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By Andy Cole
I'm a newbie here but not totally new to astronomy. I've had a telescope since I was a teenager (over 30 years!) and only ever had 1 telescope - a Tasco 40x40mm reflector. I expect members my age are familiar with it - thin and white with a thin metal tripod and a push and pull focuser. It's still functional at more than 30 years old although the thread on the eyepiece is worn so the eyepiece falls off regularly! I've only ever used it to look at the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and that's always been good enough for me. Now I have been thinking of getting a new scope. I have a very limited budget and so I am wondering whether I will get any significant improvements on what I can see.
My earliest memories of the Tasco from childhood were that I could see the rings of Saturn as a line across the circle of the planet. Having rekindled my interest in the last few years, I have started to use it again, and nowadays, when Saturn is visible, I can clearly see the rings 'as a ring' and the gap between the planet and the rings, which I don't remember seeing as a kid.
Vieing Jupiter I can usually see about 4 moons.
I've heard that the Skywatcher Heritage 130P Dobsonian is a good 'budget' telescope, and great for casual use, which is what appeals to me most. I don't want a telescope with complicated setup or one that takes up a lot of space. TheSkywatcher seems to fit the bill, and it also fits my very limited budget.
What I am most interested to find out is whill I get an improved view of the things I have already experienced? I have read some reviews that describe what you can see with this scope and it sounds like it's pretty much what I can already see. And it's maximum 65x magnification doesn't seem like much better than the Tasco's 40x. But will the wider aperture make a bigger difference than the magnification?
I'm also interested to know if I could use this scope for basic astrophotography - I have numerous cameras - phone cameras, compacts and DSLR's (photohraphy is my main hobby). I'm not talking about hour long exposures of dark sky objects, just what can be seen easily through this scope.
I'd love to know what people's opinions are, especially if you own or have used this scope. I'm also interested to hear recommendations for other scopes, but please remember I have limited budget and space. I know that an 8" or more is better and I would love one but they are just too expensive and too large for me.
Veil nebula - West C34/Ced182a/NGC6960/LBN191/PGC3517684 and East C33/Ced182b/IC1340/NGC6992/NGC6995 (c-sho) two panel mosaicBy ramdom
Total integration: 960 minutes/16 hours (20+10 x 6m for S2 + 61+20 x 6m for Ha + 34+15 x 6m for O3).
Camera: QHY163M (16mp mono) CMOS cooled to -15 degrees C.
Telescope: Stellarvue SV70T triplet apochromat refractor @ f/4.8.
Mount: Paramount MyT.
Filters: Astrodon 5nm Ha, 3nm O3, 3nm S2.
Software: Sharpcap, PixInsight, Photoshop CC.
Inline image with reduced quality uploaded to forum. Full sized higher resolution image is here: http://ram.org/images/space/scope/18.104.22.168/veil_sho_20+10x360s_61+20x360s_34+15x360s.jpg
The Veil nebula and regions within located in the Cygnus constellation are known by many names, including Filamentary, Cirrus, Network, and Witch's Broom. This capture is my first attempt at creating a (two panel narrowband) mosaic and perhaps my last since after doing this I feel I should stick to my general philosophy of using the right sensor/reducer/OTA combination for the right target (though the North America nebula beckons and I don't see how I can get it to fit in a single panel unless I switch to using camera lenses). It was a PITA to get the brightness and noise levels of the panels matched up properly and also bring out the faint wispy details while imaging during moonlight though I learnt a lot about PixInsight doing this.
This was an interesting target for many reasons, beyond my two panel struggle. The Ha areas largely over encompass the O3 and S2 regions, but both of these also have very strong signal and if I had done an image excluding Ha it would've looked rather similar (except for the very faint bits prominent only in Ha. The S3 overlap is near 100% with the other two elements and if I hadn't brought down the Ha (which is still overwhelming) there would've been a lot of white as a result of the RGB combination. I chose to find a balance between choosing a post processing scheme that aesthetically looked good from afar while also showing the details of the filaments but the Ha only image really shows how intricate the filament work is. IMO, these narrowband images take a lot of artistic license and are best appreciated in comparison to the monochromatic signal from the individual filters, particularly Ha.
Other versions (Ha, darker background with more subtle processing, and basic SHO without HP tweaks) are here: https://www.astrobin.com/416486/B/ https://www.astrobin.com/416486/F https://www.astrobin.com/416486/G/
My plan is to repeat this with my OSC on the SV70T and by rotating the camera by 90 degrees I can get it to fit, which will a generate a colour image, and and then if possible I will create a merged SHO-RGB image by combining all of these captures.
As always, thanks for looking!
By Mark Daniels
Been looking for neat solution to taking small scope abroad using my stuff and not paying out for a dedicated set up.
Have a skywatcher finder which with a barlow and 90 * gives good results. I was looking at an Orion mini eq tabletop tripod but hard to get hold of.
Play a bit of music in a band and have a few microphone stands so got to work with a hack saw.
I used a mic holder as in photo they are about £3 and cut the holder part off and filed flat. Drilled hole through to accept large camera thread (£3 screw bolt)
this allows shortened micstand to fit to the alt az mount. (Mic stand 15 of ebay. )
the dovetail was expensive as i wanted green and got from germany £30 with couier the white finder bracket from tring harrisons £6
so thats £60 but if i went for black dovetail less than £40 seeing i had mic stand already quite a cheap solition
the stand is very stable and provided the telescope is moved clockwise when rotating freehand the threads stay tight with the fine controls either direction works well
overall wiegt is bit over 3 kg and will fit in a standard aluminium camera case
hope this if useful
Canon 450D Modified for astrophotography, the IR cut filter has been removed for better response on red emission nebula in deep sky objects. Comes with battery, and charger. Shutter count is (atm) 5914, see picture 4. The camera is in great condition, throughout. No lens, just body. Will post special delivery. message me if you have any questions. Price is £150.
as the title suggests, I've noticed that the RA axis of my HEQ5 pro mount has some give. I don't notice it while the clutch is unlocked, but it's very obvious with a locked RA clutch. Any suggestions on what could be causing it/what adjustments need to be made?