Any amateur astronomers out there??

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Any amateur astronomers out there??

Post by TassieTiger » 04 Feb 2019, 8:26 pm

Not sure why exactly - but whilst pointing my rifles on max mag, at the moon and stars, got a bit of a hankering to look at some other stuff.
Reckon if I could see Saturn’s rings for real, I’d be a better man for it - so started researching telscopes and think I need something computer controlled and about a 10 inch aperture - so looking about a grand second hand or $2k new from what I can see...
Can anyone comment ? Anyone attempted / doing similar? Open to any and all advice...except my mates advice who said give me &1500 and I’ll get you sloshed, hit you with a bat, see as many stars as you need...
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Re: Any amateur astronomers out there??

Post by Gaznazdiak » 04 Feb 2019, 10:02 pm

Just last year Tas, I sold my Celestron 8" Schmidt Cassegrain catadioptric scope on a computerised mount and a veritable wheelbarrow full of accessories for a price that left a hole.
Mine was the last version before the "Lightswitch" models.
With the older versions there is a laborious hour or so of setup to be done because the computer in the mount has to know exactly where and when it is, and you have to align your mount to the south polar star Sigma Octantis, which is not visible to naked eyes :roll:
The new version setup is like, you guessed it, flicking a switch.
The scope queries the onboard GPS for location and time, then a built in camera takes pictures of various parts of the sky and compares them to star charts in memory so it knows not only where it is but the location of everything in the sky that is contained in the onboard database, usually about 40,000 objects.

Big scopes also suffer from internal heat turbulence as the air inside changes to the ambient, so you will need to take it out well before you use it so that the scope and the air inside it are at ambient.

They are out of production now but it would be well worth trying to find a Celestron SkyScout.

It's a hand held device with accelerometers, GPS, and positioning sensors.

You look through the viewfinder, point it at a star or planet and ask it what it is, you can get a full history.

You can put it in find mode and ask it to show you where Mars is, for example, you will get little prompts in the viewfinder for which way to move it until it is pointing at Mars, which might well be between your feet.

Celestron and Meade are the best brands that are reasonable enough that you won't need a second morgage to buy one.
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Re: Any amateur astronomers out there??

Post by TassieTiger » 05 Feb 2019, 4:17 am

Thanks for the advice. Appreciate it. I’m going to keep an eye out for a while on GT and see if a “sky scout” comes up. They sound awesome.
We get the most amazing clear nights in winter in Tas and now with my shooting property well away from over flow light from city etc - should make for some interesting viewing.
Thanks.
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Re: Any amateur astronomers out there??

Post by Rod_outbak » 05 Feb 2019, 7:20 am

Some years back, I bought a 5" Celestron Spotter with a patch of accessories. I had dreams of having the ultimate spotting scope, but it's too bulky for that, and realistically, it's too small for watching the stars as it is.

As Gaznazdiak has mentioned, it's almost as important to have a mount that can 'track', as even my little spotter looking at the moon would constantly need to be moved to keep the moon in the picture.

My C5 only cost ~ $650, but then there was about another $330 in accessories (8-24 zoom eyepiece, T-Adapter & T-Ring for connecting a Nikon camera etc).
Even a 5" with a tracking-capable mount will be well over double what I paid for it.

So, I dont use it much for spotting; needs a heavier and more solid tripod than I have at present. I've used it once for looking at the moon, and while it was a fantastic view, it was a lot of stuffing around to keep aligning it so we could actually see the moon. I think we did look at Jupiter or Saturn once, and while we could see it, we couldnt see rings or anything like that.

If I was doing the sky-watching thing again, I'd go for either an 8" or 10" telescope as a minimum(if I was going with a Cassegrain), and I'd be prepared to invest serious coin into the mount to ensure it can 'track' celestial objects.

My thoughts.

Cheers,

Rod.
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Re: Any amateur astronomers out there??

Post by Blr243 » 05 Feb 2019, 2:12 pm

Up cape York I used a bow to shoot boars on carcasses on a quarter moon. Less light was no good because I could not see. More light and the boars could see me coming. That’s the extent of my diploma in astronomy........ not exactly a qualification that might get me a job but it was a ton of fun
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Re: Any amateur astronomers out there??

Post by Noisydad » 05 Feb 2019, 6:57 pm

Have an old Tasco refractor on an equatorial mount. Doesn't take to long to set up and done properly you only need turn one knob to track your target object. I've seen Saturn's rings with it and it looks very impressive.
Quite surprisingly though, I've seen Jupiter's storm, wind bands and four of its moons with my Redfield Rampage 60 x 80 spotting scope and it was very clear though a little awkward to keep it in the field of view on an ordinary spotting scope tripod. I've scratched my head about mounting it on the equatorial tripod but have to many other projects.
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: Any amateur astronomers out there??

Post by PCHammond » 05 Feb 2019, 9:06 pm

I spent 300 on a second hand 10inch Dobsonian. It's one big and cumbersome SOB but gathers a ton of light.

Andrews Communications and Bintel are the places to buy in Sydney. No idea about Tas,
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Re: Any amateur astronomers out there??

Post by Gaznazdiak » 05 Feb 2019, 10:05 pm

Here's where I got mine Tas, long geopricing story about why I bought from the US, but they are very knowledgeable and supply professionals, amateurs and universities.

https://optcorp.com/collections/sct-telescopes

https://optcorp.com/products/meade-8-li ... -telescope

https://optcorp.com/products/meade-10in ... -telescope
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