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Old 10-12-2007, 06:52 PM   #1
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Astronomy

Anybody else into astronomy? Iím an amateur newbie. Really a newbie. I can barely point out Vega, Polaris, or Pleiades but Iím getting a little better. Last year, or was it the year before while camping in West Texas in the Davis Mountains we made our visit to The McDonald Observatory. While there we purchased a small Orion StarBlast reflector telescope to piddle with. Itís fine for viewing planets and such, Jupiter and her moons, Venus, and this morning for my first time Saturn with a very good definition of her rings. I woke the whole family up at 05:30 to see it. Big smiles all around.

Iíve been toying with the idea of purchasing a new bigger telescope and after months of research and shopping aroundÖÖ I just made a deal at a local, well almost local, itís a 50 mile drive to the shop, for a 10Ē Orion XTi Dob with a computerized object locater. We pick it up in the morning. I could have purchased the same thing online and saved about $150 but these folks are real humans to deal with and are assembling the scope for me. Iím not much on instruction manuals so this is probably a good thing.

I was initially set on getting a 12Ē Dob but after seeing just how flippin big it is I went for the 10Ē. This one I can get into our trailer much easier and lay the tube on the bed during travel so we can take it camping with us.

AnyhowÖÖÖ.. Just throwing another topic of discussion out there should someone else be interested and/or more experienced (which wouldnít be very hard).

Hoping tomorrow night is clear!

Yíall have a goodín!

greg
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:14 PM   #2
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Greg,

I'm into astronomy. I can see the Moon from my house!!
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:21 PM   #3
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Greg,

I'm into astronomy. I can see the Moon from my house!!
Must be pretty exciting for you!!
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:43 PM   #4
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Must be pretty exciting for you!!

Hey, it sure is, but sometimes I see only half or maybe quarter. Only thing I can figure is the brew.
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:27 PM   #5
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I've been interested in astronmy since my brother got a refractor scope when we were kids. You never forget the first time you see jupiter or saturn the first time.

I've had various scopes over the years. Right now, all I've got are various binoc's and a 4.5'' reflector.
Orion makes great scopes...good choice.

Fun for me is pointing out planets, constellations, and stuff to others. Many people simply never look up!

Great fun bringing a scope to the woods.
Enjoy!
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:28 AM   #6
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I've been interested in astronmy since my brother got a refractor scope when we were kids. You never forget the first time you see jupiter or saturn the first time.

I've had various scopes over the years. Right now, all I've got are various binoc's and a 4.5'' reflector.
Orion makes great scopes...good choice.

Fun for me is pointing out planets, constellations, and stuff to others. Many people simply never look up!

Great fun bringing a scope to the woods.
Enjoy!
My Orion StarBlast is a 4.5" reflector and it has been a great little tabletop scope.

Our 1st outing with the monstrous 10" Dob was pretty cool. Although my little troupers aren't as patient as they claimed they would be . The COL (computer object locater) thing is pretty neat, you just align it with two stars and it gives you a +or- off of hopefully less than .5 and just type in what you want to see. Or you can point the scope at something and it will tell you what it is you are looking at. I also bought some filters with the setup and using one of them I could see the bands on Jupiter which was way cool! Last couple of nights were too cloudy and it's raining now. Maybe I can get out tonight but that sure makes 05:00 come real early........ I'm going to build a transportation device similar to a dolly so I can move this thing in and out of the house without having to break it down every time. After I get my camera back (the boss lady has it in Spring, Texas this weekend for her quilting getaway) I'll get some pics of my scopes and post them up.

Can't wait to take it camping as they are usually nice and dark skys most places we go.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:26 AM   #7
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Added a photo gallery with a few pics of my telescopes.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/Pho...537&ppuser=490
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:14 AM   #8
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Nice scopes!
Looks like you have some nice darks skies there too.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:31 AM   #9
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Nice scopes!
Looks like you have some nice darks skies there too.
Thanks.

Our skies are OK, could be better but we do have some industrial stuff within a couple mile radius. I can barely make out the Milky Way with the naked eye if that is an indicator. One of my neighbors has 20 acres about 30 miles from the house that has some darker skies and I'm planning on dry camping out there one weekend and just do some stargazing. One of them 'round toos.
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Old 10-29-2007, 04:41 PM   #10
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so let me the dummy
does the image appear on your laptop or does it jsut help you aim the scope?
i mentioned the stars to my wife and now it seems i better learn fast
inquiry minds have questions.
cost
can i veiw the stars on my laptop
and how heavy is the scope
thanks
robert
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Old 11-01-2007, 06:51 AM   #11
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so let me the dummy
does the image appear on your laptop or does it jsut help you aim the scope?
i mentioned the stars to my wife and now it seems i better learn fast
inquiry minds have questions.
cost
can i veiw the stars on my laptop
and how heavy is the scope
thanks
robert
Sorry I missed this one Robert......

The COL (computer object locator) does not attach to a notebook. It is a device that attaches to the scope base. On the base are some sensors (Hall effect in case you wanted to know what kind) that the COL communicates with. After getting the scope where I want it in the yard I do a "2 star alignment" where I point it at 2 known stars and when I have each star centered in the view finder I enter them into the COL. After the alignment I can use the COL to find (gets me in the ballpark) a plethora of DSOs (deep space objects) as well as planets and other stuff. There are something like 14000 objects in the database.

I purchased this one from a local shop so I spent a bit more. With all the extra goodies it was around $1,300. This is the one I got: http://www.telescope.com/control/pro...oduct_id=27184


The scope comes in 2 pieces. The base weighs about 26lbs and the OTA (optical tube assembly) weighs about 29lbs.

All Orion brand scopes come with a software program for your PC. Itís pretty neat as it will give you whatís available to see at any given time and any given location. On setup you enter your zip code or if you want to be real accurate you enter your Longitude and Latitude coordinates.

As far as viewing on your notebook what is viewed through the scope there are scopes for that. Mine is not one of them. The price starts to drastically increase with those capabilities. The mounts are different, they are computer controlled tracking, and you need computer interface cameras. If this is something you want to do I would suggest that you contact an astronomy shop that sells that equipment for more info. I donít know what all is involved with it I just know I didnít want to spend the money on it. I wanted large aperture and object location at the lowest price I could get and I think I got it.

I would recommend the place I purchased my scope from to anybody looking to purchase http://www.theobservatoryinc.com/ . Good people and not pushy at all and answered all my questions. Like I said I spent a bit more then if I had mail ordered it but these folks assembled it and had a class on the use of it. Canít get that over the phone via tech support.

greg
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:38 PM   #12
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thanks greg
now i must do more research
apreciate the info
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