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Messages - Ed McDonough

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I just received word that Johnson PhotoImaging on SR 70 near I 75 Bradenton will shortly be offering the SkyWatcher Star Adventurer Trackers for sale. It's taken a fair amount of effort to persuade them to try this product. As a SkyWatcher dealer they will also be able to special order any SkyWatcher or Celestron product.

Please support your local retailer!!!

Attached is the handout that all Telescopes 101 attendees received.

Thanks Jonathan. LGDSO really shined last night. We should all be very proud of the effort. I look forward to the Astro Imaging Workshop on January 8th.

Wow, a huge crowd Saturday night. Probably close to 20 telescopes with long lines at all of them for 90 minutes or so. Nice clear skies too, what seemed like the first one in months. Looking forward to next month at Robinson preserve.

Dave, check the forum later this afternoon. Jonathan usually posts a go/no go by 3:00 or 4:00. The weather does look promising however.

Hi Dave. Historically the SE's are on sale from 11/1 - 12/31.

George makes excellent points. He is our Guru.

And not to confuse poor Dave even more, in August the AVX Edge HD 8" is on sale for $1949. If you do want to head down the astro imaging road, and many do (but not me - LOL), you will need an EQ mount. An Alt Az mount such as the SE or Evolution mounts are largely not suitable for imaging.

But Dave, there will always be sales. Take your time.

Hi Dave.

As I recall, the 4SE and 5SE use the same tripod, the 6SE and 8SE is SLIGHTLY different. The tripod that comes with the 8" is perfectly OK.

I met you at the last club meeting. My suggestion remains the same. Learn the ropes with the 4" and when you are ready, skip the 6" and go straight to the 8". If you buy the 6" you will shortly thereafter long for the 8", so don't do that to yourself. And if you REALLY want to treat yourself, consider the Evolution 8". More money but not needing external power is to me, life changing!!!  You'll also want to get a lens shade (dew) and perhaps an upgraded finderscope.

Just my 2 cents.

Hi Dave:
It's a bad time to test now, the summer clouds have taken over.

Most of us use Crowley on darker sky (no moon) weekends, September through May. Your best bet now is to find any opening in the clouds you can and use it where you live (or anywhere near where you live) on the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. They are either out now or will be shortly. You don't need a dark sky for these objects.

Hi Dave:
I actually work for Celestron and echo everything Sean says. The Nexstar 4 SE is a great beginner telescope. Actually for many it's a second telescope when they realize that the first one they purchased was a mistake. So you are ahead of the game. Having a 35mm eyepiece is particularly wonderful for low power and bright wide fields views. You can use the zoom eyepiece and like Sean says, play around with the various magnification options. Do not expect to see Hubble like images. You will be viewing actual objects in "real time" which to me is where the rubber meets the road. Imaging comes later with more elaborate equipment and the accompanying learning curve.

Bring it along to one of the sidewalk events or to Crowley and rest assured that someone will be sure to show you the ropes. Welcome to the group.

Ed McDonough

Nice Jonathan. If we have good weather I envision another replay of that last scene in the movie "Field of Dreams" with all the cars pulling in like we did with the Mars event back in July!!!

Hi Randy:

All members are invited to attend and also to set up their equipment if they want to. I look forward to seeing you there.

Happy New Year!!!

Gutsy call Jonathan. I never thought the skies would clear, great decision to call it a go. But by 9:00 that dew was a killer.

It was a good time to give my SW 120 ED a bit of a workout in lieu of the 8" SCT.  Nice sharp pinpoint stars but when it comes to visual astronomy you just can't beat aperture.

Well, we had more clouds than clear but that's Florida this time of year. It was always going to be a tricky event to get in.

That said, what a tremendous turnout at a spectacular venue. I kept thinking of that last scene from "Field of Dreams" with all the car headlights pulling into to baseball field.

Too bad we can't use the venue more often than for just our scheduled public events. Maybe we should beg Aedan from Manatee County for more access - LOL!!!

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