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  1. Thanks. I feel like it's a pretty good deal. I wish I actually needed a new scope, then this would be an easier decision . I'm always looking for deals that nobody should pass up, and I can't tell if this is one or not.
  2. Is this a good deal? http://sanantonio.craigslist.org/for/4816429064.html Looks like they no longer sell this scope directly from Orion, so I'm having a hard time determining the price. I'm comparing it to this since it has the intelliscope upgrade kit: http://www.telescope.com/Orion-SkyView-Pro-180mm-GoTo-Maksutov-Cassegrain-Telescope/p/24762.uts Seems like a steal to me, but I've already got a couple scopes and don't want to jump into this unless it's a really good deal. I'm going to check it out tomorrow and see if everything looks good and possibly make an offer. My biggest concern is that Orion no longer sells the 150 mak. I'm thinking about using it as a cheap planetary astrophotography rig. If it were you, would you buy it? Clear Skies
  3. I just messaged asking for more pictures and if the drive works. We'll see what happens. I like the gear I have already, so I would only buy it if it's worth considerably more than they're selling for. Seems like they would sell for cheaper than 300.
  4. I like to keep an eye on craigslist to see if anything pops up that's way undervalued. I found something in my state that I think may be worth a lot more than the seller knows. Can anyone confirm? http://sanantonio.craigslist.org/for/4515645530.html Should I jump on this, or do you think it's not worth it? I think it's weird there's no side shot of the main tube. Clear skies, Steven
  5. It's the Samsung Galaxy S4. It was the standard camera app on the S4, and the ISO exposure settings can be toggled between 800, 400, 200 and 100 or auto. I believe I had it on 200 or 100 for these. With the magnification so high it wasn't immensely bright, but I still had to lower the exposure. I probably took at least 50 pics and picked the best one I could find eyeballing it to post here. It's tough because at that magnification it drifts out of the field of view very quickly.
  6. I had the best seeing to date tonight. I typically view planets at 200x and there is still a lot of distortion. Tonight it was very steady and I threw my 2x barlow on and was still able to see pretty clearly. I didn't think I'd ever be able to use 400x on my scope. Anyway, astrophotography is very tough through an 8 inch dob with no nice camera, just a phone, but I somehow was able to get a great picture of Saturn. Here it is: Not bad for a smartphone. I didn't want to come inside because I don't know if I'll ever have a night of seeing like this again. I hope others had as much luck tonight as I did. Clear skies!
  7. I used a 6mm planetary lense from Orion and that put it at 200x. It looks smaller through the lense than it does in that pic. Whenever I copy the pics over from my phone to my laptop they look huge, so I usually resize them to 30 or 25%.
  8. This was with my Samsung Galaxy S4, and under the settings, usually ISO is on Auto, but it ranges from 100 to 800 and I set it to the 100 setting for less exposure.
  9. I didn't think it was possible because previously I would just get a big ball of light with no detail visible, but I figured out how to adjust the camera on my phone to get a picture of the moon through my 8" dob. Here was one of the best I got tonight: I also got a decent one of Jupiter, but I think I could do better. I'm going to try again when a moon is transiting to see if I can get that noticeably in the pic: Not bad for a smart phone.
  10. I'm seeing my first transit of Jupiter right now (Io). It's really cool because last time I looked the moon was just off the edge so you could see it poking out and the shadow was still on Jupiter. There's supposed to be a Great Red Spot Transit later that I'm hoping to see. I haven't had a chance to see it yet. Hopefully I'm able to make it out with my telescope.
  11. So r is the distance to the center of the galaxy from a certain star in the galaxy? How do we get r for something so far away? How do we even single out individual stars at that distance? Also, is it safe to assume the star isn't gradually escaping the galaxy or plummeting toward the center? I'm guessing we track the radius over time, but it seems like it would be very hard to get the radius of something so far away. What if the escape or falling is very very gradual (not sure if that would be possible) and takes years for the radius to change? Are we accounting for that?
  12. The other thing I don't get is how we get the observed mass of galaxies millions or even billions of lightyears away, and how we know it's within a certain accuracy? So these galaxies are bending light more than they should by the mass we've observed them to be? And dark matter accounts for the extra bend? How the heck do we know the mass of a galaxy? That boggles my mind. I know the way we determine it is probably very scientific, but still in my mind there's no way we can say we know the approximate mass of something so large and so far away. Thank you for all the responses so far. There's some very good reading here.
  13. It just seems like it should come into play everywhere. In my mind we've got something wrong and that's why we make something up that we can't detect to make things work.
  14. Let me preface this by saying I know almost nothing about the subject. I just wanted to ask, when do Dark Matter and Dark Energy come into play? Are they not a factor at all in our Solar System? How about our Galaxy? "Close" Galaxies? When do we need to throw Dark Matter/Dark Energy in to start explaining things? I just wish I could be instantly up to speed on where we are today with all this physics so I could take a crack at figuring it out. If I'm already out of college for many years in another subject, is it too late for me?
  15. If I'm reading correctly, you can see parts of the milky way as a "hazy band of white light" that is unresolved stars, which sounds similar to what I see of the Andromeda Galaxy. It sounds like you can see the center as well (although not the very center that is the black hole). I guess I really need to get out to dark skies with the moon below the horizon so I can have my mind blown . I was just thinking since it's a lot closer than andromeda, the center would be a lot brighter and I should be able to see it even in not so dark skies.
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