Tag Archives: Telrad

Two (Maybe Three) Saturday Sessions Announced For The North Sportsman’s Club – Sept 12th, Oct 3rd, And (Maybe) Oct 10th

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

A red-lit view of the NSC building (and several tens of billions of stars towards the galactic center).

We are happy to announce a few new sessions at the North Sportsman’s Club to take us into the Fall and, for many, the near-end of their comfortable observing weather (although enough of us are crazy… about the Winter Constellations, so we’ll also brave any clear skies between December and March).

For those who didn’t make it to one of the sessions last year, the NSC is located in West Monroe, NY – take 81 to Exit 32, turn onto 49 East, then make a LEFT (at the next lights) onto Route 37 and go about a 1/2 mile North until you see the NSC sign on your RIGHT – maybe 15 minutes from downtown Syracuse. Map’ed out below.

The NSC in google maps. Click to generate directions.

The field provides an excellent Eastern horizon, complete with a distant radio tower red light for your Telrad aligning pleasure. For those who like to watch Earth’s rotation in real time – or see the very first arrivals of Messier Objects – tripod’ed binoculars pointed anywhere on the Eastern tree line and a comfortable seat will last you all evening. The East and North-East are wide open well to the North-West (so we’ll have many chances to view the Andromeda Galaxy at various point in the evening) and the tree line to the South and South-West block some of the distant light from Syracuse and related, making it a great spot for taking a lot of the sky in in very short order (weather-pending, of course).

The two (maybe three) sessions are as follows:

Saturday, September 12th – 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. – [meetup.com event & facebook event] coming up soon! The New Moon hits early in the morning on the 13th and the cold front arriving on Thursday should make the nighttime sky quite comfortable. Hopefully the clouds cooperate.

Saturday, October 3rd – 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. – [meetup.com event & facebook event] the 3rd Quarter Moon arrives close to 11:00 p.m. and our low, clear Eastern Horizon will make for some excellent final views for those with packed scopes but accessible binoculars.

* Saturday, October 10th – 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. – We’re currently holding the 10th as a weather-alternate for the 3rd. That said, if we get lots of interest, we’re going to run a session that evening as well.

We’ve added these events to our meetup.com and Facebook pages, and will make final announcements by 5:00 p.m. The evening of each session. Keep track of cnyo.org for any additional info (or drop us a line through our Contact Page). We hope to see your dark, featureless outlines at (at least) one of these sessions!

CNYO Observing Log: Baltimore Woods, 14 June 2013

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Perhaps the last bug-free (of the buzzing kind, that is) observing session until later in the fall, Bob Piekiel hosted his monthly Baltimore Woods observing session on Friday, 14 June 2013 at the same time that the Syracuse Astronomical Society hosted a public viewing session at Darling Hill. An excellent Friday for taking in the CNY skies beyond the Syracuse skyline!

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Bob Piekiel performing collimation surgery.

Scope-wielding CNYO members in attendance included Bob Piekiel with 8″ and 11″ SCTs, Larry Slosberg with his trusty New Moon Telescopes 12″ Dobsonian, and myself with my 25×100 Zhumell binoculars (despite a last-minute re-collimation surgery, Bob couldn’t get his monster pair of Vixen 25×125 binos up to his satisfaction. I await the next session to take in that view!).

Beyond the several deeper sky objects we observed that evening, attendees were treated to (1) two ISS flybys (and the rather spectacular run of ISS flybys this month will be the part of an upcoming article), (2) four bright meteors (total count from among the observing group) that all appeared to radiate from the vicinity of Libra and Virgo (so the meteors all appeared to move from the SouthWest to the NorthEast), and (3) more than 20 satellites that crossed fields of view or were prominent enough during the ISS watch to jump out to most everyone. The sky was dominated by the 6 day old waxing crescent *always super* Moon, excellent at all magnifications and the best binocular object in our Night Sky.

As has been a recurring theme in some of these observing logs, the variety of available optics gives one the ability to experience the pros and cons of different equipment first-hand both in terms of setup and magnification.

The Zhumell big binos are easy to setup and provide excellent views of the Moon and some of the very open star clusters. We used the binos as a “sneak preview” of our observing of Saturn as we waited for enough bright stars to appear for Bob to get his GOTO scopes aligned. Even in the binos, Saturn is obviously “Saturn,” with the ring system, planet, and gap between the rings and planet visible. You will fight for the Cassini Division in less transparent skies, but a steady mount and patience will grant you a peak of this dark band between the two major rings.

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Larry S. and Michelle M. in a Dob setup action shot.

Larry’s NMT Dob is a 5-minute setup from car to observing, with only a modicum of labored transport from the parking lot to the ground. In moonlit skies, nebula, galaxies, and faint fuzzy objects require a good memory or a great trust in one’s Telrad. On the minus side, you spend extra time trying to find faint objects – this only being a real problem during Public Viewing sessions when you really don’t want to spend all your time finding “something” to see. On the plus side, you really learn the sky this way, you don’t have to worry about battery life and any of the problems that come from modern observing technology, and you can generally get a larger mirror for the same amount of carrying-intensive weight in a Dob over a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (SCT), which means a generally better view.

Bob’s two SCT GOTO scopes are, after setup, perhaps the best way to facilitate a Public Viewing session, as you simply call for the object you want to see in the GOTO controller and, with some grinding of gears, you spare yourself from the hunt. In the case of his image intensifier, your GOTO scope might land on a galaxy too faint to even acknowledge seeing through a good eyepiece. Your GOTO purchase is validated when the intensifier then brings out subtle detail in an otherwise invisible object, a search that might easily aggravate a novice Dob user.

All of that said, we remind ourselves of the words of Stu Forster – “The best scope is the one you use.”

For my part, I spent time Naked Eye observing and adding to discussions going on around scopes. The confirmed sightings list contained Saturn, M3, M13, and M57 (the Ring Nebula, both with and without enhancement).

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15 seconds of fun with a red flashlight and green laser pointer.

Increasing dew around 10:30 p.m. left us to pack up gear and simply enjoy the naked eye Night Sky (and play with the long exposure setting on my Canon Digital Elph). The next even is scheduled for July 12/13 at Baltimore Woods, followed by Bob Piekiel’s “Star Search” event at Green Lakes on July 26th. We hope you can join us!

The “Stuventory” – Stu Forster Astronomy Equipment For Sale

* Updated List As Of * 5 August 2015 *

sas_stu_forster_photogallery stu
Dr. Stuart Forster (1956-2011, obit) was a long-time Syracuse Astronomical Society member, former president, secretary, contributing author, scope builder, astrophotographer extraordinaire, host to several of the Messier Marathons that marked the beginning of the SAS observing year, multi-lecturer at past meetings and Summer Seminars, and a true amateur astronomer’s astronomer whose knowledge of observing and equipment was as expansive as the summertime Milky Way.

Ryan Goodson and Damian Allis are coordinating the sale of much of Stu’s astronomy equipment, which is extensive. The list below contains all of the equipment thus catalogued that is not already sold and will be (1) added to as new equipment is catalogued and (2) modified as items are sold. Details about the equipment and sale are as follows:

1. Those in CNY and beyond who knew Stu know that all of the equipment is in fine condition and working order. For optics, we will try to provide as much detail about lenses and mirrors as possible, including providing additional images if you want to see things first.

2. Electronics are more complicated. Stu had been an avid astrophotographer for many years and has in his inventory CCD and related equipment spanning 2 decades (from phone plugs to 9-pin serial plugs to USB). Ryan and Damian do not have a way to test this equipment beforehand. We will do our best to answer questions and, when something can clearly be shown not to work, will provide refunds upon equipment return.

3. Generally, if you want more information or other pictures, please ask by sending an email to stuventory@cnyo.org. Ryan and/or Damian will get back to you as soon as possible.

4. “As long as you’re sorting stuff, did Stu have X?” – We regret that our organization of the equipment does not provide us time or constant access to the equipment we are selling. Everything we have in condition to sell is on this page.

5. Shipping – We plan to ship everything by USPS Priority, which means our expected shipping fee will be in the $6 to $12 range (using USPS Priority Boxes packed as reasonably as possible to minimize the number of boxes if you’re buying multiple items). Tracking numbers will be sent as soon as available. Everything will be boxed and wrapped in bubble wrap. If you like, we can make different shipping arrangements, but we ask that you NOT REQUEST CHEAPER SHIPPING OPTIONS. We simply have too much equipment to be buying custom boxes and keeping track of the different shipping options at the Post Office register. We believe this to be a fair request given the very reasonable prices for these items.

6. There is NO HOLDING policy unless you are driving to Syracuse to look at/purchase equipment. If you want to inspect equipment in person, please schedule as promptly as you can.

7. You Can Help – If you know something about a component that you think would help someone else out, please send your information along to stuventory@cnyo.org (referencing the item number). We assume that people looking to purchase will know what something is (or, at least, “know the difference”) but will happily take additional info and add it.

8. Payment can be made by personal check (to Damian Allis) or PayPal. Please contact Damian at stuventory@cnyo.org prior to purchasing.

9. “Your descriptions are a little… brief” – We are specifically using the first sale of items to reduce the amount of equipment that then needs to be researched. If you were sent here by another amateur astronomer, chanced are good you already know what the equipment is and don’t need us to tell you (minus additional info, of course)!

10. Click on an image for a larger version (and please ignore the numbers written down in the images. The Item Numbers on this page are the official way to reference equipment).

Item #

Picture

Description

Price


7


2 available
unlabeled
4″ Plates
$10.00 each


23








Celestron C90 1000mm f/11 In Case
Orion FlexiSHIELD
SN: 97415
Made In USA
$175.00

51


SBIG
Part: 1007052432
Remote Guide Head
$300.00


56


Williams Optics
Illuminated finder scope with case and mount
$40.00


68



Unlabeled 9×50 mm Finder Scope
No front or back covers
$40.00


77


2″ Focuser $15.00


78


2″ Focuser $15.00


79


2″ Focuser $15.00


84



2″ Focuser $70.00


85



2″ Focuser $20.00


86



2″ Focuser $50.00


87





2″ Focuser $75.00


105

ST-4/RF components (looking for full SBIG retro-focuser) $10.00


106

Orion 9×60 mm illuminated finder scope (tested – works fine) $80.00


107

Orion Sky Wizard 2 components (potentially unaffiliated components therein) PRICE PENDING


108


Astrovid StellaCam II CCD Imaging System (appears to be complete) $550.00


118


BETAX No. 5 Series II Velostigmat No. 497553; Wollensak 12″ F/4.5
Slight ding on the rim (visible at 10 o’clock on the bottom image)
$450.00


120

Meade #62 T-Adapter (Japan) in box $20.00


121


CCD Technology CCD-10 Imager (complete?) with manuals and disks
Model No: CCD-1011231
Serial No: 174
PRICE PENDING


126


130 F6 FF2
Felted Field Flattener (in box)
$250.00