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Messages - unmoharib

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Light Pollution Topics / Re: Fracking & Light Pollution in PA
« on: February 09, 2018, 10:52:41 AM »
Just saw this thread.  Very late, but had to write something.The larger point here is: What can we do about it?  Who will listen and who will even care.  These problems require solutions that are on a massive scale. Large sums of money are required to fund political interests groups that can influence politicans at all levels of government.  The problem is so massive that the ball is half way down the hill and picking up steam.  Consider this: For all the efforts put into the environmental movement success has been minimal if one looks at the whole. Forest, bird populations, amphibian populations etc. are crashing. I hate to sound so negative but without someone or group with the energy (physical and mental)to start a movement the only thing we can do is complain. What is needed is an Al Nagler type to start a movement.  But, we should be under no illusion, 99% of people do not know there is a problem and if they did I doubt that more than 3 or 4%  would care.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Sawdust as Flocking?
« on: February 03, 2018, 11:55:32 AM »
I've always thought that as a substitute for sawdust, a finely ground coffee ground powder sprinkled onto a sticky substance, and then sprayed with a dull black coating would be best.
Have you tried that?

A better idea would be to employ "used" coffee grounds, dried up, of course. It would be a sin to not first drink whatever blend you prefer.

Beginners Forum / Re: New to me Meade
« on: February 03, 2018, 06:50:58 AM »
You don't have to get eyepieces of the same brand as the telescope itself. Variety is the spice of life, and in astronomical equipment. The brands mean very little, if anything at all, as they're all manufactured overseas...

That said, the OP could do worse than buying a few focal lengths from the Meade HD-60 series.
Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk

I would rather have those than their Celestron counterparts.

Beginners Forum / Re: Can't see North American Nebula
« on: February 03, 2018, 04:57:45 AM »
See North American Nebula (NGC7000) is bestfor me is a good 10X50 binocular in dark sky and no Moon here! You are lucky to have Large Magellanic Cloud and Small Magellanic Cloud!

While I enjoy a bargain as well as anyone, I don't wish to enable those who enrich themselves unjustly by pirating the fruits of others labor.

Where are the ES eyepieces manufactured? If China (not Taiwan, that's not China), then why would anyone support them?


Interestingly eyepieces and other astro equipment is one area where it is very possible to avoid products from China. As a chemistry teacher I could point to numerous items for my lab that have been of inferior quality since the catalogs started sourcing from China - but I have no choice in those items because that is what I am sent from these companies and the sources I put in my orders from must have NYS bid numbers. And it is very frustrating to have triple beam balances that are not as durable as the older ones. Crucibles made by Coors USA used to last for many years - now I am lucky if I can get 2 years out of the cheap garbage crucibles they send from overseas.  And one that particularly drives me nuts is my trusty Bostich B8 stapler. I still have one left that was made in the USA many years ago. The cheap ones sent from overseas won't even last a full year in my classroom every year. I ordered two of them in last year's budget and the first one was a piece o'junk on arrival. The second one had to be thrown out last week. That's just great with 15 weeks of school left and no stapler. In the case of eyepieces I could buy all non-China manufactured if I wanted to. But in contrast with a lot of the other items I purchase in my life, there are Chinese sourced optics that are very good - such as my SW120ED refractor and Baader Morpheus eyepieces. The fact is taking a stand against Chinese sourced optics is only feasible if you reach a certain level of available funds. There have been discussions in the past where people argue that Brandon's are overpriced for a 42-53 deg AFOV eyepieces. But the only way to get the price down would be to source them overseas - and it would probably have to be Taiwan or China.

The fact is the more economically priced scopes, eyepieces, diagonals are all coming from China. If you want to take a stand against a specific company for cloning products I can understand, but most people cannot reject all optics from China.

Beginners Forum / Re: Celestron 8-24mm zoom vs Paradigm Dual ED 8mm
« on: February 02, 2018, 02:22:24 PM »

I hate these long drum rollls.  The winner is?

"Jon and I will have a zoomfest. And the winner is..."

Tom and I need to get together for a clear evening, that takes time to arrange. In the mean time I plan to measure the AFoV of the Celestron for comparison purposes.


When you do, you might want to do a comparison in a smallshort ratio well corrected refractor. In the AT60ED thread one of the posters was seeing color visually and cellphone eyepiece imaging through one of the Hyperion zooms.He said he was seeing it visually both in the center and at the edge of the field. It went away at the 16mm setting...but that is a whopping 2.7mm exit pupil and 22.5x. He didn't see color when he imaged straight through with a different camera, so he is attributing the issue to the zoom. Considering that nobody else is reporting color with this scope and I don't see it even at 144x, the question is whether or not the eyepiece is at fault? (And with the scope at high power I can detect atmospheric dispersion for objects low in the sky, so I know that I am not simply blind to it because of the diminutive aperture.)

Not sure what to make of the report since I hadn't heard of color being a problem for these zooms.

I don't see a need for moving to an OAG. The setup as originally described should work perfectly. Let's stick with it and troubleshoot.

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Which telescope would you hold onto?
« on: January 31, 2018, 12:58:09 PM »
Given only one the "I will never part with this scope" scope in my line up is the TEC 140. That said, I intend to keep my EdgeHD 11 and my terrific SW 100ED Pro regardless of circumstances since the three together do everything I could possibly want in a small suite of instruments. My other scopes are wonderful instruments and fill key slots in my stable, but the three mentioned are the core group and the TEC is a forever and ever OTA. That's my story and I'm sticking with it

Clear Skies,

A yellow/orange boundary is not that bad.Much of my early 8" SCT observing was in similar conditions and I could go relatively deep there. Filters only really help significantly for emission nebula.They don't fix contrast for galaxies and such which require darker skies. I have seen the HorseheadNebulae in a city of 70,000 on a verytransparent night with a 4mm exit pupil and an H-Beta filter...but it wasn't obvious or easy.

I can observe specific emissionnebula in a red zone with themoon up using a filter, but they don't look great that way. In such conditions the moon only provides a partial hitto the sky darkness. In the general vicinity the sky is washed out, but wider aroundlight pollution factors as much or more.

Beginners Forum / Re: Help! Looking to buy as a gift...overwhelmed
« on: January 31, 2018, 04:21:27 AM »
I'm with the other guys who recommended the Z 8.

Goto is overrated IMO. You will see a 50/50 split on that opinion, all I can say is I have a goto scope, rarely use it in favor of a dob.

The Z 8 will get you deep into globular clusters resolving them to densely packed cores filled with defined points of light instead of featureless fuzzy blobs, will do alright on deep sky objects/ more aperture better in this area, and fare very well on planets. All you need is a good star chart, a telrad, and a couple ES eyepieces.

You can do all of that for slightly more than your budget. There is no hurry on the eypieces. The two that come with the scope will get you by till the eyepiece addiction kicks in. The Z 8 also comes with a lot of upgrades. 2" focuser, cooling fan, 8x50 finder, and a laser collimator. For 390 bucks you get a lot of telescope right out of the box.

The 8" of aperture will absolutely spank those smaller maks. It will travel well also. And be a breeze to setup.

All you or anyone else in this boat need do is get over the goto thing. Finding objects is a skill easily developed with apps and charts. And if there are questions this is the place to get the help you need.

If goto is a must have then the 125 mak or the SLT 130 look decent. But the Z 8 is so, so much more.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Mirror fan and smoke test
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:35:20 AM »
Smoke and mirrors. Stan Brower would howl when anyone lit a cigarette anywhere near his optics, claiming the particles immediately were deposited on the surface.
Alan Adler demonstrated a cross-the-face fan system to rid the boundary layer, right around the time the Brian Greer article was published in S&T.


I posted the following on a similar thread back in 2011. I thought I'd share it again.


Ok, I’ve never told this story in public, so here goes.

This is a story told to me by my Mother in 1979 after I had returned from the Peace Corps. She is 93 now. For a bit of perspective, my Mother is as straight-laced a military wife as they come. Of German decent, she has always been even-keeled and a very strong woman, showing very little emotion about anything when I was growing up. She drank socially, but never at home. She was always healthy and never on any sort of medication. I have a hard time not believing what she told me. She confirmed this story to me again last year. She has never told me any other such stories.

Here’s the story.

Sometime in 1966-67, after dinner, my Dad and I sat down to watch TV and my Mother decided to take a walk around the block. We lived in a new neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas (Castle Hills Terrace) and ours was one of only 3 or 4 houses built in the development at the time of this story.

Some time later (maybe 45 minutes to an hour) my Mother returned. I remember looking away from the TV for just a moment and up to her face as she stood next to us. She was looking distressed, confused and on the verge of saying something, but she didn’t. My Dad and I were involved in our TV show. I looked back to the TV and didn’t think any more of it and neither of us asked her if anything was wrong. She went back to her bedroom and finally came out about some time later, looking perfectly normal and joined us on the couch.

This occurrence was so unnatural for me that it stuck in my head for many years. When I was visiting my folks after returning from the Peace Corps in South America, my Mom and I were chatting about this and that (My Dad wasn’t here with us, but at work) and for some reason that strange night popped into my head and I brought it up.

She immediately said “Oh my, I’ve been holding this in for so long!” She immediately told me why she was acting strange enough that night for me to remember it 13 years later.
As she was out walking, she saw a large flying object approaching her. Her description was of the classic saucer design, but with no lights that she could remember. The object approached closer and stopped a few yards down the street maybe about 50-100 feet in the air. She said it was wide enough to cover the street and half an empty lot on either side. It hovered, making very little noise. After a short time, it lifted and disappeared in a matter of seconds. She has no other memories. When she returned to the house, she was going to tell us, but then thought better of it as she thought we would think her crazy.

What does one make of such a story from a very trusted source?

What was the TV show? It must have been a doozy.
Believe it or not... Star Trek.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Super low-profile helical focuser
« on: January 29, 2018, 09:02:47 PM »
At high powers yes that's true. You could use a 0.66" secondary for 11% obstruction and get the same illumination at high powers...

Yes, but the marginal reduction is not worth the complete loss of DSO viewing.

Also, where do you buy those? The smallest GOOD secondaries I could find were 0.75".

I have both the iOptron and the Evolution. The Evolution seems just slightly more sturdy (9.25" OTA version) but that is the only advantage. In all other respects I like the iOptron better. Very quiet, precise, smooth tracking, and a breeze to setup. Evolution wifi drop outs drive me nuts...and I have Starsense as well but still prefer iOptron startup procedure.

Sale is a sale. Plus those going to NEAF will probably get a discount on top of these prices.

At least they save on shipping, but not on taxes.

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