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  1. #141
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    I tried just looking at the Andromeda Galaxy and was unimpressed, but took a 15 minute plate and saw nice structure; the same for the Orion Nebula.
    Agree on Andromeda. To me it's a fuzzy blob. Still cool to know that the fuzzy blob is filled with stars. The Orion nebula is one of the few deep sky objects that I can see from my back yard without light pollution interfering too much. I scoped it the other night, for all of literally 30 seconds before a cloud bank rolled in out of nowhere. Grrrr. The Orion constellation has always been my favorite. (Maybe because it was prominently in the sky as we walked from our car to Cameron when I was a kid.)
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  2. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Agree on Andromeda. To me it's a fuzzy blob. Still cool to know that the fuzzy blob is filled with stars. The Orion nebula is one of the few deep sky objects that I can see from my back yard without light pollution interfering too much. I scoped it the other night, for all of literally 30 seconds before a cloud bank rolled in out of nowhere. Grrrr. The Orion constellation has always been my favorite. (Maybe because it was prominently in the sky as we walked from our car to Cameron when I was a kid.)
    Agree on the Orion Nebula. On a clear night, it looks fuzzy to the naked eye; can be seen even better if you don't look directly at it (hard to do, but you need to try to look near it, not at it). It actually covers a huge swath of sky and shares the same spiral arm of the Milky Way that we do; a very impressive neighbor.

    I also like looking at the Pleiades. It is a challenge with the naked eye on a clear night, but multiple stars are resolvable. I have a poster of the Pleiades Nebula. Love it. Makes it feel accessible.

    Larry

  3. #143
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    I also like looking at the Pleiades. It is a challenge with the naked eye on a clear night, but multiple stars are resolvable. I have a poster of the Pleiades Nebula. Love it. Makes it feel accessible.

    Larry
    Pleiades - nice through binoculars or low-power telescope eyepiece. It was the basis for the Subaru logo. AKA the Seven Sisters.

  4. #144
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Great Falls Va
    Saw a NASA Instagram post about Uranus being especially visible on January 20th, I think as it will be near the more easy to see Mars.
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    I saw Uranus once with a 16" telescope; was not tempted to go back again.

    Would always go back to look at Saturn (the rings) and Jupiter (the spot/moons), whenever they were up in the sky. Venus (gray) and Mars (angry) not quite as exciting, but interesting. Just observing has a few limits. I tried just looking at the Andromeda Galaxy and was unimpressed, but took a 15 minute plate and saw nice structure; the same for the Orion Nebula. The moon is ultra impressive through a telescope; so bright!!

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    I saw Uranus once with a 16" telescope; was not tempted to go back again.

    Would always go back to look at Saturn (the rings) and Jupiter (the spot/moons), whenever they were up in the sky. Venus (gray) and Mars (angry) not quite as exciting, but interesting. Just observing has a few limits. I tried just looking at the Andromeda Galaxy and was unimpressed, but took a 15 minute plate and saw nice structure; the same for the Orion Nebula. The moon is ultra impressive through a telescope; so bright!!

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    Like seeing a new but utterly drab bird somewhere in Peru. No consumer value -- but it's a tick on your life list. Now I need Neptune (and a bigger telescope).
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  6. #146
    Yet another conjunction event, built on the shoulders of the previous (in the spirit of solar eclipses happening when lunar eclipses occur 2 weeks before/after):
    https://www.space.com/jupiter-saturn...e=notification

    Triple Conjunction!!!
    I think you can take something for that and call me in the morning.

    It will be cloudy for me tonight, so I will miss it.

    But you have to love binocular events.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    [/url]

    Triple Conjunction!!!


    Larry
    DevilHorse
    Sounds like something I should have learned about in English class.

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Sounds like something I should have learned about in English class.
    They should make a song about it.

    Schoolhouse-rock-conjunction-junction.jpg
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    Yet another conjunction event, built on the shoulders of the previous (in the spirit of solar eclipses happening when lunar eclipses occur 2 weeks before/after):
    https://www.space.com/jupiter-saturn...e=notification

    Triple Conjunction!!!
    I think you can take something for that and call me in the morning.

    It will be cloudy for me tonight, so I will miss it.

    But you have to love binocular events.

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    One large black cloud blocked my view. I hope the evanescent Mercury sticks around another day or so.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  10. #150
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    One large black cloud blocked my view. I hope the evanescent Mercury sticks around another day or so.
    I see what you did there.

    Reminds me of this classic Steven Wright-ism, "I put Instant Coffee in a Microwave and almost went back in time."

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  11. #151
    For those of you with extremely accurate Sidereal drives on your telescopes, it seems that the earth is spinning faster this year and a leap second is being considered:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...es/6581600002/

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  12. #152
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    I see what you did there.

    Reminds me of this classic Steven Wright-ism, "I put Instant Coffee in a Microwave and almost went back in time."

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    Thanks, but if it indeed seemed clever, it was unintentional.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  13. #153
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    Thanks, but if it indeed seemed clever, it was unintentional.
    Made me laugh anyway:
    Doesn't everyone think that evanescent and mercurial (6th or 7th definition) are virtual synonyms?
    https://wikidiff.com/mercurial/evanescent

    < we return you to your regularly scheduled programming >

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  14. #154
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    Made me laugh anyway:
    Doesn't everyone think that evanescent and mercurial (6th or 7th definition) are virtual synonyms?
    https://wikidiff.com/mercurial/evanescent

    < we return you to your regularly scheduled programming >

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    Clear skies tonight: Mercury was an A+. Jupiter also good; Saturn almost lost in the afterglow.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  15. #155
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Grab it out of the box and set it up.

    So I looked this up, and it's interesting. Knowing that you are an outdoor camping hippie dippie type, this scope is probably great for you and your lady. It packs light without taking much space, and is essentially "point and see". So the cell phone adapter may help with that. It also may be a pain in the azz, and you don't use it much. IF you take the time before you take it on site and site the finder that comes with the scope, that's probably all you need.

    And here's the bad news. The C word.
    Collimation. As a now seasoned owner of a Celestron scope, what you get out of the box is not optimal. At all. (To be fair, my pricier Orion was even worse.) There are three things that make your scope work. The primary mirror, the secondary mirror, and your eyepieces. The primary is the big one at the back. The secondary is the little one at the front that you look right into...through your eyepiece. I'd read that most telescopes only need adjustments on the primary, even after shipment.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My secondary mirror in both of my scopes was wayyyy off.
    Out of the box, as a newbie, I was loving my Celestron 130. (A very small step up from your 114) It was SO cool to see far away stuff so close. But, they weren't really "crisp". I just coughed that up to not spending lots of money. Then I did some research, and ultimately bought two collimaters. One was a manual, one was a laser. In hindsight, I'd only do the laser, but the manual one opened my eyes.
    My scope was way out of whack. After I tuned it in, the difference was stunning.
    So, after all that typing, my suggestion is to order a laser collimater, and enjoy your nights. With what you have, planetary objects will be lots of fun. Add a barlow lens, and you'll be able to check out the rings of Saturn in clearer view than you expected, but probably also the bands around Saturn. Being a manual scope, a wider view will be more enjoyable; you might get frustrated trying to stay on track as the objects zoom across your field of vision.
    The moon will amaze you.

    In summary...collimate. And have fun.
    (And as a now seasoned owner of my Celestron scope, I love it. I just needed to learn how to use it.)

    Came across this set of recommendations for telescopes for anyone looking to buy a new one:
    https://www.space.com/15693-telescop...ing-guide.html

    Of course, buying a good sky might cost you a bit more.

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  16. #156
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    Came across this set of recommendations for telescopes for anyone looking to buy a new one:
    https://www.space.com/15693-telescop...ing-guide.html

    Of course, buying a good sky might cost you a bit more.

    Larry
    DevilHorse
    NPR had a cool interview yesterday with a park ranger in Yellowstone; they were checking out the Milky Way. Yellowstone is in the process of getting designated as a Dark Sky Park. (I would have guessed they were already, but nope.) The ranger was great, and one of the things they were talking about is light pollution. She mentioned that I think 80% of people in the US have never seen the Milky Way. She also mentioned that every year, there is a 6% increase in light pollution, so of course that number will go up.
    I'm fortunate for being in the east coast to be close enough to drive to Staunton River State Park and enjoy their dark skies. I'm guessing that I drive into the middle of Pamlico county and get the same thing, but there wouldn't be anybody else there to tell me what I'm looking at, and that is worth the trip alone.

    https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  17. #157
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    NPR had a cool interview yesterday with a park ranger in Yellowstone; they were checking out the Milky Way. Yellowstone is in the process of getting designated as a Dark Sky Park. (I would have guessed they were already, but nope.) The ranger was great, and one of the things they were talking about is light pollution. She mentioned that I think 80% of people in the US have never seen the Milky Way. She also mentioned that every year, there is a 6% increase in light pollution, so of course that number will go up.
    I'm fortunate for being in the east coast to be close enough to drive to Staunton River State Park and enjoy their dark skies. I'm guessing that I drive into the middle of Pamlico county and get the same thing, but there wouldn't be anybody else there to tell me what I'm looking at, and that is worth the trip alone.

    https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river
    Used to get clear skies in the Catskill Mtns, and at night coming home from an evening of the ponies at Green Mountain Raceway in Vermont; used to stop off the side of the road just to look at the sky. Saw the Milky Way in both places.

    Not too far from Pocono Raceway is Dark Sky Park. Haven't been, but has the darkest skies on the east coast:
    https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/F...s/default.aspx


    Larry
    DevilHorse

  18. #158
    We moved out to near Lake Wheeler in Raleigh, it's a rural area just south of Raleigh, but hemmed in by Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Garner and Fuquay Varina...and even with everything around us, it's amazing how many more stars we can see when the nearest shopping center is 3-4 miles away instead of 1 or 2. The glow on the horizon from the various town shopping centers is a bit disgusting.

  19. #159
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post
    Used to get clear skies in the Catskill Mtns, and at night coming home from an evening of the ponies at Green Mountain Raceway in Vermont; used to stop off the side of the road just to look at the sky. Saw the Milky Way in both places.

    Not too far from Pocono Raceway is Dark Sky Park. Haven't been, but has the darkest skies on the east coast:
    https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/F...s/default.aspx


    Larry
    DevilHorse
    Here's a map of all the DSPs in the world. Focusing on the US, it's obvious that most of ours are out west. These are not just random dark sky locations, but recognized parks, which often have organized events. Those events are great for attending if you don't have a telescope of your own because people there are often eager to share what they are looking at.

    https://www.darksky.org/our-work/con...n/idsp/finder/

    I didn't realize that NC has two, although both are in the boonies of the mountains. (By default, all of these will be in the boonies of somewhere.)
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  20. #160
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Here's a map of all the DSPs in the world. Focusing on the US, it's obvious that most of ours are out west. These are not just random dark sky locations, but recognized parks, which often have organized events. Those events are great for attending if you don't have a telescope of your own because people there are often eager to share what they are looking at.

    https://www.darksky.org/our-work/con...n/idsp/finder/
    Nothing at all in Alaska, Oregon, or Washington? That's shocking. Those states are certainly not devoid of parks, and I know first hand they are also not devoid of good dark-sky viewing. I grew up in Alaska initially unsure of where the North Star was because there were so many stars that I thought could have been it. Granted, the westernmost sections of Oregon and Washington are pretty populated and cloudy, but anything east of the Cascades has excellent viewing more nights than not, and much lower light pollution. I have also seen plenty of people with great telescopes and plenty of interest in all three states.

    It's very surprising to me that none of them have even one designated DSP.

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