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  1. Ok, straight to the topic, I have a budget of 150$, which could buy me a Zhumell Z114 table top dobsonian, but I don't know if it has international shipping charges, I asked it on a discord server, and they said that it most likely has shipping charges, so now I am looking at the Zhumell Z100 table top dobsonian, which costs around 99$, and hopefully the shipping chrges are/below of 50$, but here are my main concerns: 1. If it somehow gets out of collimation, there is no way of adjusting it (Because it has a fixed primary) 2. I don't know if it is a upgrade to my 70mm f/10 refractor (But it will give wider field of view, which is good, because I am buying it for DSO's) 3. Some people say that it is a barlowed Newtonian which is not good And here are the obvious reasons to buy it: 1. It has eyepieces which give wide-field views. 2. It has a parabolic mirror, which is good So, what should I do? I am also open to other suggestions which are under 150$. Also allow me to kindly decline the offer to buy a bigger scope/save more money and buy a bigger scope.
  2. hi all, im new here so i dont know if this has been answered before but here i go. i have an EQ5 celestron mount with an 8"reflector and am looking to go for either a 12" or 14" reflector. i would preferably like an OTA i use with my EQ5 mount. my question is will my mount and its current counterweights support the weight of said OTA or will i need to upgrade. my back up option is a dobinson but i prefer the EQ mount so i can have high magnification and be able to easily follow my target. can anybody help me out? thankyou
  3. Hi all, was just going through the garage to find something and had come across my dads old Celestron telescope the ,model of the scope says it’s a 21066 wos a. The focal length is 900mm and aperture is 2.3”. Was wondering if any of you knows something about this telescope? I’m guessing it’s not that great. here’s a few pictures of it. Olly.
  4. Hello everyone, I'm relatively new to this hobby and there's a few telescopes I've been looking into across a few budget points. I'm most interested in the planets, the moon and double stars, though would definitely like the ability to explore other things, so a good 'all rounder' would suit me best. The first is the Sky-Watcher Explorer 150P F/5 which is relatively cheap, but seems to have good reviews. The second is the Altair Ascent 102ED F/7 which despite not having many reviews seems to be a solid choice The third is the more expensive option, the Sky-Watcher Evostar 100ED DS-Pro F/9 - which has better glass than the former. If anybody has any opinions on these choices or any additional options that aren't too expensive that might perform better I would love to hear everyone's input!
  5. From the album: Kevin Hurleys Deep Space Objects

    M51. Skywatcher 150P with Nikon D3200 at prime focus. EQ3-2 mount with RA motor. Unguided. 10 x 30s subs - aligned and stacked with DSS into a 2min 30s exposure at ISO 800. Post-processed with Startools - binned, cropped, stretched and colour balanced. This is an updated processing of previous image posted here.
  6. Good evening everyone, I'm looking into buying my first telescope. Interested in planets and DSOs. I've narrowed it down to 2 scopes: the Orion SkyView Pro 8" reflector and the Celestron Omni XLT 150 refractor. A few people on here highly suggest the SkyView pro 8", but I'm curious as to how much maintenance is going to come with it? I'm American living in Sicily, so it's not easy for me to go to a shop and ask for help! From the price and high ratings of it, it's very appealing. But on the other hand I understand the refractors require almost nothing, just keep the lens clean. Any comments?? Thanks
  7. While doing darks, i realized one of the darks was a bright white. i was rummaging behind my newtonian w/ my headlamp on. Looks like light can pass thru the gap around the mirror?! What is the best way to avoid that?! Best, U.
  8. I have acquired an old 1960s Newtonian telescope which I am reconditioning as part of my STEM Ambassador volunteer work with a school in Bury St Edmunds. It's currently I my garden but when it's in a fit enough state it will move to the school grounds and hopefully be the seed of a new Astronomy Club in the area. I've already started doing after-school solar system and rocket making/launching sessions, so hopefully the scope will grow the club into something accessible to many children in the area. The reason for the post is I'd like to discover more about the provenance of the scope, so I wondered if any SGL members would be able to help? The primary mirror is 300mm diameter, the secondary elliptical mirror is 63mm (minor dia) by 90mm (major dia). Estimated focal length 1560mm, so f/5.2-ish. The tube is 1.6metres from the back of the primary box to the front of the tube; the front tube is 390mm diameter. It stands on a massive concrete block, angled at 52 degrees, which takes 4 men to lift... So far I have stripped it down, cleaned the bearings and regreased them so it is useable. I successfully collimated it with a Cheshire - first light showed not much coma, so happy with that for now. The focuser is rather tired and it needs at least a RA drive to make it easy to use, and the primary needs recoating. I believe it originally came from Norwich Uni, but I have no details. If anyone recognises this magnificent instrument or knows anything about it, please let me know - it'd be great to share this with the school as excitement mounts! Current state, in need of a lick of paint Original state (old photo)
  9. Hello All, I just picked up my SW 130 reflector today and it looks great. Ofcourse it is raining outside, so I have been looking at a streetight out the living room window and practiing focusing and aligning the finder scope. I am waiting on my Baader zoom but everything looks good so far. Collimation has held from the shop to home. I have it on a vixen porta ll mount. The porta ll seems like a nice piece of kit (as you guys say across the pond ). Thanks to everyone for their help I feel I made an informed decision, that fit my budget and expectations. Mike
  10. Hi All I’m considering purchasing an 8”aperture, f3.8 newtonian ( primarily for EAA) from Orion UK and would appreciate any input or feedback from anyone familiar with the product, the company or the purchasing process - and how to assess the compatibility with my current cameras. This is would be a step up from my current equipment and entails selecting components that I’ve never used and know little about such as a rack and pinion focuser and components (ACU-3L), and coma corrector (Wynne Corrector). I’ve added links to these items below. I’m also feeling unsure of how to mate up my Zwo 178 and 294 cameras to the 3” focuser and whether there will be an acceptable match between the scope optics and my sensors. I’m sure the folks at Orion UK will assist with all this but I’d sure welcome input from the Stargazer's Lounge community before starting the dialog with Orion UK. thank you in advance for any help you can provide! Gary ACU-3L Focuser selection Info: https://www.orionopt...sers.html#ACU3L Wynne Corrector selection Info: https://www.orionopt...torsfittin.html
  11. Hi all after a couple chats with a great artists/teacher mr ken jones a local guy and great advice on sketching I decided to get the sun rise over the Vallis Alps,I used the charcoals and conte pencils as I waited a few hours for the shadows to take the shape they did I was amazed by it yet again the valley being 110km long and around 10km wide I took a few,snaps,to get diferent contrast my chats payed i did not get to finish it as the temperature dropped and the cold got the better of me keep looking up pat
  12. Hi All, I purchased a GSO 6" f/4 Newtonian "Astrograph" late last year and eventually found that stars on one corner were egg shaped while taking images. I narrowed it down to improper centering of secondary mirror from the factory and resulting tilt. Long story short, after numerous iterations, I used the Advanced Newtonian collimation technique by Astro Shed guy and ended up with the below pic of the optics. Does it look ok or do I need to do more? I will be checking with a Howie this weekend too.
  13. Hi! I am very new to SGL (just signed up a couple of mins earlier) and to astronomy as well, though I have been facinated with celestial bodies since I can remember. I recently purchased a Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ but now I’m having troubles using it and I can’t seem to see anything through it. I also have a Celestron collimating eyepiece but I still can’t seem to make it work. Anyone here who has experience with the same scope? Would appreciate if we could chat a bit as I would be really interested in your experience and how you ultimately made it work!
  14. I recently posted about my first successful collimation experience (an SCT). I'm sure we all have our stories, of those moments when we perceived optical clarity. Come on everyone tell us of those collimation 'eureka' moments and your experience of your first observing session immediately following. Paul.
  15. Hi I have an opportunity to acquire for visual imaging, a 2nd hand (manufactured 2000) Russian TAL1 reflector telescope for about £60. Is this a reasonable price,? Being new to astronomy & not currently owning a telescope I've no idea whether TAL is a quality product, so I'd welcome your thoughts.
  16. I recently had to move from my residence and amongst the items in my store was the first telescope I had ever used. It as a Celestron FirstScope 114 that is no longer in production, a 4.5 inch f8 classic newtonian. Unlike the current model PowerSeeker 114, it has a EQ2 mount rather than an EQ1, and a red dot finder instead of the unusable 6X30 plastic unit on the PowerSeeker. So after probably a dozen years since last using it I decided it might be interesting to put it through its paces. I fondly recall seeing things like the polar ice cap on Mars at opposition, the GRS spot on Jupiter, the Cassini Division on Saturn and some deep sky objects like M7, the Double Cluster, the M81 M82 pair and a lot of more with this scope. After using a CPC 1100 almost exclusively since, I wanted to confirm to myself that I had really seen those object through the scope. The carton it was packed in was not completely sealed so it was covered with a great deal of dust. Looking down at the primary I could see some dark smudges - I didn't know if it was dirt or deterioration of the aluminum coating but luckily very little dust. I decided I would try the scope out before attempting to dismantle and do anything with the mirror. I cleaned it up the best I could and assembled it with more difficulty than I recalled having in the past. I used to keep it fully assembled with the latitude set at 9 degrees, the counterweight midway between two of the tripod legs and set it down with the polar axis roughly pointing North. I found that this way a could track an object with the RA slow motion control with only occasionally having to adjust the Declination. I tried to do the same this time but was constrained by having to set up on a narrow balcony rather than on the open ground. After having to wait a few day for the unseasonal clouds to clear (It looks like the bad weather issue also applies when you resurrect an old scope?) first target (Drum roll!!!) Albireo which was high up in the eavening sky. I had difficulty finding the target - I guess it was too much to hope that the battery in the red dot finder would still be alive after a dozen years. Using a 20mm eyepiece that came with a Celestron 102SLT I anxiously searched around and after a few minutes located the unmistakable colorful pair. Encouraged I switched to a 9mm eyepiece from the Celestron Eyepiece and Filter kit - and I must say I was pleased. At 100X the image was sharp and somewhat surprisingly, the collimation seemed very decent. The big difficulty was the stability of the mount. A touch of the slow motion controls would start it shaking, taking maybe 5 to 7 seconds to settle. Focusing was the real challenge. I would make a tiny adjustment to the focus wait for it to settle then try again till I felt I had achieved the best possible. That was all I had time for the first evening and packed up not too disappointed. A couple of days later I had the scope out again. I first tried Jupiter low down in the SW. The seeing was bad but I could clearly see the two equatorial bands and three moons. In the past I had used the 4mm eyepiece from the above mentioned kit for a magnification of 225X. There is a 2X barlow in the kit but I had wanted to use the minimum amount of glass possible. This time I used the barlow with the 9mm eyepiece from the same kit for a magnification of 200X but with a more comfortable eyepoint. When the seeing was more steady for brief moments I though I could see some structure in the belts. My next target was Epsilon Lyrae - the double double. After some difficulty finding the pair and battling with the focuser, I had a rewarding view with both pairs clearly separated at 200X - nice airy discs (almost points) with some hints of diffraction rings. And finally for the pièce de résistance, I turned my scope to Saturn about 50 degrees above the horizon. With the 32mm eyepiece the rings were obvious. I carefully changed to the 9mm barlow assembly and frankly was amazed! The Cassini Division was in your face visible - no challenge at all. I felt the coloring of the bands on the planet was move vivid that through the CPC 1100. I could clearly see the shadow of the planet on the rings. Titan was visible with direct vision. The view was crisp to the extent that I thought it could take more magnification. With the CPC 1100 I once had the magnification up to 400X and though I could see the Enke gap as a darkening in the outer ring - but the FirstScope does not break your budget or your back! In conclusion I remember reading a review of a 4.5 inch newtonian (I think in was the Orion XT4.5 Dobsonian) and the reviewer mentioning the apo like views given by the diffraction limited spherical f8 primary. Having never had the chance to look through an apo refractor I can't confirm either way but clearly these cheap reflectors are nothing to sneeze at. Were it not for the unsteady mount I would have loved to continue using this scope. I imagine this scope but on a good quality altazimuth mount would make a very good beginner instrument. Hopefully I can pass it on to a youth who is passionate enough about astronomy to tolerate its quirks as I did and put it to good use. Thanks for reading!
  17. So, I have been testing three different kind of lasers, each one is supposed to be the "best" in each category or what you want to call it, the hotech and HG is almost the same, but whit the difference in how you lock it down. The Catseye is very different in how it works. I made a Youtube video of my thoughts https://youtu.be/ERF33hNVieQ What do you think? which one do you use? Regards, Daniel
  18. 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.
  19. Hi, want to get a new telescope, SkyWatcher Evostar 90 EQ2 or SkyWatcher heritage 130p? i saw many suggested refractor is good for planets, i mostly target planets, moon and some star only, live in city. need some advice. thanks.
  20. Hi everyone, I'm looking to buy an 8" newt for astrophotography with my Canon 6D full frame. I'm really only going to be using it for imaging so visual problems (such as back focus) aren't too much of a concern for me. I'm aware that probably whatever scope I get won't cover a full frame sensor without vignetting, but does anyone have an opinion on which would be the best? I have a CGEM mount and Baader MPCC mkIII. The ones I've been looking at right now are: 1.Orion 8" f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph 2.Astro-Tech f/4 Imaging Newtonian I've also heard of the Sky-Watcher Quattro series and Meade LX70 series, I just haven't heard as much about either of those. Also, optics are my #1 concern. Things like weight or minor mechanical shortcomings that I could potentially fix are not as great factors. Thanks for your input! Patrick
  21. Good evening dear members. Could you please help me choose a telescope: I would like to be able to see nebulae, galaxy, star clusters for example, and surely Jupiter, Saturn, To start first: I can spend 400-500£, I understand this is not much, but for now I am ready to get started. My wish is to photograph as well, but in a distant future, like 2-3 years from now, because when I look at my mother's pictures I understand -this is what I would like to do. Obviously the outcome will be different if I choose for viewing or for photography. I was advised a Dobsonian will be good for viewing DSOs, and a refractor for photography. What about reflector telescopes? I have found one Bresser reflector telescope (Bresser Messier AR-152S/760), is it any good? If I will find a decent telescope what upgrades will I need (lenses)? Your help is very much appreciated. PS: I live in Haslemere, Surrey, the sky is not as polluted as in London, where I used to live. Lovelight.
  22. I recently purchased an Orion XT10g which will be replacing my Evolution mounted EdgeHD 8 and a 10" Zhummel Dob. This scope will give me the extra aperture that the Zhummel has as well as the tracking and GoTo of the Evolution. I made a few upgrades before I took it out for its first night under the stars... Center spotted the primary with Catseye's Hotspot (already have set of their collimation tools) Installed Protostar FlockBoard along the full length of the tube Replaced the focuser with a Moonlight CR focuser Added a couple Farpoint lifting straps Added Bob's Knobs to the secondary holder. Last night it had its first light. Overall I'm quite happy. Collimation was easy as expected using Catseye's tools. Alignment (two-star) was similarly quite quick and easy. Objects were found easily and well within, if not near the center of my lowest power, widest field eyepiece (17mm Ethos) Skies were clear and transparency was above average. Seeing wasn't the best so I kept to low powers. Very impressed with the optical quality. Using my GSO coma corrector I got near perfect images even at the edge of a 100º field of view. As was the case with my Zhummel Z10, the GSO corrector is plug-and-play. No need to do any adjusting or fiddling. Panning around via the hand controller was very smooth. No backlash noted. Now the only issue that I have is that the azimuth movement, manually that is, is very stiff. Stiff to the point of really not possible without toppling the whole scope over. I've already raised this concern with Orion and they are sending a new base out to me. I'm hopeful that issue will be fixed.
  23. Hi, I was asked on a Swedish forum to put an "Astronomical Dictionary" on my homepage. I have made a test page in an easy form. Astronomical related words linked to wikipedia. It aims to the beginners in astronomy so it should not be too complicated words. http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/astronomical-dictionary/astronomical-dictionary.html Let me know if it's useful and and I shall add more words. /Lars
  24. Hello everyone! First time poster here, so please go easy! Am looking to purchase my first telescope, so I am a complete beginner and although there are loads of similar posts, all are slightly different and it's quite confusing! Although I did study Astronomy and Astrophysics as part of my first degree (although that mainly concerned the calculation of the speed and mass of galaxies and such like!), but we did have access to the university's telescopes which included their 37" SCT! Link here if you are interested: http://observatory.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/files/2018/06/JGT_manual.pdf I would therefore consider myself very technically minded and certainly like a challenge. I am always go big or go home and that will certainly apply to me taking up this awesome hobby (although I value your expert advice). I am fascinated with space and spend hours reading science journals and books. So for my first foray into the hobby I would like to get proficient in visual astronomy - no astrophotography at all. But I don't want to start small, I want to start large(ish)! But I don't want to go bigger than necessary considering my sky conditions. So: My skies are bortle 5 - although it's fairly decent to the North, East and South - not as good to the west due to a town; I do have nearby access to Bortle 4 and 3 and my wife's parents live in a Bortle 3, which is a three hour drive away. There is a local club about 5 miles away in Bortle 4/5. However, I will not get into this if I can't spend the majority of my time at my home. So consider 90% of my time will be in my own garden. So I do not need the scope to be particularly easy to transport. I am a fit and relatively strong individual anyway. I am 6'1"; I don't want to limit my viewing to one object or another, although my interest is definitely more on the DSO rather than planets. So my interest probably in this order: Galaxies, nebulae (not so much planetary), globular clusters, planets, sun; I'm not settled on a budget yet....depends if stretching it gets me some tangible benefits.....perhaps £5,000 for scope + mount - or lower!; I'd like a premium quality scope; I know that one scope doesn't do everything and that a good visual scope will not make a good astrophotography scope, but I would like the OTA to be capable of at least getting me into astrophotography at later date (subject to purchasing a relevant mount and other goodies) as I believe that is where I will go (although this scope is purely for visual for the purpose of this post as I may just not use it enough and feel the expense of moving into astrophotography is not worth it); I think that star hopping and the hunt for DSOs will be part of the fun - so not looking for GEM or tracking - unless you feel I will struggle to spot enough stars and not end of finding anything. I have purchased Turn Left at Orion and a variety of other books. So having searched this site I believe what would be best would be a dobsonian. I want stunning views so I was thinking a 12 inch or even 14 inch. But only if I am going to get a tangible benefit considering my Bortle 5 skies (although I may fall in love with the hobby and travel to better sites - my cousin is also into astronomy and has a scope and has suggested the Northumberland dark sky park which is close to him - largest gold rated dark star park in Europe). So I was thinking of the Orion Optics UK CT14 (or the CT12) with a dobsonian mount. This is an f4.6 carbon fibre tube with 1/10 pv mirror. This is a local company (I am based in the UK) and like the idea of using British, rather than SE Asia. https://www.orionoptics.co.uk/our-telescopes/ct-series/ Would this be a great beginner dobsonian? Any draw backs? Any better alternatives? What benefits would a 14 inch have over a 12 inch in Bortle 5? The 14" is considerably more expensive; Could this be used for astrophotography with a suitable mount? The 12 inch weighs 15kg and the 14 inch 29kg - when upgrading to a GEM at a later date for photography, what would be suitable - CEM120 or EQ8 enough? - only want to know if at some point it can start me off in photography - no intention of doing so for 12-36 months; If I don't go dobsonian, what else is out there for visual? I'm impressed with the large SCTs - 11HD edge for example. Would this be too complex to start with? Poor choice for DSO's / photography? Will have loads more queries and can provide any more info I may have missed......just want to make sure I am on the right track and start planning that first scope. Thanks everyone! and great to meet you all! Nic
  25. Hello,i'm gonna buy the skywatcher heritage 100p(dobsonian reflector).Many people say that one of the first things you need to do is to collimate your telescope even though you just received it.Please tell what to do is this necessary and how can i collimate my telescope easiy if needed?
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