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Everything posted by Highburymark

  1. These are excellent images Neil. Very sharp spots and some surface detail too.
  2. Unfortunately prices seem unlikely to drop, although slightly less perfect tubes (which have small black spots towards the edge of the view - but aren’t a big problem for astronomy) are available at more affordable prices - less than a case of Ethos eyepieces for example (not that a case of Ethos is very affordable!!). I see a lot of local astro clubs have solar telescopes. If they have the funds, they should explore buying a night vision system, which I suspect would prove even more popular with members.
  3. Great illustrations Gavin.There’s a huge difference of course. But not as huge as the difference between city and dark skies without night vision! Wouldn’t stand a chance with any of these objects inside the M25 visually without a bit of photon intensifying.
  4. I haven’t used the 5mm LE. But I think Jeremy has a set, so he might chime in. I see lots of positive reports about particular focal lengths within the LE line up - including the 5mm. But suspect the TOE range would represent a small step up in detail and sharpness. Haven’t seen much feedback from dob owners though as TOEs were mainly developed with refractors in mind, I believe
  5. Didn’t realise Astrograph had stopped selling NV. So no UK retailers? Must say, when I was buying I researched the market in Europe and got an excellent tube with great service from Nighttec in Germany. This was for a PVS-14 with Photonis 4G tube, before OVNI - no history of selling to astronomers - but I spoke to them about what I wanted and they came back with a choice of options. Kept me fully informed throughout.
  6. Looks like a very impressive package - particularly light for a 90mm triplet. Look forward to hearing how it performs visually, even if it will appeal mostly to imagers. Potentially a do everything travel scope. Appreciate the informative video.
  7. GRS and Cassini should be achievable with your set up - and with the Baader zoom which is pretty decent quality, though orthoscopics would be a step up. Agree it’s all about waiting for a good night.
  8. It’s military analogue image enhancing equipment. The kit is easily available - there’s now a dedicated astronomy NV retailer in France, and Astrograph in the U.K., unlike a few years ago when we had to buy from military suppliers. There are lots of threads on SGL explaining the technology and availability. Also look out for Gavstar’s images taken with a phone camera to see what this technology can reveal. For people like me who live in a light polluted city, and don’t have the option of huge aperture scopes, night vision is a revelation. Under dark skies it’s even better - revealing obscure nebulae inaccessible to even the largest amateur equipment. There are cheaper tubes available too, though it’s still going to cost £3-4,000 for a good system. Lot of money, but many people spend more than that on a telescope, and NV is a game changer in this increasingly light polluted world.
  9. Possibly Stu. A couple of nights ago I was out looking at various nebulae with my 120mm frac and night vision. When I finished I saw the Pleiades and Hyades had just crept over the top of the adjoining houses (for the first time this year), so I swapped the NV monocular for a more traditional eyepiece, and spent the next 30 minutes completely absorbed with the views. Although you can see many more stars with night vision, there’s simply no contest on prominent open clusters, even from London - give me a ‘normal’ set up every time. Night vision doesn’t do planets, the Moon (obv), reflection nebulae, double stars, high magnifications, and many planetaries are better without NV too. I see night vision as a tool to transform views of particular objects, but there’s vastly more to see with a standard scope. If a beginner sampled NV first and then found views underwhelming with a conventional set up, then it’s probably not the right hobby for them anyway.
  10. Fun isn’t it! I’ve had the same reaction from many people. It’s also a great way of getting children to look up and appreciate the night sky. With Ha filters can also see that whole sections of sky are shaded by vast clouds of nebulae. Low power viewing is so enjoyable - my Epsilon with TV plossl 67mm gives a magnification of a little over 6x…. less than the pocket binoculars I use to check out the sky beforehand!!
  11. Many Lunt scopes only come on band at the end of the pressure tuner travel. Both my LS50 and LS60 were the same. If you’re getting good results nearly at the end, try going all the way - just to see if you get any more surface detail. You can’t do any damage to the scope. Sometimes regreasing the o-rings and the piston can help seal the system and ensure the pressure tuner works properly, but that’s only if you think it might be losing pressure. Yours sounds perfectly normal and good the hear you’re getting decent views. The most powerful eyepiece I used with the LS50 was 6.5mm - so I would have thought that the Nagler zoom would be at the limits of the scope’s capability. Plossls and orthos work well if you have any at usable focal lengths. Can’t help with the focus position - I had lots of problems with the helical focuser and eventually replaced it with a Moonlite.
  12. Thanks - it’s a great time to get into solar observing and imaging
  13. Haven’t had my solar scope for a while. Issue with filter tuning had to be sorted out by the factory. But what a joy it is to have it back. Spectacular proms over the past few days, and today, a couple of lovely filaments - the first, snaking over the active region near the middle of the disc, and the second, a very nice ‘filaprom’ system on the limb - with perfect seeing this morning was able to go up to 140x in the binoviewer to bring out detail - complete darkness essential with a blanket over head at this magnification as views are inevitably dim with 70mm filters. Well worth the effort to get outside for a few minutes if you get the chance.
  14. ‘In the past’ ….. that last line is supposed to read.
  15. Different experiences like this are what makes SGL so interesting. I had a C8 Edge for many years - nice scope. But my first night out with a TSA-120, I was amazed by the level of detail on Jupiter - more than I’d ever seen through hundreds of sessions with my (perfectly collimated) SCTs. I’d love to try a big Mak one day though. Just the cooldown time that’s prevented me buying one in the last.
  16. Nice set up John. Actually I find the TeleVue solar finder isn’t 100% accurate with some scopes. Even on my TV85, it’s well off centre. A proper finder with solar film is a good idea. Must say the thought of heat damage to baffles never occurred to me before. I‘be tended to observe with slo-mo manual mounts for perhaps 20 minutes at a time, so the scope isn’t too exposed to the heat over long periods. But now I have the option of a tracking mount, I make sure not to leave it unattended for too long.
  17. Agree with Jeremy and Stu - very interesting comparison. I’m of the opinion that SCTs can be quite variable like solar telescopes - and even when well collimated, some of them just can’t deliver sharp views at higher powers. However, get a good one like you C11 and they are unbeatable as an all-round package. Great combination with a 100mm refractor.
  18. I remember my first solar session well: a small Maksutov, Baader solar film, and no finder. The perfect storm for a newbie - an F14 scope with jerky manual movement and a tiny fov. It took about an hour to find the Sun…..
  19. Is that ‘bony’ as in Boney M (showing my age now)? Or ‘bony’ as in mine lies over the ocean?
  20. Great idea Stu. And thanks everyone for your excellent responses.
  21. I have a shameful astronomical secret that I must share. I have never seen Sirius B, the white dwarf companion to the night sky’s brightest star. Tried many times with a 4” maksutov, 6” and 8” SCTs, and 3” and 4” fracs - and once thought I’d picked it up, but later checks confirmed I was mistaken. However, it is currently nearing maximum separation from its parent - up to 11.3 arc seconds. So this winter is an ideal time to finally bag the Pup. Armed with a 5” triplet, I am hoping to hunt it down, though I am at the mercy of London seeing. It would be interesting in a few months’ time to share experiences, and find out the smallest telescope that has proved capable of resolving Sirius B at this wide separation.
  22. Was commenting on limitations of 90mm against bigger tabletop options. I love small Maks - but there is a limit to how much detail you can see with 90mms. Under good conditions, the 105 was able to reveal the GRS on Jupiter and Cassini on Saturn, and it was capable of incredibly sharp lunar views - just as good as an expensive apo. But under average seeing, it was difficult to resolve much beyond the main features of the planets. Considering the OP also has a 10” dob, a 90mm Mak might ultimately prove unsatisfying.
  23. I upgraded SkySafari for this reason - still come across the odd inaccuracy. Have noticed recently there were a couple of triple systems only showing as doubles
  24. I agree SimM. It’s all about the quality and consistency of the etalon with the Sundancer. If they get that right then I’m sure a lot of people will be prepared to spend the extra money over a Quark. Glad to hear you’re pleased with your new Lunt.
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