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Found 179 results

  1. Hello, Does anyone know if I should upgrade my telescope? I have a Celestron Nextar 127slt and I've been using it for a few years now. I want to see more detail on Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Does anyone have any suggestions from Celestron? Kind Regards
  2. What telescope brand would you choose? Reply below for your favourite telescope brand. It would be really helpful to know which brand to buy. Celestron, Meade, Orion, Skywatcher etc. Thank you for viewing
  3. Hi to everyone, I'm new in the world of the telescope and as my first telescope I bought an used Skywatcher 70/700 with supatrak mount and I hope that someone can help to understand the equipment I'll need to connect (cable, bluetooth or wi-fi add) my telescope mount to a Mac and control it by software like EQMac or Stellarium. Thanks
  4. I purchased a Celestron Powerseeker 70EQ at a Goodwill thinking it was a great find for my first telescope. I get home and realize that it may be missing an eye piece. I'm unsure what else it is missing though. Where can I go to get the missing eye piece for this telescope? I don't know anything about telescopes so I'm not sure where to go or what else I will need or what else could be missing. I attached an image of it with what I think is missing.
  5. Hey everyone, Brand new to the forum but I've been amateur stargazing for a while. For the last 10 or so years I've been using a 4.5" aperture Dobsonian and it's been great but I think it's time for a large upgrade. There are so many options out there I wasn't sure where to start as I'm mostly just familiar with my own telescope and how it works. I'm looking for a step up and don't know whether I should stick with a Dobsonian and just get a larger aperture or try something else like a reflector (and if so, where to start). I love looking at planets and deep sky objects. I don't mind the size as long as it is generally portable. Preferably under 800USD but flexible. Thanks so much for the advice!
  6. Hi, This video is intended to be for someone who is thinking of buying their first scope but isn't sure which one is best. I would love it to be a good jumping off point for discussion and I hope some wise heads will wade in and answer questions and offer alternative opinions. Thx to astrostace and helena's astro and deddy dayag for contributing. I fear I'm going to have my head down making my next video as I'm currently astrobiscuiting full time (or at least till my loan runs out!). So all help much appreciated. https://youtu.be/Na-aBhc_gTY
  7. Hey there! So if you have a telescope as mentioned in the title, you probably noticed that the focus wheel stops working after a bit. Well If you look under the focuser you can see a small metal piece with 4 screws on it. You need a Philips head screwdriver to unscrew these, WARNING there's a lot of superglue(which actually isn't needed at all) so wear gloves!after you've unscrewed the metal piece a small black 2 ended piece should fall out. If it didn't fall, take it out. Now place your focusing wheels back without that small piece that fell out and screw everything back in. The remaining black piece that fell out should probably be thrown away. Now just don't focus out to the max and everything should work just fine! I hope this helped(btw I'm new here so i might've butchered the terminology) *just let me know
  8. I have a telescope that I received from a teacher. I know it's a celestron but I can't find any info on the model/type, and I can't find the name of the telescope anywhere on it. Can you tell me what type of it and if I need the electrical parts to make if work? Here's a link to a photo of it. https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZtBm1pe1fTszG9FQ8 I don't have a manual for it as I don't know the model so I can't figure out how and what I need to fix it, or make it work(if it's missing a specific piece or something) I need to know what model it is so I can find the pieces for it and learn what it needs to work.
  9. [A few more photos are in the imgur album] Made this telescope for observing sunspots. The Sun gets projected onto a piece of paper after bouncing from 3 mirrors inside the frame. It's compact, light, takes only a few seconds to point at the Sun, and sketching sunspots is as easy as circling the spots on a piece of paper. It can even project the Moon: The design is inspired by a commerically available telescope, but I’ve done all the designing myself, just for the fun of it. Sunspotter is full of little details that make it interesting. How do you fix the eyepiece in the exact place where it needs to be? How do you keep the lens in place and perfectly aligned? Building the telescope was a lot of fun, I’ve learned to use a jigsaw, X-Carve and a 3D printer. The plan is to use it to complete the Astroleague Sunspotter Observing Program, but unfortunately I completed it at the minimum of a Sun cycle, and won’t see any sunspots until next year. Telescope parameters: Magnification: 75x Size: 41cm x 41cm x 15cm Weight: 1kg Design: Keplerian Projection size: 75mm Materials needed: Lens: Ø52mm f=750mm achromatic doublet Mirrors: 1, 2, 3 Eyepiece: Baader 10mm ortho 1.5m² of 10mm plywood Wooden glue 5m of PLA filament 12 nails Compressed air Isopropyl alcohol Tools I used: Jigsaw with a 30° bevel capacity X-Carve 1000 3D printer A laser pointer Clamp Learned modelling basics in: LibreCAD Easel TinkerCAD Fusion 360 Part 1: Choosing the lens The idea of a sunspotter is that the light goes through the lens, travels inside the telescope, bouncing from 3 mirrors, enters an eyepiece and the image gets projected on one of its sides. The distance the light travels before entering an eyepiece is the focal length and it determines the size of the telescope. I chose a Ø52mm f=750mm achromatic double. Observing the Sun doesn’t require a large aperture, 50mm is more than enough. I wanted a high magnification and went for the longest focal length I could find, which was 750mm. Achromatic doublet design is what people use in refractors. If it is good enough for a refractor, it’s definitely good enough for my project. With the focal length chosen I could design the wooden parts. A drawing showed that the frame needed to have sides 30cm long, but I wasn’t sure about the placement of the mirrors and went for 31cm sides, planning to shorten the light path as needed by adjusting mirror positions. This is the LibreCAD drawing of the layout of parts on a piece of plywood: Part 2: Building the base Having a drawing of the base in LibreCAD, I printed the drawing 1:1 scale on multiple A4 sheets of paper and glued them together. I transferred the drawing to a piece of cardboard and cut it out. Applied this cardboard template to the sheet of plywood, and cut out two parts with a jigsaw.. I’m not an experienced user of jigsaw, and couldn’t manage to cut half-circles accurately enough. Even worse was that the two parts were very different. I didn’t want the frame to randomly tilt left or right when adjusting its altitude, and had to spend a lot of time with sandpaper to make the halves as similar as I could. Glued the two large parts with three small parts in the middle. Additionally nailed the parts and the base was ready. Part 3: Frame The frame is simply a triangle made of three pieces, with short sides cut at a 30° angle. Most jigsaws can cut at 45°, but not at 30°. Had to buy a new jigsaw with a 30° bevel capacity. Cut out three sides, cut short sides at a 30° angle, but didn’t put them together just yet. The lens needs to be perfectly aligned with the Sun-facing part of the frame, otherwise the Sun projection isn't circular but elongated. My solution was to carve a hole with a little step as shown on the image. The inner hole is Ø46.5mm, the outer hole is Ø50.8mm. The outer hole is the exact size to let the lens fit, but with a little bit of friction. Had to carve several holes to find the minimal size the lens could fit in. The step is just large enough to have enough surface for the glue to keep the lens in place, I didn't want to reduce the aperture too much. I used an X-Carve for carving and Easel for modelling. With all 3 sides ready, I could assemble the frame. It appeared that my 30° angle cuts were not very precise, but after some sandpapering the sides started fitting together alright. Glued the parts together and left them to dry for a day. To apply some pressure on the joints, I wound several twine loops around the frame really tight, made sure all sides fitted well together and left it to dry like that for a day. Part 4: Mirrors When selecting mirrors I was looking for the smallest mirror that fit the cone of light. Small mirrors are a lot easier to place, and they let me better control the length of the light path. I considered using elliptic mirrors, but they were bulky and really hard to place. All mirrors are first surface mirrors, otherwise planning their locations would be a lot more confusing. This was my original plan of placing the mirrors: As you can see, all the angles and distances were carefully measured, and I wanted to simply make mirror holders of those exact dimensions. This was clearly a bad idea. I 3d-printed some parts like this: And only later I realized that the frame angles are not exactly 60°, and that there are drops of glue along the edges that don’t let me fit the pieces deep enough in the joint between the sides. I cut angles from all the mirror holders: After I put the first mirror in place I realized the angles are all wrong, and that I needed to re-do the holder. Separating the mirror from the holder was a huge pain, which resulted in an accident. The mirror fell off the desk and got damaged. Luckily, only the back side got damaged, the front side was still working: The final designs of mirror holders looks like this: The holes in the front surface let me apply pressure on the back of the mirror if I ever want to separate it from the holder. The recesses collect the excess glue to avoid mirror skewing when gluing them. All other holes are simply to save the filament. Part 5: Placing mirrors What I learned is that you can’t plan positions of several pieces with high precision and just hope that it all comes together. I needed a feedback about the precision of mirror positions. I used a laser pointer to verify mirror positions at each step. In the picture you can see that the laser is firmly set in a hole in another piece of wood, with layers of isolation tape on the tip of the laser pointer to make it stable. A clamp holds the piece of wood in place, ensuring that the laser ray goes in the same direction as a solar ray would. A crosshair of black thread at the center of the lens ensures the laser goes exactly through the center of the lens. When placing each mirror, I marked the spot where I expected the laser to end up. While gluing the mirror holder to the frame, I kept the laser as close to that spot as possible. If for some reason, the laser couldn’t hit the expected spot, I did my best with placing the mirror, and recalculated locations of the following mirrors. I saw the first sunspots after placing all the mirrors and simply holding an eyepiece in hand. Part 6: Eyepiece holder I tried eyepieces of different focal length and liked the picture I got with a 10mm eyepiece the most. An eyepiece needs to be in a very exact spot to produce a sharp image. At this point it was obvious that my frame doesn’t match the model, and that I didn’t even know what exactly was wrong with the frame. I didn’t want to rely on the model and moved forward with trial-and-error. I printed several parts to hold the eyepiece, with different eyepiece locations: The part in the photo was a total disaster. It needed quite a lot of filament, at the same didn’t have enough surface area to be glued to the frame, and not enough surface area to hold the eyepiece firmly. The next iteration was a lot better: This part has a lot more surface area, and needs less filament to be printed. I intentionally printed the hole for the eyepiece too small, and had to sandpaper it a little bit, to make the eyepiece stay firmly fixed. Adjusting the focus is done by sliding the eyepiece up and down until the Sun becomes a circle with well defined borders. Part 7: Dust All optical parts should be kept clean. Dust on the mirrors and the lens will make the image darker. Dust on the eyepiece will show up as artifacts on the projected image. Unlike sunspots, the artifacts will not move with the Sun. To clean the eyepiece I used compressed air. To clean the mirrors I used isopropyl alcohol. Part 8: Fire safety Don’t leave devices with magnifying lenses lying around. Once the Sun happened to be in such a spot that its light went right through the lens, burning through the cap of the eyepiece. Luckily, nobody was hurt and no other damage was done. Part 9: Future work Build quality of the base is very poor. The frame tilts sideways when adjusting its altitude despite all my efforts. I’d like to build a new base, but leave all the work to the machines. I already have a model for an X-Carve to make both base parts, compatible with my current frame: A notch along the edge of the half-circle should eliminate the tilt. The precision of the machining should make the base very stable. Maybe next year, when sunspots become a common daily sight, I’ll get to this project. Thank you for reading this far! I hope you enjoyed it.
  10. Hi Everyone, I am thinking of re-starting mirror grinding at home. I used to grind by hand and in this method, when we use the 1/3rd off-centre strokes for hogging out the sagitta, the upper glass becomes concave and would be polished into a mirror. However, this time I'd like to build a Mirror-O-Matic or something similar and do not understand that if the tool is on top, how will the bottom glass become concave? Or am I mistaken? Please advice.
  11. I have been trying to see Jupiter for a while now, but all I am seeing is a whitish blob with a tinge of yellow and blue at the ends. I have tried several filters, but to no avail. I am using an Astromaster 130eq, Celestron with magnifications ranging from 20mm to a 6mm plus a 2X Barlow lens. many suggestions would be greatly appreciated. regards, Armaan.
  12. Hi, looking for T-Ring and 1,25 Adapter. Thanks Kristopher
  13. Helios 8" Newtonian telescope OTA. Equivalent with Skywatcher Explorer 200P.Has some cosmetic markings, but otherwise in excellent condition.Included:- 1.25" and 2" eyepiece adapters- 9x50 finderscope- long Vixen style dovetail Price: £130 (negotiable)Celestron Astromaster Kit is available for £20 extraMount not included.Pick up only in Oxford.
  14. 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
  15. Good morning and thank you in advance for your advice and patience! I am looking to purchase my first telescope, budget around £200. I am overwhelmed by the choice, but am looking for certain things: Quite lightweight / easily portable Smartphone adapter for taking iPhone pictures Specifically interested in looking at planets, ISS, galaxies as well as the moon Must be on a tripod and not table-top I would be grateful for your expertise. I am in the UK (Suffolk) if that makes a difference! I look forward to learning A LOT here
  16. I tried searching for some easy deep sky objects on the internet but I never got a staright answer. Could someone please name some easy targets that I could use tonight. Mostly in Canis Major or in Canis Minor if possible. The deep sky objects that I am trying to find are quite simple. That can be seen by binoculars. Thanks, any help would always be appreciated.
  17. Since I am very new to this, I struggle a lot. Especially when observing planets and also recently deep sky objects. My telescope is an amateur telescope and its almost 11 years old (The telescope was re used a year ago). During summer of last year I took photos of Saturn,Jupiter and a month ago took photos of Venus and Mars. About 2 days ago I stumbled upon a new thing in the sky, (Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture). It definitely was in the Orion constellation as I had observed Betelgeuse and the 3 stars that were close to each other. After a couple of minutes later I saw 2 stars next to each other and another two which were on top of the other star, surrounding these set of stars were a blue-ish and grey-ish colour at the same time. I had done some research and many people told me it was the trapezium cluster found in Orion. I honestly don't know. Any ideas? Thanks.
  18. Hi all, I'm trying to get back into astronomy (had a Meade DS 2090 Mak when I was 10 but was too young to get into it) and I'm having a very hard time choosing a telescope. My main goal is to observe a bit of everything. Planets and the moon are great and I definitely would want to observe them, but my main focus would be DSO's. That being said, I would also like to have the possibility of doing some basic astrophotography afterwards. Not expecting to do 2 hours of long exposure and getting some insane images, but having a telescope (or rather a mount?) that can track would be nice to get some decent images. Basically, visual observation is a must, AP would be great but only basic, no need to get one JUST for that. I realize that visual observing and AP are 2 very different things, but my question is if it is possible to find something that is mainly used for VO and is somewhat capable (even if it's not great) to do AP with. Furthermore, a push to or goto would be fantastic as well since I'm not too familiar with the night sky. Is it really difficult to find DSOs yourself without reading and learning for hours and hours? My budget would be around 800 euros, that is everything included, telescope, mount, eyepieces etc... (If it's a little bit more than that that's fine as well). After hours of doubt and searching I thought the Orion Skyquest Xt8 Intelliscope would be good (push to) (around 750 euros), however being like most dobsonians, this one wouldn't track. This made me think : Should I rather look for a newtonian reflector with an EQ mount, or just give up my basic AP wish and go for a dobsonian that doesn't track? Some people have suggested to drop AP for now and go for the dob, is there a possibilty to upgrade later to make the dob work for AP, like putting it on an EQ mount, or would I have to buy a new telescope again? Any telescope, mount and added equipment like eyepieces and filter suggestions would be reaaaally appreciated, cause everything just feels overwhelming and I don't know what to look for anymore. Thanks in advance!!
  19. So I'm having some issues recently and have a lot of questions for the erecting eyepiece 1.5x. I want to know if they are useful, better, and i also want to know if they have a lot of detail in them. How do you use a erecting eyepiece? What is it for? When can i use it? Also my issue is when I try to use an erecting eyepiece on a star it is out of focus and cant seem to find the right focus. yesterday I had tried on sirius but it just showed me a huge ball of light. Any help and tips will be appreciated.
  20. Hello! I have a question on how can I mount my camera to my Sky-Watcher Starquest 130P telescope? I’ve watched so many videos about it and there’s so many different answers on what I need to do that. At the moment, I have 2x Barlow lens and a DSLR. I know that a T-ring is also necessary but is there anything more? Any help is highly appreciated, thanks! (I’m really new to telescopes and astrophotography in general so I hope I don’t say anything dumb)
  21. I'll begin this post by saying, I've searched every forum. I've tried every tip. And I'm hoping you beautiful people can provide some suggestions based on my specific issue. Because, as my title states, I'm just about ready to give up. Here's a bit of background before I list the many ways I've tried to resolve the issue. I own a Celestron NextStar 8SE and a Canon Rebel T6. After many nights of trying, I cannot get a clear image of planets, or even the moon. I've given it plenty of time to reach thermal equilibrium each night (1-2 hours). When viewing through the eyepiece, the image is an absolute blur. When viewing from the camera, I get no image at all. Here are the things I've tried on the telescope itself: Focusing the telescope via the "Focus Knob" Collimating the mirror via the 3 screws Using a Duncan Mask to make collimation easier. Focusing the telescope on an object much closer, getting a clear, sharp image through the eyepiece and the DSLR, then attempting to view a star. Waiting for, and viewing during, a near-perfect clear night with very little atmospheric turbulence. I live on the westcoast of the US. So, the only objects I'm able to see clearly (with the naked eye) are the moon and Venus. I cannot describe the level of disappointment and frustration I feel when I can't clearly view them from the scope. Venus is as bright as ever, and I'm getting a blur. I tried using the DSLR and the planet doesn't show up at all. Just black skies. My DSLR settings are as follows: Manual Focus Shutter Speed: Bulb ISO: 1600 What am I missing? I feel like I've tried everything and I just want to throw up my hands in defeat.
  22. Observations of the Sculptor Galaxy ( NGC 253 ) by William and John Herschel ......... Part 2. Observations of "Caroline's Galaxy" by Sir John Herschel, 1830's Sir John Herschel, the only child of Mary Baldwin and Sir William Herschel, was born in 1792 when his father was in middle age and already famous as one of world's leading astronomers. Having excelled in school, and no doubt inspired by his famous elders, John Herschel decided upon a career as a 'man of science' and set out to pursue a wide range of interests; with one particular focus being a continuation of the study of the heavens commenced by his father and aunt, Caroline Herschel. In 1820, with the assistance of his father, John Herschel supervised the construction of a new telescope at Slough in England. As described in the extract below ( from a paper presented to the Royal Society in 1826, titled "Account of some observations made with a 20-feet reflecting telescope ... " ), the telescope had a polished metal mirror with clear aperture of 18 inches, focal length of 20 feet and was modelled on the same design created by his father. It is this telescope, in the 1820’s and early 30’s, following the death of his father and the return of his aunt Caroline to Hanover, that John Herschel used to 'sweep' the night sky and extend the catalogue of nebulae and clusters of stars that was published by his father ( see W. Herschel's Catalogue of One Thousand new Nebulae and Clusters of Stars ). On the 1st of July 1833, having complied sufficient observations, John Herschel presented to the Royal Society an updated list of the positions and descriptions of the Nebulae and Clusters of Stars that he had thus far observed. As noted in the introduction to the paper published in the Philosophical Transactions, he had planned to wait before publishing until he had complied a fully comprehensive general catalogue of objects visible from the south of England. However, due to his expectation of “several more more years additional work” needed to complete the task and his assessment that he now was in a position to address, at least in part, the then current “... want of an extensive list of nebulae arranged in order of right ascension ...”, he elected to present his list, “ ... simply stating the individual results of such observations as I have hitherto made ... “. It was not until October 16, 1863, some thirty years later, that Sir John would deliver to the Royal Society his General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars. As well as introducing many objects that had not previously been recorded, Sir John’s list of 1833 included a re-examination of, and in some cases a small correction to, the positions of many of the deep sky objects observed by his father and noted down by his aunt. One of these re-visited objects was, unsurprisingly, the large and bright nebula discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783 and recorded in Sir Williams’s catalogue as V.1 / CH 10 ( object number one, of class five ( very large nebulae ) / Caroline Herschel #10 ). In total, John Herschel records around 2500 observations of nebulae and clusters of stars in his 1833 paper; with observation #61 being V.1, the “ Sculptor Galaxy “ . The measured position of V.1is given in RA and the angle from the north celestial pole ( all reduced to epoch 1830.0 ). The description can be interpreted by reference to the legend in the paper. Thus, “ A vL mE vB neb “ becomes “ A very large, much extended, elliptic or elongated, very bright nebula “. He also notes that in addition to this observation, #61, noted down from sweep #306, V.1 was also observed in sweep #292, “but no place was taken”. The figure to which he refers , figure 52, is included towards the back of his paper and is a sketch he made of the Sculptor Galaxy. to be continued ...
  23. Hi all, I'm pretty new to astronomy and need help deciding if I should buy the following telescope or not, mainly if there is anything visibly missing by looking at the photos? Thanks in advance!
  24. Hi guys, I have always been interested in astronomy/astrology and now I'm at the stage in my life when I can do it as I please now having a job ect… I'm looking into buying a telescope, always wanted to so why not!? I have done some revision already and i'm pretty set on buying a reflector instead of a refractor because of the wider aperture, because it admits more light... You guys will know why. I'm still learning and reading about telescopes looking into different ones and struggling to make up my mind on what to buy. My Price limit for my first telescope is no more than £150 for obvious reasons. I'm trying to find the best possible telescope for that price to get me started. I don't expect anything super fancy but my goal is to be able to clearly see the rings of Saturn, see all the planets, other stars, closely observe the moon, see moons of other planets, see other galaxies, nebulae. things like that. I'm not getting into Astro photography yet, purely just stargazing. I have a few telescopes in mind at the moment - Celestron Astromaster 114EQ, I like this because its got a nice 1000mm Focal length and a 114mm aperture, this costs £129.99 Celestron PS1000 Newtonian relector telescope, this has a 127mm aperture and a zoom up to about 270x I think, it has been reduced from £249.99 down to £119.99 Meade Polaris 114EQ, this is similar to the first Celestron but its £10 cheaper but same focal length and aperture. Any help or suggestions on this would be appreciated. Thanks!
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