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Posts Made By: Kent Kramer

February 8, 2004 02:10 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

clear skies from Minnesota with an FS78

Posted By Kent Kramer

I finally got a bit of a viewing fix last night. I thought that I would share it with you. I was out from 6:30 until 9:30 with some of the clearest skies I have seen here in 6 months. The temperature was around 15 degrees and the air was very steady. There was no apparent moisture in the atmosphere making the transparency excellent. Our Moon was not up until about 9:30 so even with our fresh snow cover there was minimal light scatter from my suburban skies. The Milky Way was not visible to my naked eye. After about 15 minutes the tube and a few select eyepieces were ready for viewing. This is my second FS78 having sold my first one to a local friend. I bought this one from the same friend (long story) having just purchased it new from Herb 4 months or so ago. Being the first time I owned two of the same model I was anxious for a test to see if it measured up to my memory of the first one. I concentrated on three objects Saturn, the Orion Nebulae and Capella. Using a 9mm Plossl to center in on things and begin viewing it became obvious how good the sky was. As such, I immediately went to a 5mm UO Ortho. The views were still so exceptionally steady that I went in for my 4mm UO Ortho and 2.8 Klee. With the 5mm providing 125X Saturn revealed quite a bit of the layered color on the planet we expect to see along with a hint on the rings with the division looking so crisp as if someone had blackened it with a marker. Shadows on both the planet and the rings were easily viewed. The Orion Nebulae was fantastic. It appeared as cotton candy with just a hint of structure to the “cloud.” The 4mm had cooled by now providing 160X, there was just a tiny bit more detail revealed on both objects with no image breakdown. It was time to get crazy, I slipped the Klee into the diagonal ahead of the 5mm providing 350X, the images were good but seemed to break down a bit, no longer as crisp with contrast suffering. It appeared more as a loss of illumination than loss of detail similar to the images produced by a digital camera in low light. The 4mm in the Klee making 440X made this even more obvious and I would admit was beyond the limit. However, the shadows were more evident on the planet and the rings but the detail on the planet was gone and the digital camera low light noise like image was even more apparent. The inner Nebulae and the Trapezium continued to be stunning though all powers. It was cooling down quite a bit so I abandoned Saturn and Orion for a quick star test before calling it a night. With Capella so high in the sky it seemed a worthy target. Using the 4mm in and on both sides of focus I noticed no color with textbook diffraction rings. I would have to say I was very pleased. My memory allows me to say that this example of the FS78 is at least the equal to my prior one.

I broke my equipment down for the night and enjoyed a couple of cold ones. Funny they actually seemed to warm me up.

Clear Skies,


February 11, 2004 10:15 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?


Posted By Kent Kramer

Okay, where is everyone? At this rate it will be a long time before we get to 100.

February 17, 2004 08:13 PM Forum: Bad to the Bone Autos

1996 Mystic Mustang Cobra

Posted By Kent Kramer

The day I brought it home.

November 14, 2004 07:38 PM Forum: After Dark

Dark Skies - Keeping the Stars in Sight

Posted By Kent Kramer

I awoke this morning to my Sunday edition of the Star Tribune and a great article about light pollution. I thought others might have an interest. You can read the article here or here

Kent Kramer

November 22, 2004 07:22 PM Forum: After Dark

Todd Gross and are back on line

Posted By Kent Kramer

Todd was able to recover and rebuild many of the files and links from his popular weather and astronomy review site. Go to and click on the photograph to reach his local server. Todd and I will be working on a complete rebuild of the site. In the meantime enjoy.

Kent Kramer

December 2, 2004 01:13 PM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

Google makes a move on Yahoo

Posted By Kent Kramer

Is online trading on their to do list?


December 2, 2004 01:57 PM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

Now that is abuse

Posted By Kent Kramer

Read the TOS. Talk about abuse. Pay per ad and this stuff goes away.

You would think one would be enough but no, four ads in a row all the same 315069, 315070, 315071 and 315072.


February 15, 2005 02:27 PM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

Savvy Collector a new sponsor... Is this Astromart

Posted By Kent Kramer

Look in the sponsors list for "Savvy Collector." No offense meant to Corrine Cain. However, Astromart seems to be more and more less Astro and more mart. Which is it?


March 4, 2005 03:59 PM Forum: Pet Pics


Posted By Kent Kramer

Beautiful animal!


March 4, 2005 04:07 PM Forum: Pet Pics


Posted By Kent Kramer

My current shadow is Tonka. One of my two French Bulldogs. He often begs to be outside with me for viewing. Only for a minute or two when it is below zero though. All too often in Minnesota, unfortunately.

Yes his tongue does tend to stick out most of the time.