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Posts Made By: Mark Costello III

April 23, 2004 02:02 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

Burgess Finder

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hi Mark:

I can't get my 8X50 to focus at infinity. I can see the laundry room from my den but can't get it to focus on the heavenlies. I'm still attaching it to my 102F6 OTA for ballast :-).

So far, this hasn't been an issue for me. Currently I have just a 6mm and 40mm Plossl (from Bill). If I want to look at something at 100X (say, Jupiter, M41, etc.), I find it at 15X with the 40mm Plossl, get it in the center of the FOV, and carefully swap eyepieces. About 95% of the time the astro-body is in the FOV of the 6mm.

I think I've read on some of the recent post in Burgess Refractors that Bill is working on this. If so, well and good so long as he doesn't let it slow down the work on the semi-apomizers for the 102F6's :-). If not, well, I'll replace it at some point down the line.

At anyrate, the most important thing to me by far is the OTA itself. So far, I'm having fun with it when I take it out.

Have a good weekend - with lots of stars overhead.

Mark Costello

Matthews NC

May 4, 2004 03:44 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

So what is the problem with the 102F6....

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hi Doug:

I have a Burgess 102F6 and will respond mainly from my experience with it.

The 102F6 OTA's come with the second baffle sized and placed to stop the 102F6 to a working aperture of approximately 70mm (F8.6). This goes back to September 2003 when Mr. Burgess noticed a yellow halo around the image of Mars while he was star-testing the first batch of 12 OTA's. After iterating with the factory to reduce or eliminate this problem, he announced (roughly last November) that he was going to replace the lens with semi-apo lens of a TMB design (current estimated color correction = 2.7 that of a normal achromat). They are supposed to be available within a couple of months. Meanwhile,if you didn't want to wait that long, you could buy a stopped down 102F6 for $150 ($200 with case). The lens were supposed to be stopped to 90mm but it's been shown that the lens are stopped to 70mm (I confirmed this for my 102F6 with the exit pupil test using a 40mm Plossl).

Since then, some people have left their scopes at 70mm and are OK with this. One gentleman has removed the stop (as I'll call it now and made a 88mm mask for his OTA). He is very happy with his observing sessions with this. I've simply have removed my stop and allow my OTA to work at full 102mm aperture and at F6. Basically, I'm fine with this while I wait for the semi-apo lens. Here's the lowdown on what I do and don't see with it.

Saturn (100X) - nice image with 3-D hint to it. I believe this is because I see the shadow the of the planet on the rings or vice-versa. Cassini's Division is more of a challenge but I do see it on good nights (like yesterday). There is is soft yellow halo but it doesn't get it the way of havving fun looking at Saturn.

Jupiter (100X) - nice image - always see 5 bands - usually see 7 bands. Have on good nights seen hints of swirls in the bands. Limitation: I've seen the beginning and end of moon transits but not quite the middle;, i.e., haven't seen the moon shadows on the planet. There is more aura but it's acceptable, I've learned to block it out.

Venus (100X) Let's just say I'm glad I'm not interested in Venus. The yellow halo at 100X is to me intrusive - makes the image look like a flower (disc in the middle).

Sirius - see Venus notes.

Castor: This is a double with 2.2" separation. Here's another limitation for me. I can get a Dawes' split but not a Raleigh split. It does fine with Mizar but that's 14".

Open Clusters - Wonderful: M44 and M45 at 15X, and 35-M38, M41 at 100X - can see roughly 100 stars apiece.

M42 - Nice at 100X. On good nights have seen 5 stars in the Trapezium.

(Summary in later note).

June 21, 2004 03:13 PM Forum: Chinese Optics Imports

burgess 102

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hey Ralph.

Here's my "no news" answer. I haven't heard anything lately either directly from Mr. Burgess or via the Burgess Refractor Forum on the new 102F6 scopes or the replacement lens cell. Having gotten one of the 102F6 achros, I'm certainly interested in the replacement cell. The last story on this was that Mr. Burgess and Mr. Back were evaluating sample cells. That was about 2-3 months ago. Meanwhile, I'm making do with with my 102F6 (unmasked). I bought a Stellarview 25mm (70 deg AFOV) eyepiece to replace the 40mm Plossl that I accidently dropped and it has improved the low power performance of my 102F6. I got a VERY clean split in Mizar last Friday night with this combo (24X with the 102F6 and the SV 25mm eyepiece). I know the pair are about 14" apart, but I'd thought I'd mention it since I never got that with the 40mm Plossl. I also saw my first glob that night - M13. It was a socks knocker-offer at both 24X and 100X. That whole area in Hercules was very interesting at 24X.

Have a great night.

Mark Costello

Matthews, NC

November 6, 2008 02:21 PM Forum: ASTRONOMY

What are YOUR November Observing targets?

Posted By Mark Costello III

November DSO targets include but are not necessarily limited to:

Cygnus: M29, M27, various star fields

Cassiopeia: NGC457, M103, various star fields

Perseus: M34, Stock 1, double cluster, various NGC open clusters

Andromeda: M31 and company, NGC752

For later in the evening,

Taurus: M45, NGC1607, Hyades, M1

Orion: the complex of M42-M41-NGC1977-NGC1981, Alnitak

Auriga: the three amigos (M36, M37, M38), NGC 1907 and other clusters and star fields

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC

December 4, 2008 02:00 PM Forum: Religion

Acronyminous Bibles

Posted By Mark Costello III

If I have it right, some of the other versions you mention (as well as the NASV which our erstwhile pastor recommended) are based on more recent readings of the available ancient texts, including the Sinai and Vatican Codices, which IIRC may not have been used in writing the KJV (its Old Testament was based on the Masoretic text). There's also the NKJV - just like the KJV except with modern words.

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC

January 16, 2009 09:42 AM Forum: Religion

Re: Student in the Classroom

Posted By Mark Costello III

Rod Mollise said:


The fact is that Einstein was religious in a way, believing that the beauty of the universe manifest in his equations reflected some underlying "principle," but DID NOT BELIEVE IN A PERSONAL GOD that will answer one's prayers. Nor did he believe in anything like an afterlife. Once when asked whether he believed in an afterlife, Einstein replied, "No, and one life is quite enough for me."


Two scientists whose work Einstein used in developing his theories of relativity did believe in a personal GOD that will answer ones prayers and an afterlife. They were Bernhard Riemann and James Clerk Maxwell.

February 5, 2009 02:16 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Has Obama earned your trust, and how?

Posted By Mark Costello III

Rod Kaufman said:

Here's just one of many things he's done to earn our trust, unlike the folks you had voted for who got us into this mess in the first place:

Who are they: the Republican administration that just ended or the Democratic lawmakers?

As to the originating post, the President has not earned my trust or mistrust, just a continued wait and see approach from me and continued low expectations. As to the stimulus package, I'm sure I don't like it but it isn't all that unlike the bailout packages of the previous administration. As to the salary cap, well, if the companies take the bailout money, then it's as if they made the government a very big stockholder. Elsewhere and back to the general question, so far I think I like the President's approach to the conflict in Afghanistan (our business with Al Qaeda), will wait and see concerning Iraq and Iran, and am very disappointed but not surprised at the executive order for international funding of abortions....

February 20, 2009 02:13 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

The Horsehead Nebula through an 8" Aperture

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hi Dave,

Reading your comment on seeing the Flame Nebula and IC434 prompts me to ask: What's the minimum aperture required for seeing them? Thanks.

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC

March 16, 2009 01:43 PM Forum: Refractors

Refractor Dewing

Posted By Mark Costello III

Hi Jon,

My understanding is that the AT line comes from Astronomics and if I recall correctly, that's where you bought the AT102ED. What do the good people at Astronomics have to say about this, can they help?

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC

April 18, 2009 12:42 PM Forum: Religion

Literal or not?

Posted By Mark Costello III

Mark Norby said:

I was wondering how many here believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis? How about it? Was the first man on earth named "Adam?" Is the KJV the only reliable, accurate version? Why/why not?

"I was wondering how many here believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis? How about it?"

I do, at least to the point that the universe, the earth, all life, and we are here by God's act of creation, and that every character in Genesis from Adam and Eve through Noah to the twelve patriarchs were real.

"Was the first man on earth named 'Adam'?"

Yes. IIRC the word "Adam" means first man.

"Is the KJV the only reliable, accurate version? Why/why not?"

No. There are others, including but not necessarily limited to the ASV, NASB, and ESV. As to the "why" for this, the original books are certainly infallible and the above named versions are as good as the KJV in terms of being high fidelity translation of the earliest codices on hand. All of the above are endorsed by individual ministers in my demonination (Presbyterian Church in America).