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Found 13 results

  1. Hey all, More of a general question to any Skymax-127 (or past Skymax-127 / similar scope) owners. It’s not a great time for my planet viewing, and the nice bright Winter objects have dipped below my view now - but it has made me realise that galaxy season is a thing, and since adding go-to to my mount I’m pretty confident with getting to the right place in the sky. I’ve been looking for some nice galaxy views - within the obvious limits of my FoV. Just to set the scene: Bortle 5 sky and I’m also spending some time around the target area and attempting averted vision/tapping the scope to try and get my eyes to see more. Also attempting this before the moon rose or wasn’t around. I’m really interested in understanding if these views are typical of this little Mak, or could i be improving things with better conditions/darker skies/filters. So far a pick of a few I’ve tried and made notes about: NGC 4490/Cocoon Galaxy - SkySafari describes a small telescope revealing a bright core and glow. My experience so far - I couldn’t really make anything out. 99% sure I was in the right spot based on other star positions. M52 - I could actually make out some details here, it was still reasonably faint in the eyepiece but I could make out the star cluster. M51 - Now SkySafari says under very good conditions a 4” scope can reveal the spiral arms, my experience so far is a faint smudge at best - Ive also tried this along with M81 in slightly darker skies (Bortle 4) and didn’t really experience much difference (albeit the moon was likely washing things out then). I realise I’m not using a scope really intended for DSOs - just trying to get an idea of what others have been able to view using it.
  2. Hi all, how's it going? I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for my question. If it isn't, my apologies. Could a moderator move it to the correct one? I have an older blue livery Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 that I bought off Marktplaat, (a Dutch/Belgian online trading site) for a steal. The scope works well. I wanted to go a step further and make it work fantastically. I decided to flock the tube and give it a good servicing and cleaning. The primary mirror had so much dust and grime on it, I was considering planting potatoes in it. The secondary mirror just needed a few puffs of air. There was a really annoying red fibre stuck on the back of the meniscus lens. This was causing a huge dust bunny in my Lunar images. The scope definitely needed cleaning. With the help of a plumber's strap wrench, I managed to remove the meniscus lens cell and primary mirror cell. Thanks to Baader Wonder cleaning fluid, a Baader Optical Wonder Cloth, a gazillion Kleenex tissues, a good rocket blower and a quality camel hair brush, the cleaning and flocking went really smoothly. Here's the part that went wrong. There's a rubber O-ring that sits between the primary mirror cell and the telescope tube The one on my Mak had started to perish and was getting sticky. The inevitable happened - it broke! I've jerry rigged it the best I can. It'll work. The Mak will definitely need collimating; however, that's no big deal. Trying to find a new O-ring, is like searching for chicken's teeth. Does anyone know where I can find a replacement O-ring? Many thanks for the help, it's much appreciated. Clear Skies!
  3. I've been puzzling over the bits of Virgo that are filled with galaxies on and off for the last three months & always seem to get lost and confused among barely-visible smudges in the eyepiece of my 127 Mak. Whilst not the ideal galaxy hunting tool, I have really enjoyed views of M81 & M82 and the Leo Trio so figured I ought to at least be able to identify the whereabouts of some of the Virgo cluster even if there's no real features or structure to be even dimly seen with this aperture. To date I'd positively identified M86 & M84 and noted a couple of NGCs in the same field and other smudges within a couple of panning fields distant - but beyond that it was all "might be" in terms of identification. There is I admit a part of me that is motivated to "tick off" Messier objects but I want to be positive on my identification, so with this in mind I hatched a plan to tour the area in a more structured way, inspired by this great thread on the topic from @MercianDabbler https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/375174-easter-2021-attempting-galaxies-with-an-sp102/?tab=comments#comment-4074628. Recon sessions with the ST80 while the moon has been dominant over the last couple of weeks had led me to a chain of mini asterisms that I reckon I could follow from Vindemiatrix as a pathway to identify specific galaxies - even though they would be little more than un-resolvable fuzzy stars in my 'scope. I went as far as running through my star hopping "moves" a couple of times in Stellarium during the afternoon and making step by step instructions in my notebook (I find paper & a red headtorch easier in the field than trying to manipulate an App under a redlight). Saturday's forecast wasn't perfect for this purpose but looking ahead, looked like the only usable night for a while so I spent a happy few-bank holiday hours in the afternoon packing gear, charging batteries and prepping. All observations with a Skywatcher Mak 127, Baader Hyperion 24mm (68 degree AFOV delivering a shade over 1 degree TFOV), Baader Neodymium Filter added for good luck! Saturday May 1st /Sunday May 2nd was clear over Bortle-5 Winchester and seeing was very steady, transparency was fair and at times poor with high cloud building gradually to the SW by midnight when I set out. There were a couple of hours before the moon became a factor so I got to work aligning (Vega, Arcuturus) and slewing to Vindemiatrix. Tracked a couple of fields of view (1 degree field) SSW to a faint "crown" of stars [Stellarium says HD111132 is at the head of the curve] which I've been calling mini-Corona and from there on W to a 4 star asterism with Rho Virginis at its centre which I've been calling the "plane" as it looks like a clear delta-wing shape (like an old dinky toy Dassault Mirage I had as a kid!) M59/M60 - Put the "nose" of the plane in the centre-bottom of the field and pan up half a degree and there was M59 & M60, the first a dim fuzzy point, better in averted vision, the second notably brighter and with haze around a central point, could stand direct vision. Putting the nose of the "plane" this time in the right hand side of the finder (RACI view on the Mak) and tracking a full field West brings the first of two pairs of stars in a just about horizontal line [Stellarium says these are HD109815, HD109684, HD109486, HD109401]. M58 - Putting the first pair of "the line" in the bottom R of the finder and tracking up 1/2 a field brought me a fuzzy patch with a star bottom R [later confirmed star as HD109771] M89 - Putting the second pair of "the line" in the bottom R of the finder and tracking up just over a field, passing a small triangle of stars, brings in M89 - a fuzzy star, not much else to note. M90 - Putting M89 in the bottom centre of the field brings in M90 in the top of the view, dim fuzzy but a bit more of a vertical line than a point this time. Makes a nice field with M89. M87 - Placed M89 top R in field and swing W. M87 - not as bright as expected, nebulous patch, no detail to speak of. M86 - Placed M87 in far R of field and tracked W I full field (1 degree) - quite apparent fuzz with brighter core - easier to see than M87 which is odd. M84 - Placed M87 in far R of field and tracked W I full field (1 degree) - faint, best with averted vision when focussed on M86. I then tracked one field of view NE of the M84/M86 view and this gives a really humbling view full of tiny fuzzy patches. I made a rough sketch of a pronounced Scalene Triangle of resolvable stars [based on Stellarium I think these are three 10th Mag stars just into Coma Berenices, TYC 880-659-1, TYC 880 567-1, TYC 880 505-1, whatever that means...] with an elongated "M" shape of fuzzy blobs interweaving. I am not 100% sure which I was seeing but reckon given the slightly off transparency conditions I wasn't able to see as deep as the scope's limiting magnitude of 13.1 so am fairly sure I was looking at "The Eyes" - NGC 4435 & 4438 and then probably NGC 4459, NGC 4461, NGC 4473 & NGC 4477. M56 - I was getting spots before the eyes by this time and noted that transparency was better behind me to the NE, I took a quick look straight down from Lyra & found M56, a fairly diffuse & dim globular that I am not at all sure I would have spotted had I not just spent a couple of hours tracking down the faintest of fuzz-patches! Finally looking around I noticed Serpens looked clear and did an opportunistic GoTo for a quick look for M5 before calling it a night. M5 - Wow! After all that faint stuff this is an absolute corker, tight globular and bright with faint diamond dust at 63x - although it was late I switched to the Baader Zoom & upped the magnification enjoying some super views at around 150x. Decided to end on this stunner and returned home on a bit of a high for a glass of wine and some poring over the Cambridge Star Atlas and Stellarium on my phone to confirm sightings and then read up on some of the amazing objects I'd glimpsed. Tonight I'd upped my personal "distance record" to around 70 Million light years and was amazed to find that M56 is almost as old as the universe itself at 13.5 Billion years, and even better used to be part of something called the "Gaia Sausage" - who knew? As often is the case I finished up by reading some of the history of the objects first categorisation, marvelling again at what Messier, Mechain and the Herschels achieved. Mind blown again...Clear (dark) skies!
  4. So I'm looking for the best grab and go planetary viewing (and maybe some DSOs) telescope that is relatively cheap (below 500$) that will also support some Astrophotography. I know the SkyMax 127 is a Maksutov and therefore has a high F number, but I'm okay with that because I'll just pop on a 0.5x focal reducer to bring it down to F/6 (still a bit high though.) With said Grab and Go I'm interested in viewing Saturn and Jupiter with high detail. What do you recommend? Clear skies, Leon. Edit: I need one that'll fit into the Sky Watcher EQ5.
  5. OK....thinking out loud but really looking for thoughts/advice from others. Last year I was looking at getting an Explorer 150p(ds) or a 127mak for my AZ4, but changed my mind at the last minute. Circumstances have now changed and I'm back looking at new toys for later this year! I would really like to get an AZ5 so was looking at the available bundles on FLO - already have an ST102, so that leaves the following options: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az5-deluxe.html https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-skymax-127-az5-deluxe.html Looking for something that will complement my ST102 and allow me to do some higher mag observing. Looking for something to give me better views of planets, moon and clusters (really like open clusters - but would like to try some globulars). I'm not a real DSO hunter (yet) so not looking for a big light bucket and I've not really got into doubles (again...yet) - but it would be good to be able to dip my toe in and see if I like it. Not looking at astrophotgraphy - just visual observing. And I don't want a dob just yet (please don't throw things at me) So....thoughts and questions on Explorer 130ps bundle: From looking at AZ5, I think a 150p may be too big for it (I thought I'm going to ask FLO for their opinion). The price of the AZ5 and 130ps is...pretty good in my opinion, only £60 more to get scope with mount! Does this mean the 130ps is a rubbish scope, or is it just a good deal? For visual only - will I notice a massive difference between the 130p and the 150p? I know 150 will collect more light, but I'm not looking for really faint things anyway...so might not miss that extra inch (no laughing now!) Would I be better with the dual speed focus version or is that really only for astrophotography? Sometimes find hitting the focus sweet spot at higher mags quite difficult (with current ST102 and 76mm newt). Would the 130p have a "bigger" sweet spot (if that is such a thing)? Not sure if amount of focus "play" is down to FL of scope or eyepiece. Currently selection of eyepieces would work fine and I already have a cheshire so wouldn't need any additional bits. Thoughts and questions on the Skymax 127 bundle: I know maks are meant to be "the dogs" for planet viewing. But would I notice a big difference between that and the 130ps? Is the mak worth almost £200 more than newt? Plus the fact that I'll need to get dew shield/heater...so additional money. My current selection of eye pieces are probably not the best for a 127mak, so I would need to spend more money on that as well. I don't always get a lot of notice that I'm going to be able to do some observing, so like to get setup in a few minutes and just start. Longer cool down time of mak might not be great for me - as some times I'm only out for 45 minutes so mak might get limited use as I'd have to wait until I know I'm going to be out for a session and can prepare. Can't keep it outside either, it'll have to live indoors. I know the 127mak is a well respected scope on here - but there is something in the back of my mind that's just telling me it might not the one for me. I just can't explain it....sorry. One of the main points I suppose is: with them being a similar aperture, will I get similar views? The mak might have slightly better contrast and sharper views.....but is it enough to justify the extra £200+ for scope, eyepieces and dew stuff? To be honest - I'm not looking for the best of the best....I'm looking for something that will give me better than I have at the moment and something that I will use (rather than sitting in the corner). Thanks for reading. Interested to hear your thoughts! Cheers, Davy
  6. I’ve always liked star gazing and attended the Introduction to Astronomy course at Norman Lockyer Observatory a few years ago (which I’d recommend). Since a holiday has been off the agenda for the last 18 months, we decided to spend the money instead on a telescope and take a proper look at the night sky. Here is what I’ve learned from the first couple of sessions … I chose the Sky-Watcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO because: I wanted a descent scope with a good aperture, but also something compact (both the OTA and the mount) as it will get lugged about and stored in the back bedroom. I can find a few stars but don’t know the night sky, so I wanted a mount that would point me in the right direction. I could probably align an EQ mount with Polaris, but two star alignment seemed easier and quicker, meaning more observing and less faffing. Before the scope even arrived I had bought a Celestron 6.1Ah Lithium Powertank. The Skymax 127 comes with a VERY basic battery pack that takes eight AA cells. The mount consumes up to 12W so will flatten AA batteries quickly, and rechargeable AA batteries only have a terminal voltage of 1.2V so cannot provide the 12V needed by the mount to operate properly. The scope really needs to be powered from a Powertank or a mains power supply I think. I chose the Powertank because it’s portable, avoids the trip hazard of mains cabling, and is regulated to maintain the 12V needed by the mount as it discharges. So far a full charge seems to be good for several hours of observing. Surprisingly, there is no power switch on the mount, but I can use the power switch on the Powertank to switch system power rather than just pulling out the power cord! The first night of observing was frustrating! The second time, after properly reading the manual and doing some online research, went much better. Here’s what I learned … Setup Make sure there is enough play in the power cord for the mount to turn through 360° in either direction. Movement of the mount can pull out the power cord if it is tight which then loses all of the setup and alignment data! UPDATE: To really see an object you need to look at it over several minutes so that you become accustomed to the image and your brain begins to pick out the details. In order to do this comfortably, set the tripod height so that you can observe while sitting in a chair. Set the height so that at high elevations, above 70°, you can lean forward in the chair and still comfortably look into the eyepiece. At low elevations, below 30°, I cant over the diagonal so that the eyepiece is near horizontal then observe from the side of the scope. Make sure the mount is exactly horizontal so that movement of the OTA in azimuth through a rotation stays exactly flat. I used a spirit level during daylight to level the tripod top with the mount removed then marked the leg positions on the patio. Power up the mount with it set horizontal (using a spirit level) and pointing true north (using a compass) so that it is approximately aligned from the start. At power up the mount assumes it is orientated at 0° altitude and 360° azimuth. This makes it easier to find alignment objects and it stops the mount from slewing in strange ways (ways that cause the power cord to disconnect!). When finished, Park the mount to its Home Position so that it returns to horizontal and pointing true north for next time. After parking, you can resume next time using the previous alignment data but if the scope has been moved it’s probably best to start again from scratch. The mount has no real time clock (!) so the date (in month / day / year format) and the time must be entered every time it’s powers up. The mount does remember its location so this just needs to be confirmed at power up unless it has changed. I align the mount using the 2-Star Alignment method, choosing two stars that are in the same area of sky where I plan to observe. Only certain stars can be used for alignment, there are around 90 to choose from, and it’s worth deciding which to use before you start observing. I’ve set the Sort order for Alignment Stars to Alphabetic (this is remembered by the mount) rather than by magnitude, as it makes the selected stars easier to find. There are course and fine stages when aligning to each of the two stars. During the course stage the slew rate is automatically set to fast. For the first star slewing has to be done manually, but for the second star the mount will slew automatically to the approximate position of the star (since the mount now has some alignment data). During the fine stage the slew rate is automatically set to slow. You must finalise the alignment of the chosen stars in the centre of the field of view using the Up and Right arrow keys as this compensates for backlash in the mount (when automatically slewing to objects, the mount first slews fast to just left and underneath the chosen object and then approaches the object slewing slowly to the right and upwards). Observation Make sure Tracking is switched on and set to Sidereal for stars and planets and to Lunar for the moon (when using the Object List location function the appropriate tracking mode is set automatically). If an object’s position within the field of view isn’t quite central, it can be tweaked by manually slewing (at a slow slew rate), then the tracking function will keep the object centred. If you think you might return to an object later, it’s worth using Pointing Accuracy Enhancement (PAE) to store tweaks to object positions. PAEs are applied to any objects located within about 5° of the object that was tweaked. I find Show Position useful when manually locating objects to check the current altitude and azimuth positions, and Identify useful to check what objects I might be looking at! One nice surprise is that the SynScan controller that arrived has a USB type B connector in place of the advertised 12V power connector. This enables a wired USB connection to a PC which allows the mount to be controlled by programs such as Stellarium (I’ve tested this and it connects with no effort and works fine). UPDATE: The SynScan controller does a good job of locating objects, but with two lines of display text it can provide only limited information about the objects you observe. Having used the controller to setup and align the scope, I then use Stellarium to control its position and locate the objects I want to observe. Stellarium shows each object in context, provides easy access to magnitude, size and other data, and shows what you might expect to see (more realistically with background DSO images turned off!). I’ve setup the Stellarium Oculars plug-in to show the view through the main scope with different eyepiece and Barlow combinations, and also to show the view through the finderscope. Using the finderscope ocular, I can check what I’m actually seeing in the finderscope to make sure I’m pointing at the right thing, then using the main scope ocular, I can check what I’m meant to be looking for through the scope. So far I’ve been a little underwhelmed by what I’ve been able to observe! I have a cheap and cheerful 45x field scope which gives a good view of the moon and can just about pick out the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter. With the Skymax 127 the moon is much clearer and I can see details of craters when they are in shadow. Saturn and Jupiter look a little better but I can’t see much more detail and at higher magnification (10mm EP) they are a little fuzzy. I managed to find Andromeda (or rather the mount did!) but it looked like piece of cotton wool and didn’t fill the field of view as I had been expecting. When I looked at nebulae I could see the concentration of stars forming them but had no sense of any colour or clouds. Is this par for the course, or am I missing something? So far I’m using the scope as it arrived, out of the box (apart from the Powertank), but I do have on order a few ‘upgrades’ … Baader Hyperion Zoom Eyepiece – to replace the basic eyepieces that come with the telescope (25mm and 10mm) and to provide a range of magnifications. Baader Prism Star-Diagonal – to replace the basic diagonal that comes with the telescope and to provide a stronger mechanical support for the (rather expensive) Zoom eyepiece. Baader Helical Focuser – the focus control on the back of the Skymax 127 seems very sensitive and I see from another post that this helical focuser can fix this. Baader Neodymium Moon and Skyglow Filter – OK, I was getting a little carried away by this point! – where I live is quite rural but this filter seems to improve matters over and above just removing light pollution. When these bits have arrived and I’ve had a chance to try them I will post again with an update.
  7. Hello and welcome to my first Astro topic.. So I am new to Astronomy... I have a skymax 127 with AZ-GTi mount which I had its maiden outing this week. I'm using a basic SV205 camera fitted direct to the tube. My eventual image of the moon is below after stacking et-al.. I've gray-scaled it as the colour is just rubbish on that camera. But as you can see I'm tightly 'zoomed' in. Thing is I'd like to be able to get the whole moon in my FOV. I've seen YT vids on using reducers but I'm wondering if anyone here has done it on a 127? If so... 1 How did the image work out? 2 What's the cost of getting that to work V cost of another more suited (smaller i guess) scope?
  8. Hi, since i started work on my observatory there hasn't been much time for AP, but since lunar photography is done in minutes i had a go yesterday. Gear: SW AZGTI with the Skymax127 and Sony A6300 and Baader Neodymium Moon & skyglow filter. 100 frames taken and 50% used to stack in autostackerd.
  9. My objectives on getting a new Skymax 127 were purely visual observing having parked imaging for a far-off time when I have time on my hands but, on taking delivery of a Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Zoom and fixed Hyperion 24mm 68 degree, I noticed a photo on the box and was intrigued.. My DSLR hardly gets an outing these days with an iPhone camera always on hand but I thought it has to be worth a go so I ordered a Baader M43-T2 thread ring and a Nikon T ring to connect it all together, perhaps this could be quick and dirty way of getting into basic imaging at low cost. It all connects incredibly simply in seconds and although I'm only using the supplied SW plastic-bodied diagonal feels nice and secure when its on the 'scope. It makes quite a chunky load on the little AZ GTi mount but with the Vixen bar at its extreme balance point the mount performs fine at what I reckon is the very top end of its published 5KG payload. Initially I just wanted to establish if there's a decently bright and focusable image that makes it to the CCD & given the absence of stars due to current weather and this being a bit of an operation to put together, a daylight test seemed a good idea. I have a very handy church spire about 500m away (about the maximum possible distance from a church in Winchester) and poking it all out of an upper storey window in failing light on an extremely windy Saturday I captured the orb below on a 2.5 s exposure - (distance view included for scale, the spire is centre frame partially in the trees). Verdict: focussing is tricky, as you can see, but on the Skymax 127 there's definitely plenty of leeway either side with the focuser which answered my initial exam question, it just takes some focus to focus! I've ordered the Baader heavy duty quick release system pictured on the box which should make this much safer and more practical in the dark and cold, although it does make this not quite the bargain-basement option it is with just the 2 rings. Given the light & time limitations of the test Id say its definitely worth trying on nighttime targets, if the clouds ever clear... Will post any results up here but this looks like a really promising way of resurrecting a Nikon D90 that has been on the dole for a while (it shoots RAW video too!) Any hints, tips or suitable targets appreciated!
  10. I am intending to buy a Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 Maksutov-Cassegrain, primarily to make a number of daytime photographic terrestrial observations ranging from 1-5.5 miles, the most distant of which is of a target at 5.5 miles that is about 5 feet in size. The distant target would have an angular size of about 0.01 degrees. To get an object of an angular size of 0.01 degrees to appear as 100pixels vertically on the APS-C sensor (22.3mm x 14.9 mm) of my Canon EOS 250D camera, I would need a telescope/lens with a focal length of about 2.1m. The Skymax 127 with a focal length of 1500mm is pretty close to the required value and if used in combination with a Barlow lens I would be able to get more than the focal length I require. The FOV of the Skymax-127 with its 1500mm focal length in combination with the vertical sensor size of 14.9mm gives a field of view that can be derived from the following attached diagram which gives a FOV of 0.569°. But I would also like to make some lunar and solar observations with my system and capture images of the complete objects, and the maximum angular size of the Moon at perigee is 0.568°, so in theory the FOV of my system at 0.569 should be sufficient to gather the whole of the Moon at its largest angular size. But I have seen a video in which someone is using a Celestron SE6, which also has a focal length of 1500mm and when using it with a Canon 60da camera with an ASP-C sensor https://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/slrs/canon_eos60da which has the same size sensor as mine, then the camera does not seem able to capture a full view of the Moon. The video is at https://www.all-startelescope.com/video/scope-setup/nexstar-6se-dslr . The section where the Canon 60da is used is just before the end of the video and a clipped moon is shown, and then a full sized sensor camera is used to capture the whole Moon. Does this video not suggest that my camera with its APS-C sensor coupled with the Skymax 127 with its 1500mm focal length would not be able to capture the whole Moon, despite my calculations suggesting that it would? I understand that a reducer does not work well with a Muksatov-Cassegrain, so if I buy this telescope and use it in conjunction with my Canon250D, am I doomed never to be able to get an image of the complete moon? Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help etc
  11. (Originally posted this in the wrong section Notes from 10.2. ) Had three sessions last night, the first the CPRE Orion star count with my 11 year old daughter, magic. The second was from the light-blighted garden mid evening - successfully picked up M41, M35 and M67 all for the first time - then a neighbour put on more lights so had a go at Polaris, nearly, almost sort of resolved as a double this time. After a tea and warm break I managed to convince myself that the Mak 127 carry over to the park at 11:30 pm constituted allowable lockdown exercise (body AND mind officer...) so headed out to a wider and, it turned out, reasonably darker viewing spot in the park. I haven't yet much comparative experience of conditions but I would say seeing was quite steady while transparency a bit milky. Winchester sits in a river valley and I suspect this may be a local feature until I can get up & out of town. Anyhoo, what started as proof-of-concept of some grab & go bag & padding ideas, turned into a really super session of clusters and doubles, most of which I had never seen before, & fruitless searches for fainter things. Technique-wise I brightest star aligned on Sirius and Arcturus & did have a few accuracy niggles with the GoTo , however a combination of the Telrad + 10x50 Bino sweeps got most of the bright targets quickly in the Finderscope and centred. Highlight has to be the Beehive, M44 which I found breathtaking & can't believe I have never looked for before, Beta Mono triple-star which was amazingly 3D and set me off on a Tatooine sunset imagination-trip and M67, dim & red the kind of place where Klingons might hang out! After much reading on here over all these starless nights I had made a list and although I deviated a bit from it and failed to find ANY galaxies or planetary nebula, the list was a great idea and reminded me that I wanted to go and hunt down the targets in Cancer which I would otherwise have forgotten and missed two of the highlights of the evening. Eventually my phone battery gave out and as I was wi-fi tethered to the AZ GTi this ended my session shortly before frost-bite ensued. That dew shield was a good buy For what its worth, here are my notes, all observations made on SW Mak 127 on AZ GTi, Baader Hyeprion 24mm 68 degree fixed for most & occasional higher mag on Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Zoom. Telrad & SW 9x50 finder, supplemented by Celestron Nature DX ED 10x50 Bins.
  12. Would there be much of a difference in the viewing experience of the Meade Lightbridge 114mm and the Sky-watcher skymax 127 ( not goto ). I like looking at the moon, M42 and the Pleiades etc, with my 114mm. I'd really like to see Andromeda , but when I look on my iPad using Star Walk 2 it always seems to be in the west of the sky ......and I have a huge tree blocking that area. Would the likes of M42 be a lot better using the 127? I read somewhere that as you get older that makes a difference too ? Im 65 and just had 2 cataracts removed and can go about without glasses for the first time in 38 years !! Just need them for small print. Any advice appreciated. The 127 Im looking at costs £399 .......I did look at some of the "Goto's" but they seem to eat up batteries.
  13. Hi I finally bought my first telescope last week; a SkyWatcher Skymax 127 with EQ3-2 mount and I am enjoying it so far. After doing a lot of reading and searching for answers to my many questions (many of which were answered by SGL), I find I have more questions than I started with! It's amazing how the more you know, the more you realise you don't know. At the moment I am concentrating on my next eyepiece to avoid information overload. I have been using the kit 25mm eyepiece that came with the scope and have been enjoying the pin-point stars. It seems like an OK eyepiece. I'm sure once my eyes are better 'trained' and I've had the privilege of viewing through higher-end eyepieces I will understand the limitations of that eyepiece but for now it seems fine so I have decided to supplement my eyepieces rather than replacing the existing ones. I have a BST explorer ED 12mm already and am now looking to add a 32mm. Now, I understand that my scope is slow at f/11.8. As it is slow, am I right in thinking a simpler lens design such as a Plossl is better for more light transmission or would a well made more complex design be ok if it is well made? With a small, slow scope like this would I notice the difference between a modestly priced lens such as the Celestron Omni 32mm Plossl and a more expensive 32mm? Is the difference between eyepieces on this scope worth spending the extra pounds or is it a case of diminishing returns? Is the infamous Televue 32mm Plossl noticeably better even on a Skymax 127 (I might have to consider saving my pennies if it is)? After looking around, these are the ~32mm EPs I can find within my budget. The Panaview is stretching it a bit and it is also a 2" but I would consider it if the difference is worth the extra. I am leaning toward the Vixen 30mm (or would the 40mm be better?). I know there is an element of personal preference but I could do with a little guidance to get me started in the right direction. Revelation Plossl - https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/Revelation_32.0mm_Plossl_Eyepiece_1.25_.html Celestron Omni - http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-celestron-32mm-omni-series-plossl-eyepiece/p1528190 Vixen NPL - https://www.firstlightoptics.com/vixen-eyepieces/vixen-npl-eyepieces.html Of course, please feel free to recommend any other EPs you feel may be more suitable I should mention that I wear glasses and can't view without them due to a rather impressive astigmatism that would turn all stars into doubles! Apologies for the many questions and many thanks for any help you can offer. Carolyn
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