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Old 01-08-2017, 01:02 PM   #1
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Airstronomy

Airstreaming astronomers, let's see how you enjoy your hobby when on the road, or just your Airstream under the stars! Here's one from Fort Clinch SP in NE Florida, with a 10" Dobsonian reflector (Teleport). Joe

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Old 01-08-2017, 01:10 PM   #2
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I also have a 10" dob, and we have taken it all the way to CO in our Airstream. We've also taken our Airstream to camp in at star parties. It's something I hope to do more of when we have more time to travel someday.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:40 PM   #3
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I am glad you started this thread. I have been shopping around and thinking about getting a telescope to take out on the road. Any recommendations for a good quality, strong telescope are appreciated!
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centennialman View Post
I am glad you started this thread. I have been shopping around and thinking about getting a telescope to take out on the road. Any recommendations for a good quality, strong telescope are appreciated!
Let the opinions roll!

Ok -- questions (solely from my perspective) -- would you rather focus on the moon and planets, or on deep-sky/nebula? Are you looking at astrophotography, or general viewing? What is your budget, and are you keen to learn the night sky, or after a computer-guidance seek-and-find style experience?

How much storage space in your TV are you willing to dedicate?

In my humble opinion, start with a Newtonian -- you can get good apetures and F/ ratios for fairly inexpensive prices; and small, and easy to setup tubes. you can find good Dobsonians with truss tubes, allowing you to pull apart and store compact in a pickup, but costs are going to go up a bit.

I have a 16" dob, with crappy optics (I ground the primary mirror myself when in college), a 4" schmidt-cassegrain I use for planets and the moon, and a new 7.5" (nearly) Mak-Newtonian for deep sky observing and photography. My camera is an old Pentax K1000 35mm (!!!) which is in budget to be replaced this year with possibly a Sony a6000 which I've had good words from other astro-friends about.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:04 PM   #5
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My question for aistreamers is - at star parties, have you done anything special re your interior lights, such as replacing LED puck glass with red-lenses, or figured a way to switch over to on-demand color-change LEDs? My 2011 year Aistream is the first year they went to LEDs (so I am to believe) and the color spectrum they chose is what I call "clinical white." I'd love to find a solid and reliable way to allow for interior light use at star parties without blowing everyone's retinas out if someone accidentally hits the wrong switch while searching for the bathroom...
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:17 PM   #6
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Hi Ian, I tape a red gel (doubled) over the dinette table puck, and wear a red light head lamp; that usually gets me through a night. This does not protect against someone accidentally turning on a white light, but it would be pretty easy to do the same temporary red gel treatment on all or most of the interior (and any exterior) lights. Joe
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:45 AM   #7
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Here's a picture of us setting up under the darkest sky site that I've ever witnessed - Needles Outpost Campground just outside Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

It was a little cloudy at the time of this picture, but it cleared up that night and there was no moon. We were the only campers in the campground, and there were no light domes anywhere to be seen.

Needless to say, the skies were remarkable. For the first time in my life, I could see M33 (Triangulum Galaxy) with the naked eye (after first finding it in binoculars).

This night was one of the highlights of our recent 6200 mile trip from Florida to Utah, and it made hauling all the astro gear worthwhile.

Clear skies,
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Old 01-24-2017, 10:25 AM   #8
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Airstronomers

Ahhh... a thread after my own heart. I have a 11" SCT and 3" refractor. I'm striving to perfect imaging, though the SCT's GEM has a faulty tracking motor right now so I am temporarily dry-docked.

After several years of enjoying Cherry Springs star parties (north mountains of Pennsylvania) in our Kendrick observing tent, we just bought our first Airstream last fall (International 23FB). No star gazing adventures with her yet, but soon - that was a key reason for buying her. And, of course, while my wife enjoys (tolerates?) our star camping outings, she would much prefer to camp in more comfortable, private surroundings with a nice queen bed (and I guess I do too).

We are planning our first big trip (western parks) around the eclipse next August.

Clear skies!
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:17 AM   #9
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For planning your trip out to see the 2017 solar eclipse you may find these two books informative. I am hoping to convince my wife and siblings on a group campout to view it from one of the national parks.

https://www.amazon.com/2017-Eclipse-...r+eclipse+2017

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:39 AM   #10
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Thanks for the information. I know that Grand Tetons camps are already booked up for 8/21. We're actually going from there to Nebraska to watch it. (Good chance of clear skies)
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Old 01-25-2017, 10:13 AM   #11
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We carry an eight inch DOB on trips to West Texas and to the coast. Most difficult aspect is carrying/storing the base and the small trailer I built to move it around on when set up. Padre Island National Park has a fenced in area for observing near the visitor center parking lot.
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Old 01-25-2017, 06:59 PM   #12
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We got really lucky and secured one of those few spots in the Grand Tetons for the eclipse. I am wondering if anyone knows what kind of lens we should use for our camera, and for our eyes. We want to be safe.


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Old 01-25-2017, 08:22 PM   #13
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We went deer in Utah 25yrs ago at an elevation of 8,000 ft. My dad pointed out what looked like moving stars, with no flashing lights for airplanes. He told us that these were satellites, with the sun reflecting on them. Is this true?
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Old 01-26-2017, 08:40 AM   #14
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Watching the Eclipse

For the eclipse I bought a filter fitted for my 3" refractor (I'll have an eyepiece camera on it set to auto while I actually enjoy the eclipse). For general use (binoculars, cameras, etc.) I bought sheet filter material that can simply be cut to fit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DS7SCBQ..._MvPuxT69zDK8B
and inexpensive cardboard eclipse glasses to give away to friends and relatives:
https://www.amazon.com/Eclipse-Glass...e+-+Pack+of+10
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