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This is my first post in SGL and I must say I'm really excited about joining this wonderful community and I must thank you all for all the help and advice provided here.
I recently bought a Skywatcher Heritage 130 as my first scope. I have a couple of (weird) questions and I would really appreciate if you could answer them:
First of all, is there a correct way of handling this telescope (rotating and tilting) while looking at the sky? I'm asking this because sometimes I find myself grabbing it from the back of the tube where the screws are to tilt it, and I'm afraid this can move the adjusting screws and make me collimate the mirrors more frequently. Also is it OK to rotate it by grabbing the extension frame or can this also misalign the secondary mirror? Sorry for this questions but since the design of this scope is so "open" it got me thinking; The scope came with the locking screws really loose. When I say loose I mean that whenever I touch them accidentally they move a lot and when I move the scope from one place to another I can feel them shaking. Is this OK? I've been observing Venus quite a lot, but I find it really difficult to clearly see it's phases and disc without fuzziness. I'm observing from my balcony with clear skies but I live in a very light polluted area. Also I've been mainly observing it between 28º and 20º altitude (used Stellarium to get these values), except for one time when I tried to observe it before being completely dark and I was able to see it at ~38º altitude. This was actually the time where I could see the disc with more detail and very little fuzziness. Under these conditions is this normal or am I doing something wrong? During my observation sessions, I can occasionally see some objects moving fast on my field of view but I can follow them when using my 25mm eyepiece. They are like faint stars (some brighter than others) moving in a straight line trajectory. What could they be? Satellites? Is there any good source of satellite information so I can confirm these sightings when I have them? I will leave here my first photos of the moon taken a couple of weeks ago with the telescope using the 25mm and 10mm pieces that came with it, a lunar filter and my Nokia 7 plus (handheld). I know they suck but it was an achievement for me that made me really happy
Sorry for the long boring questions.
By Some Dude With A Mak- Cass
so the other night i was setting up my scope, and i saw the weirdest thing in the northeastern sky. it was a fast- moving, flashing(?) object about 3- 4 degrees above the horizon. it went from the northeast to the southeast in about 3 seconds, then vanished out of sight. i didn't get a picture, my camera was still in its bag and i didn't even think of taking a pic until it was gone. now, i know this sounds like a ufo, but i don't know. i doubt it is, although i hope it was. i have seen things like this before quite a few times, but none of them at night. if it really is a ufo, id put it at a 2 on the hynek scale, for those of you who know what that is. if not, google it. its interesting. aside from the unlikely prospect of a ufo, what could it be, realistically speaking??
Until recently Amazon allowed sellers to give free or discounted stuff in exchange for reviews, which led to some pretty bad reviewing (if you don't do 4-5 stars you won't get more free stuff), which really shows on sophisticated products like binoculars. There are binoculars listed as "30x60", at the same time can fit in your palm (60mm objectives? magic!), and they are even night vision for £4.84!! Naturally, I bought them to review them. They are really 8x21 as you could already imagine from the pics, but the worst thing about them is that "red membrane" (in other clone listings it is listed as "ruby lens"), instead of being an ANTI-reflection coating, it is like the reflective sunglasses and reflects most of red and yellow light! You get a dark blue image! Then I signed up on the aforementioned review club so that I can get a discount on one of the best seller binoculars, a "SkyGenius 10x50" at £34. At that price you can get decent binoculars, but this 5-star reviewed best seller can't give a crisp image (frustrating, you try to approach the focus point and always pass without reaching it), can't even meet its own specs - I calculated the power at about 7.5x and the effective aperture is 43mm, with a noticeably undersized prism. I added a review to warn people that it is not a "fantastic value" as the serial reviewers claim, but strangely (or suspiciously) it was down-voted out of the front page (well, if you have an Amazon.co.uk account, why not upvote this review or the other 1-2 sane ones so that they appear above the paid for reviews and help some people). At least its small prisms were collimated and there was no ruby coating... I didn't stop there, I got another popular model at £12 (marked "hobby store uk 10x50"), which was the worst of the bunch. Red reflective "coatings", plus about 7x actual magnification, plus not more than 45 degrees apparent FOV and, the tour de force, just 19mm effective aperture... on a physically 10x50 binocular! You are lugging along a huge 800g 7x19 binocular that only shows blues and greens...
Attaching a photo of the binoculars, as well as a comparison of the images VS a set of affordable 10x42 roof prisms (£32 new from Astroboot - so cheaper than at least one set compared), the brightness is the comparative and so are the colors (kept same exposure/iso/white balance and raw conversion). It is a shame people buying their first set of binoculars will end up with such garbage, but there's very few legitimate reviewers it seems...