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Old 11-16-2014, 04:48 PM   #1
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Astronomy

Hi, all!

New guy here.

So I just bought my F250 and 2015 AS 30 FB FC bunk. I'm keen on getting out to some dark-sky sites and looking at the stars. Are there any others that are so interested? I'm an astronomer, professionally, and would like to put together a nice observing rig that can fit in my new rig. Any thoughts on that?

I look forward to discussing this with my new friends!

Rich
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:34 PM   #2
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My setup includes a Televue 85 mm refractor, with a selection of eyepieces from the 35 mm Panoptic down through higher powered Naglers, all on a sturdy photo/video tripod with no drive. The Vixen GEM I leave at home as it is too heavy to carry around IMO. I use Pelican cases that I did custom foam in, and wrap the tripod to carry it. Very portable. I work on the principle that the best setup is based on equipment that gets used the most, ie easiest to set up, often just for a quick peek. Photos are through the eyepiece of the Televue with a digital point and shoot camera, heavily compressed for posting here.

What are you thinking for gear?

Jeff
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:59 PM   #3
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Arizona astrophotographer

I plan to use our 19' Bambi (2006) for the same thing.... going to dark sky sites for astrophotography. It is pretty dark around Tucson, but we have some near by locations with some of the darkest skies in the country. My setup is a Tak TOA 130 on an EM200 Temma2m mount with a modified Canon 6D. Next weekend I will be at one of the dark sky sites of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (Chiricahua Astronomy Complex | Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association).... middle of nowhere, but very dark. Some of my astro shots can be seen here:

Georgesastro

George
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #4
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Wow!

Great shots, friends!

Well, I finally peddled the AS to the wife - this past month - so I may have to start pretty small. She is pretty geeky, so I am hoping she will go for it, eventually. I have pretty much burned through several years... Okay, well, perhaps a decade or so of good will and political capital to buy my beautiful Airstream and rig. I may have to go naked eye, or just some old binoculars for a year or two.

Wow!

You guys have got some beautiful pics there! Those unguided pics of the moon are amazing!

I may have to do some sort of home brew setup for the next year or two... Or three, before I can build my political capital back up. For now, it's ramen noodles for the old man!

Rich
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
My setup includes a Televue 85 mm refractor, with a selection of eyepieces from the 35 mm Panoptic down through higher powered Naglers, all on a sturdy photo/video tripod with no drive. The Vixen GEM I leave at home as it is too heavy to carry around IMO. I use Pelican cases that I did custom foam in, and wrap the tripod to carry it. Very portable. I work on the principle that the best setup is based on equipment that gets used the most, ie easiest to set up, often just for a quick peek. Photos are through the eyepiece of the Televue with a digital point and shoot camera, heavily compressed for posting here.

What are you thinking for gear?

Jeff

Hi, Jeff.

You make a very good point there. If your gear is not with you, it isn't worth a hoot. I find this to be the case with photo gear, too. I have all manner of whacky photo gear, but it just never seems to be "on me". If it isn't on me, it won't be pointed at things.

I've come to the conclusion that lighter and more available beats fancy and more capable any day!

Rich
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:39 PM   #6
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A word of warning

Taking astronomy gear with you on RV trips does have its risks. Unless you pack it very well, the normal ride in an AS or in the vehicle towing it can shake your stuff apart. I speak from experience. I take my stuff on short imaging trips and that is it. When we travel longer distances and for longer periods (e.g., during the summer), I leave it at home. I found I didn't use it that much on normal RV trips anyway.

George
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:12 AM   #7
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I live next to Oracle State Park which has just been designated an international dark site. I don't do imaging but enjoy seeing. My take along rig consists of an Explore Scientific 102mm Refractor and a Celestron C5 Cat on a IoPtron Minitower II goto mount. Both fit into sturdy foam lined carrying cases.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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I live next to Oracle State Park which has just been designated an international dark site. I don't do imaging but enjoy seeing. My take along rig consists of an Explore Scientific 102mm Refractor and a Celestron C5 Cat on a IoPtron Minitower II goto mount. Both fit into sturdy foam lined carrying cases.
Stars at night, are always big and bright.

They are always that way, when you look out the window at 40,000 feet, of course you must first have a window seat on that jet.

The other way, as your doing, also has many rewards and smiles. I filled up the screen on my camera, when MARS was close by.

Many things to see in life are fabulous, but some folks never open their eyes long enough to see them.

Some famous historic things, both good and bad, are also breath taking.

I often wonder what our young generation would do, in terms of appreciation or changing their lives, if they ever set foot on the Arizona Memorial?

Almost seems like they are way too busy using their IPADS and IPHONES.

Andy
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:08 AM   #9
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As for me, I am only a star tourist. Having lived in built-up areas where seeing is bad all my life, one of the things I am looking forward to in traveling by AS is to bring along a modest 6" Dobson for the sheer pleasure of sampling the banquet.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:15 PM   #10
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As for me, I am only a star tourist. Having lived in built-up areas where seeing is bad all my life, one of the things I am looking forward to in traveling by AS is to bring along a modest 6" Dobson for the sheer pleasure of sampling the banquet.


Each and every one of our states have something different to offer, some nice, some not nice.

But the choice is always with the individual, to choose what they best like.

Owning an Airstream is terrific, because if you don't like the state your in, then in just a few hours you can be in another.

I have only been in 49 of them, and missed one of the small New England states.

So yes, every state is different.

My probable favorite is Texas.

Andy
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:24 PM   #11
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One of our first trips in the Airstream was to the Table Mountain Star Party in central WA state, with our 10" Dob. It breaks down easily to fit in the back of the tow vehicle. We have taken it on trips all the way to OK. At home I have a Celestron 8" SCT GPS, which stays put in it's spot in the backyard. I took it to one star party and decided it was too much work, when the Dob does just as well when you don't need the computer mount.
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