Bolton Astronomical Society

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Author:  jwhite [ Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  NEW SCOPE AND BITS.

Hello there good people, I would just like a bit of advice please.

I have recently been bought my first telescope a Sky-Watcher Explorer-130 EQ2 and even though Ross mentioned the EQ2 May let the kit down, unfortunately it has been bought already by my wife so will be my first scope come Crimbo morning ! :D Any advice on this telescope please and what I can hope to see with it ?

Also just a couple of other things,

I have a very small budget for some Astrophotography gear and just wondering if this will fit my scope you reckon ? ... 26_rdc%3D1

Also will a relatively cheap camera like this be okay for now ? ... 26_rdc%3D1

I totally understand an SLR Is the way to go but just as a beginning point would all three work together okay do you think ?

Many many thanks for your advice !


Author:  rwilkinson [ Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NEW SCOPE AND BITS.

The 130P is certainly a good starter-scope John (and it will be even better once you put it on a more stable mount!).

But that camera and afocal bracket which you mentioned could really only be used for imaging bright objects, such as the Moon and Jupiter (which will be well-placed next Spring).
However using a webcam with a Barlow-lens would probably be better than a compact camera on an afocal bracket.
And the good news is that the Society has a Philips webcam available for loan:

But if you're planning to buy yourself a camera just for astro work, I suggest that you should save up for a modified Canon; for example the Society picked up a modified EOS 300D for under £100:
If you get one of these and a decent 50mm or 135mm telephoto lens then you can "piggy-back" it on your scope-rings and try taking some wide-angle constellation shots, like the ones which appear in our Gallery.

Then you could modify your telescope to get the camera at the focal-plane (i.e. without using an eyepeice on the 'scope and a lens on the camera) and you'll be able to capture some deep-sky objects too. Carl had this mod done on his 130P - Brian just shifted the mirror an inch or so up the tube, a little like this:

Author:  jwhite [ Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NEW SCOPE AND BITS.

Thanks for that ! So something like this would be nice ? ... 3f3f47ce6a

And could I use this with my said telescope and the clamp almost immediately ?

Author:  rwilkinson [ Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Cameras for astro work

Canon DSLRs are preferred for astro work due to their high-performance sensors, but like all consumer digital cameras their response to hydrogen-alpha (deep-red light) is limited by filters mounted in front of the sensor. Now there are companies which will remove these from existing cameras, but if you're buying a fresh camera for astro use it makes sense to get one ready-converted.
There are a number of BAS members with lots of experience of using these cameras.

These cameras can be fitted with good-quality lenses for wide-angle work (Pentax-SMC series 50mm and 135mm give good results), or with a "T2" adaptor for imaging through a telescope (but Newtonians may need to be modified to shift their focal-plane).

You'll also need some way of controlling the camera's shutter - this could be a nearby computer or laptop, or a stand-alone intervalometer like one of these:

Other invaluable aids for astrophotography are a light-pollution filter, focussing mask and anti-dewing heaters.

Author:  Amartin [ Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: NEW SCOPE AND BITS.

From someone who is still a beginner, i'd recommend that you stay well away from astrophotography to start off with. Its a creature you have to mature into & is fraught with complexity you wont be aware of.

Youre better off using the scope for observing - learn the constellations & how to navigate (consistently to objects) and enjoy observing before even contemplating moving to astrophotography.
If youre hell bent on imaging straight of the bat, Ross is right you can use a webcam, but the results arent great & you'll soon outgrow them unless youre just imaging planets or the moon.
Plus with your scope the hassle involved makes it even more complex.
Imaging should start with a canon & a lens, but again, this needs a decent mount.

Its entirely up to you which way you decide to go and the guys in the society will help try to refine your setup, but what you've got will have its limitations.

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