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Got a Telescope or Observatory?

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posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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If a person wanted to invest say, 2500 dollars on a telescope to take photos of the moon in detail, what would you guys suggest? I am interested in one that I can adapt to use my Nikon D-80 camera with..I am new to all this but if I can avoid buyiong another camera, that would be great. But the thing I am looking to do is to photograph moon anomalies, so the scope would have to be strong enough to see details on the moons surface, and then take a picture.

I am serious about doing this: I have wanted for many years to get more into the moon , as I believe it is full of evidence of occupation, and now I can afford some hobby so this is the one I want. Any suggestions will be appreciated. I have looked around, but few ads talk about the moon and resolution. Thanks in advance. I live in a rural area where finding dark is no issue at all, also I am at about 3000 feet altitude in the mountains of western NC.




posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by Hal9000
 

Great post Hal! I have been interested in the LX200 here lately... and I've been told that they are getting hard to come by (something to do with MEADE financial troubles). Any who, sounds like you are the goto guy for celestial imaging.

I'll be sending you a U2U with some questions here shortly - I have a need for a good consultant for this stuff!



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by eyewitness86
 


How far from Asheville?
Asheville Astronomy Club



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by eyewitness86
 

I don't know if you will be able to spot any anomalies on the Moon with this, but to do what you want, you probably want a good refractor with a long focal length. Then stack a couple of 2X or 3X barlow lenses to increase the power. The problem when you do this you will need accurate tracking and a solid mount, otherwise the image will shake around. You also will need extreme clear and dark skies to get good detail.

Search for "stacking barlow lenses" and see how some are using this technique for planetary images. I have seen amazing photos of Mars and Jupiter from amateurs. They may be using large aperture scopes, but for the moon it is so bright you can use a smaller scope.


reply to post by damajikninja
 

I have only been imaging for about a year, and have a lot to learn but I will do what I can. spacedoubt has been doing imaging much longer but I think he only uses film. There are a few other members around that also do imaging.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:27 PM
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Fantastic Images of the comet Hal!
I am looking forward to attaching the cannon 400d to my ETX125 scope soon.
I think Meade are a seriously cool company when it comes to shipping efficiency.I live in the mountains of Wales UK and they got my scope and hard case (2 separate orders)to me very quickly,less than a week in fact.
Thats darned fast from America in my experience.

Have you got any pictures of Mars you could show us Hal?Its looking good here at the moment,although I could do with more magnification I think.
Can't wait to try some photography when the weather gets better.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by Hal9000
 

Duly noted; thanks for the info, Hal. I would still like to get your thoughts on my U2U, though. A certain degree of discretion regarding the info I sent you would be appreciated.
I'll discuss with you further behind the scenes.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by Silcone Synapse
Fantastic Images of the comet Hal!

Thanks.



Have you got any pictures of Mars you could show us Hal?Its looking good here at the moment,although I could do with more magnification I think.

Try using a barlow lens to increase power for something as small as Mars. You need clear skies to get any detail. That's my problem, where I am is very light polluted which limits the ability to see detail, so no I don't have any good images of Mars. It has also been cloudy and cold, but I hope to get a clear night soon during it's close approach.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by damajikninja
Dude, I wish I had a Mobile Observatory in my Ranger!! That would be pretty damb cool.

Believe it or not, we have a member in our club that took a motorcycle jack and mounted it in his 70 some classic Pontiac Bonneville. It was a convertible, and he took out the passenger seat, bolted in the motorcycle jack and mounted a 14" Meade telescope. He just pulls up somewheres and puts the top down, lifts the jack and does a two star alignment and he's good to go.

Talk about a mobile observatory!



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:15 PM
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Here's a couple of Mars sketches I made.


Very nice!
Thank you. I can't look at drawings like those and not be reminded of my visit the the Lowell Observatory in Arizona a few years ago. I was surprised that they limited the number of people in the dome to a handful at a time as the collective body temperatures caused difficulties with the instrument.

Done any lunar drawings?



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by timelike
 

I agree, those are excellent sketches. I wish I could see Mars that well.



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 05:31 AM
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Thanks SpaceMax, Hal9000. Glad you liked them! I have got some lunar sketches, I'll put them on at some point.

It takes 10 mins to make the intitial sketch at the telescope- getting the shapes of features their locations, brightness and so on. You only have 10 mins as Mars' rotation moves the features. I then make a copy inside of the sketch, transfereing all the details to the coloured blank discs. The actual coloured drawings take about 30mins!

Hal9000- those are great pictures of the Comet, I wish I could do pictures like that!!!

[edit on 15-12-2007 by timelike]



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 06:46 AM
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Originally posted by Hal9000

Originally posted by damajikninja
Dude, I wish I had a Mobile Observatory in my Ranger!! That would be pretty damb cool.

Believe it or not, we have a member in our club that took a motorcycle jack and mounted it in his 70 some classic Pontiac Bonneville. It was a convertible, and he took out the passenger seat, bolted in the motorcycle jack and mounted a 14" Meade telescope. He just pulls up somewheres and puts the top down, lifts the jack and does a two star alignment and he's good to go.

Talk about a mobile observatory!


wow that is how I'd roll if I had a telescope, this thread has inspired me to go out and buy one, any ideas? I have always been amazed by whats up there, spending many nights on the deck just star gazing and counting all the shooting stars I see.
It looks like my holiday money may be about to get a dent in it lol



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by Darcey
 

I always tell someone that is starting out to look up a local astronomy club and find out when they have public events. The members will be more than willing to let you look through their telescopes and answer any questions about them. I wouldn't spend any money until you are familiar with the different types of telescopes.

The two basic types of telescopes are reflector and refractor. A reflector telescope uses a mirror and a refractor uses lenses to focus the light. People are more familiar with refractors and so that is usually what they want to buy first. The deal is that lenses cost more to manufacture than a mirror, so you can get more for your money if you get a reflector like a Newtonian reflector telescope.

I have seen many people buy an inexpensive refractor telescope and become disappointed and give up. They usually buy them because they advertise they have high power and can locate objects for you, but they can't figure out how to do the alignment. You have to learn to identify a few stars in order to do an alignment and then the telescope will be able to find things.

I would recommend starting out with a Dobsonian telescope, which is a reflector on and Alt-azimuth mount that sits on the ground and swivels around. Get the largest aperture you can afford, but keep in mind you also want to be able to put it in the car to take it places. An 8" is about the biggest that will fit in a car, but if you have a truck it is no problem.

Dobsonian telescopes are easy to set up and you guide them by hand. You will learn your way around the stars better this way. As far as what power you should get, you want more light gathering power than a telescope with 1500X optical power. The larger the aperture, the more light that it focuses, and that is better to see details.

Refrators are better for planetary viewing, which are brighter objects so a smaller aperture is better. Larger reflector telescopes are better for dimmer deep sky objects outside the solar system like nebula and star clusters. So it also depends on what you want to view.

There are also telescopes like the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, which is a combination of the two. This type of scope "folds" the focal length into a compact package, and they are widely used by amateur astronomers including myself. These run a little more money, but they are highly portable.

Well I hope that helps.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by Hal9000
 



Thanks for replying to my question so quickly.
Your information in your reply has really given me a good starting ground on what sort of telescope to look at purchasing. I found a website to club in my area so I might go along and see how they all work and find out what I want to gaze at to help with my purchase. I like the idea of the scope that has both reflecter and refracter as I don't really want to be restricted in what I can look at, but if at an amature level its nothing to really worry about then I think I'll keep my options open.
Thanks for the reply and hope fully in the not to distant future I'll be able to contribute to this thread.



posted on Dec, 21 2007 @ 04:26 PM
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Astronomers: Asteroid could hit Mars in January



A newly discovered hunk of space rock has a 1 in 75 chance of slamming into the red planet on January 30, scientists said Thursday.


Does any one know what is the approximate time of impact (if it does occur and is possible to know)? Plus, would we be able to see the impact with our telescopes?



posted on Dec, 22 2007 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by guppy
 


Well, as the date gets closer we'll have a better idea if anything exciting will happen. You *will* hear about it. It will be huge news.

Sadly, an event would not be visible to your average backyard astronomer's scope. You'd need a pretty serious telescope (the kind housed in buildings or in orbit) to have a hope of observing anything. Again, your local club will be your best bet for having a good time with this. I'm sure there will be a sky party for this.

Just hope it's dark at zero hour!



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