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Old 30-07-2021, 09:25 AM
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EvolutionaryPS (Paul)
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Electronically Assisted Astronomy

Hi I am exploring the potential to buy a telescope and am interested on thoughts around EAA rather than visual observing through the eye piece. Is it a better (whatever that means) way to go? Is it a more expensive approach? Is it something for beginners or should you have more experience with visual observing before going down this path? What telescope considerations need to be made to go down this path? Any other thoughts welcome.
Thanks!
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Old 30-07-2021, 11:06 AM
glend (Glen)
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Better is subjective. EAA is great for people with some types of visual impairment, and it allows you to stack frames fast to build images of things that are impossible to see using visual alone. Expensive, is a complicated question in astronomy, as nothing is cheap.
If you have good vision, start with visual observation in order to learn. As far as telescope considerations, as with any imaging, photographic speed is very important. Something like a f4 or f5 Newtonian is probably the most cost effective path.
You will need to learn how to use software, such as Sharpcap, which provides the frame stacking and alignment required. Consider your telescope mount as well, everything is easier with an EQ mount (in relation to imaging), but an Alt Az mount can be made to work if you stick to very short sub exposures.

If it was me in your position, I would be doing visual first. Learn the craft, then think about next steps.
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Old 30-07-2021, 11:36 AM
Dave882 (David)
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Hi Paul- everyone will have their preference visual vs eaa vs ap. For me personally, if I’m out somewhere really dark I just love looking through the eyepiece (visual). But the problem is that I find this is less satisfying in the city light-dome (especially for deep sky targets) so tend towards eaa and ap.
Regarding eaa vs ap, eaa is much quicker, easier for beginners but won’t yield the same quality results you see on some of the pics posted on these forums but can still get quite decent results even in severe light polluted skies. Having said this I think you would want at least a few looks through an eyepiece at some stage when you start!

Some equipment to consider for eaa:

Scope:
Any scope will work but 6-8” is a great middle ground price vs performance.
Alt-az mount will work for exposures up to about 30sec. EQ mounts are necessary for longer exposures and open up more possibilities down the track for dimmer targets or ap but more setup time required. GOTO and tracking mounts are a huge advantage.

Computer with livestacking software:
Laptop or mini pc using sharp cap or similar software (cheaper if you already have a pc and more features/flexibility but bigger learning curve and longer setup) but better for ap down the track.
ASIAIR pro for livestacking (very easy for beginners to get good results but need to buy all zwo products and stick with their setup / config)

Camera:
A high sensitivity ccd or cmos is best. Cooling is not nnecessary for shorter exposures but good for ap down the track. One Shot Colour camera better for eaa.

Filters and Reducers:
Depends on target, sky conditions and scope setup. A big advantage is with focal ratios of around f4-7 so can use reducers too achieve this. The faster the scope the quicker the result! A light pollution filter great for nebulas from the suburbs.

Hope some of this helps!
Dave
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Old 31-07-2021, 09:13 PM
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EvolutionaryPS (Paul)
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A good alternative perhaps

Thanks I found some interesting info such as this one https://cosmicpursuits.com/2204/the-...ted-astronomy/
It sounds like a great way to observe things.
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