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Posts Made By: Howard Knytych

July 1, 2003 05:10 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Huygens' Mars Challenge

Posted By Howard Knytych

Well Ron, don't you think Huygens would have used a larger, more sophisticated device had he had one available? I mean, we don't have to look at Mars or anything else through a 2" refractor, much as we must admire his accomplishment. Sort of like the Wright Brothers. Nobody who flies seriously flies around in 14hp biplanes anymore, with the exception of ultralight pilots, who IMHO tend to be seriously deficient in good judgement. But that's off the subject. Unless one wants to recreate Huygens' feat for the sake of anachronistic interest, why not use the technology that's available to us? Among my collection of telescopes, I have an old 60mm Tasco, which might be similar to what Huygens had. Do I prefer using that over any other scope? No-o-o-o.

Howard K

July 1, 2003 05:14 PM Forum: Pictures of Me and My Telescope and........

My New Travel Toy

Posted By Howard Knytych

O-o-o-h, nice toy!

July 2, 2003 08:29 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Light Cup accepted Huygens' Challenge

Posted By Howard Knytych

Ron, Sol, and Jeff,

You guys are making great reports on your Mars observations. At the risk of sounding whiney, the only time I've been out to see Mars so far has been this past Friday nite/Sat morning. I gotta get out more. And no, it won't be with my old Tasco, despite Huygens' challenge! :-)

July 14, 2003 08:33 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Unencumbered by Knowledge II

Posted By Howard Knytych

If I understand you correctly, you've been able to goto and see M57, but not M101. Sounds like your alignment and setup is OK. With respect to M101 you've got two things going against you: M101's presentation is face-on, and it's large, so even though it's listed as a fairly bright object, magnitude 8 or so, the light is spread over a large area, so it appears pretty dim. That makes it a difficult object, requiring dark skies. But this week that dimness is competing with the light of the full moon.

Try M101 again in a week or so before the waning moon rises. Good luck!

July 24, 2003 03:30 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

high altitude airplane observeing

Posted By Howard Knytych

The other evening I followed an old 727 with a white bunny logo on the tail. I could see through one of the windows in back a couple initiating themselves into the mile high club...:-)

July 31, 2003 08:20 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Barnard's galaxy bagged...

Posted By Howard Knytych

From what I've read, it seems NGC6822 is easier to see using smaller apertures, or even good binoculars, as opposed to light buckets, which seems counterintuitive to me. After looking for it unsuccessfully for about a month, I observed it this past weekend from a dark site at 4200', using an 18" dob at 70x. It was pretty subtle. I used the same "kite" of 11th mag stars as a pointer.

September 15, 2003 11:01 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Astonished & Disappointed - Please Comment

Posted By Howard Knytych


I'll second the comments that've already been made, and add that visual observing of subtle, fine details is a learned skill acquired with experience over time. A 24" Starmaster is a high quality instrument which will deliver far more detail for an experienced observer than a newcomer. An analogy with a musical instrument is appropriate: I can plunk out some notes and chords on my old upright, but I wouldn't have enough experience to play a Steinway to it's best advantage.

As with many other endeavors in life, don't expect instant gratification from an expensive telescope. More than money, you need to invest your time and effort to reap the rewards. And as you grow in experience, the payoffs will be there. As others have recommended, start off with a modest investment in a pair of binoculars or small telescope. Learn what you can from that, and build on that experience.

Howard K

October 3, 2003 09:27 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Which deep sky filter??

Posted By Howard Knytych


I have an 18" f/4.5, and live northwest of Portland. Regarding filters, a narrowband filter, such as an O-III is pretty useful with a broad range of nunular objects. I also have a H-B, which is also narrowband, but useful only for a handful of objects. Finally, I have a UHC and broadband light pollution filters, which I just don't use much. I got the LPR filter with the idea of using it for backyard observing, but anymore I prefer to drive to darker locations for serious observing, which makes using the LPR filter moot.

Clear, dark skies,

December 19, 2003 02:20 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

What is "easy pickins" advice/help

Posted By Howard Knytych


I feel your pain. I haven't been able to do any serious observing since the Indian Trail Springs party that followed OSP in September. But yesterday and last night were clear in Scappoose, so I was able to bag 5 Herschel IIs until it clouded up about 10:00.

BTW, with a C8 you should be able to see M34, 35, 36, 37, and 38, all of which are nice open clusters in the Auriga - Gemini area. That is, if the Northwest rain nebula ever clears!

Praying for Clear Skies,

December 20, 2003 12:23 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Starhopping to NGC 4565

Posted By Howard Knytych


Do you have a good star chart, like SkyAtlas 2000 or Uranometria? The position of 4565 is depicted on the Sky Atlas. Also, do you have a telrad?

I presume you're referring to the wedge-shaped group of stars 10 degrees SW of Cor Caroli. I don't know if it's a cluster, but it's a nice, tight grouping of stars you can use to find several interesting galaxies in the area. Starting from the star located at the SE corner or apex of the wedge, visualize a line extending E-W from that star through the star in the SW corner of the wedge. Note the interval between the apex star and the SW corner star. Now extend that line to the east from the apex star, going the same distance as the interval. NGC4565 is located there. If you sweep east from the apex star, look for elliptical galaxy NGC4494 a bit less than halfway along the line to 4565.

Happy hunting!