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About SimpleMajority

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    Houston, TX
  1. I have a Orion XT8. I can see the 4 stars at the base Andromeda (Almaak, Mirach, HIP 3092, Alpheratz) and I can see Cassiopaeia clearly. Edited to add: For a few minutes I saw a glowing blur, but we have extremely high humidity and it is possible that the lens was fogging up on me.
  2. I have been trying to view Andromeda for weeks (almost as soon as I got the telescope) and always end up empty handed. I haven't found anything decent online about magnitudes and limiting magnitude (something written in plain english), but I know that Andromeda is 3.5. If I am understanding light pollution maps for my area, I can see up to 5.9-6.2 (depending on the day). Google Sky and The Night Sky (iOS) are hard to use in my area (we think there is iron in the ground). Clouds just moved in the area and we have had a massive amount of rain recently, so I decided to call it a night and pull the scope inside to safety in case more rain is on the way. Frustrated, I am... Any pointers and advice? or maybe a link to a site that explains magnitudes in a simple form.
  3. http://www.intellicast.com/ works for me in the US, all though I can't really zoom in enough on TX, but I can still see that the sky curtains are drawn close lol.
  4. I can't get the telescope out and check the image quality right now as it has been cloudy the past few nights, but I am going to make another attempt tomorrow night. If I have to remove it I found a section discussing the removal and cleaning of the mirrors, and my only question is what is a few drops of dishwashing soap lol. That is what the manual says to use, as well as a cap full of rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, and distilled water for rinsing.
  5. That is what my friend was saying, but he said the other down side to it is the print will gather more dust. So I guess I will and maybe see if the place I purchased the scope from can do a cleaning down the road. I wish the book was a bit more specific to what the secondary mirror holder is and what it looks like. My friend did the initial collimation on it (as I didn't have a laser, and that cap sucks), and he was telling me what he was doing, but it was hard to see what he was holding on to and adjusting.
  6. I was collimating my Orion XT8 and while adjusting the secondary mirror my finger slid off the side and brushed the mirror, now there is a finger print on the mirror surface and I need to know how to remove it (without removing the entire mirror assembly preferred). All the guides I have found so far only talk about the main reflector, and everyone has a difference chemical process.
  7. It is funny, I was so dead set on the ETX and when I got to the telescope shop my mind changed very fast. The guy showed us a pile of ETX telescopes and he said that they fall apart so fast. I can't wait till the next star party!
  8. So this first light has a story behind it. I originally had purchased a ETX-90PE from eBay and thought the world was on fire. When it arrived I began documenting the box (something I always do in case of damage during shipping) and opened it up. I quickly found out that the controller was nothing more than a decoration as this 90 did not have a port for the controller. As I read through the book I realized what I was holding was a motor driven telescope and no matter what it would not accept a computer. So I continued to examine the telescope and opened the battery compartment to find one of the terminals was completely melted away from batteries being left in the scope. I took the telescope to a guy I know who knows almost everything there is to know about the ETX series and he discovered the shroud under the main lens was dangling and it looked like someone tried to quick fix it. So I contacted the seller and I shipped the scope back to him the very next day for a full refund (plus shipping costs). I went to a local shop that my friend had told me about and there it was... Orion XT8 dob. I bought it, a 6mm expanse lens (I like it a lot better than the Plossl lens, it has more eye relief and it seems to have better clarity than the plossl, maybe it is just me). My friend came over and helped me assemble the scope and collimate it (it was way off). We set it up outside and used Saturn as the target star to align the finder scope. I was amazed with the detail of the planet and using the included 25mm Plossl I was able to see the shadow clearly and make out some band detail on the planet. Then I switched over to the 6mm and was completely blown out of my chair by the detail the lens gave. We hooked up his 2x barlow to the 6mm (he has had problems with it on his 12" lightbridge) and it focused just fine and the detail was a bit blurry, but amazing. After the viewing of Saturn we focused on the moon and he showed me the differences of a 1.25" vs. a 2" lens. The details were amazing with the 2" lens and you could get a real sense of how deep the craters were. Last viewing was of Mizar and Alcor. Again the details were amazing and it was then that I realized that I made the correct purchase and this is a telescope I can fall in love with for many years to come. I can't wait for Jupiter to come into view so I can start looking at it. SimpleMajority
  9. I recently acquired a Meade ETX-90PE and it does not include the #884 tripod. I have been searching the internet and unable to find the tripod (discontinued), so now I am trying to find alternatives. I am a fairly limited budget and find myself overwhelmed with the amount of choices available in tripods. I do know that the ETX has a special mounting, but a friend told me that there are tripods out there that can fit the ETX. The scope arrives on Monday, so I haven't actually seen it yet.
  10. Houston Astrological Society is a great group I met them at a local park during the venus transition, and had a great time. They were extremely helpful and in general very nice people. The club has a couple of dark sites where members can go and do some deep space exploration, and they also have a observatory available to their paying members. Aside them the Houston Community College has a great astronomy club as well, and they are based out of my campus. I see myself carrying my ETX to class quite a bit lol.
  11. Hopefully one day I will be, but I am a Rangers fan.
  12. The seller suggested I get the ETX 90 adapter plate and a solid camera tripod. I found one for 200 bucks @ telescope.com, but I am going to call a meade dealer here in houston and see what they suggest, because if I am dropping 200, I would like to find the actual 884 new. My google searches have not revealed any results as of yet, but I just started searching this evening.
  13. I am a highly technical person and I am already reading through the manual on the ETX. My friend also has one and knows all the ends and outs of it. I would really like a dob sometime soon, but I have a limited amount of cargo space in my car (97 Honda Civic coupe) and it would be an incredibly tight fit with a 46" telescope and a large stand. I live on the fringe of the city and within 30 minutes I can be at a dark site
  14. I have been intrigued by space for a very long time, and didn't know where to get started until a met a good friend of mine. He got me hooked on his dobsonian telescope and has giving me good advice which has landed me a Meade ETX 90 telescope (providing it checks out with a professional). I am eager with excitement and can't wait to take my scope out to some star parties. I am also planning to joining the Houston Astrological Society as well.
  15. So congrats to me I just bought my first telescope and found out it only comes with a table top tripod. I ran a search online but haven't found any tripods for the ETX 90. Is there any good places to look for a tripod? Or is it possible that I can use some alternative tripod (other than one manufactured by Meade) to hold the scope? I am waiting for the telescope to arrive as I just won it on eBay and plan to have to looked at by a professional company to make sure everything is in working order before going out into the field with it.
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