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Getting confused by the huge array of adapters I might need to be able to use my 2" push in diagonal and 2" eyepieces with a recently acquired secondhand Skymax-127. Do I first of all need a Mak to Sct adapter and then also an Sct to 2" adapter? Any help appreciated.
By Cosmic Geoff
I had another go at imaging the shrinking Mars, this time without and with a x2 Barlow lens. The results are better with the Barlow, which is what one is led to expect. For whatever reason (probably bad seeing and/or low planets) when I tried a Barlow previously it just made the blur bigger. Equipment: C8 SE, ASI120MC, x2 Skywatcher kit Barlow element screwed directly into 1.25" barrel of the ZWO camera. This does seem to give x2 in practice. I did not use an ADC on the grounds that I shouldn't need one with Mars at an altitude of over 40 degrees.
3000 image video captured with Sharpcap. Processed in Registax6. I found that the Sharpcap exposure histogram did not appear to work on such a small image, so had to estimate the exposure. Yes, optical ADC correction would be better, but the dispersion seemed very small. Blowing up the image x2 in Registax showed a small colour fringe, which I took out with a single point of correction.
The images show some surface detail though the contrast is low (if you are using a flatscreen try viewing from below: ?) Mare Sirenum, with Mare Acidalium just discernible foreshortened at upper right.
I was lucky enough to get a 12" Skywatcher Dobsonian (305mm/1500mm) for Christmas. It shipped with a 10mm Plossl and a 25mm Plossl, both 52° AFOV. Finally had a clear enough night to try it out and I absolutely loved it. I researched a bunch over the last year so I knew this was the scope I wanted should someone want to get me a really sweet gift before I grabbed it myself. What I didn't research at the time was accessories and equipment, something I've been doing relentlessly over the past few days.
I'll primarily be viewing in the backyard until I find a great viewing spot (and a good way to safely transport). Light pollution isn't terrible but I haven't fully gauged its impact on seeing fainter objects. I'm not interested in imagery/photography at the moment. Not foreclosing on the idea by any means but everything I'm looking to add is purely for visual gratification at this point. Hoping the experts out there can lead me in the right direction. Here's what I'm trying to figure out:
1. What eyepieces should I pick up?
I've read that, generally speaking, you want 2-3 premium pieces in over to cover low, medium, and high magnification. I'm currently looking at the following "sets": 5mm Nagler, 13mm Ethos, 35mm Panoptic or 6mm Ethos, 13mm Ethos, 21mm Ethos. I'm not overly concerned about price. I recognize that there's going to be a premium associated with a brand like TeleVue and with squeezing out that last drop of performance; however, I don't want to throw away money unnecessarily if I'm not going to see a benefit from pulling out the stops. I'm not beholden to TV by any stretch but everyone says they're the gold standard so I figured I'd look there first. I'm not looking to grab everything at once either. Was thinking of starting with the 13mm Ethos since it would fill the mid-range gap between my 10mm and 25mm.
2. Should I grab a Paracorr?
I've read many comments that go back and forth on this but the consensus seems to be that, while it's not crucial at f/4.9 like it would be with a faster scope, it's something I should probably have in the arsenal if I'm using wide field eyepieces, which the ones I'm contemplating are. I couldn't detect any coma with the two eyepieces I currently have but I suspect I probably wouldn't given the FOV and my beginner status. I also think that once I see it I'm not going to be able to unsee it.
3. Should I pick up a Barlow?
This question assumes I'm not getting a Paracorr. I like the idea of essentially doubling the number of eyepieces I have but I'm not too sure of the ultimate utility/necessity of it.
4. Any other crucial accessories I should have?
I'm looking at a Cheshire collimator for when the time comes. Aside from that, is there anything else I should absolutely have?
5. Finally, any suggestions on transporting?
It goes without saying but this baby is heavy. I don't have a garage, and I'm hesitant to store it in the shed, so what I've been doing is removing the OTA from the base and transporting them separately to the backyard for setup. It's not bad but I can see it getting old after awhile, especially with numerous viewing sessions in a row. After all, I didn't get this scope so it could collect dust; I want to use it as often as the weather lets me. I do plan on replacing the feet with wheels so I can at least roll it, but I'm trying to figure out a good solution to getting it in and out of the house (down 3 small steps) to the backyard without damaging it or breaking my back.
I think that's all I have for now. I appreciate any help you all can provide. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can so I can have a great experience and eventually show my little guy all about the joys of astronomy. Thanks everyone!