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I'm trying to decide whether I want to load up my gear to go observe tonight... I just checked the Clear Sky Chart for my favorite observing location and its showing
-100% Clear
-Above Average Transparency
-Poor Seeing

My main targets will be globular clusters, nebulae, open clusters as well as maybe a galaxy or two

I knew that if observing planetary targets that seeing is highly important as well as for double stars, but with bad seeing will any of the other targets I mentioned be hindered?

Would you go out and observe?


Not a bad price for the 12":$849.95 and free shipping...just hope its real and not smoke & mirrors (pun intended!)

Link to page:

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / AP 10" Mak vs. very good 12" Newton
« on: January 10, 2018, 04:14:05 AM »
Hi guys,

how compare these two scopes visual on planets only? Is the AP - next to a collector thing - worth the astronomic difference in price?

Of course you have no spikes and can easily mount the Mak but how compares the pure visual impression? Any experiences from first hand? And well the Newton should of course be a good one!


No, I don't want to build one. I want to know how to choose a good one to buy. This is for either a Dob mount for a telescope I already have, or as the mount for a complete telescope system which I might buy. And I figured that the ATM Forum would be the best place to ask the question.

Now here are the rules of thumb that I've heard so far. If I'm wrong, tell me where. If you know some more specs to look for, let me know.

- The trunnion should be 1.5x the diameter of the primary mirror.

- The trunnion can be either a half circle or whole circle.

- The azimuth bearing should be ebony star.

- The altitude bearing should have teflon strips.

- The cut-out for the trunnions in the base should not be too close to the edge of the base, otherwise the base will not be stable.

Well, that's all I've got. Tell me more.


I am prepping to photograph the total solar eclipse this august. Everything will be automatic so I can enjoy the eclipse. The only part of the kit I am missing is the equatorial mount. After some research and some posts here on the forum someone suggested the CEM25 as a good EQ mount that will be good for the eclipse and will serve as an astrophotograpy mount. I have seen that the beginners favorite on most forums is the Orion Sirius Pro but unfortunately it is beyond my budget. Both have similar weight ratings Sirious holds 30 and CEM25... 27 tho I know that I have to slash that in half to be realistic. I like the fact that the cem25 has the gps and some other features for a more affordable price? My question is.. Would I be able to use this mount in the future to built a kit capable of imaging deep sky objects?  I dont need my pictures to look like they were taken by the Hubble , I just need something that I dont have to throw in a closet until the next lunar or solar eclipse. Is there a better option of similar price and features.

Reflectors Telescopes Forum / Someone interpret descriptions?
« on: December 30, 2017, 02:36:42 AM »
Quick backstory: I have a Discovery 6 inch F5 EQ scope from way back in like 1999-2000, I'd like to get it up and going again. I've messed with it a lot over the years, so the tube is drilled on and dinged up, it needs a spider and 'end cap' (the original was a plastic combo end piece / thick vane deal), the focuser is worn and loose.. etc.

I got thinking about just getting a similar OTA and moving the Discovery Primary mirror into it. I looked in the classified ads and dang, one C6-N OTA but it's sold. So started looking for a new cheap OTA.

OK, so I find these two....
I remember a long time ago, Celestron used to have a 6 inch F5 but they cheated and used a little lens in the focuser to increase the focal length, I don't want that version. These two OTA's have odd descriptions, the slightly more expensive one makes it sound like it has good enough optics I might just leave em in if they star tested and visually looked great. But they say some odd things in this description, can someone interpret, or maybe even have experience with either of these OTA's?

Do either of these have that little lens in the focuser or are the just 'normal' setups that I could drop my 6 inch F5 mirror in to?

>First one

CELESTRON - Omni XLT 150mm Optical Tube Assembly 6" (31057-1)
The new Celestron Omni XLT Series features the latest in hybrid refractor, reflector and Schmidt-Cassegrain optical designs . (HUH?) Using aspheric shaping technology (aspheric?) in conjunction with hand-figuring the optics, the Omni XLT presents an image with virtually no spherical abberation. Celestron has also added their famous StarBright XLT coatings to further enhance light transmission. The mirrors are fully coated with multiple layers of high reflectivity aluminum. The aluminum coatings are then enhanced with titanium dioxide and overcoated with a protective layer of silicon monoxide for long life. These are the same mirror coatings used on Celestron’s largest and most expensive telescopes.
>Second one
And the cheaper one


CELESTRON - Advanced VX 6" Newtonian Telescope (32054-OTA)
The Celestron Advanced VX 6" Newtonian Telescope Optical Tube is excellent for basic deep sky observing as well as planetary viewing due to the impressive light gathering power of the Newtonian Optical Design and Fast Focal Ratio. With the parabolic primary mirror, aberration is limited which helps create high definition views. With the fast focal ratio of f/5, wide screen views through this 6" Newtonian are especially impressive when observing brighter deep sky objects like the Orion Nebula (M42), Hercules Cluster (M13), and Andromeda Galaxy (M31). For those new to astronomy and astroimaging, the Advanced VX 6” Newtonian is an excellent entry-level scope that can grow with you. The Newtonian optical design is simple to set up, and gives amateur astronomers the largest aperture for the price.
The reflector optical design, like other catadioptrics, utilizes a system of lenses and mirrors (other cats? Lenses?) to produce long focal lengths with a more compact tube length than refractors. This 6" reflecting optical tube features a 750mm focal length using a tube less than 2.5 ft long. In addition to the relatively compact design, reflector optical tubes are also lightweight for their size. An aluminum optical housing not only minimizes flexure and helps equalize the temperature inside the tube, it also reduces excess weight, making this 6" tube only 10 lbs.
Celestron's Newtonian Reflector corrects some of the optical distortions common to all catadioptrics, (again with catadioptics??) including chromatic and spherical aberrations that become more pronounced at higher magnification. By using a parabolic primary mirror, this optical tube can transmit sharper and more color faithful images than standard reflector telescopes, improving image quality for both observation and astrophotography. The resulting images are sharper along the edge of the transmitted field of view and have reduced color fringing artifacts.

I am frankly just curious:
Is it the autoguiding accuracy?
The motors and electronic parts?
The brand name mark-up?
The scarcity of overall sales which brings up price for such a niche market?
Maybe it's all the above. I just want to know what I am mostly paying for with these pricier options. What is the driving factor that makes an Orion Atlas so much cheaper than an Astro-Physics mount of similar caliber.

I've been looking for a good zoom eyepiece on a budget for some time and this little gem popped up. Yep, thats a real Nikon 7-21mm zoom eyepiece for the same cost, or less, of a cheap no name zoom. Plus it'sfrom a brick and mortarauthorized Nikon dealer. While it's not as desirable as the MCII, it's a quality zoom with a 40-60 FOV that originally sold for £130 back in 2006(search for "15-45X" in the linked official Nikon price list from 2006). I personally tested it and found it far better than any of the budget Plossls (Gosky, Sbvony, etc) I have laying around and should give the Meade and Celestron zooms a run for their money.

I will say you will need to find/make a 1.25" adapter but there's a couple threads on how to do that on CN and elsewhere. Even with making an adapter, you still end up with a very nice zoom for less than used Celestron or Meade zoom.
It's cousin as reviewed by Cloudy Nightsand detailed images of the EP that's being sold.

Clear skies and good gear on a pocket change budget.Disclaimer
I'm in no way associated with the seller or receiving any thing for posting this. While I was thinking about picking up a second EP for later when I could afford it, I figured the community would be better served by letting everybody know about it.

I am wondering how owners of these like them. I have been thinking of this 5mm and also the 8mm. How do those who own these like the views, twist up eyecup, etc. I know this design has been around for a while over seas in what looks to be exactly the same, just under a different name/branding but I don't see a lot of venders here in the USA and wondering how people like them.



Hi, I am new to cloudy nights. I recently purchased Bresser Exos-2 mount and tripod. I am so glad that I finally have an EQ mount for my C8, but also I found some issues regarding the original spec from ES or other websites.

First, initially they said that the mount includes an illuminated polar scope but mine has only polar scope without an illumination unit. I don't think ES sells it separately (found one from UK or other European countries). I can make my own DIY illuminator using some USB LED lights or similar, but just wonder whether it's just my problem or anyone who has the same situation.

Second the ES said it's 2 inch tripod, but I measured the tripod and it is smaller than 2 inch. Only the bottom white part has 2 inch but the remaining tripod is somewhere between 1.5-1.75 inch. If it's true, I don't see why this is any better than CG4 that can carry up to 20 pounds.

It would be really appreciated if anyone who has the same mount can share information/ideas. Thanks a lot!

General Astronomy & Observing / ** 2018 Mars opposition **
« on: December 24, 2017, 09:18:18 AM »
Considering all the current excitement within the eclipse, I believed I would see if I can stir up some enthusiasm over the Mars opposition that will occur in 2018.  I've been looking forward to it for a couple of years, even during the 2016 opposition.  It's been exciting to me ever since I learned the numbers.

You see, the 2018 opposition will be the closest to Earth in years with a space of only 57.72 million kilometers from Earth.  The apparent diameter will be 24.3 arcsec along with -2.8 apparent dimension.

Even in the event that you don't usually do planetary observation or AP, this will be one not to miss.

The precise opposition will occur on July 27, 2018 however of course it will be really spectacular for a couple of weeks before and later.
Lets hope for clear skies!!

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