Author Topic: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?  (Read 499 times)

abtempoecar

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I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« on: December 29, 2017, 03:24:29 AM »
Hi there. New to the website but always had a love for astronomy and science in general.

I live in the Silicon Valley at the top of a high rise (22nd floor) and have a good size balcony. The telescope would mainly "live" on my balcony with the occasional (once a quarter) visit to the hills...

I'm interested more in DSOs, but I know it may be hard within the city. I would love to track the moon and sun as well (I have a geeky thing in which I photograph the sunrise every morning, and would also like to do the same with the moon every night).

I'm a novice with telescopes, but would say I have a quick learning curve.

I would like to spend <strike>less than $700</strike>$1,500-$1,800 on a scope and mount and would like GoTo functionality.

Also, what would be a good option within this budget to take pictures with the telescope? I have a DSLR already.

Thanks!



crypagsperless

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 04:55:47 AM »
A 5" SCT will cost you $600 shipped right now, leaving you the other $100 in your budget for accessories, such as an eyepiece or two. A 6" SCT will cost your $700 budget right now. If you can spare a bit more cash for accessories that you will want, the 6" would be the way to go. If not, the 5" is a good scope.

To take pictures of the moon all you need to do is put your camera to the eyepiece and snap away. It's called AFOCAL PHOTOGRAPHY. I have done it plenty of times over the years and have gotten really good shots.

Living in the city with light pollution you are going to be restricted to the bright DSOs, like open clusters, double stars, some nebulas, etc. Forget about galaxies and other dim fuzzies. Your quarterly dark sky outings will WOW you, and you can see A LOT with 5" in dark skies.

Almost forgot, if you order from Astronomics let them know you are a Cloudy Nights member to get your discount. It's not much, but a buck is a buck.

Happy New Year,
Ed D

adlamontma

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 04:24:27 AM »
What direction does your balcony face?

plethenofin

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 04:32:24 AM »
Quote
A 5" SCT will cost you $600 shipped right now, leaving you the other $100 in your budget for accessories, such as an eyepiece or two. A 6" SCT will cost your $700 budget right now. If you can spare a bit more cash for accessories that you will want, the 6" would be the way to go. If not, the 5" is a good scope.

To take pictures of the moon all you need to do is put your camera to the eyepiece and snap away. It's called AFOCAL PHOTOGRAPHY. I have done it plenty of times over the years and have gotten really good shots.

Living in the city with light pollution you are going to be restricted to the bright DSOs, like open clusters, double stars, some nebulas, etc. Forget about galaxies and other dim fuzzies. Your quarterly dark sky outings will WOW you, and you can see A LOT with 5" in dark skies.

Almost forgot, if you order from Astronomics let them know you are a Cloudy Nights member to get your discount. It's not much, but a buck is a buck.

Happy New Year,
Ed D

all good options,,, you might want to find a local Astro club,,,,with some dark {darker than were u live} Sky property
I used to live in NY right next to Queens,,,,the club I joined had this ,,it was worth it for me

Javier Gutierrez

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 02:51:02 PM »
Are you above the fog when it rolls in? That could turn your 22 floor location into a dark site.

Paul Woodrow

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 07:15:26 AM »
What about a Z10?  That might work.

I used to live in the city, and would get great views driving an hour toward Nicasio. Before that I lived in Rockridge and would drive up toward Briones. Either way, darker skies were never far away. If you're in San Jose you will always have to deal with a lot of light. If you can get a portable scope (maybe a 102/3 or 127mm refractor) you can use it on your balcony and then put it in the car and get away toward Pescadero for some better "dark."

Marcus Kucrud

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 08:53:09 AM »
Quote
For those who asked:
1. Balcony faces East, with good clear view of NE and SE. I also have access on the 7th floor to a clubhouse with an outdoor patio with clear view to the South.
2. I am above fog.


Being above fog will allow you to see things not possible in other major cities.
It effectively turns off all the city lights.

Kunjan Blanco

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 01:25:16 AM »
Heya,

You can image the moon with just about anything.

DSO is where things get hairy. You either need aperture, long exposure or narrow band to make this easier (and you will not get all three at this budget).

You could start with a Nexstar 6SE. It's around your budget. It's a full package and will do most of what you're after. And you can grow it a little. Later, add a focal reducer, and it will do DSO with a dSLR. You could add a small refractor if you get really serious about DSO. Otherwise, a 6" SCT will be plenty for doing high magnification moon. You can add a 2x barlow to the mix to get even more out of it for moon work.

Very best,

vieproltesro

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 04:50:17 AM »
Orion rises in the SE in the evening, plenty of good things to see in that constellation.
The planets rise in the SE too. Jupiter starts rising about 3:00 AM???  I normally catch it about 5:00 AM. I get an hour of observing before
it starts getting too bright.

firorectve

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 07:02:19 AM »
Relative to your rent, this setup is cheap. I'd suggest a Celestron Evolution 8" and Atik Infinity real-time camera. The Atik Infinity is in category considered Video Astronomy or EAA which can capture dim objects in seconds. Astrophtography generally requires hours of eposure, so EAA is not in that category.  EAA is considered enhanced real-time observing. You can see things like this with EAA.

Marlon Hilzer

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 11:33:01 AM »
I have to be honest, the best option for you is a telescope portable enough to take to your car then drive to a dark area. Very few if anyDSO's are going to be much to see at all from a large city visually. If this is not an option, there is one other way you could go. That is electronically assisted astronomy, there's video cameras and other equipment that can in effect make an 8-inch telescope into an 80-inch by amplifying incoming light, or merely detecting it far more efficiently than the human eye can. Even then, dark sites will reveal much more than a rooftop or balcony in the middle of the city. Also, vibration might bedevil you. People, elevators, wind and electrical equipment such as large motors might shake your telescope because building do sway, flex and vibrate in response to the loads placed on them. You can always look at the moon, Sun and planets from anywhere, but light pollution and milky skies are your Nemesis in or anywhere near a large city if you're after galaxies and nebulae.

Taras

Leon Ware

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 04:19:42 AM »
I suggest you read Rod Mollise's Urban Astronomer's Guide: https://www.amazon.c...y/dp/1846282160

If you are going to do urban observing, this is a must read that will give you great guidance on equipment and its use.

Marvin Alexander

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 04:02:41 PM »
Quote
Relative to your rent, this setup is cheap. I'd suggest a Celestron Evolution 8" and Atik Infinity real-time camera. The Atik Infinity is in category considered Video Astronomy or EAA which can capture dim objects in seconds. Astrophtography generally requires hours of eposure, so EAA is not in that category.  EAA is considered enhanced real-time observing. You can see things like this with EAA.

You know your city's cost of living is out of control when someone halfway across the country beings it up on a forum like this. Haha!

You're right, and after "sleeping on it" I decided to hold off on a telescope for 4 months til spring and spend around $1,500-$1,800 on a scope and mount.

unoritvie

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 03:40:31 PM »
Quote
I have to be honest, the best option for you is a telescope portable enough to take to your car then drive to a dark area. Very few if anyDSO's are going to be much to see at all from a large city visually. If this is not an option, there is one other way you could go. That is electronically assisted astronomy, there's video cameras and other equipment that can in effect make an 8-inch telescope into an 80-inch by amplifying incoming light, or merely detecting it far more efficiently than the human eye can. Even then, dark sites will reveal much more than a rooftop or balcony in the middle of the city. Also, vibration might bedevil you. People, elevators, wind and electrical equipment such as large motors might shake your telescope because building do sway, flex and vibrate in response to the loads placed on them. You can always look at the moon, Sun and planets from anywhere, but light pollution and milky skies are your Nemesis in or anywhere near a large city if you're after galaxies and nebulae.

Taras

Where can I learn more about electronically assisted astronomy?

I believe this is the EAA that CharlesC was getting at as well?

reilpipohen

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Re: I live in a high rise building in the city, best option for DSO?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2018, 07:53:44 PM »
Quote
Quote

I have to be honest, the best option for you is a telescope portable enough to take to your car then drive to a dark area. Very few if anyDSO's are going to be much to see at all from a large city visually. If this is not an option, there is one other way you could go. That is electronically assisted astronomy, there's video cameras and other equipment that can in effect make an 8-inch telescope into an 80-inch by amplifying incoming light, or merely detecting it far more efficiently than the human eye can. Even then, dark sites will reveal much more than a rooftop or balcony in the middle of the city. Also, vibration might bedevil you. People, elevators, wind and electrical equipment such as large motors might shake your telescope because building do sway, flex and vibrate in response to the loads placed on them. You can always look at the moon, Sun and planets from anywhere, but light pollution and milky skies are your Nemesis in or anywhere near a large city if you're after galaxies and nebulae.

Taras

Where can I learn more about electronically assisted astronomy?

I believe this is the EAA that CharlesC was getting at as well?
There's a Electronically Assisted Astronomy forum here devoted to it here at Cloudy Nights.

Taras