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Orion Nebula

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Posts Made By: Jim Goodenough

July 30, 2011 12:08 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Examples of Image Quality

Posted By Jim Goodenough

Does anyone know of a website showing example images in ranked order of the relative brightness and clarity for an M object so that I can better understand what I will see if I purchase a Dobsonian Telescope with mirrors 10" and 14"?

August 2, 2011 09:12 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Newby Question about focussing

Posted By Jim Goodenough

Is a telescope consider to be "in focus" when the focal point of the primary is lined up to be exactly the same as the focal point of the eyepiece?

August 7, 2011 10:49 AM Forum: After Dark


Posted By Jim Goodenough

Just as my new found interest in the stars is peaking, I am reminded about coastal fog. I always appreciated it as natural air conditioning and now I loath it. I think I will move from north of the San Francisco Bay area to Nevada!

August 10, 2011 09:11 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Cooling the primary mirror

Posted By Jim Goodenough

I've read a lot about the need to cool - or temperature equalize - the primary mirror. What is actually happen optically during this time? If I don't assist this process with a fan, will I just see distortion or "hard to focus" troubles or ...?

August 22, 2011 12:46 AM Forum: After Dark

First night with new scope

Posted By Jim Goodenough

I just returned from Cupertino Ca and bought my Orion XT12i dob. The base assembly was a breeze, and the primary lens install easy enough, although I was intimidated at first.

I drove from my home in Sebastopol Ca to run from the fog and found good viewing in Cloverdale. M13 - beautiful. A mere smudge with my borrowed 4" reflector but stunning and clear with the 12".

I have the Orion 9X50 right angle finder scope - does anyone know how to focus it?

August 26, 2011 10:37 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Orion XT12i - first week

Posted By Jim Goodenough

I purchased an Orion XT12i in the Cupertino, CA retail store last Sunday. Since then I have been outside with it every night.

Night one was impressive - I particularly enjoyed the detail of M13. No longer a fuzzy cotton ball, and now like a detailed scattering of salt on black paper.

I did not try the Intelliscope functions until the 2nd, 3rd and 4th nights, and had trouble getting it to work. Finally I just took the base apart and noticed too wide of a gap under the azimuth encoder and too tight a fit on the azimuth bushing. 2 washers later and some delicate filing with a 1/4" round file and the gap was gone and the bushing is turning freely.

While I have been taking great pride in star hopping and knowing the stars without the assistance of a computer, the properly functioning Intelliscope hand controller lead me to M51, M81, M82, M57, M8, and many others. I got a little "manic" as I toured through so many objects within minutes of each observation.

My goal was to get a scope with enough aperture so I would not outgrow it quickly, and the detail and size of these objects with the 25mm eyepiece is stunning. As Jupiter, Pleiades and Capella rose near midnight I took my last few observations and packed up the scope.

It is not as hard to lift as in the reports. I would say it is more awkward than heavy. It fits nicely in the back of my Ford Explorer with one seat folded down and the set up and put away takes only about 5 minutes.

If anyone would like more detail about the modifications I did to make the Intelliscope work better, I can respond here with more detail.

August 29, 2011 10:56 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Dovetail Mount

Posted By Jim Goodenough

Are there "splitters" available to double a single dovetail mount into two?

September 25, 2011 11:07 AM Forum: After Dark

December 17, 2011 01:08 PM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Venus over Bodega Bay California

Posted By Jim Goodenough

Took this photo of Venus last night - the clouds made for a good sunset - and did not wind up compromising the viewing later.

August 9, 2011 01:51 AM Forum: After Dark


Posted By Jim Goodenough

No fog tonight - well, it is forming now - but I finally got to see Jupiter again and found Andromeda for the first time by star hopping. I know these are bright objects and you might not be impressed, but it was thrilling for me.