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About kilix

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  • Birthday 23/10/85

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  1. Maybe mention that one can see lots of stuff with the naked eye. People ofted don't believe me when I point out to the sky and tell them that "hey, look, Jupiter/Mars/Venus/Saturn is there". The general knowledge about night sky is pretty low. People don't know that planets are actually very easy to find, that they follow the same path as Sun does, that they rise in the east and set in the west, they know nothing about ecliptic, etc. Also the advice with binoculars, I second that. Many many people have some simple bins or a monocular scope at home and they never even pointed it at the Moon. I would try to show them an image of the Moon as seen through bins like 10x50 or an image of Jupiter as seen through an entry level scope such as ST80, or Heritage 130p ("you guys can try it yourself for $200!!!"), or an image of M45 as seen through small bins (which is breathtaking) to encourage them and show them that it's not rocket science and you don't need $1000+ telescope to actually enjoy stuff. Btw, great idea!
  2. Tommohawk, try to think of Big Bang not as an explosion of matter and energy into an empty vacuum of space/universe, but as an expansion of space itself, while matter and energy stands (almost) still. There was no empty space waiting for Big bang to happen. There was no time before Big Bang. Actually, naming this event "Big Bang" is really misleading, it should be named something like "Big stretch" instead IMHO. My brain comprehends it kinda like expanding bubble with time, space and energy. There is no space, no time, no energy or matter outside of this bubble of our universe. There is no point asking "what's outside our universe?" or "what was before big bang?". It's not defined, it's like asking what is the next measurement after "30" on a 30cm ruler. There is no such thing. It's hard to describe, you'll have to create your own mental image. What baffled me for a long time, is this question: Why did not the universe collapse right into a black hole at the beginning, when everything was superdense, superenergetic and supersmall? The answer is simple and obvious actually: There was no localised difference in gravity anywhere, where would the black hole form? Gravity was pulling equally in all the spatial directions, as there was equal, homogennous amount of superdense energy spread uniformly everywhere throughout the entire universe. And additionally, the stretching was faster than the speed of light, so there is no way opposite parts of the universe could interact with each other. And we have not moved much since Big Bang. If there were any 3D coordinates visible in the Universe (something like a coordinate grid), our Earth and pretty much everything in our observable universe would be on the same coordinate point since the Big Bang. Its the point on the coordinate grid itself, that got stretched to 80bly. We stand on a ruler with that little line marking "1cm" on it. The time is 0. The entire universe is only as big as the thickness of the tiny little line marking "1cm". Now big bang happens. We do not move. During the next 13.8billion years that mark "1cm" is getting stretched enormously to 80billion light years in all spatial dimensions with everything that once resided in one point in space. Now, where is the center of that which was once a point? There is no such thing. Or, everything is center?
  3. Nice report, I love reading these, especially when it is cloudy here and the writer has the same scope as I do! You really pushed it hard with 160x, good to know that it is possible. As for the alt balancing - have you tried some of the recommended DIY tweaks, like homemade counterweight or better alt locking nut?
  4. yeah but you can get a car battery for a few quid as @jambouk stated above. Why spend 70$ on a celestron 7Ah battery pack, if it is nothing more than a deep cycle lead-acid battery? Buy 7Ah battery intended for UPSes for 20$ and off you go. What annoys me, is the fact, that once you stamp "for astronomy use" sticker on a battery, you can suddenly charge people for 400% of it's price and they will still gladly pay. (I use a 10€ 3.2Ah UPS battery with SkyMax mount with no issues)
  5. Yesterday I got a first light on my new ST80/400. What a nice little scope. I like it already. The views it gives are not unsimilar to a pair of binoculars... except a bit more powerful. And it is even lighter than my 10x50 bins. No wonder that it is a well known and well liked travel scope. Those wide-field views complement my Maksutov nicely and I can't wait for summer to take it for a hike/camp somewhere dark.

    The AZ3 mount needs a little tweaking thou, but that is perfectly fine with me, I am certainly not both-hands-left-handed. Modding it with counterweight is in progress. What surprised me, is the sturdiness of the AZ3 mount and tripod. Better than AZ GoTo tripod which comes with SkyMax 127 (and Skymax is almost 4x more expensive than this).

  6. I remember when I first "discovered" M36, M37 and M38 with binoculars. I didn't have a telescope then and I didn't know what am I looking at. I felt like a 6yrs old.
  7. Yeah, I forgot to mention Sigma Ori and Meissa, Sigma Ori is now my favourite target to view every time I can. To try and find the C star from the cluster. It's a challenge, work in progress, like E and F from trapezium. I believe it only needs more experience. As for the colour of Rho, well, the orange, or tangerine was clear, but the companion is faint for me to decide if it is blue or white, I barely saw it. Again, may need a bit of practice and time on the eyepiece probably. As for NGC 2169, I don't know, I was not actively hunting for the double on top of the "3", I did not write that in my observing plan and I did not know about it, but I will check it next time, thanks for the tip.
  8. I find the thought of us being the only intelligent being in the Universe as ignorant and archaic as the thought of the Earth being in the center of the Solar system. We are nothing special. We live on an average rocky planet near an average star, in an average galaxy. One grain of sand on Earth is more significant (relative to the Earth) than we - humans - are relative to the Universe. The thought, that we are the only intelligent lifeform seems ridiculous to me, when in the Universe every physically possible thing exists in billions or trillions of instances. It does not make any sense to me. We are nothing special, it's our human egocentric nature to think we are, but the truth is the opposite.
  9. guys, I really recommend PBS SpaceTime videos on youtube. It gave me quite a good insight into BigBang theory and expansion of spacetime. Sometimes I had to watch the video twice to understand, or thrice, or five times after taking a break to think for a week or so But it's worth it. I can now overwhelm friends with stuff they struggle to even begin to imagine Those videos complement nicely with simpler Hawking's books - like "Brief history of time" - (universe in a nutshell is still beyond my brain capacity) and after absorbing some books and videos on the subject, it starts to make sense and the information seems to join together to make a grander sense out of it.
  10. wow, what a wall of text, I apologize, but I feel that writing less would not be adequate.
  11. Hello all, this is an update to my quest with the targets in Orion. So, yesterday was another session dedicated to Orion's double stars and open clusters. I started with obvious M42, what immediately surprised me, was that my SkyMax was not cooled even after staying 30mins outside and another 40min hike in a backpack. It took almost another hour for crisp views to appear. Probably because it was covered in a thick blanket to protect it during the hike. The obvious target-M42 with my 32mm EP with 47x mag and 1.2° TFOV provided amazing views as always. I focused on Trapezium at 100x and 150x magnification and returned to the Trapezium 3 more times during the night, but still could not resolve the E and F star. Those two stars remain to be seen even after this session. UHC filter showed a lot darker skies and more detail, especially with averted vision. Averted vision is still a pretty new concept to me, I need to practice more. At first I used the 32mm and 15mm eyepieces, because the view through my 10mm erfle eyepiece was unpleasant, but I've grown fond of it during yesterday's night and used it the most. I found a new appreciation for the EP yesterday. I hesitated to use it before, but now I appreciate it more, maybe my eyes and brain got a bit accustomed to the smaller pupil and tighter eye relief, who knows. Double stars: Mintaka - an easy double with surprisingly huge separation at 150x. Did I even spot the right companion star? I am not so sure. The angular size of the gap between those two stars seemed as big as Jupiter at about 100x mag. Rho Ori / SAO112528 - this one was one of the hardest to spot yesterday. The main star is orange, but it seemed to flicker with blue light when I moved the scope or when I blinked. Something was going on there. What is this effect? I could not spot the companion even after several minutes. I returned to it later and spent many more minutes on it. The faint companion then appeared sporadically to the right of the main star as the seeing conditions allowed. The companion kept on appearing for brief periods of time and then disappearing for longer periods. But I already knew where to look and it became easier to spot. Nice and enjoyable double. I am not sure about the color of the companion, was it blue/white? Iota Ori / Hatsya / SAO132323 - I liked this one very much. It's in a nice ?open cluster? and one can spend a lot of time trying to spot many faint stars in the same FOV at 150x. I am not sure now, but I think, that there are two triples in the same FOV. Is Hatsya in an open cluster with surrounding stars, or is it just visual cluster and not a cluster in gravitational sense? Tau Ori / SAO131952 - a triple, with faint companions, challenging to view. Both the companions are faint and jump in and out of view, depending on seeing. Those companions are wider than expected, but really faint. Direct observation of companions is almost impossible, both stars almost completely disappear when viewed directly. I found out now, that one of the companions is actually a double too, but that's out of my reach. Not very enjoyable or memorable to be honest. I finalized the double stars quest by viewing Rigel, to spot the companion was an easy task, especially after Rho Ori. Quite relaxing after all the eye-strain experienced earlier. I moved on to clusters: Clusters: NGC 2141 - I couldn't see anything here. Maybe I did not have correct position, but GoTo has been spot on so far. I don't know. NGC 2194, NGC 2186 - Same as above, I could see maybe 4-5 stars in the FOV, nothing spectacular happening. Perhaps too faint for my eyes. NGC 1981 - nice little cluster, pleasing views at 100x. I spent a lot of time viewing the faintest stars on the limit of the resolution of my eyes and my scope. NGC 2169 - the "37" cluster, definitely worth a revisit. The shape is mirrored in my Mak, that's why I didn't notice the shape the first time around. The top part of the "7" was visible only with averted vision and when I spent a significant amount of time on this object. Very pleasant view at 100x nevertheless. So, that about sums up my quest for Orion's interesting objects. Many of those will get a revisit certainly (Hatsya, 37cluster, NGC 1981, Sigma Ori, Rigel), maybe all of them will get a revisit now that I think of it Many thanks to @cotterless45 who summed it all up nicely in his post and inspired me to take a look deeper into Orion. It was very enjoyable and time well spent.
  12. colour viewing is subjective. Some folks don't see colours in M42 even in a 300mm dob, others claim pink or green tint under dark skies in telescopes as small as 6". As for filters, UHC and OIII are a nice value, if you want to see a bit more. They also retain their value in second-hand market pretty well, if you decide, that you are not happy with the views they provide. I read all there is about filters on this forum and on cloudynights and decided to pay a bit more and not wasting my time and resources with UHC-S or UHC-E and went for Astronomik UHC. I am happy so far, but I don't know how much difference there is between UHC-S and UHC-E and UHC, because I've seen the nebula only through UHC. So really can't tell if the price difference is adequate to viewing difference. Almost all of the more experienced folks agree thou, that it's better to go for better filters in the beginning. And welcome to the forum, enjoy your stay!
  13. or through an inexpensive 40€ 6x30 finderscope. Makes me wonder if people 400years in the future will have their personal inexpensive 40€ Hubble Space Telescopes?
  14. yes, it rotates. But it's not like I do multiple revolutions with it. I focus roughly with main focusing knob and use this helical focuser to fine-tune with really tiny adjustments, something like <20° of rotation.
  15. The best thing about it is the fact, that now everything is as good or even better than I wanted. Nothing annoys me even in the slightest on the telescope and I may focus on comfortable observing only, with no technical annoyances whatsoever. Yesterday the mostly cloudy skies cleared for an hour, so the focuser and prism got their first light. Very good 130€ investment, probably the best upgrade I've made so far. I encourage anyone with this telescope to consider this upgrade, or some other upgrade to the stock focuser. Even before buying new EPs.