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For those of you interested in astronomy, there are a couple events coming up soon tht you might want to know about.

First. There will be an annular solar eclipse on May 20. This will primarily be visible from the western half of the US - roughly from the panhandle of Texas up to Oregon. See this link for more information, maps, viewing tips, etc.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... 37803.html

If you live in the shaded area, you should be able to see it (depending on cloud cover). West of the Utah/Nevada border will see the complete eclipse.


Second. Venus will make a transit of the sun on June 5th. While this happened as recently as 8 years ago, it will not happen again in your lifetime. At least part of the transit is visible from pretty much all of the US. See this site for info:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... 32798.html
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cool stuff. Thanks.
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The Jupiter Saturn proximity thing has been happening on North America's West horizon for the past several weeks. Every evening I take a look to compare their relative view and change each evening. Last week the Moon was right there with them both.
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The Jupiter Saturn proximity thing has been happening on North America's West horizon for the past several weeks. Every evening I take a look to compare their relative view and change each evening. Last week the Moon was right there with them both.
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Jupiter/Venus


Saturn rises in the east a little after sunset.
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feral pig wrote:For those of you interested in astronomy, there are a couple events coming up soon tht you might want to know about.

First. There will be an annular solar eclipse on May 20. This will primarily be visible from the western half of the US - roughly from the panhandle of Texas up to Oregon. See this link for more information, maps, viewing tips, etc.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... 37803.html

If you live in the shaded area, you should be able to see it (depending on cloud cover). West of the Utah/Nevada border will see the complete eclipse.


Second. Venus will make a transit of the sun on June 5th. While this happened as recently as 8 years ago, it will not happen again in your lifetime. At least part of the transit is visible from pretty much all of the US. See this site for info:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... 32798.html

You saying I'm not going to make it to 147? C'mon man, I've been working out....
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I'll give you 10:1 odds. Send me $1.000 tomorrow, and if you're still alive at 147, I'll send $10,000 back.
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The BlueBeards wrote:The Jupiter Saturn proximity thing has been happening on North America's West horizon for the past several weeks. Every evening I take a look to compare their relative view and change each evening. Last week the Moon was right there with them both.


we have an old enormous telescope that we used the other night to look. awesome stuff. my girls were awe struck and want a newer better telescope. (this thing is OLD)
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HurricaneNamedDitka wrote:
The BlueBeards wrote:The Jupiter Saturn proximity thing has been happening on North America's West horizon for the past several weeks. Every evening I take a look to compare their relative view and change each evening. Last week the Moon was right there with them both.


we have an old enormous telescope that we used the other night to look. awesome stuff. my girls were awe struck and want a newer better telescope. (this thing is OLD)


If you're serious, I would strongly recommend a Meade or Celestron scope with auto-find. You basically just set it up, and then there's a remote control that you just select the object you want to view and it automatically goes right to it. Here's one reasonably price example:


http://www.opticsplanet.net/meade-etx70at.html
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thats not bad. i really thought i would have to spend upwards to 1000 bucks for a new one or happened upon one on CL.
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You can spend pretty much however much you want on a telescope. The more you spend, the bigger the lens, and therefore the more you see. For occasional, casual observing, an ETX 80 (or, better, an ETX 90) are pretty nice.

If you want to go up to say $1,000, you can get an ETX-125, The numbers refer to the size of the objective lens in mm. So a 125 is a little less than 5", and a 90 is roughly 3.5 inches.

Obviously, the bigger the objective, the more light it gathers, and more objects can be seen.

Regardless, don't expect to see awesome spiral galaxies like you see in pictures on the web - those are long-time exposures done with professional grade telescopes. At best, galaxies will appear as fuzzy little blobs of light on anything you might ever be tempted to buy.

Planets, on the other hand, are quite impressive. Take the girls out late some night and show them the rings of Saturn - by far the most impressive telescope object (well, maybe the Moon is right up there). Jupiter is pretty cool too - as well as it's 4 largest moons - easily visible in even small telescopes.
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awesome thanks for the tip. i'll get more info on the one my father has it could be junk, it could be a good one.
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feral pig wrote:You can spend pretty much however much you want on a telescope. The more you spend, the bigger the lens, and therefore the more you see. For occasional, casual observing, an ETX 80 (or, better, an ETX 90) are pretty nice.

If you want to go up to say $1,000, you can get an ETX-125, The numbers refer to the size of the objective lens in mm. So a 125 is a little less than 5", and a 90 is roughly 3.5 inches.

Obviously, the bigger the objective, the more light it gathers, and more objects can be seen.

Regardless, don't expect to see awesome spiral galaxies like you see in pictures on the web - those are long-time exposures done with professional grade telescopes. At best, galaxies will appear as fuzzy little blobs of light on anything you might ever be tempted to buy.

Planets, on the other hand, are quite impressive. Take the girls out late some night and show them the rings of Saturn - by far the most impressive telescope object (well, maybe the Moon is right up there). Jupiter is pretty cool too - as well as it's 4 largest moons - easily visible in even small telescopes.


How about nebulas? My experience with my 'manual' one is exactly as you described: Saturn is king and the 11 moons (most I've counted) of Jupiter are badass too. Mars was disappointing. I like the moon simply because it's easiest for my kids to see. But the scopes you mention appear to be much easier to use. Which is impressive - it's not easy to track something manually with a telescope and a couple of X/Y-axis tuners (whatever the hell those knobs are that I turn in synch to 'track' planets as earth rotates).
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feral pig wrote:You can spend pretty much however much you want on a telescope. The more you spend, the bigger the lens, and therefore the more you see. For occasional, casual observing, an ETX 80 (or, better, an ETX 90) are pretty nice.

If you want to go up to say $1,000, you can get an ETX-125, The numbers refer to the size of the objective lens in mm. So a 125 is a little less than 5", and a 90 is roughly 3.5 inches.

Obviously, the bigger the objective, the more light it gathers, and more objects can be seen.

Regardless, don't expect to see awesome spiral galaxies like you see in pictures on the web - those are long-time exposures done with professional grade telescopes. At best, galaxies will appear as fuzzy little blobs of light on anything you might ever be tempted to buy.

Planets, on the other hand, are quite impressive. Take the girls out late some night and show them the rings of Saturn - by far the most impressive telescope object (well, maybe the Moon is right up there). Jupiter is pretty cool too - as well as it's 4 largest moons - easily visible in even small telescopes.



great info feral. I'm going to look into that one you posted. My boys would love it.
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Here's a good article on choosing a telescope. There are a lot of options to consider.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/equipmen ... page=1&c=y

I usually recommend the "Go-To" scopes. Once aligned, they track objects automatically and will locate objects for you, which takes a lot of the frustration out of observing. Just my opinion, though. As the article mentions, you can get a bigger objective (better optics) for the same price if you go with a simpler mount. Doesn't matter how good the optics are if you don't use it, though.
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