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Posts Made By: Jim Nelson

June 28, 2003 08:05 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

What could I see with a 33" ?

Posted By Jim Nelson

Have you read Ed Ting's report on a 36" Obsession?

A fun read. My favorite bit:

"Remember that first scene in Star Wars, where Princess Leia's ship comes overhead, firing laser shots behind it? A few seconds later, a massive Imperial Destroyer enters the scene. Finding M82 was a lot like that."

June 29, 2003 02:30 PM Forum: Eyepieces

5 or 7,5 mm?

Posted By Jim Nelson

I don't know your budget, but I'd get a good 15mm eyepiece and a good 2x barlow. Then you'll have both sets of magnification you mention (the 15mm and your 10mm will give you the equivalent of 7.5mm and 5mm eyepieces), without suffering from the short eye relief of sub-10mm eyepieces.

What, you thought this hobby was cheap?

If eye relief is not an issue for you (or budget is), and you want just one of those eyepieces, I'd go for the 5mm for primarily planetary use, the 7.5 if you want something a little more general purpose. Image scale at 160x for planets is pretty good, but the 240x should be pretty darn perfect for planetary in a 10-inch (barring poor local seeing conditions).

Re DSO's and 240x: The 5mm might be good for smaller globulars as well as planetaries; also tight double stars.

June 30, 2003 07:59 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Contrast vs. Brightness

Posted By Jim Nelson

For planets, I'd take the vixen over the expanse. I've used both a 6mm vixen lv and a borrowed 6mm expanse. The expanse gave nice deep sky views (especially for the $ - holy cow!), but on bright objects was plagued by internal reflections and scattered light. Jupiter, when off-center, produced a terrifyingly bright reflection.

If your question is choosing between these 2 eps for planetary viewing, then I strongly recommend the vixen. For your more general question of brightness vs. contrast...I don't consider myself an expert observer, but I suspect the experts will chime in on the side of contrast (again, if your main concern is planetary viewing).

July 1, 2003 09:10 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Orion XT10 - Where's the market?

Posted By Jim Nelson

We live in great times when $600 for a 10-inch telescope is seen as needing additional justification! I mean, all these new doodads are unessential to be sure, but they were accompanied by a $50 price DECREASE.

I'd be pretty darn happy to have one; I've looked through one a bit and was grinning from ear to ear at the views. And unlike many more expensive dobs, it never has balance problems. Ed Ting put a Paracorr AND a 31mm Nagler in one, and the scope stayed put!

As for the optics - Ed Ting recently added to his review this comment:

" I've seen two more of these XT10s in recent months. Both
have had really nice optics. One retained a sharp image on Saturn at 400X+, something I would not have believed had I not seen it myself. "

To be fair, this is in response to sporadic but not too-rare reports of spherical abberation.

Still I don't understand the incredulity at the popularity of $600, decently made 10-inch scope from a company with well-regarded customer service. Anyone who wants a big-ish scope but is on a budget might want one.

P.S.: I'd call myself "intermediate".

July 6, 2003 12:39 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Better at the Eyepiece - Which Ones?

Posted By Jim Nelson

Any bright globular is far better in the eyepiece of any medium to large scope - not only because you can see pinpoint stars both at center and at the edges, but because of the "dancing" effect of all those stars at the threshold of vision.

July 15, 2003 08:57 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing


Posted By Jim Nelson


Yeah, 4.5" is at the threshold for resolving globs, although from dark skies and with high magnification you should be able to get a little resolution on more than just M13. You're fairly far north, so M22 might be a little low in the murk, but it's a doozy, better than M13 if you're far enough south. Of course, if you go *much* further south (Australia, say), you're in globular heaven.

M4 (in Scorpius - easy to find, but also far south) and M71 (in Saggita - easy to find, and high up in the sky for you) are quite a bit fainter than the globs you're talking about, but are "loose" and resolve pretty quickly if the sky is dark enough. Give 'em a try sometime.

Sounds like you're having fun, though!

August 6, 2003 12:00 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

August 9, 2003 11:44 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

New Celestron Ultima Eyepiece - 10mm!

Posted By Jim Nelson

Yeah, why the huge gap from 18mm to 30mm????

The Orion Ultrascopics fill in this gap, but at a little higer cost than the Celestron versions.

August 11, 2003 02:50 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Which EP?

Posted By Jim Nelson

Is the 24mm Panoptic too obvious of a suggestion to replace the 24mm Widefield? Depending on your scope collection, it's nice to have such a nice ep to give the widest possible field in a 1.25" barrel. If all your scopes have 2 inch capability then you may prefer something gives more of a field advantage over the 20mm Nagler instead, and I'll let others take over there.

August 11, 2003 08:57 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Why is Hellas shown as white?

Posted By Jim Nelson

I think the idea is clarity, not realism...the white tells you "this is a light-colored area", not "this is what it looks like in the ep".