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Nice detail. Can you tell us a little about the scope. Maybe the brand, model number, magnifications specs, reflector or refractor. Also, do you have to travel far to get out of the city to avoid light interference?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Telescope is a Celestron Nexstar 8SE Refractor telescope. 8"/200mm primary mirror with a 2032mm focal length and an F10 FR. It has auto-tracking & Go-To features, an electronic focuser, precise QHY PoleMaster EQ Mount Polar Alignment, StarSense Auto-Align, Finderscope, and a pile of other accessories. It's certainly a Rabbit Hole when it comes to this hobby.😲 The highest magnification this telescope will handle is about 400X. That would equate to the scope with a 5mm eyepiece attached.(2032mm divided by 5mm=406X) (Lots of math involved with this hobby).

In the first pic, I had to use a 6.3 Focal Reducer in order to get the whole moon in the field of view. Otherwise, I would get only a small part of the moon in the field of view like the second pic. The first pic was basically a 37% reduction in scope magnification (1280mm focal length & F6.3) to get the whole moon in view. The second pic was what the scope sees without any magnification at all. This scope is more suited for Deep Sky pics or Jupiter and Saturn. I use a basic Canon DSLR camera to shoot pics and movies. It's a nice set-up but a category I describe a little above beginner. The hardest part of all this is using all the programs, procedures & tricks out there used in the processing and taking images. It makes your head spin. I am not much of a cold-weather person so winter work has been limited. Light pollution isn't a huge issue where I live but it does have some effect.

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have a 6" Celestron scope with the 'Go-To' feature that I should use more but i think i'll wait til the warmer weather comes back... :)
Agreed! I am amazed at some of the Youtubers that get out in the freezing temps to observe or photograph. Some of them take incredible photos. They are very dedicated but with my issues, I am just not comfortable freezing outside for hours at a time. I will also wait for warmer weather.(y)
 

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The Telescope is a Celestron Nexstar 8SE Refractor telescope. 8"/200mm primary mirror with a 2032mm focal length and an F10 FR. It has auto-tracking & Go-To features, an electronic focuser, precise QHY PoleMaster EQ Mount Polar Alignment, StarSense Auto-Align, Finderscope, and a pile of other accessories. It's certainly a Rabbit Hole when it comes to this hobby.😲 The highest magnification this telescope will handle is about 400X. That would equate to the scope with a 5mm eyepiece attached.(2032mm divided by 5mm=406X) (Lots of math involved with this hobby).

In the first pic, I had to use a 6.3 Focal Reducer in order to get the whole moon in the field of view. Otherwise, I would get only a small part of the moon in the field of view like the second pic. The first pic was basically a 37% reduction in scope magnification (1280mm focal length & F6.3) to get the whole moon in view. The second pic was what the scope sees without any magnification at all. This scope is more suited for Deep Sky pics or Jupiter and Saturn. I use a basic Canon DSLR camera to shoot pics and movies. It's a nice set-up but a category I describe a little above beginner. The hardest part of all this is using all the programs, procedures & tricks out there used in the processing and taking images. It makes your head spin. I am not much of a cold-weather person so winter work has been limited. Light pollution isn't a huge issue where I live but it does have so
 

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The Telescope is a Celestron Nexstar 8SE Refractor telescope. 8"/200mm primary mirror with a 2032mm focal length and an F10 FR. It has auto-tracking & Go-To features, an electronic focuser, precise QHY PoleMaster EQ Mount Polar Alignment, StarSense Auto-Align, Finderscope, and a pile of other accessories. It's certainly a Rabbit Hole when it comes to this hobby.😲 The highest magnification this telescope will handle is about 400X. That would equate to the scope with a 5mm eyepiece attached.(2032mm divided by 5mm=406X) (Lots of math involved with this hobby).

In the first pic, I had to use a 6.3 Focal Reducer in order to get the whole moon in the field of view. Otherwise, I would get only a small part of the moon in the field of view like the second pic. The first pic was basically a 37% reduction in scope magnification (1280mm focal length & F6.3) to get the whole moon in view. The second pic was what the scope sees without any magnification at all. This scope is more suited for Deep Sky pics or Jupiter and Saturn. I use a basic Canon DSLR camera to shoot pics and movies. It's a nice set-up but a category I describe a little above beginner. The hardest part of all this is using all the programs, procedures & tricks out there used in the processing and taking images. It makes your head spin. I am not much of a cold-weather person so winter work has been limited. Light pollution isn't a huge issue where I live but it does have some effect.

View attachment 223972

View attachment 223973
The Telescope is a Celestron Nexstar 8SE Refractor telescope. 8"/200mm primary mirror with a 2032mm focal length and an F10 FR. It has auto-tracking & Go-To features, an electronic focuser, precise QHY PoleMaster EQ Mount Polar Alignment, StarSense Auto-Align, Finderscope, and a pile of other accessories. It's certainly a Rabbit Hole when it comes to this hobby.😲 The highest magnification this telescope will handle is about 400X. That would equate to the scope with a 5mm eyepiece attached.(2032mm divided by 5mm=406X) (Lots of math involved with this hobby).

In the first pic, I had to use a 6.3 Focal Reducer in order to get the whole moon in the field of view. Otherwise, I would get only a small part of the moon in the field of view like the second pic. The first pic was basically a 37% reduction in scope magnification (1280mm focal length & F6.3) to get the whole moon in view. The second pic was what the scope sees without any magnification at all. This scope is more suited for Deep Sky pics or Jupiter and Saturn. I use a basic Canon DSLR camera to shoot pics and movies. It's a nice set-up but a category I describe a little above beginner. The hardest part of all this is using all the programs, procedures & tricks out there used in the processing and taking images. It makes your head spin. I am not much of a cold-weather person so winter work has been limited. Light pollution isn't a huge issue where I live but it does have some effect.

View attachment 223972

View attachment 223973
Sweet set-up! Until my eyes caught up with my age, I was considering selling my 5-inch Celestron C-5 Schmidt-Cassegrain and upgrading to an 8 or 10 inch mirror (anything bigger than that is just too dang expensive). Mine doesn't have that computerized guidance system though. I get by with good old-fashioned star maps
and about 6 different eyepieces.
QUESTION: Have you had to collimate your 'scope yet???
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sweet set-up! Until my eyes caught up with my age, I was considering selling my 5-inch Celestron C-5 Schmidt-Cassegrain and upgrading to an 8 or 10 inch mirror (anything bigger than that is just too dang expensive). Mine doesn't have that computerized guidance system though. I get by with good old-fashioned star maps
and about 6 different eyepieces.
QUESTION: Have you had to collimate your 'scope yet???
Thanks Bill. So far the scope focus and alignment are near perfect so I haven't had to collimate the scope.

My eyes aren't the best but the Bahtinov Mask sure helps with the focus issues, especially with the deep sky objects. I will occasionally test the 'donut hole' to see if I have any scope alignment issues but so far it's spot on. I would love to get some subs of the Orion Nebula as it's in a great location for Photography right now but the weather isn't the best. Its amazing people will take several hours outside and take 140+ pics (light, dark, flat & bias pics) of one object just to get one final amazing image. I hope to get to that point later this spring.
 

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I know mine needs it. But since the start of the new decade, I can tell my eyes aren't as good as they were in '95 when Comet Hale-Bopp did its flyby, and I'm thinking having a collimation done would be a wasted effort.
I'm finding the right now, my 25 X 125 Astronomy binoculars + tripod are a helluva lot more convenient! :) That, or sell my son to white slavers and buy a nice 40-inch Dobsonian Reflector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Indeed. Focus is a big issue with viewing anything that is magnified. I was getting frustrated with that tiny 3" screen on the back of my DSLR camera that does not flip out. When the scope would be facing very high in the sky, the little LCD screen on the camera was all but out of view. I don't use that little screen a lot but there are certain situations that make it handy when I am not hooked up to a big-screen laptop. So I bought this 5X7" LCD monitor that is adjustable that plugs into the camera. It sure makes some functions a lot easier to view when I am setting up the scope. It changes the balance of the scope some but I adjust that and it's ok.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Took this pic of the 'Great Orion Nebula' M42 a week or so ago using only my Canon 135mm lens camera. No telescope involved with this pic. I didn't do much post picture processing. I try to keep it simple. Enjoy!(y)

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I took up Astrophotography during this Pandemic. Its a challenging hobby but fun, nonetheless.
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Great idea to get into this field! And amazing photos! I believe you when you say, that its a deep rabbit hole when you start with this... I always thought one would need extraordinary camera gear, good to know, that I simply could use my camera I already have. So it is "just" the telescope you bought for the beginning? Maybe I could rent it somewhere to just try out some astrophotography... How did you come to get into this hobby?
 

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I have done some shots of planets and the moon and people have said “why do you go through the effort, there are enough books, photos and shows. Just look at them.”

But as you can attest there is nothing like looking at them directly. It’s a different feeling all together.

Lovely shots.
 
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