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We have a fledgling Astronomical Society at my place of work and we're intending to have some telescopes available for colleagues to view the transit of Mercury in November. While the majority will use appropriate solar filters it would be good to have at least one set up for projection. However, we only have reflectors and Schmitt or Maksutov Cassegrain scopes among the members. I was considering buying a small refractor second hand to use for this but thought I'd ask for advice here first.
Which is the best type of scope to use for projection?
What do we need to look out for (overheating & fire risks for example)?
What is the best umbrella to protect kit from the inevitable deluge on the 11th November? ☔
After a lot of work and help from the great Damian Peach I managed to get some really good images of Jupiter Mars and Saturn despite a total spend of just £100... and I made another bonkers Astrobiscuit video about it which I hope you enjoy. Mr Peach really helped me pick my nights to image and the other big surprise was how good the canon 600D is at planetary. All comments/ advice/ criticisms most welcome...
While pondering bino viewers, the expensive ones have large prisms, which presumably adds to their price more than the metal box they are fixed in.
So, for porro prism binoculars, which have similar sized prisms to TV, Baader Mk 5 & other such models?
On the other side, what binoculars would be fitted with cheaper bv size prisms such as the hoard of sub £250 bv
For a given magnification, good quality binoculars cost less, only the really top models & 45 or 90 degree viewing binoculars cost more.
Zero budget astrophotography...
I thought it may be interesting for people wanting a super lightweight and easy to set up form of astrophotography that costs next to nothing. I've taken these three shots with my mobile phone through a pair of cheap binoculars using an ordinary tripod (it belonged to my wife's grandfather).
The intergration time for each was only a few minutes.
Orion: 157 x 1 sec
Andromeda 300 x 2 sec
7 sisters 120 x 2sec
I've made a VIDEO of the method and the surprising adventure I had taking them which you can watch here: