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About Ags

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    Red Dwarf

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    Astronomy, computers, programming, photography, buying stuff
  • Location
    The Netherlands
  1. What make of plossl are you referring to?
  2. I owned a 4SE for many years and it is a fine little scope for viewing the Moon, planets and some brighter deep sky objects. I tried long-exposure photography with it using the built-in wedge but you have to realize the wedge is very coarse and it is basically impossible to get accurate polar alignment. I called my alignment methodology "trusting the force". Also the gears are coarse and tracking is not accurate for round stars. Note that I did not attempt to use the 1324 mm focal length mak for these experiments, I was using an ST80 with one third the focal length, and after failing with the ST80, I tried with camera lenses of 50-200mm and this failed too. Whatever I did the mount would wander slightly and I would get trails. I think short-exposure planetary photogaphy would work better, but I never tried that!
  3. Ags

    Show me your eyepiece cases

    Start as you mean to carry on!
  4. You have twice as many eyepiece cases as I have eyepieces! (Not counting the odd SR4 or Super 25...) My eyepiece case is quite deep, I was thinking of perhaps having a second layer of less used oculars.
  5. Yes, especially as the long-term plan is to upgrade to either a C6 or Mak 127 on the other side - 4kgs load then. Clearly I need to get a nice dual finder - Perhaps Rigel Quikfinder and an ED50 (a case of the finderscope outperforming the lookerscope???). Astronomy == Mission Creep. Hmmm... Esprit 80 is exactly the right weight and focal length...
  6. Left-right balance: the ST80 is 1.5 kgs, and the Mak 102 is 2.5 kgs. Should be close enough? Front-back balance: depends on eyepiece, but none of my eyepieces are very heavy. I found the mount a bit smoother last night, so it's probably a learning curve thing.
  7. I would think an AZ GTi might be OK for long-exposure photography with camera lenses; not sure about the focal length of an 80mm APO and being that close to the 5 kg load limit? I'm sure it would be fine for visual use, many people use similar scopes.
  8. I don't see the need for the weight of a 60mm finderscope on a goto mount? Particularly when it is carrying a widefield telescope?
  9. I had another session tonight. I has mostly looking at the Dumbell Nebula and Ring Nebula. The targets are all near the zenith and I should have extended the the tripod legs. The Ring Nebula is particularly pleasing for a dual scope setup as the ST80 could never reach the magnification required. Finding it was easy as Beta and Gamma Lyrae both fit in the field of view of ST80's Super 25, and then it is a simple matter of positioning the fuzziest star at the one oclock position, and there it is in the mak! I used a UHC that had been gathering dust for a few years, and it certainly helped with the Dumbell (possibly because it is low contrast) but preferred the unfiltered view for the Ring.
  10. This has become a bit theoretical as I have a Berlebach Castor on loan, and it now looks like all available funds may be diverted to the mount acquisition department. But my current thoughts are as follows: Widefield: ES 24/68, TS 16/82, SW 9.4/82, ES 6.7/82 (of these I still need to acquire the 16 mm) Planetary: 12SLV, 9SLV (I also have the ES 6.7 mm for golden nights). I've figured out my eyepiece case can only hold 8 eyepieces, so that leaves two slots. maybe room for a 15SLV and 6SLV
  11. Don't be too hard on the ST80. Under dark skies with a good 1.25" widefield eyepiece it can give unforgettable views.
  12. Ags

    Solar observatory mystery

    Very intriguing. Sounds like a movie script.
  13. I had a brief session tonight, although there was quite a bit of haze and wispy cloud. I had a so-called "Super 25" eyepiece in the ST80 and an ES 24/68 in the mak. I can tell you the Super 25 (it's the one given away with almost any SkyWatcher scope) is not super - I have not used one before but my eyepiece collection is not set up for dual scopes and it was the only other semi wide-angle eyepiece to hand. Note to self: buy 32 mm plossl. It was a night of heavy city light pollution, 3 stars of the Cassiopeia W were easily seen , the last two were not so easy. First up: m31 (by the way, laptop is broken and uppercase m amongst others doesn't work any more ). I got off to a great start by instantly locating the galaxy in the ST80, and then positioned it at one o'clock, halfway off center in the ST80 - and there it was in the field of the mak! Finding a DSO with a mak and few guide stars is not normally so easy. Also I did not have the kerfuffle of switching between finder and observation eyepieces, I simply changed telescopes. The Andromeda galaxy looked really good, the core was very bright but there were also hints of the disc. Next stop was Almach, a star which cannot be appreciated in the ST80 because it doesn't preserve star color. Again I used the ST80 as the finder scope as I did not have any finder on the mak. I moved on to the Double Cluster, again very easy to find with the ST80, but to be honest my guesswork with the red dot finder was so accurate I probably would have found it with the mak anyway! The cluster looked nice but a bit dimmer than it can be - a sign things were fogging over up there. I need to learn some new targets, but one I did learn recently is Eta Cass - an unequal double star, yellow and faint very red. Superb - and only a few light years away. The pair is consists of a G-class and m-class star. Here is a thread on astroforum.nl with some amazing sketches of this and other doubles (sketching a double seems a truly hard task and very Zen!): https://www.astroforum.nl/forum/visueel-waarnemen/schetsen/1391376-bijna-volle-maan-dubbelsterren I picked up the scope and quickly moved it to a new position to catch the Double Double before the haze got too thick. Despite the double scopes, the setup remains light and easily tranportable. Again the ST80 enabled me to find my favorite double quickly and easily. I could not split the doubles with the 24 mm in the mak, but changing to 6.7mm (200x) the split was clear with dark space between the doubles. At this point the sky got too poor so that ended for the night. I liked the double scope concept and overall it worked quite well, but I had hoped the Castor would be smoother. Particularly at the zenith I had trouble overshooting the target repeatedly. I didn't get the feeling that it was much smoother my TS Travel mount. But I still need to learn to use the mount - my travel mount used to be much more sticky and rough before I got used to its ways!
  14. Using the foil inserts I think I can get up to 2 degrees in any direction. It helps that the ST80 tube rings are very close together - with a longer dovetail the adjustment would be less dramatic. Definitely looking at buying one of these. Any session with either scope leaves me feeling I want the other set up too!
  15. Berlebach Castor, TS Travel Mount, 20 cm extension tube.

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