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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

How do you use a home telescope?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (16097points) 1 month ago

I have had three refractor telescopes, when I was a kid, and other than looking at Mars and Jupiter everything else was just a bigger dot? What legal fun things could I have done with a small refractor telescope? On the plus side I did get exempt from curfew since 10 years old.

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13 Answers

ucme's avatar

Legal? :D
You could always zoom in on uranus!!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I bought one for my husband a few years ago. We look at the skies when we have bonfires.
I couldn’t tell you much about it as he is the one with interest in that sort of thing but… there is something called digi-scoping in which one uses the telescope with your camera to get closer to your subject.
I was able to take pictures of baby great horned owls in a nest that way but the photos were not very sharp.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@ucme Sorry I’m not that flexible. I might hurt myself. :D .

ucme's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 Shame though eh? :D

gondwanalon's avatar

I’ve got a Bushnell that is supposed to be 600 power.
Cool to look at our moon. That’s about it.

Pinguidchance's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 How do you use a home telescope?

Ever mindful of keeping up with the Joneses’ verve, panache, elan and flair for ostentatious display, I use the telescope to stage the view.

Caravanfan's avatar

I have a home telescope. I take pictures with it.
https://flic.kr/p/2hSJ3uu

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have a couple, a 5” reflector and a 70mm refractor, neither are very nice or expensive but they are at least portable. I could use some better eyepieces though. I live near a big city so having a 12” dob does not make too much sense. I was a member of the local astronomical society for about a year but their star parties usually involved a lengthy drive out of the city and I just did not have the time for it. I use a pair of 80mm binoculars for most things now. Recently I have been playing with the “astro photography” mode on my google pixel and the results are a little surprising. Makes me want to do it for real like @Caravanfan does.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me . Agreed. @Caravanfan is my hero too!
I have a 6” Newtonian, an old Dynascope, that has a mirror as perfect as can be had for a reasonable cost. It was reworked by some friends at Kodak. I mostly use my Nikon 8×40 Binocs when I want to show people interesting objects, usually Andromeda.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

M31 is little more than a slight fuzzy patch on a good night here. About a two hour drive yields some nice views of it though. I keep looking for a deal on a “real” scope to show up on the local Craigslist or marketplace. I have seen several old Dynascopes on ebay, they look to be high quality. Mine are just a step or two above Christmas trash scopes sadly.

Caravanfan's avatar

Thanks guys. It’s something I probably spend too much time doing. But I like the challenge.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me There is (soon to be deleted) a Yahoo Dynascope group where people share parts, tips, and photos, with cult-like enthusiasm. My mirror was polished, and measured in the lab, to 1/13 of a wavelength! That was as near to perfection as reasonably possible. My polisher/engineer friend said he could take off 1 nm at a time! We tried, unsuccessfully, to use it to communicate by using light bounce off clouds or distant buildings.
We eventually moved to EME on VHF using WSJT. That worked so well we never looked back.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

^^ I love it when you can buy something and keep it your whole life and it just need a little maintenance. If something broke on the scope I have it would not be worth repairing.

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