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Posts Made By: Michael Aaron McNeely

May 12, 2005 06:13 PM Forum: TeleVue

Your Moderator

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

As your new moderator, I would like to ask all regular posters to review the Terms of Service for Astromart forums. My major task will be to enforce the Terms.

This is not as bad as it sounds. My major concern will be to avoid any conflicts or flaming that might occur. I ask all forum users to be “honest, sincere and civil” with your posts.

I have been an amateur since 1986 and have owned various telescopes. I currently observe with a TeleVue Pronto, a Meade 7-inch Maksutov, and a Coronado PST. I also use various TeleVue Plossl, Nagler, and Panoptic eyepieces.

I love all things TeleVue, and have written reviews of my Pronto for another major telescope review site. I was also lucky enough to be able to observe with Al Nagler at the 1998 Riverside Telescope Makers Conference.

I accepted the moderator post out of a desire to contribute to Astromart and to have the experience of running a forum. Although I often read various astronomy forums, I am not a heavy poster. I will tend to work quietly in the background and comment when it is prudent to do so.

During the day, I work as a public school science teacher, and I am also married with one child. I live in Northern Indiana and have decent dark skies in my backyard.

I wish everyone clear, dark, dry, stable, and temperate nights.

May 12, 2005 06:27 PM Forum: TeleVue

Nagler, Meade comparison

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

The other major telescope review site has just posted a nice article that compares the Nagler 5mm T6 eyepiece with the new Meade 4.7 UWA 5000.

I got to examine these new Meade eyepieces at a recent convention (NIAGFest). They seem quite nice, and the 35 mm is larger in diameter than the 31 mm Nagler. I did notice that they were made in China. I still prefer my TeleVues.

Check it out:

May 12, 2005 07:14 PM Forum: TeleVue

Feathertouch Focuser on an NP-101

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

I found a nice site that describes the replacement of an NP-101 focuser with a new Feathertouch. Nice photos.

Check it out:

May 13, 2005 11:48 AM Forum: TeleVue

Nagler T6 Website

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

Here is a nice overview of the Nagler T6s:

Check it out.

May 13, 2005 06:52 PM Forum: TeleVue

Most Distant Galaxy, 3C 273 in a Pronto

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

Brian Skiff posted this article on the Arizona Observers group on Yahoo last April. Thanks Brian for permission to reprint this here.

Most Distant Galaxy, 3C 273 in a Pronto
Brian Skiff
Lowell Observatory

"Most Distant Galaxy" is the title of an atmospheric jazz piece by the soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, my favorite jazz composer. In a setting for soprano, bass, and electronic percussion, she evokes not so much loneliness as a keening, isolated alone-ness, for which a subtly turned blues phrase is particularly apt.

A much more prosaic enterprise tonight for me was hunting down the brightest quasar, 3C 273, in my little 70mm TeleVue Pronto telescope. Though not nearly the most distant galaxy known, it is probably the most distant object visible in such a small instrument. The redshift is about z = 0.16, corresponding to about 2 billion light-years. It is not especially faint for this telescope, so this was mainly an exercise to be able to say I'd done it.

As usual I observed from the 'true dark' Lowell Anderson Mesa site, in this instance from the observing floor of our 1.1-m telescope, with which I am doing spectroscopy tonight. Len Bright of the Lowell staff is running the seeing monitor a hundred meters away, which at the time of the observations was showing image quality of just 0".7---another nice night! Temperature was a balmy 39F = 5C. By way of preparation, I had Alan MacRobert's article in the May 2005 issue of 'Sky & Telescope', and also a large-scale chart from the AAVSO Web site that shows the immediate field along with magnitudes for stars in the area.

Earlier this evening the German variable-star observer Wolfgang Renz posted a note to the AAVSO discussion-list pointing out that the asteroid (329) Svea, at V mag 12.7, was passing through the field. It confused him at first, since it is similar in brightness to the quasar, and (obviously) not plotted on the chart. Not knowing about the asteroid would certainly have confused me, so I'm glad to have had the warning.

The main difficulty in the observation was simply getting to the field, since I do without a finder, Telrad, etc. The chart in MacRobert's magazine article was just about ideal for star-hopping at 30x from eta Virginis.

I first used 75x to zero-in on the quasar and faint field stars, which lie northwest of a mag 10.3 star that is the tip of an arrowhead asterism (see S&T chart). To secure the identification, I was especially wanting to pick up the mag 13.5 star just west of 3C 273---if I could see the pair resolved, then I would know I'd seen the quasar, and some of those 2-billion-year-old photons had hit my eye. Though I could see the asteroid a bit north of where the quasar was plotted on the AAVSO chart, and a mag 12.7 star not far south, I wasn't sure about 3C 273.

I changed to 95x (4.8mm Nagler), settled in for another look, and saw the QSO/comp-star pair almost right away, along with the other stars and the asteroid. QED. The ASAS-3 robotic photometry system measured the quasar at V=12.6 two nights ago; it appeared noticeably brighter than than the mag 13.5 star tonight. I got a few more looks before having to attend to the bigger telescope, which necessitated shifting the dome-slit around to the north, ending viewing of Virgo for the moment.


May 14, 2005 07:59 PM Forum: TeleVue

TeleVue 102 Review

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

Here is a review of the TeleVue-102 that I found while websurfing:

Check it out.

May 16, 2005 09:25 PM Forum: TeleVue

5 mm Radian Review

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

Here is a review of the 5 mm Radian that I found on the TMB website:

Check it out.

May 17, 2005 09:56 AM Forum: TeleVue

TeleVue-85 Website

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

Here is a TV-85 website written by Daisuke Tomiyasu:

Check it out.

May 20, 2005 09:20 AM Forum: TeleVue

Small Refractor Comparison (TV Ranger)

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

This article compares the TeleVue Ranger to a department store refractor.

I own a Pronto, and I have often been curious how the views in it compare to regular department store refractors. Like shooting fish in a barrel I would imagine.

May 22, 2005 09:04 PM Forum: TeleVue

The Ad That Started it All

Posted By Michael Aaron McNeely

This is TeleVue's original ad.

Where's the food?