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Found 27 results

  1. Hello everybody, Just started stargazing and wish to meet fellow hobbyists. I already used lots of advise that was posted on this forum. Thought is about time to join in. Hope to meet many new friends on here and wish everyone the very best. Khalid
  2. Hi, As a newbie in AP I recently discovered that astro imaging isn't as simple as I imagined, it's not just "pointing and shooting". The main point is that I need a tracker that will follow the sky's movement. But after seeing the prices at which decent trackers are sold I decided to see if I could build one myself from spare parts at my workshop. Turns out that I can, using two planks of wood a hinge, an arduino, a stepper motor, etc. So I decided to get to it, I have built the connection between both planks of wood with the hinge, but have now discovered a problem. After some investigation, I realized it's quite commonly named the "Tangent Problem" (the rod forms a 90º angle with the bottom plank). So the solutions offered vary from curved rods to involute pieces of plastic and tilting the rod. I also saw another solution that was adjusting the speed at which the rod moves, and since I'm going to be using an arduino-driven stepper motor, I decided that this was the way to go. The problem is that I don't know in what ratio the speed has to increase over time to compensate the "Tangent problem". That's why I decided to pose my question here as I'm sure someone must have done it already. Sorry for my bad english, it isn't my first langnuage. Thanks in advance and clear skies, S
  3. Hi everyone! So I’ve been lurking on this forum for a couple of months and thought it was about time I made an account as I’ve been back and forth deciding on which scope to purchase. I only got into Astro a couple of months ago when I took my first photo of the moon on the night of the ‘flower moon’, with my Canon 700D. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me to try and photograph it, but I think lockdown prompted me to look around and notice the sky a bit more! Since then I’ve been trying to get photos of the stars whenever there’s been a clear night (rare in Manchester anyway, plus my garden is Bortle 8 on pollution). I’ve succeeded in a few nice snaps but it’s time I invested in this hobby now I think. Having never owned a scope I’m completely new to this so trying to pick something that isn’t massive (for storage purposes), that I can get a good view of the planets but mostly something where I can see and hopefully photograph deep sky objects from my garden if possible. I’ve recently been looking at the SkyWatcher Explorer 130PDS or 150PDS, and want to spend £400 max. I’m leaning more towards the 130PDS due to cost, and based on some photos I’ve seen on here, although I imagine the 150PDS would be better, although appears to need a mount purchasing separately. I nearly went for the William Optics SpaceCat 51 at one point, then realised I was probably trying to run before I could walk! Any help at all would be fantastic. Many thanks, Nat
  4. Hi, newbie here! I’m hoping to get some advice on some star-gazing binoculars. I’ve read through the forum and I’ve decided to stay away from zoom bino’s because I’m just starting out, and I will eventually look into telescopes and whatnot if I wish to see the skies in more detail! So I’ve pretty much settled on something between 8 x 42 and 10 x 50. Please let me know the best ones in this range!!! I’ve read some reviews on the Helios Lightquest HR 10x50’s so any advice on those would be great too! I’m open to suggestions but what I’m really hoping to get is a sturdy pair of first binoculars that I can keep around for the long run, and hopefully drag around on many adventures. I’m willing to invest in a tripod as well for focused gazing, although I plant to keep them around my neck for a while so I can get used to them! I’m also unsure of how to find a great lightweight tripod so any links would be great! Love the forum so far and I’m excited to start observing the skies! Happy Stargazing, thehappypleiades
  5. Hi all I'm a newbie here but not totally new to astronomy. I've had a telescope since I was a teenager (over 30 years!) and only ever had 1 telescope - a Tasco 40x40mm reflector. I expect members my age are familiar with it - thin and white with a thin metal tripod and a push and pull focuser. It's still functional at more than 30 years old although the thread on the eyepiece is worn so the eyepiece falls off regularly! I've only ever used it to look at the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and that's always been good enough for me. Now I have been thinking of getting a new scope. I have a very limited budget and so I am wondering whether I will get any significant improvements on what I can see. My earliest memories of the Tasco from childhood were that I could see the rings of Saturn as a line across the circle of the planet. Having rekindled my interest in the last few years, I have started to use it again, and nowadays, when Saturn is visible, I can clearly see the rings 'as a ring' and the gap between the planet and the rings, which I don't remember seeing as a kid. Vieing Jupiter I can usually see about 4 moons. I've heard that the Skywatcher Heritage 130P Dobsonian is a good 'budget' telescope, and great for casual use, which is what appeals to me most. I don't want a telescope with complicated setup or one that takes up a lot of space. TheSkywatcher seems to fit the bill, and it also fits my very limited budget. What I am most interested to find out is whill I get an improved view of the things I have already experienced? I have read some reviews that describe what you can see with this scope and it sounds like it's pretty much what I can already see. And it's maximum 65x magnification doesn't seem like much better than the Tasco's 40x. But will the wider aperture make a bigger difference than the magnification? I'm also interested to know if I could use this scope for basic astrophotography - I have numerous cameras - phone cameras, compacts and DSLR's (photohraphy is my main hobby). I'm not talking about hour long exposures of dark sky objects, just what can be seen easily through this scope. I'd love to know what people's opinions are, especially if you own or have used this scope. I'm also interested to hear recommendations for other scopes, but please remember I have limited budget and space. I know that an 8" or more is better and I would love one but they are just too expensive and too large for me. Cheers Andy
  6. Howdy, all. I am in the process of searching for my first telescope. I am looking for something that is great for both planetary gazing and stargazing. I live in an area that has light to medium light pollution, but have access to foothills and mountains, only a couple hours away. So, I am looking for something that is semi portable, yet still big enough to have a good fov. Most of the viewing would be done from the back yard, however. I do plan on doing AP in the future, but just looking or a gazer at the moment. I have read a lot of good reviews on the skyliner 200p, but was just wondering if there are any that are comparable in quality for a tad less. the 200p is about $400 US, which is about the top of my price range. Thanks in advance, everyone.
  7. Hi all. I recently acquired an az eq6 gt mount and it seems the RA clutch does not work. It appears to tighten as normal but has seemingly no effect on the axis. Am i missing something obvious? Can the clutch be adjusted if necessary? Many thanks for any info.
  8. I currently have an ultra high contrast filter - Zhumell High Performance UHC - and have had some luck seeing additional features in larger objects while using it. I was thinking about purchasing an Oxygen-III filter also, but wonder just how different is the O-III compared to the UHC? Is it worth the money to have both in my filter collection? My scope is only a 130mm, and I would love to see additional details while finding and viewing DSOs such as Dumbbell and Ring nebulae, see more details in Eagle, Trifid, etc. It would be awesome to find something that would also enhance galaxies too (M31, M33 etc.). Does anyone know if an O-III filter will perform better than my current UHC filter?
  9. Hi all, I'm hoping for a diagnosis as to why I'm seeing Jupiter the way I'm seeing it. I'm still a total newbie having got my first telescope at the start of December and managing half a dozen sessions since then. My scope is a Skywatcher Heritage 114P Virtuoso (114/500 F4.38). When viewing Jupiter this morning (in Glasgow 6:30 - 7:30) and on a previous occasion it's been very bright and I've only had very fleeting hints of bands. I've attached a still and a link to a short video clip. I've got no plans for astrophotography but having a smartphone attached at times is helpful for my 4 year old daughter and the video clip is a fair representation of what I was seeing through the eyepiece. This was viewing through a 6mm plossl and 2x Barlow (167x) but the image was similar but smaller using the 6mm alone. The scope was given about 45mins calling time (outside temp was -2) I know there are a number of factors in play here, but the ones that came to mind are: Should I be using a filter to lessen the brightness of Jupiter? Is my fine-tuning of the focuser not quite good enough yet? How much of the problem is the fact my table is on a decking that has a bit of shake. Will setting up the Virtuoso's motorised tracking ability improve the image? The "seeing" wasn't good enough? I've reached the limit of the scope? I could try a higher eyepiece and take it up towards the max 228x (although even at 167x the exit pupil is down to 0.7mm) Something else entirely I've not thought of. Any suggestions that will help me improve my viewing much appreciated. Thanks David Video - Jupiter 27 Dec
  10. Hi All, Well I suppose my story is similar to a lot of others. I have been looking up for as long as I can remember and have never failed to be amazed and mystified. Only now, in my mid 50's, have I actually done something about it and bought a scope. I am looking forward to continuing the "amazement" and also learning everything a newbie needs to know. Skywatcher 150PL EQ 3-2 dual axis motors CG4 Tripod and one membership to a wonderful local Amateur Astronomy Group.
  11. Hello all, I have just joined and have been looking around, and putting in various searches to find the answer to my question(s). I have already found some valuable information, but i can't find a specific answer to a question i have relating to exposure times. I have shot the milky way several times before, from a tripod and a wide angle lens. I am aware of and understand the "500 rule" and that worked fine for me at first when i was shooting with my Canon 6D Mark II. When i moved over to the Sony A7III i noticed significant trailing using the same rule and that led me to the NPF rule (Via the photopills app incase people dot know). I am heading back to Tenerife once again in about 6 weeks time and want to buy a star tracker so i can get some really detailed images. I have done a fair bit of research and in principle, the whole thing doesn't seem to be too daunting or difficult. I have purchased the Polar Scope Align Pro app so i can align Polaris as accurately as possible, i will practise putting the unit together and familiarising myself with the different parts etc, but it is the exposure times that i do not understand. My best glass is the Carl Ziess 50mm F/1.4 Planar, the 18mm F/2.8 Batis, the Sigma 35mm F/1.4 Art & the IRIX 15mm F/2.4 Blackstone. I currently do not own, nor have i ever used a tracker, and I cannot find any information relating to which aperture, ISO and Shutter length any of these focal lengths should or could be shot at. Is there anything similar to the 500 rule or NPF rule that relates to using a tracker with varied focal lengths? or is it just a case of stepping the lens down for sharpness and then trial and error? Thanks in advance, Matt.
  12. Hi again fellow stargeezers, Sunday 15th of January 18:00 - 21:00 GMT+1 Temperature between -4.5 and -7 celcius from start of session to end of session - with barely any wind, very nice evening indeed. I grabbed some early dinner, packed the car, and drove the 10 minutes + 5 minute hike to the site on the southern part of the island (Fanø), which I had identified might be a good darksite. It turned out to be pretty damn good, but I was still able to see some man made lights, mostly due to the slight elevation of the site on this otherwise flat little island. There was also still some light pollution over the eastern horizon, from the mainland city of Esbjerg. Dark adapted while looking up at the skies and trying to identify as many signs as I could, not many yet though, and looking at the splendor of the Milkyway - very clear from this site! Having already cooled the scope from home, I got setup quickly, the mount aligned towards Polaris and my copy of Turn Left at Orion opened to the pages of my first target. Before turning my gaze onto M31 the Andromeda galaxy, my first target, I had a quick look at The Orion Nebula, I love to look at that area of the sky! Now onto M31, I found it rather easily, with a bit of luck i suspect. It more than filled the view at 30x which is my lowest magnification at the moment. It really could have used a lower magnification, hopefully that will also bring out more detail, as it was mostly just a gray misty smear. The basic shape was there though, and in general it looked like the drawing from the book. A new low magnification wide angle eyepiece is on the very top of what is starting to be a very long wishlist! The next couple of hours was spent looking for a bunch of different objects and not having much luck finding anything! Objects I was unable to find: M35, M36, M37, M38, Crab Nebula, Clown Face planetary nebula (NGC 2392) I did however manage to stumble across M50 which is a lovely open cluster. After going over what I did in my head for a few days now, I think I may have narrowed it down to some basic things I did wrong. I probably didn't do enough planning and reading up on the targets I was going for, and so I ended up going to and from the book with the redlight torch a lot. Even though it doesn't kill the night vision too much, it still takes a few minutes to adjust afterwards. Im also fairly sure I might have given up too fast on some of them, due to copiuos amounts of exuberance carrying over from seeing Orions Nebula, the Pleiades and a few other easy objects for the first time, the night before. Another issue was seeing too many stars in the finder, and getting confused about which ones was being referred to in the book. Star hopping is super hard, but I expect the feeling of finding something faint, by that method, will prove to be extremely rewarding. In any case, another item on the top of my ever growing wishlist, is a Rigel Quickfinder. I think it will be of great value when it comes to getting the scope pointed at the correct star, as well as doing actual star hopping. Finally in the end it seemed like my finder scope started to get really glossy, i suspect it might have started to ice over. I know all my books and other stuff had a thin layer of ice all over it. Before heading home I turned to Castor and upped the magnification to try and split it, the A, B and C stars were very clearly visible at 150x magnification. Sorry for the wall of text, I get carried away sometimes. Any comments, tips or thoughts regarding the problems I have outlined will be greatly appreciated! //Clear skies, Johannes
  13. I wanted to thank all the folks who have generously shared their experiences. I have been lurking on the site for years, and then made the move to join as I was purchasing my scopes. I then waited awhile to create a fuller profile. Now the next step is to post! What has been so helpful is exploring the questions people asked, doing my own research, and then experimenting with different scopes. I followed the wise advice and bought my beginner scopes and through use discovered what I wanted and needed. Additionally, I also joined my local Northern Colorado Astronomical Society and have learned lots from others' experiences. I also waited to find deals and bought nearly all my scopes used and for half price. I discovered I liked having various type of scopes and comparing the different views I see. As many have shared in the threads, each has distinct advantages and gaps compared to each other. I can't say I have a favorite...yet. But I will let y'all know when I do! I just wanted to express my appreciation as the gift of lurking and learning, and that your input has mattered. Happy stargazing!
  14. Hi everyone, I recently went on a camping trip a few hours from where I live in the French Alps (no light pollution, it's great) and was lucky enough to be pitched up next to a large group of astronomers. I've always had an interest in astronomy but after seeing the rings of Saturn through a telescope my wife and I want to get our own. I've spent the last few days researching telescopes (I've been like a kid in a sweet shop) and I'm still unsure what to buy, our budget is around the £200 mark and these are a couple that I've been looking at 1. Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ Reflector Telescope £181 2. Celestron 130EQ Astromaster Reflector Telescope £120 3. Skywatcher Explorer-130M 130mm (5.1") f/900 Motorised Newtonian Reflector Telescope £179 4. Orion SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian Telescope £212 Now as a complete beginner I'm after advice as to what to get, I want to see the usual Saturn, Mars, Moon etc but would also like to do some deep sky observing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Andy
  15. Hello everyone. I've been lurking here for a while, thought I'd sign up and say hello. My name's Tom, I am serious but you can call me Shirley if you like. I've had a telescope (skywatcher 150 dob) for about 7 years, it saw some use before I went to university to study physics, but I left it at home. (Naively thought there wouldn't be a great deal to see from the city.) It hadn't seen much use since, until January this year when I took it out under a nearly full moon to show my then lass the Orion neb and the Andromeda galaxy. Since then I must've been making up lost time because I've been out in the garden almost every clear night, and I've found my collection of astro bits and bobs has been growing at an alarming rate. So I think it's about time I dropped by to say Hi
  16. Hello guys, I am from Selangor in Malaysia (3.519863 , 101.538116) and I am totally new in stargazing, I am wondering if anyone could introduce me a few ebooks to get started in stargazing (probably on how to read star chart, what is constellation all this basic stuffs) Also, Malaysia is located near the equator, I am wondering what are the main differences of stargazing in Malaysia compare with Northern hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere areas. Thank you. Kind regards, Sky.
  17. Hey guys I'm new to telescopes and well I have tried reading up on possible fixes, nothing works. First day I used it I was able to get a clear image on the lowest power inserting a 20mm eye piece and it would focus. Attempted my first night to look at Mars. Well it was a big blur and nothing worked. Next day I was attempting to look at a mountain and no matter what I did or try it remained blurry. Focus dial is free moving but the image stay as a massive blur. With no eyepiece it's still all a blur. If I look through it backwards there is a clear image however looking from the eyepiece it remains blurry. Im not sure what to do now. Any ideas?
  18. I've been into astronomy for a while now, but it's always been using manual telescopes (mainly a big dobsonian). I recently started considering upgrading to a goto mount and I'm looking at the EQ-5 with an 8-inch newtonian. I have a question regarding power supplies, the official skywatcher and celestron battery packs seem to be rather expensive for their power capacity, and I have an old 45ah car battery (It provides a steady 13.85V after testing with a multimeter). My question is what advantages do the official power supplies provide over the car battery? are there any downsides to using the car battery instead?
  19. Hello, Super newbie here. Clearly I am doing something wrong and I am not sure what it is. I have a new Celestron 8SE. I have been successful conducting the StarAlign. I then use one of the functions to go to Mars or a star in a constellation - the telescope slews over to the location, lands on it, stops.... then rapidly starts slewing away so the telescope ends up inverted. It comes all the way over the top, starts pointing the scope downward and then stops. Help. Scott
  20. Hello Everyone Newbie who has been using a 10x50 scope for years and having moved to Cornwall four years ago was blown away by the improvement in skies compared to the Midlands. Recently bought a sky watcher Heritage 100p as I wanted something really portable so it wouldn't be left in a cupboard, already saving now for a 8" Dob. Will no doubt be asking some really dumb questions as I journey through the skies!
  21. Hi I am very new to this and looking to buy my first telescope I dint have a very big budget and looking at a secondhand scope at first. I have come across this on eBay and was wondering what people think of it A Saxon 130 reflector telescope on an EQ2 mount and has motor drive it comes with 1.5x erecting eyepiece and a Super 10mm eyepiece Thanks in advance Ste
  22. Hi Guys, I hope you can assist me, I bought a second hand Astromaster 130eq as my first telescope from a local guy, it was a bargain so it is worth the risk, the mirrors needed a clean however with the guides found online they are both now incredibly clean and spotless (I was impressed!), thanks to the cleaning I came across an overlooked issue. I bought a laser collimator to sort the mirrors out after cleaning and knowing my telescope accept 1.25" I went straight to put that in the focuser to find out that.....it does not fit, cutting a long story short I miss the plastic black ring (no idea what it is called) showed below in the red circle which screws on the aluminium focuser tube: Is that a reducer similar to this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014OTF354/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=61CMTU16BKUB&coliid=I2QP14AWY1O3R7 or something else? -------------------------------------------- Second question, is more of a curiosity to which I could not find any answer online, on youtube nor on the manual: The slow motion circled in red if twisted make the scope turning slowly however the one circled in pink if turned does noting, it seems more to be used manually to adjust the scope on that axis, is that correct? Sorry if the second question is silly however I cannot find any answer and I see no cogs under that side of the scale so it seems it is not meant to move anything by twisting. Thank you very much in advance for your expert answers! Trust
  23. Recently I have started to notice some kind of aberration when I look through the eyepiece and on the images. I enclose a sample but would be grateful for any advice on how to eradicate it rather than remove it in photoshop. It is the circular arcs of light coming from the peripheral stars in the image.
  24. Hi everyone, I've recently become really interested in our galaxy,stars and Planets. I've been watching Professor Brian Cox and he has inspired me and my children. My partner has just brought me a Telescope that is great for a me as a beginner and getting really clear up close veiws of the moon, Not able to seen Planets just yet due to Jupiter, Mars and Saturn being behind the Earth's clouds but at least I'm getting use to setting up the telescope. I have the Meade Infinity 60 series really good kit for me. I've included x2 points I have taken from the veiw piece which is really hard to get a picture but it's a start I suppose.
  25. Good evening chaps (and chappettes), the clouds have rolled in so I thought i'd use my time wisely. I'm currently running a 200PDS on a G11, Gemini 1L4, with C2A as my planetarium and PHD2 as it's awesome. All is well, my alignment is great, and i manage good 5min subs from my dslr. 10mins works too if I bother to drift align (mod 1100d). However, I have an issue. I can't get my head around the meridian flip. If I nip outside at an opportune time and ask C2A to do it for me, then it asks for all sorts of parameters that i don't know. Do I just make them up? I've upped the slew speed to 1500 in the losmandy driver, as i've put hi torque motors on my G11 and it's great. Still Gem1, L4, but since i use a PC i don't miss Gem2. Do I put similar numbers into C2A, and if so, what is the centering and guide speed?? I've also bought SGP, but I am reticent to waste a valuable clear night playing with it, when I could be imaging... I'm sure we've all been in this situation! Same reason I haven't put the 120ED with moonlite motor focuser on the mount yet. Actually, that isn't true... That one isn't on there as the wife might see it and realise I've been shopping again! Please someone tell me SGP is worth learning. Currently it looks alien to me.... But really... Do i have to bite the bullet and embrace SGP, and if so, can someone point me to a decent newbie tutorial? or am I missing something mega obvious in C2A... thanks, as ever. Jim
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