Karl's Astro-Journal

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- Equipment -

120mm Sky-Watcher

My primary set up is a 120mm f7.5 Sky-Watcher on a Vixen GPD2 equatorial mount. For astro-photography I attach a Canon 60Da DSLR for prime focus images and auto guide through a modified Orion 80mm short-tube. Planetary imaging is done through this scope by using a 2x or 3x barlow that feeds the image into a ZWO ASI120MC video camera. The 120mm Sky-Watcher has a 2-element primary and is touted as an APO (apochromatic) scope. On-line astro-forums regularly discuss the proper optical classification of these 2-element refractors but the Sky-Watcher is definitely an improvement over my achromatic scopes, one of which is a Burgess 127mm achromatic that creates quite dramatic blue halos around bright objects (but is a really fun scope to use for visual obsevring and sidewalk astronomy).

Vintage 80mm Celestron Refractor

Pictured here is the scope that I used for many years. It's an 80mm f11 Celestron refractor on a Vixen Super Polaris mount. This combination has proved to be very durable over the years and nicely mobile. I've enjoyed using this scope many nights for sidewalk astronomy in Valley Forge Park, PA and now here in Greene NY. Views of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon can be quite impressive on clear nights with steady seeing. Only the brightest of Faint-Fuzzies are fair targets for this scope, such as M42, M13, M31 and similarly bright objects.

10" Newtonian Reflector

An ongoing project is fixing up a 1980's Meade 10" f4.5 Newtonian. The idea of buying a mount for this scope has entered my mind but I have serious reservations about using a Newtonian scope on a German equatorial mount. (seems awkward every time I encounter this combination.) The goal would be to have a large aperture scope capable of imaging Deep-Sky objects. The "fixing-up" process has meant keeping the primary and secondary mirrors and the eyepiece focuser, but pretty much replacing everything else, which includes the tube, spider mount, primary mirror mount and mounting rings. The scope is pictured here in need of paint, on its original, but nearly useless, Meade DS-10 mount.



NOAA Space Weather
Prediction Center


Central New York


Adirondak Public

Syracuse Astronomical

Mohawk Valley
Astronomical Society

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