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The Eagle Nebula from the Copernicus Observatory in SW Utah

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Posts Made By: Kevin Vernon

October 28, 2004 12:44 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Newbie looking for input

Posted By Kevin Vernon

Hi, Gang! *waves*

A little about me - I'm an avid amateur hack photographer - looking to get into Astrophotography.

Got my eye on a couple of scopes, wondeing if any have experience with these to compare the 2.
1 - the Hardin Optical 8 inch StarHOC, along with it's included EQ mount & tripod for $549......
2 - the Orion SkyViewPro 8EQ, with it's included EQ mount & tripod (including single-axis drive) for the same price.

Pros & cons of each? Which has better optics? Which is the better mount? The Orion mount has provision for a polar alignment scope - does Hardin's? the catalogue & website neither are too clear about this. Any serious drawbacks to either, especially in terms of Astrophotography use?

I am also looking to get the heck out of Central Indiana, and relocate to North Central Arizona, someplace - having been there a couple of t[COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR]imes, the skies are fantastic - as is the weather & the scenery. Would love to correspond with any of you from that area.

Sorry to be so long-winded for my first post out of the box. *grin*


November 5, 2004 03:27 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

I think I broke the curse. Or at least bent it.

Posted By Kevin Vernon

It's been cloudy & nasty all week. I pick up new optics today - thereby guaranteeing the current weather will continue for another month - and what happens? It clears off!! *Lol*

Awful windy, though - and with a new toy, I was demonstrating NO patience to let the scope cool down. But there were stars to see! Yay!!

-Kevin (Pardon my giddiness)

November 6, 2004 11:53 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

First Light report

Posted By Kevin Vernon

Good morning, Genties & Ladlemen.

First Light report, on my brand new (to me, anyway) Hardin DSH 8" Dob.

Picked up this new toy on Thursday - found it on Astromart. {Thanks Rick!} *Waves* 8) This is the first "real" scope I've owned. Fiddled with it a bit on Thursday night - but it was super windy & more than just a bit hazy - could barely raise more than a smudge out of M-31. Not to mention not having the patience to let the silly thing cool down. *grin*

Anyway - I took it outside this morning, about 5am - being located in the far N.E. corner of Indianapolis, there's PLENTY of light pollution - I'd estimate I can only see down to about mag 3.5 - 4. The temp outside was in the low 40's..the thermometer in the garage said 60 (F) - so first thing I'm wondering is about how long is an open tube newt/dob going to take to cool down approx 20 degrees? *shrug*

I went out specifically to observe Jupiter & Venus close together....did some more fiddling with the guide-scope...I think I have it pretty close, but this thing sure needs an angle-finder spotting scope. And a "gunsight". I took a look at Jupiter - starting off with my 25mm..down to 17..then 10...I have a 6, but it's fairly lame. The 10 & 6 are basic Orion Explorer II's - the 17 is an Orion Sirius Plössl - and the 25 is a standard Hardin Astrola. I got 3 moons - one JUST past the limb..and a vague hint of some banding. The wind was starting to pick up, so steadiness was an issue - and for a while I could see some heat-ripples, as it cooled. I turned across the sky & tried to pick out M42 - Bingo! Very nice. *grin* The Pleiades were quickly sinking into city-glow to my I aimed next for Saturn. Nicely ringy, but couldn't positively ID any moons.

Next, the 1/4 moon - yikes, there goes THAT eye - screw in the moon-filter, silly! The 17mm worked great on the moon - perfectly frame-filling.

I was only out there about an hour - beginning to get a bit chilly, basically sitting & doing nothing....and some lights were beginning to come on around me, seeing as it was pushing 6 o'clock - as if there weren't enough lights on already. All in all, I'm fairly pleased - have to try some a bit earlier - and dress a bit warmer - and fiddle with a few things. My first impression - the eyepiece rack is on the wrong side of the base - an easy fix. The base also needs another handle - on the side (either side) to compliment the one in front.

That, and I REALLY need to go eyepiece shopping. *evil grin*

Pardon my giddiness, but I got a new toy! *lol* Plus - it seems I've broken the curse - been cloudy & dreary for over a week - I buy new optics and it clears off. Yay!


November 11, 2004 05:15 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Looking for sites/books on eq mounts &/or dob plat

Posted By Kevin Vernon

Title says it all, folks. Looking for sites, and/or good books on making my own eq mount - and/or eq Dob platform.



January 3, 2005 06:16 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Anyone heard of/done business with TCS Camera...

Posted By Kevin Vernon

...out of New York? Just wondering if they are reputable & honest - because they are listing an INCREDIBLE price on the Canon 20D on their site. Just wondered if anyone had any input before I give them my C.C. #.



June 23, 2005 04:51 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Tonight's Moon - first serious photo attempts

Posted By Kevin Vernon

I've finally gotten the gadgetry to the point of making my first attempts at some Astrophotography. Starting with the Moon - (Gee, we wouldn't want to attempt anything HARD, now would we? 8) )

Hardin 8" f/6 Newt - ex-Dob, now on a Criterion EQ mount.
Olympus D-460 1.3 Megapixel "phd" camera. (point n shoot - "phd"=push here, dummy) Adapter? How about a cardboard tube that happened to fit perfectly snugly on the camera lens - and a hose-clamp to hold it to the eyepiece. Sorry, I didn't manage to use any duct-tape. *Lol*

So ok - here is a shot of the full moon - first one clamped to a 17mm eyepiece with my fingers....a couple more pics follow.


June 24, 2005 02:52 AM Forum: Home Observatories

Ever discover you had a ready made pier??

Posted By Kevin Vernon

Took down an old basketball hoop in the backyard....There remained a nice stub end of a post, concreted into the ground. grin

I thought to myself, Hmmmmmmm......

So here's some pics of what transpired next.
First - your intrepid tinkerer, tapping some holes to mount his eq head.

June 28, 2005 04:24 AM Forum: Film Astrophotography - Imaging and Processing

Some assorted pics.....

Posted By Kevin Vernon

here's some semi-lame attempts. wink

First up - ISS. Sometime back in May, I don't recall the exact date.

And yes, that yucky glow is light pollution, not twilight. 8O

Minolta SRT-202, 28mm wide angle, wide open @ f/2.8 - shutter open for something like about 5 minutes.

Fujicolor 100 print film. Scanned @ 1200 dpi, fiddled with, scratches & dust spots removed, contrast enhanced, then re-sized & converted to .jpg.

January 3, 2007 03:12 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Full Moon rising over Indy, 2Jan07

Posted By Kevin Vernon

From my horribly light-polluted backyard in Northeast Indy. About an hour after sunset.

Canon 30D 28-105 zoom racked back to 28mm. f4.0 approx 5sec exposure.

-Kevin in Indy

January 3, 2007 03:18 AM Forum: N.A.S.A.

ISS over Indy, tonight 2Jan07 1of3

Posted By Kevin Vernon

From my horribly Light-Polluted backyard in Northeast Indy. 6:30pmEST 02Jan07.

Canon 30D, 28-105zoom, set at 28mm. Wide open, f4.0, Bulb, approx 18sec. Exposure.

-Kevin in Indy