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Good morning and thank you in advance for your advice and patience! I am looking to purchase my first telescope, budget around £200. I am overwhelmed by the choice, but am looking for certain things:
Quite lightweight / easily portable
Smartphone adapter for taking iPhone pictures
Specifically interested in looking at planets, ISS, galaxies as well as the moon
Must be on a tripod and not table-top
I would be grateful for your expertise. I am in the UK (Suffolk) if that makes a difference! I look forward to learning A LOT here
Does Focal Ratio affect brightness or is it all about field of view. Will an f/5 scope show the Andromeda galaxy more brightly in the eyepiece than an f/12 scope, or is it just about fitting Andromeda in there and seeing more of the sky? Also does the Focal Ratio of a scope have any effect on the amount or length of exposures taken in astrophotography? Thanks.
By Roger Corbett
I'm becoming a bit of a Moon and Planets visual observer and in consequence, I'm considering an Amici Diagonal. I have read that at high magnification your view can be obscured. That said, I have read that it is of little consequence when using a Mak and a decent diagonal like this one - https://tinyurl.com/y75z4n5v from Baader Planetarium. I'm really keen to make my East East and my West West. Any advice or experience would be welcome
Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1).
Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS.
Eyepiece: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38).
In spring 2019 I created a Sky Safari observing list of 214 highest brightness galaxies in the night sky above.
I have observed 134 of the 214 (the others have not been well placed over my garden when I have been outside).
In my first pass through these 134 galaxies, they were graded 0-3 (where 3 means "clear spiral arms" and 0 means "nothing to see here!")
I have now completed a second pass through the grade 2 and grade 3 galaxies. This has resulted in some movement between bands based on my now greater experience and having a better idea of what I expect to see.
My latest graded lists contain 38 grade 3 galaxies and 30 grade 2 galaxies (when combined this gives a list of the best galaxies to view when using military night vision technology combined with a low power eyepiece (using the TeleVue PVS-14 adapter).
[Note that lower power eyepieces give the best spiral arm results as they “increase the effective focal ratio” of the telescope/night vision system which really helps increase the detail seen at the eyepiece.]
As we are still in galaxy season 2020, now seemed a good time to re-publish my findings so others have the opportunity to observe some of these fantastic galaxies before they become “unavailable” for another 10 months…
Grade 3 galaxies (the best of the best).
M51 M61 M64 M65 M66 M81 M90 M91 M94 M95 M96 M99 M100 M101 M106 M109 NGC891 NGC2403 NGC2903 NGC3184 NGC3628 NGC3631 NGC3726 NGC3893 NGC3953 NGC4051 NGC4216 NGC4274 NGC4449 NGC4559 NGC4565 NGC4618 NGC4725 NGC5248 NGC5371 NGC5746 NGC5907 NGC6946
Grade 2 galaxies (good but the arms are not quite there…)
M82 M88 M98 M104 NGC2537 NGC2768 NGC3294 NGC3344 NGC3373 NGC3596 NGC3646 NGC3675 NGC3718 NGC3729 NGC3813 NGC3938 NGC4013 NGC4214 NGC4293 NGC4389 NGC4490 NGC4517 NGC4535 NGC4625 NGC4762 NGC5005 NGC5364 NGC5383 NGC5775 NGC6015 Hopefully someone will find this useful information, next time they plan a galaxy observing session...
Note that my dobsonian uses an Astrodevices Nexus unit which I control using Sky Safari. Here are my exported observing lists (which you can import into your Sky Safari app should you wish to do so?)
Grade 3 Galaxies.skylist
Grade 2 Galaxies.skylist
1. email them to your phone/ipad,
2. read the email on your mobile device and after clicking on the attachment, you should be offered the chance to “send to Sky Safari” by your email app…
3.Sky Safari will open and give a message “Observing List Created”.