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my first post post here and thought I'd dive right in, sorry if this is done to death as there are a few very similar posts but figure my prime requirement is slightly different.
xmas present from the wife is a telescope, she's been scouring eBay etc with a budget of 200-250. She's identified the sky watcher 127 synscan as a good option.
im completely new to observing. Don't really know what I want out of it. We do a fair bit of camping with the kids and always enjoy looking at the sky at night. So that's what this is for
portability - needs to fit in the car with our camping gear. If it's massive or really heavy we'll probably not take it out as much.
auto setup - as automatic as humanly possible please and I like my gadgets lol
something like the goto system which can take you on a tour or point/track specific objects
camera/webcam/Ccd for pictures- not sure if I'll really need that but great if it's possible.
so far it looks like the sky watcher 127 goto and the celestron equivalent are front runners. I've also found the celestron 4se which seems to tick the boxes. The 5se would be lovely but out of budget from what I can see.
Are any of these bad choices? They are all mak setups(?) which we thought gave us the benifit of a more compact unit.
anything else we should be thinking about/considering? - I'll probably be powering it direct from the 12v on the Landrover so will need a suitable cable.
just got back from an extended holiday through France , Italy and Greece. We took a VW van , camped in France and Italy and then stayed in an apartment in Greece.
I took the Heritage 130p flex tube along and as some others have asked about a portable setup I thought I should report back.
The scope was packed in a plastic gardening trug , the OTA wrapped in a towel and laid on the dobs base in the trug ,and then assembled at each location and either stored in the corner of the tent or the apartment. I needed to collimate at each outing as the scope was rattled around over 3000 miles of road, but just a 5 minute job with a Cheshire.
In truth , in Italy and in France the lights on the campsites made viewing not great ,but in Greece the view over the sea was good.
Highlights were , sitting behind the van , to avoid the lights, at 2pm in the morning on a French campsite listening to a Dutch guy snoring in the nearby tent and the mossies buzzing but seeing the Whirlpool Galaxy for the first time.
In Italy viewing the Moon , Mars and Saturn over the Umbrian hills. (see Pic below)
In Greece , most of the time we had the Moon above but for a few days we had moonless skies. My wife , myself and son lying on the sunloungers on the beach in the dark while I pointed out the various constellations and then spotting shooting stars . then on the way back to the apartment crossing a particular dark part of the beach and noticing the milky way ( dont see that at home)
When we got back to the apartment ,I set up the scope on the balcony and we scanned across the milky way , I saw a large nebula ( no idea which one, the Mythos was flowing) It was deemed as awesome by my teenage son and his mate.
On another night we introduced the folks in the bar to the ISS spotter app and we all clocked it skimming over the Greek mountains.
Interestingly as Greece is at 39 degrees latitude (home is 53 degrees) I could see the Sagittarius "teapot" over the sea.
A carepoint. I stored the scope , in the setup you can see below, with the light shroud around the trusses , however now I notice that the mirror is filthy. I should have closed it when not in use. I will be washing the mirror when I receive my distilled water
The scope was great and I would highly recommend it to any travellers.
As a separate post I will be asking where to upgrade from the 130p , but I will not be getting rid of this little gem.
Additional note: The Sky and Telescopes Pocket Sky Atlas was very useful but my new all time fave book is Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson, in my opinion even better than Turn Left at Orion. Its clear directions and great illustrations lead me to the Whirlpool Galaxy..very recommended.
I'm hiring a motor home for SGL11, and want to make sure that I can make it "white light friendly". This is something that I'll have to do once on site, as I will be picking it up on the morning of travel.
To make everything red, I'm guessing that the best thing to use is 106 Primary Red lighting Gel, like they use for state lighting.
Here's a link to one possible source.
My question is, to properly deck out a motor home - and an iPad, how much of this stuff am I likely to need?
Joy Cove, Steuben Maine
A cool September evening in quiet Downeast Maine. The tide rolls out of the flats of Joy Cove with only the Illumination of the rising Moon and the camp fire. The stars of Sagittarius trail through the trees in this secluded campsite. The wife and kids tucked away in their sleeping bags while dad enjoys the warm campfire. You can perhaps just make this out with my back towards the camera. Ah, life in Maine.
Pentax Spotmatic II 35mm f/3.5 SMC Takumar @ f/5.6 - 15 minutes exposure on Kodak Elite Chrome 200. Cropped to 5:4 ratio
Camping in Maine by Nightfly Photography, on Flickr