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Hello from Lat 38.01.35 in the USA !


Lloyd-ss

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Lloyd-ss

Hello from Virginia in the USA! I was lurking around several of the astronomy forums and came across this "polite and friendly" amateur group. The "polite and friendly" caveat was, by itself, enough to make me join, but I dug deeper, and yes, this forum has a nice, comfortable vibe.

 

I am a total newbie (an old newbie) and acquired an Orion XT6 from a relative, which I soon read was a good beginner telescope. I am a retired engineer who likes to make things, and the technical aspect of the hobby intrigues me more than the "celestial" aspect, at least at this time.

 

I took the scope outside for the first time about a month ago and was in awe of the view it gave me of the moon. I was thinking, OMG this is not what I was expecting. There weren't too many stars out that night, but I clumsily pointed the scope at a bright star just west of the moon. OMG, that is not a star!! Are those bands around it? I went inside to look on the computer to see what it might be, and YES, IT IS Jupiter. At that point, I think I was hooked. I went back outside and it was no longer in the eyepiece???, but I found it again, and, OMG, the objects move quickly through the field of view. Faster than I expected!

 

I think I have realized that this is a highly technical hobby, and not just a sit in your easy-chair activity. This could be FUN.

Thank you for providing this "comfort zone."

Lloyd

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  • ALTAIR
nickaltair

Hi Loyd, welcome! Thanks for the comments - that's exactly what we want to make this forum, a positive fun place for astronomers to enjoy the hobby!

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Lloyd-ss
5 minutes ago, nickaltair said:

Hi Loyd, welcome! Thanks for the comments - that's exactly what we want to make this forum, a positive fun place for astronomers to enjoy the hobby!

Thank you for the welcome, Nick.

Keeping it fun keeps the right people coming back. 😀

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TerryMcK

Hello Lloyd and welcome to the forum. Nice to have you along.

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Lloyd-ss
4 minutes ago, GazAstro said:

Welcome Lloyd, Jupiter is a show stopper 🙂

 

Thank you for saying hello! Stumbling onto Jupiter was a bit of serendipity.  We are in a bit of a cold snap right now with night temps about -3C, so I will be off to a slow start for a few weeks.

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Lloyd-ss
2 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

Hello Lloyd and welcome to the forum. Nice to have you along.

Thanks Terry, I can see the knowledge base on the forum is huge.

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GazAstro
2 minutes ago, Lloyd-ss said:

Thank you for saying hello! Stumbling onto Jupiter was a bit of serendipity.  We are in a bit of a cold snap right now with night temps about -3C, so I will be off to a slow start for a few weeks.

Lightweight 🙂

Haven't you got a coat 😁

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Lloyd-ss
7 minutes ago, GazAstro said:

Lightweight 🙂

Haven't you got a coat 😁

Ok, OK, bustin' my chops already. Seeing that my observation point is only about 15 feet from my back door, and only down 2 steps, I can see that no mercy will be applied.

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GazAstro

It's good to see someone from the USA that get UK humour 🙂

How's the light pollution where you are ?

 

Edited by GazAstro
typo / spelling
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Butterfly Maiden

Hello Lloyd and welcome to the Forum.

 

I am also fairly new to this hobby, or rather I have limited technical knowledge of astronomy even though I have been looking at the sky for a while ☺️

 

I agree, that a friendly atmosphere on a Forum is a BIG plus for me too.  There is no need for petty bickering and putting people down.  You will not find that here.  The members here are very friendly and helpful, so I am sure you will enjoy your stay with us.

 

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Lloyd-ss
29 minutes ago, GazAstro said:

It's good to see someone from the USA that get UK humour 🙂

How's the light pollution where you are ?

 

 

Ha Ha, keep the jabs coming, I can take it. But of course, after I get to know people on the forum, it will be my turn to dish it out. My son-in-law is from Sussex, and he forced us to go "over there" a few years ago. A lovely country and we had a great time, and believe it or not, none of the typical UK wet drizzle for the 10 days we were there. We are big "Gardener's World" fans, so we feel like sissies when we come inside because of a tiny bit of rain, when everyone over there has their Wellies and rain jackets on. But then we laugh at you when you complain about a "heat wave" that is only 24C when we are dealing with 36C, LOL.

 

The light pollution here is very, very minor, but my sky window?? is a bit limited.  Visibility thru the clearing that we live in in the forest, might allow only a 90 degree inverted cone of visibility, but I haven't really measured it, if that makes sense. With the leaves off the trees right now, I can see thru many of the branches, but I haven't been able to find the North star thru the branches, but haven't given it a real effort yet. The possibilities seem endless, though. I appreciate the conversations.

Lloyd

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Lloyd-ss
8 minutes ago, Butterfly Maiden said:

Hello Lloyd and welcome to the Forum.

 

I am also fairly new to this hobby, or rather I have limited technical knowledge of astronomy even though I have been looking at the sky for a while ☺️

 

I agree, that a friendly atmosphere on a Forum is a BIG plus for me too.  There is no need for petty bickering and putting people down.  You will not find that here.  The members here are very friendly and helpful, so I am sure you will enjoy your stay with us.

 

Thank you for the nice hello.  Well, it seems like everyone has more time in the hobby than I do, but there are no condescending attitudes, etc, etc. It is nice how easy it seems for people of a similar hobby to keep it upbeat and enjoyable and on-topic, and just leave the hot buttons at home. No one should have to defend themselves, like many of us have, I think, experienced on other forums.

This is all new and exciting to me and I am looking forward to the learning and the camaraderie! And the fun!

Lloyd

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Nightspore

Hello Lloyd. Right Ascension can be hard work with a manual alt-az. My favourite is viewing Mars at 240x with a 4" apochromat. Mars moves so fast your arms are like fiddler's elbows on the slo-mo controls.

 

ngrSY25l.jpg

 

And I'm partially paralysed in my right arm lol ...

Edited by Nightspore
bad spells
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Lloyd-ss
1 hour ago, Nightspore said:

Hello Lloyd. Right Ascension can be hard work with a manual alt-az. My favourite is viewing Mars at 240x with a 4" apochromat. Mars moves so fast your arms are like fiddler's elbows on the slo-mo controls.

 

ngrSY25l.jpg

 

And I'm partially paralysed in my right arm lol ...

 

OK, every little tidbit of information adds to the big picture. Your comments on cranking to follow Mars made me realize that even if you have a motorized GEM style mount that stays in sync with the celestial sphere, it will not track a planet unless that planet basically stays stationary with the celestial sphere, also.  (I think that is correct.)

It is slowly coming together. You never know what a single comment might do.

Lloyd

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Nightspore
1 hour ago, Lloyd-ss said:

 

OK, every little tidbit of information adds to the big picture. Your comments on cranking to follow Mars made me realize that even if you have a motorized GEM style mount that stays in sync with the celestial sphere, it will not track a planet unless that planet basically stays stationary with the celestial sphere, also.  (I think that is correct.)

It is slowly coming together. You never know what a single comment might do.

Lloyd

 

I'm pretty certain RA is produced by the rotation of the Earth. It can get confusing (I've actually had brain damage) but all objects rise in the east, reach transit due south, then set in the west.

 

T7MnWwH.jpg

 

Any Equatorial Mount (German Equatorial Mount or other) does help with tracking in RA as it allows the OTA (Optical Tube Assembly) to move/track with the celestial sphere. These mounts can be manual or powered. Due to physical disability I tend to use my EQ only for plane of the ecliptic observing (predominantly planetary).

 

v85Pu70.jpg

 

The real trick is getting them aligned to the Pole Star.

 

gEXKJBs.jpg

 

I actually own a GOTO.

 

07We0bc.jpg

 

Which was bundled with my 235mm Celestron SCT.

 

4zITAx6.jpg

 

It rarely gets out these days/nights though due to health problems. In fact I took nearly a year off from astronomy due to severe health problems. Since last September though I've started to get back into it. Often with much smaller scopes.

 

RR8srXz.jpg

 

lighter alt-az mount/tripod combo's are so much more convenient to set up for me now. Since September last year I've had 21 sessions. I'm particularly proud of the fact I've used my 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain (the Big Mak lol) twice.

 

IPUMKTq.jpg

 

I'm partially paralysed on my entire right side, so getting the Big Mak out was a personal victory, as it seems huge to me at the moment.

 

Big Mak's Back!

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Lloyd-ss

Hang in there and do whatever you enjoy, so long as it doesn't put you at risk.  It sounds like getting back into the astronomy has boosted your spirits, and that is plenty important. And muscling that monster Big Mak around was a real test, and an accomplishment to be proud of!

 

Looking at the polar mounts on your scopes, it appears that when the tripod is leveled, and the polar axis is sighted in, that the zero of the RA is always on top. Is that correct?

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Nightspore
3 minutes ago, Lloyd-ss said:

Hang in there and do whatever you enjoy, so long as it doesn't put you at risk.  It sounds like getting back into the astronomy has boosted your spirits, and that is plenty important. And muscling that monster Big Mak around was a real test, and an accomplishment to be proud of!

 

Looking at the polar mounts on your scopes, it appears that when the tripod is leveled, and the polar axis is sighted in, that the zero of the RA is always on top. Is that correct?

 

Thanks, I've finally made a comeback. It seems longer than a year. Not sure what you mean by the 'zero' of the RA. I should have mentioned that most objects rise and fall with RA. Obviously Polaris and circumpolar objects don't. Essentially an EQ mount mimics the Earth revolving on its axis. 

 

This probably explains it better than I can.

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Lloyd-ss
On 1/3/2024 at 10:56 AM, nickaltair said:

Hi Loyd, welcome! Thanks for the comments - that's exactly what we want to make this forum, a positive fun place for astronomers to enjoy the hobby!

 

Hi again Nick,

I thought you might want to see this cap from the USS Altair, the first ship my dad served on in the US Navy during the early 1940's of WWII.  And yes indeed, the USS Altair was named after the brightest start in the Aquila constellation.

Lloyd

 

IMG_20240106_213111925.jpg.d6916406aa4095e18e143de36f95e1bf.jpg

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Lloyd-ss
Posted (edited)
On 1/3/2024 at 9:55 PM, Nightspore said:

 

I'm pretty certain RA is produced by the rotation of the Earth. It can get confusing (I've actually had brain damage) but all objects rise in the east, reach transit due south, then set in the west.

 

T7MnWwH.jpg

 

Any Equatorial Mount (German Equatorial Mount or other) does help with tracking in RA as it allows the OTA (Optical Tube Assembly) to move/track with the celestial sphere. These mounts can be manual or powered. Due to physical disability I tend to use my EQ only for plane of the ecliptic observing (predominantly planetary).

 

v85Pu70.jpg

 

The real trick is getting them aligned to the Pole Star.

 

gEXKJBs.jpg

 

I actually own a GOTO.

 

07We0bc.jpg

 

Which was bundled with my 235mm Celestron SCT.

 

4zITAx6.jpg

 

It rarely gets out these days/nights though due to health problems. In fact I took nearly a year off from astronomy due to severe health problems. Since last September though I've started to get back into it. Often with much smaller scopes.

 

RR8srXz.jpg

 

lighter alt-az mount/tripod combo's are so much more convenient to set up for me now. Since September last year I've had 21 sessions. I'm particularly proud of the fact I've used my 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain (the Big Mak lol) twice.

 

IPUMKTq.jpg

 

I'm partially paralysed on my entire right side, so getting the Big Mak out was a personal victory, as it seems huge to me at the moment.

 

Big Mak's Back!

 

Hi Nightspore,

In your info line you say you have a shed load of eyepieces. I originally read that as a different kind of load, but golly, you do seem to be bringing them out by the bucket load. And no cheesy stuff, either. But I did notice the red dot finder on a tall riser block on Big Mak. I always found those to be cheesy because mine never are "dots," they are all shapes except dots. I hope it eventually gets easier to find things in the scope. Right now I am looking at a lot of stuff that is around Alt 65 to 90 and the red dot almost takes some exorcist moves with my neck to find things. Do you ever reach the point where you can just about push the scope in the correct direction, and vooo-allah, there it is!

 

Also, so many of your optics parts seem to be modular and fit together on either the standard 1.25" or 2.00" sizes: eyepieces, filters, right angles, Barlows, etc., etc. I am guessing that with a few adapters, they do all stack together.

Thanks,

Lloyd

 

P.S. Per forum rules, I am trying to envision a "polite and friendly," Nightspore, but I am having a tough time, LOL.🤣

edit, added the PPS

P.P.S. Just so that I don't create any confusion with my American humor, I was making a joke about "a spore in the night" not being polite and friendly, because , of course,  our Forum Member, "Nightspore", IS polite, friendly, and helpful, too. My apologies if it came out awkwardly. Lloyd

Edited by Lloyd-ss
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Nightspore
4 hours ago, Lloyd-ss said:

 

Hi Nightspore,

In your info line you say you have a shed load of eyepieces. I originally read that as a different kind of load, but golly, you do seem to be bringing them out by the bucket load. And no cheesy stuff, either. But I did notice the red dot finder on a tall riser block on Big Mak. I always found those to be cheesy because mine never are "dots," they are all shapes except dots. I hope it eventually gets easier to find things in the scope. Right now I am looking at a lot of stuff that is around Alt 65 to 90 and the red dot almost takes some exorcist moves with my neck to find things. Do you ever reach the point where you can just about push the scope in the correct direction, and vooo-allah, there it is!

 

Also, so many of your optics parts seem to be modular and fit together on either the standard 1.25" or 2.00" sizes: eyepieces, filters, right angles, Barlows, etc., etc. I am guessing that with a few adapters, they do all stack together.

Thanks,

Lloyd

 

P.S. Per forum rules, I am trying to envision a "polite and friendly," Nightspore, but I am having a tough time, LOL.🤣

edit, added the PPS

P.P.S. Just so that I don't create any confusion with my American humor, I was making a joke about "a spore in the night" not being polite and friendly, because , of course,  our Forum Member, "Nightspore", IS polite, friendly, and helpful, too. My apologies if it came out awkwardly. Lloyd

 

Hello Lloyd. A 'shed load' AFAIK is a known 'Black Country' vernacular expression basically meaning 'a lot of'. Although I've heard the expression used in the Cynon Valley (South Wales) where I lived for several years. It's not an uncommon expression in some northern parts of the UK as I have Scouse (Liverpool) relatives who also often use it. I don't know its actual origin, although it may indeed be euphemistic, as you suspect lol.

 

WGiWBXSl.jpg

IBlUCoMl.jpg

 

I've experimented with a shed load of finders including RACI and 'straight through' types.

 

wFK9xSRl.jpg

 

Eventually settling on reflex sights with custom stands made by TS Optics in Germany. Most have selectable red & green LED lights which are a tad bright for astronomy. There are selectors for the type of illuminated reflex design. I prefer the simple dots. The 'dots' tend to be less bright. Although dewing, depending on time of year, often dulls the brightness anyway. 

 

Shn03pdl.jpg

 

Most of my reflex finders are generic but metal in construction, The Altair type (shown above with bespoke TS stand) have a much less bright LED and are better for astronomy IMO. Although there's only a red-coloured LED choice. The disadvantage with the Altair type is the LED isn't always easily visible in crepuscular light (particularly early morning planetary targets). 

 

rpH21Krl.jpg

G0KQtrWl.jpg

 

Over the years I've tried combinations of optical and reflex sights. Inevitably ending up with just reflex sights. Which are smaller and physically lighter both on the OTA itself and when transporting. I like a simple and practical approach. Weight is always a factor for me due to my disability.

 

mxW0TLHl.jpg

ceCYLU4l.jpg

eYNA1Khl.jpg

 

I have been known to use a Rigel reflex sight. It might be bulky, plastic and 1970's technology, but it works!

 

ZaBAHrSl.jpg

pVhtbrBl.jpg

v47rqv1l.jpg

 

Sn0RYe3l.jpg

aGJRKZkl.png

a51A5enl.jpg

ALNVPyol.jpg

W3ec7Jil.jpg

 

I may need eventual counselling for my eyepiece acquisition problem ...

 

q7KU7uh.jpg

 

The user name 'Nightspore' is actually a protagonist in David Lindsay's surreal novel A Voyage to Arcturus. Apparently made famous by the 60's hippy generation. I wouldn't know, I'm more 90's Jungle Rave generation. I have to cast my horoscope and read my runes now. Peace out. 

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TerryMcK

A shed load is also a Mancunian expression (Manchester is a city in the North West of England). It started out as an expression for a horse drawn vehicle normally a hitched trailer or wagon at the back which had either turned over, hence losing its load of cargo, or shed its load in some other cataclysmic way.

Essentially the cargo would comprise a lot of items, Now it has just become “a shed load” meaning “a lot”.

Nothing to do with a garden shed.

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Lloyd-ss
29 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

A shed load is also a Mancunian expression (Manchester is a city in the North West of England). It started out as an expression for a horse drawn vehicle normally a hitched trailer or wagon at the back which had either turned over, hence losing its load of cargo, or shed its load in some other cataclysmic way.

Essentially the cargo would comprise a lot of items, Now it has just become “a shed load” meaning “a lot”.

Nothing to do with a garden shed.

 This is going to be tougher than I thought. Not only do I need to learn a shed load of astronomy terms, apps, and software, but there is another batch of UK and Irish sayings that are used just to confuse the Yankees, I might venture. A Voyage to Arcturus.... I will counter with The Teachings of Don Juan from the not to distant past in the South Western US.

This is many things, including, pleasant.

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Nightspore
1 hour ago, TerryMcK said:

A shed load is also a Mancunian expression (Manchester is a city in the North West of England). It started out as an expression for a horse drawn vehicle normally a hitched trailer or wagon at the back which had either turned over, hence losing its load of cargo, or shed its load in some other cataclysmic way.

Essentially the cargo would comprise a lot of items, Now it has just become “a shed load” meaning “a lot”.

Nothing to do with a garden shed.

 

Shedtastic explanation Terry, thanks.

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Nightspore
1 hour ago, Lloyd-ss said:

 This is going to be tougher than I thought. Not only do I need to learn a shed load of astronomy terms, apps, and software, but there is another batch of UK and Irish sayings that are used just to confuse the Yankees, I might venture. A Voyage to Arcturus.... I will counter with The Teachings of Don Juan from the not to distant past in the South Western US.

This is many things, including, pleasant.

 

Yeah, A Voyage to Arcturus is definitely 'A Separate Reality'. Don Juan was a fungi, I mean fun guy. I bet he knew where his shed was. I fear we are drifting slightly off-topic and journeying nearer to Ixtlan. So I will exercise 'The Power of Silence'.

 

2tXjCZv.jpg

 

Although, thinking about your earlier statement of having to perform ridiculous neck yoga to sight certain celestial objects, remember RA works annually as well as diurnally. Spring is approaching and there are a whole load of objects I like to search for this time of the year. They are pretty easy to find with an alt-az and a reflex sight without dislocating any major joints. There are objects throughout the observing year that I specifically wait for.

 

ydkCYsH.jpg

 

Berenice's 'Barnet' is particularly good at very low magnifications (around 10x).

 

1uj0fsV.jpg

 

If you can find Leo, which IMO is the only zodiacal constellation to resemble its astrological symbol, Coma Berenices is right behind it. Coincidentally it is also to the right of Arcturus. Spooky or what? lol

 

NHf6HWM.jpg

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