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Posts Made By: Jeff Poplin

November 11, 2006 11:09 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Is this a good star chart for Telrad?

Posted By Jeff Poplin

I consider the Sky Spot's Messier Telrad Charts a "must have", not only for the novice sky hound, but for a grizzled old dog like myself. I have used the 2 volumes for years and like to have them close by at public star parties. Not only for locating the objects, but having constellation lines and star names in the general area helps the public "see" where the scope is pointing. The included size, distance and other facts are great for those "How big/far is that?" questions.

Sure, there are free Messier charts online, but the bound laminated books from Sky Spot will not be ruined in the dew or blown away from your dropped clipboard on a windy night. The size and weight of each volume is easy to use one-handed while pointing out objects to others. Many times I have been asked by others at public star parties if I had my "Messier books" handy.

My only negative comments are the slick/shiny laminate used can glare back the red light and make it difficult to read at certain angles. A more matte-finish, non-glare laminate would have been better. This may not have been available years ago when I originally purchased my set. The other is on dewy nights, some pages tend to stick together, but it is a minor point. I did tab the edges with those stick-on page tabs (in groups of 10) to make finding/flipping through the books easier, especially when wearing gloves.

While these books are invaluable when making a run at the Messier Marathon, they cannot compete with a good, all sky atlas. With a bound, laminated Field edition of Sky Atlas 2000 and these Messier quick charts, you will be set for many hours of enjoyment under the stars.

Hope this helps,

November 27, 2006 09:58 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Goto problems...HELP!

Posted By Jeff Poplin


Is there a setting for North/South on the mount? Or in the software? It sounds like the mount is working, but thinks it is in a different location on Earth. Something as simple as a "+" where a "-" should be could cause all sorts of problems.

Is there a "Factory defaults" settings? When all else fails, you can start over. Celestron has a few support pages. I've used a CGE, but not the ASGT, but someone here should have some hints.


December 2, 2006 12:08 PM Forum: After Dark

Planet trio

Posted By Jeff Poplin

Spaceweather had a series of maps of the event, covering several days. You will need to check the archive (on right) for the Nov 29 page. I'm sure it will be repeated in the coming days. This site is great for timely events and is on my "daily" list of bookmarks.

Here's a direct link to the map of Dec 8:


December 20, 2006 10:17 AM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Colorful Auriga Region

Posted By Jeff Poplin

Excellent wide field study, Ivan.

I would love to see a "JD" version of the same field. wink

Nice work, both of you.

December 27, 2006 09:56 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

ISS movie

Posted By Jeff Poplin

I was amazed by their earlier work with Sat Tracker and the LX200. The new hardware/software is indeed, producing stunning results! I anxiously await the next set of pictures and next shuttle flight.


January 19, 2007 09:59 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Back Into Astronomy

Posted By Jeff Poplin

BELIEVE IT OR NOT a Criterion Dynamax 8" SCT...its not as bad as you hear! HA!)

Back in the late 70's I had my first clear "live" view of the Cassini division through a Dynamax from the roof of a science building at a local university. Since then, every mention of that scope digs up that good memory.

Remember, it's not the size of the tool, but your proficiency in using it!


March 1, 2007 09:53 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Argo Navis DSC on an EQ mount

Posted By Jeff Poplin

Argo will work on EQ mounts, but you have to choose the type of mount in the setup routine. Can't remember exact menu choices, but it is there. Got your Argo manual on CD?

April 3, 2007 09:01 AM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Flaming Star Region in Auriga

Posted By Jeff Poplin

I like it. Those stars are very colorful. Nice first image with this setup. How about an overall equipment setup shot?


April 10, 2007 08:48 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Do any of these improve night vision?

Posted By Jeff Poplin

Probably as much as bilberry extract.

I've tried bilberry several times, with little differences noticed other than my eyes didn't seem as tired after long hours under the stars.

Your mileage may vary... smile

May 18, 2007 07:37 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

First completely unattended image -- vdB142

Posted By Jeff Poplin

Well done, Tom. Very impressed with the images from your current setup.

Also, kudos on your M13 APOD today!