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Old 05-09-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
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Smile Astronomy Buffs

Any astronomy buffs here? When I was a kid I used to love astronomy and looking at the nights sky. I remember one time when I went to an evening astronomy event held in Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park, there a gentlemen had a large telescope that laid on the ground, and thru it, I saw Saturn and it's rings, clearly. Mind blown. Never forgot that.

Now that we hit the road towards full-time, it seems like the distractions are gone and looking up at the night sky tonight with my grandfathers binoculars, I was thinking I'd love to get a decent telescope for our family. Of course, space is a premium.

Anyways, just curious if any other streamers are also Astronomy buffs.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:23 PM   #2
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I'm fascinated but not educated.

Have the Sky Guide app which tells you what you're looking at anywhere in the sky you point it.

Real astronomers would say it's BS I'm guessing but I like it. Post-retirement I'm hoping to spend more camping nights far from light distortion. The first night I chaperoned a camping trip in the mountains far smarty from city lights, I could not believe what was really up there - visible just by the naked eye.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:35 PM   #3
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https://texasstarparty.org/welcome/

Lots of us will be at TSP next week.
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Old 05-09-2015, 10:46 PM   #4
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I have been into astronomy longer than Airstreams. For many years I had a 10" Dob I built that I used. I made it very portable. It has been all the way to Oklahoma with us on trips in the trailer, and because I built it sturdy I've never been worried about anything happening to it - it's perfect for use by the general public. I love to share it with people!

At home I have an 8" Celestron Nexstar computerized telescope. This one is more awkward to move and align so it has a permanent home in the backyard. It is computer controlled and I can control it through my iPad, which is pretty cool. I also have a binocular eyepiece viewer for it, which makes it very relaxing to sit and look through it with both eyes.

If you can make it to a star party you can spend the evening trying out other people's scopes. That's a great way to actually compare them and see what you can see. Aside from the big 'celebrities' like Saturn's rings, Jupiter's cloud bands, and a few bright deep sky objects, most of what you'll be looking at is just small fuzzy blobs. Much of the joy comes from understanding what they are. My husband is not nearly as entranced by it all as I am! I'll tell him to come look and he'll say 'is it a blurry grey blob?' before agreeing to come out

Though the other night I happened to realize it was prime viewing time for Uranus (stop snickering), and I finally got to see it, and it was actually visible as a small blue disc. I thought that was very exciting to see a planet so far away with my own eyes.
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Old 05-09-2015, 11:47 PM   #5
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I'm fascinated by everything beyond our atmosphere. I plan on building a backyard observatory before too long.
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:30 AM   #6
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I will be at TSP with my adult son next week. I have been involved with Astronomy for over 40 years.

I have an 8" Celestron EdgeHD scope and a Televue 76. Love astronomy, and dark skies. I think is goes hand in hand with camping and Airstreaming.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:58 AM   #7
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A fairly recent thread with a similar discussion

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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f382...my-128039.html
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:53 AM   #8
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Not really that astronomical, but some photos of the sun

https://flickr.com/photos/72826370@N...57634238703006


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Old 05-10-2015, 06:12 AM   #9
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Good thread. I think I'll look into purchasing a telescope. My wife would really enjoy it. Thanks. Jim
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:58 AM   #10
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I just bought my five year old his first telescope to look at the moon. Excited to try it out while camping this summer.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:59 AM   #11
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If your travels take you to West Texas, visit McDonald Observatory for one of their star parties. They have a great website, check it out.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:09 AM   #12
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Astronomy Buffs

Buff here - carry around a couple of scopes with me, usually one of two S/C four inchers, a B&L (corrected optics, not the later crap) and a questar 3.5; both excellent for planetary and nebula viewing. I have a 20 inch Newtonian and a 23" dobsonian, both with mirrors I ground myself; the newtonian for deep sky and the dobsonian for wide field photography.

I keep looking at solar scopes but haven't pulled that trigger yet. I melted the glue on a hand ground attempt at such a project in the 90s.

I still have somewhere in storage a nitrogen cooled 4x4 CCD array from the late 80s. And of course I have a wide field pair of birding binocs for spur of the moment nebula or full moon stuff.

One side comment - I was with the collegiate astronomy club at UofAz in the late 80s, early 90s. I still recall a trip we did to Mt Graham, now a closed-access observatory; at the time still an open field. I recall going to sleep to nap at 6pm and waking up around 10 that night. Looking up my first thought was "crap! It's cloudy" (but I did t say 'crap') but then realized it was the Milky Way. The stable atmosphere, lack of ambient light and new moon that night all combined for naked eye nebula viewing and Messier object viewing second to none. The club owned Celestron C8 - known for the crappiest optics of its day - was making out full spiral structure on M31; Andromeda Galaxy!

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Old 05-10-2015, 10:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanPoulin View Post
One side comment - I was with the collegiate astronomy club at UofAz in the late 80s, early 90s. I still recall a trip we did to Mt Graham, now a closed-access observatory; at the time still an open field. I recall going to sleep to nap at 6pm and waking up around 10 that night. Looking up my first thought was "crap! It's cloudy" (but I did t say 'crap') but then realized it was the Milky Way. The stable atmosphere, lack of ambient light and new moon that night all combined for naked eye nebula viewing and Messier object viewing second to none. The club owned Celestron C8 - known for the crappiest optics of its day - was making out full spiral structure on M31; Andromeda Galaxy!
I feel sorry for all the city dwellers and East Coasters on this forum who never really see the night sky.

Living in the West all my life, now at 8000 feet, dry climate, and far from any city lights, every night is a star party!
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:22 AM   #14
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What would be a good entry level telescope for gazing, not taking high def images.
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