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About AstroFin

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  1. Hi Andy! Here in northern Europe most observing throughout the year is done in sub-zero temperatures. I regularly use my Celestron CPC in temperatures ranging from -5 to -15 degrees Celsius. The lowest ever temperature I’ve observed in was -30 Celsius with my local astronomy club’s Celestron C11. If your telescope is covered in frost, remember to keep the lens caps off after bringing the scope inside to allow the water to evaporate. If your mount has a hand controller, the display wil most likely slow down significantly. The stock grease in most mounts is not very good in lower temperatures, but for occasional observing below freezing the grease will do ok. I don’t think there is minimum temperature for using a telescope. Usually it is the observer, not the instrument that fails! Tomi
  2. AstroFin

    Moon very blurry

    I have had the same scope you have, the Celestron Firstscope. I think it is a decent scope for beginners (considering the price), but I have to say that the 4mm eyepiece is the worst I’ve ever used. The blurry image is most likely due to the eyepiece. If you’d like to have a little upgrade, look for Plossl eyepieces. They provide much, much wider apparent field of view and are more comfortable use than the supplied eyepieces. For a finder scope, I’d go with a Rigel Quickfinder. It is a red dot finder, easy to use, and can be transferred to another scope if you decide to upgrade in the future. Other cheaper alternatives do exist, but I doubt they are as good as Rigel. If you are on a budget, cheaper ones will do fine as well, though. Your telescope is at its best in wide field viewing. Objects such as the Pleiades or Orion Nebula are excellent targets. The supplied 20mm eyepiece is ok for that. If you want something that would give you a higher magnification for planets, try a 5mm Plossl, for example.
  3. AstroFin

    telescope annoyance

    Venus and Jupiter are both very bright objects in the sky. They are easy to locate even for a beginner. Both planets are very easily visible to the naked eye. Your telescope will find and track these, but it needs to be calibrated first. This procedure is know as “Skylign” on Celestron scopes. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it yet, but it requires you to center 3 stars in the field of view of the telescope. Any bright stars/objects will do and you don’t need to know their names. This is a fairly easy task. After the calibration you can choose objects in the hand controller database and the scope will find them for you with a push of a button. Using the “solar system align” is great if you need to be observing the planets quickly and only need tracking. There does exist a fully automatical system called StarSense Autoalign, which will do this alignment process for you, however it is quite expensive and I believe it might not be compatible with your 4SE. Personally I’d recommend you to learn the night sky a little. A Goto telescope is a great tool but it doesn’t replace the knowledge of the night sky. Learning a few constellations isn’t very difficult and it will greatly benefit you in this hobby.
  4. AstroFin

    Large magellanic cloud

    An outstanding image! You’re lucky to have access to the southern skies.
  5. AstroFin

    Show Us Your Binoculars.

    This might very well be the case, Stu! The 15x50 must have been fantastic. However, I wonder if Canon makes so small (36mm) lens caps? After receiving the bins, I did a quick Google search which didn't bring up anything, so I assumed there was no commercial solution available. I really like my 3D-printed caps, though and I think I'm going to stick with them. I can PM the stl-file if someone is interested in printing their own caps.
  6. Oh my. The scope is beginning to sound more unconvincing the more I read your experiences. A loose primary is definitely not something I want to be dealing with. My C8 had a loose secondary due to poor design of the gasket between the secondary mirror and corrector plate, I had to order a new gasket all the way from Starizona in the U.S. Thank you all for your replies! This might be steering me to take a look on some other scopes.
  7. AstroFin

    Show Us Your Binoculars.

    Canon has a wide range of IS binoculars, up to 18x50, I recall. If your budget can allow the price, go for it. You wouldn’t believe how much more detail can be seen when the image isn´t shaking all the time. Besides image stabilisation, the optical quality itself is also good. It is not ED-glass, but still provides very sharp views. These are also excellent for daytime observing, birding, for instance. Oh and the bins are made in Japan. Many camera shops have a pair in stock, I recommend you go and try them to see it yourself.
  8. AstroFin

    Show Us Your Binoculars.

    Here are some pictures of my pair of binoculars. They are Canon 10x30 IS II and I got to say that I couldn’t be more pleased with them. Despite their small aperture they have already showed me many things I had never seen with a handheld binocular. Albireo is an easy split, as is many other double star. Wide field stargazing is simply awesome. M33, M81, and many other deep sky objects are within reach. The amount of detail seen on the Moon seems endless. Saturn can be seen as an ellipsoid. I’ve never seen the rings with 10x magnification before! The image stabilisation really makes a difference! There’s no going back for me Storing the Canons in a small Pelican case (colored yellow so you won’t lose it in the dark) makes them a great go-anywhere no-excuses grab and go setup. The only downside I can think of is the lack of objective lens caps. I had to 3D print my own.
  9. Thank you all for the replies! It really seems like a mixed bag. I might be inclined to go for the 1/4th wave Standard version, due to the more reasonable price. I understand that this would be somewhere near “Sky-Watcher -level” in terms of optical quality. At this price point I’d expect the UK-made OMC to be mechanically superior to Chinese made Skymax etc. but from your comments it seems that this might not be the case after all? Alan, was any of your scopes a CF version? If so, what are your thoughts on image stability and cool down? John, I am concerned that the CF tube might cause a lot more thermal issues compared to an aluminium tube. This combined with the behaviour you described wouldn’t be a good combination. I have experienced the same issue on much larger catadioptrics, such as C11, though. How long was the cool down time on your scope? Peter, how do you find the focuser knob placement awkward? Is it too close to the visual back? Stu, thanks for the advice on collimation. I’ve never needed to collimate a Mak before. Having read a few articles on the issue I know it requires quite a bit of accuracy to get it right. Where I live, the used market for such scopes is very narrow or even non-existent, so the only choice for me would be buying a new one.
  10. AstroFin

    Eypiece for Nexstar 4se

    Hello Hapii! I would recommed that you’d get one lower magnification eyepiece and one high magnification one. Don’t buy the Celestron zoom, I’ve had one and found it didn’t deliver as sharp views as fixed focal lenght ones. For a small Maksutov, a 32mm Plössl eyepiece will give you the lowest usable magnification, with wider apparent field than a 40mm eyepiece would. This eyepiece will be good for observing Deep Sky objects, such as the Orion Nebula. It will give you some nice views of star clusters as well. To achieve a little higher magnification, I’d recommend looking for ~13mm eyepiece. This focal lenght would give you 102x magnification. Seeing conditions aren’t too harsh for this magnification and it will be useful more often than 150x for example. Baader Hyperions are very good, though a little expensive eyepieces. Celestron X-Cel LX line is a more budget alternative to Hyperions, yet they are very good value.
  11. Recently I've been playing with the idea of having a second, more portable telescope to accompany my Celestron CPC 800. I'd like something lightweight and compact but with as much aperture as possible. This is why I'm very interested in the Orion Optics OMC 140, both the standard (~750€) and the Deluxe (~1100€) models. The scope weighs 3.5kg, so it would be easy to mount it on an alt-az mount such as Vixen Porta. Most of my observing is done within a city, so the main targets would be lunar/planetary. A Mak-Cass sounds like a good choice for my needs. However, it seems that the scope has had a bit of mixed reception among amateurs, so I'd like to hear some first-hand experiences, especially of the newer Carbon Fiber tube model. Is it good optically and mechanically? How's the cool down time compared to a SCT? Am I better off investing my money in something else? If you have the scope, it would be nice to see a picture of your setup as well! Clear skies, Tomi
  12. AstroFin

    New Year Mars 2019

    Very impressive amount of detail considering the apparent size of Mars!
  13. AstroFin

    Hello from Finland!

    Terve! I've been reading the forum for quite some time, so I decided it was finally time to sign up and introduce myself. I'm an engineering student in my twenties and a very keen amateur astronomer based in Tampere, Finland. The observing conditions here are somewhat challenging, on summer nights only the brightest objects (Moon, the Planets) can be seen and during the winter the temperature can drop to -25 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, Northern Lights can be seen (and imaged!) fairly often even here in the southern part of the country and darker skies are not a very long drive away. I'm mostly a visual observer, however I like doing some DSLR astrophotography as well. My current astro-equipment consists of a Celestron C8, few quality eyepieces and Canon IS binoculars. I really like the Lounge and the atmosphere of genuine friendliness you guys have here. Attached below is a picture I took in early November of the Northern Lights above the skyline of my home town! Clear skies and a happy new year from snowy Finland, Tomi

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