Astronomy!

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ASNOBODY

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*Is there a thread for this already? I could not find one. Seems like there should be, as it's a perfect overland activity.*

Anyone care to share tips, tricks and observations? Favorite resources, maps or locations? Dark sky parks? Navigation? I'd personally like to learn more from people participating in activities and shared experiences that are familiar to my own…not just watching YouTube videos and reading websites.

Anyone here really into this? What do you love about it? What are some easy ways for someone to be more engaged in this activity?

Thanks!

 

Steve

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This is something I've always been interested in, but never jumped on board. When I was young, we could see the northern lights several times a year, and stars by the millions. Light pollution has stopped all of that anywhere near a city. The only time we were on a cruise ship, I thought it would be the perfect time, but they keep thousands of lights on all night. The best viewing I've had in recent years was sitting on the front porch of the Crater Lakes National Park lodge, where there are no outdoor lights. Just like when I was a kid, except the cold brew in my hands.

Many years ago, I did some sailing, so learned a bit of celestial navigation. I learned a lot of the stars then, and still remember a few. When Haley's Comet came by the last time, I drove way out in the county and lay on my hood on a blanket with my binoculars to watch.

I would think that those folks getting out in the deserts in the west couldn't help but be awed by the night sky and do some studying to learn a bit about what they were seeing.
 

ASNOBODY

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@Steve I had a flight to Denmark a few years ago that of course flew over the southern tip of Greenland as many flights do. I was on the left north facing side of the plane and for a good 2 hours had a view of the most spectacular display of colors and movement from the Northern Lights. I was waking people up telling them to look out the window haha. Most people were displeased until they took a look out the window. Holy cow it was amazing.

I'd really love to spend more time in the desert armed with a bit more celestial knowledge. Gonna try to do that this year. Maybe even buy a telescope :)
 

Graeman

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My parents are amateur stargazers and they volunteer at an observatory in S.C. When they came out to AZ. we took them camping down near Quartzsite, they were amazed with the total darkness of the area. My favorite part was counting satellites as they zoomed by.
 

toxicity_27

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Took an astronomy class in college, and bought a telescope about 10 years ago. I'd like to find one that packs a little smaller, and is more camera friendly however. Also just bought a "course" from The Great Courses on astronomy. One of my loves, but living in a metropolitan area makes it difficult to view anything. It's nice when I go visit family, or go up north as there aren't as many lights which makes the viewing much better.
 

toxicity_27

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I may need to see what I can do this weekend, since I'll be out of the metro area.. Hmmmmm.
 

Sidetrakn

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My rig is an ongoing project as a purpose built Astrophotography tool. You guys are absolutely correct Overlanding and Astronomy are a perfect match. It's funny though, we never called it overlanding we just called it what you do. Lol. Here are a few pics. Happy star gazing.



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nparker72

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One of the many reasons for my trip plans out west is to get away from light pollution of the east/midwest. Been thinking about picking up a beginner telescope for future trips. Took astronomy when I was in high school years ago and fell in love. Been itching to get back into it. Any suggestions for beginner telescope?
Thank you for creating this thread!!

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Sidetrakn

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One of the many reasons for my trip plans out west is to get away from light pollution of the east/midwest. Been thinking about picking up a beginner telescope for future trips. Took astronomy when I was in high school years ago and fell in love. Been itching to get back into it. Any suggestions for beginner telescope?
Thank you for creating this thread!!

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When you say beginner scope, you need ask what that means. It's all relative to what you want to do. Many folks end up spending somewhere in the $200 dollar range for a "nice" (not-so much) dept store scope and become frustrated and it gets rarely used. I end up picking them up for 20 bucks all the time for parts and use them for education projects after they lose parts and people drop them off at the thrift store.

I often recommend, especially for adults, the Celestron 4Se. It's a "go to" scope that is easy to set up, runs on batteries if you like, doesn't take up a lot of space and is capable enough to pull in both planetary and some deep sky objects. It's also stable enough to do some basic imaging. I've seen full sized DSLR's image on the 4Se with out problem. There are many great online stores but one shop that I use often is Astronomics. They fund all support for cloudynights which is Astronomy forum and provide discounts to forum members. They're nice folks too.

The Meade ETX is a comparable travel/goto with decent glass but I think you get more bang in the Celestron. Also, keep an eye on craigslist for either of those scopes. Just make sure you look at the ETX 90. The 60 isn't worth the money, just use binoculars. Lots cheaper!

Don't take my word for it though... ck out some reviews. I only have 8 telescopes for various purposes and The attached photo is with the new scope project I'm working on for my office. Yeah... I need help



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Sidetrakn

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One of the many reasons for my trip plans out west is to get away from light pollution of the east/midwest. Been thinking about picking up a beginner telescope for future trips. Took astronomy when I was in high school years ago and fell in love. Been itching to get back into it. Any suggestions for beginner telescope?
Thank you for creating this thread!!

Sent from my SM-G930P using OB Talk mobile app
One other thought regarding equipment is to find a local astronomy club. Checkout their starparties and see what equipment they are using. You might get lucky and find something used that someone started with and has moved into something different. Funny... it's kind of like Overlanding...

If nothing else you might have some fun and fuel that interest again. Let me know if you pick something up. I'd like to hear your review on whatever it is so I can pass forward.


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ASNOBODY

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When you say beginner scope, you need ask what that means. It's all relative to what you want to do. Many folks end up spending somewhere in the $200 dollar range for a "nice" (not-so much) dept store scope and become frustrated and it gets rarely used. I end up picking them up for 20 bucks all the time for parts and use them for education projects after they lose parts and people drop them off at the thrift store.

I often recommend, especially for adults, the Celestron 4Se. It's a "go to" scope that is easy to set up, runs on batteries if you like, doesn't take up a lot of space and is capable enough to pull in both planetary and some deep sky objects. It's also stable enough to do some basic imaging. I've seen full sized DSLR's image on the 4Se with out problem. There are many great online stores but one shop that I use often is Astronomics. They fund all support for cloudynights which is Astronomy forum and provide discounts to forum members. They're nice folks too.

The Meade ETX is a comparable travel/goto with decent glass but I think you get more bang in the Celestron. Also, keep an eye on craigslist for either of those scopes. Just make sure you look at the ETX 90. The 60 isn't worth the money, just use binoculars. Lots cheaper!

Don't take my word for it though... ck out some reviews. I only have 8 telescopes for various purposes and The attached photo is with the new scope project I'm working on for my office. Yeah... I need help



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Great advice thank you! And… sweet baby jeebus that is cool.
 
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MarioDidIt

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This website is gold!

I recently heard about Havasupai Point at The Grand Canyon, and when I noticed it was right in a dark sky area I planned a trip there. Here is what I was able to capture.




5 exposure panorama!


Canon T5i on a tripod
Sigma 10-20mm 4.0
15 second exposures
6400 iso

Composed and color corrected in Photoshop
 

toxicity_27

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I've got a Celestron something or other. Needs to be plugged in, but I can buy a battery pack for it. It's pretty good for most things, I believe it's a 6". However it is very shaky which is frustrating. I bought it about 10 years ago, so it's probably time to see what else is out there.
 

Kevigizmo

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Fantastic work guys - you are all quite lucky with having some large regions with clear dark skies,

If i want some clear sky with no light pollution i have to travel 800 miles to my "real" home on the hebrides to see some really clear nights - and aurora

I've got a Skywatcher 130p and occasionally I attach my cannon 1100d or cannon 7D and see what comes out :)