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About Zermelo

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  1. Zermelo


    Welcome. You have the advantage of having already followed the advice that's often given to new enthusiasts here, i.e. (1) get to know the sky with just your eyes; (2) see what more you can find with binoculars; (3) think about a telescope. Good luck with finding something suitable that's in stock, in this Covid era. If you've not already realised, First Light Optics (who support this forum), have a sale on this week, you might find something.
  2. Zermelo

    Hi all...

    Congratulations, the Heritage is well regarded as a starter scope around these parts. (yes, I do say "scope". No, I'm not cool).
  3. Hi Neil, I echo the advice above, try for some easier objects first. M33 in Triangulum in particular is a difficult one, a difficulty made worse by knowing that it's large and photogenic! It comes up quite frequently, these are two recent threads: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/364279-cant-see-m33/ https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/366028-triangulum-galaxy-query/?tab=comments#comment-3985083 I've tried and failed to find M33 myself. I have had more luck with globular and open clusters, and emission nebulae. Galaxies generally have been difficult, but I think part of that is down to my being an inexperienced observer. You might also be interested in this thread that discusses easier and harder DSOs (and in particular, the chart of Messier objects half way down).
  4. Zermelo

    Hi all...

    Yes, that's it. The threaded inside of the "silver" end is really designed to take filters, which are not very deep. The "1.3" part of the Baader barlow is deeper than a standard filter. I only have three of the BSTs. I can tell you for sure that the 8mm and 12mm don't have enough room. My 18mm will almost accept it, but I haven't tried it out in the scope - I expect it will work, but might give a different magnification. To be honest, I bought the Baader to use at 2.25x, and anything else is a bonus. I haven't seen anywhere that will answer the question for the whole BST range. That internal measurement isn't one that is normally quoted. But I suspect several forum members have a full set and may be able to advise.
  5. Zermelo

    Hi all...

    Yes, that's not unusual! And astrophotographers will often spend more on their mount than on the tube. It's a funny old hobby. Just one more comment - with the barlows liker the Baader that split and give you two magnifications, it's not always possible to use the smaller component with all eyepieces to give you the lower multiplier. For example, the Baader 1.3 option isn't available with all of the Starguider range, because there isn't enough room at the nose end of some of them to screw in the barlow piece. So you may not get as many focal length combinations as it might appear.
  6. Welcome to SGL. You might want a look at this thread:
  7. Zermelo

    Hi all...

    Yes, that's a good source. Within this forum, this sticky is a good planning guide, and also this alternative that takes an approach based on exit pupil size.
  8. Zermelo

    Hi all...

    Yes, your reasoning makes sense, it's certainly worth planning your eyepiece purchases to maximise your range of options, including the barlow; however: - sometimes you will get slightly better results with an "uncombined" eyepiece compared with an equivalent focal length using a barlow and doubled eyepiece. But often you see no difference, and occasionally the barlow combination may even perform better - it depends on the eyepieces and the barlow used, which is difficult to predict - yes, in theory 260 times is attainable but in practice you will be limited by observing conditions to a lower magnification. So I certainly wouldn't get a 2.5mm eyepiece, and since your use of even a 5mm with a barlow would be very restricted, you might be better getting something slightly longer, perhaps aim for a magnification of around 160 -180 when used with the barlow
  9. Zermelo

    Hi all...

    Welcome Jason. Advice for new starters is often "see how you get on with your initial setup, then decide what else to get", but it's understandable that you want to pre-order in these Covid times. The Starquest 130P comes with the Skywatcher stock 10mm and 25mm eyepieces - they are a "modified achromat" design. I have both, and while they're perfectly usable, you will start to notice limitations, especially with the 10mm. Your Starquest is a "fast" (shorter focal length) scope. There are advantages and disadvantages, and one of the latter is that it will be less forgiving of mediocre eyepieces. If you do decide to splash out on another, then the BST Starguiders mentioned by Tiny Clanger are an excellent minimum step up. I'd recommend FLO but, as you say, stock levels are awful and I think they're out. But looking at their website, SkiesTheLimit seem to have just had a new delivery. Another option is to invest in a decent zoom eyepiece, which will cover a whole range. The image quality can be comparable with a fixed lens, but the field of view will be smaller. One that is often recommended is the Hyperflex 7.2mm - 21.5mm, another decent one is made by Svbony. A reasonable barlow such as this one will be worthwhile. Personally I'd hold off on the laser collimator for now, you may manage with cheaper alternatives like a cheshire eyepiece or cap. Filters - see how you get on with the moon. If you find it's too bright, then either the "neutral density" version (you buy one with a strength suitable for your telescope aperture) or the polarising version that lets you adjust the effect. Light pollution filters are increasingly ineffective against the modern LED streetlights. There are some that claim to, but they are expensive. Skysafari is great - I'd get the free one for now, maybe upgrade to the Plus later, but probably not worth getting Pro. Good viewing!
  10. I'll trade you M31 for your Magellanic clouds and omega centauri (should this be in the For Sale/Swap section?)
  11. Of the three that you mention explicitly: - Andromeda (nebula) M31 can just about be seen with the unaided eye in dark locations. It is certainly visible in small telescopes, though it is a bit of a fuzzy blob, and being very large, it can actually be quite hard to tell that you're seeing it, unless you're using a low magnification/wide field (e.g. decent binoculars) - Orion (I assume you mean the "Great Nebula", M42). Again, certainly accessible with a small telescope, though light polluted skies may prevent this. A good filter ('OIII' or 'UHC' type) will enhance the contrast. - Whirlpool, aka M51, is the hardest of the three. It is still a largeish DSO but the "surface brightness" (which describes the amount of light being emitted per unit area of the object) is not so good. Darker skies will definitely improve your chances. Newcomers are often inspired by, but also misled by, the amazing photos of these objects in books and websites. Bear in mind that these are: - photos, not actual views through an eyepiece. The camera can capture a lot more light over time than the eye can catch in an instant, and can show colour that the eye will not see, because of the low light levels (DSOs seen visually in a modest telescope are usually grey) - often taken using larger telescopes than you will be using, with state-of-the-art optics - sometimes taken from space (Hubble etc.), without the distortions of the earth's atmosphere to contend with - often taken with filters, may show light that the human eye just can't see at all, and then given false colours afterwards (yes, it's not just influencers on Instagram who cheat) - usually benefit from a lot of intensive computer manipulation that merges multiple images, intelligently removes the poor ones and combines the rest to give a "best average" picture If you've not already seen it, you might like to have a read of this item, which describes how objects appear through an eyepiece in an amateur telescope. It specifically covers the three you mentioned, and shows pictures comparing the stunning press photos with the views that an amateur is likely to see with reasonable skies.
  12. The Celestron omni is not their premium model, but it has been good for me so far, and probably a match for your likely choice of eyepiece, in price/performance terms. I recently bought a Baader Q Turret and I could see no difference in image quality, at least when used with the other kit I have. The Celestron seems to be on sale here, and they claim to have stock (a lot of outlets won't at the moment).
  13. Indeed. I started properly in the spring, and I've been waiting all year for this. I'm used to Orion being low in the south around Christmas time, which is inaccessible from my observing location. So it was a pleasant surprise on Wednesday to see it emerging over the south-east, visible for an hour before the cloud rolled in. I split Mintaka and Rigel, and M42 showed some nice detail with my 6" reflector, aided by an Astronomik UHC. I'm waiting to tackle more doubles in round 2.
  14. Well, finally some stars! I think (just to prove me wrong) CO was actually not bad this time (although this forecast was only from yesterday lunchtime, to be fair it had been promising some clear stuff on Wednesday for several days) There was a bit of low cloud came in just before 22.00 but it cleared away and I managed to carry on until 23.30, when it really did close in. But most of the time, it was completely clear. Meteoblue turned out to be too pessimistic: Whereas Nightshift (on my phone) had forecast "excellent", which was fair enough (the seeing wasn't good, but the breeze settled down after a while).
  15. You're saying you've never seen the moon executing its retrograde motion? It happens once every 17 centuries, on the Friday after the fourth blue moon of the year.
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