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Grumpy Martian

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Everything posted by Grumpy Martian

  1. Thanks for posting all the pictures. My daughter and husband love going to Japan. They love the culture and animation. The telescope shop owner must have quite a sum invested in astronomy stock. Like the picture with the telescopes displayed in the street outside the shop. Imagine these telescopes being made off with if displayed like that in London. Ha, if I was in that shop I'd chain myself so I did not have to leave the telescope paradise.
  2. When I mention hand held equipment for stargazing. You could be forgiven for suggestion binoculars. You would be correct. My 7 x 50 binoculars give bright views of the night sky. In an attempt to improve on the 50 mm binos For brightness I have tried using my 75 mm Opticron spottingscope. It is steady when handheld. Good at daytime viewing. But disappointing viewing the night sky. 70 mm binoculars give brighter views than the 50 mm binos. But they have to be mounted on a tripod. I once had a 66 mm William's Optics refractor with a two inch 20 mm eyepiece. This surprisingly allowed steady views when hand held. It was comfortable le for star gazing. There are times when the binoculars come out for easy star gazing sessions. Mostly in the Summer when sat in a lounger. But I would like an instrument that is easy to hand hold but give better views than my current binoculars.
  3. Can't find a picture with me and the telescope. But just this moment found this picture of my first telescope. An 80 km Towa 335. Aluminium scaffold poles as a sturdy tripod. This telescope serves me well from 1981 to 1997. ------STOP PRESS----- Just found this one of me with the Towa 80mm . 1991 ish.
  4. Can't find a picture with me and the telescope. But just this moment found this picture of my first telescope. An 80 mm Towa 335. Aluminium scaffold poles as a sturdy tripod. This telescope serves me well from 1981 to 1997
  5. As a visual observer I was disappointed with the 2020 oppositions of Jupiter,Saturn and Mars. Mars will not be back for some time. But Jupiter and Saturn will be back in August this year. Wonder if they will be better positioned. Both planets never appeared sharp due to their low height in the sky. I know that this has been the case for the last few years.
  6. I have fitted a pair of tube rings to my Skymax. A stainless steel handle has also been fitted. I have fitted an Altair Astro 250 mm dovetail bar.Going to flock the inside when the material arrives from FLO. I am considering a Baader focusser at some stage. My telescope is a true CATadioptric design as proved by the telescope guard cat in the pictures.
  7. My 150 mm Mak on a manual alt/az mount. Saving to buy an HEQ5 mount. I am now tempted by the 180 mm Mak. But it might be too heavy for me and the mount to handle.
  8. My 150 mm Mak on a manual alt/az mount. Saving to buy an HEQ5 mount.
  9. https://images.app.goo.gl/tf91BrW1SiYfSRQQ7 Above is a link to a new Huawei contellation and moon phase watch. It looks quite good. Though I don't have one. I also like the idea of night sky /contellation projectors just like a home planetarium. Some people have orreries (hope the spelling is correct). I wish that there was a projector that could project the motion of the planets and moon on the ceiling. Just like a planetarium app can. There is also a contellation viewer that you look into. Just like a coliderscope. I do have an illuminated moon globe. What are your favourite devices or machines astronomy wise?
  10. Hi Dave. I am so grateful for your contribution and experience here. Not a technical thesis. But from the heart regarding your personal experiences and advice to be. I have been reading your posts over the years and conect with them. Thanks. Martin
  11. I have a black diamond version of the Skymax 150 mm. I have owned a few Maksutovs in the past including an older champagne colour version of this scope. My understanding of the capabilities and attributes of different telescopes designs has finally come home to me after chopping and changing telescopes over the last few years. I have to admit that I have only recently appreciated that some telescopes can give bright views with very black skies (high contast). Well this Skymax 150 mm does deliver on this. Also there have been times when I have been observing I have seen stars as tight points of light. Resolving double stars nicely is one task that this telescope is capable of. One night I was viewing the stars in and around the Orion constellation. It was delightful. Lots of well resolved points of light. The view being pleasingly bright with a very black black background sky. It may give views similar to that of a lower diameter ED refractor. But the Skymax 150 mm has extra diameter and light gathering power. It's no way a light bucket. Planets have been disappointing this year. But the Skymax is not at fault here due to the low height of their positions and horrible seeing conditions generally these days in and around large cities. Being in South East Hertfordshire as I am. Very close to London. I suspect that the truth is that planetary observing has been below par this year. The field of view is not that of other faster, shorter focal ratio telescopes. Being F12 and not F 6 or 5. I use a two inch star diagonal with a 22 mm Nagler. The field of view is very acceptable indeed for visual star gazing. Observing the Moon is a joy. I may well look for a pair of white tube rings so as I can add a carry handle for easier handling. At 150 mm it does get beaten on apature with other Cassagrain design telescopes. But it does have a narrower central obstruction and this does make a difference on object sharpness. Cooling time is longer due to it's thicker meniscus lens. So it's a more specialist telescope. You cannot just take it out and observe.Unlike my 80 mm refractor which cools down quicker and is ready to view much quicker. I am hoping to buy a goto mount in Feburary/March time. My hope is that the mount will further enhance my observing experience with this instrument. I will also take it to the dark skies of Swanage when lockdown allows.
  12. I was fretting about selling my 150 mm Maksutov. But it is too good a scope to let go. But at a focal length of 1800 mm it would be easy to ramp up the magnification to over 300 x . But what is a happy mean magnification here in our turbulent UK skies. I have been changing my eyepieces ( Explore Scientific 82°) so as I can fund a higher quality brand eyepiece. I think that a magnification of 230 x with the Maksutov would be the tops. That would mean an eyepiece with a focal length of between 7 & 8 mm.Perhaps there would be the odd night where seeing conditions would be fantastic so magnification could be satisfyingly ramped up to approaching 300 x. That would be a 6 mm eyepiece. Is it cost effective to invest in a 6 mm good quality, high priced eyepiece for that odd good night's seeing? So I already have a Naglar T4 22 . I would add a 7 or 8 mm. I wonder what two additional focal length eyepiece would compliment these?
  13. Hello John. It was the 6.7 mm that they bought. The 4.7 mm is still available.
  14. For quite a few years now the backbone of my eyepiece collection has be Explore Scientific 82 degrees. I have the 4.7, 6.7, 8.8 and 11mm. Added to this is a 16mm Nirvana and a 22mm T4 Nagler. For sometime now I have been slightly dissappointed in the planetary views offered. For example the Cassini division on Saturn's rings has not been resolved at all. I use an 80mm Equinox, 150mm Skymax Maksutov and an eight inch f4.5 Newtonian. I choose wider field eyepieces as I observe with manual alt/az mounts.So the object has time in the field of view. I have been pondering the possiblility of trying out other options for planetary observing. The most pleasing planetary view is with the 8.8 mm ES. I wonder if an 8 mm Plossl would give a clearer,sharper view ? Televue or Vixen Plossl's. I am certainly going to be on the lookout for additions to my collection.I will keep the Explore Scientific eyepieces.They serve well enough. The 16mm Nirvana and 22 mm Naglar are gems for wide field stargazing. I always had the traditional view that wider field eyepieces with multiple elements were not favourable for viewing planets. Perhaps this is an old fashion view.
  15. I own a Skywatcher 80 mm Equinox refractor. There is not much wrong with this telescope. I use it purely for visual observing. If critical of anything it does show a little colour when observing Mars and Sirus. It is a short tube at f 6.25. Easy to look through without having to stoop down too much. I have just been thinking of what other 80 mm refractors would be an improvement without being too long a tube length. 75 mm or 85 mm would be acceptable. No more than f 7.5. I would be interested in the experiences of others. The 80 mm serves well as a transportable and easy to use instrument. But I do find this colour as described a tad annoying. Might not bother others. I have seen that Vixen have an ed 81mm refractor.
  16. Can't blame them snuggling down in warm garages this cold time of the year.
  17. "Setting behind the fence". Sounds like the two planets spend the night in your neighbours garden lol
  18. Well I took my 80 mm ED to a high point looking to the South West. There it was at 106 x magnification. Amazing to see these two planets in the same field of view at a reasonably high magnification. Not just as two bright unresolved points of light. But details could be seen. Moons, cloud bands on Jupiter and Saturn's rings. So I can say "I've seen it". Plenty of opportunity for outreach as a couple of people were interested in seeing the telescope setup at the side of the road. (Safety of course as this was a cul de sac road). They did look through the telescope to see the two planets.
  19. Over the years I have owned many different telescopes. The first was an 80mm Towa refractor. I owned this telescope from 1981 to when it was sold in 1997. I remember seeing Mars, Jupiter and Saturn so crisp and sharp. I used the stock one inch eyepieces. Then came a 9 inch f5 Newtonian and a Meade LX 90 eight inch.I used Antares W70 eyepieces with these telescopes. Again the views on these planets were memorable indeed. This is not looking back with rose tinted spectacles either. I now have a set of 82° Explore Scientific eyepieces which I think are good. But the views of these planets have been consistently below what I have seen in previous years. Always struggle to see the Cassini division on Saturn. I have owned some nice telescopes. SCTs Maksutov's several ED refrators. Just wondered if it was my aging eyes, consistently poor seeing conditions. Or perhaps the Explore Scientific eyepieces just don't suit my eyes any more and I should try different brands for ones that would suit my eyes better. I would be interested in your opinions and experiences.
  20. True indeed. The ancients needed to know the movement of celestial bodies to plan their crops, what seasons to travel long distances etc. There has been conjecture that some objects in our solar system were not always as stable in their motions and orbits as they are today.
  21. Done to death this topic over the years I know. But from a dark sky I have no been able to see the Horse Head Nebula with an eight inch Newtonian telescope. I have the opportunity of acquiring a 12 inch Newtonian. Just wonder how I might fare with this instrument in dark skies.
  22. I always thought that more people in the ancient world understood the motions of the stars, planets and heavenly bodies more than our so called enlightened modern era person. The majority of people that I know have no idea that planets can be seen in the sky without the aid of a telescope. I believe that the star of Bethelhem was caused by some phenomena that we don't understand as yet.It was described as being extremely bright and moving. Probably brighter than a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. Venus can be very bright. I wonder if there may have been a fast moving large and bright comet that appeared at it's brightest apparently near Venus as seen in the sky by humans on Earth.Just a wild thought.
  23. Thanks Ade. I have fallen in love with the 150mm Maksutov. Would you post a link to the Porta 2 table top. It would be interesting to see. I know that people who owned 127mm Meade ETX could put the mount on a table top. In fact I used to observe with my Meade LX 90 set on a table top many years ago.
  24. I have been enjoying my newly acquired Skymax 150 mm. Observing with it in a seated position on our small patio at the end of the garden. Below is a video link. The astronomer has in fact mounted his own Skymax 150 mm on the Dobsonian mount that comes with a Skywatcher 130 Heritage. I was inspired to try this and bought this mount. It actually works. So thankyou to the observer in the video. It will enable me to observe with the setup on the garden table. Hope that you like it. Watch "Skywatcher Skymax 150 Pro Maksutov Telescope/ On Mini Dobsonian Mount" on YouTube https://youtu.be/OJb0-E2WsLo
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