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Posts posted by AlexF

  1. a) where you went to get advice

    This was the first board I stumbled on, so this one.

    :) how helpful (or not) was the advice

    Very helpful! With all of the new users, and even more of the experienced users, all of my questions were already being asked and answered.

    c) what sort of scopes did you look at

    Refractors, reflectors, and dobsonians.

    d) what did you buy

    150mm Reflector

    e) why did you buy what you bought

    I knew I wanted to be able to see some DSO's, and I didn't have a lot of cash to throw at it, so this fit the bill.

    f) how has it worked out - what do you like with it/dislike with it

    Up until now, it has been mildly disappointing. That's because I didn't know what all I needed from the start. It only shipped with one 25mm EP, so all I could see was the moon and the faint glow of M31. Then I got a 9mm EP and could make out bands on Jupiter. Recently I got a set of filters that will help with the light pollution and finally reveal some DSO's. It's been cloudy since I've got them (of course), but I'm really hoping these filters are what I've been waiting for. :hello2:

  2. I got a Nikon D3000 (10MP), a couple of narrowband filters, and a Telrad for Christmas. Telrads are HUGE! O_O Anyway, I'm obviously looking at getting into astrophotography. I've got a CG-4 mount which I'm about to place a motor drive order for. What other equipment am I going to need? I know about the T ring and adapter. Is that it?

    Also, if anyone has this camera, a few pointers on manual adjustment would be swell. :D This camera is also my first camera. An SLR! Lol.

  3. It sounds like your video drivers do not support accelerated OpenGL rendering, and your computer is falling back to (very slow) software rendering of GL effects. You will also see (one of your) your CPU(s) pegged at 100% if this is the case.

    When Vista was released we had this problem too - only after some time did video card driver authors support OpenGL acceleration. The solution is to update your drivers and if the latest version does not help, contact your video card manufacturer, and demand to know why they are dragging their feet.

    This was the case! I had found this solution before you posted, but thank you. It seems that 7 installed its own drivers for my video card. After I installed the latest ones from nVidia, the problem was corrected.

  4. I'm still saving for my 9mm EP and a 2x barlow. For right now I'm stuck with a pair of bins and my new 6" 25mm/750mm scope.

    So far I've been able to see the faint core of M31 (pretty light polluted here.. haven't made it out to a dark site yet), and an extremely faint spot that is M57. Both are without any filters. I should have a couple sets of Zhumell narrow and broadband filters coming my way soon.

    Anything else for the time being?

  5. Anything with an IC designation is going to be hard - it means it was missed by the Herschels (father and son) and only discovered in the latter part of the 19th century. I've seen a few ICs with my 8-inch but not many.

    Start by going for DSOs with an M designation (Messier). There are also a few very bright NGC (New General Catalogue) objects, e.g. Double Cluster in Perseus. Leave IC (Index Catalogue) for when you really want a challenge.

    Thanks for that insight. I didn't know what any of the designations stood for, and couldn't find it anywhere on the net.

  6. Hey guys.

    I was looking for that nebula for about 45 minutes last night with no luck. I believe I was in the right area, but it just wasn't there. I would've stayed out longer, but a roach flew onto my leg and kind of ruined it for me (bleh).

    I've looked at Jupiter and can make out 2 bands, and I'm still waiting on the Moon to come around. I've seen M31 as well. :o Just a smudge here.

    I've looked in 3 different bookstores and none of them carry that Turn Left at Orion book. Trust me, I was looking for that book before I even got my scope. :) I got the Sky&Telecope Atlas instead. I'm finding that a little difficult to navigate when I see something in the sky and want to look it up in the book. The whole coordinate system is whacked to me seeing how one part of it is constantly changing, and there's no way to convert it to what you see on the charts.

    So far I've only mastered finding Polaris, Ursa Minor/Major, Pegasus/Andromeda, and Cassiopeia. I'm working on Draco and Hercules now. :D

  7. Hello again.

    I'm probably not going to be able to afford any accessories for my new scope for a little while, but until then, could you guys suggest some targets?

    Right now I only have a 25mm EP with a 6" 750mm scope (30x). No filters, no barlow, nothing else.

    I was hoping to see IC1805 (the Heart nebula) tonight with the break in the clouds, but I'm worried that I won't be able to see it without a narrowband filter.

  8. I looked at it again last night and drew it in my new journal (w00t?). It was a terrible sketch and after taking it inside and comparing surrounding stars to those on a star chart, I STILL couldn't confirm it.

    Then I took a picture I found on the net and inverted it. Well there's my problem! :) I'm going to have to get an erecting prism. Perhaps this is why I feel so lost when using my telescope compared to binoculars.

    Also, a point of light I marked as a star seems to be M32. Thanks for the motivation, guys!

    Any tips on how to sketch fuzzies with a pen?

  9. I was using my only EP (25mm) at mag 30. And didn't see any thing other than the small smudge. I definitely didn't see anything other than a very faint, small smudge in my binoculars. I'm right next to a moderately-sized city (see here), so I'm going to chalk another loss to light pollution.

    Fortunately I have a membership to a field in that blue pocket to the west. I can't wait for that!

  10. I just got my new scope this past weekend and finally got a break in the clouds so I could look at something other than Jupiter with my stock 25mm EP. I surprised myself by finding Cassiopeia and then Polaris to position my mount. Just last month I couldn't tell you where it was. Again I used Cassiopeia as a reference and BAM! There's Pegasus. I had no idea it would be that big in the sky.

    I've known since installing Stellarium that the Andromeda Galaxy was at the tip of one of Pegasus' legs. So I pulled out my binoculars and gave it a shot. Again, I surprised myself by star-hopping to the end, and what's that? I couldn't focus on this thing above the last star. Maybe?

    Getting to that spot with the telescope was a lot harder as it seemed like ages between stars, and it didn't help that it was inverted. I got to it. It was very faint, but it was there. It still seemed too small to be Andromeda as Stellarium portrayed it. After consulting Stellarium with some of the stars I was seeing.

    Turns out it was M32 I was looking at. I guess I have too much light pollution to see any kind of glare from Andromeda. Would it help if I got some kind of filter, or are galaxies and nebula only meant for cameras with long exposures?

  11. Just got my Omni XLT 150 today (w00t).Perhaps I'm missing the point, but why doesn't the RA setting circle move with the telescope?

    For starters, I'm COMPLETELY NEW to an equatorial mount, and this is my first big boy telescope. I'm going over the manual and saw the instructions for aligning the setting circle. After I'm done reading it, it seems to be pointless. You find a known star/object, dial it in, and then what? After you lock it, it doesn't move. If you don't lock it, you risk turning it without turning the telescope and throwing off the alignment. Yes?

    Feel free to call me an idiot. I just want to understand! :)

  12. Tonight I decided I'd at least try looking at something other than the moon and/or Jupiter with my old 60mm telescope. Thinking Andromeda was the easiest DSO to locate, I gave it a shot. I pulled up Stellarium for a minute, noted its position from the moon, and went.

    Problem: I have no finder scope. Well I do, but I've managed to loose the side with the crosshairs.

    Solution!: Having my handy 10x50's in.. hand.. I simply set them on top of the scope. Hah!

    With a quick measure of accuracy via Jupiter, I spun my scope around to point at the bright spot up and slightly to the left of the moon. Within a minute of finding it in my bins, I found it in my wobbly scope. "Amazing," I thought. "My little scope can actually see a GALAXY!" I marveled at "it" for a good 5 minutes, and then came back inside. I pulled up Stellarium again to compare, and.. wait a minute..

    I was actually looking at Alpheratz, and that, I'm not even sure of because it's supposed to have a magnitude of 2.05? Anyway, maybe if I knew my constellations, I'd know that Andromeda was off the tip of Pegasus' back foot. But I really wouldn't be able to tell Pegasus in the first place with the amount of light pollution I have (crank it up to 6 in Stellarium).

    I went back out shortly after discovering my error only to find a fat cloud rolling in from the North.

    Pegasus will now be my first constellation I learn about.

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