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Posts Made By: Herbert Kraus

October 13, 2003 02:31 PM Forum: Celestron

Question about Celestron Goto

Posted By Herbert Kraus

The Celestron computerized hand control lets you select Albireo and other named stars by their names under "Named Stars" in the "List" program; in that program you can also select "Double Stars" where you would find Albireo by name, as well as other prominent double stars. I believe this go-to system is now standard with most of Celestron's SCTs, but it was an optional extra in the past and perhaps the people who couldn't figure out how to find Albireo you mention had not obtained that extra device. Similarly, you can go to deep sky objects by their NGC numbers in the NGC program, and if they are in the Messier catalog you can also use their M designation in the Messier program.

October 23, 2003 11:30 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

6.3 F/R (visual) ??

Posted By Herbert Kraus

I have found the 6.3 F/R very helpful in viewing large open clusters (e.g., M39). It may not quite squeeze M45 or M44 within the field of view of my 8" scope, even with a 40 mm eyepiece, but what a thrill to see all of both Perseus double clusters within the fov as I saw them yesterday (Wednesday) with the F/R.

November 30, 2003 01:07 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Orion Electronic Imaging Eyepieces

Posted By Herbert Kraus

I bought the black & white one, because it's more light sensitive and cheaper. Astronomically, it does just one thing: it shows the surface features of the moon, but it does that pretty well once you get the hang of not turning the contrast knob too far. I tried it on Mars during opposition, but only got a blank white disk on the TV screen. Haven't tried it yet on Jupiter or Saturn, but my experience with Mars suggests that surface markings won't be visible. Of course it won't see any deep sky objects, but Orion makes it clear that you won't see anything beyond the moon and the planets, as does Meade for its electronic eyepiece.

December 21, 2003 04:36 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

help: 3 good, easy targets

Posted By Herbert Kraus

Allison: Mars in the southwestern sky is much less than it was in August, and whether or not your guests find it interesting depends on the equipment you are using and the quality of your local seeing. Saturn and M42 will be exciting later in the evening, but not at the time immediatly after sunset. While you are waiting for Saturn & M42, your guests might enjoy the double cluster in Perseus, and the 3 open clusters in Auriga (M36, M37 & M38), although these objects are not as awe-inspiring for non-astronomers as Saturn and the Orion nebula. Good seeing to you and your guests.

March 16, 2004 11:44 AM Forum: Eyepieces

What is This?

Posted By Herbert Kraus

The shape, size and design of your eyepiece look very much like those of my 40 mm Celestron NexStar 1¼-inch plössl, but mine is clearly labeleled as such on the silver-colored band below the black rubber band in the middle. Also, I may be misled as to the dimensions of your eyepiece because it is too far from the camera and the measuring tape in your photo. Good luck in your detective work.

April 10, 2004 09:26 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Orion's SkyView Pro Equatorial Mount

Posted By Herbert Kraus

I obtained a SkyView Pro Equatorial mount with Orion's 80 ED apo scope a few months ago. Most of my astro observing has been viewing -- not imaging -- with a Schmidt Cassegrain Scope and I have no experience with any other equatorial mounts, and therefore my evaluation of the SkyView Pro may be of limited use to you, but here it is anyway:
1. The SkyView Pro is rock solid sturdy for viewing.
2. It can clearly accommodate a heavier load than my little 6 pound refractor and its viewing accessories. It's advertised as capable of loads up to 20 pounds and that seems reasonable to me.
3. For visual astronomy, the R.A. drive Orion sells for this mount does a good job of tracking when the polar alignment is done well, and the polar alignment scope offered as an optional accessory for this mount does its job well. I don't know whether the mount can track well enough for photography with these accessories, but I see no reason why it shouldn't.
4. The major shortcoming of the mount in my opinion is that it's setting circles are useless. I've been given to understand that this is a common failing for most amateur equatorial mounts these days, but it was a disappointment to me because I've had a 3.5 inch Questar scope for many years with fully functional setting circles.
5. I also find that the little levers that lock the mount's rotations about its axes in place are not designed to be as convenient as I would prefer.
Somebody else on this string has already advised you of this mount's height and of the length of its extensions.

July 6, 2004 02:55 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Favorite globular cluster?

Posted By Herbert Kraus

Because it hasn't yet been mentioned in this string, let me put in a good word for M4. It may not seem as brilliant as M13, M5 or M22, but its unique shape, its breadth and interesting possible astrophysical history commend it to us observers in the mid-northern latitudes. Besides, it is prominent in our southern skies these nights, and will be a great target if you find clear, dark skies around the time of the new moon next week.

July 6, 2004 06:24 PM Forum: Refractors

Orion 80 ED compression ring

Posted By Herbert Kraus

Can you tell us where these compression rings can be purchased?

August 9, 2004 11:15 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Astronomy Museum?

Posted By Herbert Kraus

Scott: Check out the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (Hayden Planetarium), the Griffith Planetarium here in Los Angeles (currently in the process of a major renovation/rebuilding), the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (Fels Planetarium), and the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago. There are many other such museums with significant exhibits relating to astronomy, whether or not they also have exhibits on space exploration and/or natural sciences other than astronomy. Also several major astronomical observatories have museums for visitors and tourists.

November 13, 2004 09:56 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

real time imaging

Posted By Herbert Kraus

For observing the moon, the electronic eyepieces offered by Orion and Meade are fine. In fact, I get superlative views of lunar landscapes from the Orion black & white one (which retails for about $70) hooked to an old 3.5-inch Questar. For deep-sky objects, and even for decent views of bright planets, your answer will have to come from someone other than myself.