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Extreme007

First contact with the night sky - amazing!

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I received my first scope and mount last week and completed the set up yesterday. SW130pds on AZ4 mount and I am really really really happy. Had some clear sky last night and was absolutely amazed. No idea what I was looking at though as couldn't see the moon ?. But lots and lots of stars! There was a very bright object in the south not sure if it was a planet? But it was the largest and brightest thing i could see. Saw some planes and I think satellites by the way they moved across the sky i was able to track them, but I could be wrong. Tracking the plane manually was bizarre with everything backtofront but was good practice. Shooting stars also seemed a lot quicker if that's what they were they went in any out of view in a flash. Anyway albeit I had no idea what I was doing or looking at I had great deal of fun.  Learning starts somewhere I suppose. ?Thanks to SGL members fot helping me with my set up choices. ?? here's hoping for clear sky.

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Yes the bright object to the South is Mars, it's worth a look, but being low it's not giving much detail

at the moment, good luck with the new scope.

Clear Sky's

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11 hours ago, ronl said:

Yes the bright object to the South is Mars, it's worth a look, but being low it's not giving much detail

at the moment, good luck with the new scope.

Clear Sky's

Thanks Ron for confirmation it was Mars. It was very low which explains why the detail was poor now I nderstans. I couldnt get any real magnification at all. Actually thought there was something wrong at one point! But learning the ropes each time. Thanks again.

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Managed to see the moon this morning. But it was very very bright. I couldn't hold it for more than a few secs with 28mm ep. Is that normal? It was a great view mind. Utterly mind blowing.  ?

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2 hours ago, Extreme007 said:

But it was very very bright. I couldn't hold it for more than a few secs with 28mm ep. Is that normal?

The moon's image in any scope isn't brighter than viewed with naked eyes - it is just larger, thus covering more of the retina's area and appearing brighter, especially when you are using low magnifications (as your 28 mmf eyepiece is giving).

I'd resist the temptation to buy a moon filter. You will rapidly switch to higher magnifications, when observing the moon (the terminator region - the light-shadow line -  is most interesting for it's contrast), and the image will be noticeably dimmer. Many observers confess, that the moon filter is one of the least used items in their equipment.

Hth.

Stephan

Edited by Nyctimene
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I bought a moon filter recently and it doesn't give me much relief when looking at the full moon, its still too bright but I view through a 12" mirror.  I would also look to get a O-III filter for looking at nebula, especially as M42 the Orion nebula is coming into view

I would also invest in a decent star atlas such as this one : 

 or get the Sky Safari 6 \ Stellarium app for you mobile phone, Stellarium is also available for windows (PC\laptop)

These will allow you to learn where the interesting objects are as your scope will pick out a lot of the brighter deep sky objects

Edited by PaulM
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I love my moon filter,  wouldn't be without it. Just saying :)

we all have different preferences and experiences in this hobby 

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Great stuff. Welcome to the pleasures of sitting outside in the dark. 

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I have the Orion Variable Polarizing moon filter. It will transmit anywhere from 1-40% of the light just by twisting the filter. When we have our lunar viewing events people complain about how bright it is when looking through other telescopes that don't have a filter, not so when looking through mine. You can buy other filters that transmit a specific percentage, but this variable one works great for anything from crescent to full moon to magnified views of surface details. I have a 12" dob so views can be extremely bright. Highly recommend it if you have a larger scope and don't want to be blinded. I've even used it with my white light filter when solar viewing. Even wstopping down the aperture with a mask and solar film, it can be fairly bright and uncomfortable to look at for an extended period.

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21 hours ago, Nyctimene said:

The moon's image in any scope isn't brighter than viewed with naked eyes - it is just larger, thus covering more of the retina's area and appearing brighter, especially when you are using low magnifications (as your 28 mmf eyepiece is giving).

I'd resist the temptation to buy a moon filter. You will rapidly switch to higher magnifications, when observing the moon (the terminator region - the light-shadow line -  is most interesting for it's contrast), and the image will be noticeably dimmer. Many observers confess, that the moon filter is one of the least used items in their equipment.

Hth.

Stephan

Thanks Stephen. I was a little concerned with the brightness?. I will try the other eyepieces and see what they yield. I suspect that's a consequence of an f5 scope. See now why the slower scopes are better for bright objects. Hard to visualise until you've seen for yourself. No amount of reading for me could demonstrate how bright it was for me until now. Still it was fantastic ?

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18 hours ago, Buzzard75 said:

I have the Orion Variable Polarizing moon filter. It will transmit anywhere from 1-40% of the light just by twisting the filter. When we have our lunar viewing events people complain about how bright it is when looking through other telescopes that don't have a filter, not so when looking through mine. You can buy other filters that transmit a specific percentage, but this variable one works great for anything from crescent to full moon to magnified views of surface details. I have a 12" dob so views can be extremely bright. Highly recommend it if you have a larger scope and don't want to be blinded. I've even used it with my white light filter when solar viewing. Even wstopping down the aperture with a mask and solar film, it can be fairly bright and uncomfortable to look at for an extended period.

Thanks for the advice. I will see what views etc the other eyepieces yield and then maybe look at some of your suggestions. My scope is small by comparison but it was like looking into a headlight for me. I wonder if a pair of sunglasses would help in the short term ? I am probably talking nonsense but I may just give it a try to take the edge off the view! Nothing ventured as they say and it will cost me nothing. It may turn out to be a silly idea.

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20 hours ago, PaulM said:

I bought a moon filter recently and it doesn't give me much relief when looking at the full moon, its still too bright but I view through a 12" mirror.  I would also look to get a O-III filter for looking at nebula, especially as M42 the Orion nebula is coming into view

I would also invest in a decent star atlas such as this one : 

 or get the Sky Safari 6 \ Stellarium app for you mobile phone, Stellarium is also available for windows (PC\laptop)

These will allow you to learn where the interesting objects are as your scope will pick out a lot of the brighter deep sky objects

Thanks Paul.  I've now bought a planishere which will hopefully help my learning and observation. I did try the sky safari app but I found it a bit off course  - is that the norm? I pointed it at the moon as that was the only object I knew ? at the time. It was some way off in the overlay mode. So my worry is with stars I don't know then I will not be looking at what I think I am. If that makes sense.?

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Find Mars at about 21:00 and then swing to the right and just slightly higher - the next decently bright object will be Saturn and that might blow your socks off!

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3 hours ago, Extreme007 said:

Thanks for the advice. I will see what views etc the other eyepieces yield and then maybe look at some of your suggestions. My scope is small by comparison but it was like looking into a headlight for me. I wonder if a pair of sunglasses would help in the short term ? I am probably talking nonsense but I may just give it a try to take the edge off the view! Nothing ventured as they say and it will cost me nothing. It may turn out to be a silly idea.

No problem. Sunglasses would give you the same effect as a polarizing filter and is something you probably already have. They make non-variable filters as well in varying degress of light transmission. I went with the variable as the "one size, fits all" option.

3 hours ago, Extreme007 said:

Thanks Paul.  I've now bought a planishere which will hopefully help my learning and observation. I did try the sky safari app but I found it a bit off course  - is that the norm? I pointed it at the moon as that was the only object I knew ? at the time. It was some way off in the overlay mode. So my worry is with stars I don't know then I will not be looking at what I think I am. If that makes sense.?

Love my planisphere and enjoy showing it to people who have never seen one before. For the SkySafari app, you may need to calibrate your phone/tablet sensors and compass. You can do so by spinning your device around the three axies a few times each. When you hold it up again, it may take a second for it to reorient and realign. It may still not be perfect, but it should be considerably closer than it was previously. SkySafari is hands down the best app I've found and I recommend it to everyone who asks at our astronomy club events.

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7 hours ago, Extreme007 said:

. I wonder if a pair of sunglasses would help in the short term 

I have seen it suggested in the past 

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Glad you're enjoying your first viewings!  I reckon the Moon is best viewed well away from full - less intense, plus more detail, esp. along the terminator with the shadows created by the features.  As others have said, if you increase the mag (with smaller focal  length eyepieces), the glare will be reduced.  (Don't know if that 'scope has a smaller aperture cover - some do - and stopping down the opening also reduces glare, but at the expense of resolution/detail.)

Have fun!

Doug.

Edited by cloudsweeper
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On 02/10/2018 at 17:12, cloudsweeper said:

Glad you're enjoying your first viewings!  I reckon the Moon is best viewed well away from full - less intense, plus more detail, esp. along the terminator with the shadows created by the features.  As others have said, if you increase the mag (with smaller focal  length eyepieces), the glare will be reduced.  (Don't know if that 'scope has a smaller aperture cover - some do - and stopping down the opening also reduces glare, but at the expense of resolution/detail.)

Have fun!

Doug.

The sw130 does have the stop. 

Put your end cap on the telescope, remove the little cap from the middle of the main cap and bobs your uncle, your F5 scope is now F12 or there abouts. Obviously with the smaller aperture you lose some resolution but there’s a good compromise to be had when observing the brighter lunar phases. 

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I have also tried removing the little cap on my F6 cover.  The first time you do it, your brain moves into overdrive trying to work out what is going on, but it really can work and somtimes if folks complain about the brightness just slotting in the cover is a quick and easy fix foe rhem.  For myself I confess I wonder what all the fuss is about and regularly watch the moon with nothing other than a standard EP with no issues.

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Welcome from Land Down Under

When doing school/scout group presentations with my club, use lunar filter

Mars set around 3am this morning

Just after dark, have Venus and Jupiter above western horizon, and Saturn and Mars directly overhead

John

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On 02/10/2018 at 11:50, Buzzard75 said:

No problem. Sunglasses would give you the same effect as a polarizing filter and is something you probably already have. They make non-variable filters as well in varying degress of light transmission. I went with the variable as the "one size, fits all" option.

Love my planisphere and enjoy showing it to people who have never seen one before. For the SkySafari app, you may need to calibrate your phone/tablet sensors and compass. You can do so by spinning your device around the three axies a few times each. When you hold it up again, it may take a second for it to reorient and realign. It may still not be perfect, but it should be considerably closer than it was previously. SkySafari is hands down the best app I've found and I recommend it to everyone who asks at our astronomy club events.

Yes the planishere is very clever indeed once you get you head around it ( or is that over or under it ?). I will try the app again and recalibrate. At least if I know its a little off then I can work around it and I'm not a million light years away. Thanks.

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5 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:

Welcome from Land Down Under

When doing school/scout group presentations with my club, use lunar filter

Mars set around 3am this morning

Just after dark, have Venus and Jupiter above western horizon, and Saturn and Mars directly overhead

John

G'day John.  Sounds like you got some good planetary views down there. 

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5 hours ago, JOC said:

I have also tried removing the little cap on my F6 cover.  The first time you do it, your brain moves into overdrive trying to work out what is going on, but it really can work and somtimes if folks complain about the brightness just slotting in the cover is a quick and easy fix foe rhem.  For myself I confess I wonder what all the fuss is about and regularly watch the moon with nothing other than a standard EP with no issues.

Thanks. I did wonder what or if that smaller cap within the larger cap did anything  I will give that a try and see if it helps.  For myself maybe it just takes acclimatisation it's just a shock when I viwe for the first time. But as someone advised previously the moon is a bright objet in the sky but when you get rid of that big dark stuff around it it is going to appear even brighter to the eye. ? well I'm still learning so it's all good. Thanks again. 

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7 hours ago, johnfosteruk said:

The sw130 does have the stop. 

Put your end cap on the telescope, remove the little cap from the middle of the main cap and bobs your uncle, your F5 scope is now F12 or there abouts. Obviously with the smaller aperture you lose some resolution but there’s a good compromise to be had when observing the brighter lunar phases. 

Thanks. I think the smaller cap was offset to the side. Bizarrely. Is that still ok? Assume as light travels in straight lines it's still gong to produce an image albeit darker? This is clearly just acting as an aperture ring like in a camera lens then. Clever.? did wonderwhat that cap was for didn't put 2 plus 2 together ?

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