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Posts Made By: Jim Nelson

August 12, 2003 07:16 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Finder scope question

Posted By Jim Nelson

Like someone else (Jason?), I upgraded to the right-angle correct-image 9x50 from Orion. I'm very happy with it, it's comfortable and intuitive to view, and the images a big step up from a 30mm finder, but I too found that initial aiming was difficult without the Rigel Quickfinder I also added - I used my straight-through finder with both eyes open, which made finding an initial reference star easy, but that didn't work with the right angle finder.


August 12, 2003 08:49 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Why is Hellas shown as white?

Posted By Jim Nelson

In a similar vein, the map that Bruce recently posted reminded me of another mapping convention that puzzles me: Why is syrtis major sometimes shown in a different color than other dark areas? In the map Bruce posted, for example, it's kind of slate-grey.

August 21, 2003 09:31 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

What's this "two-eyed thingamajig"

Posted By Jim Nelson

Those binoviewers are nice things, but if you're just starting off save a little money and fuss and keep the second eye open and cover with a free hand, or wear an eye patch. You look like a pirate, but pirates are cool now due to that movie. Squinting does get tiring, but with a patch (or your other hand) there's no need to squint!

Binoviewers are probably just another can o' worms for a newbie, that's best opened up later.

August 23, 2003 06:07 AM Forum: Eyepieces

Eyepiece rec's for a F/5 Portaball?

Posted By Jim Nelson

Ask Pete Smitka about the balance issues in using a Powermate, like Mike suggests. They aren't too heavy, but you might end up with the weight sticking too far out radially for the Portaball. If it works, it's a great suggestion - you'll get the equivalent of 2 new eyepieces with no loss of eye relief, and the 2.5x Powermate is a really nice unit.

On the other hand, Mike's probably also right about the inevitable assimilation, so go for a Nagler 11mm Type 6 and start selling off your possessions now...

August 25, 2003 10:58 AM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

6" reflectors on "that auction site"

Posted By Jim Nelson

Is writing the true name of "that auction site" similar to uttering the name "Voldemort" in the Harry Potter books?

August 25, 2003 03:54 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Re: Mars mania

Posted By Jim Nelson

"I hope this is the start of a trend, and we continue to attract newcomers to this hobby. "

And if not, the silver lining is a glut on the used market!

August 27, 2003 09:08 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

cleaning question...

Posted By Jim Nelson

Well, I'm satisfied now...the slug spot is still barely present in at least 2 small spots, but I've seem to have gotton rid of most of it without any apparent damage to the mirror...

Much patience, many rinses, and a pile of cotton balls (just the weight of the cotton ball, no pressure) seem to have done it. I assume getting rid of the final teensy bit of slug evidence isn't worth the risk.

It's been almost 2 years that I've used the scope without cleaning so there was a fair bit of dreck on it anyway.

Of course, the moral of the lesson is to avoid flinging a juicy slug onto your mirror in the first place...

August 27, 2003 09:14 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Time to 'fess up - similar to Mars again.. post

Posted By Jim Nelson

I really enjoy photos like this, that better approximate eyepiece views. They're useful for letting people know what to expect, and they just plain look better to me. The heavily processed, super-high contrast photos always strike me as awfully fake looking. If the photos are meant for aesthetics, not science, then I like your photo a lot, Jose!

August 27, 2003 09:21 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Observing climax, after weeks of foreplay

Posted By Jim Nelson

Hey, I'd love to see the series of 5 sketches!

Last night was mostly cloudy 'round these parts, so I know I missed the actual moment of opposition, but tonight's forecast looks pretty good. My newly cleaned (see the saga of the slug in the equipment forum) scope and my coffee maker are ready! Wish me good seeing.

August 28, 2003 10:42 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Top 5 or 6 city viewable objects right now?

Posted By Jim Nelson

Hmmm...I'd probably pick the same objects myself! Alpha Herc and Gamma Delphinus are other nice bright colorful summer doubles; I often show people Mizar and Polaris; Most people can identify the big dipper, and many can identify Polaris - showing them the double nature of stars they actually know is neat. Too many doubles may wear thin on newbies, but it's a good thing to do while waiting for darker skies.

The ring and dumbbell do work well together, as they're the same class of object but very different shapes. A little speech on planetary nebulae might even be welcome with the right group.

You should mix in some open clusters. M11 should hold up to light pollution well and is often a winner with newbies. If Cassiopeia is up high enough, NGC457 (E.T/Owl/Dragonfly cluster) is fun. M6 and M7 are pleasers, but if there's a lot of glow for you in Scorpius then they'll probably be greatly diminished.