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Any Astronomers out there?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Sam I Am, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Any of you guys Astronomers? If so, are you active and what telescope do you have?

    I've been a space nut since I was a kid. I had a telescope back then, but it was a cheap toy rather than an actual usable telescope.

    After years of just reading and watching I finally decided to take the plunge and buy a new telescope. I ended up getting a Zhumell Z10 Dobsonian telescope.


    It is a great starter scope, but it's a huge monstrosity weighing in at about 60lbs and standing over 4" tall. (I would recommend something smaller for a first telescope though) Once you get it setup and pointed at the sky the view is incredible!

    Saturn is already in the night sky as soon as it gets dark. While you can see it with the naked eye, once you put the telescope on it, you can see the rings and even several of it moons. Saturn is amazing to look at. If you haven't ever seen it through a telescope it's a must do.

    It looks about like this in my telescope, but actually viewing it makes it pop a bit more over just a picture. (must sharper image) This was taken with an 8" telescope, mine is a little bigger (10") and shows a little bit more detail. Not seeing any moons in this picture though. (usually you can't miss Titan as it's bigger than our moon)


    Some observatories have public open viewing nights. If so, you should check it out before Saturn isn't viewable anymore during the early evenings.
  2. Meat-O-Rama

    Meat-O-Rama Vegetarians are so stupid.

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    My son is 8 and is a huge astronomy nut. His enthusiasm has really gotten me a lot more interested in it. We bought him a cheap starter telscope for x-mas a couple of years ago. Even though it's nothing special, we've seena lot of great things with it. One of our favorites was the first time we were able to look at Saturn and make out the rings and even one of the moons.

    Would love to take the plunge and upgrade the telescope, but like everything, gotta wait until we have the funds available to do it.
  3. CliffnMesquite

    CliffnMesquite Well-Known Member

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    That seems like a nice hobby.
  4. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Looking down on you Staff Member

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  5. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Sweet. I was around 8 when I got my first telescope. I used to sit outside at night with the small tripod sitting on the car hood and aim it at anything I could see.

    Next time you take it out and are checking things out, tell me what you see!

    Also, check out Stellarium. It's free software (Windows / Linux / Mac OSX) that maps the sky and whats up there. You can zoom in on things too. I bet your son would love it! The best thing about it is it will tell you what you can see from where you are at a specific moment. (The stars / planets / clusters / nebula move in real-time to their actual location in the sky)
  6. Duane

    Duane Well-Known Member

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    My dad, brother and I used to do quite a bit of stargazing with a telescope but the city put in a street light in front of the house and the backyard was no good because of the trees.

    On a side note if you don't already own Cosmos buy it now. Some of the science is old since it was made 30 years ago but it's still a great look at the Universe. That and Carl Sagan is brilliant.

  7. Meat-O-Rama

    Meat-O-Rama Vegetarians are so stupid.

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    Stellarium is great indeed.

    I also have http://www.distantsuns.com/ for the iPhone when we are out and about.

    My bro in law has http://vitotechnology.com/star-walk.html which is supposed to be pretty cool as well.

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