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  1. #1
    Kondi's Avatar
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    Default Starting the hobby, a few concerns



    Hello,

    I've been thinking picking up astronomy for a few years now. I've lurked here for a year or two as well, reading pretty much everything about everything astronomy related (well, not quite) and it has been a huge help. I think I have the setup nailed down which would best suit my needs (just basic visual observation).

    However I still have one major concern. I can't help but think that my telescope might be all but useless during the summers here in the north (southern Finland). There is very little light pollution in my area but the summer nights are very bright. I guess I could still observe the moon and some planets but will I be able to see any DSOs at all?

    Also, I hope the telescope and the the pieces I've chosen are compatible with each other. Unfortunately there are no nearby star parties or astronomy shops where I could test eyepieces but I think I have a good starter selection. Perhaps slightly more expensive than what I should spend when starting but from what I've read and understood, I can't go wrong with these.

    I've learned that there are some issues when certain eyepieces/telescopes/barlows are combined: 1) eyepiece+barlow is too heavy for the telescope, 2) the focuser can't focus close or far enough with certain eyepiece+barlow combinations, 3) some eyepieces don't work well with telescopes that are too fast, 4) the barlow doesn't properly fit in the focuser. Perhaps someone can say if I'll run into any problems with these:

    Telescope
    Orion Skyquest XT8 (focal length = 1200mm, aperture = 203mm, focal ratio = F6, focuser = 2", 1.25")

    Eyepieces
    Sirius Plössl | 10mm | 1.25" | (240x), (180x), 120x | 52° (comes with the telescope)
    Sirius Plössl | 25mm | 1.25" | (96x), (72x), 48x | 52° (comes with the telescope)
    Skywatcher Panaview | 32mm | 2" | (75x), (56x), 38x | 70°
    Astro ED Barlow | 2x, 1.5x | 2", 1.25" (same as the GSO barlow I think)

    Sirius Plössls are decent quality from what I've read. I really want the Panaview to help me navigate the sky better, for better views of the larger DSOs and for the "spacewalk" view although I know it won't be the same as the expensive 100°+ eyepieces. I hope the barlow properly works with all three eyepieces and gives me a nice range of magnifications with the 2x and 1.5x options. Filters would be nice but I think I will get them later.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    jproffitt1's Avatar
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    Default

    Looks to me as if you have a nice set-up there. What type of finder scope are you using on your scope?

  4. #3
    Cladinator's Avatar
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    Default

    That sounds like a very good setup to me. I would also think about getting a Telrad, charts, and a zoom EP. Those things are luxuries that COULD be done without (they are nice, though).
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  5. #4
    Maverick199's Avatar
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    Default

    However I still have one major concern. I can't help but think that my telescope might be all but useless during the summers here in the north (southern Finland). There is very little light pollution in my area but the summer nights are very bright. I guess I could still observe the moon and some planets but will I be able to see any DSOs at all?
    You have light pollution? I can tell you one thing for sure. The amount of light pollution I contend with will make you think you are living under dark skies. I can see DSO's, plenty of them. It's all about waiting for those nights and using whatever chance you get to take your scope out. Just shield your scope against direct lights and you should be fine. There are plenty of clusters too.
    Z8.
    Telrad.
    "So many questions, so much to learn, so little time".

  6. #5
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    Default

    Yes, summer nights up near the artic circle are never realy dark as the sun never gets more than 15 degrees below the norther horizon. However, summer does not last all that long up there, either.

    And you will have plenty of dark nights the rest of the year.

    An F/6 scope is pretty easy on EPs, Plössls will work just fine.

    The 32mm will Barlow to be a 16mm, the 25mm will Barlow to be a 12.5mm. The F/6 scope will want no more than 6mm as the highest power you will use, and 2X Barlowing the 10mm will create a 5mm. So, you may end up wanting an 8mm and a 6mm to round out the set (but these can wait).

  7. #6
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    Default

    It appears you have done well and this will get you started. The XT8 is a great scope and will meet your requirements. A good finder scope is all I see missing from your list. Clear skies!
    CHUCK WALTERS SCOPES: Celestron 1100 XLT; EdgeHD 800; Exp. Sci. ED80 APO; AR102; Orion 10" f/4 Astrograph; XT8 LE; Astro Tech AT72ED Coronado SolarMax II 60 BF15 MOUNTS: Celestron CGEM DX; CG-5GT; NexStar 6/8SE CAMERAS: JTW Ice Cube 650D BCF; JTW Ultimate 1100D v3; IS DBK21AU618; DMK21AU04 ZWO ASI120MC; ASI120MM SOFTWARE: StarTools 1.3; PixInsight; RegiStax 6; PHD; BYEOS; APT 2.0; FireCapture 2.2

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  8. #7
    sxinias's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi, Welcome to the Astronomy Forum and thanks for signing up. Nice kit you've selected. You have done your homework very well. A telrad will go nicely with the finder scope on the SkyWatcher.
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  9. #8
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    Default

    Hello and welcome to the forum. You seem to have done your homework and did well with a scope and accessories. As for light pollution, try seeing here in NYC! But even with terrible seeing conditions here, I can still see plenty of DSO so no need to worry, you will do fine!

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  10. #9
    Kondi's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! Thinking that I wouldn't be able to use the scope during summers is the main thing that's been holding me back from astronomy but as you say, the summers aren't so long either.

    The XT8 comes with a red dot finder. For some reason I imagined that telrads are expensive but now I see the price isn't unreasonable. I'll definitely get one at some point.

  11. #10
    jproffitt1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kondi View Post
    For some reason I imagined that telrads are expensive but now I see the price isn't unreasonable. I'll definitely get one at some point.
    With what you already have and your plans for including a Telrad (or Rigel Quick Finder) you look to be set for some serious observing.

 

 
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