New Telescope

Discussion in 'Hobbies & Crafts' started by Hal Pollner, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Since Mars is in favorable opposition (which occurs every 2 years and 50 days), I decided to buy a High-Power, High-Resolution Computerized Telescope for the Planets.

    Of the 30 Astronomical telescopes I've owned since 1963, this is my 10th scope that is Fully Computerized, with a database of 42,900 objects, selectable from different categories, such as Planets, Asteroids, Comets, Named Stars, Constellations, Galaxies, Nebulas, Clusters, and Doubles.

    After initializing the scope by entering your Latitude, Longitude, Time Zone, and Time of Day, then locating 2 known stars, the scope is then ready to go to any object in its database, and when it's located, the computer will lock the Telescope on to the object and continuously track it.

    I'll be able to get great images of Saturn's Rings, Jupiter's Cloud Belts and 4 major Moons, Mars' Polar Caps, Venus' Phases, and very Close-up Super-Detailed images of the Moon.

    Clear Skies...
    Hal
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    #1
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
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  2. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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  3. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    WoW...that's a beauty!! .... Can you take photos of Mars if you see it?
     
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  4. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Yes, but I never wanted to get into Astrophotography in the 55 years that I've been an amateur Astronomer.

    I've had some of the best equipment ($$$) an amateur can buy, but I still never wanted to go to all the trouble to photograph any objects, either Solar System or Deep Space..,.I'm strictly a Visual astronomer!

    Instead, I've always let the Professional astrophotographers produce the great pictures of events such as this, then I'll enjoy their efforts!

    I have a Coffee Table book containing marvelous deep-space plates of distant Galaxies, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, so why should I trouble myself with images from an Earth-bound telescope, which has to look through all that atmosphere?

    Anyway, thanks for your interest, Holly!

    I've been sleeping outside on my Hammock for the past 2 weeks, and lately I see the Moon rising with Mars, which are the 2 most dominant Solar System objects in the night sky!

    But Mars is BIG during this opposition, at only 34 million miles from Earth, which is 3 Light Minutes! The Moon is 1.3 Light Seconds away, and the nearest Star (Alpha Centauri) is 4.3 Light Years, or roughly 25 TRILLION miles from us!

    Hal
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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  5. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Thank you, Gentlemen! Here are some of the 33 Telescopes I have owned:
    188.jpg 177.JPG 180.JPG 139.JPG 041.jpg

    I can see well beyond our Solar System...I can observe distant Galaxies beyond our own Milky Way, as well as Nebulas, Clusters, and all 110 Messier Objects.
    Hal
     
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
  6. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    You know I'm jealous. I just have one of those cheap ones.

    Post more pics and you'll push me over the edge to get a nice Meade.
     
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  7. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Can't go wrong with a Meade!

    Hal
     
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  8. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Veteran Member
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    They all look very impressive Hal I have always wanted to have a good telescope but like all my wishes only some come true. That is a great hobby.
     
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  9. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    I subscribe to Spaceweather.com, but have been into astronomy ever since I was a kid.
    It's amazing the number (and magnitude) of discoveries that are made by hobbyists. All those eyes on the skies...
     
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  10. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    I've lost interest in Deep Space astronomy and have gotten rid of all the telescopes pictured. I donated that $1100 computerized scope to HiDAS, the High Desert Astronomical Society.

    I have saved my 10" Dobsonian Reflector, because it's strictly manual and requires no complex initialization.

    I now use large Binoculars for Planetary oppositions and bright deep space objects, such as M42, the Orion Nebula.

    Hal
     
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  11. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Martin, if you want to go first class, it's also an expensive hobby...I had between $25K and $30K in my scopes, all purchased after I retired.

    Hal
     
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  12. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    So could you recommend a model of Meade? Or how would I go about selecting the one that's best for me? I putz around on Optics Planet, and am overwhelmed by choice.

    Regarding binoculars, which pair do you like? I often look at the moon through my binoculars (Eddie Bauer 12x42) rather than my telescope. It's more "impressive" that way.
     
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  13. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    John, discussing which scope to buy can involve several factors:

    First, the size of the scope (its "aperture"), is determined by what you want to observe and the darkness of the sky at your observing location.

    For the Moon and Planets, they're so bright that a large aperture is not necessary, so a Refractor scope with a 6" objective lens and long focal length would offer more than enough light grasp. Also, a "dark sky" observing site is not so important with these objects.

    The picture is of my wife with a 6" Computerized Meade Refractor, which is really a killer on Planets!

    For "deep-sky" objects, such as Constellations, Nebulas, Galaxies, and Clusters far beyond our Solar System, a large aperture is required to gather enough light to make these dim objects visible, and you must observe from a dark sky site whenever possible, and always on moonless nights.

    For telescope type, you have the Reflector, the Refractor, and the Schmidt-Cassegrain, which is an optical design using both lenses and mirrors, that compresses an optically long system into a short tube.

    You can operate your telescope manually, or you can get a fully computerized model which will locate your object and continuously track it, compensating for the earth's rotation of 15 degrees per hour.

    To use this type of scope requires preliminary "set-up" time, requiring you to enter your observing site's Latitude and Longitude, the time of day, and to lock onto 2 stars to synchronize the scope's computerized locating and tracking functions.

    After many times of having to do this, I went back to a simple manual telescope!

    Also, the computerized "go-to" scopes are much more expensive than the manual versions.

    Meade is no longer in business, and the place that really "has it all" is Orion Telescopes.com.
    www.telescope.com/

    (Be sure to watch their videos)
    Hal
     

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  14. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    @Hal Pollner

    Thank you, Hal.

    I'm most interested in viewing planets and their moons within our solar system.

    Here's a pic of my place. "O.B." are other houses. It's about 1/3 mile up my driveway to the paved road. It's sort of remote, but you know how light pollution is, even from miles away. My deck is generally southern-facing with an interstate perhaps 1.5 miles behind it. I had my Dusk-to-Dawn light killed by the utility company so I could better star gaze (thereby sacrificing my nightly bat-watching), but that stuff picks at the fringes.

    Satellite of me.jpg

    I'll give Orion a call and chat with them. It's too bad about Meade. They were "the name" for quite a while. (I see that their bankruptcy is only a few months old after their Chinese parent lost an antitrust lawsuit.)

    If I make a move, I'll let you know.
     
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  15. Scott Laughlin

    Scott Laughlin Active Member
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    I'd never considered light minutes and seconds. But as an amateur radio op I've wondered about communications between Mars and Earth - two radio clubs, for instance. With everything in motion it might be complicated. Thanks for this post.
     
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