Image of the day

Captured by
Yue Ma

Cas A in NIR

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Posts Made By: Robert Howe

September 9, 2004 03:21 AM Forum: Astro-Physics

130 mm telescopes compared

Posted By Robert Howe

I was surprised myself, I thought that a minor difference would be passed over by the human eye. My eyesight is NOT exceptional and I was biased in favor of the f/6 as being the easier telescope to physically handle. However, the differences in brightness between single samples of the 130 f/6 and 130 f/8.35 were consistent. We even swapped diagonals and EPs to be certain. But this is not to say that the f/6 was unexceptional; it is a magnificent telescope, if you had not seen the f/8.35, you would say, as I had previously said, that no 5 inch refractor could ever give better images than does this f/6.

Have others of you made such a comparison?

Robert Howe

September 20, 2004 12:00 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Advice for newcomer

Posted By Robert Howe

Has no one any advice for a newbie? I've got a couple of books on order but personal advice would be welcomed...


Robert Howe

October 6, 2004 02:35 PM Forum: APM

Re: SuperMono respect

Posted By Robert Howe

I've a pair of TMB Supermono 15, 10 and a single 6. Outstanding eyepieces. I got them from Markus last December. Unparalleled for looking at planets and for use with a Coronado MaxScope, where they bring out more solar detail than even the CMax eyepieces. The limited FOV is what you pay in return but, these are specialized EPs. Should ye desire a big FOV, then get thee a Nagler (mine are 22mm, 13, 9 and 4-6).

Too bad the S&T reviewer got a flawed batch. Could this have been industrial espionage?

October 21, 2004 04:11 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Mount/Tripod for Binocular telescope

Posted By Robert Howe

Hi guys

I have a G11 with Gemini, but it has the EPs generally in a confusing orientation. I think the idea of a moteroized fork, like for an SCT, makes the most sense.


April 24, 2005 12:53 PM Forum: Coronado-Lunt-DayStar Solar Filters

You guys wowed me at NEAF

Posted By Robert Howe

Philip Blanda said:

The view at NEAF were truly awsome. So much so, that my wife is into us getting an H-alpha setup. You know you're good when you can win over the non-astronomer parter!

I am a bit unsure of what a t-max does and if it is needed. I would be using a Traveler and was considering a 60mm filter.


Hi All,

I am just back from vacation, and of course the first thing I did is look at AMart and there I saw Phil's comments about Coronado telescopes. I am a nut about solar viewing and have owned three Coronados, each a fine performer.

My late wife was not enjoy my nocturnal astronomy too much but was always interested in the solar views. The Coronado I now use is a 60 mm MaxScope with double etalons, which I bought as a gift for her birthday in November 2004. I ordered it in early August 2004. It arrived in MARCH 2005, 15 weeks after she unexpectedly died. Coronado's products are very, very fine but they are lousy with such details of customer relations as keeping to schedules...

If you decide to get a filter for your Traveler, you MUST get two--two etalons that is. One will go in front on a TMax to allow you to ajust the angle and thus regulate the bandwidth more exquisitely. The other will be just beind it. Such "double-stacking" improves resolution of solar detail greatly. The photo from Greg Piepol in this thread, which apparently is using a single 90, is the sort of thing that you can see *by eye* (albeit not so large as on the computer screen!) with a MaxScope 60 double-stacked telescope. Wheras a PST or a Maxscope 30 will support 40x, perhaps 60x on a good day, a MaxScope 60 will easily take 100x and often more for visual use. Daytime seeing is generally poor and I find that, with a 60, the sky gives out before the telescope does. I comment on this in my award-winning review of the TV85...

To double stack you ought to get a "matched set" of etalons, probably directly from Coronado. Just don't hold your breath, it is easier perhaps to just get a MaxScope (double- stacked!) from Anacortes.

I thought seriously about mounting H alpha stuff on my TV85 or Traveler or my old AP 102 f/8, and decided ultimately not to do so. Having the dedicated scope for solar viewing minimizes set up time and eliminates the possibility of a filter error resulting in blindness or telescope damage. The MaxScopes are essentially error-proof in this regard, as the energy reduction filter in the front is integral to the telescope. The f/8 telescope is so long that reaching up front to tune the etalons would be awkward (something that Malcolm Shedden, a dedicated solar observer, taught me).

My MaxScope resides on a Vixen equatorial mount, their smallest model, covered with a clean white towel. I take just-a-peek of the sun almost every morning before work, it only takes a moment to move the mount and telescope out to the back porch.

I also thought seriously about buying a double-stacked MaxScope 90 that was on Amart a while back, corresponded with the vendor (who was not easy to work with) and decided not to buy it, as the weight (about 20 lbs) would have required using my Losmandy mount rather than the little portable Vixen upon which my MaxScope 60 (about 6 lbs) is mounted. The larger setup would have made spontaneous just-a-peeks difficult.

So in summary, go big for Coronado, get a 60 mm or larger setup, double stack it and you will be extravagantly happy with the results. Just don't expect anything that you order directly from Coronado to come quickly, or necessarily to the correct address (but that's another story for another day...)

My little girl Kate is sitting on my lap as I type this and she asked that I say so.



August 12, 2005 10:04 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Egyptian Eclipse Safety

Posted By Robert Howe

Hi Friends,

Thank you all for your advice. In the end we decided to cancel this trip--TravelQuest graciously refunded the bulk of our deposit, what a classy operation they have. We're going to see the eclipse from aboard a Greek tour boat instead.

My Lonely Planet guide to Egypt is for sale in the Books classifeds...

Robert Howe

October 9, 2005 01:47 AM Forum: Solar System Observing

Next week's Spanish eclipse

Posted By Robert Howe

Hello all,

Here is one of the nicer photos (unprocessed) which I took of the annular eclipse in Madrid on October 3. The skies were absolutely clear and my location, atop a hotel on the east side of the Retiro park, was wonderful. Viewing in hydrogen alpha, the first thing I could see at 2nd contact was a solar flare, what a treat! My settings were overwhelmed by the light from the eclipsed sun, the scatter that is noted in the photo is most likely artefactual. Oh well, I'll know better next time. Thank you all for your advice and encouragement.

Coronado MaxScope 60, double etalons; Cemax 18 mm EP with Scopetronix Digit-T system; Canon A85 digital camera set to Aperture mode, operating at f/4.8, one-quarter second, ISO 100.



December 27, 2005 02:18 PM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Spica's Christmas Occultation (1)

Posted By Robert Howe

And here is the star's reappearance. I'm *so* glad I didn't stay up late getting a tracking mount going on Spica.

Canon PowerShot A85, auto settings, Televue TV85.

Isn't this a great hobby?


June 1, 2006 04:51 AM Forum: Refractors

star test images

Posted By Robert Howe

Hi All,

A confirmed refractor addict, I am now dealing with a 6 inch f/12 refractor, a decade old, very little used. Images of Jupiter and the moon are very crisp and clear. I have never seen so much detail on the Jovian surface. The star test is damned near perfect with crisp rings and nice symmetry and no abnormal spots. Jupiter and Luna show no false color. Yet the interface between white moon and black sky is less abrupt than I would like. When I put a Cheshire in the back of the 'scope and drop the lens cap on and light up the Cheshire, the smaller ring is NOT centered but rather is on the edge of the larger. Putting in a diagonal and repeating, I can see that if I loosen the Cheshire in the diagonal and torque the Cheshire in one direction the rings nearly overlap, while torquing it the other way brings them farther apart. This implies to me that the wave front is not flat and that the triplet must thus be a wee little bit out of alignment with the tube.

Given the fine star test and images, is this worth pursuing? Would I see BETTER stuff, perhaps more contrast, if the Chesire showed perfect alignment? Being a surgeon, I am reminded that at times, Perfect is the Enemy of Very Good...


Robert Howe

August 1, 2006 04:29 AM Forum: Astro-Physics

M8 M20 IC4685

Posted By Robert Howe

Roland Christen said:

...This stunning image was taken by Dave Jurasevich (optics by me own hands grin ):


Damn, ye have good hands!


Robert Howe