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icmoon

'Dazed and Confused' I'm a complete newbie from West Sussex.

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Hello all.

I have to say, I am completely blown away by the number of people that are passionate about astronomy as is shown by this great website!

OK, here we go........Now please don't laugh but my first scope was a Tasco 3" beast which very nearly made me give up astronomy before I had even started. After many fruitless sessions trying to find the moon of all things, I stripped the scope down and I now have a 3" mirror to use as an ashtray, except I gave up smoking years ago. Then, I became 'less busy' as Clarkson would put it and used my redundancy money to buy a slightly better scope.

Still clueless, I wandered into 'West Sussex Astronomy' in Sussex where where a nice man relieved me of lots of cash in exchange for a Celestron Nextstar Evolution 9.25 a couple of Hyperion eyepieces and a camera thingy which apparently takes the place of the red dot thingy that usually comes with this scope & helps you to find stars, planets and nebulae, when you don't have the slightest idea of what you are doing, you get my drift. This contraption is now in pride of place in my living room decorated like a Christmas tree.  Now, seriously, I am just dying to use it but I haven't seen a star for ages for the clouds.  When I do see a patch of clear sky I will be out there like a flash even though I can't lift the thing on my own, I'll drag it outside somehow! (The nice man in the shop said I could put it on casters for an extra £300, problem solved). 

So. I have no idea if this scope is good bad or what.  It's funny how life is sometimes. I have always been a spaceflight nut, I was 10 years old when Neil & Buzz hopped about on the moon but I never seriously gave a thought to buying a telescope. Till now.

I'd better end this here & now before I bore you to tears but I have a million & one questions to ask, that much is sure!  So, with some help and guidance and this great website, I gingerly tread into this wonderful new hobby, in which I am am now caught, hook, line and sinker.

PS.  Sorry about the fishing reel pic (sea angling is another love of mine) I will replace it very shortly with something more appropriate.

Thanks for hearing me out,

Simon.

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As it seems you retain a good memory of our (Humans) foray to the Moon, and you've been merrily liberated of money in the purchase of what is, by a vast number of accounts from owners, an excellent telescope - here's an easy download - FREE - that will land you an excellent guide to our closest neighbor: The Moon:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualmoon/

Most of those who are aware of this software-program agree this, like your telescope, is one of the best one's out there.

Enjoy!

Dave

PS - Baader Hyperion eyepieces, in the scope you now have, are also an excellent choice. You just can't get a break, can you? :p

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Never sure that asking someone who sells scopes to suggest and then sell you a scope is the greatest idea. They have this tendency to point you at the most expensive then point you at the add ons as well. My original idea was an 8SE at £850 at that time, instead I went for the much cheaper ETX-70 (£200). It is not as big but I suspect the best decision I made.

The 9.25 is a very nice scope, however somwhat big for what is in effect a first scope. Look at it from this prospective if it is too big to haul in and out then through my little 70mm goto I will see more then you - I can pick the whole thing up (mount and scope) in one hand and walk outside with it. It just gets used more often. I tend to follow the mantra that your best scope is the one you use the most.

I guess the scope has GPS, meaning no need to enter the loaction or the time.

Not sure about the camera thingy and how it operates, need the name of that item to determine more.

I would expect that the scope needs to start from a defined orientation and then the scope slews and the camera picks out an alignment star or two, just not aware of the process being quite that automated on the Celestrons, one of the Meades went that far. Although Celestron are moving in that direction. I could actually see that even with a camera thingy you could end up having to point the scope at an alignment star or two.

Which Hyperons?

I hope they are long focal lengths as the focal length of the scope is long enough that shortish ones will likely not get a great deal of use. You will find that you actually need to keep the magnification down more often then anything.

The scope is effectively a visual scope and it can also do planetary imaging well - it is not a scope for long exposure DSO imaging. Mention this in case that is a future intention.

You will need a power supply, at home a mains/DC unit is easiest, check out Maplin's.

You will also need a dew shield, SCT's attract dew from 30 miles away to them.

Looking at a map I would say go search out a club, http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/- there was/is one at Guildford that was always good. They used to hold night for people to go along, take their scope and get problems sorted out. But Guildford may be a bit far from you.

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I'm hooked too.  Got off to a bad start with a Newtonian on an equatorial mount - couldn't aim it or use it at all.  Then progressed through an f/10 refractor to a 127 MCT.  

Like you, I shoot out at all hours if there's even a glimmer of something up there.  In the meantime, there's so much theory to be getting on with - telescopes, physics, what's out there, and how best to view it all!

Doug.

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It seeems that an external power-supply has been rendered obsolete regards this scope, Ronin:

http://www.celestron.com/browse-shop/astronomy/telescopes/nexstar-evolution-925

As have a few other things as well. Read the specs and go "Wow!" These scopes are a new generation. Here's what FLO is putting out:

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/nexstar-evolution-telescopes/celestron-nexstar-evolution-925-telescope.html

A bit higher cost across the pond. But I hope where you bought it from offers you good service - for the rest of your life for buying from them! :eek::icon_mrgreen:

That scope looks like fun!

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont

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Nice scope, while waiting for clear skies get to know it like the back of your hand.

When clear skies come along you won't waste them.

Don't worry about the avatar, a lot of us on here have other hobbies.

I'm into alsorts of things that empty my pockets. :grin:

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Hi and welcome to SGL - Glad that you found us. There's loads of folks on here with lots of knowledge who will be sure to help if asked. Going along to a local astro group will be a good idea, you'll be able to see people and how they set up and talk to them about anything in real time so to speak.

Look forward to seeing you around :)

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Welcome to SGL Simon. Sounds like you've got a great scope. Lets hope you get some clear skies so that you can to get to know it. Don't hesitate to ask anything at all. It's often said on here that the only daft question is the one you don't ask.

Good luck and clear skies for 2016

Jason

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Hi Simon and welcome to SGL, the 9.25 is a nice telescope and I am sure you will enjoy using it, enjoy the forum :)

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Hello and welcome. Great scope - have you downloaded Stellarium. You should, it's free and a great help in finding targets.

Peter

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. That's certainly a very nice scope you have. It will take a bit of practice and lots of patience for you to get to know how to handle it. Perhaps it would be easier to take the scope off the mount and move them outside separately. It more time consuming but will save you dragging it. Also if you tell us the focal lengths of the eye pieces you have we could advise how best to use them.

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I reviewed the scope here http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/227554-celestron-evolution-c925-first-look-half-light-report/

So this may help you out a bit, especially as other owners added their experiences as well. You have bought an excellent telescope but there is a learning curve to all of this so be prepared for that, and if you have a local group or club think about hooking up with them as well, astronomy can be a great social hobby as well in addition to people helping one another.

It sounds like you have the Starsense camera which in all honesty you might not have needed, but will most certainly add some value once all up and running. You did not mention dew control, these big SCTs are dew magnets so do consider a dew shield and a heated tape, or instead a heated dew shield not forgetting you will need a dew controller and the means to power it.

Good luck with your new scope , it will open the skies right up for you as long as you set things up correctly.

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Hi there and welcome to SGL that's a great scope and "Dazed and confused" is a great track.

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Hi Simon / 'icmoon' and welcome to SGL.

Congratulations on the 9.25 - my first 'scope was a Tasco 4ETE, (40mm/40x), refractor. Nothing wrong with the earlier Tasco's, (1970's). Mine had a ten year guarantee. I damaged the dew shield near the objective. I found a Tasco dealer... they ordered the replacement... I went to pay for it... I was told by the manager I owed nothing as it was still under guarantee.

Clear skies.

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Hi Simon and welcome to the forum.

Here you'll find answers to all of your questions, just shoot... If your scope is clean and functional then don't worry,  it's a nice one.

Just be patient, ask a lot of questions - everybody here will be happy to answer them - and you'll soon start your exploration to the universe...! :smiley:

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Hi all. Hi Dave, Doug, Mike, Sarah, Jason, John, Pete, Peter Dana, and everyone else out there.



A sincere thank you to a very warm welcome and your collective generosity of all yours offer of help to an old codger like myself through SGL. I am going to take up some of your kind suggestions on my new journey.



I can now operate the scope indoors ok, all seems fairly simple. I chose this scope (Schmitt-Cassegrain?) specifically because I had a nasty back injury and cannot stand for more than a few minutes, hence the eyepiece at the bottom of the scope. Just for the record I have two Hyperions a 13mm, a 17mm and a 21mm. Also have two star diagonals a T-ring (I need an adapter too apparently) a selection of 12 filters, a power supply, which I won't need outside due to the scopes ability to run for 10 hours fully charged and the 'thingy' I spoke of is a 'Starsense Autoalign'. Also have a large due filter, and I can lift the scope when it is off the mount and will move them separately outside.  I have a DSLR (Canon 7D) as I would like to do some imaging later on.



I have to admit I did dive in at the deep end with a bigish scope as my first, but I am pushing on a bit and I doubt I'll be breaking any longevity records. Whilst the cloudy skies are here I'm trying to read as much as I can and yes, there is a hell of a lot more to learn than I ever thought, but that won't stop me, I'll plough on.



I know it's early days for me, but I was thinking about getting a good quality high end Barlow lens, maybe a three or four element one and with my existing EP's 13mm, 17mm & 21mm and maybe a 3X Barlow, any suggestions guys? This combo would give me a 4.33mm, a 7mm, and an 8.3mm. If I've done my maths right that is.



Thanks again all so much for your help and I do hope I can get up and running properly as soon as I can.



Kindest regards



Simon.


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Hello again Simon - 

Yes, there is a lot to learn (as we've both discovered!) but it's all enjoyable, I find.  

Only had a few outings on account of the weather, but what I've figured out is that it's a good idea to set up well before you plan to view anything, preferably in daylight when it's easier to see what you're doing.  This allows the 'scope to be properly cooled.  I level it, and enter the date/time data, so I can quickly align it later.

I also have it on anti-vibe pads, into which I drilled recesses to prevent any slipping on the flat centres.

The caps stay on before use, and - in case of rain - I put a large, loose plastic bag over everything.

After dark, on with the home-made dewshield (a piece of camping/exercise mat), and we're away, using an LED torch covered with a few layers of red cellophane.

I reckon it's very important to have targets ready rather than going out blind.  I use a planisphere and various reference books, also Stellarium, and Google Skymap (on the tablet).

As you say, there's a lot to study and prepare for before you even start observing/recording.

I've had a few good sessions - Moon (of course), M42, Venus (crescent), Jupiter (and moons), and some double stars and clusters.

I'm sure more experienced members might have have some comments about my procedure (as a novice), and I welcome these!

Regards,

Doug.

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Welcome to SGL. The 9.25 SCT is a good sized scope.

As it is the Evolution version you have this might make setting up quicker as it is an almost automatic process. I say almost as you will need to place the scope in a reasonably open area, not close to the house so the system has a clear view of the skies. If you have entered time and date correctly then  you should have a fairly accurate start up. There are thibgs you can do to tweak the accuracy, details are in the handbook.

The 9.25 is a heavy tube so when moving outside taki it off the mount.

Clear skies!

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Thank you Doug  There are some very good tips indeed, especially taking the scope out before (and in daylight) I aim to use it, plus the plastic bag.  I now have myself a dew shield which indeed looks like a piece of industrial carpet with Velcro on it but was £40.  This may sound a daft question Doug but should you leave the dew shield on whilst using the scope?

Kindest regards

Simon.

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Thank you Doug There are some very good tips indeed, especially taking the scope out before (and in daylight) I aim to use it, plus the plastic bag. I now have myself a dew shield which indeed looks like a piece of industrial carpet with Velcro on it but was £40. This may sound a daft question Doug but should you leave the dew shield on whilst using the scope?

Kindest regards

Simon.

In a nutshell "Yes!" (on behalf of Doug in his absence). It will prevent any stray light to ruining the view, and ruining your images too. Edited by Philip R

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