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By Greg H
Hello all, my first post here.
I have a Celestron CPC 925, which I bought new in 2008. I used it mainly for visual and some casual astrophotography. In about 2012 the arival of my daughter and busy career took me away from astronomy and the scope was left to gather dust. My interest in astronomy was revitalised by Comet Neowise in 2020 and I've started to get into more serious astrophotography.
But, the scope has an optical artifact/defect in the out-of-focus disk of stars that looks like a crack.
I can see no obvious physical damage to the corrector plate or primary mirror. I've not yet worked up the corrage to take off the corrector plate to inspect the secondary.
I've attached some images, using Procyon, to illustrate the issue. They run from way out of focus to in focus.
I wonder if anyone has any suggestions as to what could be causing this and whether it is a significant problem.
After impulse buying this 80mm refractor a year ago, being very underwhelmed and returning it, I've stepped back and done a lot of researching of scopes & astronomy (mainly online due to Covid19). Now that I have a little better perspective on things I'm looking to get my first "real" scope and would welcome some advice. A lot of things I read and seen seem to suggest an 8" DOB being a good beginner scope one can grow into, without breaking the bank. Thus I'm leaning towards the Apertura AD8 with a Barlow & maybe additional lenses down the road, but again I welcome any advice or confirmation that this is a good first scope for me and my family?
Other details worth mentioning:
Price - A definite factor as I have no idea how hooked I or my family will become with the hobby. Last thing I want is an expensive dust collector sitting in the corner of the room. Definitely under $1k, preferably closer to half. If we end up loving it and I trade up, so be it... Interests - Planets and definitely faint & DSO's for sure (so I think that rules out low cost refactors?) Aperture - I know this is the most important aspect and people tend to suggest "Go bigger", 10", 12"+, and I understand the trade offs, but have no practical experience yet, so this is a difficult decision. Price, portability & light gathering are all considered here and why I feel the 8" is probably a good first scope size? (feel free to weigh in here) Location - I mainly see this being used in our backyard, which thankfully is pretty private & dark but we do live in the suburbs and there are stairs to consider. Maybe we'll take it camping or drive to a secluded rural spot once in a while, who knows... Size - Similar to aperture giving more light, I read that 10"and above start to become heavy & unwieldy. I'm no weakling but my wife and kids may want to use this too and the backyard is down stairs off our deck, so factoring this in.... Astrophotography - Probably not yet... My wife's a photo nut and has a couple nice DSLR's already. However, this seems like an expensive & time consuming rabbit hole, plus I would think you'd need auto-tracking mounts. Things could change down the road but for now it's not something I'm really factoring in. One can always google celestial pics right? Manual vs. motorized - I really don't know. I've read the pros & cons, people seem to be on one side or the other, and again astrophotography isn't a big factor at this time, so probably manual.... I was somewhat considering NexStar 6SE as it's barely under $1k, but thinking a 6" will limit DSO capabilities? The 8SE seems nice but we're talking $1200+ for bare bones. Also an interesting conversation I had with a rep from highpointscientific mentioned an 8" DOB would be more blurry and have less color than an equivalent 8" SCT, which got me worried about a DOB and seemed to contradicted things I've read, but again I have no practical experience here. All I know is I bought a $200 scope off Amazon a year ago that could view the moon and bird watch. Saturn and Jupiter were blurry, shaky, white dots, forget about DSO's. I returned that 4.5 star hunk of junk and wanted something more. I hear great things about DOB's far as viewing, but I'm not going to find an accurate video online of what one would really see through it for obvious reasons. So here I am looking for advice. Would an 8" DOB be a good first buy? Would it genuinely be able to see the planets well along with many faint and DSO's? I know a 10" or 12"+ would gather more light while sacrificing cost and bulk, but are they that big of difference between being able to see DSO's and not vs. an 8"? What I would hate is to buy an 8" DOB and immediately think "I should have bought a 10" or bought a 10" and never use it as it's too much of a hassle to lug down the stairs & setup? So C'mon experts, please bring it! If you made it this far, thank you very much & you'll have good karma for many moons to come!!!
Hi. Complete newbie to the hobby here. Just purchased a Meade Lightbridge 130 for my daughter as an upgrade to her Skywatcher Infinity 76. I'd like for her to see the rings of Saturn sometime with her new scope. Would getting a better lens improve her chances of a good view of the rings of Saturn? And if so, what lens would you recommend. Thank you
This is a close up of IC 2944, also known as the Running Chicken Nebula or the λ Centauri Nebula, with the Bok Globules visible in the upper third of the frame. IC2944 is an open cluster with an associated emission nebula found in the constellation Centaurus, near the star λ Centauri. This image was exposed using a Cooled and full spectrum astro modded DSLR through a 8" SCT at it's native 2032mm (f10) focal length. The total exposure time was 8 hours and 25 minutes, through a UV/IR filter to capture natural colour data.
NGC 6357 is a nebula about 5500 light years away in the constellation Scorpius near the better known NGC 6334, AKA the "Cat's Paw" or "Bear Paw" nebula. This nebula was also given the name War and Peace Nebula because of its appearance in infrared images, the bright western part resembles a dove and the eastern part looks like a skull. This photo was taken through a 8" SCT at f6.3 (1280mm focal length) and exposed using a full spectrum modded and cooled Canon 40D DSLR.