by Kevin Beamer I recently finished reading 'Lowell and Mars' by William Graves Hoyt, and I'd like to recommend it to anyone interested in the history of astronomy. The book is primarily focused on Percival Lowell's theory that the canals that he saw on Mars were proof that intelligent life existed on that planet. Lowell's [...]
I own two achromatic Stellarvue telescopes, the 80/9D and the Nighthawk that I use for visual observation. Both have 80mm diameter doublet objective lenses, with the former having a focal length of 750mm (f/9.4) and the latter 480mm (f/6). I bought these telescopes as a complement to my first telescope, a Celestron 8 inch (f/5) reflector. The Celestron is a respectable moderate-aperture telescope suitable for observing rather dim and diffuse deep-sky objects, especially at dark sky sites or when you have plenty of time for set-up/tear-down and to let the temperature of the optical tube assembly reach equilibrium with the surroundings to achieve decent views.
The Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST) is a wonderful way to look at the sun in Hydrogen-alpha, and has produced a legion of new "solar addicts" in the short time since its release. One of the limitations of this scope compared to Coronado's higher end products was its inability to come to focus with binoviewers, even with fairly significant Barlowing.
A brief synopsis of the conventional wisdom: Make sure you really want a telescope. Many beginning astronomers would be better served by a good quality binocular (7x50 or 10x50 are the types most often recommended).
Saturday Jim Richberg and I got together with our Coronado Personal Solar Telescopes (PSTs). There were two tests we wanted to test: a side by side comparison of the two PSTs and to conduct a PST eyepiece shootout.
Not too often do we come across a very inexpensive piece of equipment that can make such a difference in the way we go about this wonderful hobby of ours. One of my least favorite aspects of the hobby is the drudgery of packing everything after an evening of stargazing. This is especially so during the months of January and February where it seems that Crockett Park is the coldest spot on earth.
This low-cost Chinese-made refractor has only been on the market nine months, but already it appears Orion’s new 80mm ED f/7.5 scope is a huge hit. Indeed, the Orion ED users yahoo group has grown from some 30 members in October 2003 to nearly 500 in May 2004
started looking for a new telescope to replace an ancient 4 ¼ Newtonian with an equatorial mount. My eyes drifted to those numerous wonderful goto scopes. But then I thought about how often I would be doing any photography. I also needed a telescope that was readily portable, fairly easy on a bad back and fit in a typical size car.
I have the AP/Baader binoviewer (bv). Brought it from Company 7 last fall. Binoviewers are fun and are great for observing planets, the moon, and brighter OCs. There is a neat 3-D effect on OCs and brighter nebulas such as M41. I have used it in all 3 of my current scopes: the AP 130, 9.25" SCT, and TV-85.
I purchased this interesting accessory to record the 2003 Martian Opposition. It's not nearly as good as one would hope; but the Orion description is fairly accurate. The image scale from the eyepiece itself is about that of a medium power eyepiece - something in the 10-12 mm range. I used it mainly with my 7 inch f/10 Maksutov Cassegrain.