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Cosmic Geoff

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About Cosmic Geoff

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    Brown Dwarf

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    Bucks, United Kingdom

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  1. Thanks, ASTAP looks useful.
  2. Astronomy is not a cheap hobby (check some of the threads elsewhere on this forum) and sadly with many of the cheap scopes it is a case of 'pay peanuts, get rubbish'. It is possible to buy decent scope outfits that don't break the bank, but you are likely to need some guidance to find them. For instance, we often recommend the Skywatcher Heritage 130mm reflector with mini-Dob table top mount. The optics are good, it has a useful aperture, and the cost-saving is in the basic mount. Sadly, almost anything we recommend will be out of stock because of the Covid epidemic and other problems.
  3. Does anyone know of an online star atlas comparable to the now defunct calsky.com, which could produce maps of any scale, any RA/DEC, any magnitude limit and add solar system objects? I have searched but cannot find anything comparable. Calsky.com was taken down because of cost and other issues, it seems.
  4. I wanted to observe some asteroids as I had not done it for a while, and the easiest way to spot and identify them seemed to be to use my EEVA rig. Identifying an asteroid visually can be difficult unless one is sure to look in the right place and has a star chart that matches the eyepiece field size and the magnitudes of the visible objects. And the image reversal in a star diagonal makes it much more difficult. On 18 Feb I imaged four asteroids using: 102mm f5 achro, ASI224MC camera and SLT GoTo mount. Vesta, Melpomene, Echo and Amphitrite. I plate-solved the images the next day, to
  5. I don't have a 2" diagonal. I could never see the point. You also need a 2" visual back, and it adds up to a significant expense just so you can get a somewhat wider FOV with a low-power eyepiece. You can go to about 32mm focal length in the 1.25" format.
  6. The easiest way to identify asteroids in a star field is to image it and then plate-solve the image. If you are able to plate-solve an EVAA image at the telescope, you can also check that you are aiming at the right field.
  7. You will get some conflicting opinions, as some people clearly could not get along with it. I have it installed on a C8 SE as part of a quick-deploy setup. I can carry the whole assemblage out in one piece and have it working in a few minutes, and Starsense works well in this role. On the other hand I have not found it to be more accurate than a 2-star auto align with the original handset. I have also found it can be defeated by an over-bright sky in conditions when a 2-star or planet align could still be attempted. But it can give a successful align even through patchy cloud cover.
  8. My Starsense camera system + alt-az GoTo mount regularly achieves an accuracy of better than +/- 15 minutes of arc without reference to the telescope. By the way, I am not sure what exactly you intend to do with the laser, but aviation and police authorities in many countries take a very negative view of lasers directed at the sky.
  9. I looked up the telescope online and found the instruction manual. (just search on the telescope name). As Ricochet says, it would be a great help if you could post photographs. Assuming you have the focuser, you will need to refit it. From your post it appears that you do not have any eyepieces. It is not clear what the diameter of the eyepiece is (most modern telscopes take 1.25" or 2" diameter eyepices, but older or budget types could take 0.965"). I doubt that you will be able to find specific spare parts for this scope, but a cheap generic 1.25" diameter 25mm focal length P
  10. I am not sure what you mean by 'self levelling'. It is however possible to attach a plate-solving camera accessory to some alt-azimuth GoTo mounts so that the mount will align itself to the stars automatically, without skilled human intervention. As for battery power, almost all GoTo mounts require +12v DC power, which can be supplied from a +12v battery or derived from a mains powered supply unit. I don't think there are many heavy duty alt-azimuth GoTo mounts in the price range you indicate. One alt-az/Eq mount comes to mind, but nearly all the heavy duty mounts are of the equato
  11. That depends on you. The key to successful asteroid hunting is 1) look in the right place. 2) be able to 'spot the difference' and determine which white speck is the extra one (the asteroid). A GoTo mount will be a major help. My scopes have star diagonals whcih are a distinct disadvantage as they erect the image but leave it flipped l/R. If you have the budget and are sufficiently interested, you could invest in a correct-image prism diagonal.
  12. I bought one of these. It would not work at all till I inserted a piece of foil to complete the battery circuit, rather than send it back. The display is too bright even on the minimum setting. It does come with several alternate mountings. I eventually installed it as a second finder for coarse finding of GoTo alignment stars. Not recommended.
  13. I never found the effects of cooling very noticeable with my 127mm Mak. Maybe the setup time was enough to cool it, or maybe I just have bad eyesight. If necessary, you could put a Mak outside a bit earlier to cool down, or look at the less critical targets first. But if you really want a bargain priced Evostar 102 you might as well go for it. If it is anything like the Startravel 102, it will be a handsome and well-made 'scope.
  14. This outfit is in stock? Not necessarily a good sign, in the current situation. I used to have a 203mm f5 Newtonian on an EQ-5 manual mount. I thought the combination was horrible and soon abandoned it. This outfit is not well suited to beginning deep space astrophotography. The typical deep space imaging outfit is a small high-quality refractor on a heavy GoTo equatorial mount. If you are interested in deep space astrophotography, you should obtain and read "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards, available from FLO. It could save you from making expensive purchasing errors
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