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Posts Made By: Mark Costello III

August 1, 2003 09:01 PM Forum: Eyepieces

LE Eyepieces

Posted By Mark Costello III

Good evening:

I'm looking around for a couple of eyepieces to go with a telescope I'm waiting for and am considering the so-called "long eye relief" or LE eyepieces. I personally might not need them as I wear glasses for nearsightedness. However, I'm guessing they might be advantageous to have especially if my wife and/or kids are also out with me. We wouldn't have to keep changing the focus every time we took turns.

I consider myself a newbie, having been out of the hobby for several years. In particular, I don't know that much about LE eyepieces. I was hoping y'all could help with the following questions.

1) The big advantage of LE eyepiece is eye relief long enough for people who wear glasses. Do these eyepieces have disadvantages? If yes, what are they?

2) For those of you who wear glasses for nearsightedness or farsightedness, would you have an LE eyepiece in your scope for sessions with other people looking through your scope (e.g., you and your kids, star parties, etc.)?

Thanks for your response(s).

September 20, 2003 02:42 PM Forum: Refractors

Small - Medium (80mm-120mm) Refractor

Posted By Mark Costello III

Good afternoon to all:

I'm signed up for a 102F6 from Burgess Optical. Currently, problems have been identified with the scope for which may take a while to identify the cause and come up with a solution. Against that possibility, I'm starting to look at alternatives. I'm interested in a small (or medium) fast (or at least not too slow) refractor. I would use it for wide field viewing but would occasionally want higher power views (especially as it will be my only telescope for a while). It has to be very portable (able to fit in a car with suitcases as I may take it with me on vacations). It does NOT have to be airline portable. The price has to be comparable to that for the 102F6 OTA ($400 maybe up to $600). I just need the OTA (and finder and eyepieces) - already bought a CG5 mount. I'd prefer a 100mm or so objective but may go up or down as much as 20mm. The focal length would be 500mm - 800mm. The alternatives I'm currently aware of are

1) Orion 100F6
2) Orion 120ST (F5)
3) SV Nighthawk
4) Orion 80mm ED/APO
5) APM 102F6 Triplet Achro (is there a US dealer that sells these)?
6) Celestron 102F5

I'd list the SV102D but it's out of my price range and anyway it appears that Vic Maris is in the middle of redesigning it.

Opinions from y'all would be appreciated. Have I missed anything?


Mark Costello

February 15, 2004 11:04 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

"Night Sky" Magazine

Posted By Mark Costello III

Sky Publishing (Sky & Telescope) is rolling out a new magazine for beginners called "Night Sky." Does anyone have an opinion on this magazine? I'd be interested in a periodical aimed at beginners of all ages and not only children. I've been in out out of the hobby for 40 years. Since I've been more out than in and since I'm starting up again after a 12 year hiatus, I consider myself a newbie.


Mark Costello

March 4, 2004 07:34 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Re: Burgess Scopes

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hey Charlie, is that you in the picture? Gee, I thought of you as an older (60-ish) gentleman with a business man type look. Well, good thing I don't have a digital camera to take my picture. wink

Glad to see you're liking your Burgess Scopes. I've had my 1026 out for about 20 hours since I got it last January 29. I haven't yet tried to determine if it's 70mm or 90mm. It's given me nice views of M42 (the Trapezium area looked kind of like a dark Gerogia O'Keefe watercolor at 100X), M45, M44, and M41. Saturn has a nice almost 3-D look to it maybe because of the hint of the shadow on the rings. When Jupiter is high up (around 45 deg or higher), it shows 6 bands (including one on one of the poles). Last Saturday was "Moon Night" in which I spend 1.5 of my 2 hour session just looking at the moon and learning some of the features in it.

So far, I've been using the 1026 "as is" with the restricting stop still in. I'm going to take a little poll on Burgess Refractors to see how those owners who took out their baffles like them. I may use that to guide my decision when I measure the working diameter of the lens with stop.

Have a great night.

Mark Costello

Mark Vincent Costello III in

Matthews NC

March 14, 2004 01:00 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Show Starring Jupiter's Moons

Posted By Mark Costello III

Just wondering if anyone was out watching Jupiter last night? I took the Burgess 102F6 out last night at 9 PM EST with the intention of looking at Saturn, Jupiter, and a few star clusters (M35, M41, and M44). I hardly made it past Jupiter. When I started looking at it aroung 9:20 PM I noticed that one moon was very close to the bottom of the planet. (I had the WO diagonal in so I'm assuming the image was right-side up.) After a few minutes, I noticed that the interval between it and Jupiter had decreased, so it looked as if was getting ready to go behind (or maybe in front of) Jupiter.

Now here's the more interesting part. Around 9:46 PM I noticed a bulge on the top side of Jupiter. At first I thought it was the yellow halo (that was out there last night) This spot though was pin-point, so I figured it was another of the Jovian moons. Sure enough, by 9:54 PM there was black space between the dot and Jupiter. I had to take a phone call concerning one of our power plants (makes my life as a nuclear engineer interesting). Unfortunately, when I got back at 10:24 PM, the moon on the bottom was gone; it must have disappeared behind the planet (or in front and I couldn't pick up its shadow). The moon on the top side was now well away from Jupiter.

By this time, Laura had come home with one of our girls (shopping for a birthday present for one of my daughter's friends). So after making fairly short looks at M35 and M44, I packed it up at 11 PM. Not too bad for the 102F6 with its aberrations.

I was wondering if anyone else saw it maybe with a different telescope? If so, I'd be interested in what times you saw the moon appearing above the planet (again, with diagonal in place)? This may give me some indication of the limit of the lens in my 102F6 (I have it unmasked).

Mark Costello

July 9, 2004 08:54 AM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Achro (& Apo) Refractor - Cheap Chinese

Posted By Mark Costello III

">>it should be easy to become with AP a best seeling company for the new Chinese Apo Generation :-)>>" (Markus Ludes

"No, I don't think so. I would be the last to sell a Chinese made apo. It's not that I worry about quality or anything like that, but I have an obligation to my community to try to bring commerce and jobs here instead of exporting them to some other place. If Chinese apos become popular, I'll make something else. We have lots of ideas that no-one has tried yet.


Where are the American companies that make affordable achromat refractors with 80mm
As for the 93mm replacement cell or refractor, I have to tell you that - assuming that it comes in and is of good quality, I find it too be all too easy a decision to get it vs spending 2 grand on a TAK 90 or TV85 or waiting for AP to decide when if ever they will make new Stowaways or wait for who knows how many years to be able to buy a Traveler for about $3500.

January 26, 2009 02:09 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Oppose Obama

Posted By Mark Costello III

Thanks, sir, for your post on this. I signed it and when the FOCA bill starts going through Congress, I'll write my congresswoman, both of my senators, and the president.

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC

February 6, 2009 05:34 AM Forum: Politics

White House Grounds Invasion

Posted By Mark Costello III

I'll bet the Obama family is following this one closely. 8O smile

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC

February 20, 2009 02:23 PM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

This One Caught My Eye

Posted By Mark Costello III

FWIW, I think it's a good ad.

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC

February 21, 2009 02:10 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Wacko Obama floats plans

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hi Jim,

Evidently the President himself put the kebash on this tax-by-the-mile plan. Of course, it's wasn't very smart and practical (gas taxes are "better") and that's probably why he squelched the idea.

Just to let you know where I'm coming from, I did not vote for Mr. Obama and at this time, I do not see the possibility of voting for him or most any democrat down the road. (I'm what some people might call a "social conservative.") But he did win the presidency outright and as fairly as it can be won these days. Because of this and given that he's done nothing that by any standard I know is impeachable, I'm taking a respectable "wait and see" attitude over the next four year. As part of that, I'm making my way through one of Obama's books THE AUDACITY OF HOPE. I'm not sure what urge compelled me to lay down the $8 for it, but now I'm glad I did. Most of the thoughts Mr. Obama expresses in it (quite clearly and well) I do not concur with but some of his ideas cause me to pause and think....

Anyway, here's to hoping that you're continue to recover from that stroke and are finding some times to get your telescope and look up.... smile