64110468287587&lng=-87.41203308105469&zoom=11 is a place where you can search for dark places near you.
  23. That is awesome that you are using the setting circles and having success. Before I bought my Goto scope I used the setting circles on my little EQ-3 mount and had some success. With my light pollution from Chicago I was able to find several objects that I could not star hop to using the setting circles. The key is getting a real good polar alignment. That is how I found the globular M5. I failed star hopping to it because there were no stars to. Therefore, I centered the scope on Arcturus and got its RA and DA. Then set the RA and DA for M5 and slewed to it. It was not in the FOV, but with a quarter turn of the RA knob there it was. Other times objects are in the FOV perhaps near the edge, but it was there.
  24. I agree, your 9mm EP will be the best for planets in your type scope. This will give you 111x. Your 4mm EP will be too blurry on most nights. However, when you do use your 9mm and the planets look steady like there is no "waviness" I would then try your 4mm and see what you get.
  25. There are 2 videos from David Fuller from eyesonethesky.com that helped me with my EQ mount. I'm not sure if you came across these or not. Subscribe to his Youtube channel. He has a lot of other helpful astronomy videos. How to align an EQ mount: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plx6XXDgf2E How to Use an EQ mount: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7HVDKAZ6eM
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