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Showing posts from November, 2011

Stargazing and Leonid meteor Shower 2011

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It had been a while I bought a couple of telescopes but I had not used it outdoors yet. I had been using them only from my building terrace which is full of light pollution. I wanted to go out , at least with the small table top telescope. With encouragement from couple of my friends Srini and LSP we went to a nearby place where sky was relatively dark and one could see stars up to magnitude +4.5 (Naked eye limit in the darkest sky is about 6). This was just enough to see the the couple of stars (mu And and nu And) in Taurus which can be used to locate the M31 (Andromeda Galaxy, the only naked eye object outside our milky way ). We reached around 11pm on 17th Jan at the spot. I was expecting the moonrise at 12 midnight but to my surprise, the horizon was so low (we were at a higher place) that moon appeared at 11.30 itself. It was large and orange colored. We started setting up telescopes quickly to avoid moon light glare in sky. We only spotted very few objects as it was 1st session …

Orion StarMax 90mm Table top

My first telescope was a Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ which was quite big to carry. I recently bought another small one , Orion StarMx 90mm table top. Thanks to my friends for delivering it all the way from USA to my house. This is a portable telescope with 90 mm of aperture which  good enough to see bright nebulae. This has a Maksutov-Cassegrain design because of  which it has a high focal length of 1250mm even tough the size of the main tube is small .  It does not have a tripod but can be mounted on ordinary photo tripods. The mount is alt-azimuth, i.e it move horizontally and vertically. It comes with a battery powered LED red dot view finder without any magnification , which makes visible naked eye  objects easy to center even with low focal length eyepiece with high  magnification. On the other hand my old telescope had a cross hair based finder-scope with some magnification which sometimes makes it difficult to spot objects because low field of view without adding to the brightn…