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Posts Made By: Matthew Marcus

July 3, 2015 01:16 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Way Overboard... and tackled everything wrong.

Posted By Matthew Marcus


My name is Matthew and I have a problem. (This is where you say, "Hello Matthew".) I dove into this hobby with the intention of being satisfied with viewing the planets and moon. (Smacks forehead) ...I know. Well, now I am sitting with 4 pairs of astro-binoculars (Orion 20x80's - Scenix 7x50's and 2 pairs of Celestron 15x & 20X by 70 for Solar viewing), 2 (Celestron C90 from 1979 and Nexstar 4se OTA) Mak telescopes (with a 3rd refractor on the way that I have previously owned and I bought it because it is cheaper to pair with a tripod and mount). And not to mention an fairly extensive eyepiece set for .96 and 1.25". And now 3 different types of mount. I think I have weeded out what I want to keep... basically the Nexstar 4se OTA and Scenix binos. But I don't know where to go from here. If I were to sell everything else, what can I manage on a modest budget and be satisfied? Do I cut my loses and get nothing as I have a child coming? Does the hobby stall with children? Thoughts?

August 2, 2015 12:51 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Getting there...

Posted By Matthew Marcus

I was able to come by a Meade 2080 8" SCT OTA and a universal astronomics deluxe altazimuth mount on a Meade standard field tripod. It is an F/10 2000mm tube with a clean mirror. I set it up over the weekend at my parents on top of a mountain in central PA and viewed the full moon and Saturn very nicely with my Meade 5000 40mm (2") and Celestron Ultima lx (1.25") 8mm eyepieces. I think I am ready to dive into viewing something larger such as galaxies and nebulas. I have been using google sky and I have been becoming familiar with the sky, but I haven't read anything yet on viewing any deep sky objects. I wasn't sure how far I could reach into our own solar system with the above mentioned telescope. I saw people taking photos of Neptune and Uranus, but wasn't sure if that was really a capability with my setup. I do have a set of 1.25" eyepieces that are not wide view and are high powered. I also noticed that most eyepieces that I have been looking at are typically 1.25" for higher power. Eyepieces offering a large afov seem to be out of my budget at the moment. I think I have some research to do...

September 6, 2015 06:45 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

I can't wait until winter.

Posted By Matthew Marcus


Though I live 7 miles from downtown Pittsburgh and light pollution is a killer, I really see some terrific views in winter. This hazy, unstable atmosphere muddled with light and air pollution is for the birds. In the meantime, I have been plucking some terrific eyepieces lately. University Optics has a 2" 45 degree diagonal and I was wondering if anyone used their diagonals? It is a little more than I paid for my dielectric Meade, but I am anticipating a quality piece...any thoughts?

Also, does anyone know if University made a 2" 20mm Konig eyepiece? I haven't seen any listed on Astromart and wondered if they had in the past. I know on their site they have a 20mm 2" piece but I would like a Japanese ocular.

Thank you!

September 24, 2015 03:36 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Circle V Japanese 25mm Kellner - Help!

Posted By Matthew Marcus


I am looking for a little assistance. I came by this little 1.25" silver etched 25mm kellner eyepiece. It is stamped Japan with a circle "V" which I am guessing from the little research I have done a made for or by Vixen piece. Where I fall short is the model and who sold it. I am going to give it a spin tonight to see how it looks, but it has the purple-ish green multi-coating so I am assuming it really isn't all that vintage. I also came by an EDSCORP 1960 12mm EDSCORP piece and it has a blue coating with a Japanese inspected sticker. I am looking for any info on this 25mm eyepiece.

Thank you!

December 21, 2015 05:54 PM Forum: After Dark

Pittsburgh... Mostly cloudy to rain ETERNITY

Posted By Matthew Marcus

Venting... 2 observable days in the last 3 weeks. UGH. I hope January is more favorable. This El nino is killing me.

December 22, 2015 10:48 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

2015... lessons learned.

Posted By Matthew Marcus

The year in review from a baby hobbyist. Overall, I have learned the following things:

1. Just because it is for sale doesn't mean it is a viable option. I ended up with an 8" Meade SCT OTA and although it gives me better views than my 4" Nexstar, I think I jumped into it too quick and should have saved for a better option.
2. I need to utilize more of you. Out of how many members there are, I hardly come here to ask questions. I have a resource at work that has been very helpful though!
3. Pride in your vision. I now know that it is good to have a vision before you start spending money on substitutes. Patience in this case does prevail.
4. As there is much more out there beyond our solar system, I started combing the skies for Messier objects later in the year. Open clusters and globs were really easy to locate, but I haven't experienced nebulae or galaxies. I think it is going to be very difficult to locate in heavily polluted skies along the Ohio river outside of Pittsburgh so I may have to take a trip. I didn't get a chance to focus in on Neptune or Uranus (which I was told will be small faint blue and greenish dots with my 8" SCT)as of yet either.
5. I am looking forward to Mars as I saw a lot of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn this year. I think I would like to take a look at Mercury as well.
6. I also learned a very important lesson concerning eyepieces. Yes, quality eyepieces make a difference, but not so much in a mediocre Scope. So I need to figure out a happy medium. I have a few different options now with a nice array of vintage Kellner/plossl eyepieces for my 8" Dob (which I need to figure out a weight system - received from a friend and I cleaned the mirror up. Seems to be made of cardboard kit?) and 4" Nextstar. I have a nice 2" eyepiece collection for the 8" Meade SCT and 80mm University Super Finder.
7. All in all, it was a good year of experimenting and hopefully I can learn a little bit more. I should probably read something other than the internet for my information too.

(Picture of setup to follow!)

May 6, 2016 08:41 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Goals Accomplished... Now all it does is rain.

Posted By Matthew Marcus

Since the End of 2015, I was given the advice of setting goals for 2016. Thus far I have had very limited time to think about anything too lofty, but I was able to get my University Superfinder in a good position for my 8 inch 2080 meade SCT. I have probably taken it out twice this year, which is a little depressing. However, I came by a nice 127mm Astrozap refractor and have taken it for a spin around 5 times and have been pleasantly surprised with what I have seen. Since it has a long focal length, 1200mm f/9, It gives a nice wide view for my 2" EPs and I can hit some decent magnifications with 1.25"s on good seeing evenings. (Of course the SCT is better for the magnifications without color aberration.)

I upgraded some of my 1.25" eyepieces and found that I can see why Tele Vue is highly regarded when you have a decent telescope to look through. I am in wait for testing out a few eyepieces as it has been cloudy and rainy in Pittsburgh for the last month... I have a 6.7mm ES 82 degree, Tele Vue 6mm Delos and an Antares SW 8.5-12mm zoom. I have high expectations for the Zoom and Delos but quite low ones for the ES. We'll see though.

I also came by the 2.1*40 Vixen Bins for constellation viewing per advice on learning the constellations. I have been really struggling with them and find them a little disorienting, so my goal with those are to adjust and then start running through constellations. I got the Bins because I live pretty close to downtown Pittsburgh and there is a lot of light pollution and in the least, a few more stars are visible than without them.

Other than that, I think this is the best I have viewed Jupiter thus far and I finally viewed Mercury as the sun was setting. Other than that, it has been a rainy first half of the year. Here is to hope that it clears up this summer.

Clear Skies,


June 26, 2017 04:36 PM Forum: Solar System Observing

Saturn and Jupiter before the clouds came...

Posted By Matthew Marcus

On Saturday night here in Pittsburgh, it was a decent evening to go out and just mess around comparing eyepieces, experimenting and enjoying my 127mm Astrozap (Which I believe Meade had them make their refractors) achromatic refractor. It is a nice 1200mm focal length that shows a nice violet halo on Jupiter and the Moon. After some back and forth on how to reduce the violet without purchasing another telescope, I came across two options.

The first was to look for the yellow 495 LP filter and the second a rather expensive Semi Apo Baader filter.

As I was reading up, I saw fairly inexpensive Baader 495 LP 1.25" filter so I picked it up. In the other corner, was the 2" Baader Semi Apo filter and I felt as though since I have 4 refractors that take 2" filters, why wouldn't I invest in their view if it helped? Which, after purchasing... I kicked myself for not picking it up from ATWB. Sorry Herb. I am always a bit off.

I went out and completely forgot about both filters and didn't use either. About an hour in to studying Jupiter, Saturn came into view and I quickly moved onto Saturn without any filters. Half way through the study, I remembered that my Semi APO filter was sitting in it's case inside the house.

I went in and dug it out of the leftovers box that I have for overflow and tightened it onto the diagonal. I reinserted the diagonal and started cranking up the magnification from the 13mm ethos, 8mm Delos, 7mm XW and 6mm Delos. My impression of the filter: shocked . I was blown away by the neutrality that the filter brought to the already proficient view of the eyepieces. Saturn looked absolutely spectacular in regards to detailing the cloud bands, rings and color. The seeing was okay but quickly changed cloudy right when I was going to swing back to Jupiter. After that was going to bump a UHC filter in and take a look at M81 and M82. It was a short session, but that was such an exciting view of solar system objects that I hadn't experienced prior. I feel like I have a few new telescopes by purchasing that Semi APO filter. Thank you Baader, it is an extremely nice filter.

June 27, 2017 04:37 AM Forum: Politics

So Bigly Sad

Posted By Matthew Marcus

It is sad to me that a site designed for discussing and trading astronomy has more conversations concerning "Politics" than discussing Astronomy. I see 107 new posts (according to Amart) and less than 10 new on actual observation.

The second sad thing is that no matter the conversation concerning politics, no one really cares about what their constituents believe or care to protect them. It is a money making scheme to lull you into believing that they are providing security and stability. Liberal, Conservative, Republican or Democrat... it doesn't matter. They win. They pin you against each other based on ideals that they could care less about. "Show me the money."

Have a nice day!

June 27, 2017 05:12 PM Forum: How to make AstroMart BETTER!! My idea is.....

No hate... all the love.

Posted By Matthew Marcus

I can't say that this is a complaint... it is probably more of a complaint about me. I never know what to type in the amount of time that I time out and hit, Post. Whether it is an ad or forum post, I need to type it up, copy and re-sign in.