how big is yours? ( The M42 Astronomy Thread)

3833 posts since 8 Sep, 2003 from Santa Clara, CA, USA

Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:10 am

sickle666 wrote:Sorry, Tim, I meant the end pointing towards the sky. That's where a dew shield is applied.

Dew shields are also excellent light baffles & can enhance contrast on moonlit nights when light scatter from a full or near full moon can wash out your image contrast.

A construction paper one only has enoug integrity to hold up one night at a time, but it's so cheap you can make em dozens of times before you equate the cost of a commercial dew shield.

Of course, once you buy one, that's that.

You choice, but you're the hands on type if I know anything..There's other materials besides construction paper you can use. All you need is a strip of velcro on both ends & make sure the material is cut to the exact length of your outer tube's diameter & badda-boom-badda-bing, you're done :D
Your right..I am the hands on type. Made one last night from blue poster board. Fits like a glove. Had a great session last night with my new rig. Got the Ring Nebula!( in Lyra) a small donut in the sky.

EDIT: actually just did one better. i found an old bucket. Cut out the bottom, cleaned it up, and it fits perfectly over the apature of my 6EQ. Guess I can call my scope a "Light Bucket!!" :lol: :lol:
Looks kinda funky. Maybe I can paint it black sometime to fit in with my black scope color.But,..IT WORKS!


6127 posts since 1 Apr, 2004 from Et in Arcadia Ego

Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:30 am

Tim, use a flat black inside the bucket & you will greatly enhance it's use as a light baffle.

3833 posts since 8 Sep, 2003 from Santa Clara, CA, USA

Post Thu Sep 23, 2004 9:23 am

Just wanted to bring this up, with perhaps some tips and observations on a not so used aspect of our craft. Sketching!

First of all, just to make one thing clear: YOU DON'T NEED TO BE AN ARTIST TO SKETCH YOUR FOV! It does not matter if you can't draw a stright line. Lines are not required. However..observation is!

Why sketch it? Why not just take a pic of it? One of the main reasons for sketching is to improve your powers of observation. It's one thing to look into the eyepiece. Its quite another to actually put down what you see on paper. When forced to do that, you will see more. Stars you thought were not there all of sudden leap out at you. and you can record it. You will also see patterns of stars , such as cicles, triangles, squares in which you can quickly draw in.

The first thing to do is to get a notebook. I have one without lines, and fairly compact so it's easy to carry into the feild ( or backyard) Some notebooks come with one page blank, and another with lines, so you can mix notes with sketches. You can also use those "journal" types notebooks, as long as you can find one without lines ( although if the lines do not bother you..then use it) You can also personalize the notebook by pasting your fav galaxy or DSO on the cover and back ( I have the Orion nebula on mine :-) The notebook becomes an extension of you. Something to look back on through the years, as well as what you have learned in the craft.

Use a pensel, not a pen. The mechanical pensels are good for this and can also be clipped onto the notebook rings when not in use.

Next is to get a red light that can be independent, so you don't need to hold it while sketching. My solution was to hang a red filtered small lantern from the tripod of my scope, and placing a board across the eyepiece holder to act as a desk. ( two in one, and makes for less setup time as well) Some Red lights made for astronomical use allow you to hang it around your neck which is also a solution.

You also need a round template in which to draw the FOV. I use a lens cap from my 50MM refractor, but things found around the house that allow you to draw a circle ( jar lids) will do fine. You can also purchase round templates at a stationary store. A nicely drawn round circle instead of trying to hand draw a circle greatly improves the look of your drawings! lines or artistic talent is needed! got M31 in your eye-piece. Time to do a sketch. Open your notebook, put in the date and observing conditions and what object you are sketching as well as eyepeiece and magnification. Use your circle template to draw in the FOV . Now look into the eyepiece. Start by putting in the stars around the edges. Look for patterns that can help you record the stars quickly. You are only putting dots on paper, with perhaps larger dots for brighter stars. artistic talent's only dots on paper!

Then put in the actual deep sky object. If it's a galaxy or a globular cluster, darken the brightest part and go outwards. Then using your finger, smudge it so the pencil lines are not there, but you see a nice "fuzz" to it, and looking more like the object in your scope then pencil lines. I have found smudging really works for a lot of deep sky objects. In some open clusters, you can see where there are more stars you can't see behind the brighters ones. Smudge it to indicate this, with the brighter stars left there for comparison! Smudging also works great on nebulas as well.

Also as mentioned, the more you view what is in the eyepiece, the more details you will see and even more stars leap out at you. Another techique is to use "averted vision" which is looking off to the side of the FOV. More will present itself. Record it as you see it!

For open star clusters, you are looking for patterns to easily put down the dots into the notebooks FOV. You will be very surprized on all the different patterns you will see and seem to form "sub-constellations" on thier own. On some of my sketches, I have even drawn in the patterns, like half circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles.For example, did you know that the double cluster in perseus is surrounded by a square of six bright stars holding the double cluster in?

Now the moon and planets are a different subject altogether.
For the moon, it would be impossible to draw in the whole FOV as there is so much detail. So concentrate on a single crater. Use high magnification to zero in on the crater you want to observe. Then sketch in roughly the area by using circles ( for craters) and rough areas of the sea's. Then go for shading, which may take some artistic talent, but you are only drawing what you see. Again, the more you observe it, the more detail you will see.

After making your sketch, add notes:a personal description of the object, just as if you were a Herschel or Messier seeing the object for the first time.

The main purpose of sketching is to increase your observing skills, not make artistic renderings of the sky ( although it may go in that direction!) It also becomes a personal record, one that you can treasure for years as you become more learned and skilled in the craft of deep sky exploration.

Tim Conrardy

hao nao
3057 posts since 9 Apr, 2003

Post Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:52 pm


the sky over Gainesville finally cleared tonight

a couple weeks ago I bought a pair of rubber-coated Nikon Action 10x50 binocs at Walmart, which turned out to be on sale for $40

very cool just to go out for a few minutes and see so many more stars :love:
5 twelve

111 posts since 1 Oct, 2004

Post Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:31 pm

Just so as not be left out.....

10" Meade LX200 w/HP

CB Camera


111 posts since 1 Oct, 2004

Post Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:07 pm

+ 3.6GHz cpu, cables, cables and more cables...:-)


620 posts since 18 May, 2007

Post Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:53 pm

Meade ETX 90. Got it soon after it came out and they had the deal going for the literal case of lenses for like 100 bucks extra :) Which reminds me I need to get it out and use it hehe

443 posts since 29 Jan, 2007 from Vienna, Austria

Post Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:37 am

Meade LX200GPS 10" with piggybacked 4" ED Apo.

Didn't know so may fellow amateur astronomers are around here :-)
daRem - PinkLime Studios

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