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Sky atlas for use with a newtonian


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So far when observing I've basically been using stellarium and a red dot finder/telrad which is okay but not great as it doesn't tell you what will look good, just what you can look at. I'm also struggling with star hoping with my newt. So I've got a couple questions:

1.  How does a Newtonian flip the image and how can I use a sky atlas with my newt?  Ive seen a few different suggestions that its flipped or rotated or inverted but I couldn't figure it out.  I'm 90% certain that up is down through the eyepiece and that about it!  If I get a sky atlas how do I navigate the newt with it?  I've read that you just need to look at the atlas upside down but I'm not sure if that is true.

 

2.  What sky atlas would you recommend.  The jumbo sky atlas and interstellarium look good, but does anyone have suggestions.  Ideally I'd like ring bound.

3. Light:. Red or amber.  I struggle to read with red but I've heard good things about amber.

4.  My wife has a cricutandnhas suggested making 'rings' cut to scale that will roughly show the view through the eyepiece when placed on the starchart.  Does this seem a reasonable aid to a newbie or are we overthinking things?

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Hi,

Lots of suggestions will come I'm sure, but here's my 2p worth:

1. Newtonian view is rotated 180 degrees. So yes, you can rotate your atlas. I like to try to work it out "as is" but I'm funny that way!

2. The Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas is a great atlas, but it's very big. I have the Desk version, and I don't like the idea of it getting wet, so I always either do a free-hand sketch of anything I wish to look at, or normally, just photocopy the relevant page. Bear in mind that the field of view in each double page is relatively small, so it's useful to have a primary atlas to get your bearings, and only use the Interstellarium where the object you are looking for is not obvious. I use the Cambridge star atlas for this, because the area of the sky that I can see throughout the year is covered by a mere 13 or 14 pages. Both are ring bound.

3. Dunno. Agree that red light can be tricky with some charts.

4. Useful idea for starhopping - essentially you can follow patterns of stars within your field of view. I don't use a computer-based atlas programme, but I'd be very surprised if something like Cartes du Ciel doesn't allow you to simulate field of view.

I've got a Right Angled Correct Image (RACI) finder on my larger newt, coupled with a Rigel (red dot - actually a ring - type finder) and when I use my smaller scope that has only red dot, I find it difficult to orientate myself. If you can put a conventional finder on your telescope (or at least a RACI, which is much easier to use and which shows you the "real" orientation as the name suggests) you might find that helps a lot.

Pete

 

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20220817_222443.thumb.jpg.1a514d910f4b78e975fab43a5ad1cb43.jpg20220817_222532.thumb.jpg.4e6b342d2e3d736c1e72d10479f6258a.jpg

 

Please forgive the lousy photos; this is just to illustrate the difference in area covered by the two atlases. Cambridge Star Atlas on the left, Hercules easily fits on a single page. Interstellarium Deep Sky Atlas on the right shows that 4 pages plus a bit are needed to cover Hercules.

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Perfect cheers guys.

I've got a Rigel quick finder on the newt and an rdf on a 127slt.  You are right they are phenomenal.  The small circle is almost exactly what I see though my 32mm Plossl on my 130pds.

Once my brain is firing on more than one cylinder and it is daylight I'll have a look at the 2 charts and see which looks better.  I do use stellarium which has a simulated fov.  I'll take a look at CdS and check that at work.  I'll also use their printer to print out the star hopping stuff.

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A big advantage of the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas (IsDSA) is the gradation of visibility for scopes of different sizes. Four grades are represented: scopes of 4", 8", 12" and larger. Fonts of different line thickness and colour intensity (all well visible with red light) are used, so you get, at a glance, an impression, which targets will be in reach of your scope. Additionally, you will find suggestions for the use of different filters for special targets (UHC, O III, H beta). I'm relying on a combo of Pocket Sky Atlas (rough orientation, esp. with binos), IsDSA, and SkySafari for use directly at the eyepiece. RDF/Rigel and RACI combo, as already mentioned above. For your 130/650 Dob, IMO, no RACI needed - the 32mmf Plössl will do.

Hth.

Stephan

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I use either maps from my Cambridge Double Star atlas, or, maps printed from Cartes du Ceil.

For the Newt I read what I want, then turn the map upside down. The refractor with its diagonal is a different matter. The image is the right way up but with left and right reversed. However, CdC can flip charts in any way you like, so, I'm pondering producing a set of maps just for the refractor. It's a lot of work, but... :unsure:

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Cheers folks.  I really appreciate the feedback.

Sounds like rotating the sky atlas is the way forward.  I'll get CdC downloads and have a look at it.

I think I'm going to get both JPA and IsDSA and hope the wife doesn't feel the same way about astronomy books as she does about the gear.

Practically I think the JPA will be a good starting point for me, but the IsDSA will potentially have more use for planning and is also aesthetically really nice.

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27 minutes ago, Mr Spock said:

I use either maps from my Cambridge Double Star atlas, or, maps printed from Cartes du Ceil.

For the Newt I read what I want, then turn the map upside down. The refractor with its diagonal is a different matter. The image is the right way up but with left and right reversed. However, CdC can flip charts in any way you like, so, I'm pondering producing a set of maps just for the refractor. It's a lot of work, but... :unsure:

Id like a set of those maps.

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When i started with my first scope, i made myself some finder charts using CdC to put images into a Word document, reversing the views as appropriate 

These then went in plastic sleeves.

161295883_FinderVIewM82.thumb.PNG.5f37b8a94b39b6372dc04038b77b28be.PNG

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CdC highly recommended. Here's an example of what I'll be doing going forward. Looking at this thread has decided me to standardise my charts instead of just printing as and when and what. Normally though I would print without any labels and annotate the objects I want myself.

Hercules chart for the 12" Newt. I'll just turn this upside down in the field. Down to mag 12

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Hercules chart for the 4" Apo - reversed. Down to mag 9.

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I should add, for CdC I have additional catalogues, The ones I'm using here are UCAC and WDS. 'Out of the box' it has the usual black background and coloured, fuzzy stars. It is hugely customisable though and you can make it do whatever you want.

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12 hours ago, Orange Smartie said:

 

1. Newtonian view is rotated 180 degrees. So yes, you can rotate your atlas. I like to try to work it out "as is" but I'm funny that way!

 

Strictly correct, but this assumes the eyepiece is 90 degrees round the tube from the top. Many (most?) are rotated 45 degrees from this position for more comfortable viewing, thus introducing a 45 deg rotation from inverted. You need to be aware of this when using a Newt for visible observation and to rotate a camera by the same angle for photography, etc.

 

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I just use SkEye on my cellphone while mounted to the OTA.  After alignment on an object, the map moves with the scope, and I just two finger zoom in to see what I'm pointing at (or close to since there can be a few degree error).  Works well enough for free for me.

499445441_NighttimeFinders7.thumb.JPG.58d555751270cca047fa7387c1921297.JPG

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  • 5 weeks later...

I used to have a 12" dob and I used two star charts to find targets, first the Cambridge one to get to the rough area then the interstellarium to home in on it and that system worked well for me. I found the Cambridge atlas didn't quite give enough detail for the fainter targets. Also using a card with a hole cut out was essential for me! I made a couple yt videos for finding targets incase you find it useful! 

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On 18/08/2022 at 13:09, Louis D said:

I just use SkEye on my cellphone while mounted to the OTA.  After alignment on an object, the map moves with the scope, and I just two finger zoom in to see what I'm pointing at (or close to since there can be a few degree error).  Works well enough for free for me.

499445441_NighttimeFinders7.thumb.JPG.58d555751270cca047fa7387c1921297.JPG

How did you mount your phone please I would like to do that.

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I use Skysafari on a phone. At a really dark site, I use it on a tablet with red film covering the screen. 

@Ratlet - do you have a RACI finder? A telrad/quikfinder along with a RACI make star-hopping so easy.

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59 minutes ago, Pixies said:

I use Skysafari on a phone. At a really dark site, I use it on a tablet with red film covering the screen. 

@Ratlet - do you have a RACI finder? A telrad/quikfinder along with a RACI make star-hopping so easy.

I don't have a raci, but so far I've found that the quickfinder and a 32mm Plossl is just about perfect for me.

Ilonce I find something I want to see I've been printing star charts from cart du ceil using a laser jet so the ink won't run.

An advantage of this is that once the dew sets in I can just stick the chart to the body of my Newtonian.

Still dialing in on the sweet spot for FOV

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  • 2 weeks later...

With binoculars or a smaller scope I got on well with Taki's Star Atlas, but I don't know if it's deep enough for your needs. Goes down to mag 6.5 stars, fainter DSOs naturally, six charts cover each hemisphere (I found I didn't need the southern ones), they're listed as A3 but are fine printed onto A4. So rather smaller and less detailed than the books mentioned by other posters. It might be useful if you want something to "bridge the gap" between a planisphere and a more detailed atlas.

http://takitoshimi.starfree.jp/atlas/atlas.htm

He has a more detailed one too but I didn't use it.

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A small update for everyone:

I got The Deep Sky Atlas and Turn Left at Orion.  Both of these books are fantastic and are great for planning an evening and for just figuring out what is up there.  However, once I've decided on what to look for I go full on Mr Spock and print narrower FOV views of the object I'm trying to find.

This coupled with the 32mm Plossl in my 130pds makes it very intuitive to find things.  Dare I say the finding is almost more fun the actual observation. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

To view the sky altas, flipping it upside down works fine for me. If making a ring as the FOV view, instead of moving the ring on a normal positioned sky altas, moving the flipped sky altas beneath the ring is the way working to me. This moving direction is the same direction that you turn the dob/newton physically. In this way, I can link the movement of dob and the changing view of sky altas.

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