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HI, Im new both to the site and astronomy. My name is Ed, I'm 31 and live in Tinley park. I just got a Bushnell Ares which is a 5" Dob. So far I am loving it, The first time I got the moon into focus my jaw dropped. I have been using the "astropanel" and "SKeye" apps on my phone to help me explore.
my scope came with a 10mm and 25mm super plossl eyepieces but I would like some other sizes or should I get a barlow next?
Any help apprciated, hope to go to a star party someday.
Welcome, Ed. I got my first telescope as a Christmas present 54 years ago when I was 12. It was a 3-inch reflector called a Moonscope. I was frustrated by clouds for three days. Then my jaw too dropped at the sight of sharply focused craters and mountains on a beautiful Half Moon. Before long I “discovered” the phases of Venus, the satellites of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn. I was hooked. Now I present previews of these objects on my website: www.CurtRenz.com/astronomical . Enjoy your new hobby and your time here with friends at Joe’s Chicago Astronomer website and during his star parties.
Hi Ed and welcome! Congrats on the new scope. I got my first adult scope at Christmas a few yrs ago and it was a pretty long winter waiting to get to really use it.
A Barlow will effectively double your magnification on any eyepiece, giving you 12.5mm and 5mm. 12.5-15mm is a really good viewing area for that scope. 5mm would only work under excellent seeing, which does happen here but not terribly frequently. With your current setup, a Barlow is really getting you one more 12.5mm view. If it were me, I'd probably look at trusty Plossl eyepieces, and I'd search around for a wider field eyepiece in the 30's and then something around 15-16mm, or even something in low 30's plus a Barlow. For example, a 34mm eyepiece with a Barlow would give you 34, 25, 17, 12.5, 10, 5. That's a pretty good range. On my 4.5" scope, I find myself hanging out all night mostly with a 34mm a 15mm and a Barlow. If you want 2 eyepieces and a Barlow, I'd go in that range.
That's my experience. Others here may give you different ideas.
If you're unsure, or want to be sure about your purchase, hang out with what you've got for a while. You can see A LOT with 25mm+10mm. Then later find time to meet up with some of us, or any pal who has more eyepieces and try them out in your scope. Try before you buy is never bad! Star parties are great for this.
One thing it took me a while to learn is that, for several reasons, higher magnification is NOT the objective while observing. First, atmospheric seeing varies from night to night, hour to hour, and even minute to minute. Seeing is the amount of atmospheric turbulence between you and space. It can make things look under water or like the roiling air over hot asphalt on a summer day. Seeing conditions limit the magnification we can use on planets and the moon and still get a crisp image. Bad seeing calls for lower magnification. Higher magnification also dims fainter objects like deep space objects (DSOs). Just as in a camera, zooming in decreases the amount of light hitting the chip/film, increasing magnification dims most faint DSOs like galaxies, nebulae, & some fainter globular clusters. This effect can be very noticeable in the city as we compete against light pollution.
So, our first instinct is to crank up the magnification as high as we can. And sometimes I still do this on the right object at the right time, or sometimes just for fun because I can. But most of the time, you'll likely find a sweet spot for your telescope and what you like to observe. My guess is that it will probably be between 12-15mm for planets and maybe up to 38-42mm for a nice wide field. I do have eyepieces on either side of that, but they rarely get used on that size scope. Like I said, most nights I am perfectly happy with those two eyepieces and a Barlow lens, along with a moon filter. That's kinda it.
I have become a bit of a gear head with my scopes, but when I get set up and observing, on most nights what I'm using is suddenly the least important part of the evening's fun. The good stuff is found out there and most of my energy is put into finding & observing. Tracking stuff, checking differences from night to night, & hunting down (or trying to) one or two unlikely or more difficult objects per session. I also get a huge kick out of sharing those views with others and explaining what I can about the objects to those that care to listen...and a few who don't.
Those are the things that ultimately make me smile.
So yeah, get a few new pieces of gear, cuz that's fun & useful too. You'll see posts on here from some of us agonizing over purchases & decisions. But once you have them, the fun is really in familiarizing yourself with what's out there. No gear can do that for you. They're tools. The fun will come with you and a scope, some star charts, diligence, experience, & hopefully some serendipity.
Enough blabbing. You've come to a right place. I have learned enormous amounts from the kind folk here. I hope you are able to do the same.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jan 3, 2012 4:32:56 GMT -6
Welcome to the Chicago Astronomer crew and to urban astronomy.
You'll find that despite the light pollution we all live under, they are marvels to discover with your 5" Dob. Star clusters, planets and nebulae await you.
Your dob, being a 5", should be the truss-type reflector, (looks cool), and is ultra portable. What C.A.s Patrick and Curt say is all true and sound. Now, I would encourage you to join us sometime during a Chicago Astronomer gathering and try out our various eyepiece before you buy...and see which you like better. With the cold weather now, the sessions are not as often, but keep an eye ot for the star party notices during the winter. Not until March, will we start to resume our regular star parties.
SkEye is a great little app, (quite a nice selection for Android/Apple), and attached to your scope, will essentially provide a nice "Push-to" ability to your desired targets.
Look around this site, ask questions and hope you can join us soon.
Welcome. I also have an ARES 5 and I love it. The two eye pieces that it comes with work very well. I did just order a few extra goodies, including a barlow, that should be arriving tomorrow. I will be posting about them once I get to try them out.
The first thing I would recommend for the ARES would be a shroud to keep out stray light. It also helps keep peoples breath from fogging up the secondary mirror. A shroud is easy to make.
I added a degree circle and an angle finder to mine so I can use Altitude and Azimuth coordinates to find targets that are not visible to the naked eye. Attaching your phone with Skeye may work well for this.
Hey Ed.... I spend a lot of time In Tinley Park with family. Let me know if you would like to get together one night when the temps are tolerable. I'll bring my DOB and show you how to use the setting circles that Erik spoke of. Circles in combination with Skeye are the way to go for you. I use it all the time in order to get the alt/az coordinates for my setup.
Wow thanks for so many great responses, guess i will get a barlow and then check out some other eyepieces at a star party. The weather hasnt been stopping me from going out. Last night after midnight it got pretty clear out and I taught myself two stars names (castor & pollux), saw some meteors, looked at the moon before it dipped under the horizon. my phone died so i didnt know what i was looking at after that. next time i want to find 3 messier objects as my goal.
cant wait for that warm weather! Look forward to meeting you all. until then ill keep reading and looking up.
New Messiers? EASY! First, track down Andromeda Galaxy and Orion Nebula. There's two simple but stunning ones.
Next, watch Dave's video and you can catch three little open cluster jewels all in a row in Auriga: M36, M37, M38 with M35 not too far off. www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAjPek2ZqnI One of my favorite corners of the sky this time of year!
oh i was wearing carhart arctic overalls, a hooded sweatshirt, a down vest and a fleece jacket, i was warm and toasty. I hope the cold isnt keeping people inside, just bundle up! Im sure ill be out tonight, looks clear other than a few clouds on "astropanel" ill probally start a progress thread on my exploration soon. oh and i am a total night owl
I noticed that it had cleared up when I went to bed at 12:30 AM.
I had been online with work trying to get a technical issue resolved for most of the night. I was watching the satellite view from Weather Underground and it looked like it was still cloudy. I put away my gear and got ready for bed. As I walked past the front door on the way to the bedroom, I saw that the moon was in the clear. I was tempted to go out, but I knew I needed to get some sleep before getting up at 5:00 AM for work, so I reluctantly went to bed.