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NGC 1502

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  1. Hi Dave, enjoyed reading that. I’m not envious of the Tak 128……….I’m VERY envious . My best refractor is a humble ED80 but I’ve been quite amazed at what it can do, in half decent conditions it splits doubles incredibly well…can only imagine what your Tak is capable of. Ed.
  2. Hi and welcome to SGL. I don’t do imaging (strictly visual) but many friends are heavily into imaging. Please be aware that to get good consistent results is a steep learning curve and can eat deeply into your bank account. 2 suggestions- get the excellent book already mentioned, and a post in the imaging section is more likely to be seen by more folks who can help. All the best, Ed.
  3. This may be relevant- I used to organise nighttime events at a dark site. The arrangements were to arrive at an agreed time and use headlights to ensure safety. Lights were acceptable while setting up, then turned off, apart from dim red lights. If someone wished to leave before others, they would mention it so we could look the other way as they drove off with lights on. Of course we all understood the need to have as dark a site as possible. On the other hand we don’t want accidents, it’s a balance between darkness and safety. Ed.
  4. I’ve owned a Lunt 35 since 2010. The label on yours tells me it was also made in 2010, number 483 in that years production run. Mine also has the B400 blocking filter. Mine has been frequently used and is still in top nick, all coatings in great condition. I’ve directly compared it to higher end Lunt models. The views of solar prominences are very similar indeed. The main advantage of the more expensive scopes is detail on the solar disc and a wider field of view with the B600 or higher blocking filter. If you need to ask any questions, please feel free to do that on here, or via PM. Ed.
  5. I used to stress with mirror cleaning. Of course great care is always necessary, however- a few remaining spots or streaks won’t affect the view. Actually a lot of remaining spots or streaks will hardly make any difference to the vlew. The only measurable effect will be to make the owner unhappy if he/she is prone to anxiety
  6. Thanks, indeed it is. However the Edmund Astroscan in good nick is hard to find, especially outside of the USA where most of them were sold. But there’s loads of small aperture short focal length reflectors and refractors that will do a similar job, that’s low power wide field. These make an excellent complement to a larger scope and they’re generally low priced even when new.
  7. Great restoration project Most of the Orion Optics Newtonian tubes I’ve seen are not completely round with a bit of a flat area at the seam. However yours looks more flattened so a bit of fettling required. Of course a slightly out of round tube won’t affect the views. The standard end trims have a lip, if you measure the diameter of the trim aperture it’s only just larger than the primary mirror. I’ve never really liked that feature- builders of truss tube Dobs always make the inside diameter of the upper tube assembly larger than that to avoid vignetting. So I think the trim you’re fitting is better than the original. The main issue will be the condition of the mirrors. I’ve seen dire looking coatings still giving acceptable views, not ideal but fine to start with and see how you get on with the scope when it’s in action. Good luck with this, and do come back with updates Ed.
  8. That’s great to hear Your avatar looks like M82, however I have to say that in the 105mm Astroscan and town skies it sadly didn’t look like that. But the dim elongated smudge was definitely there with the brighter round smudge of M82. My Astroscan is one of the later ones so is in good nick with none of the issues that the early 1970s and 80s units can suffer from. Forecasts for tonight are very poor. That doesn’t mean zero astronomy of course, time to make a list of objects for next time out.
  9. Last night was clear in my part of Essex so I was out in the backyard with my 10” Dob with a list of double stars in Gemini to find. The sky was mainly clear but the seeing (atmospheric turbulence) was dreadful. Even easy Castor was not great and yes the scope was cooled and collimated. So my plans changed, packed the Dob away and set up my little Edmund Astroscan. Setting that up takes a whole 60 seconds With my 18mm Radian the Astroscan gives 25x, 2.4 degree field and a not over large 4.2mm exit pupil. Had an absolute ball, nothing new but the list included- Pleiades (of course) and you guessed it……Double Cluster…..Stock 2, NGC 457. Almost overhead was Kemble’s Cascade, not forgetting at one end of the Cascade is my name on SGL- NGC 1502. Auriga Messiers M36, 37, 38, Gemini’s M35, Beehive lovely! then Orion’s Sword. Finished off with M81/82. Almost forgot…..the almost first quarter moon! It was a complete delight, the freedom of simplicity, one zero hassle scope, one eyepiece no star chart needed for those oft visited targets and another 60 seconds to pack it away. Thoroughly enjoyed my repurposed session Ed.
  10. Oh bother, missed it !! But I was doing astronomy in the back yard……proper astronomy with a telescope that is….. Thanks for iplayer link
  11. To anyone reading this who struggles with the false concept that observing from town is dire- Try double and multiple stars. The whole sky is stuffed with them at every season. Even in high summer when it doesn’t get fully dark from your location, or if a bright moon is up, or your town is plagued by light pollution, or…….. Doubles are one class of objects that are least affected by the issues above. They vary from being visible in binoculars to the other end of the scale of needing a premium scope with rare steady skies and a big challenge like Sirius B. Most are in between those extremes. And the science behind doubles and multiples will satisfy armchair astronomers too. What’s not to like………Ed.
  12. So often when hunting popular objects it’s easy to overlook what else is in the same bit of sky. A good example was last evening with a reliably clear sky at my location in a large town. I was out in the back yard and thought I’d take a look at the Eskimo Nebula NGC 2392 in Gemini. It’s a short just over 2 degree star hop southeast from Delta Gem (Wasat). With my 10” Dob at 44x I centred on Delta and panned SE. As I panned one of the stars in the field looked elongated so I paused and upped the mag to 100x to reveal a delightful double. On checking my double star atlas it told me I was looking at Struve 1081 mags 7.7 & 8.5 separation 1.9 arcsec, better seen at 200x. How often in the past I’ve slid past this little gem without noticing. I carried on at 44x down to my original target, even at that low power it was obviously non-stellar. Again 200x gave the best view, the central star surrounded by a fuzzy glow. Of course Delta itself is a double (Struve 1066) but I already knew that. The star map below shows other doubles in the area for next time out…..hidden in plain sight Ed.
  13. For me as a visual only observer objects look brighter when using a larger aperture at the same magnification. I think that’s simply because a larger aperture gathers more light.
  14. Thanks, star test images now visible. Understood re long cooling times. Whilst I’m no expert on evaluating star tests I’ve seen far far worse and yet the scope gave great views. Optical guru Al Nagler (TeleVue) has said don’t worry what the scope produces when out of focus, it’s what you see when infocus that counts
  15. It could be my iPad, but nothing seen regarding images, just empty boxes. You’ve mentioned that the scope had not fully cooled. To fully evaluate I’d suggest a scope and in particular the optics do need to have cooled to ambient. Ed.
  16. Hi Richard, happy to help. If the 1.25” to 2” adapter is a bit of a tight fit into the focuser then as you’ve found it can be an issue. You may have done this already, but when removing or replacing the adapter make sure the securing screw on the focuser has been slackened enough. If that wasn’t the problem you could try the following if you’re ok with basic DIY. Please be cautious if you try this- does the focuser have a compression ring inside where the adapter fits? You can tell by looking when the adapter has been removed. If there is a compression ring take a careful look at it when the securing screw has been fully slackened. Has it fully opened up into the machined groove inside the focuser? If it hasn’t then that could possibly be the cause of the problem. Before proceeding further make sure the tube assembly is horizontal to prevent the possibility of anything falling into the tube and even worse contacting either mirror. PLEASE be careful and if in any doubt at all don’t do the following- Using a small thin screwdriver it’s usually a simple job to remove the compression ring from the focuser. Using your fingers carefully open up the compression ring so it’s slightly larger in diameter. Replace, try the adapter again, that may have sorted it. If that didn’t sort it then you could simply use a 1.25” eyepiece for your lowest power, like the 32mm Plossl you already have, then the adapter stays in the focuser with all of your eyepieces. Or maybe lovely 24mm Televue Panoptic, that’s also 1.25” eyepiece the same as the Delites and is parfocal with them too. The 24mm Panoptic will give 50x and from memory gives about a 1.3 degree true field. As always there’s so many eyepiece options, the above is just some of them. Ed.
  17. Hi and welcome to SGL I own the exact same scope as yourself. If when using the 32mm Plossl you are seeing the spider vanes and the secondary then you are way off focus. The TeleVue Delites are truly excellent eyepieces but as with most 1.25” fitting eyepieces from TV they come to focus with the focuser racked further out than most makes. That’s not a fault, just a characteristic. Try again, and remember to refocus as necessary. As you only paid £10 for the 32mm Plossl it won’t be TeleVue (unless the seller was barmy). The TeleVue 32mm Plossl is parfocal with the Delites. Parfocal means coming to focus at the same focuser position with possibly a minor tweak. If you could afford it a 27mm TeleVue Panoptic would be an excellent lowest power eyepiece to complement the Delites. The 27mm Pan will give 44x and a 1.5 degree true field, that’s about 3 moon diameters on the sky. There are of course many other possibilities for a lowest power eyepiece. But as you’ve already purchased top quality Delites then I’m thinking a similar quality would be great for lowest power. BTW, the 2” fitting 27mm Panoptic focuses further out than the Delites, again not a fault. Your finderscope won’t be 50x. The 50 refers to the diameter of the finder objective- 50mm. Please come back for further enquiries, lots of folk on here to offer help. Ed.
  18. Hi Josh. You seem to be saying the right things by not having too high expectations and not trying very high magnification, 120x is usually fine. What country are you observing from? From the UK Jupiter is not very high in the sky as it gets dark, also it’s way past opposition when it would be much better placed and showing a larger disc. You’ve mentioned good atmospheric conditions. That can mean different things to different people. Good conditions is not just a clear sky, it’s also a lack of atmospheric turbulence. Even if the sky is cloud free the atmosphere can be turbulent (poor seeing) and that would blur the view with any telescope. The great red spot is not seen all of the time, if it’s on the side of Jupiter facing away from us you definitely won’t see it. Most eyepieces, even the stock ones supplied with a scope, are reasonably ok in the centre of the field of view. So it’s hard to know how to advise. The BST Starguider eyepieces available from First Light Optics are really excellent value and a definite upgrade from stock ones. Perhaps view as often as you can, perhaps you’ll have better conditions next or subsequent times. If it were myself that’s what I’d do, then come back here and hopefully further help will be given. Keep at it, when success comes you’ll be glad you did
  19. For a premium scope like a Tak, if budget allows I’d personally like premium eyepieces. If you don’t need long eye relief a premium set could be a 24mm Panoptic, 13mm Nagler, 3-6 Nagler zoom. Yes I know that’s expensive but what a delightful and lightweight outfit for a lifetime’s ultra portable observing
  20. To FLO, you’re offering a £25 voucher for an image with “all spaces occupied”. I’m waiting for someone with lateral thinking to occupy the spaces with Mars bars or Milky Way bars, or Galaxy bars or whatever A very happy Christmas to all
  21. Indeed it’s so annoying and I do understand myself how frustrating this can be. I’ve just stepped down from organising trips to one of my local club’s dark sites. It was a continuing hassle whether to give a go/no go message to the group who were interested in going. Often different forecasts were conflicting, or agreeing it would be clear when it wasn’t, or agreeing it would be cloudy when in fact it turned out to be clear The other hassle was proposing visits to come, not being able to fix up anything else that night in case it was clear, or turning down invitations just in case the forecast might be ok, then in the end it was cloudy and I could have accepted going elsewhere……!!! I came to the conclusion that cloud forecasts were no more than a roll of the dice, with no idea as to the result…… Ed.
  22. Always a tough call giving advice, what is “prohibitively heavy” for one person another may not have a problem. If I wanted an SCT for visual I’d go for a Celestron SE. The tube assembly separates from the single fork arm in a jiffy via the dovetail on the tube. With a separate tube assembly not attached to the mount it makes the individual parts much lighter. And Celestrons are sold by our sponsor FLO, you get first class reliable service. However stock levels are often a problem outside of their control.
  23. I think you’ll find that the weight difference between the 8” & 10” is very noticeable in practice. Depends how fit you are, but far better to have a scope with less hassle because it will be used more. Unless of course it’s set up permanently in an observatory.
  24. Hi JACK7 from across the pond Lots of folk on here to give advice. But as your question is about imaging maybe you’d get more of a response if you repost in the imaging section. Hoping you get the advice you need. Ed.
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