#1461  
Old 25-01-2013, 06:31 PM
Davy_ (Davy)
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Question New user on IIS

Hi all.
I have a Celestron SLT130 GOTO. I want to get an EQ motorised goto for astrophoto. Any advice on where in Melbourne is good for a mount. I have about a $1000. Doing a workshop in michaels in the city on DSLR astro pics.

Thanks in advance
Hope i,m in the correct area for this post.

Davy

Last edited by Davy_; 31-01-2013 at 06:28 PM.
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  #1462  
Old 03-02-2013, 12:14 AM
Wycky (Angelo)
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Newbie

Howdy Folks,
My wife just brought me a Dob 6" Saxon for my birthday!!
I have always had an interest in Astronomy I had a refractor scope when I was a kid I use to play with.

I am new to this and would like to learn how to get the most out of my scope, meet up with others for some star gazing and tips.

Last edited by Wycky; 03-02-2013 at 12:30 AM.
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  #1463  
Old 04-02-2013, 12:39 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
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Hi Angelo.
Hang on to that wife. Spouses that give astro goodies are highly sought after!!
Seriously, that is a great present. What have you done with it so far? Back when I was much younger in the '70s a 6" Newt was considered a good size amateur scope. Anything much bigger was a serious instrument. Should give lots of pleasure.

Malcolm
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  #1464  
Old 04-02-2013, 07:09 PM
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elfinke (Trev)
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Went to pull the trigger on one of the 8" Dobs at Andrews late last week when I saw that the price had jumped from $399 to $449

It's still a damn good price, given the eyepieces (from my reading anyway), but knowing it was $50 cheaper a day or two earlier has put me off buying one altogether now.

What a bugger.
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  #1465  
Old 04-02-2013, 07:59 PM
BFUBBS
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Short tracking time/flat batteries

I am new here and while browsing the forums I have noticed that people have mentioned goto/tracking scopes are good for an hour or two before they run out of batteries (unless plugged into a car cigarette lighter or mains). I solved this problem by purchasing a jump starter pack from supercheap auto. I have since used it twice for about 6 hours each night, never turning tracking off and it is still registering as fully charged. I am guessing that I could get about 30 nights out of it before I run out of batteries... Also if you are using multiple scopes that track you can get jumper packs with two cigarette lighter points to run two scopes.

Hope this helps those that track with out a power source nearby or in groups or those that just don't want to waste money on batteries.

My question is this: I have a celestron nexstar 8 and its Auto align feature is always off (not accurate), for those that are familiar it uses lat/long, date/time, alignment to north whilst level and known two stars to triangulate itself. Should I be using true north or magnetic north for alignment?

Also if anyone can point out a good spot for viewing, I live in Kelmscott, Western Australia and was hoping for somewhere south east of Perth, within an hour or so. I currently use my old high school oval but the half dozen or so street lights are making it difficult to go above magnitude 6 or 7.
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  #1466  
Old 11-02-2013, 04:11 PM
Antonius (Tony)
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Hello

Hello fellow beginners,
My stepson recieved a Heritage 130p flex dobsonian for xmas and has no interest in astronomy, so i thought i would take it up as a hobby (He also got a sonor drum kit for his birthday that he has no interest in either, so i'm into that too). Any tips on how to get the best out of my telescope would be very much appreciated. I have viewed Jupiter with it with the x10 lens which was amazing and of the moon in the day which was great also. I am looking forward to viewing the panstarrs comet before sunrise if possible and i am yet to view Saturn. Thanks.
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  #1467  
Old 11-02-2013, 07:48 PM
BFUBBS
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Hi antonius,

1. plan your night, figure out what you want to see and what time. try get everything to be as high up (at/near zenith) as possible so you are looking through the least atmosphere. I use Stellarium to assist in this (http://www.stellarium.org/)
2. plan based on apparent magnitude (lower number = brighter object), start off easy and get dimmer. as time goes by you will be able to see dimmer things with an improvement of technique so also throw a few dimmer objects in as well. If you can't find them review things (compare views now as apposed to six months ago) you have previously seen from your...
3. journal. keep one. place, date, conditions, what you observed, what it looked like, what eyepieces/filters/scope you used, how cross the wife/girlfriend/husband etc was at that time of night, draw a sketch (not of the angry partner, the observed object). So you can review your observations try and improve on them etc.
4. get away from light sources. street lights, large cities, if you smoke understand that lighting a cigarette will blind you, (my girlfriend taking flash photography just as I was getting my night vision), the moon (unless you want to observe it) will "wash out" the fainter objects especially when it is full so try get a night when the moon is out during the day or as close to new moon as possible. (on the left of this page there is a picture of the moon, click it. that will take you to all the info you need in this regard).
5. you mention viewing PANSTARRS, look out for Comet Lemmon too.
6. you mention viewing planets, if your scopes eyepieces accept filters have a go with different color filters, they bring out different details in planets and are between 10 - 20 bucks, which I think make the viewing more of an activity/challenge, but also more rewarding.
7. get a chair/stool so you have a good spot to view from, my back thanks me every weekend.

and just a word on convention; an eyepiece has a focal length in millimeters. the magnification you get is the focal length of the scope devided by the focal length of the eyepiece. So your scope has a 650 mm focal length, your two eyepieces are 25 mm and 10 mm if you got the ones that I think came with your scope, you get 650/25=26x and 650/10=65x. If you wanted ten times magnification you would need a 65mm eyepiece.

see these lists for help choosing your next target (excel format download link in the thread):
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=45678
http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...ad.php?t=45971
Start at low magnitudes, check what time these objects will be at/as close to zenith using Stellarium and go for it.

Finally Welcome to the community, good luck!

Edit: see here http://dso-browser.com/
very good site for creating a viewing list for the night, lots of options.

Last edited by BFUBBS; 12-02-2013 at 09:30 AM.
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  #1468  
Old 15-02-2013, 10:58 AM
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elfinke (Trev)
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So, if I said that my upcoming forecast looks like this:
  • Feb 15
  • Possible T/Storm
  • Feb 16
  • Showers
  • Feb 17
  • Possible Shower
  • Feb 18
  • Possible Shower
  • Feb 19
  • Possible Shower
  • Feb 20
  • Mostly Sunny
  • Feb 21
  • Possible Shower

What would your first guesses be as to what I bought this week? So I would like to apologise to everyone in the NE of NSW and SE of QLD. The clouds are more or less my fault, they're causally related to my purchase I'm sure!
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  #1469  
Old 21-02-2013, 11:16 AM
Diamondskies (Lilli)
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Totally new to this but really excited

Hi there,
I've just been given a Celestron Nexstar 8SE by my gorgeous husband and I'm sooooo excited and raring to go!! I'd love to get any tips or advice from anyone with the same or similar scopes or just tips for a beginner in general. Can't wait for clear skies
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  #1470  
Old 21-02-2013, 12:04 PM
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Allan_L (Allan)
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Hi Lilli,
welcome to Ice in Space

Thats a very nice piece of equipment you have received.
It should provide you with some wonderful views of the Cosmos.
And goto to boot.

I have owned an 8SE in the past, and once you learn to enter your latitude and longitude and date and time in the format it requires, you should find it a breeze to operate. Make sure you read the manual!

If you have any questions, post them in the beginners equipment forum and I am sure you will get lots of good advice.

Firstly, download Stellarium (its free) and it will help you to find your way around the night sky.

Clear Skies
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  #1471  
Old 21-02-2013, 12:45 PM
Diamondskies (Lilli)
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Hi Allan,
Thanks for your welcome. I do have an equipment question re setup of Skysync so thanks too for pointing me in the direction of the right forum.

Cheers and clear skies to you too
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  #1472  
Old 21-02-2013, 03:36 PM
BFUBBS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondskies View Post
Hi there,
I've just been given a Celestron Nexstar 8SE by my gorgeous husband and I'm sooooo excited and raring to go!! I'd love to get any tips or advice from anyone with the same or similar scopes or just tips for a beginner in general. Can't wait for clear skies
I would make my first purchase a spirit level, then find an app that retrieves your gps coordinates.

If you find that you are not getting good alignment on this scope in a different part of the sky request something and then find it manually, perform a "3-star" alignment (replace an original star with a new star/object basically whatever it is you told the scope you want to see.

Next purchase: head to supercheap auto or similar and buy a car "jump start pack" with two cigarette lighter points on it, use one to run your scope so you can be miles away from your car/ power point with no problems a med/large one of these will run this scope all night every night for weeks, don't bother with batteries. the second power point can be used for dew control for example which I find I need with this scope. I use this site

http://dso-browser.com/

to plan my viewing nights alongside stellarium. filter to a magnitude you would like to attempt for example, sort list given by time of max altitude and then go down the list and pick off whatever takes you fancy...

any other questions about this scope send me a message/post up here.

P.S. if the scope tells you "Warning! OTA will collide with something!" (or something along those lines anyway) then believe it and abort slewing to that object, because it is not lying to you. Just trust me on this one...

Good luck, It will serve you well.

Last edited by BFUBBS; 22-02-2013 at 09:50 AM. Reason: corrections (removing misinformation)
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  #1473  
Old 21-02-2013, 07:53 PM
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Allan_L (Allan)
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For the Mount: A round level is better than a straight level as you can get all the angles at once. (this will save a lot of time).
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  #1474  
Old 21-02-2013, 08:01 PM
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Allan_L (Allan)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFUBBS View Post
...you will have to level the scope (place the spirit level on the OTA and slew until it is spot on) and point to north
Sorry, but this does not seem right for an Alt/Az mount.
Certainly not for my 8SE. (a SCT on a single arm Alt Az mount)
Are you talking about using a wedge to make it act like a EQ mount?

Lilli,
If using the standard Alt Az mount, set up is much easier. There are several methods. Make sure to Read the manual.
Basic Auto Align worked fine for me 95% of the time.

Hope this helps
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  #1475  
Old 22-02-2013, 09:47 AM
BFUBBS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan_L View Post
Sorry, but this does not seem right for an Alt/Az mount.
Certainly not for my 8SE. (a SCT on a single arm Alt Az mount)
Are you talking about using a wedge to make it act like a EQ mount?

Lilli,
If using the standard Alt Az mount, set up is much easier. There are several methods. Make sure to Read the manual.
Basic Auto Align worked fine for me 95% of the time.

Hope this helps
Thats what I get prompted, But realisation strikes me that I have a relic version of the scope Nextar 8, not 8SE. so we have two different alignment procedures. I stand corrected and will edit my previous post. Just for information sharings sake the nextar 8 used level and north plus lat, long, date and time to get a rough idea of where to slew to for the alignment stars. That is it knew where it was pointing and where it was and when it was so it used that information to guess where the alignment star should be (eg turn left 15 degrees, 35 degrees altitude from where it currently is).
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  #1476  
Old 22-02-2013, 11:58 AM
Diamondskies (Lilli)
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Thanks Bfubbs and Allan for your great advice. I've already got the Powertank (thanks again to my husband who never does things by halves and bought me the WHOLE kit and caboodle - skysync gps, p/tank, camera adaptors EPs etc). Now all I have to do is learn how to use it all. Cloudy skies at the moment so I can only read and re-read the manual. Allan, I was going to purchase a standard spirit level so your advice re a round one is just in time. Thanks again guys and Bfubbs I will definately msg you if I have problems.
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  #1477  
Old 08-03-2013, 05:04 PM
NovaStar
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Hi all, I have been a member for years but need 5 posts before i can place a classified, one
Cheers Basil
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  #1478  
Old 09-03-2013, 07:06 PM
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Douvie (John)
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Hi All,

I finally decided to register. I have been looking at the sky, night sky that is, for years trying to figure out how those ancient observers came up with all those constellations. I sort of can see a few of the major ones, like Scorpio and the Southern Cross.

In recent times, my wife bought a 130 mm celestron astromaster scope. Yeah, it has the mechanical one with German Equatorial Mount which I have been trying to adjust and understand - not.

I also attempted a bit of astrophotography with my Canon 5D mk II. Had mixed results with this. I hope to learn more.
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  #1479  
Old 11-03-2013, 01:14 PM
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barx1963 (Malcolm)
Bright the hawk's flight

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Hi John and welcome! The constellations are a bit confusing at first. One thing to remember is that many of them were not ancient constellations. The ancients made groupings out of obvious shapes, Orion, Scorpius, Leo, Pegasus for example) Many of the modern 88 constellations are of relatively recent origin especially the southern ones and the current list was only settled in the 1920s. There are many defunct constellations that did not make the list as well. The history of constellations is quite interesting.

Malcolm
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  #1480  
Old 31-03-2013, 08:13 PM
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Doogs38 (Alex)
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Hello from a Newby

Hi Folks. I've been interested in astronomy since childhood but for many reasons never had anything more than binoculars with which to view the heavens. I recently obtained a pre-loved Skywatcher 130mm newtonian (blue tube) and I'm having a marvellous time - when the weather isn't being disagreeable here in SEQLD! I've now spent many hours looking at Jupiter and Saturn, the moon, globular clusters, nebula etc and I'm completely fascinated with what I can see with my small aperture. I've bought some new eyepieces (13mm Orion Stratus, 5mm Orion Edge-on Planetary & a 20mm Orion Expanse) to replace those provided with the telescope, and got myself a moon filter. Like all beginners I have a lot to learn but the beauty is it's all interesting stuff. It's like a novel that you can't put down If I still feel the same way in 12-18 months, then I'll consider buying a 10 or 12 inch instrument.

Alex

PS I live slightly west of Ipswich where light pollution is still apparent, but far less then being in town - a moonless night looks fabulous :-)
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