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Lagoon Nebula,M8, LRGB

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Posts Made By: Barry Fernelius

December 15, 2003 11:51 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

What's in the name?

Posted By Barry Fernelius


Honestly, I don't think that you'll find something for <$1000 that will be adequate for astrophotography, no matter what anyone says. Heck, you'd have to spend more than that to obtain an adequate mount for doing astrophotography.

At the beginning of your post, you started to say:
After doing much reading, I have decided that for my purposes...

It may be obvious to you what your purposes are, but it's not obvious to me. That's why I can't give you any reasonable answers to your questions. By the way, any one of the other questions that you asked could easily lead to a flame war of Biblical proportions.

Instead of fanning the flames, let me make a gentle suggestion: seek out other amateur astronomers in your area who have interests that are similar to yours. It's been my experience that astronomers are an incredible decent bunch of folks, and they'll be happy to give you some practical pros and cons related to equipment.

If I were you, I'd forget about astrophotography for the present moment, settle on a decent instrument, and observe every night that you can for the next five years. By the time that you've gained the necessary experience, you'll take all of the 'advice' that's available on Astromart with a grain of salt, and you'll be able to come up with your own answers.

Sorry if this isn't what you expected.

January 7, 2004 11:45 AM Forum: Telescope Making

Best way to find the center

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Using your computer, print a bunch of concentric circles (4" diameter, 4.5", 5", 5.5", 6", 6.5") and their common center point on a piece of clear film, the type used for overhead slides. Punch a small hole exactly at the center point with an awl. Overlay the film over the mirror, adjusting it so that the edges of the mirror line up with the 6" circle. Carefully push down the center of the circles with the tip of a black Sharpie until you place a small black dot at the exact center of the mirror.

Or, just buy a CatsEye cheshire from Jim Fly. The kit includes a triangular center mark and the templates required to place it in the center of your mirror. As a bonus, you'll also have one of the nicest cheshires available.

January 7, 2004 01:28 PM Forum: Telescope Making

How do I build a solar filter?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Oh, and there's one more thing that you ought to consider. If your 12.5" f5 Dob is a truss tube scope with a shroud, you may want to forget the whole thing. If stray sunlight gets in around the edges, it's all over.

If you're feeling daring, you could make a lightweight aperture mask (with the trusty Baader film) that's much wider (20" or so) wider than the mirror all the the way around. This would work, but I wouldn't let the general public use this type of arrangement for solar viewing!

And, of course, if you've got a tube dob, ignore everything that I've just said!

January 8, 2004 02:28 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Best scope for $10,000

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Where are all of the refractor guys? Did they fall asleep?

How about a Takahashi TOA-130 Outfit with EM200 Temma 2 GoTo Mount?

With Tongue Firmly in Cheek,
Barry R. Fernelius

P.S. I'm with Michael C. and Doug W. on this one. Since Goto is desirable, get a 14.5" Starmaster with Goto and deluxe accessories. Keep the remainder of the funds in your pocket or make a peace offering to your wife.

January 11, 2004 02:57 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

How many cheap scopes before......?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Mike wrote:
I know what I really need to do: buy a Mag1 12.5" Portaball or 14.5" Starmaster.
I was in the same place last winter, and I purchased a used 12.5" Mag1 Portaball. After using it for almost a year, my desire for a new telescope has vanished. When you finally have a telescope with great optics, you'll know that on any given night your equipment won't be the limiter. So my advice to you: do what you need to do!

(Note that my desire for eyepieces, an equatorial platform, etc. has definitely NOT vanished.)

January 28, 2004 08:58 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Starmaster for sale less mirror?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

The Buddha said he was all about suffering and the end of suffering. Let's see...

Charles owns Tom Hole's dream scope, a 14.5" Starmaster. Tom owns an 11" Starmaster.

Charles's back is hurting him so he needs a smaller scope. Tom's dream is haunting him so that he desires a larger scope.

So, if Tom is willing to pay some fair amount, it seems as though Tom and Charles have the potential to reduce each other's suffering.

February 1, 2004 08:57 PM Forum: Equipment Talk


Posted By Barry Fernelius


I don't want to sound like I'm making some kind of wild claim, but I've seen views of Saturn that were very close to this image VISUALLY in my old 8" Newtonian reflector. I've also seen views of Saturn that were equal to or slightly better than this in my current 12.5" reflector.

This didn't require any image stacking whatsoever.

I assure you that under the proper conditions, these types of views are possible.

February 17, 2004 08:37 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

New toy, first light

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Congratulations Inge!

I made the transition from an 8" Portaball to a 12.5" Portaball last spring. Wait until you take a look at M51 under dark skies...

February 18, 2004 08:45 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

If you could only have 3 eyep's

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Only 3 eyepieces. Hmm...

35mm Tele Vue Panoptic
13mm Tele Vue Type 6 Nagler
3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler Zoom

February 24, 2004 08:20 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

McNeil's nebula

Posted By Barry Fernelius

It's a nice sentiment, but a bit late. See page 3 of this forum...