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Gary2863
Jul 19, 2000



I just got my Galileoscope (see my earlier post) today! Assembling it was fun and I've looked at some distant buildings with it. I haven't been able to look at planets or stars yet as it is day time, but I picked up the book that was recommended in the OP, Turn Left at Orion.

I ordered this May 29 and got it July 18, but I think anyone who orders this now will receive it in less time than I did.

Here's a photo of it, I put it on a cheap tripod that I got from Radio Shack.

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Bolkovr
Apr 20, 2002

A chump and a hoagie going buck wild

Something hit Jupiter and left a black spot, and it's cloudy here! Dammit.

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

Bolkovr posted:

Something hit Jupiter and left a black spot, and it's cloudy here! Dammit.

Cloudy here too, I heard about this and really wanted to check it out. It's cool to see all the things discovered by amateurs these days though, as we get tools that are better and better. Some teenager recently discovered an entirely new type of supernova, and now this.

Mordialloc
Apr 15, 2003

Knight of the Iron Cross

Bleeding edge info here about it http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/...ead.php?t=47481

Jekub
Jul 21, 2006

April, May, June, July and August fool


That's awesome, that amateurs can still contribute so much to astronomy is one of the great strengths of the hobby.

Jupiter is my next imaging target now it's started rising at a reasonable hour, but it won't stop raining down in southern England right now. For every hour of clear sky, we seem to get half an hour of pouring rain. It's starting to get a bit tedious.

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

Gary2863 posted:

I just got my Galileoscope (see my earlier post) today! Assembling it was fun and I've looked at some distant buildings with it. I haven't been able to look at planets or stars yet as it is day time, but I picked up the book that was recommended in the OP, Turn Left at Orion.

I ordered this May 29 and got it July 18, but I think anyone who orders this now will receive it in less time than I did.

Here's a photo of it, I put it on a cheap tripod that I got from Radio Shack.



I ordered mine in February and am still waiting Got a chance to try it out yet?

EDIT: Whoo just got it!

blugu64 fucked around with this message at 02:16 on Jul 22, 2009

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

Here are transit times of the black spot on Jupiter, taken from http://lackawannaastronomicalsociety.org/?page_id=203

code:
WinJUPOS 8.1.8 (Jupiter), C.M. transit times, 2009.07.19 19:17
Object longitude: L2 = 216,0° + 0,0000°/d * (T – 2009 Aug 01,5)
Time interval: 2009 Jul 19,0 … 2009 Aug 01,0
Output format: Date UT (C.M. of System 2)
——————————————————————————
2009 Jul 19 06:09 ( 216°) 16:05 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 20 02:00 ( 216°) 11:56 ( 216°) 21:52 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 21 07:47 ( 216°) 17:43 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 22 03:38 ( 216°) 13:34 ( 216°) 23:30 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 23 09:25 ( 216°) 19:21 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 24 05:16 ( 216°) 15:12 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 25 01:08 ( 216°) 11:03 ( 216°) 20:59 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 26 06:54 ( 216°) 16:50 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 27 02:45 ( 216°) 12:41 ( 216°) 22:37 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 28 08:32 ( 216°) 18:28 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 29 04:23 ( 216°) 14:19 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 30 00:15 ( 216°) 10:10 ( 216°) 20:06 ( 216°)
2009 Jul 31 06:01 ( 216°) 15:57 ( 216°)
——————————————————————————
This is in UT (Universal Time), which is the same thing as GMT. Tonight's transit will be happening at 3:25AM CDT, which also means it'll be high in the sky.

Bolkovr
Apr 20, 2002

A chump and a hoagie going buck wild

I gave it a shot tonight but the seeing was horrible. I could barely see the 2 bands, let alone any detail.

Gary2863
Jul 19, 2000



blugu64 posted:

I ordered mine in February and am still waiting Got a chance to try it out yet?

EDIT: Whoo just got it!

Yeah, I tried it out, it's pretty cool. You need a reasonably stable tripod, the one in the picture sucks but I was able to borrow a better one. I looked at Venus (which was just plain bright) and the Pleiades, which looked pretty with lots of stars. I could see all four of Jupiter's easy to see moons, they were all neatly lined up on one side of the planet. Earth's Moon was a very thin crescent but I could make out some craters.

Next time I'll plan things out better and look for something other than the planets.

Jekub
Jul 21, 2006

April, May, June, July and August fool


There are some good globular clusters up at this time of year, like M13, which will prove a good test for a small telescope. It's not to hard to find and makes for an interesting test for you eyes and telescope.

It's still raining in England, I think the weather is broken. I had to remove cobwebs from my telescopes yesterday evening.

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

Bolkovr posted:

I gave it a shot tonight but the seeing was horrible. I could barely see the 2 bands, let alone any detail.

I was clouded in during the transit, but not before or after, oh well.

Bolkovr
Apr 20, 2002

A chump and a hoagie going buck wild

Loztblaz posted:

I was clouded in during the transit, but not before or after, oh well.

Astronomy!

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

Got a chance to try out the Galileoscope tonight, bad conditions as my apartment has a bunch of lights everywhere, and I live in Dallas, but it was pretty awesome seeing the moon in such detail. I'll be going camping sometime in the next month or two so I can't wait to try it out when I can see more then 3 stars outside! Best $15 bucks spent in a while.

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

Played around with the Galileoscope, looking at jupiter. Holy poo poo first time I saw Jupiter's moons, I counted 6. Still best $15 bucks spent in a while.

Chad Sexington
May 26, 2005

You say 'in bed with the Russians' like it's a bad thing...

Just ordered the galileoscope. Glad I got in before the price increase!

I've been itching to a meeting of the South Florida Amateur Astronomy Association, but I really don't want to just show up not knowing jack or poo poo, so I want to get the basics down on my own. Looking forward to it.

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

Chad Sexington posted:

Just ordered the galileoscope. Glad I got in before the price increase!

I've been itching to a meeting of the South Florida Amateur Astronomy Association, but I really don't want to just show up not knowing jack or poo poo, so I want to get the basics down on my own. Looking forward to it.

I wouldn't worry about that. Amateur astronomers are one of the most newbie tolerant groups I've seen. If you want to get an idea of what's out there, I'd recommend a star party instead of a group meeting. Group meetings are mainly about future plans and sometimes you'll have a speaker, but it's more about the group and planning (at least in my experience). That said, you can't go wrong with the Galileoscope, it's amazing for the price.

Tann
Apr 1, 2009



Ooh, I'm glad there's already a thread. I'll be getting the book and binoculars to start me off soon. Just a quick question though; how much will light pollution affect the telescopes? I live in a fairly urban area and there're only small parks with no light close to me. Is it going to be worth investing in a telescope?

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

Tann posted:

Ooh, I'm glad there's already a thread. I'll be getting the book and binoculars to start me off soon. Just a quick question though; how much will light pollution affect the telescopes? I live in a fairly urban area and there're only small parks with no light close to me. Is it going to be worth investing in a telescope?

Unfortunately, it's a pretty huge difference. In the darkest skies I've ever been in, I can see things naked eye that I can barely see in my binoculars at home. Find your home on http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/ , If you're in orange or under (orange, yellow, green, blue, grey, black) you should be ok if you go for a dobsonian mounted Newtonian scope eventually. I'm in a red zone, and almost always go to a dark site for longer observing sessions, but it's still possible to see the brighter objects (globular clusters, double stars, planets obviously).

Tann
Apr 1, 2009



Cheers for the quick reply but I'm in England. Specifically Kent, Sidcup. Would the proximity to London be a factor or is it more local illumination like street lights?

blugu64
Jul 17, 2006

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

Loztblaz posted:

Unfortunately, it's a pretty huge difference. In the darkest skies I've ever been in, I can see things naked eye that I can barely see in my binoculars at home. Find your home on http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/ , If you're in orange or under (orange, yellow, green, blue, grey, black) you should be ok if you go for a dobsonian mounted Newtonian scope eventually. I'm in a red zone, and almost always go to a dark site for longer observing sessions, but it's still possible to see the brighter objects (globular clusters, double stars, planets obviously).

I'm in red just bordering white. DALLAS

Still I'm continually amazed how much I can see with this cheapo telescope. Looked at jupiter today and could very clearly see bands in Jupiter's atmosphere, as well as a few of the moons. Going camping on the beach in a few weeks and I can't wait to break out the telescope.

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

Tann posted:

Cheers for the quick reply but I'm in England. Specifically Kent, Sidcup. Would the proximity to London be a factor or is it more local illumination like street lights?

I looked up your general area, and it seems like it would be equal to about an orange rated sky. An easy way to see how good your skies are, is to look at Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper). If you can see all seven stars, you are in much better skies than I am in, probably around blue or yellow quality. It's likely that you'll be missing four of them though, with your proximity to London. Go here to see which stars are what brightness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursa_Minor remember that higher magnitude numbers mean dimmer.

As for the second question, it depends. Light domes are very annoying if you're near a huge city, they'll wash out a good half of the sky. Local illumination isn't as big of a deal, unless it's visible to you in your observing area, then it's a massive problem. If light is showing through your trees or over your fence, it will cause your eyes to lose their sensitivity to light instantly.

Once you have your binoculars and learn your way around the sky a little, I'd recommend driving to a darker place and seeing the huge difference. I wish I could be more helpful with England specific resources, but I'm unfamiliar with those.

Jekub
Jul 21, 2006

April, May, June, July and August fool


Tann posted:

Cheers for the quick reply but I'm in England. Specifically Kent, Sidcup. Would the proximity to London be a factor or is it more local illumination like street lights?

Yeah, that close to London you're going to suffer, nature of the beast I'm afraid. The London glow ruins the sky for miles in every direction. Here are some resources for seeing just how bad it might be :

http://www.britastro.org/dark-skies...rolocation.html
http://www.leadbeaterhome.fsnet.co....ollution_uk.htm

As you can see, we all need to live in Wales, Cornwall or Scotland. Don't despair though, you are on the darker side of London and plenty of people get some very good astronomy done under such tough conditions. This society appear to be close to you :

http://www.orpington-astronomy.org.uk

They have regular practical and lecture meetings, very well organised by the look of it.

I'm off to spend two weeks in the Italian alps as of Saturday, I'll be taking my camera, mount and the little vixen scope so hopefully I can get some decent photography done.

Jekub fucked around with this message at 08:16 on Aug 11, 2009

Tann
Apr 1, 2009



Cheers Jekub, I'll check out that orpington meet next week. Shame about the light pollution though. Hope you get some good pictures in the alps, be sure to post them!

Jekub
Jul 21, 2006

April, May, June, July and August fool


You'll be surprised just how much light pollution can be blocked by the correct use of filters, but those guys will no doubt be able to give you the best advice.

Hoping for the best in Italy, the weather in the UK this summer has just been hilarious. They only night I had a chance to do any work I turned on my mount and it started tracking at twice the correct speed for some reason which I've not yet worked out.

Jekub fucked around with this message at 08:21 on Aug 11, 2009

Gary2863
Jul 19, 2000



blugu64 posted:

Played around with the Galileoscope, looking at jupiter. Holy poo poo first time I saw Jupiter's moons, I counted 6. Still best $15 bucks spent in a while.

Try looking at a star cluster, like the Pleiades, or some other one!

Last night I looked at Jupiter before the Moon came up, and I could actually make out two darker stripes in its atmosphere!

A few nights before, it was a bit hazy, and I tried to look at Mizar and Alcor, and I was pleased that the Galileoscope could separate them. Then when I went inside I found out that that's supposed to be possible with the naked eye! Light pollution sucks!

Mugmoor
Dec 12, 2006

I had a ruff day at work.


Those Binoculars in the OP look cool but I'd rather buy them in-store somewhere. Is 10x50 the specification I'm looking for then? I found some Falcon Binoculars in a store near me and I'm so tempted to snag 'em.

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

Mugmoor posted:

Those Binoculars in the OP look cool but I'd rather buy them in-store somewhere. Is 10x50 the specification I'm looking for then? I found some Falcon Binoculars in a store near me and I'm so tempted to snag 'em.

10x50s are considered a good compromise between portability, cost, and power. The first number is the magnification, the second number is the aperture of the main lens in mm. If you're willing to spend more, you could go for higher magnification, but any higher than 10 and you're going to want something to support it on like a monopod or tripod.

Slung Blade
Jul 10, 2002

IN STEEL WE TRUST



Has anyone seen the meteor shower tonight?

Jekub
Jul 21, 2006

April, May, June, July and August fool


Nope, the skies were good on Tuesday night but last night was miserable again. Looks like a fairly light shower again this year, though some of my friends reported multiple fireballs last night.

Elder Postsman
Aug 30, 2000


i used hot bot to search for "teens"



Amazon has the Celestron 21024 FirstScope 76mm reflector on sale for $29.99 with the promo code B4VTPW6R. If I don't find a better deal on craigslist over the weekend, I think I'm going to order one next week.

Anyone ever used that particular telescope?

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

I tried one briefly a couple weeks ago. It's outstanding for the price, but obviously it won't compare to bigger and better scopes. The base on the one I was using was a little tough to turn, but I suspect that could be fixed by simply loosening the azimuth screw. You have to adjust the knob on the side to lock it in position on the altitude, but it's pretty easy once you get used to it.

I would really recommend getting the Accessory Kit that adds two more eyepieces to fill the large gap between 20mm and 4mm, and a finder scope. For 18 bucks or so, it's worth it.

CptAJ
Sep 15, 2007
El Capitanisimo

Quick questions here. A friend and I were thinking of building a DIY telescope. Ofcourse, mirrors are a problem. We don't want to go through the trouble of making our own mirror. I'm guessing there's quite a few places that sell them. Are they affordable? Got any links for me?

Thanks.

obso
Jul 30, 2000
OBSOLUTELY

CptAJ posted:

Quick questions here. A friend and I were thinking of building a DIY telescope. Ofcourse, mirrors are a problem. We don't want to go through the trouble of making our own mirror. I'm guessing there's quite a few places that sell them. Are they affordable? Got any links for me?

Thanks.

I don't know of any stores that sell them (I'm sure there are several tho) but you can find the mirrors and eyepieces on ebay for not much. I was planning on building a 8" dobsonian telescope and IIRC it was going to be ~$250-300 for all the the 2 mirrors and eyepiece assembly.

Mercury Ballistic
Nov 14, 2005

not gun related

So my only piece of equipment is a sextant I use for the odd star fix or taking a sunline. I have some night vision I use as well, just when I am bored. I work as a navigator on ships and spend a lot of time looking at the night sky in the middle of the ocean. In the winter of 2007, while off the East Coast of Africa, I saw something that I was hoping someone might be able to identify.

I have seen a fair amount of comets, and know that they travel pretty much as the stars do, in that their apparent motion across the sky is the same as everything else over the course of the night. Sure they move relative to everything else, but pretty slowly, like planets. I saw what looked like a comet, with a white glowing point and a large fanning tail that spread away from the point. The weird thing was that this thing set in the east, over about 40 minutes. It was initially about 45 deg above the horizon. It may have been aurora, but I have seen a lot of that, and it did not dance, was white, and I was about 5 degrees above the equator.

Also, if there is real interest, I might try and explain the basics of celestial navigation when I get home. Is there any interest?

Slung Blade
Jul 10, 2002

IN STEEL WE TRUST



Mercury Ballistic posted:

Is there any interest?

Yes please.

Loztblaz
Sep 8, 2004
1-14-04, Never Forget.

Mercury Ballistic posted:

So my only piece of equipment is a sextant I use for the odd star fix or taking a sunline. I have some night vision I use as well, just when I am bored. I work as a navigator on ships and spend a lot of time looking at the night sky in the middle of the ocean. In the winter of 2007, while off the East Coast of Africa, I saw something that I was hoping someone might be able to identify.

I have seen a fair amount of comets, and know that they travel pretty much as the stars do, in that their apparent motion across the sky is the same as everything else over the course of the night. Sure they move relative to everything else, but pretty slowly, like planets. I saw what looked like a comet, with a white glowing point and a large fanning tail that spread away from the point. The weird thing was that this thing set in the east, over about 40 minutes. It was initially about 45 deg above the horizon. It may have been aurora, but I have seen a lot of that, and it did not dance, was white, and I was about 5 degrees above the equator.

Also, if there is real interest, I might try and explain the basics of celestial navigation when I get home. Is there any interest?

Comet McNaught was visible around then, as well as bright as poo poo (visible in the daytime). It wouldn't have moved that quickly though, 45 degrees in 40 minutes is faster than anything other than satellites and meteors.

Mercury Ballistic
Nov 14, 2005

not gun related

The weird thing was that it set in the east though, and fast. Like I said, it looked a lot like the aurora which I am very familiar with having worked in Alaska, but I was a few degrees above the equator north of Madagascar.

Also, I will try and write a thread for some Celestial Navigation basics. I have to refresh my skills after 2 years of not sailing anyway.

nobody-
Jun 4, 2000
Forum Veteran

CptAJ posted:

Quick questions here. A friend and I were thinking of building a DIY telescope. Ofcourse, mirrors are a problem. We don't want to go through the trouble of making our own mirror. I'm guessing there's quite a few places that sell them. Are they affordable? Got any links for me?

Thanks.

I just finished building a 6" Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount. Got my mirrors from these guys http://www.e-scopes.cc/ and I've been quite happy with their service and the quality of the mirrors. For eyepieces, I just grabbed a cheapo 25mm Plössl from http://www.surplusshed.com to play with until I'm more comfortable selecting eyepieces (and have more money to burn).

Don't do like I did at first and buy a cheapo mirror off Ebay (focal ratio 5, my rear end; more like 3). A decent mirror will definitely cost you, but I've been amazed with the quality and amount of detail I've been able to see with my scope, even with a relatively low power eyepiece.

CptAJ
Sep 15, 2007
El Capitanisimo

nobody- posted:

I just finished building a 6" Newtonian on a Dobsonian mount. Got my mirrors from these guys http://www.e-scopes.cc/ and I've been quite happy with their service and the quality of the mirrors. For eyepieces, I just grabbed a cheapo 25mm Plössl from http://www.surplusshed.com to play with until I'm more comfortable selecting eyepieces (and have more money to burn).

Don't do like I did at first and buy a cheapo mirror off Ebay (focal ratio 5, my rear end; more like 3). A decent mirror will definitely cost you, but I've been amazed with the quality and amount of detail I've been able to see with my scope, even with a relatively low power eyepiece.

obso posted:

I don't know of any stores that sell them (I'm sure there are several tho) but you can find the mirrors and eyepieces on ebay for not much. I was planning on building a 8" dobsonian telescope and IIRC it was going to be ~$250-300 for all the the 2 mirrors and eyepiece assembly.

Really? That seems a bit much for the mirrors and such. A few bucks more and I can buy a commercial telescope of the same specs from what I'm looking at. How does that even happen?

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SeXReX
Jan 9, 2009

I drink, mostly.
And get mad at people on the internet




Loztblaz posted:

Unfortunately, it's a pretty huge difference. In the darkest skies I've ever been in, I can see things naked eye that I can barely see in my binoculars at home. Find your home on http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/ , If you're in orange or under (orange, yellow, green, blue, grey, black) you should be ok if you go for a dobsonian mounted Newtonian scope eventually. I'm in a red zone, and almost always go to a dark site for longer observing sessions, but it's still possible to see the brighter objects (globular clusters, double stars, planets obviously).

I need to go for a good hour and a half drive to make it out of orange.

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