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Greetings from the Land of Enchantment!


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Got into astronomy this fall (with all the lock downs), joined Cloudy Nights earlier this year, now joining this forum.   I am a new binocular (Oberwerk 12x60),  Cass (Orion Mak150) and Frac (Orion ED80) user (for size and portability to get to dark skies).  Been checking out dark sky sites in the area, but home is not too bad (Bortle 4-6 depending on what direction I look).  From home, even in suburban LP, I can see all the Messier Open Clusters, brighter PNs (eg M57, Ghost of Jupiter, Saturn, NGC 1535) and GCs (M2, M13, M15, M92, etc.), M31, even some fainter stuff like M1 and Sculptor Galaxy, and of course, M42, double stars and planets.   If anyone is in Albuquerque area and wants to chat about local astronomy, give me a shout.  Same if anyone has MCTs, SCTs or Refractors, I have been reading a lot and have a whole series of purchases I am looking out to fill out my repetoire over the next couple months-years (120ST, C9.25 EdgeHD, Night Vision, SW120ED, AT102EDL, etc.).  As I am still a 'newbie', I am sure I don't have all the answers and would be happy to chat on pros/cons/thought process on these and the mounts needed for them.

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Hello, and a warm welcome from a German stargazer (visual, Dobsonaut)!

When I read your list of planned purchases, I felt a moment of slight vertigo - so many scopes, although you already own a pretty and capable set with the binos, the 6" Mak and the 80mm frac. As you seem to be a newbie in practical stargazing, I'd suggest, that you spend a lot of observing time with your equipment, before upgrading. Spend your money meanwhile on important additions - narrowband filters (UHC; O III), a decent observing chair, star maps/apps etc. When upgrading for visual, a decent lightweight 10"-12" Dob, perhaps on an equatorial platform, would give you many more options than just another added 4"-6".

(as a teaser, have a look at this 12"/12 kgs traveldob; (no affiliations etc., of course). Website in German only, but look at the photos. Long delivery times, for good reasons):

http://www.hofheiminstruments.com/12-zoll-dobson.html

Enjoy the journey!

Stephan

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New Mexico is a under-appreciated treasure. Up in the northeast corner of the state are some of the darkest regions in North America. Clayton Lake state park is only about 30ish air miles from Black Mesa, OK, and the skies are so dark there it’s almost frightening. As a bonus there is a vivid dinosaur trackway exposed at the spillway for the lake with a few theropod tracks scattered among the many hadrosaur tracks, which isn’t a common thing. I’ve been to the state park several times and might just make a road trip to the region next spring. I ought to have operating my EQ goto all figured out by then. Maybe...

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2 hours ago, theropod said:

New Mexico is a under-appreciated treasure. Up in the northeast corner of the state are some of the darkest regions in North America. Clayton Lake state park is only about 30ish air miles from Black Mesa, OK, and the skies are so dark there it’s almost frightening. As a bonus there is a vivid dinosaur trackway exposed at the spillway for the lake with a few theropod tracks scattered among the many hadrosaur tracks, which isn’t a common thing. I’ve been to the state park several times and might just make a road trip to the region next spring. I ought to have operating my EQ goto all figured out by then. Maybe...

Aren’t those tracks your footprints?

M

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