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Messages - Jerome Fountain

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Beginners Forum / Re: help picking a real scope
« on: February 09, 2018, 03:30:53 AM »
Thank you all for all your advice and help! I did get the c9.25 on eq5 mount (my motofocuser is on the way) still learning how to align the thing. A bit more tricky than I thought. Lol but anyway first light was great and Jupiter was astounding! I sprung for the neximage color burst and tried it out night before last. Here's my first stacked and processed image ever. Not the best but it's a start and I think I'm hooked! Lol

General Astronomy & Observing / Re: Globb-ular or Globe-ular?
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:34:18 PM »
Strohs, Bud, Coors, Lone Star, PBR....they're all **** beers....try some German beers, or Canadian for that matter. Real Molson Golden (Canadian brewed) on tap is a real delight...Moosehead is really good too.

I say glob.

I used to drink Molson, Moosehead, etc. when I worked in Alaska. I am more into Czech pilsners now when I want a good light beer (Czechvar being my favorite with Pilsner Urquell a close second.) But I prefer darker beers with more flavor such as trappist ales, dopplebocks, dunkels or an occasional barley wine.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Astrophotography Mount Help
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:25:20 PM »
Thanks bobzeq...that is some more helpful information to chew on. I am not familiar with 'plate solving' but I am assuming it is some sort of software? That is the sort of thing that I seem to hear a lot...basically that there are all these free (or cheap) programs out there that can help increase accuracy and performance of a mount. Is that why goto mounts are so popular now aside from the convenience aspect? It seems that often times goto mounts are equipped with additional ports that can be utilized for a variety of purposes.

Platesolving is a different, and amazing thing. It uses computer pattern recognition to tell you _exactly_ where you're pointed. Has an internal map of the whole sky.

Here's how I do it. I GOTO my target, not really caring how close the mount gets. Take an exposure, run it through the platesolving program. It tells me exactly where I'm pointed. Using that information and the location of my target, I use the hand controller to move the difference. Keeping the direction to move in straight is the hardest part. Take another exposure. Bam, there it is.

There is a program called Sequence Generator Pro that automates the process. You tell it where to go, it slews the mount, images, corrects. But start out manually, it's educational.

I like PlateSolve2, there are others. Scroll down the page. You'll need the program and one of the two catalogs (maps), doesn't matter much which.

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: Advice on Mount Upgrade
« on: February 02, 2018, 01:56:47 PM »
Gemini on an AP mount... that'd be nice

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Design of 150mm objective reflector
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:05:48 PM »


Boy, you love to catch someone making a mistake, don't you?  After gloating, could you explain further the distinction you are making?<p class="citation">Quote
The eyepiece field stop is just that it has nothing to do with the exit pupil, which is actually the image of the aperture stop (i.e. in this case the primary mirror) formed by the eyepiece.

My extremely novice understanding is that there is a physical element of an eyepiece that is the "field stop" whose diameter can be measured, and that physical element is (sometimes? often? always?) at the location of the original focal plane of the telescope sans eyepiece.
I love to learn more about these things. Can you help me learn what I have understood wrongly?
If you point the telescope at the daytime sky and hold a sheet of white paper near the eyepiece (easier to do with a refractor or a pair of binoculars) and move it in and out you will find a location where there is a sharp disk image. This is the exit pupil which is an image formed by the eyepiece of the obiective/primary. All light that exits the telescope through the eyepiece after reflection from the primary (or transmitted by the objective in the case of a refractor). The exit pupil is the optimum location for the pupil of the eye if you wish to utilise all the light. If the exit pupil is too large not all of the light will pass into the eye and the effective diameter of your telescope objective is reduced.

Beginners Forum / Re: Eyepiece query: Suggestions Appreciated
« on: January 31, 2018, 11:26:40 AM »

After all of your suggestions and guidance, along with research and more research, I've made some initial purchases today:

I ordered both GSO 32mm Super Plossl and the 20mm Super Wide.
I ordered a Celestron Omni 12mm Plossl, and I could not resist getting the Omni 6mm as well.
A knock-off Orion Expanse 9mm.
In a bit of a last minute change-up, I ordered a Tele Vue 2x Barlow. I'm really looking forward to this purchase...
I ordered both the RA drive, and a Solar filter.
Canon EOS M42 T-adapter, and entry level EP projection adapters.
13% Transmission ND filter.

I'm looking forward to all of the EPs, and the TV Barlow. I opted for the Celestron Omnis over the Meade 4000, due to the Omni's FMC over Meade's MC. The 6mm Omni may be redundant with the TV 2X purchase, but I have a feeling I may need the 6mm for something in the future. The GSO 20mm Super Wide was an "on-the-fence" purchase: I was not considering the 20mm focal length, but there seems to be a lot of happy campers here at CN regarding the Super I bought it. And about the EP projection; I have no delusions of grandeur here. It's going to be a long, frustratingly laborious, headache inducing journey, but this is how I learn. This is how I gain knowledge and experience. At least I have a solid background in photography...not that I'm any good at it.

All-in-all, I'm pleased with these purchases; they bring me a little more range and possibly quality as well.

Thank you all again.Regards


$15 to join astromart is money well spent IME. There's plenty of room for upgrades in your future. Enjoy the stuff!  GN

I get your hint, and I agree.

And gosh darnet, I'm looking at Explore Scientific refactors...

Thanks all


Light Pollution Topics / Re: Awful article
« on: January 31, 2018, 05:56:27 AM »
Another annoying article, but a bit of good news as well.


Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Eyepieces with fewer elements
« on: January 31, 2018, 03:27:02 AM »
Thank you all for sharing your experiences and providing a little more perspective on a topic that is been a bit confusing to me. I don't like turning my back on older technology just because it's older. Sometimes it can do exactly what you want. But in this case, it would appear that this is largely not the case.

And many thanks Don, for that concise "brief history of eyepieces". It would appear that only the original plossl and Abbe orthoscopic may complement my current line up. The root of what is driving this inquiry is determining whether or not a short, fixed FL EP will outperform the 3-6NZ. John Issac's (and others') experience suggests that is may. It also sounds like Eps with many elements have such excellent coatings, that the light loss is no longer the concern that is was. If I understand correctly.

As for seeing - in my part of the world, seeing is very much a limiting factor, and is very seldom excellent, although occasionally it is good, as I imagine it is for others too. I do not have an EQ mount and prefer to nudge the scope along. The Giro is light but the image settles down in about 1-2 seconds.

Light Pollution Topics / Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:13:59 AM »
At the September 9 meeting of my club, The Chesmont Astronomical Society, we are hosting a science writer from a major Philly newspaper who will be speaking about a number of topics including advice on how to get our voice heard in the media and how to raise awareness about light pollution.The Delaware Astronomical Society plans to run an article about the Open Air Project in their upcoming newsletter.The Chester County Astronomical Society has Dr. Derrick Pitts of the Franklin Institute speaking at their upcoming meeting on September 11 and I hope to attend that to speak with Dr. Pitts about the project. I've also provided information to the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers about my position on the project and I hope to involve them further. With the project having been "successfully staged in cities all over the world, including Dublin, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Liverpool, Lyon, Montreal, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Vitoria- Gasteiz Spain" I don't expect this to go away. I see this as a blow, a severe blow, to the battle for light abatement as more and more people are getting on board with enthusiasm for this Project, many of them see light abatement as an invitation to increasing crime. As one of my esteemed club members said, "This is a teachable moment." We can't stop it but we can make our voices heard to help bring to "light" a new direction for similar intended projects.How long before such "art" comes to municipalities smaller than the major cities listed above? The lights of the Open Air Project in Philadelphia reportedly can be seen for up to 10 miles!!! I live 22 miles outside of Philly and I'm still appalled at the idea. Everyone who visits the CN  forums should be equally affronted and I again implore all to write to the Knight Foundation, not just in cyber space but with real paper and a stamp and suggest to them how better $250,000 should be spent.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: How big can we make a Telescope?
« on: January 31, 2018, 01:32:57 AM »
Sadly it doesn't look like it's in good shape as of 2015 and I bet its even worse after the hurricane season this year. Or does all that dirt do anything to the reflectivity of the dish?

Eyepieces Questions & Recommendations / Re: Barlow or Eyepiece?
« on: January 30, 2018, 12:13:21 PM »
I would add that a 2X Barlow is also useful to combine with lower power EP's to maintain that wider FOV a low power wide field EP delivers. A 32mm wide field EP, barlowed would give you a 16mm EP but the FOV might not be as constricted as a single 15mm EP might be (it depends on the EP's obviously).

Lots of combinations to consider. I also like having a zoom EP which allows me to experiment with magnification and seeing conditions on the fly. I typically start viewing sessions with the zoom and will switch to another EP after I've determined what magnification seems to be working best for any particular object or conditions.

To me it's all about options, so I'm working towards having all my options covered for any object or condition that might present itself. Personally I think a zoom and a Barlow are worthwhile, even if they might be seldom employed.

ATM, Optics and DIY Forum / Re: Polishing a 6" f8
« on: January 30, 2018, 12:08:32 PM »
A standard W stroke will the mirror on top with take the hill down. Warm press after 15 minutes of polishing to keep the lap in contact with the mirror as the hill is reduced or it will come right back.

            - Dave

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Re: Quality of Discovery Optics mirrors?
« on: January 30, 2018, 11:07:41 AM »

There are better mirrors out there, but in my view, the diffraction limit as defined by Danjon and Couder is nothing to sneeze at

pay more attention toachievinga well collimated scopeand acclimating the glass to ambient temperature will increase performance better than refiguring for 1/4~ to 1/8~

problem is a lot of imports aren't even 1/4~.

Beginners Forum / Re: How big should Saturn be in your eyepiece?
« on: January 30, 2018, 05:11:12 AM »

Interesting website Dave!

...but not very useful. You need to put your eye pretty much ON your monitor in order to be realistic, and then everything is blurry. A full screen view would be more useful.

All of the eyepiece view simulators that I'm aware of share this drawback. It comes with the territory apparently and has to be taken, of course, for what it.

There's another simulator at but the highest magnification with a 4" aperture is only 102x and the image of Saturn shown seems to be much too large.

Telescope Simulator is no longer available online but there is an Android (and iTunes) App ad which shows Saturn at 784x. Clicking on the image but not the right or left arrows enlarges it a bit.

Dave Mitsky

Mounts Questions & Expirience / Re: The best telescope to track ISS
« on: January 29, 2018, 10:04:26 PM »
Maybe get one of these: http://www.rcoptical...20military.html


I wanted to put one of those in my backyard but my homeowners association said no.

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