Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

Richard Hather

Aperture fever or common sense???

Recommended Posts

So I've finally succumbed to the dreaded aperture fever ? 

Ive decided to sell up my Celestron Nexstar 6SE for a bigger aperture 12" to be exact.

But for me it's not as simple as wanting a bigger light bucket to give me greater detail on DSO and planets for that matter, it's also about my growth and knowledge.

The thing is and I hate to put down my scope in anyway its that it's all become a little to easy fair enough teasing out details of DSO and sketching which I love doing is a challenge but aligning and setting up the scope is now as easy as making a brew it all doesn't take much effort.

So recently I've taken to not aligning my scope at all and just going manual and star hopping and I have to say I really enjoyed it using my planetarium was a nice change.

Watching objects float through the FOV again was very strange for me as I've always used my Goto but again I enjoyed it.

Im thinking about acquiring a 12" Dobsonian truss I have storage for the telescope but getting out to a dark site would be few and far between.

Ive also recently upgraded my eps to 2" one being a ES 20mm 100d the other a TV 13mm ethos with plans for 2 more 100d when funds allow and I feel these eps deserve a bigger scope to appreciate them fully.

So the question remains am I making a huge mistake in getting a 12" dob or should I give it time and hope the fever passes... ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are your skies like at home Richard?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Nothing wrong with going up in aperture, great move.

The 12" seems to be the Goldy locks size for a lot of members 

As for getting out to observe, I think I read somewhere the other week that a lot of the chaps of the Dob Mob do not observer from home, but only on their dark site trips, and it certainly has not put them off from going up in aperture☺

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Timebandit said:

 

Nothing wrong with going up in aperture, great move.

The 12" seems to be the Goldy locks size for a lot of members 

As for getting out to observe, I think I read somewhere the other week that a lot of the chaps of the Dob Mob do not observer from home, but only on their dark site trips, and it certainly has not put them off from going up in aperture☺

That's the reason for my question really. No point in aperture if it puts you off observing because it is too much of a pain to setup or if travelling to a dark site is not so easy. If skies at home are good then it seems like a good plan!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your logic and reasoning for a 12" truss (or flextube?) dobsonian is good and clearly you have invested in excellent and applicable eyepieces. As  has been mentioned what are your skies like at home, which could still be of an advantage, perhaps though consider occasional dark sky trips to fully appreciate this.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys I'm not sure exactly what scale my light pollution is but I live just on the edge of a town centre in Bury BL9 is the postcode I think it's moderate, would this be a definite no for a 12" then or would it still be worth it?

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With my C6 I can see many globs open clusters and good detail on planets and the moon surely an increase in aperture would mean more detail and light to my eye.

Richard

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ended up selling my C11 & getting a CPC 800 HD because living in a town was just a waste of time  for this scope. On perfect nights it came into its own

but they were so few & far between. The C8  performs so much better. Bigger is not always better as I found out. Love a bigger scope, but no use from here.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Richard Hather said:

With my C6 I can see many globs open clusters and good detail on planets and the moon surely an increase in aperture would mean more detail and light to my eye.

Richard

these are the things you will see in almost all LP......you don't go to dark skies for your list. However if faint Galaxies and Nebula are of great interest then I'm afraid dark sky trips are on the cards.

TBH I'd think more along the lines of a 10" dob...a 12" is mighty hand full

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Richard Hather said:

Cheers guys I'm not sure exactly what scale my light pollution is but I live just on the edge of a town centre in Bury BL9 is the postcode I think it's moderate, would this be a definite no for a 12" then or would it still be worth it?

Richard

On a decent night here I can see mag 5.5 stars with the naked eye, a decent portion of the Millky Way and just about see M31 with the naked eye. I certainly get plenty of use from my 12" dob at home !

My advice would be to strongly consider one but to look carefully into the weight of the scopes and the operating realities that this poses for your situation (our situations are all different !).

I had a Meade Lightbridge 12" dob for a while which was a decent scope but just too heavy for my needs. I downsized to an Orion Optics 10" F/4.8 optical tube on a Giro type mount for a while then bought a used 12" Orion Optics OTA and had a lightweight but very steady dob mount made by an SGL member in baltic ply. My 12" dob weighs around the same as a Skywatcher 10" and that makes all the difference to me - that scope is as easy to setup and move about as any of my smaller refractors.

When I think back over the 3 years that I've owned the 12" dob, no other scope that I've owned or own now has shown me the sort of views that the 12" can and it's shown me things that are simply out of reach for my other scopes (eg: the supernova last night) :icon_biggrin:

The irony is that my 12" dob is actually the least costly scope that I own !

 

Edited by John
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wise words as always from John.

Discounting seeing conditions, aperture will always give you more resolution and colour on planets and the moon.

With things like globs they will also resolve far deeper into the core and allow higher mags.

The trouble comes with fainter stuff like galaxies and nebulae. These have low surface brightness and are easily washed out by light pollution and aperture does not help in this case. Travelling to a dark site is the answer, so just make sure you can handle the scope and are comfortable taking it to better sites if locally you have a lot of LP.

A 12" truss would be ok if you can lift it, or a 10" solid tube perhaps. Orion Optics tubes are a lot lighter than Skywatcher.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think seeing steadiness is more important than simple light pollution when it comes to resolution considerations, in fact moderate light pollution can be beneficial for planetary observation as it tones down the brightness which can swamp detail. For faint DSO's, as the Dob Mob point out, dark skies are the most important.

Not sure if 12" is the ideal Goldilocks position, a 10" would be easier to manage and would still be a massive upgrade to your 6".   :icon_biggrin:

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can still see many galaxies and Nebula with averted vision of course, I presume these will be brighter and more resolved.

The thing is as long as there's a decent improvement on what I can observe overall I would be happy with it.

Setup wise at the moment from getting the scope out setup and aligned ready for Goto it's about 15 mins give or take from what I've heard a dob is a lot easier.

Weight wise I'm 31 and I weave for a living which includes lifting 300-400 2kg packages to be woven per shift.

So im pretty active no back problems 100% healthy so I think I should be ok lifting the tube.

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't help but think going from a 6se to a 12" truss dob is going to take some getting used to for you. Personally I would strongly recommend you see one in person and if possible. Cool down times are going to be significantly longer so even if your able to get set up quick your not going to be achieving good results with higher magnifications straight off the bat

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

 

I think seeing steadiness is more important than simple light pollution when it comes to resolution considerations

 

Agreed Peter, I did exclude seeing in my comment :):) 

With my 4" I regularly get similar planetary views to the 925 when the seeing is average or worse, the extra aperture only counts when the seeing improves, and even then it is much more variable with the detail coming and going.

I had assumed Richards desire was for more specifically for better DSO performance?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are an excellent sketcher Richard, mostly clusters I think? Cant recall any galaxies (too faint for Your backyard)?

Have you tried sketching without tracking the Object? If thats no problem, you should really go for the 12"

everything you can see With the 6", will be much better With the 12",  LP or not.

I`ve got a 5" and 8" dob. I honestly feel the aperture difference is more significant were there are some LP, than at a truly dark Place  (only tested this twice though)

 

Rune

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, spaceboy said:

I can't help but think going from a 6se to a 12" truss dob is going to take some getting used to for you. Personally I would strongly recommend you see one in person and if possible. Cool down times are going to be significantly longer so even if your able to get set up quick your not going to be achieving good results with higher magnifications straight off the bat

You mite be right I think I would be ok using one I've looked through a couple of dobs before but of course I've never had a full session with one.

i believe it's 1 hour cool down approximately which isn't to bad I usually setup before it's properly darkness anyway.

I will have a think about it he problem I have now is if I go for a 10" I will always think what if ?

But I don't want to fall in the trap of I think being more troublesome and the views aren't worth it.

Richard

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Stu said:

Agreed Peter, I did exclude seeing in my comment :):) 

With my 4" I regularly get similar planetary views to the 925 when the seeing is average or worse, the extra aperture only counts when the seeing improves, and even then it is much more variable with the detail coming and going.

I had assumed Richards desire was for more specifically for better DSO performance?

You are right stu it's mainly for DSOs as that's hat I spend most of my time observing.

I have been pleased with my views of Jupiter these past view weeks I would say best ever.

Richard

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Pondus said:

You are an excellent sketcher Richard, mostly clusters I think? Cant recall any galaxies (too faint for Your backyard)?

Have you tried sketching without tracking the Object? If thats no problem, you should really go for the 12"

everything you can see With the 6", will be much better With the 12",  LP or not.

I`ve got a 5" and 8" dob. I honestly feel the aperture difference is more significant were there are some LP, than at a truly dark Place  (only tested this twice though)

 

Rune

Thank you Rune I do try and sketch a true to life sketch as I can.

I have sketched a good few galaxies and Nebula notably M57,M31,M81,M82 to name a few.

Thats interesting only 3 inches difference aperture and still noticeable.

Here are some sketches of what I was able to make out.

IMG_3622.JPG

IMG_3729.JPG

IMG_3735.JPG

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of wise words here.

My comment is go for it - you only live once.  If you go for a 10", the next logical step is 16".  Go for a well designed 12" and have no regrets :)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Richard Hather said:

I will have a think about it he problem I have now is if I go for a 10" I will always think what if ?

But I don't want to fall in the trap of I think being more troublesome and the views aren't worth it.

Richard

 

2 hours ago, Richard Hather said:

Weight wise I'm 31 and I weave for a living which includes lifting 300-400 2kg packages to be woven per shift.

So im pretty active no back problems 100% healthy so I think I should be ok lifting the tube.

Richard

I started out with an 8"SCT using it at home, at star parties and subsequently increasingly gaining a habit for taking it to dark sky locations. The performance was good but I definitely felt that I wanted more in terms of deep sky observing. Also helped out on here, I went for a 12" Flextube and on first use, which was at a dark site, the impact was immediate as though a veil had been lifted from my eyes. You are clearly in good shape, a 12" dobsonian will be feasible, I did however have an advantage prior to my own decision, as I was able to see and gain an insight into a 12" and a 10" flextube at a star camp, which helped to reinforce my decision. 

I would not really consider that you will be hanging around for too long after setting up before you can enjoy the views, low and low / medium power observing is quite reasonable with a little cooling time.  Additionally I sometimes cruise the sky with binoculars whilst the scope is cooling, which is also a nice way to orientate your way around the constellations.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, scarp15 said:

 

I started out with an 8"SCT using it at home, at star parties and subsequently increasingly gaining a habit for taking it to dark sky locations. The performance was good but I definitely felt that I wanted more in terms of deep sky observing. Also helped out on here, I went for a 12" Flextube and on first use, which was at a dark site, the impact was immediate as though a veil had been lifted from my eyes. You are clearly in good shape, a 12" dobsonian will be feasible, I did however have an advantage prior to my own decision, as I was able to see and gain an insight into a 12" and a 10" flextube at a star camp, which helped to reinforce my decision. 

I would not really consider that you will be hanging around for too long after setting up before you can enjoy the views, low and low / medium power observing is quite reasonable with a little cooling time.  Additionally I sometimes cruise the sky with binoculars whilst the scope is cooling, which is also a nice way to orientate your way around the constellations.

 

So what would you personally go for a flexi or a truss for east storage?

Having the veil lifted from your eyes that's the sort of thing I'm hoping a 12" could do for me and I think the hassle of not having to align the scope could be a plus it's just finding them hopefully that will be half the fun.

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote here for starting observing, at low to medium power at least, without waiting for cooling too much. Last night my 12" dob didn't go out until around 10:30 pm because of other commitments but I was able to seek out the supernova within a few minutes. For higher power lunar and planetary viewing 30-40 minutes do help get the best images from the scope.

If storage space is an issue then the truss / flexitube route does make sense. In theory I could have dismantled the Meade Lightbridge in between sessions but I never did :rolleyes2:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main issue here is you are observing DSO's from a location with Manchester to your SE and Warrington to your SW and you are sketching

Yes a 10/12 dob is a step up in Aperture but your still observing in the same LP skies...pick a 10" dob put it in the car and drive....then not only will the skies show more detail, so will your sketches.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Richard Hather said:

Having the veil lifted from your eyes that's the sort of thing I'm hoping a 12" could do for me

this isn't going to happen in Bury....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.