#1201  
Old 25-10-2011, 09:43 PM
Cupp@ (Paul)
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Hello from yet another newbie!

Hi everybody, I cannot express the relief I felt in finding an online resource like iceinspace when I first started looking into beginners telescopes last week!
My 9yo son wants a telescope for his 10th birthday and so after reading various guides from various countries, I bit the bullet a few days ago and bought a 6" Dobsonian (SkyWatcher) from Bintel. This was in part due to reading posts from members here that recommended Dobs?! Hope I got the right thing!!

I got it home and built it last night (it was a beautiful clear night) but it was after midnight by the time I had it assembled...... thanks kids So I thought I'd wait until tonight to align the finder scope and test it out. Its like the cloudiest night we've had in weeks!!

Will I need to get a neutral filter for this scope to get a good eyefull of moon? There's not much of a moon to see atm is there?

Paul
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  #1202  
Old 25-10-2011, 11:45 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Well done Paul! A 6" dob is probably about right, big enough to show heaps of objects, yet not so much money that if it is a passing phase, you will not feel too bad. Hopefully get you hooked as well.
A neutral (or ND filter) is not essential to view the moon but it can help a bit to reduce glare and make it a bit easier. One thing you can do is have a look at your scope cover. It may have a removeable bit so you can turn your 6" into a 2" (or thereabouts!) drastically reducing glare at no cost.
May I suggest getting a good planisphere and basic star charts (see here http://www.bintel.com.au/Accessories...oductview.aspx or here http://www.bintel.com.au/Accessories...2/catmenu.aspx ) to help locate stuff.
Congratulations on a great buy, let us know how your son gets on with it.

Malcolm
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  #1203  
Old 27-10-2011, 07:31 PM
Huginn (Aaron)
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Greetings IIS,

I've been looking around here for the past week since this place was suggested to me by people from the Macathur Astronomical Society, and I must say it's a good community you all have going on here.

So I've taken a break from studying to say hello and to introduce myself. I hope that when my exams are finished I'll be able to contribute a bit more.



I do have one little question through. Is there an option to verse the order of posts? I'm not use to reading them backwards. Feels awkward
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  #1204  
Old 27-10-2011, 09:37 PM
Cupp@ (Paul)
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First clear-ish night!

Thanks for the encouragement Malcolm! I'll definitely get a star chart as I've got no idea what's what up there. I lined the scope up on the brightest star I was able to see outside the garage and the scope focused on it quite well.

The star still looked tiny in the scope but looked like it had a couple of lines running through the middle of it. Hard to tell, it was a bit hazy. There were 3 much tinier stars next to it, one in the top left corner and two down the bottom right corner.

I'm thinking I should get a Barlow lens and perhaps a better eyepiece as well, everyone seems to talk about Plossl EP's ?
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  #1205  
Old 28-10-2011, 06:09 AM
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erick (Eric)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupp@ View Post
.... I lined the scope up on the brightest star I was able to see outside the garage and the scope focused on it quite well.

The star still looked tiny in the scope but looked like it had a couple of lines running through the middle of it. Hard to tell, it was a bit hazy. There were 3 much tinier stars next to it, one in the top left corner and two down the bottom right corner.
You were looking at Jupiter and three of its major moons!
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  #1206  
Old 28-10-2011, 06:12 AM
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erick (Eric)
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Greetings IIS,

I do have one little question through. Is there an option to verse the order of posts? I'm not use to reading them backwards. Feels awkward
Sure, that can be done. Search through the options in the "User CP". It is there somewhere. I'm set for latest post in each thread at the top.
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  #1207  
Old 28-10-2011, 02:09 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Originally Posted by Cupp@ View Post
Thanks for the encouragement Malcolm! I'll definitely get a star chart as I've got no idea what's what up there. I lined the scope up on the brightest star I was able to see outside the garage and the scope focused on it quite well.

The star still looked tiny in the scope but looked like it had a couple of lines running through the middle of it. Hard to tell, it was a bit hazy. There were 3 much tinier stars next to it, one in the top left corner and two down the bottom right corner.

I'm thinking I should get a Barlow lens and perhaps a better eyepiece as well, everyone seems to talk about Plossl EP's ?
Paul, that is definitely Jupiter and its moons. A lovely sight! If you revisit it an hour or so later you will see that the moons will move as they orbit the planet. It's fascinating watching them if they are close to the planet as they move in front or behind it.
Plossl eyepieces are almost certainly the ones that came with the scope.
They are inexpensive basic EPs with a moderate field of view but can be hard to use at shorter focal lengths. You probably have a 25mm EP with the scope? If so that is the best one to use for most purposes to start with.

Malcolm
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  #1208  
Old 28-10-2011, 10:08 PM
Cupp@ (Paul)
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The EP's that came with the scope are described on the SkyWatcher website as a Super 25 and Super 10, modified achromatic design. Is this a plossl? It doesn't seem to mention plossl anywhere, the only markings on the EP's are the Super -- mark on the top of EP.

Nice nice, I thought it might have been Jupiter after downloading a program called 'Stellarium' and having a look at that - that's not really cheating is it!

So tempted to get the scope out again tonight but as its my sons birthday present (not happening for about two weeks) I'm trying to resist! Not sure how the wife will take it but I'm seriously considering getting my own scope now. Maybe a nice simple 8" Dob....

On another angle.... how do all of you stargazers manage to look at the stars for long without doing your back in??? After a half hour of looking the other night my back hated me!
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  #1209  
Old 28-10-2011, 10:14 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Paul
The 25 and 10 will be plossls. You will notice that when you pop the 10mm in, the image will be larger, but it will be harder to see the image as eye relief is smaller (you have to get your eye closer to the EP) and the exit pupil is smaller. Also it will be a lot finickier (is that a word?) to focus.
When I had the 8" dob I used the 10mm about 6 times in 6 months, the 25 will do most things.
Try to get yourself to a club observing night or Star Party so you can see different EPs and how they work. You can easily match the money paid for a scope when buying EPs, I know my collection is easily worth nearly twice what I paid for my scope now! So you need good info to make the correct decisions.
Having said that, the 25mm you have is usually a pretty good one considering it is essentially a giveaway by the scope maker, so use it and enjoy the night sky.
If you are serious an 8" is the perfect starter scope, you will immediately notice that deep space objects are much easier to see and there are 100 Messier objects and lots og NGC objects easily seen with an 8.

Malcolm
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  #1210  
Old 28-10-2011, 10:32 PM
Cupp@ (Paul)
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That was quick Malcolm! Thanks for that, I was quite unsure about the EP's but feel a bit better now.

IIS is a fantastic resource and yes, I fully intend on trying to get to an observing night. Canberra's gotta be a good spot vs. most other cities in Oz, we don't have that many lights on at night.
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  #1211  
Old 29-10-2011, 05:32 AM
Poita (Peter)
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You could also consider one of these:
http://www.optcorp.com/product.aspx?pid=30-718-78-11589

It zooms from 8mm to 24mm by rotating the top of the eyepiece, I have one and it is better quality than the celestron plossls I have, and you get such a range of magnification in a single eyepiece.
I find it absolutely great for the kids as they can find things easily at 24mm then click and zoom in on the object without having to change eyepieces.
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  #1212  
Old 29-10-2011, 07:33 PM
Cupp@ (Paul)
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They sound like a neat idea Peter, bit on the exy side to begin with but the way my fascination seems to be growing, no doubt in the future I'll look at pieces like that! Thanks for the tip.
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  #1213  
Old 31-10-2011, 12:48 PM
Blakout (Neil)
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Hi everyone , I'm a noob that just ordered a skywatcher 8" DOB . I'm keenly reading up on these super informative forums to help me to enjoy my new toy , look fwd to reading all your post .
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  #1214  
Old 09-11-2011, 12:44 PM
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Hi Jan - welcome!
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  #1215  
Old 10-11-2011, 08:39 PM
Cupp@ (Paul)
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Hi everyone,

Well, gave my son his telescope for his birthday last night and I'd have to say its one of the most successful presents to date. He was outside with it for almost two hours just switching between Jupiter and the Moon.

How long does it take from nightfall for the heat haze to diminish ?

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Old 10-11-2011, 08:49 PM
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Hi Paul, glad it was successful.
By heat haze I assume you are talking about shimmering images, especially when viewing bright objects such as Jupiter and the Moon? If so it is more likely to be poor seeing rather than heat haze as such. Poor seeing is not specifically related to temperature as it can occur regardless of the temperature on the ground.
Essentially it is instability in the atmosphere and is what causes stars to twinkle. It is present on most nights and can vary, there are very few nights where is is not there and not many more where it is minimal. The good news is that for visual purposes, DSO observing is less affected than planetary or lunar.
The key to beating poor seeing is patience. Keep watching and you will get little windows of clarity that will take your breath away.
Another cause may be tube currents, or warm air moving in the scope itself. This occurs if the scope has been indoors, the mirror is quite warm and causes them in the tube once it is taken outside. Thses usually settle down after about 30 minutes outside. I always take my 12' out 30 minutes to an hour before I plan to start observing to help the mirror cool down.

Hope this helps.

Malcolm
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  #1217  
Old 15-11-2011, 03:02 PM
Johan (Johan)
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Hello everyone!
I am new to Astronomy and IceInSpace so I guess I'll take the newbie route and ask a lot of questions straight off the bat

I have done a lot of research in the last few months on telescopes, equipment, astronomy clubs, software, astro photography, eye pieces etc. etc. NOW...I would be very grateful for any feedback om my choice of telescope...-I have decided to go for a 16" GOTO Skywatcher Dobsonian, I was quoted $3199 in a shop in Perth and I haven't been able to find a cheaper price. My budget is around $3500-$4000 so I was looking at getting some decent eye pieces and a laser collimator as well.

I was considering astro photography and was looking at Meade SCT's but it seems a little bit complicated with cameras, and all the computer software and I figured there is plenty to learn already.....so I decided to go for viewing for now.

Is this a good choice of Telescope or am I locking myself in for DSO's?
Can I get one that is a better allrounder (good with planets and DSO's) in the same price range?
(Size/Transportation is not an issue)

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Johan
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  #1218  
Old 15-11-2011, 08:55 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Hi Johan
The 16" Dob is a fantastic scope, and if you can afford to get the Go To version, so much the better.
Couple of words of warning. These a BIG and I mean big scopes. I have a 12" GSO solid tube and if I wasn't a pretty dedicated observer, it would be a real drag getting it out of the house to setup, so a 16" is even more so. Even though the OTA is collapsible, the base usit is really large. If you are planning to take it away with you, you will probably need a larger car preferabbly a wagon or 4WD or use a trailer. I just manage to fit the base of my dob in the back of my Astra wagon.
For big scopes, try and see one in the flesh so you understand what you are getting, pictures just don't convey the size of these things!
Also,the larger the scope the more critical the collimation. Try to learn collimation without the laser and just use the laser as a final check. By all means get the laser collimator, but understand it is not the key to good alignment.

Please do not let my comments discourage you from jumping in the deep end, just be aware of what it is you are getting, if you have your heart set on the 16", go for it!

Malcolm
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  #1219  
Old 15-11-2011, 09:03 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Oh I didn't really answer your query!
A 16" dob is a fantastic DSO scope, you will never run out of objects to observe and will be able to spend hours every night nabbing faint fuzzies to your hearts content. They will give pretty good views of planets also. My 12" gives some nice views, but planets are not really my thing. There are really only 3 (Jupiter, Saturn and Mars) with any interest and Neptune, Uranus, Venus, Mercury and Pluto are only blobs, so nice to nab for the records.
But thats just my opinion, there are lots of dedicated planetary observers out there who will howl me down no doubt.
So the scope in summary is excellent for DSO and pretty good for planets, so still an all rounder scope.
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Old 15-11-2011, 09:57 PM
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Hello Malcolm,

Thank you for your answer!

I have seen the 14" in real life but not the 16" as it was too big for the shop floor , -so I have a reasonable idea of the size. :/
I have a 'good sized' back yard with a insulated/gyprocked/painted/carpeted 6X6 shed with approximately 20m2 of level pavers outside the main doors and I had planned to put the 16" DOB on a trolley and wheel it in and out of the shed. I'm in suburbia but it does get very dark around here.
Thank you for the comment on the planets as that was exactly the info I was after (referring to 3 main ones the rest blobs) I hope I don't offend anyone with that comment (I realize there is lots to learn/see/appreciate with planets but I was mainly interested in DSO.
After reading countless blogs and checking a large number of internet telescope shops I decided on the 16" mainly because most say "get a 12" so I thought "overkill" -yes that should do it.

Again,

Thanks a lot for your advice.

Johan
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