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Thread: Hello from Philly

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    Default Hello from Philly



    Greetings, everyone! I'm very glad to have found this incredible community, which has already helped me immensely while get started with this incredibly satisfying hobby.

    I'm an all-around science nerd who enjoys travel, adventure, music, spending time with good people, learning about the fantastic and mysterious universe we live in, and respecting/enjoying this awesome and rare planet we were lucky enough to be born on.

    Thanks to my incredibly awesome girlfriend and our families (she sneakily coordinated a group effort that resulted in everyone pitching in to make sure I got a fantastic scope for my b'day since she knew I'd never buy a "grown up" [read: expensive] one for myself), I'm now the proud owner of a C8 SCT (Nexstar SE), which I'm planning to use mainly as a "grab-n-drive-about-an-hour" scope since I live literally in the center of Philadelphia's light polluted skies.

    Fortunately, there are several (comparatively) dark places to go ~1hr from Philly that are close enough for a spontaneous observing session if skies are clear. IN a couple of weeks I'm going to Cherry Springs (a dark sky preserve) for the very first time, which will be a real treat (if the weather cooperates - fingers crossed).

    Even in my back yard a half mile from the center of Philadelphia and its polluted skies, I was stunned to see how many stars I could see once was able to focus on bright targets (e.g. Spica, Arcturus, Vega, etc). I was also very happy to see a perfectly aligned ring pattern when I checked collimation; I defocused Spica and saw a beautiful thick blue ring around the sublimely centered secondary obstruction. I feel lucky whew.gifand hope the collimation lasts a while.

    I had to pack it in last night before I could get much further (it was past midnight before the clouds gave way - something I'm sure you can all relate to), but I'm quite excited to get past the basics and start studying the cosmos with the range of eyepieces I picked up when I got the scope - it came with a stock diagonal & 50* 25mm plossl (which I used for alignment last night). Thus far I've picked up a set of X-Cel LX 60* EPs (9, 12, & 18mm - sold at a nice discount with the scope) that I haven't yet used, and should get my Agena 70* 20mm illuminated double-crosshair reticle EP tomorrow (which I expect to improve alignment speed & quality).

    I'm trying to avoid going nuts with accessories and use the "don't buy it unless you need it to solve a specific problem you've experienced while actually observing AND solving that problem is worth the money" approach from here on out. Let's see how long that philosophy lasts wink.gif

    I already have some basic necessities, of course - 12V 7A power tank, 12V 2.5A AC adapter (for backyard), red led flashlight, and a stock red dot finder. I also got some nice-to-have things including a UHC/LPR (contrast) filter and a 12.5% transmission moon filter. New stuff arriving soon includes a SE8-notched Astrozap dew shield, anti-vibration pads ($23 knockoffs), the SkyPortal wifi adapter, and a lens cleaning pen. A frugal hobby this is not!

    Just wanted to introduce myself here and thank this community for existing. I'm happy to be a part of it! I'd welcome general advice and tips on which destinations are worth adding to my "where's the best place to observe tonight?" list of observing sites.

    Since Cherry Springs is a 4.5 hour drive for us, I've found the following sites less than a 2 hour drive from Philadelphia:



    I haven't yet confirmed afterhours availability/access details/etc. for the sites below, but they seem viable:

    Any I should add/remove? Clear skies, everyone!
    helicon64, Prowler75, Ylem and 1 others like this.

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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Hello and welcome to the forum!
    Michael
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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Hello and welcome to the Forum! Nice introduction!!

    Dave
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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Hello and Welcome, auximinus!
    Dave Hunt

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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Thanks, Dave & Michael!
    helicon64 and combat48 like this.
    Jesse

    C8 Nexstar SE SCT

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to auximinus For This Useful Post:

    helicon64 (07-10-2017)

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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Hi Jesse! Welcome to the forum and thanks a bunch for joining us!

    I've heard lots of great things about Cherry Springs. Don't know about any of the other sites. We have lots of PA members here, so hopefully one of those members will chime in too.

    Bryan

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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Welcome to the forum!
    Lea

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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Hi Jesse welcome to the forum,hope you enjoy your new scope.
    Andy

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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Hello auximinus! Thanks for the great introduction! Looks like you are loaded up, both scope-wise and mentally, for a great time. I look forward to reading about your adventures.
    Bill Steen
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    Default Re: Hello from Philly

    Hello and Welcome, auximinus! Very nice intro.

    Clear skies, Steve

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