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Hi there, our Astro group were booked into our normal dark skies venue for an observing weekend in February. Unfortunately, the accommodations are now going to be undergoing renovation and will be closed for the first 3 months of the year. We are looking at a couple of alternative venues. These are field study centres, one at Blancathra near Keswick and the other Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales national park. Wondering if anybody has any observing experience of the skies in these areas.
I just wanted to ask y'all about the digital binoculars, my mate has one and it looks like i need one as well. The one he has is very expensive but im looking for something cheap to start off with. Something from about 100-200 bux, i was looking through some sites and found these
but then i found a site with a nice digital binocular which looks alright but I want to ask you guys if i should buy this one,
Anyone here familiar with this Vixen binoculars, Vixen Binoculars Ascot ZR 8 x 42WP
I can't seem to find any reviews on the net. It costs around £140, about the same as many other low-mid range porro models from top tier brands such as Nikon Action EX.
While Vixen refractors (Made in Japan models e.g. ED81S) are known for quality, their binos seem to be very inconsistent according to many reviews (other models). I'd be glad to hear some personal experiences with Vixen binos even if it isn't the model I listed.
Although I've owned a pair of Celestron Skymaster 20x80s for over six years now, but because they went badly out of collimation, I haven't used them for ages. I sent them back to Celestron, but, apparently, they couldn't be repaired. Amazingly, though, they gave me a brand new pair (!), and these arrived yesterday.
Once mounted on the tripod I took a look at the 69% waxing Moon. Absolutely incredible view! Sharp, bright, big, three-dimensional, and only the very slightest hint of chromatic aberration. Kept coming back to this over the course of the evening.
Next up M31 and M33. Although quite washed out by the moonlight (as was everything I looked at), I was amazed at the brightness, the size, and the hint of detail in M31. Again, the three-dimensionality was obvious. M33 was only just visible.
Open clusters: Double cluster, Owl cluster, Coathanger – all were fantastic, with a variety of star colours obvious, and only a hint of distortion around the edge of the fov (really had to drag my eyes away from the objects in the middle of the fov to experience it). The Coathanger pretty much filled the fov, and was pin sharp and bright.
Double stars: Epsilon Lyrae, a very easy split, as was Albireo (again, the different colours were obvious). Mesarthim was just too tight to split. In passing, one of the things that amazed me the most last night was star colour. Mirach, Algol, Vega and many others were all pin sharp, bright, and their colours were very obvious.
Globulars: M15 and 92 were small and dense fuzzy balls, M13 bigger, brighter, and with just a hint of granulation to it (like the Moon, I kept coming back to M13).
Ring nebula: The ring shape was obvious, even at x20, though small.
Being a work night, I was back indoors by about 10, but although just a brief session, it was hugely enjoyable, and a real buzz to be using 20x80 bins again.
I am considering buying a Skywatcher al/az+eq mount to use in alt az mode for lunar CCD photography. I currently have a celestron 11 CDC and a celestron 8 on a nexstar evo mount. I can use both these telescopes with the celestron 'solar system align' and sharp cap for short (~10 sec 300-500 frame) captures. I want to replace the nexstar evo mount for the C8 with a sturdier Skywatcher AZ-EQ 5GT mount BUT -
1) the altz/az option is supposed to be 'for visual use'. Does this mean its tracking in lunar rate/alt-az mode is very poor ?
2) I am confused about 'alignment' (is this only necessary to accurately access the database of interesting object positions?) The skywatcher mount does not have solar system align - but it does have lunar rate tracking in alt-az mode. If I align on any random stars in lunar rate+alt-az mode with the moon centred in the telscope will the mount then track the moon? If not ,is there another way to track the moon ?