Sky watching

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by Flying Crane, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    i am attaching some crude photos I took recently through my telescope. I do not have sophisticated photography equipment, but I am able to take simple photos with my iPhone, through the telescope eyepiece. Of note right now, Jupiter and Saturn are very close in the sky, close enough to be seen together at the same time through a telescope. I haven’t been able to get a clean picture yet of them together, but I will post if I manage in the next couple days. They will be at their closest on the 21st. The last time they were this close was back in the 1600s, but apparently it was not observable in most parts of the world. The last time they were this close and it was broadly observable was in the 1200s. The next time will be in 2080. So this is a pretty rare event.

    At the moment I am attaching pictures of Mars with a very apparent red color, Jupiter with the four Galilean moons, Saturn with the rings clearly visible, the crescent moon, and the Orion Nebula. These were taken in the last couple of nights. The images when looking directly through the telescope are much better than these, some quality is lost with this crude photography. But still worth looking at.

    Enjoy.

     

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  2. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Incredible photos... thanks for posting. I completely forgot to get my telescope out for this!

    And yeah my phone works quite well through the eyepiece too! One thing I also tried was putting it on video record so that I could just easily screenshot from the video. Sometimes it was too hard getting the timing of taking single photos so this was easier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
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  3. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I tried to do the same thing with my son's telescope but it looks like I need to break down and get a better one. I thought I could purchase one on the "safe side" just in case he didn't like it. Learned the hard way, that it's better to save up for a quality one and enjoy it more.
     
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  4. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good idea. Tonight is the peak so you haven’t missed it yet, and they will still be close for a while before they move apart, so you still have time. What kind of telescope do you have? I’ve got a 14 inch dobsonian reflector, simple but effective.
     
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  5. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ah yes, a cheap, dysfunctional telescope is the best way to turn a kid off from astronomy, I’m afraid. Definitely best to spend the money on something of quality, even if it is small. You don’t need a huge telescope, nor massive magnification, to see a whole lot of good stuffs. If you have 30-50 magnification, you can see plenty, including the rings on Saturn and the moons on Jupiter. It quality definitely matters.

    I’m sorry you had a frustrating experience, hope you get the chance to get a better scope.
     
  6. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Lesson learned. My mistake was probably not asking around first as a first time buyer. Sometimes I forget to ask thinking that it won't make a difference but it always does. The ironic part I'm the one usually giving that type of advice about computers and not going too cheap. I plan on buying another one in the future.

    It's funny because after I got the first one. I learned that you can connect a camera or smartphone to a telescope. But all the cool stuff I wanted to do I couldn't do with the telescope that I had lol

    Hopefully I'll have some extra money in the future to buy some extra stuff ..
     
  7. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good viewing here, clear skies. My wife's been all over this for the last month, she's a sky freak.
     
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  8. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I had the chance to buy a house on Bainbridge island that had a legit observatory in the back. Seeing those cool photos makes me regret not doing it!
     
  9. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    just been reading that it thought that the close procimity of the two might be what was called the star of Bethlehem,

    so good irs happen at chrismass, mean while in a stable in Wyoming..........
     
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  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I got mine from Orion out here in California. Their website is telescope.com. They have a big range of types and do quality stuff on the amateur level. Give them a call and chat with someone who can help you pick an appropriate item.
     
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  11. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Griffith Observatory live feed, via YouTube. Quite cool.
     
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  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I got the shots, Jupiter and Saturn together. Got some more good moon shots as well.
     

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  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Fantastic shots! We saw it well with the naked eye and took some pictures with our phones but your shots are awesome.
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Today I took photos of the sun, through a pair of 12x binoculars fitted with solar viewing filters. Was a bit tricky, I had to hold the iphone up to the eyepiece of one barrel while spotting the sun with one eye looking through the other barrel, without use of a tripod.
     

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  15. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    yea that didnt work out to well, get a tripod
     
  16. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Lousy luck hereabouts... cloudy and so low on the horizon that was very brief opportunity to see. Thanks for sharing your pics.
     
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  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    A few new shots of the moon, taken at 660x.

    These came out surprisingly clear, given the light pollution and atmospheric fog that was forming.
     

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  18. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Ah forgot to answer haha, have got a "Bushmaster MARS-900", yeah... really old school haha... but it's a reflector, 114mm aperture, 900mm focal length, equatorial mount, and a couple of eyepieces and Barlow lenses. Fairly low-mid end but does a pretty decent job, can get some pretty good detail of the moon. Even though not a huge aperture it's definitely not the lowest. Just wish it was a little more stable!

    14 inch DOB, yeah great scope! I worked in a store for about 7 years that sold telescopes so I got to learn a great deal about them. First thing we learned... Aperture is king hehe. Got to have a play with a few, always eyed off the high end ones. We had some very interesting customers... ones that brought the scopes back because they "couldn't see anything". We'd have a look, set it up, and 95% of the time we'd get it working beautifully and showed them. Start from the lowest magnification/eyepiece, get it dialled in and focused on a specific object, then work your way up from there through the different eyepieces, objects etc. Sloooowly adjust the focus knob...

    One thing we always said was that it takes a bit of time and patience to get the hang of seeing things. People often just wanted instant perfect images straight away.. but once you get it it's quite straight forward.

    The scopes with the touch keypad are awesome, but I actually really like the manual ones, it's more of an adventure to find things :D
     
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  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    My scope has the database keypad, but I’ve never used it. I just look at obvious targets, and scan the sky. I might start getting more targeted, but I just haven’t bothered yet.
     
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  20. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    88D705F4-E993-4450-BC98-8FBEA1A1A880.png123
     
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