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TheEmrys
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Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:06 pm

So, I have been brought low by having two total knee replacements and some complications. I haven't been up and mobile enough to play with my first favorite hobby, photography, so I have decided to take up astronomy. I found a good deal on a used telescope, a Meade ETX-90 with computer controler. I am pretty excited to dip my toe into this hobby, as I have always loved looking at stars and going to planitariums and what-not.

I have already purchased the necessary adapters to mount my camera body. Because my computer control isn't equatorial (what this exactly means, I am not quite sure), it will be mostly for planet and moon shots.

Any other gerbils share this interest?
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:08 pm

That is rough having having surgery on both knees, hope you have a speedy recovery. 
 
Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:20 pm

I'm interested in astrophotography but I am really just getting my feet wet. I just recently came into possession of a scope but haven't had much time or cloud-free, halfway warm nights so far. I don't have a camera yet, and as a total noob to these waters, I'm open to suggestions about anything.
 
Chuckaluphagus
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:28 am

TheEmrys wrote:
I have already purchased the necessary adapters to mount my camera body. Because my computer control isn't equatorial (what this exactly means, I am not quite sure), it will be mostly for planet and moon shots.

Equatorial mount means that, once you have an object centered in your field of view, the telescope can accurately track it across the sky as the Earth rotates. It's slightly more complicated to use than the alt-azimuth mount that you are also likely to see, but it works beautifully and is preferred for astrophotography because you can keep the object in frame for as long as you want.

You have a computer control, though, so I'm assuming it has some sort of system for handling tracking regardless of the mounting.

As for telescopes, I have:

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
I'm interested in astrophotography but I am really just getting my feet wet. I just recently came into possession of a scope but haven't had much time or cloud-free, halfway warm nights so far. I don't have a camera yet, and as a total noob to these waters, I'm open to suggestions about anything.

Beginner tip: let the 'scope come to ambient temperature - depending on what you have, that may take a while. The larger the objective, the longer that will take - tens of minutes to hours, if you have some big monster. Larger setups often use cooling fans, actually.

I've gotten excellent (well, I think they're lovely) photos of the moon using just a good point-and-click camera that has optical image stabilization, on a heavy, stable tripod.
 
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:31 pm

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
Beginner tip: let the 'scope come to ambient temperature - depending on what you have, that may take a while. The larger the objective, the longer that will take - tens of minutes to hours, if you have some big monster. Larger setups often use cooling fans, actually.

I've gotten excellent (well, I think they're lovely) photos of the moon using just a good point-and-click camera that has optical image stabilization, on a heavy, stable tripod.

Ah, thanks. It's not too big (Celestron Nextar 130SLT, ie: 130mm) so I think by the time I can get the darn thing calibrated/pointing at something it should be cooled off. It came with a rather lightweight tripod which is great for walking to the open field but not so great if I bump into it. I've learned not to do that.

I'll have to look around at cameras or find my old point and shoot perhaps. I currently just hold my phone up to the eyepiece and it gives a roughly blurred semblance of an idea of what the scope is pointed at... sometimes.
 
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:16 pm

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
I currently just hold my phone up to the eyepiece and it gives a roughly blurred semblance of an idea of what the scope is pointed at... sometimes.

Ah, I may have been unclear: I don't use the point-and-click with my telescope, I just mount it on a camera tripod on its own, dial in the settings and point it at the moon. I haven't done it in a while, but let me see what I can dig up from a few years ago ...


Moon
 
Mr Bill
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:30 pm

I have a used 8 inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrains that I really need to get out and try this year before Orion is gone.
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:47 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
I have a used 8 inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrains that I really need to get out and try this year before Orion is gone.

M42 is a juicy target and a good first view to draw kids into telescopes.
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TheEmrys
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:54 pm

Cool deal! Very helpful stuff here.
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:02 pm

Chuckaluphagus wrote:
I've gotten excellent (well, I think they're lovely) photos of the moon using just a good point-and-click camera that has optical image stabilization, on a heavy, stable tripod.

The moon is a rather huge target compared to most things that you'd point a telescope at.  During a lunar eclipse a few years ago, I shot the moon hand-held with an image-stabilized 400mm telephoto lens on an EOS 7D (640mm equivalent field of view).
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:09 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Chuckaluphagus wrote:
I've gotten excellent (well, I think they're lovely) photos of the moon using just a good point-and-click camera that has optical image stabilization, on a heavy, stable tripod.

The moon is a rather huge target compared to most things that you'd point a telescope at.  During a lunar eclipse a few years ago, I shot the moon hand-held with an image-stabilized 400mm telephoto lens on an EOS 7D (640mm equivalent field of view).

Of course. But for a newcomer, it's a great thing to view with a telescope or zoom lens because it's a) easy and b) we get so much more detail than we can see with the naked eye. I still love looking at the moon (through a filter, because otherwise wow is that rough on the eyes) any chance I get.
 
TheEmrys
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:57 pm

What sort of filter? Neutral Density? Polarizer?
Sony RX1
Fuji XT2
16-55/28, 56/1.2, 18-135, 55-200
Minolta MC 50/1.4, MD 35-70/3.5, 300/4.5 and a bunch more.
 
Chuckaluphagus
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:45 am

TheEmrys wrote:
What sort of filter? Neutral Density? Polarizer?

A 25% neutral density filter.
 
Mr Bill
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Re: Astronomers and the Scopes they love

Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:42 pm

Check out this Sombrero-like moon of Saturn I'm guessing it had a liquid core from gravitational flexing and then cracked all the way around.
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