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About Marmo720

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  1. Hi George, I am in a similar position of deciding between the two scopes and thought the same as yourself. However, I think for AP of DSO, the wider FOV in the 80ED wins for me over the 100ED according to: 100ED vs 80ED FOV I am not any expert though and would also like to know if the answer is different. Thanks, Mo
  2. This is a great image. One of my favorite galaxies growing up. Something to work up to for my imaging plans
  3. Another reason why I am excited by the great images produced by @carastro and @RolandKol. If I can do anything half as good then the joys of the hobby would have returned to me. I know observing won't be the same given my location but at least I can still have fun with AP
  4. Yep, I know it didn't come with a tripod. At the time I bought it, it was the most powerful proper telescope (i.e. non department store refractor) I could force my dad to buy for me. A little bit more and it could have been the EC version which came with goto and the tripod As the telescope is way past warranty now, I am happy to gently remove it from the mount and stick it into a proper mount such as the HEQ5 that has been suggested already. Selling the unit as it is now would probably give me £100 and for that I think it is worth holding on to for planetary views. It is supposed to have very nice optics compared to modern Meades. @RolandKol I have seen the images that @carastro shared with me and I am gobsmacked at what is possible from our location. Incredible. While the initial cost for a proper AP mount such as the HEQ5 will be high, I think it will be a great platform to build on for DSO (with ED80/130P) and planetary (Meade ETX). Regarding the mounts, is the HEQ5 considered the best value for money AP mount? Are there others that are equivalent that I can keep an eye on in the classifieds/ebay? Thanks, Mo
  5. Wow, thank you everyone for the responses and warm welcome here. @RolandKol It is good to hear from the perspective of someone who observes in the same location as myself. I think your point about "wishing" to travel to dark site is true - it has rained/cloudy every night since my first night with the Meade a week ago!!! I agree with everyone here that visual will limit me to some of the brighter DSO and the planets/moon. While AP will allow me to do the same but also capture more DSO from my location. Of course it costs more! @RolandKol I just wanted to confirm two things as I think the best plan for me is HEQ5 with my Meade and then upgrade to ED80 etc later: 1) Can I still take good pictures without guide scope, field corrector etc? Until I buy those of course. Planning to combine the Meade with the HEQ5 and buy the adapter for my Cannon EOS M camera. 2) Do you have any examples of what can be captured from our location with a similar setup? My rational now is that while an 8 inch Dob would show me brighter views, it would be better if I could make use of it in dark skies which I are limited in the UK. I could use the money instead for the HEQ5 and capture from my location. Also, is anyone going to the practical astronomy show this Saturday? I am planning to drive up and would be good to meet a few fellow astronomers. Thanks again, Mo
  6. Hi everyone, I have been a long time lurker and finally decided to post. I have done a lot of research over the last few weeks and would appreciate any guidance from the community. Location: I live south of London and light pollution is very bad. I would estimate bortle class of 7-8. I have access to a car and would be keen to drive 1-2 a month to a darker site if I can find one. Most of my observing will be from garden at the home location though. History: 20 years ago (in my teens) I borrowed the school Tasco 60mm and observed Jupiter from the bathroom window of my flat. Fell in love with astronomy and now have a PhD in astrophysics! My father gifted me a Meade ETX 90RA before I went to university but I never used it. A few weeks ago, I found my Meade and it is in pristine condition. I am now eager to get back to astronomy - hence this post. Observing aims: I understand observing/photographing planets/doubles and DSO require different scopes. However, I would like to in the long term be able to do both. Happy to settle with one for now with option to do the other later at extra cost. I have observed Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon and can identify a few constellations in the sky. So a goto system might be useful but I am also keen to learn to star-hop but worried not many stars to hop to in my light polluted skies! Equipment: I already have a Cannon EOS M camera I can hopefully use for any photography. I also have my Meade ETX90RA but I don't have the tripod for it and observing outside now is a bit cumbersome. Here are my options going forward. Some can be combined together: 1) Find Meade #884 tripod and observe with my current telescope. Maybe try some astrophotography of the moon/jupiter for now. Cheapest option but I have had zero luck finding that tripod anywhere over the last few weeks. Tried ebay/gumtree etc. No luck so far. 2) Buy a used 8 inch Dobsonian and observe with that. Second cheapest option and would get me out there observing again. My concern is that even with the larger aperture, I still won't see much in my location besides better views of the planets/moon. Or will I be able to observe enough DSO in between my monthly outings to darker skies? 3) Buy a goto 5 inch telescope (Meade ETX125, Nexstar 5SE, Skywatcher 127). I could go to more objects in my polluted skies even if I can't see them very well. Might try my hand at very short exposure pics and stack them for fun. 4) Some of my research suggests that a good astrophotography setup would show me DSO after some software cleaning even in my light polluted location. If try, I am tempted to go deep into my pockets to buy a HEQ5 and use my Meade until I can afford ED80 type scope in the future. My concern is that is a lot of money for not knowing exactly what I can observe from my location. Something to build up to maybe? For options 3/4, I could sell my Meade ETX to offset the extra costs. For option 2, I will keep looking for a tripod for the Meade so I can compliment it with the Dobsonian. I am also open to other suggestions and specific setup recommendations. Budget: My range is very wide but I am happy to spend Between £100 (option 1) to £400 (option 4) and I would be buying used if possible to save costs. Thank you very much for reading all of this and any help provided. Thanks, Mo
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