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JOC

What do I need to buy please?

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Hi rockystar, I will certainly take any advice I can find if we fancy taking a look at the sun at any point.  Although it does strike me as a potentially interesting thing to view esp. with the right filters as it is clearly as big as the moon in the sky and averagely closer than many of the other objects that we will be able to see, perhaps detail on the surface is even possible with the right filter kit  - I'm sure I will back to seek out further advice before we attempt it though - I have a healthy respect for my eyes!.  However, it does sound a slightly warmer occupation than freezing my rocks off looking at stars on a cold night.  I expect that astronomers know all about thermal insoles and merino underwear!!

Doing something practical with it sounds interesting - hence asking about the science (I'm a professional scientist - chemistry).  I am surprised that photos taken by amateurs can possibly be of use though as I wouldn't have thought the level of detail that your average back garden hobbiest can achieve would provide anything that couldn't be completely overarched by professional kit.  However, the variable star measurements sound interesting - I've been and had a quick read online to see what these concern and this does sound something that we might be able to think about.   After all I guess you can only Oooh and Aaaah over Jupiter for so long!

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NB.  This is a completely new thing for us so it seems sensible to ask - are there any tips that are worth noting for when it is first out of the box and first put together and used - mind you even I am guessing that it might be useful to have a dry run in the daylight first.

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In case you are interested: https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/

My top tip is to put it together in the day time and get the finder aligned with the telescope on a distant church or telegraph pole (or similar) and have a play with finding different day time targets (goes without saying though, don't point it at the sun :) ) - the first time in the dark can be a bit tricky, but there are some good, fairly easy targets up at the moment - Orion is taking pride of place once again in the late evening sky.

 

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Many thanks rockystar.  I love the Juno website, following and possibly contributing to that in the next year might be quite interesting and it seems coincidental that we appear to have purchased the telescope at, what appears to be, just the right time. 

Aligning the finder - yes, I seem to recall the ex. needing to do that - its like a telescopic sight on a air rifle isn't it?  because it isn't exactly where the bullet comes out from you have to gently nudge the sight to get the cross hairs where the pellet strikes the target.  The same is true with the telescope, you can use the finder to find the object in question and have the telescope just about on target, but only if the sight on the finder is aligned with the image the telescope sees - yes?  I don't think I can see the church in the nearby villages, we are flat with many surrounding hedges, but on a clear day there is a big white water tower on the skyline that I know is 3.9Km (2.43 miles) away and that I should be able to get a line of sight to.  Is that far enough away to be suitable as a target for this job?

Orion has been fabulous here recently - on cloud free nights it certainly holds the attention.  It's funny how you seem to see that set of stars and I think you would feel that they were somehow part of a group even if you didn't realise they were a specific constellation.  The great bear/plough/Ursa major is another similar set that appears to just scream 'look at me'

Edited by JOC
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Actually, you need to set the finder crosshairs a few inches offset on the distant object from the view in the main telescope, to allow for the finder and telescope not being coaxial, if you are sighting on a  daytime object like a TV aerial or a tower block roof. E.g on the top of the aerial rather than the middle. If the object is millions of miles away, that few inches is obviously irrelevant. :happy11:

Edited by Cosmic Geoff

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Cosmic Geoff, many thanks for that tip.  I will set the cross hairs on the top of the water tower when the scope is looking at a slightly lower part of it then. :-D

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It's on it's way - expected delivery tomorrow - am I allowed to be excited?  :hello2:

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If you are near by in the day time then you won't be far off - i pack mine away after every use, so when it comes back out, the first thing I do is find a bright star and re-align everything, it's never far off and doesn't take long.

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I have just received two huge boxes from FLO - incidentally, great team there , really quick to respond to email enquiries and they seem to understand the term 'good customer service'' I would thoroughly recommend them on the basis of my experience so far.  I need a bit more time and space than I currently have at the moment (putting up Christmas Decs when they arrived), so I'm leaving opening them until I have a decent time window, but it looks like I now have the kit to start exploring this hobby.  I've also ordered 'Turn right at Orion'!  I'll post a pic when I finally get it all together.  Much suppressed excitement at this end!

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21 minutes ago, JOC said:

Much suppressed excitement at this end!

Pampers help?:icon_biggrin:

I hate the waiting, I want things like yesterday.

Enjoy setting everything up.

Edited by Charic
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So the first day of my Christmas hols and the weather was fine, so I thought I'd lose the huge cardboard boxes and put things together.  My result is in the photo and no spares screws! so it can't be far wrong.  Now all I've got to do is to inwardly digest the, rather complicated sounding, instruction books.  I've sorted out the view finderscope - that was fairly straight-forward as a concept once I sorted out that every move and view is backwards!  I've already decided that the purchase of an angled eye-piece one will be early on my list.  I've also made a dew shield from a Yoga mat - I hope it doesn't vignette the view - I read online and it came up just a bit shorter than 3.5 time the mirror diameter which is what I read so I hope it will be OK.  One thing I did wonder was would it be useful to buy another Yoga mat and make a cover for the empty middle bit where the extension rods are?  It looks fairly clear at the moment so I might go and play tonight if it stays that way.  The most difficult thing will be getting the goto to work I think - I haven't plugged it in yet and the booklet is quite complicated, but maybe I will be able to find some targets by eye.  I guess I'll have to fill in my signature lines now I have some equipment :-D

skywatcher sm.jpg

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I do have an android device so I'll check out that app.  Thanks happy-kat.

There is a stunning moon out tonight, perhaps I can try looking out at that later without needing to wind up the goto.

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rocky star - many thanks, that goes along with what I have learned i.e. that they go around a horizontal axis and also through a vertical 'up and over' axis, that sounded like alt-Az to me :-D 

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OK, successes and failures.  Big success - I put it together and it was a CLEAR night - woo.....hoo.......

Firstly I manually pointed at the most obvious object in the sky, that glorious full moon we had tonight, with the low power lens in the viewer.   We got a really good view of it, though it was a tad bright to look at for vey long.  There was a lovely line of craters along the outside edge.

Then I tried the calibration of the goto unit.  The first time I obviously hadn't got it correct as it couldn't find the moon (when it couldn't find something that big I knew it was wrong LOL), so I had a bash at the brightest star thing.  To begin with I thought it would be part of the North sky, but it couldn't find a target so I tried telling it North West and it reckoned I was aiming at Arcturus and then it re-focussed on capella, and so I learned two star names and have learned how to calibrate the computer.  Then just as I was getting into it I turned it back to moon and couldn't see a thing.  When it finally occurred to me to take out the lens  and take a good look at it the lens had gone all fogged up for some reason - it had been perfectly all right for the first hour or so.  So I thought 'well perhaps I've done enough for a first night' and put things away.

So some questions arise.

1.  How do I stop the objective lens fogging?

2.  Should I dry it in anyway when I finish using it - the dew had come down and the tube was damp when I finish,

3,  Given that the lens was fogged should I have dried it in any way - at the moment I popped on the lens covers and left it on the telescope, but the cover will not let the lens dry as effectively - would it be better left off until the damp disappears?

4.  When I unpacked it there was some tissue packed carefully around the 90 degree lens that deflects the image to the eyepiece.  This looks a pretty critical lens, when I transport it anywhere or store it should I cover it up.  I could make a little fabric cover to pop over it, it is one of the few lenses that does not appear to have protection when it is not being used.

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Hi, Any thoughts on 1-4 above please?  Many thanks 

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Hey JOC, congrats on the scope purchase, looks very nice!

In my (limited) opinion, I think;

1.  Raised eyecups on an eyepiece have a tendency to fog the EP as moisture from the eye is trapped within the cup and on the lens, so folding down the cup when the EP is not being used may help.

2. Dry what?  The external scope tube will be fine to dry but I wouldn't dry anything else out.  If my stuff is a lil damp after a session I just bring everything indoors and leave the tube open (my Heritage 130p is a similar flextube design to yours) and, importantly imo, leave it sitting either horizontal or pointing down slightly  (with the primary raised) so any dew inside does not fall on to the primary whilst it dries.

3. I wouldn't dry it except maybe with a blower, but even then you may risk blowing some dew between the eyecup and the lens?  Personally, I just leave mine open for an hour on the sideboard then put the end caps on and box it.

4. Do you mean the secondary mirror?  I assume like the Heritage, the flextube on your scope closes when not in use, so I'd have thought that was all the protection the secondary needed, however if you're not satisfied then I'm sure a cover made from a suitable fabric would be ok.

 

Hth :)

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Fogging eyepieces is what brings most of my sessions to an end. Try and let them clear naturally in a warmer environment.

don't wipe lenses or mirrors, this won't do them any good.

what was it that fogged up? The primary mirror, secondary mirror or the eyepiece?

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Having looked closely at everything it seemed to me that it was the eyepiece on the small lens you look through, on the underside that faces the tube that was fogged.  I was also disappointed that my home-made 'yoga mat' dew shield seemed too heavy for the telescope and pulled it forwards on the mount.  I'd spent a long time making it a perfect fit.

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