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Everything posted by HiveIndustries

  1. I wound up trading it in and even the shop couldn't get it going with all of their controllers, etc. He knew right away too: "I got a broken Nexstar 8 handset" "No problem, easy fix!" "It's the very very first Nexstar 8" "That's a problem." I wound up with a 12" Lightbridge which was my goal anyways. I only wound up with this because of the killer price point. Thanks for the advice all!
  2. I don't like, hate anything that he's saying I would just hate less on the F4 100mm format at the $130 price point. There's also a tradeoff in convenience, might not be relevant to the kid you're buying it for but it's wholly relevant for me personally. The size of the 100mm reflector makes it so you can literally just plop it on the ground and look at a target. If I'm taking out the trash and Jupiter is shining bright I'll grab the small scope where I wouldn't set up the 12" truss, for instance. Having a tripod, adds to the complication, slightly, but it still matters. The best scope is the one you use, right? I use it, and if I had a 6" tube I'd probably still grab the 4" unless I knew I was sitting down for awhile and trying to catch something more detailed like a moon transit on Jupiter. The 5" people are talking about, I've never used but that could be the sweet spot if your wallet can allow. If this kid breaks out the telescope on Christmas, uses it and then complains about the coma and distortion on the 100mm, that's it, sell your house and buy this kid an observatory. The obvious shortcomings the kid will notice is a lack of detail on magnification on planets, things will get real blurry, real narrow and real dim if you try and push it past the 10mm w/ barlow. If you're handy with a calculator you'd think you could push it more with the exit pupil and aperture but, it really does fall apart beyond this magnification. You'll get no complaints on moon views. I have the worst possible light pollution and I haven't taken this to a dark site, someone else will have to tell you about DSOs but I'd have to think in Manitoba it will nab you quite a few awesome shots of the brighter Messier objects. As for collimation, I can only speak to the Skyscanner and while it's difficult, as I said the primary mirror essentially never needs to be touched and the secondary is no harder than any other scope. On the 4" (F4 100mm) you'll be able to see Saturn's rings and just make out the bands on Jupiter without experienced seeing. That's a lot of power for $130, to me. Alan is way more experienced than me so if no one else echoes what I'm saying, I'd take his advice over mine. The difference will be noticeable but not mind blowing. You're getting a lot less than 50% more light with the 130 over the 100. You're definitely getting more for paying more but in my head you're not getting 2x the value. But that's just my head. I'd also be the kind of person that impulsively bought the better scope trying to bless some kids education, so there's that.
  3. So the shop had an Orion XT6, used in new condition, saved everyone a few bucks and I don't have to worry about the 8" being too big. We've had cloud covered days for like over a month with very very little clearing and she targeted the one clear night this week and was like, "Can I come over and use the big scope?" So I know this is going to be a well received gift, can't wait!
  4. Exactly this. Dobs are amazing, so much so that the first time I tried a GoTo I was truly disappointed in how disconnected I was. It's also a confidence builder because there's a huge payoff when people point a red dot at Jupiter and find it with their hands. It also forces you to get familiar with the constellations, like if you're trying to find M57 you're going to be poking around Lyra and becoming familiar with the harp. Also echo the size, as I said before, it's my only complaint with the Skyscanner 100 to the point of wishing I had something else, but again if we're talking travel and budget, this is more of a tradeoff situation. If I were in your shoes I'd be considering the Starblast as the "slightly over budget, but perfect" option and the SkyScanner 100 as the perfectly acceptable runner up or reasonable facsimiles. I had someone recommend me this recently and I found it interesting.
  5. The problem with the internet is you didn't hear the most American person in the world making the worst possible accent ever and focusing on the spelling of mum misses how nonsensical I am. Really the mental picture you should have in your head is a combination of "An Idiot Abroad" and Cliff Claven from Cheers. Not just in this context, like in everything you see me type.
  6. Oi! Why would any yank peep at that rubbish when they could be down at the pub dropping back a pint of the good ol' Gat and play a round of draughts with their mates? It's bad enough me mum and the missus make me push around the pram all day fetching the dang dummy over and over again. It's enough to make you want to grab a pack of fags I tell ya. ...and I didn't even have to use bonnet or boot. I win, Jeremy Clarkson.
  7. Actually, I had a related thought the other day I'll ask the question here, is there any reason you wouldn't want to use a fridge to get your EPs to temp prior to the evening? If so I kind of wish I had a wine fridge for fall. As of late I've been running into the fact that my telescope may be in a garage, ready at ambient temps but my EPs are coming from inside and gets fogged even when the primary/secondary mirrors are clear.
  8. I own the aforementioned Skyscanner 100mm and couldn't have better things to say about it. There are some things I'd tell people who were considering it, though: The primary mirror is insanely difficult to collimate but the upside is it holds its collimation almost indefinitely so it's a bit of a tradeoff. The secondary mirror collimates just as you'd expect with no issues with 3 thumb screws. The included EPs are kind of trash. I mean, it's hard to really judge a $130 scope that includes literally anything so by that measure they're awesome and they work but these are the cheapest of Plossls Orion puts their labels on probably. What they're great for is lending the scope out. I just loaned it to my sister + a cheap barlow and I have literal 0 stress about anything. They do perform well.. for again practically free. The scope is F4, keep that in mind when shopping your EPs, this is faster than your "big boy" so you may notice more aberrations if you're toting cheaper glass Your sweet spot is going to probably be in the 10mm range for magnification but on good seeing nights you'll definitely lean on that EP + barlow. The included 10mm + barlow worked, this, was measurably worse. The included dob is great and great for tossing in a car cause it should fit but if I was flying I'd probably want a way to stick it on a tripod without the included Dob (it does have a dovetail mount) In Bortle 8-9 skies I'm able to see planets and lunar pretty darn well. Saturn's rings are resolved and will look even better if you're going beyond those stock EPs. Orion is barely noticeable. I see your location and think you're probably just laughing at me but thought I'd mention it Super easy to use, super easy to hand it to someone and not be worried about them damaging expensive stuff, good price point, I'm happy and would recommend and definitely agree with it being included on the list. The biggest thing I'd change is the size, perhaps a 6" reflector may be my sweet-spot for travel but this can't be a complaint since we're specifically shopping for something that's smaller here
  9. I use a Farpoint cheshire for the primary mirror and a Farpoint laser to do the secondary on a 12" Lightbridge. Am I doing stupid things?
  10. I noticed collimation changes when you use a reducer and I use my TV Powermate 2x as a reducer as I mostly stick with 2" EPs unless I'm getting real tight in. Coming from a production background, I'd never dream of pointing a laser at a lens but that has way more to do with the sensor than the lens itself (I think?), also pointing into a camera would focus the beam as opposed to diffuse it like I would be going the opposite way into a barlow. All that being said, I don't know jack about lens coatings.. am I cool to collimate the secondary mirror through a reducer and barlow? Also is this something everyone has to do when going from 2" to 1.25" EPs? TBH I'm basing this all on the reducer that came with the focuser and for all I know the collimation difference on the TV reducer in the barlow will be less.
  11. It's not my fault, Brits constantly calling us Yanks, I feel the need to pull out period-appropriate counter names whenever conversing with them. Hey look, I just found what was on the cover of GQ that year
  12. 100 years on Mars, I have a hard time really conceiving what we'd build and thus a hard time answering a lot of what you're saying @DaveS. I see two possibilities. If there's a football sized aggro-dome (window tech advancement!) that immersively makes you feel like you're in a familiar ecosystem, if there's a 10,000 person colony around me with thriving culture, low crime and everyone is invested. I dunno man, I'd buy into that. It's not like you can never go and visit Earth or even move there if you want at that point so you never feel trapped. That's not a bad Martian colonial future. But, I do think the reality is and I've seen several fictional depictions state this outright, the interest in Mars in at least the short term is solely scientific. Underground, dark it is. That almost resort-like living with purpose I'm talking about doesn't just materialize out of thin air. The forces that drive us will be similar to Antartica and I think that's the best analog we have. Ain't no one looking to colonize Antarctica right now and there isn't exactly a development push for beach housing. Sure the scientific outpost has gotten huge and established and much more pleasant but it's still not a place to start a family, ya know? So that leaves the question as to what are the driving forces. If we have a terraforming focus and we need men and women over there en masse then the former can happen, but if it's truly about scientific discovery, it'll look like the latter Antartica-like setup. Seeing as science doesn't even agree the former is a good idea, period, or plausible, or feasible, whatever, I think the people from that Mars show are spot on. If Mars happens and has an established colony, it's going to look like a South Pole analog. Resource draining, what really drives colonialism as we know it, can't happen on Mars. There's not going to be rugged frontiersman-type pushing the envelop because there are no economics behind it. You'd be far better off parking an asteroid in Earth orbit or even mining the moon with the appropriate infrastructure. So maybe we have to stop calling them colonies and start calling it an outpost.
  13. I really don't know the answer, you guys spawned some pretty prolific progeny over here in the colonies and we have a lot of room to do whatever we want over unpopulated areas over seemingly endless geographic scales rivaled only by two other countries on the planet. Speaking of those other two, they don't have a problem doing it over population centers! The first stage of a rocket is engaged and expended incredibly early in the flight of a rocket, more early than most people think so you're betting on an accident in the second stage, likely already well after Max Q, this should account for the majority of failures and maximum pressures but I'd be lying if I said I knew that for certain, it is a much smaller body than the Gulf of Mexico Musk wants to launch over. Don't you guys call yourself an Empire and have islands and junk in our back yard? Isn't there a suitable British Virgin island or something?
  14. Yeah that is a factor but it's never really stopped anything bad from happening before. When things get high in altitude, you eventually pass over and threaten something important, no matter what direction you're shooting your "no really it's just an actual repurposed ICBM with a scientific payload" rocket . I don't think Denmark is too worried about you guys taking revenge from that time they invaded your country year after endless year through raids and force via long ships and beards (are you?) and I actually think that sea is probably enough clearance to reasonably expect and account for safety. Musk wants to launch from TX, right? That's going to go over Florida directly while directly threatening a much larger swath if anything were to go truly out of control, wrong. We have a rather prominent and expensive spaceport in California run by the military that comes close to rivaling KSC in a lot of ways, there are reasons to launch in a lot of different conditions, including going the "wrong way" but by far the most useful direction, especially for international cooperation and things like GEO is east. If I were King of England I'd want a civilian launch site that could point east.
  15. I would just have questions for my government, personally. The same argument about having friends comes into play and someone who has actual applicable knowledge and doesn't just create rocket parts (that will never actually fly) in 3D for visualization purposes can tell you if I'm talking out of my butt because I'm not even 100% certain and if it's happening or being proposed, I'm clearly missing something. If my country was investing in its only major spaceport to keep us relevant and it didn't include eastward trajectories, questions, lots and lots of questions.
  16. At the risk of making the most ignorant comment an American has ever made, risking international incidents, war, and being cancelled, I don't see why this is hard, what is wrong with here? Edit: Added more X's really the point is maintaining the ability to launch east which is far, far, from without value and in fact would likely have way more national value to Britain than any kind of polar launching operation would.
  17. Ok so I don't understand why. I need to appeal to an astrophysicist but from my understanding the only reason that site would offer any benefit for launching into a polar orbit would be it's clearance, not traveling over any population centers. Polar orbits are pretty high on the list of "useful kinds of orbiting" if you could make such a list. You can survey an entire celestial body at low altitude on a polar orbit so I'm definitely not discounting the niche, I just don't understand why there would be any other requirement other then, "just make sure the rocket doesn't kill people if it explodes" for launching polar when placing your spaceport.
  18. Energy consumption can be used to achieve the opposite of environmental destruction too! Usage of energy isn't a problem in and of itself, it's how we choose to generate and use it. We're far less guilty of, and paying for gluttony than we are paying for woeful and intentional ignorance with a lack of foresight. This graph directly correlates with many measures everyone would agree are associated with increased human well being like poverty. The more it increases, the better it is for everyone. We even break down theoretical civilizations by available energy and consumption. We don't have to destroy the planet, we're choosing to. Increased energy could bring us desalination and fresh water to help weather climate change to name just a single profound thing we're going to have to tackle in our lifetimes. If we stopped destroying habitat and if that graph was devoid of greenhouse gasses but remained the same overall consumption, we wouldn't even be able to conceive the very conversation we're having right now.
  19. What was he truly aware of though? Did he understand the circumference of the earth and some kind of reasonable expectation on distance needing to be traveled and there was just land in the way? I don't have to explain on an astronomy forum that we understood the circumference of the earth from way earlier than that and by the 1400s astronomy or at least the knowledge of astronomy was beginning to become vogue. You'd have to think the royalty-level knowledge Columbus was playing in would have access to such information. So much to that story I feel like will never add up.
  20. You guys have a baseline physics problem that often dictate the nature of your projects as well as increased associated cost. You're just not close enough to the equator to get the kinds of dV boosts you get by launching east and taking advantage of the Earth's rotation. This is the very valid reason you guys have looked at seemingly silly solutions involving all manners of planes and exotic engines. Those smaller efficiency gains Americans can ignore are multiplied if you're not starting with the free motion of earth's rotation. Even the Russians and Chinese have increased difficulty over the Americans in this regard and it's the main reason the ISS and Tianhe (sp?) are not on an equatorial 0 degree orbital inclination (or closer, anyways, not sure where we'd have it if Russia wasn't in, probably a lot closer to 0 degrees but definitely not exact), their rockets would have a very difficult time investing in a costly inclination change to 0 degrees. Frankly I'm not even sure they could do it with Soyuz as designed (and thus the inclination of ISS, the shuttle was capable of launching this direction while taking the dV hit from not launching due-east). It's the whole reason ESA launches from French Guiana and not say a Spaceport in Italy, it's just that much more free dV. So what happens is when these complicated solutions don't come to fruition and someone gets around to looking at the cost of these orbital rockets you've looked at over the years, sane penny pinchers go, "Hey, so we got these friends called the Americans who are willing to put literally whatever we want up there at cost or launch anything we want from real estate at 28 degrees north, why are we doing this?" It's hard to blame them for asking the question even if you disagree with the resulting answers/actions/results. And that in a nutshell is the most non-political way an American can view the British and space There are a lot of other really complex and honestly very understandable reasons why the UK hasn't had a robust world leading space program but the lack of appropriate real estate in which to pour a significant chunk of your nations GDP into doesn't change and has always had a measurable impact on your choices. Seriously though, I'd rather be an aerospace engineer interested in space in his mid 20s now than in the 1990s in the UK. So many things you are doing right now and can still be embarking on, especially considering the harder it gets the more obvious it needs to be a team effort. The more CanadArms we have in the world with positive nationalistic science-based discovery, the better and I think even if you dropped every propulsive project you have within your borders, you'd still be great partners in space. Wow I feel like I need to hug someone.
  21. Indeed it would. Nor would it be fruitful, we've seemingly solved the problem of stalled forward momentum. In terms of quantifying "we" I would point to Virgin as some pretty solid space hardware from the Brits. There's no reason even if Space Ship Two is a commercial failure that your very own eccentric billionaire hasn't hatched a viable way to launch satellites into space. There's a very real and profitable niche for those kinds of payloads even if it's not as sexy and workhorsey as a Falcon 9 or promised Starship. That's just one of a lot of really cool stuff coming from you guys (admittedly the highest profile example). It would seem we've finally broken the mold on the old ways of doing things. Every country that is trying right now is making great strides. Oh yeah I always say the one thing Musk has done better than launch rockets is his PR. You don't want to undersell what he's done with landing the F9 because it's truly impressive but at the same time he just took the next step on the shoulders of others when he's successfully convinced the world he's invented something new and fully revolutionized something. The reality is legit somewhere in between. Without getting too much into politics, from an "informed" American POV the bigger tragedy is with all of the cost overruns during STS we really didn't save any money by not going. Those are just the top line facts, the whys I think would cross the line.
  22. I'm not an astrophysicist nor an aerospace engineer and am limited in how much detail I can go into (it's not as impressive as it sounds, not nearly) but I can tell you with certainty technology has not been the limiting factor. At least I get to talk to people who tell me it wasn't. There's a reason all of this stuff speaks with such confidence about going. Even propulsive landing was conceived and drawn up during those days, Musk was just the first person to do it. There were plans on the board to land next generation Saturn-Vs propulsively.
  23. Here's a good thing on the sample return with an estimation of 2031. That 2031 should be taken about as definitively as every other space deadline you've heard about in the past 20 years as far as I'm concerned. https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/06/mars-ascent-vehicle-update/ ^Everyone appears to be in agreement that has to happen first, again, sans Elon suddenly becoming a godlike disruptor he sees himself as instead of just an industry leading one. But even then, rockets are but just one (admittedly extremely large) part of this equation and again, this is all on 2 year orbital windows.
  24. Hate to beat a dead horse but 10 years is essentially impossible unless something major changes. Ten years is the timetable most people in the industry feel is generous for the sample return from Perseverance which in almost any reality being conceived today is going to need to happen first. The only reality that has us on the surface of Mars in 10 years, humans, is one where Elon Musk is right about all of his timetables. He's pushed the boundaries beyond his peers but he hasn't exactly been Wernher von Braun in realistically laying out timetables.
  25. Do we know it's a definite? Have we identified any life on our planet that we think could even possibly survive, much less thrive and reproduce on Mars? It would appear unlikely, especially if taking proper precautions (which minus one Tesla, we do) but does the risk need to be absolute 0 to go? Also if I could snap my fingers and transplant an Earth biosphere on to Mars, "fix" its soil, give it a magnetosphere and increase its density to 1g, I would. I think anyone would. So the contamination argument only goes so far when the obvious thing we want to do is terraform and make it as hospitable to human life as possible. We can talk about that on a species scale and it's a no-brainer imho. There'd be a phase of discovery un-disturbed scientific history and then, "let's move in guys!" since it's likely a lifeless rock like many out there in the galaxy. That's different than me arguing for Musk's vision, just want to point that out.
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