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Posts posted by VigdisVZ

  1. It's offers great value for the money, but as a fully manual telescope it takes a bit of getting used to navigate with it. However, once you're used to a dobsonian, you can easily upgrade to the larger models with great ease.

    If you're just starting out I'll recommend the book "Turn Left At Orion" as a good guide to what objects to chase down with your new little dobsonian.  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Turn-Left-Orion-Hundreds-Telescope/dp/0521153972/ref=dp_ob_title_bk 

  2. Hello and welcome, you came to the right place :)

    There are a few things to consider in this case since we're talking about a kid, not an adult:

    • Binoculars is the adult solution. Versatile, but very fidgety to use if you're not patient. Binoculars are excellent for their versatility but not for "wowing" a budding astronomer.
    • You risk having him lose interest in astronomy by giving him the wrong choice here.
    • I believe that a kid wants something that looks and feels like a real telescope or they'll lose interest. Again, the "wow" factor.
    • There are also good and bad choices for telescopes, and much has to do with budget here. Reflectors are best at collecting light, but hard to aim due to a mirror design. Refractors with a star diagonal are easier to aim, but tend to have smaller aperture, and give color-errors in the cheaper models.
    • You will need to be an active part in this, finding the "interesting stuff" apart from the moon is hard, even harder with bad equipment. Even fully grown adults with starmaps and computerized telescopes stuggle at first.
    • There are a lot of junk telescopes and binoculars out there on the market, be sure to consult this forum before you buy anything.

    With that being said, there are a few choices:

    Hope this helps. Please ask away if you got more questions. I probably raised more than I answered.

    • Like 1
  3. Thanks a ton Carl. This was a very valuable piece of information. Really appreciate it. Will start exploring a refractor with NEQ6 mount, for imaging purpose. Is there any other refractor and mount you would suggest ? How is the Orion Sirius mount ? Can that be used with 80ED ?

    Sorry, mean to say HEQ-5 and NEQ-6. The Celestron equalivents are Advanced VX and CGEM. Can't speak about any other mounts since I have no experience or know any people who use them.

    THere are more expensive APO-refractors than the 80ED, also the 80ED is a type that comes from several manufacturers.

    The PDS-range newtonians are good, using the 150 myself, but they need a coma corrector to take a flat field image, much the same as refractors need flatteners. It's a jungle of equipment out there, so be sure to read the book I recommended first, before buying ANYTHING else.

    You can also look at the MN-190 if you want a good quality astrograph with high aperture, decent cost.

  4. Hi again

    The 10" solid tube is not suited for imaging. Way too large, heavy and bulky for a normal mount to handle. Even the NEQ-6 will struggle with it. Unless you start looking at the really expensive mounts... but those are not good for beginning.

    When you read about the load capacities of different mounts, you should always count that in half when imaging. A NEQ-6 will handle 20kg or so for visual, but it's only recommended to load 10kg for imaging. You honestly need a mount that can carry the telescope + extras and not struggle. If you overload the equipment you will have to throw images away. You can always get some results, but the goal is to get consistent results, not having to throw away 75% of the images due to vibration and backlash in the mount.

    I would suggest getting a refractor like 80ED and a HEQ-6 or NEQ-6 mount to start out with astrophotography and keep your excellent dobson for visual.

    However the first piece of advice is always, read Steve Richards book "Making Every Photon Count" before you buy anyhing else. It's an excellent guide and will probably save you a lot of money by avoiding costly mistakes. http://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/making-every-photon-count-steve-richards.html

    • Like 1
  5. A) Yeah, video for Jupiter and Saturn. It really helps with a tracking mount but you can if you're really good push the scope in order to capture enough frames.

    B) It'll probably be extremely hard since the starlight is a very narrow band of light, and the atmosphere makes it move. Longer exposures with a tracking mount is probably better, plus you get more context by seeing the surrounding stars. You could however try with high ISO and short exposure times, you might get lucky if the star is bright enough...

    C) M31 is faint compared. You need to be using equatorial, tracking mount for this.

  6. Or maybe this, and then would be compatible with the EQMod you mentioned?


    The HEQ-5 is a very capable mount, highly recommended, and will be useful if you decide to go imaging.  And the 200p is a very good visual instrument, however if you want to go down the photography route, maybe a refractor is to consider (on the same mount). I think the celestron kit is in the same ballpark.

  7. Red light doesn't ruin the eye's sensitivity to light. The easiest way is to get a LED headlamp and cover it with either a few layers of red transparent candy wrapper, or use something like red nail polish.

    Here's a picture of a club-friend doing some sketching with his 6-inch. He has a red clip-on light on his sketchpad. I just illuminated him some extra with my red headlamp as I was exposing with the camera.


  8. another question about flats:

    as with darks, they should be taken at the same time and the same conditions as the lights.

    Do you think it makes sense to partially reconstruct the conditions, make flats and then integrate them to stacking with the original lights or it does not make sense at all?

    (Flats do not need nice weather :) )

    Kind regards

    Flats is taken when the camera is mounted in the exact same position as when taking an image, meaning, they're best done right before or after, since only then can you make sure everything is the same in the setup. Also, the idea is to catch any dust on the lens/mirror, so it would be useless to take them later as moving the setup would cause spots to fall off or new ones to stick.

    Darks can be taken with the camera removed or with lens/telescope cap on, just the ambient temperature is the same. People can build a darks library with a temperature controlled fridge, although I've heard some people discarding older darks and taking new ones.

    I think what you need to do here is to start experimenting, like Mark says, and remember that the 6" SCT isn't exatly known for "perfect" flat field :) And a properly taken flat will tell you a lot about your optical train.

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