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About Beocat

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    North Carolina Coast
  1. Those are some good sketches. About how long did they take you to draw?
  2. I had heard it was likely from a collision during the Earth's formation where it hit just right (not so hard that the Earth was blown to bits, and not so soft that they combined into one). The pretty cool thing about our moon today is that it is huge (especially compared to most moons out there - it's half the size of Mars if that puts it into perspective), almost to the point that the moon and the Earth make a binary planet orbiting the sun, so it makes sense that it would be the product of a protoplanet collision. I'd guess we are fairly lucky to have it in our sky. It also means with that size that close that we get some pretty spectacular views, without the need for a telescope.
  3. I remember Hale-Bopp. I actually stood with my family in our street and watched it over the roof of our house. It always stood out in my mind how I would probably never get the opportunity to see another quite like it in my lifetime.
  4. @Ruud If my husband can imagine or see it, he can build it. How long it takes him to do it...he has a lot of projects going on in the garage all the time. @bingevader I would be doing mostly from my front yard. The backyard has lots of trees, and the side yard will have plenty of trees in the near future (the man who owns the land next door has forgotten it for the past 10-15 years and a forest has taken root). If it were in the backyard, I could maybe convince my husband to make one but not in the front yard. Then there's the salty air. Everything rusts, even if it isn't supposed to. @bobro My main interest is in viewing planets and the moon (viewing DSOs and stars would be great too). I'd love to do some photography, but I would likely only focus on planets and the moon until I get my feet under me well. Eventually I want to do deep space photography, but I will have a long learning period first (I have no delusions about that). If I can do some astrophotography, the chances of getting my husband more interested in it would be increased a lot. I imagine most nights I would simply be out there watching the skies. I'm definitely looking at the Nexstar 6SE (SCT) and will be looking up some of these other suggestions. Crazy thing is, I did get the telescope from my childhood (the one my father was gifted) which is a nice sized Newtonian - he hasn't touched it in well over a decade. Problem was that it was full of cobwebs, the primary mirror had an inch of pollen and dust on it and I was forced to take it apart to clean it (blasphemy I know but that's what happens when you leave it pointing up with no cap - it was useless in that condition). Haven't been able to collimate it properly yet =/ It is ridiculously heavy (so I have to have assistance to move it, it's the base that is heavy) and the placement of the eyepiece actually is a bit painful for my neck to bend to (so I haven't been able to collimate it in one sitting - though I'm starting to suspect the eyepiece is actually broken and it might not be my alignments. I think anything not metallic may have dried out and broken down in all this time.). Still trying to get it right and I'm hoping to have it fully fixed within a few months (when the weather cools down again).
  5. Beocat

    Hello from NC

    Hello everyone! I've been an avid stargazer for a couple of decades now (spending anytime outside at night looking straight up), catching meteor showers and whatnot, but I've been doing it mostly all on my own. Thank you for letting me join up. It'll be nice to be able to chat with other people about the stars for a change.
  6. Hello everyone! I'm sure you, have answered questions like mine before but I didn't see anything directly related in my quick search to my main concern. So, a little background. I've been interested in the stars since I was a little girl. I still remember standing out in the middle of our street and watching Hale-Bopp in the sky above our home. I remember my father being given an old reflector telescope from a neighbor who was moving too and looking at Jupiter and its moons through it as a young girl. I was so interested, my parents gave me a rather cheap tiny refractor telescope (the tripod was so small, it was pointless to use since it couldn't pivot correctly) and I made do with that for a while. Over the years, I've often considered buying a telescope for myself (with some light astrophotography capabilities, nothing outrageously flashy mind you for a first buy) that would have great views of the planets and moon as well as the ability to spot some DSOs. I've had this yearning about every 6 months for years and years (I've come to the conclusion it isn't an impulse buy)... I wanted a dobsonian but there is one thing keeping me from getting it. For many many years, I have suffered from extreme shoulder and neck pain. The pain waxes and wanes like the moon and is from a bad disk in my neck. On top of all of that, the past few years of work have caused a lot of nerve damage from the disk (likely due to repetitive stress and inflammation) so my arms and hands are extremely weak. At this point, my doctors have told me that I am not allowed to lift anything heavy at all. Twenty pounds is still doable...thirty pounds is pushing it. The weakness is becoming more problematic and the pain is nauseating. So, if I were to get a dob, I would without a doubt, need to enlist my husband to move it for me. >_> He might be willing to do that once every few months but I doubt he'd do it more than once a month (I'm thinking 3x a year is his actual max). He has no interest in stargazing like I do but I would eventually be relying on his photography expertise for imaging assistance (not to mention he has all the good lenses and cameras - I imagine once I start pinging him with photography questions and getting him to assist me with taking pictures he'll get sucked in). What I really want is something I can bring out with me weekly that is lightweight enough that I can carry it by myself and not regret it the next day. Twenty pounds is doable, thirty pounds is pushing it. I'm thinking of going with a Cassegrain now due to my personal limitations. With a budget of $1000 (I am hoping to still get a dob some day...maybe if I can get my husband interested enough in astrophotography to help me carry one frequently enough to accommodate the price...), I have considered the Nexstar 6SE. I probably won't be purchasing anything until around Christmas (it storms every day and night right now...) and will likely end up visiting the local astronomy club a few more times first. The 8SE isn't that far out of my allotted budget (and I'd probably be okay with forgoing the purchase of movies and books for a few months to make up the difference if the pros are that much better) so I've considered it, even though it is a touch out of my weight limitations. Any recommendations for one over the other with this consideration? Have I maybe overlooked another scope that would work better for me? The weight limitations aren't hard stops, but the heavier the package the less likely that it will get used often and if it is heavy enough to cause any pain or inflammation, I'll probably stop using it altogether.
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