Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - elunmolunch

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8
Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: TeleVue Ethos 13mm
« on: February 09, 2018, 01:24:35 AM »
I also heard from the manager of the observatory that I shouldn't waste my money on a 13mm ethos as a dob eyepiece. Another staff member was surprised that he had said this. Does anyone know why he would say this?

Indeed, that advice goes against most everything that has been said of the Ethos when used in any telescope and especially when used in a dob. If it wasn't mentioned above a Paracorr might be a better first investment after the 13E than a 2" 2x Powermate. Maybe coma doesn't bother you with your 50º eyepieces but you will see it in a 100º eyepiece. With a Paracorr the stars will be pinpoints to the edge of the field. You needn't get the much more expensive Paracorr 2 for your focal length so look for a used Paracorr 1 on astromart or here in the shop and swap or classified. You should be able to find one for about 200 bucks if you are patient. Also, don't discount getting a used Ethos either. If for some reason you truly hated it you could resell it for the same price minus shipping.

I'm not a fan of Barlows either but propose a different option. If I had a big SCT like yours I'd be very interested in the new ES ep's they recently announced. They're kinda pricey so how about saving a bit on the wider fields:

40mm WO SWAN
25mm WO SWAN (unless you already have the 24Pan)
17mm ES93
12mm ES93
      or a TVD8 for both the T6's
      maybe a TVE13 for both the ES93's

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Not to appear snobby, but i would rather spend my money in quality tested eyepieces than in untested (albeit good quality) chinese knockoffs.


​Perhaps I'm missing something. If something is "untested," how do you know it's good quality. If it's good quality, it's had some form of at least informal testing (like the WO SWANs and their many twins). The ES92 series may not have been tested, but it doesn't look like a knock off. Perhaps you are referring to the cheap Televues, some of which may have been made in Taiwan?

As far as cancer, I seriously doubt any verifiable scientific case could ever be made
Because I am a eternally-curious person, on what scientific basis are you making this claim? What scientific facts lead you to have such doubts?Personally, I'm inclined to believe science, because I do amateur astronomy, and I believe how far stars really are from us, based on science. I believe what they are made of, based on science. Therefore, I am also inclined to believe well-respected researchers such as Dr. David Blask, Dr. George Brainard and Dr. Charles Czeisler write scientific papers based on scientific studies of the harm light can cause. Besides, people believe politicians on FAR less evidence and facts (usually based on... emotionally powerful language - see how we come full circle?). So I will try to re-direct this discussion back to what I originally asked about: Emotionally powerful language that can MOVE people's ideas about light. Yes, fear is a powerful motivator, and as much as adults don't want to admit it, a lot of them ARE probably afraid of the dark.So why can't we find ways to combat that, rather than brushing it off before even trying by suggesting we'd be branded as "kooks"? Plenty of people out there DO believe science. The point is, how can WE, the amateur astronomy community, those with some of the best understanding of this issue, word it in ways that will move people to make changes? And as Tony Flanders rightly pointed out, people already make decisions based on emotion. It's not manipulation. It's using basic sales techniques. If we want to move people's minds on this issue, we need to use sales techniques, or you know what will happen? We'll keep losing more of the night sky. I don't find that a very satisfying direction to go. So TCW, what ideas do you have that will have traction? I originally asked, "What phrases can we come up with that will create short, memorable, emotionally-powerful messages to get our argument into the public sphere? I would be glad for you to share your positive ideas which we can use to drive this message home more effectively.

Beginners Forum / Re: Your opinion/advise please. It's been 3 months
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:37:12 PM »
Seems like an alt az or fork mount would work at 3 deg latitude better than an eq mount. Guys correct me if I'm wrong.


General Astronomy & Observing / Re: keeping warm ?
« on: February 02, 2018, 02:25:21 PM »
I've had Sorels for forty years. They're great boots. But you don't actually need them for telescoping.
My feet always get very, very cold; so for me my Sorels are needed for telescoping. I've had many other brands, and still can't find anything better for warmth. They are bulky, but when one is just standing around, that matters little.

Beginners Forum / Re: ES102 Carbon Fiber as a grab and go?
« on: January 31, 2018, 09:13:08 AM »
I keep going back to my original idea of an 80mm APO, mainly because I'm concerned about the stability of the TW1 mount and price, but every time I think Ive made up my mind I find some new piece of info that brings me back to the 102mm. I was assuming my Nexstar 8 would be far superior to a 80-102mm APO for planetary observing, so I thought I would just use it, but I just read some first hand reports that claimed a high quality 4" APO was preferable to an 8" SCT for planetary viewing, especially with typical seeing. Im in Michigan and we very rarely have excellent seeing. Is it reasonable to think a 100ish mm like the ES 102mm Essential would be better (or more enjoyable) visually than my Nexstar 8 on the planets, or is that a stretch?

The refractor will be on a manual Twilight 1 mount which may not be ideal, while the SCT has tracking which is certainly an advantage at high powers.

In average seeing the 102 will beat the 8" because the 8" won't push power which is where it excels. In good to excellent seeing with very stable air the 8" will kill the 102. But the odds of you pushing up to 250x or 300x are unlikely because of your self stated seeing. But at 119x (6mm EP) you will get very good crisp views of Saturn and Jupiter. When I had mine and using my ES 6.7 Saturn was so good that when I showed my wife (who doesn't share my passion for the hobby) Saturn she looked in the EP, looked at me and frowned, looked in the EP, looked at me and frowned, looked in the EP, then walked to the front of the scope and looked down the front. She thought I was holding a picture up in front of the scope!
If you feel there is too much vibration, try the Celestron vibration suppression pads. Also ES customer service is really good. I would either do a live chat session on their web site or call them and ask. They will tell you if it will be a problem on the T1 or not.
Ha,ha, love the wife story

The one I used had a 1/2 wave mirror, though tracked ok all things considered. I would ask $900.00 for it with local pickup. Shipping that beast will cost almost what it's worth. If it has an exceptional mirror I would ask 1200.00

I love all this theoretical stuff on the Ross Null test. I'm not smart enough to understand the nuances, but I've tested hundreds of mirrors using it, including a few of my own. As Malden mentioned up at the top, it's an easy reliable test that gives a no-fuss null. Enjoy the science, but don't be afraid to go for it with a cheapo pcx lens. Practically speaking, the Ross Null is a gem. I'm going to test a few mirrors using it this weekend without considering a lick of math. None will be Hubbles, but you never know when you'll see a Palomar. Jay

Beginners Forum / Re: Lasik eye surgery
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:05:20 AM »
I had an experimental non-invasive cornealcross-linking procedure. This combines application of riboflavin ophthalmic solutions and ultraviolet light irradiation for corneal collagen cross-linking for the treatment of progressive keratoconus. Essentially, the cornea is saturated with a colloidal riboflavin solution and then burned with UV. This forces healing in which the riboflavin creates new bonds to form across adjacent collagen strands in the stromal layer of the cornea, which recovers the cornea's mechanical strength over time.

At 30 months my eye continues to recover as the cornea regains a normal curvature. So the corneal healing process can take a long time. I'm no longer part of the trial, but it's time for a new prescription again!

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Skipping parabolizing and figuring
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:56:25 AM »
i got finished polishing my only mirror, a 6 inch f/8, set it up on a stand and used my homemade foucalt tester and got a textbook image of a spherical surface. i brought it to work the next day to show a coworker, who gave it a nudge with his fat finger and it fell face down onto a stainless steel counter and got chipped on the edge, but not the surface. i decided not to push it any further and used it as it was. my view of shoemaker levy splatting into jupiter didn't suffer for it.

You don't mention the ages of your children. If they are 3 and 5 years old, do not expect them to enjoy any view other than the Moon. If your kids are 9 and 11 years old, they might get bored with a scope of this size. Please consider the previous posters' advice about alternate instruments.

An option is a zoom eyepiece. If you can find one that tops out at 24mm focal length, that would be ideal. You can find them, and other eyepieces, used on the Cloudy Nights classified ads. Stressing about the quality of an eyepiece with a telescope of this size is a waste of your valuable time.

As an IT person, I am sure you have investigated all kinds of software and apps. May I suggest a simple cardboard or plastic planisphere (star wheel). You and your kids can easily understand how the sky moves by rotating the view. Also, you can see the entire sky in the view of a planisphere. Just about all apps and software only let you see a fraction of the sky at a time.

The tripod is metal, and does not dampen out vibration well. If you are handy, build yourself a wood tripod. It does not have to be fancy. There are DIY instructions on the Cloudy Night website for doing this. After spending a few evenings frustrated with the mounting system for this scope, you might also want to build a better mount for it. A mount is not the same as a tripod.

You don't mention where you live. If it is chilly outside in December, your kids, and you, might get cold. When using a telescope, you are outside standing still. Unlike cross country skiing, you won't be generating much body heat standing around.

I think an 18mm eyepiece is as small in focal length as you should go.

Best of luck, and I hope your family enjoys the scope!

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Foucault tester question
« on: January 30, 2018, 11:13:34 AM »
Looking with a 20 X loupe - the edges are a bit rough - should they be smooth and straight?

This is the printed ruling laid over a lamp and shot with my phone through a loupe. The lines are curved but it shows the line quality clearly.Attached Thumbnails

Beginners Forum / Re: New to telescopes, and I have some questions.
« on: January 30, 2018, 06:21:18 AM »
Once everything is lined up, the scene should appear just like this...


The three mirror-clips of the primary mirror must be present within the scene, and evenly as shown.
That looks about like the way I had it. Thanks for the pictures, they really help you understand exactly whats going on.

Beginners Forum / Re: Planets through a 70mm Refractor?
« on: January 30, 2018, 01:10:25 AM »

Jupiter was way too bright, it looked like a white orb with absolutely no detail...

Strange that you could not see the EQ bands with your 70mm. I can make them out just fine through my 60mm.

How long did you observe Jove during this session? What was your seeing / transparency?


What brand it is again? There are a lot of quality differences in 70mm scopes. Too Low of Power will also wash out Jupiter's details as will low quality eyepieces, bad seeing, low position and poor telescope optics..


The question posed at the beginning of this thread asks who is responsible for causing light pollution. Secondarily, what laws, ordinances, regulations, codes, etc., would need to be enacted not just in the cities, but in the suburbs, exurbs and especially rural areas to reduce, control or eliminate it.

Obviously, rural areas are the last stand for dark skies. When someone says there are no more dark skies left east of the Mississippi, that means that the rural areas are the most at risk and that little is being done there.

Well, it's a good question. It's not always the other guy's fault. Even if we are somewhat conscious of our lighting and have some idea of what it means for a dark sky (something others may not even consider), we still drive into lit communities to buy milk. We need light as much as the next guy. I think the trick is to share responsibility. Ask our neighbors to be considerate, then be responsible to block any direct trespass light that cannot or will not shield.If they think you're a vivisectionist, they might just comply.

I guess every municipality may have some form of laws on the books about being obtrusive in some form or another, beit sound, light trespass. And it;'s likely not all municipalities will nor will they be the same if they do. I am not directly aware of any state or federal laws, but some internet research or a trip to city hall may turn up some in your area.

I try to explain and share responsibility with my immediate neighbors, then shield what's left. Hard to do much about the city glow in the north as that would take a concerted and prolonged effort with local city hall and a lot of money they are not willing to spend fixing the problem just for me. You may be right, maybe there is not much outcry in rural areas where it's still kinda dark. So, not much gets done and light encroaches unregulated as communities grow. Maybe start early with city hall to enact some ordinance and require the property owners to pay for specific lighting requirements.
You are making some good points.

I usually do shopping during daylight hours, so lights in store parking lots are not my direct responsibility. I don't need anywhere near as much light as provided to get from the car to the store and back on the occasions that I do shop or go anywhere else at night. So I am going to absolve myself of blame there and invite all other amateur astronomers to do the same.

Reducing light pollution in cities would help get rid of light domes at rural observing sites. But rural sources of light pollution are damaging too, ultimately more so. It could be that city slickers moving or retiring to rural areas are carelessly bringing their city lighting habits with them.

Statewide laws, if properly written, are the answer?

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 8