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Hiddenpalm

Greetings from New York City

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I forgot to introduce myself here.  I'm really enjoying this community. From what I've seen so far the folks here are very helpful and friendly without being snotty, unlike other forums. I love all the content people contribute here and watching the pictures from the challenges. And the resources are perfect. It's exactly what a new guy like me is looking for. I also really love the design of this website.

I've always had a telescope, but they've always been garbage. So I decided it's time to do it right. I just got myself a Nexstar 8SE (Schmidt-Cassegrain) and a discontinued William Optics Zenithstar 66mm refracter in Celestron orange, to use as a guide scope. The Zenithstar is still in the mail. Still getting accessories for the whole set up. Ill probably update the mount next year, hopefully to find the elusive portable yet stable mount along with a proper camera. I'm basically exploring the sport right now, learning from you guys. I plan to head to camp grounds in dark zones to explore the stars far from the city lights hopefully 3-4 times a month.

I mostly star gaze with the naked eye and a monocular using mobile star maps, enlightening me of the Heavens. Looking forward to getting to know some of you fellow nerds and geeks. See you in the stars. ?

Armed with my trusty waterproof Orion 10x25 monocular concealed in my Le'aokuu leather hiking drop-leg satchel.
Digital hardware: The Oldman Note 3 with a 12mp camera.
Digital software: Stellarium, SkySafari 5 pro, Clear Outside, Dark Sky Map.
Mount: Bloodred Diamondback dirtbike.
Space Sims: Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous
Heroes: Neil deGrasse, Michio Kaku, Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, Jill Stein, President Evo Morales and Lords of the Underground.

Edited by Hiddenpalm
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Great introduction and a warm welcome to SGL!

I would like to mention ( though I could be corrected by others more experienced) that the Zenithstar 66mm may be a tad heavy (1.6Kg) to mount on the 8se as a guide scope.

It may leave you with little room for other gear you may need, I'm sure others will weigh in on this though, have fun and thanks for joining!.

Edited by Sunshine
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HI, and welcome to SGL.

The 8SE is a great scope and will show you lots.

What are you hoping to image? For lunar/planetary work the 8SE is great, but does not require guiding (the SE mount's tracking ability is sufficient for this). For DSO work, f/10 is REALLY slow. You may well find that the ZS66 is a much better option - lighter with a wider fov - faster scope, so shorter exposure time - so you can get away with a less "rock of gibraltar" mount. All depends on your interests, really.

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Welcome to SGL.  You are in a very LP location, but you seem to be able to get out to dark locations regularly.  Will you be able to get to these dark sites with the imaging kit?

As stated above the mount you currently have will image Moon and planets just fine but the tracking and focal length you will find a bit of a draw back to any DS imaging.  You'll be able to take shortish long exposures.  But I see you mention you are going to get a new mount at a later date.  When you do make sure to get an equatorial mount capable of guiding.  The nextstar scope will be good for smaller targets, even though a bit slow (you'll need to get a lot of data), but the William Optics Zenithstar 66mm refracter will be faster and good for widefield targets.  I would try to get a lighter guide scope at that point.  

Happy observing and imaging.

Carole 

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Welcome. Hope you continue to enjoy the forum and the hobby

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Hey, thanks for all the great advice and warm welcome!

I'm basically in checking everything out mode right now. I'm not really serious about the astrophotography as of yet, mainly because a good camera is pretty expensive and one needs a heavier mount that wouldn't be ideal to take camping/hiking to a dark zone. If such a mount exists that is sturdy yet portable, I would save up for that. Someone on another forum suggested a carbon fiber one. But I am going to start learning how it all works with my 12mp smartphone and an eyepiece adapter. One can't really appreciate the proper and easier way unless you spend some time doing it the hard way, am I right? ? The longer exposure nights of deep space objects, might be a valuable learning lesson. Which reminds me, I have to add a focal reducer to my shopping list. Either way, taking some images of the local planets would appear to be the first steps in learning more about the sport of AP.

It's an honor to meet you all. You are all extremely cool in my book.
 

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Hello and welcome to the lounge, east coast here as well albeit I tad north of you.

Rick M

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Hi, welcome to SGL :smile:

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Nice to welcome another US. member to  SGL. I'm sure you will really
enjoy this friendly and helpful place. Lots of very knowledgeable members here, 
and all ready and willing to provide any assistance you may need. Just ask,
the help will be there.
Best Wishes.

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