Astronomy Page 2

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  • billythekid 22 Mar 2012 11:45:47 10,800 posts
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    That'll be Venus. The other one right near it is Jupiter.
  • JuanKerr 22 Mar 2012 11:53:20 36,094 posts
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    Mars is also easily visible at the moment. Not as bright as Venus, but you really notice the redness.
  • billythekid 22 Mar 2012 11:54:43 10,800 posts
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    Turn 180degrees and you'll see Mars which is really bright atm too.
  • RyanDS 22 Mar 2012 12:29:23 8,694 posts
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    I recomend Stellarium to anyone with a passing interest. Free download that is so easy to use.

    Also scopes themselves are so cheap these days. You can pick up something like a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ for 120 odd. With that you can see the rings of saturn, the cloud bands of Jupiter and some lovely nebula.

    I brought my telescope into work the other day (we work in the coutryside, so nice dark skies) and a few people hung around after work to join me out of interest. 3 weeks later 3 of them had bought themselves a cheap scope.
  • DaM 22 Mar 2012 13:22:26 12,603 posts
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    I'm in the market for one, preferably something I can hook up to my DSLR.
    Wanted one for years, but I have run out of other big budget gadgets to get, so finally time :)
  • boo 22 Mar 2012 15:25:19 11,603 posts
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    Mrs Boo and I are also thinking of taking the plunge and buying a telescope. Going to need some advice first though - apparently you need different kit depending on whether you want to look at (relatively) close objects in detail or distant objects.

    Reflecting & refracting I think it is?

    Anybody recommend a decent telescope shop either in Central London, or within an hour's drive of Enfield?

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  • Dirtbox 22 Mar 2012 15:29:18 76,319 posts
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    Depends whether or not you're actually going to train it on a primary school.

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  • Chopsen 22 Mar 2012 15:31:18 15,135 posts
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    @boo

    I'd be worth popping over to stargazers lounge (amateur astro forum) and asking their opinion. However, "get a dobsonian" seems to be the standard answer everybody gets.
  • Dirtbox 22 Mar 2012 15:35:07 76,319 posts
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    Best place in London

    (well, near enough)

    British Astronomical Association is what you're looking for.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 15:36:32 22-03-2012

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  • Deckard1 22 Mar 2012 15:36:55 25,393 posts
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    I'm obsessed with watching stuff about the universe at the minute. I'm slowly working my way through the entire Netflix catalogue of universe.. type... stuff. Never really considered getting a telescope. Can you see Uranus and stuff with a fairly cheap one?

    Called it

  • Dirtbox 22 Mar 2012 15:38:26 76,319 posts
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    You can see Saturn, Jupiter and Venus right now with a pair of binoculars.

    At least that's what I tell the police when I'm skulking around in neighbour's gardens.

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  • doctor_nick 22 Mar 2012 15:48:04 172 posts
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    Refractors (with lenses for the light path) generally give the best images for things like planets, the moon etc. Reflectors (which, amazingly, reflect light to the eyepiece with mirrors) are generally better for 'deep sky' stuff like galaxies, nebulae etc. The main thing to watch for is the size of the aperture - anything below 3 inches for a refractor or 6 inches for a reflector probably isn't worth it. Plus your new baby will need some kind of mount - basic alt-az ones are fine but an equatorial one will let you easily track stuff as the earth rotates.

    Dobsonians are one type of reflector and popular as they're a simple design which means you get a bigger mirror for the money. If I was buying a scope today I'd go for the biggest, best quality mirror and save money on everything else e.g. the tube that holds the mirrors in place can be an old drainpipe if it'll fit, the light won't care.

    Alternatively, 'hybrid' catadioptrics (celestron make a lot) are pretty cool - they have a correcting 'lens' in front of the mirrors so are 'big' telescopes in a small form factor.

    Edited to mention I'm now wishing I hadn't sold my scope...

    Edited by doctor_nick at 15:48:40 22-03-2012
  • RyanDS 22 Mar 2012 18:07:47 8,694 posts
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    boo wrote:
    Mrs Boo and I are also thinking of taking the plunge and buying a telescope. Going to need some advice first though - apparently you need different kit depending on whether you want to look at (relatively) close objects in detail or distant objects.

    Reflecting & refracting I think it is?

    Anybody recommend a decent telescope shop either in Central London, or within an hour's drive of Enfield?
    If you can head down to Dorking I highly recomend Astromania. Phenomenal shop with awesome service. The guy doesn't pressure you either and is extremely helpful.

    As regards scope, I have 2 questions. How much you looking to spend and where will you use it?

    Persoanlly I'd start with one of these:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-31045-Astromaster-130EQ/dp/B000MLL6RS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332439523&sr=8-1

    They give great views for your money and are cheap.

    I'd avoid refractors personally. Just for that odd time you get the perfect sky and you want to catch some faint DSOs. (Deep Space Objects such as nebula.)
  • Bremenacht 22 Mar 2012 18:20:23 15,742 posts
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    http://www.telescopehouse.com/

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  • Bremenacht 22 Mar 2012 18:22:17 15,742 posts
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    Dirtbox wrote:
    You can see Saturn, Jupiter and Venus right now with a pair of binoculars.
    If you can get hold of a tripod to mount them on too, they're even better.

    Once an eagle taught me courage. And I will never forget that day

  • Chopsen 22 Mar 2012 18:28:04 15,135 posts
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    doctor_nick wrote:
    Refractors (with lenses for the light path) generally give the best images for things like planets, the moon etc. Reflectors (which, amazingly, reflect light to the eyepiece with mirrors) are generally better for 'deep sky' stuff like galaxies, nebulae etc. The main thing to watch for is the size of the aperture - anything below 3 inches for a refractor or 6 inches for a reflector probably isn't worth it. Plus your new baby will need some kind of mount - basic alt-az ones are fine but an equatorial one will let you easily track stuff as the earth rotates.

    Dobsonians are one type of reflector and popular as they're a simple design which means you get a bigger mirror for the money. If I was buying a scope today I'd go for the biggest, best quality mirror and save money on everything else e.g. the tube that holds the mirrors in place can be an old drainpipe if it'll fit, the light won't care.

    Alternatively, 'hybrid' catadioptrics (celestron make a lot) are pretty cool - they have a correcting 'lens' in front of the mirrors so are 'big' telescopes in a small form factor.

    Edited to mention I'm now wishing I hadn't sold my scope...
    Actually, I'd for for a catadioptric for planetary work. You really need a high level of magnification to get the detail, and catadioptric usually have higher focal ratios making this it easier to achieve. I've got a maksutov-cassegrain which is f/12 or something stupid. Of course, if you're operating at such high levels of magnification you then need a serious quality mount etc...

    Refractors are mostly used for astrophotography these days I think. Once you get to a decent aperture refractor, you're paying silly money. Sure, it give as a love image, but still..
  • Chopsen 22 Mar 2012 18:31:08 15,135 posts
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    ryandsimmons wrote:
    I'd avoid refractors personally. Just for that odd time you get the perfect sky and you want to catch some faint DSOs. (Deep Space Objects such as nebula.)
    Really? For faint DSO, you *need* aperture. Best way of getting plenty of that is a reflector, like a dob, or the newt you linked.

    Edited by Chopsen at 18:31:32 22-03-2012
  • RyanDS 22 Mar 2012 18:35:41 8,694 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    ryandsimmons wrote:
    I'd avoid refractors personally. Just for that odd time you get the perfect sky and you want to catch some faint DSOs. (Deep Space Objects such as nebula.)
    Really? For faint DSO, you *need* aperture. Best way of getting plenty of that is a reflector, like a dob, or the newt you linked.
    I wasn't clear. I'd avoid refractors and go for a reflector os Schmidt Cassethingy because they are still good for planets and you want them for that odd time...
  • Dirtbox 22 Mar 2012 19:18:15 76,319 posts
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    http://neave.com/planetarium/app/ Is useful to see what's where in your patch of sky.

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  • P.I.Staker 22 Mar 2012 23:21:05 450 posts
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    I first started with a pair of 15 x 70 binoculars, it's amazing what you can see with a half decent pair on a clear night in fact some things such as the Pleiades, double cluster, coathanger are better in a pair of binos imo. I would recommend a Dobsonian very easy to use and offer the best value for money as you are paying for the optics and not the mount. I have a Skywatcher 8" Dobsonian and have seen some great views of the moon, planets and DSO's under light polluted skies.
  • fergal_oc 23 Mar 2012 09:15:13 2,763 posts
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    Grr darn EG forums always making me want to spend money. I keep putting off getting a telescope, I borrowed my sister's 50mm refractor and it's good for the moon but that's about it but I thought to myself "that'll do ya" and now I go and read this.

    Bloody hate you lot, now I'm about to order myself one of those electric mounted celestron jobbies!!!
  • HitchHiker 23 Mar 2012 09:47:45 2,752 posts
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    Bremenacht wrote:
    http://www.telescopehouse.com/
    These guys are really good, gave me plenty of advice when I bought a projector eyepiece so that I could attach my camera to my telescope as it's quite old and russian. The focal plane of this 'scope is very short so focussing on anything with the camera attached is bloody hard.

    Haven't had a chance to photograph the moon with it yet but I did manage to get a shot of Jupiter.
  • boo 23 Mar 2012 09:56:31 11,603 posts
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    As suggested, I signed up at the Stargazers Lounge forum and had a quick look round at the beginners threads last night.

    Came across this, which was recommended reading for n00bs.

    As a result, I don't think we'll rush straight into buying any kit.

    Cheers for the Astromania tip though, Ryan. Might go and have a chat with them anyway, just to get a feel for size, weight and cost. Ideally we'd want something we could put in the car for when we go to Cornwall, and I could hook the DSLR up to.

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  • Deckard1 23 Mar 2012 10:09:49 25,393 posts
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    You fuckers are going to make me buy a telescope. I don't know if my relationship can handle any more geekery. If I walk in with an astronomy set it might be the final nail.

    Called it

  • Dirtbox 23 Mar 2012 10:26:24 76,319 posts
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    Advice I think we all wish you followed.

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