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Thread: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

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    Default Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida



    Greetings from Florida. About a year ago I caught a nasty bug. How nasty? Nasty enough that I bought a Celestron 6SE on a whim, not knowing much about telescopes at all, but armed with a list of reviews for the telescope on Amazon which said it was a decent telescope to buy.

    IMG_20181107_181237.jpg

    And it was glorious. I saw stars, binary stars, open and globular clusters, and planets (despite the light pollution in south Florida), and I loved it, for all of 1 hour and then I realized I couldn't see anything anymore. The humidity in Florida had beaten me and dewed everything to a standstill. Surely this called for a radical solution. I wanted the beautiful views through my eyepiece back.

    After watching some Youtube videos, I realized I needed a heating system, a better finder than the cheap and nasty red-dot finder, etc., and a few pricey purchases later I had this....

    IMG_20181107_181423.jpg

    Problem solved. I was back in business and enjoying every second of it, until one day in the darkness I became entangled in the long cable I was running from my house to my telescope to power everything and nearly toppled headfirst into the pool. So I consulted Youtube again and I came up with the solution, 12V batteries.

    IMG_20181107_181320.jpg

    Everything was once again right with the world. I was floating through the clouds of amateur astronomy paradise and nothing could slow me down. Then I discovered something....astronomy forums were a thing. So I started lurking in here and found out that for someone who had relied on instincts and Youtube videos, I had actually done ok. had I known about this forum, I might have done things a little differently, but considering my lack of experience I was pleased to discover I had actually done ok for myself.

    But the astronomy Gods are fickle. They giveth and they taketh...and after experimenting with white light solar filters, only to be disappointed by the lack of solar activity, I discovered in this forum that H-Alpha solar telescopes were a thing. So this forum worked it's magic, my wallet cried in pain, and the mailman delivered this to me...

    IMG_20181102_202122.jpg

    Now I truly was a king....well, at least a properly equipped beginner. Surely I had all the gadgets I would need for countless days and nights of valuable and fun solar and nightly astronomy. But then I did the one thing people with too much money in their pockets should never do. I came back here to lurk around, and discovered that double stacking solar telescopes were a possibility and would probably enhance my solar astronomy experience. By now you know where this is going...

    IMG_20181102_202144.jpg

    So after lurking here for many months, and spending so much money as a result, I figured I may as well properly introduce myself. Greetings, friends. I'm glad to finally be able to share my experience and introduce myself to this community. I can't wait to read your comments and actively participate in this forum. For now I'm just a visual astronomer, but there's always the possibility I might be tempted to tackle astrophotography too at some point in the future.
    helicon64, Makuser, Peppy2 and 8 others like this.

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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Hello and welcome to the forums
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    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102XL f/13.2, Celestron 102 f/6.5, 2-150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)
    Refractors kick arse precisely because they don't hide behind excuses. That is, they have no obstructions to hide behind.

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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Welcome to the Forums. South Florida you say? how far south? I am part of Heartland Astronomical Society based out of Highlands county that has some darker skies than Miami area does. Anyway Clear skies and good luck
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    Celestron 4 1/2 114 mm Newtonian Telescope 910 F/L GT Mount AKA Frankenscope.
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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Hello Sallent, and welcome to the forum!
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    ~Frankie~ My mind: Always on...Slightly off.
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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Hahaha! Awesome!

    Yeah, I started out with a little hand-me-over 60mm refractor, and then a 10×50 binocular. Now, 6 more binoculars and 10 more scopes later...

    The rule is to cross one item off the top of your wishlist and add three more to the bottom. One purchase begets another...

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for joining us!

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    Bryan
    Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; ES AR127 f/9.4; Stellarvue SV102T f/7; ES AR102 f/9.8; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Meade NG60 f/10
    Mounts: Celestron AVX; Bresser EXOS-2; ES Twilight I; ES Twilight II; iOptron Cube-G; AZ3/wood tripod; Vixen Polaris
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    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100

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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Welcome aboard thanks for joining us
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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Hahaha! Awesome!

    Yeah, I started out with a little hand-me-over 60mm refractor, and then a 10×50 binocular. Now, 6 more binoculars and 10 more scopes later...

    The rule is to cross one item off the top of your wishlist and add three more to the bottom. One purchase begets another...

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for joining us!

    Thanks for reminding me, I do have a pair of Oberwerk 9x60 binoculars that I use for astronomy, airplane spotting, bird spotting, etc.

    IMG_20181107_192102.jpg

    I'd love to add more binoculars eventually. I've been considering some 20x80s on a mount for quick astronomical observations on days when I don't feel like setting up the telescope but want to make some observations.
    Last edited by Sallent; 11-08-2018 at 12:33 AM.
    bladekeeper and dagadget like this.

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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Quote Originally Posted by dagadget View Post
    Welcome to the Forums. South Florida you say? how far south? I am part of Heartland Astronomical Society based out of Highlands county that has some darker skies than Miami area does. Anyway Clear skies and good luck
    I am in northern Miami-Dade...so pretty far south. I am far enough away from the worst of the light polution in Miami, so on a typical night I can still get decent planetary views, see a bunch of binary stars and clusters, and even make up the glow of Orion, though other nebulas and galaxies elude me for now due to the light polution. I do plan to eventually take my telescope to dark sites and unleash it's full potential.
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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Quote Originally Posted by Sallent View Post
    I am in northern Miami-Dade...so pretty far south. I am far enough away from the worst of the light polution in Miami, so on a typical night I can still get decent planetary views, see a bunch of binary stars and clusters, and even make up the glow of Orion, though other nebulas and galaxies elude me for now due to the light polution. I do plan to eventually take my telescope to dark sites and unleash it's full potential.
    When you do you will really like the results. There are Astronomy clubs in that area that have star parties in the Keys you might want ot look one up as they are usually held Feb-March and sometimes into April. http://www.scas.org/Home/WinterStarParty
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    Default Re: Amateur astronomy saga in south Florida

    Well done Sallent. Your instincts were good!
    Looks like a nice cosy warm instrument you have there.
    Congrats on going solar as well. Can't say I want to go that way myself until there is something to be seen on the sun. When?????
    Sallent likes this.

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    CR 6 150 mm f8 refractor . AVX mount. 80mm guide scope with Nexguide. Canon EOS rebel 3 Ti DSLR. Canon Rebel XS DIY modified. I- Optron skytracker. Sky Watcher 8 inch collapsible Dob. 30 mm, 25 mm ,20 mm, 15 mm, 10 mm ,8.8 mm EPS plus plus plus. Cometron 12 x 70 binos plus a couple of 6X42 birders. Sky Watcher PRO ED 80 mm. UHC/LPR, OIII, UV/IR cut filters . Flip mirror. 5 mW green Laser pointer. Telrad donated to Rick18704-Lots of hope. Lousy skies.

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