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Thread: Sight seeing in the backyard

  1. #1 Sight seeing in the backyard 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    So I'm having lots of fun with my new scope. Checked out M42/M43 this morning. Very cool stuff. Also checked out the ring of Saturn. I was able to magnify enough that they were not at all disappointing. Getting decent eyepieces really has paid off. Mars is kind of boring, the moon is pretty cool, but makes my eyes hurt. Bit too bright. I wish I knew what the other nebula was that I found one night, it was very distant to say the least. In any case, it was all fun.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Junior Cottontop3000's Avatar
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    What did the nebula you saw look like?


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  4. #3  
    Forum Junior Cottontop3000's Avatar
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    Man, I have to go. See you tomorrow. Gotta sweet little honey asking me to come over. For once, I feel like it. See you in a day or two.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    It looked very much like this




    I borrowed this one from

    http://www.seds.org/messier/more/m042-043_more.html


    But that's pretty close to what I was looking at. The other photos are brighter then what I was seeing. I have way too much light pollution here to get that kind of brightness.

    I need to take the scope out in the desert and check things out.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    well now you know.

    have you tried looking at the Andromeda galaxy?
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  7. #6  
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    M31, yes I think I've found that one. I have to check it out again so that I can be sure. I may go out right now as I see it should be in a good position for my viewing. I'll let you know.

    The 4.5" scope picks up so much more then my little 80mm refractor did. Now I want a 10 inch.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    lol...bigger is better, and probably more expensive too.

    but if you can pick up semi-decent detail of an object like M31 you can pretty much see most things in the night sky, and more.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallaby
    lol...bigger is better, and probably more expensive too.

    but if you can pick up semi-decent detail of an object like M31 you can pretty much see most things in the night sky, and more.
    Well I'm using a Bushnell higher end scope now. They are not kick ass scopes by any means but their higher end ones are not bad. It's about a $400 scope that I got second hand. It was badly out of alignment and apparently the people didn't have a clue how to adjust it. I have to admit it took me a while to get it down also. Both mirrors were off. I took the back mirror out and centered the eyepiece (front mirror) first with the back of the tube. I then put the back mirror back in and centered everything using a collimation cap. That I made from a 35mm film canister. To verify it was right I've check out stars out of focus to be sure everything stayed centered..and it does. More or less you see the front mirror blocking the view making a dark shadow in the center of the out of focus star.

    I also picked up some mid level Meade eyepieces. Those made a world of difference. The stock Bushnell ones were crap, not even recessed. The mirror on the scope appears to be of good quality with a very thick solid glass mirror. Some of the cheap scopes have some very crappy mirrors.

    So the bottom line is I ended up spending $60 on the scope and about $100 on two eyepieces. The tripod is very nice with an equatorial mount and aluminum legs. It's pretty stable. Overall I'm very happy.

    As to M31 I did find it, the size is good the detail was hard to deal with as I have way too much light pollution here in Phoenix. It was not visible at all to the naked eye. Using an 18 mm eyepiece it was pretty cool. Going to say a 9mm eyepiece made it a bit too hard to make out clearly against the back light. (Damn city). Overall I was happy with it. I could just barely see M110 right next to it. I think with less back light I would have been able to do much better. The scope does pick up an amazing amount of light. I would also have better luck around 4 am here, I think the light pollution is way less. At least it appears that way when you walk outside.

    I had to bring the laptop out in order to find M31, no way could I have without some software aid

    I'll have to make it out of the city about 50-60 miles and in to the desert to see the really good stuff. Arizona is incredible for the stars in the desert, much better then when I lived in the north east.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    I wonder how this thing would be,

    http://www.telescope.com/shopping/pr...&RS=1&keyword=

    I have everything else. Might be a nice upgrade.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman poly_nightmare's Avatar
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    I have a telescope now. My parents won it so I said I was going to use and set it up.

    That was about 2-3 months ago. It is still in the box.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poly_nightmare
    I have a telescope now. My parents won it so I said I was going to use and set it up.

    That was about 2-3 months ago. It is still in the box.
    Depends on what part of NY you live in. If you live anywhere near the city you might as well toss that up on eBay. Arizona is awesome for seeing the stars. I've never lived in a place with sky's quite like this. I really want to get out to the desert.

    I just build my own laser collimator.
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  13. #12 WOWOWOWOW 
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    HOW much did the telescope cost????
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  14. #13  
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    Who's scope are you refering to?
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  15. #14  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    So I have a Meade 6 SN on the way.



    Got it off eBay from Meade factory outlet. With any luck it's good, comes with all the accessories except the mount and is brand new in box.
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  16. #15  
    Forum Sophomore NimaRahnemoon's Avatar
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    Nice, what's the focal length?
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  17. #16  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    It is a Schmidt-Newtonian design, f/5 152 mm x 762 mm focal length.

    http://www.meade.com/catalog/lxd55/lxd55_series.html

    the "SN-6".

    It comes with everything the LXD-55 comes with except the mount, so it comes with Meade SP26 eyepiece, diag mirror, caps, view finder, mount rings, etc. They don't make the model anymore so these tubes were extra at the end of the production run. 1 year warranty even.

    Price was $219 with free shipping.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Sophomore NimaRahnemoon's Avatar
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    Whoa that's an awesome deal. Lucky!

    Well it doesn't make a diff. for me. I'm a poor high school student . So I could not afford it anyhow.
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  19. #18  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    and your not the only one.
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  20. #19  
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    Ok, got my new scope in. Used it a few hours now. It's very nice, major step up from my used abused Bushnell 4.5. But I have to say a good 114mm (4.5 inch) can do a nice job as well. I would not get less then that in a reflector or less then 80mm in a refractor. If you want planets go for a long tube high focal length. Just be sure they don't use a little corrective lens to make the focal length higher. Kind of a cheap way to make a shorter tube scope. They save money in metal and good mirrors. Bottom line, if it's dirt cheap and brags about all the stuff it can do, chances are it's junk.
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