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Second Time Around

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About Second Time Around

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Location
    Kent countryside
  1. A few questions: Where will he be observing, for instance in the back yard? Are you in a city or in the country? Where would the scope be kept? Are there any stairs to go up and down? What's your rough budget? Telescopes are always a compromise, so answers to these will help us a lot to help you. Edit note: I see you've just answered a couple of the above. By the way, he's a lucky man!
  2. If you give us a budget I'm sure we'll be able to help. Also are you in a city or in the country? Do you wear glasses to correct astigmatism?
  3. Another vote for the 10 inch if you can physically carry it in 2 parts, as most people can. For many, a 10 inch is the "sweet spot" between what a scope shows and portability. The 10 inch even without a coma corrector should show you more than an 8 inch with a coma corrector. How much coma there is depends on the focal ratio. The lower this is the more coma there will be. As 10 inch scopes usually have lower focal ratios than 8 inch ones, this is why they have more coma - not because of the increased aperture. As said above, coma bothers some observers more than others. It's most pronounced in eyepieces with a large apparent field of view because it's worse the further you get from the centre. You can always add a coma corrector in the future. Plus if you buy an 8 inch you'll always wonder if you should have gone for the 10 inch!
  4. As usual, Louis makes a good point. However, they're a good starting point and a good way to learn.
  5. This is a question that comes up often, and views are split. Personally, I'm a fan of zooms for medium to high power use. I have a range of fixed focal length eyepieces, but use zooms much more often. I agree that fixed focal length eyepieces may be slightly better corrected when compared with a zoom at the same magnification. But that's not always a fair comparison as that magnification may not be the optimum for a given object. This is because one of the many advantages of a zoom is to be able to dial in precisely the best focal length. For instance, this may be 13mm or even 13.1mm, which may actually show more detail than shorter or longer fixed focal length eyepieces - even higher quality ones. Because you have an infinite range of focal lengths, zooms work out at particularly good value for money compared with a set of fixed focal length eyepieces. This is especially so if you eventually use binoviewers, that require pairs of identical eyepieces. I have the Svbony 7-21mm and the Baader 8-24mm. The latter is easily my most used eyepiece. I use it on its own or with one of 3 Barlows: a dual amplification 1.5x/2x, the matching 2.25x, or a 2.7x. On rare occasions I add an extension tube for even higher power. These plus a wide field eyepiece as a finder does me for most of my sessions, even though as I've said I have other fixed focal length eyepieces. I particularly like the ability to very quickly increase the magnification to make use of brief moments of good seeing. It takes more time to swap out an eyepiece, and the opportunity may then be missed. You can't see anything if you haven't got an eyepiece in the focusser! Zooms also enable the field of view to be varied to frame an object to get the prettiest view. For this reason I particularly like them for clusters. Many of those who post here and advocate fixed focal lengths are experienced observers. It's so easy to forget what it was like as a beginner! A zoom eyepiece enables beginners to easily learn what difference a change of magnification makes on all the various classes of object. It also shows them what focal lengths would be most useful to their eyes, their telescope, and their observing conditions. They then have the option of buying/not buying the most appropriate fixed focal length eyepieces for them. For these reasons I'd always recommend that beginners buy a zoom as their first eyepiece.
  6. The advantages of the Bresser are, firstly, that it's got a better, smoother mount than the Skywatcher due to very big altitude rings. These also enable you to both rotate and slide the tube up and down for balance. You can also use an altitude ring to carry the scope more easily, with the tube in one hand and the mount in the other. IMHO the mount is one of the most important parts of any scope. You can easily upgrade almost everything else on a Dob, but it's much harder to get an upgraded mount at low cost unless you build your own. Secondly, it's got an excellent (and much higher-priced) 2 1/2 inch rack and pinion focusser. It's single speed, but there's an optional extra to later convert it into dual speed. Thirdly, the mirror on the Bresser is made from low expansion glass and therefore will cool down ready for observing more quickly. If a scope isn't at the same temperature as the outside air the image will be degraded. Fourthly, there's only 1 eyepiece but it's of better quality than the 2 Skywatcher ones. Most people upgrade their Skywatcher eyepieces very quickly anyway; with the Bresser you've already got a good one. On the other hand, the Skywatcher costs less and is good value for money. If I hadn't found a used OOUK Dob, I'd have bought the Bresser.
  7. I'd very much recommend a dual 1.5x/2x model as this gives much more flexibility. Not all 2x Barlows allow this, but the ones that do so don't cost any more. These dual models are sold as 2x Barlows, but some 2x models can also be used at 1.5x. These ones allow the black lens cell to be unscrewed from the body of the Barlow and then screwed into the filter thread at the bottom of an eyepiece. Very often this won't be in the blurb, but on their website the US retailer Agena Astro states whether this can be done or not under the specifications. I'd also add that the 2x Orion Shorty Barlow that Agena doesn't sell can also be used at 1.5x. The amplification factors are only approximate as it varies with the eyepiece used, depending where the focal plane of the eyepiece is located. I'd use the 2x option on your scope on nights when the atmosphere is steady. However, in the UK we're frequently under the jetstream, which means that the atmosphere is then more unsteady. Then the 1.5x option on the Barlow would be a better choice. Most if not all of these Barlows are identical except for the name. The forum sponsor, First light Optics, does an excellent one in their Astro Essentials range that even has a T thread at the top for attaching a camera. The cost is only £25. Go to https://www.firstlightoptics.com/barlows/astro-essentials-125-2x-barlow-with-t-thread.html.
  8. We're having a new lawn laid later in the year. In the meantime I've had a single slab laid to put my scopes on. I had thought about additional slabs to walk on, but was concerned they'd heat up during the day and affect the seeing at night as they cool down. Any thoughts?
  9. Yes. I bought an eyepiece from them that wasn't available anywhere else. It was despatched the same day. I paid 20% VAT on the purchase price + postage. Duty I think was about 5% + £8 admin charge.
  10. Another option is the Hyperflex 9-27mm. I found at 27mm that this has as wide an actual field of view as my Baader at 24mm, the latter being wider than most if not all of the inexpensive zooms. I didn't keep the Hyperflex as I couldn't see an easy way to fit a Dioptrx to correct my astigmatism. It's worth checking the field of view of zooms as your scope has an especially high focal ratio.
  11. Wow! Some of the best images I've seen!
  12. This is how I stop down when using my Quark: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/368004-have-you-any-ideas-to-share/
  13. Cats also graciously allow us to share their homes with them. Provided we pay rent in the form of pandering to their every whim that is!
  14. Many thanks, Mark! I'm very much looking forward to solar observing, especially sun becomes more active.
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