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By GiL Young
Hello all. Thank you for taking a moment to read this & offer your suggestions/ advice. I'm sure my basic question has been asked many times: "In your opinion or experience, what are the first, most important, necessary accessories I should add in order to maximize the the use and ease of a newly acquired Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT ? I have a power supply adapter, 9mm,10mm, 25mm eyepieces, 2x Barlow and 90 degree diagonal mirror adaptor. With a modest budget and a 2 week deadline, I've researched numerous reviews and narrowed some choices to additional Plossl eyepieces, an assortment of filters or a dew shield. All of and these can probably be purchased within my budget but I'm even willing to take the plunge on an upgrade to a better mount, which I have no idea where to start. Any and all suggestions, advice and opinions are gladly appreciated. Thank you all, from across the pond in northeastern US.
Lots of astro kit for sale! Payment via bank transfer or PayPal (buyer to pay fees). Reasonable offers considered.
1. Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro Outfit with auto focuser upgrade -- £350
Comes with diagonal, 28mm 2” eyepiece, 2" to 1.25" eyepiece adapter, dovetail, tube rings, SkyWatcher Auto Focuser, HitecAstro DC Focus Controller USB, metal case. Approx. cost new: £562. Buyer to collect from central Bristol, or buyer to arrange for a courier. Note: doesn’t come with a finder / guider, but I have some available (listed below).
Main items similar to:
2. Sky-Watcher .85x Reducer/Flattener for ED80 -- £120 inc. recorded delivery to mainland UK
3. Sky-Watcher Skymax 150 PRO -- £300
Comes with diagonal, 28mm 2” eyepiece, and dovetail. Note: doesn’t come with a finder / guider, but I have some available (listed below). Buyer to collect from central Bristol, or buyer can arrange for a courier.
It's an earlier version of this: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-150-pro.html
Works well with items 7, 8, and 9.
4. Sky-Watcher 9x50 and QHY5 mono guidescope -- £150 inc. recorded delivery to mainland UK
Includes T thread adapter attaching the QHY5 to the finderscope. Also includes kit to convert into a regular optical finderscope.
5. Sky-Watcher 9x50 Finderscope -- £30 inc. delivery to mainland UK
6. Sky-Watcher EQ3 PRO mount -- £220
In pretty good condition, and includes the handset for full goto functionality. Unboxed. Buyer to collect from central Bristol, or buyer can arrange for a courier.
It's an earlier version of this: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq3-pro-synscan-goto.html
7. Astrozap Dew Heater Tape, 6" 'scope -- £30 inc. delivery to mainland UK
8. Astrozap Flexible Dew Shield for Skymax 150 -- £20 inc. delivery to mainland UK
9. StarSharp Bahtinov Focus Mask 150mm Maksutov -- £10 inc. delivery to mainland UK
Items 1 and 4:
Items 3, 5, 7:
The area I live has a fair amount of ambient light from street lighting, neighbors window, porch lights and so on. Just wanted to ask those who have used a dew shield with a CPC 1100 or other SCT - can use of a dew shield significantly improve visual contrast on planets and DSOs? I rarely have had problems with dew though.
Getting back into astronomy after many years. Really tasted the thrill as a youngster: eg
Jupiter Saturn conj of 1981 viewed through a 4" refractor
Splitting the double on the 'tip of the sword' of Cygnus - which as I recall were red and green.
Naked eye all night sessions in Spain and New Zealand.
For the last couple of weeks I have been getting off to dark skies a few miles from where I live and using 8x32's and I have just bought some used Celestron (Echelon) 16x70's which came a couple of days ago - since which time, in accordance with the Laws of Physics, the skies have been cloudy!
I am probably going to get an Orion parallelogram tripod, but there are long waiting times - in the meantime would love to know of any advice people may have on monopods / heads and a mount that will fix to the Echelons.
Date: 8 Jan 2018 Binos: APM 16x70 ED (Monopod) Filters: 1x Castell UHC
Last night saw another lovely black sky but the "Helm wind" had kicked up from the Pennines
After popping out and back in from 7-30 thru 10-30, I decided that the Dob would not be coming out or more accurately the shed roof would not be opened tonight
Not wanting to waste the sky and with my new binos ready and waiting inside, I switched plan and got myself (& the binos) ready.
I fitted my new 1.25" Castell UHC filter inside the left eyecup. I added my 2x camping mat dew shields, fitted the monopod & trigger and finally stuck my ipad into into waterproof case.
I got all my warm gear on and took everything outside onto the garden table.
My plan was to use Sky Safari on the ipad (I had added new "equipment" to cover the binos so it was displaying a target circle to the FOV of the binos) and setup on Orion...
M42 - showed as a nice bright cloud, I seemed "bigger" than last time out. I tried switching from one eye to the other to see the UHC difference but I did not find it easy to tell (I was wearing "old" contact lenses as an alternative to my glasses and my eyes have changed in the last 18 months to make close up reading easier without my glasses so this ruined the test). Individual eyepiece focusing definately helps.
Rosette - found easily. I recognized the star cluster in the centre as I had spend a long time on this target with the dob the previous night The nebula was faint but visible, it really is a good size!
Cone - onto the christmas tree cluster (easy) but no nebula was seen.
Seagull neb - I found a definite patch in the right area. Can you see the seagull neb in your binos?
M46, 47 - two nice clusters left of sirius.
M48 - another good one
M67 - easy and bright
Beehive - A biggie, stay a while to count the stars...
Scanning Leo, there seems to be either regular fuzzies or the fainter stars are appearing as fuzzies. Should I expect to be able to see faint messier galaxies in Leo with binos?
Pleiades - Lovely and bright. Getting higher for my neck!
Crab M1 - Got it. I failed on this last time out. But bagged it twice tonight. Was it the UHC or just better control of the monopod?
California neb = no. nothing.
M37,38,36 - trio of clusters. nice as they are all different. There was more stuff in this area (I forgot about the flaming star), need to come back but my neck...
M31, 110 & 32 - Onto Andromeda, easy. Big but not as nice as last time out. M110 was much fainter tonight and M32 took some staring to get it.
Into Cassiopia ...
Double cluster - lovely. shame its so high. There was plenty going on in the vacinity too. Something nice to the lower right? Just "too many things to identify" and my neck...
Carolines Rose - Center on CapH and there's Carolines rose in the fov.
Onto the Plough...
M51 - easy
M101 - harder to locate but I found it. Dimmer than M51
Owl neb - Faint but there. Is this the UHC benefit or is it always seen in binos?
Overall an enjoyable session. A few misses on my part but you can't get everything unless you make a list before you go out!
Quite a few questions above. Would be grateful if anyone can comment on some of them