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About Saleratus

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    Star Forming

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    Dorset and Utah

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  1. Why don't you consider a S/H 24 Pan. It has a nice 68* for and very good clarity. Also it has the advantage of being a 1 1/4" EP so you can move between it and higher powers without fiddling with adapters.
  2. Binoculars are the best portable astronomy rig as you can take them everywhere with you. Sometimes with a scope you get stuck in a rut looking at the same things over and over, but binoculars tend to encourage you to cruise the sky and gain a better understanding of its larger structures.
  3. Check out the Starmaster 16.5 FX. I have one and am able to put it together by myself (and I'm 48 with an iffy back). Using the wheelbarrow handles, it's fairly easy to ramp it up into the hatch-back of a car once it's disassembled. This is a wonderfully solid scope, and it's fast focal ratio means you won't need a step or ladder to observe with it. Dream away....
  4. I've never had an airline actually weigh a carry on bag before. I find they can be strict about dimensions, but weight just isn't an issue, despite the "official" limit.
  5. I find the best method for me in finding objects is to point where you think it is, and if you don't see it in the field of view, move the scope outwards in little spirals while looking through the eyepiece.
  6. I always have a little plastic box ready called "Scopeside Observing Kit" which includes all the bits and pieces I might want near the scope when out observing--including some hex wrenches, cleaning fluid, q-tips, and wipes, flashlights, extra batteries, etc. I have a small roll-up camp table and an adjustable height observing chair, and feel these are indispensable to enjoying a long observing session. I always try to arrive at the site early so I can set up in a rather relaxed way.
  7. I love tracking so that I can really concentrate on viewing objects, but I feel I would be missing half the fun if I had goto. Every time you find an object for yourself, you get to know the sky a little better.
  8. Nice list. It's amazing how many galaxies one can see with binoculars under really dark skies.
  9. Sounds like the weather is making all of us a little crazy......
  10. Hi Andy, Welcome to the forums. A great way to ease into astronomy is first to get some decent binoculars and a star chart. Make sure the binoculars aren't too big or you'll get really tired of holding them after a few minutes. Then when you get the hang of finding things, get a dobsonian telescope with about 8" aperture. Just these two items can keep you busy and happy for years. Personally, I'd stay away from the high-tech stuff like goto. You miss a lot of the fun with it, and it's just another thing to go wrong and get in the way of having a good time.
  11. Saleratus

    Art class

    That's a really cool picture! Thanks.
  12. You need to include the distance from the little mirror (called the "secondary") to the eyepiece. Your aperture is the diameter of the big mirror (called the "primary"). You don't necessarily need to bin your H20mm, but you could do better if you have the funds.
  13. You look well collimated, though you could get a higher level of precision with an autocollimator. My guess is that the seeing is to blame for your problems getting a good view of Saturn. Because of the high magnification needed, planets are a lot more sensitive to seeing conditions than deep sky objects.
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