Author Topic: Getting back into sky gazing.  (Read 814 times)

trimarnado

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Getting back into sky gazing.
« on: December 24, 2017, 08:10:03 AM »
So, about 10 years ago I received a Z10 dob and looked through it a couple of days and from what I can recall the views were wonderful.  Life got busy and never took it out again.  Ended up purchasing it about 6 or so years back.  Life is now much different and also the sky is calling me.

Are doing a great deal of research and come back to a stage of pulling the trigger on a few decisions, not the least of which is to get with a local ministry team.  I live in western NC about half way between Asheville NC and Greenville SC.  Both cities have what seems to be somewhat busy groups.

My primary interest today is wealthy field viewing and NOT imaging for now, DSO and so on.  Planetary and lunar obviously too, but I certainly gravitate to the DSO viewing.  Aperture right???   I thought so.  I was ready to find another 10" or possibly 12" dob again.  But as we know, large scope and that I believed the idea the best extent it the one that has used.   I believed options not just with tube formats, but mounts as well....  Sure would be great to have something that monitors.  And a dob can be put in an EQ platform.  Certainly not opposed to creating one should I go that route.

But my other options include a 6 or 8 SCT, along with the ES AR127.  Never thought I'd have believed a refractor.  But from all I have been studying, that extent is very wonderful for DSO viewing.  Needs a great mount and I'd go with a GEM for this scope and/or an SCT.

I do realize a 10" or 12"dob would let me see the faintest of objects in the sky, but also have read the AR127, by some accounts is favored to the dob for the majority of the brighter DSO objects with the views, be it better contrast because it's a refractor etc..  SCT?  Just easier to handle, but I do acknowledge that alternative is third among the at present, cool down issues, and just that of those three for visual use just won't be as bright as the other two options.

I am trying to stay under or around $1000.

So with all of this, any suggestions would be useful.  Moving the dob is not really an issue for me; I can handle that fine.  Where I live I have quite dark skies living in the nation protected from light pollution.  I guess I'm just very intrigued by the AR127 and am wondering for the ones that have some experience with that extent as opposed to a 10" or 12" dob what I can anticipate.  Certainly with my finances, the dob could afford me space for a number of extras such as eyepieces and so on.  Not concerned with goto stuff either.  I want to find things on my own.  I guess that's half the pleasure of stargazing.  I still recall when I was about 10.  My father got me my very first Tasco refractor and pointing it to "that celebrity" was blown off when as it was be Saturn.  Very nice memory.



brodsandbacksosp

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 07:10:18 PM »
When I was about 9 or 10 myself, Saturn was the first object I ever saw, and through a Sears/Towa 60mm f/11 refractor, and shown to me by my father too; indeed, a wonderful memory.

ES offers this kit... http://www.highpoint...HeZ0aAjbx8P8HAQ

At f/6.5, there will be some false colour when observing brighter objects. This one, on an equatorial, is a 4.7" f/8.3, and would exhibit less CA whilst still being suitable for deep-sky observations...

http://www.adorama.c...ZLHsaAt-K8P8HAQ

B&H Photo also offers the same kit, for $20 less. The Meade R5 OTA is also available for purchase separately.

Otherwise, the AR127 OTA can be purchased separately and placed on any mount of your choosing. For examples...

http://www.adorama.c...bhi8aAhMd8P8HAQ
http://www.adorama.c...7u3EaAgr68P8HAQ

Both equatorial mounts can be motorised for automatic tracking.

A go-to, if you reconsider, especially for the low price... http://www.adorama.c...zcbEaAtP58P8HAQ

Sean Lee

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 11:47:05 AM »
For faint fuzzies you need all of the aperture you can afford. With a $1000 budget that screams "go for the biggest dob your $$ allows."

I don't have a 5" refractor so can't comment on one.

I do have an 8" SCT, a fine telescope, but much more trouble to drag out, set up, and align. I can have the 12.5" dob out the door, setup, in no time at all. With the aid of a dolly.

The 12.5" blows the 8" away on deep sky objects. The 8" does hold its own on planetary views. But I get the best of both worlds with the dob. In fact I often consider selling the SCT for that reason. Just haven't broke down and done it yet.

Since you have no qualms about moving a large scope around, get one  I do (often even) recommend a dolly for moving a big scope around. It takes all of the work out of the job. Which means no hesitation when the desire to observe aligns with a good night for doing so. (Pneumatic tires highly recommended on the dolly)

I'd go so far as to recommend spending the funds immediately for aperture. Take the gimme eyepiece/s that come with a new scope, use them at first, trickle in better eyepieces as you go. Aperture won't let you down.

Joe Hall

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 03:33:21 PM »
For me, moving from my first 4" scope to a 6" scope was a revelation in brightness and light grasp. However, most DSOs didn't start looking good until I got my C11. My most recent bout of aperture fever, a 14" scope, is even better still and I think will keep me satisfied for some time.

The bonus is that color saturation when I view planets is much better with even my 8" driveway scope than my 6" refractor, so for me, even planetary observing is better with more aperture. My driveway scope takes about as much time for me to set up as a 4" scope would since I can't keep everything completely assembled (I have to mount the scope and connect the battery to the mount).

Paul Rivera

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 12:56:36 AM »
Thanks for the input all.

scamcackratge

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 05:23:19 AM »
The Meade4.7" f/8.3 is also available, but $50 less expensive, as the Celestron 120 mm Omni XLT.

I bought the same 120 mm (4.7") f/8.3 OTA (optical tube assembly) and w/ a 2" focuser, as a used Orion Skywatcher 120 mm EQ for $140 including shipping.
I will be getting a somewhat better and GoTo EQ mount for the OTA than the EQ mount Meade and Celestron sell with the telescope.

But I already had a 12" Orion truss tube PushTo dob for the faint stuff.

vieproltesro

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 06:11:56 AM »
Quote
So, about 10 years ago I got a Z10 dob and looked through it a couple of times and from what I can remember the views were wonderful. Life got busy and never took it out again. Ended up selling it about 6 or so years ago. Life is now much different and the sky is calling me again.

Have been doing a LOT of research and have come to a point of pulling the trigger on a few choices, not least of which is to get with a local astronomy club. I live in western NC about half way between Asheville NC and Greenville SC. Both cities have what looks to be very active groups.

My main interest at present is rich field viewing and NOT imaging for now, DSO and the like. Planetary and lunar of course too, but I definitely gravitate to the DSO viewing. Aperture right??? Well I thought so. I was all ready to get another 10" or possibly 12" dob again. But as we know, big scope and I considered the thought the best scope it the one that gets used. So I considered options not only with tube formats, but mounts as well..... Sure would be nice to have something that tracks. And yes, a dob can be put on an EQ platform. Certainly not opposed to making one if I go that route.

But my other options include a 6 or 8 SCT, and the ES AR127. Never thought I would have considered a refractor. But from all I have been reading, that scope is quite wonderful for DSO viewing. Needs a good mount and I would go with a GEM for that scope and/or an SCT.

I do realize that a 10" or 12"dob would allow me to see the faintest of objects in the sky, but have read that the AR127, by some accounts is preferred to even the dob for the majority of the brighter DSO objects with the views, be it better contrast because it is a refractor etc. SCT? Just easier to handle, but I do confess that option is third on the list at present, cool down issues, and just that of the three for visual use just won't be as bright as the other two options.

I am trying to stay under or around $1000.

So with all of this, any recommendations would be helpful. Moving the dob is not really an issue for me; I can handle that fine. Where I live I have rather dark skies living in the country protected from light pollution. I guess I am just really intrigued by the AR127 and am wondering for those that have some experience with that scope as opposed to a 10" or 12" dob what I can expect. Certainly with my budget, the dob would afford me room for some extras like eyepieces and the like. Not concerned with goto stuff either. I want to find things on my own. I figure that is half the fun of stargazing. I still remember when I was about 10. My father got me my first Tasco refractor and pointing it to "that star" was blown away when as it turned out to be Saturn. Very pleasant memory.


Welcome to the fun of spending your money to look at pinpoints of light that are trillions of miles away.

First, a bit of terminology.

Dobsonian is the name of the mount. So one does not put a Dob on an EQ platform.

All the Dobsonian's I have ever see are based on Newtonian OTA. So a Newtonian telescope can be placed on a dobsonian base, an equatorial mount or an AltAz mount. Just to get the terms right.
So, here is what I gather from your post:

$1000 budget
No AP in the plan
DSOs, then planets in terms of targets
No computer assist desired
You live under dark skies ( so jeleous!)
YOu like the AR 127
You like Dobsonians (Dob mount with a Newtonian telescope OTA)
Storing and moving a large scope is not a concern.OK, then a Dob it is! Here is what I would get, based on your comments.

Zhumell Z12 - $699 - leaves money for accessories
1500 mm FL. Includes 30 mm 2" and 9 mm 1.25" eyepiece
RACI Finder and Laser collimator and moon filter
Cooling Fan
https://www.telescop...ector-telescope

38 mm 2" Wide View eyepiece - $95
39.5X and 1.77 degree FOV
http://agenaastro.co...a-eyepiece.html

Agena Starguider 12mm 60 degree AFOV - $60
http://agenaastro.co...piece-12mm.html2" 2X barlow - $75 -
Note that some people frown on2" barlows. I like mine.
But you can go with a 1.25" and skipthe option to barlow the 2" eyepieces.
http://agenaastro.co...arlow-lens.htmlZ12 comes with 30 mm 2" and 9 mm 1.25" Add the 38 mm, 12 mm and the Barlow

You have 38mm, 30, 19, 15, 12,9, 6, 4.5mm or 39X, 50X, 78X 100X, 125,166X, 250X, 332X

Not saying you have to get this exactly. Just offering an example that I might buy myself. All within your $1000 budget

Adam Mann

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 09:57:19 PM »
Quote
The Meade4.7" f/8.3 is also available, but $50 less expensive, as the Celestron 120 mm Omni XLT.

I bought the same 120 mm (4.7") f/8.3 OTA (optical tube assembly) and w/ a 2" focuser, as a used Orion Skywatcher 120 mm EQ for $140 including shipping.
I will be getting a somewhat better and GoTo EQ mount for the OTA than the EQ mount Meade and Celestron sell with the telescope.

But I already had a 12" Orion truss tube PushTo dob for the faint stuff.

So, what is it that the refractor do that the dob doesn't do? I figure at some point I will go that direction too..... once I know what it is that I am missing about a view from a refractor.

Jeremy Butler

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 12:53:06 AM »
Vanguard, I seem to agree with you, dob it is! And thank you for the wonderful EP suggestions.... I have been milling that over too.....

With respect to, "So one does not put a Dob on an EQ platform." I am not talking about a GEM, but rather a platform that one puts the dob upon and rotates equatorially such as this:

http://www.denverast...rial_table.html

I also found another nifty solution much like manual controls for a GEM:

http://www.zlomotion.com/photographs/

Paul Melo

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 02:08:53 AM »
You mentioned wanting tracking. What about a GOTO Skywatcher collapsible or Orion truss GOTO Dob. You can use manually or use it as GOTO with tracking. The 10" Skywatcher version is $1300

Michael Litvack

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 10:34:17 AM »
Quote
You mentioned wanting tracking. What about a GOTO Skywatcher collapsible or Orion truss GOTO Dob. You can use manually or use it as GOTO with tracking. The 10" Skywatcher version is $1300

More than I would like to spend, and thinking that an extra 2" of aperture trumps tracking for now.

Noe Subeydhi

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 10:36:18 AM »
There's a Z10 on the Classified ads for $450 in SE Ohio

Joel Cahill

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 02:09:39 PM »
Quote
I do realize that a 10" or 12"dob would allow me to see the faintest of objects in the sky
Even a considerably larger aperture won't be able to do that.
Dave Mitsky

schemsucopost

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 12:40:39 AM »
Quote
Dobsonian is the name of the mount. So one does not put a Dob on an EQ platform.
One certainly can.http://www.faintfuzz...m/CrossBow.htmlhttp://www.reinervog...lattform_e.htmlhttp://www.equatorialplatforms.comhttp://www.skystopper.CADave Mitsky

slotiniphin

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Re: Getting back into sky gazing.
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 02:28:21 PM »
Quote
So, what is it that the refractor do that the dob doesn't do? I figure at some point I will go that direction too..... once I know what it is that I am missing about a view from a refractor.


A refractor requires very little if any maintenance, including collimation. Lenses do not require re-aluminising every ten years or so, as mirrors do. Inch for inch of aperture, refractors outperform all other designs in terms of sharpness, brightness and contrast. A 4" refractor will handily outperform a 5" mirrored telescope, for instance, and give a 6" a run for its money. This is due to the fact that all mirrored telescopes possess a secondary mirror, hence an obstruction which degrades the final image; a "cataract" within the telescope's "eye", in fact.

The human eye also contains a lens, therefore with a refractor being the perfect, natural complement to same. Incidentally, eyepieces employ lenses too...win, win, win.http://www.asset1.ne...Titans-LB-1.jpg

Jason set out one day to destroy the Medusa, but he could not look upon it, lest he be turned to stone. So, he used his shield as a mirror instead, and then went in for the kill...

https://encrypted-tb...LctProLtlBCDpPa

It wasn't that the Medusa was so hideous, but rather far too fantastic in appearance. Will you look upon the "Medusa", the starry void, directly, or with a mirror?

A guy is standing on the sidewalk in front of a cafe, waiting on his date. He looks towards the sprawling window of the cafe, and notes the many reflections of this thing and that behind him. He then sees his date approaching from afar, as reflected in the window. As his date draws nearer, he then turns and looks upon them, in the flesh, and with the lenses of his eyes...

http://willows95988....8b957970c-400wi

That's all.