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Posts Made By: Barry Fernelius

June 11, 2003 07:28 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Re: APO hype

Posted By Barry Fernelius

I don't have any doubts that a high quality APO can provide great views of the night sky. Heck, I've experienced this myself, and it is amazing what can be seen with 4" of quality aperature.

On the other hand, I own a couple of Newtonian telescopes (8" f6 and 12.5" f5) with Zambuto mirrors. I would consider these telescopes to have high optical quality as well. I've seen amazing things through these telescopes, and the resolution exceeds what I've seen through APOs.

I think that in all cases, if you put optical quality first, you'll be able to see pleasing images that will astonish and delight you.

July 6, 2003 08:54 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Better at the Eyepiece - Which Ones?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

I've just returned from three nights of observing under dark skies in Wyoming. The seeing was very good on one of the nights, and about average on the other two nights. There were no clouds, and the air was very dry and transparent. On all nights, the sky was very dark, with a beautiful summer Milky Way overhead.

After observing lots of great deep sky objects, I began to compare the view at the eyepiece of my 12.5" Newtonian to the photographs that I've seen in books. Through the eyepiece, I see spiral structure in M51 and its companion galaxy, but I have to admit that the best photographs of this galaxy are fantastic, even better than what I could see with my telescope.

On the other hand, I greatly prefer the view through the eyepiece for M8, the Lagoon Nebula. To me, the photographs of this region tend to wash out the subtle details.

So, the question is, which objects do you prefer to view live at the eyepiece, and why?

December 4, 2003 09:18 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Reattaching Rigel base

Posted By Barry Fernelius

My Rigel base has a hole in its center. I've drilled a corresponding hole in my secondary cage. I use a small stainless steel bolt, washer, and nut to hold the Rigel base firmly against the heavy duty, double-stick foam tape. The nut, washer, and portion of the bolt that extends slightly into the optical tube have been painted flat black.

February 5, 2004 11:21 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: I may have been ripped off, what I do now?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

First, take a deep breath. Getting angry or doing something crazy may make you feel better for a moment, but it probably won't make a positive contribution to solving your problem.

Continue to make an extraordinary effort to get in touch with this guy. When you finally contact him, be polite, but firm. (At the same time, you should start to do some of the legwork with the police, just in case.)

I'll keep hoping that the scope will arrive in good shape. When it does, let all of us on Astromart know.

February 5, 2004 03:33 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Issue may have been resolved!

Posted By Barry Fernelius


I'm happy to hear that your problem is likely to be resolved. Aren't you glad you didn't do something foolish?

February 17, 2004 09:32 AM Forum: A Day in the Life of the Administrator

How do I fix my mistake?

Posted By Barry Fernelius


On February 9, 2004 I posted an ad to sell my T32mm Tele Vue Plossl, ad #248004. I received a reply from Ken Pfeiffer, and he paid me promptly. I shipped the eyepiece to him as soon as I received payment. It looks as though everyone is happy.

When I received Ken's offer, I was in the process of altering my ad to reflect that the eyepiece was sold. Unfortunately, I mistakenly deleted the ad.

How can I fix this so that I can give a good rating to Ken?

August 1, 2002 08:31 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

12-inch premium Dob

Posted By Barry Fernelius


I also own an 8" Portaball, and I've been wishing for more aperature. Before I started looking through other telescopes, I thought that I might want something like a 15" Obsession. Once I'd looked through other 'scopes, I decided that a Zambuto mirror is a must in a larger telescope.

This leads to a 12.5" Portaball or a comparable (or perhaps larger!) telescope from Starmaster. After considering all of the factors that are important to me, I've come to the conclusion that a 12.5" Portaball is the correct answer for me. (With the 8", I leave all of the equipment that is not very temperature sensitive in the trunk of the car in a duffle bag. When it's time to go observing, I seatbelt the Portaball in a passenger seat, and put the base and eyepiece case in the trunk. I'm ready to go in a couple of minutes. I want to be able to have that sort of convenience in a larger 'scope as well.)_

I do plan to get the transport cart so that I can move the telescope more easily once I arrive at my dark sky site. (I'm also considering an equatorial platform so that I can do extended observations of objects with more comfort.)

Once I've saved the necessary $2000, I'll place my order.

Best Astronomical Wishes,

Barry R. Fernelius

February 7, 2003 11:01 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Arizona seeing quality

Posted By Barry Fernelius


I visited friends in Yuma, Arizona over the Christmas/New Year holidays. I observed with my 8" Portaball over 6 different nights. On two of the best nights, I observed from the desert between Yuma and Phoenix. These were some of the best dark, steady skies that I've ever seen. The detail on the planets was outstanding, and I saw six stars in the Trapezium.

Perhaps a group of astronomers should form a community out in the Arizona desert with extremely severe light pollution laws...

-Barry R. Fernelius

February 19, 2003 07:56 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Dobs planetary nudging?

Posted By Barry Fernelius


With my Portaball, I can had track at ~250X without becoming too terribly frustrated.

But an equatorial platform does look attractive, particularly for high magnifications.

-Barry R. Fernelius

May 13, 2003 07:39 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Which would you keep?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

I'd have a tough time parting with the Zambuto mirror. Maybe you should part with the C14 unless you have some compelling reason to keep it over the Zambuto.