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Equipment for Sale/Trade / Celestron NexStar 4 SE for Sale (Used twice)
« Last post by Jonathan Sabin on September 20, 2018, 11:39:18 am »
Passing along some information regarding a nearly-new Celestron NexStar 4 SE scope that's come available for sale.
As always, please contact the seller directly. (Photos of actual scope are attached.)

Asking price is $399

Anyone interested should contact the seller, Vicki Eckl at

Celestronís iconic ďorange tubeĒ design is updated with all the latest features to provide the best stargazing experience for beginners and experienced observers alike. 4-inch aperture provides excellent light-gathering ability at an affordable price. Youíll get impressive views of the Moon and planets, along with deep sky objects like the Orion Nebula, while retaining a compact form factor.

Fully automated GoTo mount with database of 40,000+ celestial objects automatically locates and tracks objects for you. SkyAlign technology gets your telescope aligned and ready to observe in minutes. Even if youíre unfamiliar with the night sky, you can easily align your telescope on any three bright objects.  Unique single fork arm design and sturdy steel tripod all break down into separate components for easy transport and quick assembly..Alignment Procedures:SkyAlign, Auto 2-Star Align, 1-Star Align, 2-Star Align, SolarSystem Align

Compact and Portable
The 4SE is ideal for weekend camping trips or excursions to dark sky sites. Its compact form factor is easy to transport and assemble just about anywhere.

Fully Automated GoTo Mount
Select from a database of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, solar system objects, & more. Your NexStar SE locates them all with pinpoint accuracy & tracks them automatically

Fast Setup with SkyAlign
Celestronís proprietary SkyAlign procedure has you ready to observe in minutes. Center any three bright objects in the eyepiece and NexStar SE aligns to the night sky, ready   to locate thousands of stars, galaxies, and more.

Accessories Included
You receive a red dot StarPointer finderscope, 25mm Plossl eyepiece, visual back, and mirror star diagonal.
Maksutov-Cassegrain Optics

The 4" primary mirror is offers enough light gathering ability to see the best of the solar system & beyond: Saturnís rings, Jupiterís cloud bands, details on the Moon, & brighter deep sky objects.

Astroimaging Made Easy
Budding astroimagers can use the built-in wedge to polar align NexStar SE. Using simple, inexpensive adapters, connect your DSLR or astronomical camera & capture your own images of celestial objects!

Compatible with all Celestronís most popular accessories, including StarSense AutoAlign and SkyPortal WiFi Module, the NexStar SE can grow with you

Equipment for Sale/Trade / Portable Projection Screen 60"
« Last post by Joan Mackiewicz on September 16, 2018, 01:54:09 pm »

Portable Pull-up Projection Screen Tripod 60-Inch Diagonal by Elite.

Viewing Size:  29.0"H x 50.0"W    Overall Size:  95.9"H x 53.0"W
Black case.

New, never used.

Currently sells for $95.99       Asking Price:  $70.00

Contact Joan Mackiewicz @ 941-497-2370 or email



It's not very often that I get to call a "go-no-go" by noon on the day of a scheduled Sidewalk Astronomy event, but my confidence for this evening being REALLY NICE, is pretty high!

The attached screenshot is from a weather tool I use. I've highlighted the "important" blocks in yellow, as that's when we'll be out at the Celery Fields...from a bit before 8:00 p.m. until around 11 or so.

The top row indicates the expected cloud cover. Dark blue squares are good. Light blue are so-so. And if they're white... forget it! But they're blue... so we're good!

The next row shows "transparency," and though I'd prefer to see dark blue squares, the ice-blue squares show that we'll probably have a hazy layer above us for most of the evening--but it's not going to ruin our observing.

The next row shows "seeing," and that refers to how steady the skies are. These range from mid-blue to dark blue, so we should be enjoying some pretty steady images!

See you all tonight!
Equipment for Sale/Trade / For sale: Telescope Glass Solar Filter
« Last post by Joan Mackiewicz on September 10, 2018, 02:26:13 pm »
For Sale:

Orion 6.58" Full Aperture Glass Telescope Solar Filter

This solar filter will block 99.99 percent of incoming light so you view the sun safely.  Product dimensions are 7x7x1.1 inches.  Will work with 130mm inside diameter telescopes.  Will work with the Orion SpaceProbe 130ST equatorial reflecting telescope as well as other telescopes with the same opening.

New, never used.  Currently sells for $129.99.   Asking Price:  $80.00

If interested, please call Joan Mackiewicz @ 941-497-2370.

Equipment for Sale/Trade / Televue TV60 with 1.25 inch Everbrite Diagonal
« Last post by Andy Pyatt on September 09, 2018, 12:07:27 pm »
Hi to all:  I am selling my Televue Tv60 on Cloudy Nights.  It includes the scope, the dielectric diagonal, a dovetail bar adaptor to mount scope on a larger mount, and an Olivion case that is not in great shape but has worked well for me on several trips.  I have all for sale on Cloudy nights for $600 but will sell to my LGDSO members/friends for $525.  Email me at or call at 941-320-4271 with any questions. 

Equipment Wanted / Looking for an inexpensive "starter scope."
« Last post by Jonathan Sabin on September 08, 2018, 11:44:23 am »
One of our Sidewalk Astronomy attendees is looking to "dip a toe into the water" and is interested in purchasing an inexpensive telescope.

If you happen to have a piece of equipment you're no longer using that would be fairly priced in the $200-$300 range, please contact him directly at the number below.

Don Huntsinger
941 567-7029
Sidewalk Astronomy at the Celery Fields
Monthly observing of the celestial wonders resumes on September 15th

I am pleased to announce the return of Sidewalk Astronomy following our annual summer hiatus!

Weather permitting, on Saturday, September 15, 2018 starting at 7:45 p.m., and continuing until at least 10:15 p.m., the Local Group of Deep Sky Observers will set up high-quality telescopes for your viewing pleasure in the parking lot at the southeastern corner of Sarasota's Celery Fields Park.

Home to the Sarasota Audubon Society, located at 6893 Palmer Boulevard, Sarasota, you'll find parking available in the large parking lot just west of the Nature Center building. Our telescopes will be set up in the smaller lot on the east side of the Nature Center. (Telescopes will NOT be set up at the top of the hill.)

Observing highlights during the evening include the spectacular ringed planet Saturn, as well as the planets Mars, Jupiter and Venus. The first quarter moon and other deep-sky wonders will also be viewed through our telescopes.

As always, Sidewalk Astronomy is free of charge and is open to all ages.
Equipment Wanted / Re: bino viewer in mind
« Last post by Sean McDonald on July 28, 2018, 03:31:46 pm »
BTW... the bio-viewer is pretty darn good on Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and the Moon!  Looking at DSO in them is not any better than a single eyepiece, and a bit dimmer.  It's comfortable since you don't have to squint one eye.  The views could be described as "3 dimensional", to some degree. 
 I'm using it on my Dobsonian reflector, so I had to put a barlow on the front of the bino in order to reach in-focus.  Without the barlow lens, I could not run the focuser in far enough to reach focus.  The up-side of that is that the views in the bino, with the 13mm eyepieces in it, and a barlow lens, are comparable to using a 6mm eyepiece!!  Nothing like looking at planets and the moon with some hefty power.

I usually bring them to the sidewalk events, and they get used when all we can see is the moon...
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!!!
We are issuing a (not overly-enthusiastic) "go" for tonight's Mars Opposition Observing event.

It appears that any rain that hits the area may hold off until after midnight... and if we're lucky, we'll be able to catch Mars through breaks in the clouds.

The caveat is that this is far from an ideal forecast, but given the fact that it's a pretty unique celestial event, we're going to give it a shot.

In case you missed it, complete details about tonight's event are copied below...


The Local Group of Deep Sky Observers is getting geared up to offer you yet another special summer event at Robinson Preserve (10299 9th Avenue NW) in Bradenton on Friday, July 20th from 10:00 p.m. until midnight.

This special Mars Observing event is being held to take advantage of the BEST views of the Red Planet since 2003! It's a don't-miss event!

As with all "Sidewalk Astronomy" events, it's FREE and weather-permitting.
In case of rain or clouds on the 20th, this event will be held the following night, Saturday, July 21st. (Also from 10:00 p.m. until midnight.)

We are thrilled to partner with the Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, as well as Robinson Preserve for this very special event.

Please note that this will take place in parking lot just off the brand-new 9th Avenue NW entrance to the Preserve --and NOT at the Preserve's "main entrance" at the corner of 99th Street West and 17th Avenue!
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