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About PEMS

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  1. Will need compromises, or sometimes called a heavy dose of reality. For imaging of almost all varieties you will need a motor driven mount, and for the best described as classic DSO imaging that also means a reasonable equitorial mount. They do not have to be the largest construction known to mankind which is often implied. A Dobsonian was and to a great extent is a visual only setup. So to make your life easy accept that. Another factor is they seem to need each user to learn how to use them. Basically if you find a target then say "Have a look at this" the chances are that the scope wi
  2. The mount turning groundward sounds like either data - time and location, or power - insufficent. Use Polaris if at all possible for North, although St Louis is not bad for the compass to True North comparison, you have a 1.6 degree difference and I would have thought the scope should handle that. Although usually the US states have a difference greater then that. Often up in the 10-16 degree difference. As most compasses, even those on a phone/tablet still utilise magnetics you will find that often a visual on Polaris is better. I suppose also that you could be sited at an area where the
  3. Just added to the "other" post to this, basically said work out some bright ones, work out (guess) where they should be, aim binoculars. Then hope. Usually seems to work, well 80% of the time. Did throw in a small selection: Think they were: M31 - Andromeda Galaxy, M33 - Triangulum Galaxy, M45 - Pleiades, M42 - Orion Neb, M??? - 3 Open Clusters in Auriga, M13 - Globular Cluster in Hercules (along one edge of the square) C14 - Double Cluster in Perseus (haf way between Cassiopeia and Perseus), C?? - The Hyades Cluster, cluster is dim and bigm easy to find as you locate Aldebaren - Bi
  4. I suspect that your expectations are a little high. As Noodles has said the mount itself is an Alt-Az and so you need a good wedge for it. I will assume that you have one, if not 30 seconds is good before trailing on an Alt-Az mount. Next is that even with a wedge you can align the wedge to North, but what guarantee is there that the mount sat on it is then equally aligned? If the wedge was perfect and there was say 2 degree angular offset between the wedge and the mount then your wedge may be polar aligned but your mount is not polar aligned. I suppose basically never assume that because
  5. I would agree with Stephan when he says "Binoculars are complementary to telescopes". They are not the same and deliver a different aspect. Nice for ease of use and looking around the sky, think I have 3 sets somewhere. If however you want detail, even planetary then you will need more in the magnification then a normal binocular supplies. Always a difficult thing to answer. I suppose my fear is that someone will spend £80 on a binocular and immediatly want say 50x to see even minimal banding of Jupiter. And that £80 may have been better used on even a basic 80mm achro which would display
  6. The trick is to have an idea of suitable objects in mind. Which also means some idea of where to look to find them. Naked eye there are very few, unless your location is somewhat dark, which is getting rare when people are concerned. M42 is the obvious, Orion Nebula. Then is M45, the Pleiades, and between them is the Hyades cluster, easy to sort of find as the red star Aldebaran sits at the edge of the cluster. I suppose that Orions Belt counts. Also good for navigation as Left to Right directs you to Hyades then Pleiades, Right to Left directs you to Sirius, our brightest star, well afte
  7. Assuming that there is some technical ability, I would say a William Optics ZS81 and the Skywatcher Az GTi mount. The scope looks very good and very nice. May not be the largest aperture but will I expect be more what your father expects a scope to be. Also 80mm is likely one of the best all round sizes around, and the WO will, or at least should, produce excellent views. Many of the objects for large apertures have to catch that they remain small. Besides a large aperture you also need the potential of big magnifications and after a point even they work against you. A big magnification c
  8. TS Optics in Germany sell GSO mirrors BUT I cannot see anything at 130mm. The smallest they appear to have is 150mm. Maybe a generalisation but the price of their f/5 mirrors seem to match the diameter in that a 150mm is 150€, a 200mm is 200€. So if a 130 appears it could cost at an estimate and guess around 130€. Then add in shipping and the UK import VAT and whatever administration charges are levied the final cost for a mirror alone could exceed the scope. Do not know where you are but at times clubs have "old" scopes they may want to lose. An alternative is a wanted request
  9. If you have the t-ring then attach it to the DSLR and if possible attach to the focuser, not sure how easy or simple that bit will be. Try try it out. The zs61 has a lot of focuser travel, so there is a chance that you may not required any extension. It is the easiest way to find out before you go buying extension tubes.
  10. What depends on your budget and what features you want. For transport via rucksack or similar it would point towards a refractor and relatively small. Small refractor on a manual mount say £200 area, little more perhaps. Scope would be an achro. Around the 80mm aperture. Better then achro is ED and something along the lines of the William Optics 61mm but the scope is around the £400 mark I think. Only think, not sure. Costs rise rapidly. two or three eyepieces say another £120 more or less. Now a goto mount would be along the lines of the Skywatcher Az GTi, and they are at the
  11. For either variety of mount then do the levelling as best you can in the time available. If you are on an EQ mount then yes the polar alignment should take care of it, but to set the latiutude and so get Polaris in a reasonable position the level status of the mout comes into play. If your level is out by 5 degrees then the latitude scale is out by 5 degrees and a very good chance that Polaris is not in view and you spend more time locating Polaris then just doing a good job of levelling the mount. Consider it as 2 minutes to level the mount or 5 minutes to find Polaris with a poorly
  12. Decent and least expensive I suggest means the EQ5, and get the Goto variant as adding motors afterwards will likely be around a similar cost. The goto's are steppers and the aftermarket is I understand simple DC motors, and so likely less accurate. Unfortunately Decent, Cheap and Astrophotography do not go together.
  13. Couple of questions: Is the DSLR set to B, if not it will not follow the intervalometer, In general it seems a DSLR maximum exposure is 30 seconds. Next is the DSLR set to No Noise reduction. Otherwise when you take an exposure and then the DSLR attempts what is similar to a "dark" for the same period. That would really throw the Intervalometer setting out. You interval needs to be longer. The principle is that the DSLR has time to write to the memory, and RAW files are big. Also it should include some time for the sensor to cool a little and so reduce thermal noise. Mine h
  14. I might well be incorrect but wasn't the first Brit in space or on one of the early space stations a woman?
  15. I would say that your big decision is the mount. In a way a number of scopes satisfy "portable" - WO Z61, WOZ73, Skywatcher 72ED and a few others that will be all along the same lines. Portable small mount I suggest the Skywatcher Az GTi or the iOptron SmartEQ. The astrophotography is where possible problems occur. Mount wise you want a good solid mount and that is opposed to "portable". The Az GTi can be loaded with appropriate software but is started as an Alt/Az mount and to an extent is a little limited. You need a wedge under it so you would end up buying Az GTi, Wedge and of co
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