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Posts Made By: Ivan Ong

May 7, 2003 05:20 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Televue Nagler vs Panoptic

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi everyone. Can someone tell me what is the primary difference between a Nagler and a Panoptic? I'm interested in all EP focal lengths (I have a 4" 820mm refractor). When and under what circumstances would you prefer one over the other? Thank you, Ivan

May 10, 2003 03:56 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

What I am standing on

Posted By Ivan Ong

Recently I sank in an Astrosky pier for my Tak FS-102. Works very nice and is very convenient. I found this rubber mulch that is made of recycled tires. It looks completely identical to mulch but this has got to be the most amazingly comfortable thing to stand, kneel, sit on. Nice thing is you can accidentaly drop your EP and not worry about a thing. Downside is it is bloody expensive but hey the mfg states it lasts forever. -Clear Skies! Ivan

June 2, 2003 04:41 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Dark Skies are amazing!

Posted By Ivan Ong

I've been in astronomy on and off for the past 20 years, but never had the luxury of good dark skies. Yesterday, I drove 2.5 hrs from Charlotte into the Blue Ridge mountains to a popular Carolinas dark site called Dalton Park. After a spectacular sunset the wind picked up Typhoon-style and the temperature plunged to the low 40's. The stars gradually appeared until they sparkled like jewels. At 10:30pm, it was dark enough to start observing with my 4" Tak. What an amazing experience, Messier and NGC objects that I have struggled vainly to find in my light polluted backyard popped right out in my EP. I flew through all the Virgo galaxies with ease by star hopping (I've never been able to find M85 and M98 but there they were!) and everything was easy to find. The milky way hung like frayed and knotted white China silk over the sky and stretched out before me. Cygnus which is usually about 10 stars in my backyard became an incomprehensible mass of stars. You could spend a life time in that little region. From a technical side, the 4" Apo really shines in dark skies (whoever said it was an suburban instrument?). The unbelievable contrast more than offsets its medium aperture, and with careful averted vision, many structures were easily discernable. The color integrity is amazing- I could easily see yellow, red, blue, green stars.
I would have stayed on forever but faced with the prospect of a long drive home and work the next day I had to leave reluctantly at 1:30am. Of course, right now at work I am struggling to keep my eyes open. What a spiritually incredible night. Now the question the heck do I buy land up there?
Clear skies, Ivan

July 9, 2003 07:19 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Image stacking software recommendation

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi, does anyone know a good image stacking software that is Windows based? Can I do this in Adobe Photoshop?
Thanks, Ivan

July 22, 2003 11:07 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Newsweek Article on telescopes

Posted By Ivan Ong

The latest Newsweek (28th July) has a little article on telescopes. I thought it was fairly poorly written...e.g. the Meade 60mm refractor has a "small mirror", so objects will be "blurry", Orion's shortube 4.5" Equatorial is a nice "dobsonian", Mars will "loom large on the horizon on the 27th (of what?)", just like a harvest moon, good grief!It seems that the author is saying the bigger the "mirror", the better the scope.

July 29, 2003 02:52 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Rotation of Mars

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi All:
How long is a Martian day?
Thanks, Ivan

August 9, 2003 02:23 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Milky Way from North Carolina

Posted By Ivan Ong

Folks, here's a photo I took from Doughton Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I used a Bronica 6cmx4.5cm medium format camera mounted on a Vixen GP-DX. I used Provia 400F with my 75mm lens at f2.8 for 10 min. Even in this dark site the light pollution of nearby North Wilksboro smears the lower part of the photo. The view is the tail of Scopius and Sagittarius. By the way, it's been more than 3 weeks since I've seen a bloody star! I think it has something to do with the gravititional interaction of Mars with Earth's clouds.

Here's Hoping for Clear Skies, Ivan

August 12, 2003 12:17 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Over the top? C9.25 on Vixen GPDX

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi. I am thinking of mounting a 20lb C9.25 on my Vixen GPDX and using Vixen's skysensor GOTO to drive it. Resason is that I already have the GPDX mount and an excellent Astrosky tripod. The specs says the mount is rated for 22lb. Does anyone have experience in this config? I would like to know if there are problems opearting close to the max rating of the mount?
Thank you in advance for your comments.

August 21, 2003 05:21 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Reflector Primary Mirror Coatings

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi there,
I am looking at some options for a primary mirror for a large reflector.
Where do I get information on the longevity of various mirror coatings? Some have "enhanced dielectic" coatings with significant reflectivity, but are these truly durable? Which are generally regarded as the best coatings? Are durability and reflectivity the two major considerations?
Thanks in advance,

August 29, 2003 01:10 AM Forum: Astro Binoculars

Canon IS binos- "fog proof"?

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi All: I am interested in getting a pair of Canon IS 15X50 binos. In the sales literature, it is stated that the lens is "fog proof". How is this so? I currently have a pair of 7X50's and condensation is always a problem.