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About MimasDeathStar

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  1. Cheaper laser collimators can be a bit of a lottery, and by cheaper I mean anything under about £75 which isn’t that cheap actually! They are better than Cheshire collimators in terms of convenience, but they aren’t any more accurate which is the main thing. The big challenge is that it’s quite difficult to find a laser that points dead straight, and that’s your issue! Telrads are nearly universally adored! But they’re quite big and not very pretty. I only use a 6x30 finder these days - but there’s a couple of techniques to learn to get the best out of them. Finders are a very personal thing. I’d have a play with yours first and see how you enjoy it. I wouldn’t rush out to buy new eyepieces for a while. The ones that come with the scope are fine honestly. But do get a cope of Turn Left At Orion. Definitely!
  2. Great M27, could instantly relate to that view. M71 is one of my favourites weirdly, Took a long time to track it down in my old 70mm refractor - but its really handily placed so I knew exactly where it was. Its dead easy in my 6" now though - almost takes some of the fun out of it! M97 is my new fabled unicorn!
  3. No, I’m afraid not. The kits nearly always contain filters and eyepieces that you probably won’t use so don’t actually represent good value. The celestron kits particularly are extremely over priced. BST starguiders are often recommended as “good budget eyepieces”. Personally I find this quite shocking as they are nearly £50 a piece but hey ho. Your scope will be relatively unforgiving on eyepieces so if nothing else something like this should be an aspirational target if nothing else. However - and this might seem controversial - I have never, and I mean never, heard or met anyone who wasn’t totally blown away by their first view of Saturn. And that’s true even if people that aren’t interested in planets as a rule. It may be worth investing some time in learning what views through the eyepiece of a scope look like to avoid potential disappointment. Have a go at M13, M27 and the moon next. If they don’t blow your socks off then...
  4. Wow I’ve never seen that much detail on Mars although it is still definitely my favourite planet! Can’t wait for it to appear around the back of the house (a few weeks yet though!)
  5. Hello all I'm not sure how to phrase this so please forgive me if it sounds like gibberish! I recently obtained a 150p flextube and had some great fun taking it to a reasonably rural location over the last couple of weeks. Having tried for some time, I finally managed to tick M51 off my list - twice in two sessions! The view on the second session was brilliant and I could quite easily make out the two little blobs that make it up. On the second session I had a go at trying to find M101. I didn't realise until after that this is quite a challenging target in even my 6" scope from relatively good (bortle 4 (maybe even 3) skies). Well it took me nearly 40 minutes but I eventually pinned it down using a straight line of 5 stars as a guide until I was 100% sure I was looking in exactly the right place. It felt pretty close to the limit of what I could see, but over the course of 15 mins it very slowly started to appear and went from a "suspected" to a "found". All in all I spent about half an hour at it before I took a quick sketch. It was a really weird experience. I would say that because it was at the limit of what I was able to detect it kept drifting in and out of existence and I had to be very patient and wait for a few secs or mins for it to reveal itself again. But it was definitely there. The unusual thing in this case was it felt like it was "moving" occasionally, almost like it was wobbling around. But one thing I very clearly remember that happened a few times was that while the central core remained more or less stable I would very occasionally experience something that I can only describe as someone taking that smudge and twisting it - like a whirlpool or when you add milk to a cup of tea and stir it. But it was so fleeting I couldn't decide whether I'd seen it or not or imagined it or whether it was an artefact. The whirlpool / stirred cup o' tea was also much bigger than the smaller fuzzy patch I was looking at. So I did a quick sketch and that was that. It was only when I came in for the night and searched for sketches and images that I realised that M101 is actually much bigger than I realised. Much bigger. Additionally it has fairly pronounced spiral arms. To me before this point it was just a name and a location on a map. When I looked on Stellarium I must admit I thought "thats what I saw" - that swirling cup of tea effect was probably the whole galaxy whereas I was just mostly seeing the central core but very occasionally seeing the whole thing. However having done some reading I'm led to believe this is fairly optimistic, I've seen sketches from 16" scopes that don't match the clarity of resolution I subsequently thought I had in those fleeting moments. So I suppose I'm asking is - for stuff at the limits of seeing, how do you know what you are seeing or not seeing? Having little or no knowledge of M101 before I viewed it I'm confident its not bias, but I'm also confident its unlikely I saw so much detail. So how do you know how much of your own eyes to trust? Particularly with objects that are pretty much "maybe there or not" to start with? Its certainly something that has stayed with me over the last week. Below are two sketches - the first is the one I did at the eyepiece. The second is a (slightly exaggerated) view of the "bigger swirlier thing" I thought I saw for a fraction of a second two or three times.
  6. Thankyou - yes I think it is more or less manageable without glasses after all which is handy!
  7. Thats interesting thanks, maybe I will stick with Hyperions then
  8. Hello all I have searched for this a few times but I haven't found any recent discussion so am going to risk floating it again! I've got an f5 150mm reflector. I splurged a bit and got a 21mm hyperion and, after the initial shock of how big it is, am really enjoying using it! I have a 26mm plossl that covers almost the exact same area of sky so I'm able to reasonably well compare the two. Centre sharpness, contrast and definition are noticeably better on the Hyperion but I do notice quite a whopping dropoff in sharpness from about 80% out. I bought the hyperion mainly for its massive eye relief. I have mild astigmatism and wear glasses. Unfortunately I still cant really get close enough with glasses to see the whole field stop so with that in mind I'm still observing "sans specs" and now wondering whether the BST starguiders may be comparable? I'm aware they have slightly less eye relief and FOV but they are literally half the price and seem to garner stellar reviews from all corners. Has anyone ever done a direct comparison of these two?
  9. You may want to reconsider your setup. You will have several challenges to overcome: The 76 eq has a spherical not parabolic mirror which means that you are going to struggle with focus either way - and probably have some fuzziness at the edges even if you can get the centre in focus. The 76eq wont reach focus with a camera as the focusser doesnt have enough inward travel to reach focus. You have discovered this - and that is why you have managed to get around it with your barlow and eyepiece. However... The longer the focal length the more difficult it is to track. On top of this, you need much longer exposures than you would with a short focal length. You now have a focal length of 2.1metres - ignoring the 15mm eyepiece. This is absolutely gargantuan! The star adventurer is not comfortable with focal lengths above 300mm or so. So you see your problem Additionally the long tube of the 76eq will make balancing your setup on a star adventurer a challenge due to the long tube length. The only possible advice I can give you is to totally abandon the idea of using this scope for astrophotography. You will achieve exponentially better results just using your dslr on your star adventurer with lenses up to about 300mm. edit: you would have to physically shorten your scope tube to achieve focus with a dslr
  10. I see. I suppose a rep may be trying to rationalise a nebulous concept so I can see where they are coming from. But I don't agree. Imagine a scenario where you could get every major eyepiece on the market and test them against these known standards, and then plot them on a chart using a quotient of some sort. Well in that scenario - picking your eyepiece would take 10 seconds and require almost no thought at all. It would be easier for eyepiece manufacturers, and consumers. But you have to factor in the subjectivity of eyepiece selection - which is based on many more things than just cost: It depends a fair amount on the telescope type, the aperture, the focal length. It depends on your favoured targets. It depends on your preferred field of view, and then it depends on how happy you are sacrificing edge sharpness for field of view It depends on your own eyes, your own hands, and how comfortable you are getting close to the eyepiece or whether you wear glasses Only then can you really compare eyepieces, and then it is so so subjective. I've got a 17mm Plossl that cost me about £20 - and I've got a 13mm Baader Hyperion that shows almost the exact same area of sky, but cost £100. In my scope there is very little difference between them. Certainly not a "5-8%" difference. But the hyperion has a wide field of view, slightly better edge sharpness, slightly less light fall off on the edge, a much nicer exit pupil. But it is much heavier. But its also 5x more expensive. Zoom's are great eyepieces and many people own one (me too), but its not as if they are some well-kept secret. If what the rep was saying were true then very few people would own anything but zoom eyepieces and that's just not the case.
  11. Where did you get the "5-8%" figure from, I've never heard of eyepieces being quantified on any sort of ranking scale before, short of using a ronchi test I have no idea how it would be possible to make such a statement? Its not really possible to say eyepiece X is 43.7% or whatever better than Y. Like you say, its all subjective. Its only through trial and error that you can make a decision yourself what is an appropriate amount of money to spend on eyepieces. Just a word of warning though - as I'm sure you will find out in due course - nearly all astronomy items always (and I mean always!) get at least 4 out of 5 stars! And zooms field of view goes backwards - so it would be 40 degrees at 24mm and then 60 at 8mm (it might not sound it but it is a whopping difference between 40 and 60% at 24mm). Most zooms do need refocussing ever so slightly. The largest drawback with zoom eyepieces is their narrow field of view. But like you say - there is no eyepiece (zoom or otherwise) that will either A: completely transform your experience at the telescope or B: show you much more or create a transformational experience in terms of sharpness or definition, its worth keeping that in mind if you are feeling overwhelmed. If Saturn is not completely sharp at 60x in your scope already with your 25mm eyepiece it is almost definitely one of two things - atmospheric conditions (Its really hot, and Saturn is really low, so it'll wobble about in the haze no matter what) OR your scope is out of adjustment. Of the two it is 99% more likely its just the current atmospheric conditions. A £50,000 eyepiece couldn't make it any sharper. But either way, a zoom is a reasonable choice and very versatile.
  12. That is about the most that you can extract in terms of an image with your current equipment. I think it is a very good picture, nice and sharp and looks in focus. The big problem is that the sun is a bit boring now and just an orange ball! Pictures will look more exciting when there are some sun spots. Filters probably wont make a significant difference.
  13. Message about 12" / 10" incoming!
  14. I'm no telescope expert - but is this a new telescope? http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/astronomical_telescopes-sky-watcher-dobsonians/heritage-150p-flextube.html It looks like a new skywatcher telescope to me although I couldn't find much information on it anywhere. It looks pretty cool to me, and a nice step up from the 130p.
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