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Found 68 results

  1. Hi Everyone, need a little help choosing the right flattener/reducer for the William Optics Zenithstar73. I am after one that does both jobs so that rules out the dedicated Flat73 which is just a flattener! So I was wondering if I could get away with the Flat6 0.8 reducer which does say it works on scopes 70 - 80mm f/6 but doesn't list the ZS73 in the models list or do I need to spend the extra and get the Flat6A11? Can anyone shed some light on this have email 365 where I have seen the Flat6 but had no reply. Thanks in advance.
  2. Hello everyone, As you can probably tell I’m brand new to the community. While I’ve been passionate about space related topics for my whole life, I’ve finally taken the leap and I’m about buy a simple astrophotography rig. Ive done a fair bit of research and, like many, I’ve decided that the William Optics Zenithstar 61 APO refractor is best suited for my situation. I plan to use my canon 600D/T3i as the main imaging camera and I also plan to use the Skywatcher Star Adventurer as a tracking mount for this scope. However I have a few questions: 1: I seem to be confused about how I should connect my DSLR to the Z61. As far as I’m aware, all I need is a T-ring and the WO Flat 61 Field flattener and I should be good to go. Is that correct? 2: will I need a dovetail bar to mount the Z61 to the star adventurer? Or can I directly mount the z61 to the base of the star adventurer? (This was demonstrated by Trevor Jones from astrobackyard with his Z61 and the ioptron Skyguider Pro.) Sorry for such a long thread; I’d just hate to finally get all my gear together and find out that some gear is incompatible. Thanks for the help!
  3. Does anyone have experience with a celestron sky portal? The app says i need to purchase starsense auto align which costs a lot while the sky portal wifi module connects to wifi for one third of the price. Do they both accomplish the same thing? can I just get the lesser expensive one to accomplish connecting my telescope to my phone via wifi? Any experience or help would be much appreciated.
  4. Okay so I chose to take a year to decide which career to study, I've always been interested in physics and astronomy but I think I will go on and pick Chemistry. Any tips or ideas on what to do after?
  5. So, I have gone and got myself a Skywatcher Star Discovery 150p, which has so far proved to be a very good little scope and I've had some very good results. I have now got the bug for imaging and have gone out and got myself a second hand Nikon D5100 and verious other equipment needed to do this, only to now find I can't get Prime Focus!!!!!!!! So the only way I can image is using a barlow x2 which obviously changes the F ratio from F5.5 to F11 slowing everything x2 this isn't to bad for planetary imaging but for DSO images not so good!!! After searching through lots of videos on to do this all I can find is...... I can either butcher the standard rack and pinion focuser that's fitted on it by cutting it down and rethreading it or by moving the primary up by 20-25mm, which seems a shame to do a brand new scope still under warranty! The only other option I have come up with is changing the focuser to a Skywatcher Low Profile Dual Speed Focuser For Newtonian Reflectors. Could anyone out there shed any light on this before I spend another £130 on the new focuser. Thanks
  6. Hi guys and gals, I recently purchased a pair of Nikon Aculon 10-22×50 Zoom binoculars for around $179 and I'm pretty disappointed with them. I live in Semi-rural northeast Texas and was looking for a good pair of binoculars for a casual stargazer like myself. I thought these would be the perfect pair, I was wrong. The field of view is pretty small and the focus is annoying. The view is like tunnel vision at 10× and too dark at 22×. Do any of you individuals have any helpful suggestions on what exactly I should get that suites my individual needs? I am looking for something that won't break the bank (under $300), has a large field of view, would allow me to see the moons of Jupiter, the Andromeda Galaxy, starclusters, nebulae, and maybe some of the Messier Objects? Also, without a tripod needed. I would like something that is comfortable on the eye and easy to hold. Its asking a lot, I know. But I'm hoping some of you who are more knowledgeable on the subject would be able to help me out? Thanks.
  7. Hello, I'm very new to the practice of astronomy and my interest is with deep sky objects, I very much prefer "goto" type telescopes. Im just looking for a decent set up for visual observations of dso's and I have no idea where to start to look, please help! ( 500$ budget )
  8. Greetings stargazers, I'm considering buying a new telescope (my first telescope) for astrophotography, and some visual astronomy. But I can't decide which type should I get. I mainly want to photograph deep sky objects. After testing some variations in Stellarium I am worried that some deep sky objects won't fit into the aperture of an 8" reflector. I'm wondering which type should I get. And also I'm worried that I won't be able to photograph anything with a small refractor because I live near a city. I am also open to any suggestions for a beginner astrophotography telescope. (around 800$ would be perfect) Thank you:) I apologise if I made any writing mistakes. Edit: I'm considering buying a Bresser Messier 203/800 or a William Optics Zenithstar 61 but I'm still open to any suggestions.
  9. JohnSadlerAstro

    How Can I Improve? 📷

    Hi, I've been into astrophotography for several years now, but I can't seem to make much improvement between images. Looking at the images in the Deep-Sky section with clean, white galaxies and perfect smooth backgrounds has got me thinking about what I'm doing wrong. I know I can achieve better images with the setup I've got, and I really want to improve in time for the summer nebulae. Is there any advice anyone can give? This is a diagram of my setup. My 1000d is modded. I use PHD drift align, and with that running my guiding is to within 2 seconds. I use APT for dithering and image collection, DSS for stacking, and GIMP 16-Bit for processing. A quick note at this point -- ive heard lots about StarTools and other programs, what is the best choice program which wont cost a few hundred pounds? Collimation has always been a bit of a difficult one for me, I've tried using both a Cheshire and a laser, but I never seem to get properly coma or gradient free images. These are the kind of results I'm getting--the main issues I can see are horrible backgrounds (dithering doesn't seem to be able to remove the dark frame scratches) and really grimy colour, but there is also coma and gradient/vignette which refuses to be corrected by flats. (I take my flats through some white fabric pointing at notepad open on my laptop.) A big issue for me has always been imaging time--where I live the council turns off the lights each night at midnight. For some reason, although I will often have the setup running from midnight until 3 in the morning, everything seems to go wrong after an hour. For example, the guiding crashes, or a glow appears in the images and wont go away, or hundreds of aircraft seem to pass overhead and streak everything . As the setup became more and more complicated, it began to take more and more time to set up: last imaging session it took 2.5 hours from opening the garage door to starting the first proper exposure. This makes everything far more difficult and time-consuming. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how I can solve these issues, or just improve my imaging in general? Thanks for looking John
  10. I have seen a great local offer for a national geographics telescope 76/700, but the catch is that the view finder is broken, is it possible to replace this?
  11. Mendrinos

    Mount encoder fix?

    My Orion Starseeker IV mount has recently started acting weirdly in that it will continue to spew even after the movement buttons have been released, this will then render all buttons on the handset useless as nothing will work until it is switched off and on again. I contacted Orion and they claimed it may be faulty optical encoders but they haven’t yet replied on how I can fix it and I don’t really want to pay too much to fix it. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could fix it myself?
  12. Hi I'm in desperate need of help! I have just brought a 2nd hand Skywatcher 127 mak. Have checked the collimation and it appears ok, have left the telescope out in the open for an hour and have a nice dew cover for it. However I can't get the tracking sorted, the view finder is a nightmare and overhead objects I'm almost on my back, but worse of all I've just had a look at Jupiter which admittedly is low down in the sky but I can't get it to look more than a bright star. I have tried 10,15,25mm lenses and a Barlow but it just appears as a bright dot. When I do increase the size it goes out of focus and you get a circle with the black dot in the centre. I have read great things about this scope but it's hopeless for dso cos you can't find them and I fear the planets will be hopeless as well given what I've experienced with Jupiter. How on earth do you get planets large enough to see a bit more detail other than a dot of light? I think I will sell the scope on and just get a good pair of binoculars. Any advice?
  13. All I have with my celestron c102-AZ is a finderscope and a 20mm lense. What are a few barlows/ lenses/ accessories that I need or should have. My budget is about 500$ or less. The c102-AZ takes 1.25" lenses/ barlows.
  14. At 22:15 BST this evening I was taking a tour of the terminator and, as I was studying the vicinity of what I think was Sinus Iridium I saw a very bright smudge to its North West. I managed quite sharp focus on the crater edges but the bright smudge woukd not resolve. Studying my lunar map I beleieve the smudge was either on the edge of Foucault or Hacpalus (Foucault if Hacpalus was disected by the terminator). I have no idea what I was looking at but, it looked almost like ejecta catching the sun as it settled back to the lunar surface. Madness I know but.........
  15. Hello. So i am very new to the world of astronomy and i just want to stargaze. I would like a telescope to look at the Moon in decent detail and maybe some other planets too and some stars too. I type this to get some help. Below i have multiple options for telescopes. I am on a strict budget, under $50 and i want a telescope that just does the job. i do not need any extreme scope just one that'll do the things mentioned above. Here are the options: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/360-x-50mm-Reflective-Monocular-Astronomical-Telescope-Space-Spot-Scope-Tripod/132194688993?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D43781%26meid%3D9616727f6af84b67ad88a06df4fed9bb%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D152515267398 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Performance-700-76-Reflector-Astronomical-Telescope-NEW-UK-FAST-DELIVERY-/191464648175?hash=item2c942eadef:g:6gEAAOSwBahVaDII http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/900-60-Reflector-Astronomical-Newtonian-Performance-Telescope-60x900mm-Silver-/262966529588?hash=item3d3a06ce34:g:QRMAAOSwurZZNgwR Which one of those will be the most suitable for me and which one would you recommend. BTW, i live in Birmingham, UK.
  16. Eventually, due to "dark energy", the universe will be expanding so quickly that it will break the speed of light. This, if I am not wrong, already happened at the beginning of the universe for 10 to the power of -43 seconds. So, what will happen once the universe is expanding at that speed. Will the laws of objects moving faster than the speed of light apply (mass increasing, time slowing down ect.)? I have to stress I am my no means an expert on the matter, if anyone could point out mistakes in this question please do. All answers would be much appreciated.
  17. Should I take an old Skywatcher skyliner 200p for €200 Or a new one for ~€300-400? the old one is black(not a flextube) which should I take?
  18. I've had my telescope (the Galileo G-872 refractor) for several years now and have been able to view planets in quite a bit of detail such as the rings on Saturn and the red spot on Jupiter. But recently every time I have tried to focus in on any planets (I've tried Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) all I get are big grey dots. I am still able to focus on the moon with great detail but the planets still remain to be big grey dots. I have tried several times over the past few weeks in all different conditions and locations, I've cleaned the lenses, I've tried all of my different lenses and attachments and nothing works! I would really appreciate some help from someone who is maybe a bit more experienced in these matters than I.
  19. So I am very new to gazing the night skies and I have a very important question about equipment / lenses for what I'm trying to do. PLEASE keep in my that I have tremendous respect for the entire universe (whatever and however I may see it, it's just amazing) but my preference in my new hobby is just to view the Planets & our Moon. I'll start off by first saying that I bought the Celestron 8se Goto Scope (8") from Amazon along with 8mm to 24mm Baader Planetarium zoom lense, 2.5x & 3x Barlow lenses and a new Telrad finder scope. I spent over $1,800 and tried for the past week in the evening under clear night skies viewing Venus & Mars. Then at about 4:00am to 6:00am in the morning viewing Jupiter. In all cases for the past week and a half Mars, Venus & Jupiter were clearly seen and they were correctly centered and focused in my eyepiece. I had no success in seeing any features on either planet with using 6mm up to 24mm lenses (with and without the Barlows). I did see Jupiter focused and managed to see three moons. However, very in focus but still just no features! Obviously, the Moon was seen with great features in every case. (Simply incredible for the first time!) So of course I hit the Google button and searched this forum for hours! I ended up sending everything back to Amazon for a refund. I know by this point you must think I'm very impatient but 95% of my search results stated that I do not need an 8" scope or this type of scope just for viewing the Solar System if I'm not really interested in viewing Deep Space objects (which is my current preference). And I pretty much don't need the Goto features of the 8se (which is very difficult to allign anyhow) as I can easily identify any planet and of course, the Moon in the night skies. For the money I spent, I was really hoping to see alot more than just focused colored circles. However, it was very cool just knowing I was viewing these planets for the very first time but not worth the $1,800. Finally, the reason for this post is to ask the more experienced Astronomers to recommend the best sensible telescope / lenses to purchase for just viewing Planets. Thank you in advance for any help and taking your time to read this as I'm very anxious to purchase something new this week. (I got back my $1,800 but I'm not looking to spend it all, lol) Please, give me your best recommendations!
  20. I am looking at buying an older 1993 version of this model and wondered if anyone had any comments on its performance. Does it have autostar, I don't think it has gps but can you fit one in the way you can for a camera. are the optics good
  21. I only just got my telescope and have not yet had a clear night sky but during the day i can see light through the telescope but when i add the erecting eyepiece, the view goes black. anybody know why???
  22. Good morning everyone, Just to start out, a little about me: I'm US Navy stationed in Sicily, Italy, originally from lower Alabama. I've always been an Astronomy geek, pointing out the stars and planets to friends at night....nothing beats a calm, windless, clean night out in the middle of the ocean. Other than what I've picked up over the years sky watching and reading, I've recently finished up my second semester of Astronomy so I have a decent understanding of the sky....but I know bare minimum about telescopes. I never owned my own telescope and it's been a while since I've looked through one. I did some research and almost bought an entry model celestron a few years bac, but didn't. I like to consider myself beyond beginner, so I'm looking for an intermediate level scope. I've done several telescope finders and seen several reviews. On a budget of under $1,000, but would rather stay closer to $500. I want to see the moon yes, but more interested in the planets and deep sky objects. I will be traveling with it...by traveling, I mean driving about an hour or more to get to a nice dark field. With that I've eliminated a dob, as an option. I'm looking for something that will fit in my car, and a grab n' go/no hassle. My main question is does a newtonion/reflector type require much maintenance? like if I pack it up and drive to spot am I going to be fumbling with it in the dark, trying to get a clear picture? I really want something no-hassle and spend more time viewing than aligning. The reflectors get more aperture for the money over refraction type. Astrophotography is possible, once I get more comfortable and can afford it, ill get a mount, but other than that a simple iPhone snap will suffice. That brings me to my next point, I'd like to explore and would rather spend the money for a good view, than the motorized mounts. Are the motorized mounts really worth it? I also planned on getting a eye-piece/filter kit. So, I've narrowed it down to the Celestron Omni XLT 120mm- the entire Omni line keeps popping up best reviewed/high rated lists; The Orion SkyView Pro 8". Like I said I also plan on getting a filter/eyepiece kit. Any other options or are these good?: no-hassle, decent deep sky/good planet view, $500-$1000 budget (including eye-piece kit), fit in a car. It's my first telescope, so I want the best bang for the buck, not a beginner scope. I'm an adept learner so I'm not scared off by non-computerized mounts (and I want to learn to use without it). Thank you for the help!
  23. Hello, *Touch Wood* the weather looks like I'll have a shot at Saturn tomorrow, although my faith in weather forecasts is dead. Anyway I've realised that after waiting so long I'm not sure how many times I will be able to have a go at Saturn so I'm asking for some advice on a couple of the camera/webcam settings: I use a Point grey firefly monochrome camera and flycap 2 software. 1. Currently I use "Pixel / Resolution format" Y8. This allows me to shoot up to 60fps. However I can also set it to Y16 (16 bit i assume), which limits me to 30fps. Would 30fps and Y16 be the way to go or is Y8 and up to 60fps better? 2. Also I currently don't use the histogram, I just sort of judge it by eye. However I had a sneaky look at it with Jupiter. On the y axis is percentage and the x axis a load of very large numbers. On Jupiter the other day it was peaking around 50% on the y axis, a very sharp peak. This about right? I've heard more than 50% but surely this will introduce a lot of noise? Thanks, Dan
  24. Hey Everybody! I would like to know, what eyepieces do you use. Im planning on to buying new ones. But i dont want anything cheap.(Not really expensive either) (Max +-160 dollars). I would like to have some eyepieces with big field of view for nebulas, galaxies etc. , and then some eyepieces which are great for observing planets with lot of details. Some good eye relief would be great too. My telescope is Dobson 203/1200. Thanks for your suggestions!!!
  25. Mr_Timn

    Signature?

    This is kind of dumb, but so am I. I've noticed that some people have a little signature or excerpt that is always at the end of every post describing their telescopes or equipment and wondered how I would add one. Excuse my ignorance, I am very new to this site
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