Anyone know anything about telescopes?

RESmonkey

Diamond Member
May 6, 2007
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I don't really know if I can, even. I live in the Suburbs, and on a clear night I can see a bunch of white little dots in the sky. I'm guessing I might be able to see a few.

What kind of telescope would I need?
Can it take pictures?


Thanks
 

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
41,884
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I have one pointed at my neighbor's window, and I can see a full moon every night.

GIGITY!!!!
 

sao123

Lifer
May 27, 2002
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The sun is the closest star... you should point your telescope directly at it...

Maybe...just maybe... if you look at it long enough, you could draw us an accurate map.
 

RESmonkey

Diamond Member
May 6, 2007
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Originally posted by: sao123
The sun is the closest star... you should point your telescope directly at it...

Maybe...just maybe... if you look at it long enough, you could draw us an accurate map.

Fine, taking pictures of spiral galaxies? I doubt I could do that with my budget, though. Don't want to spend past $500.

Surfing around the web a bit more, and it seems even the $1000 ones aren't going to do much detail outside of the solar system.

Guess I'll just not get into it, then.
 

yhelothar

Lifer
Dec 11, 2002
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If you're planning on spending less than $500, the best views you can get is with a dobsonian telescope. They provide extremely large apertures(bigger opening means more light gathering power) at low costs.
You could find a used one on craigslist or ebay for considerably less than new often.
I saw a 10" dobsonian with an accessory kit consisting of 3 eyepieces, 2x barlow, and color filters for $155 on ebay. Still pissed at myself for forgetting to bid :(.

If you wanna take pictures of deep sky objects, some of the most beautiful ones are done with a nice motorized mount with a simple fast short telephoto lens.
EX: This was taken with a Canon 20D with IR mods, and a 200mm F/2.8 lens.

 

RESmonkey

Diamond Member
May 6, 2007
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Originally posted by: astroidea
If you're planning on spending less than $500, the best views you can get is with a dobsonian telescope. They provide extremely large apertures(bigger opening means more light gathering power) at low costs.
You could find a used one on craigslist or ebay for considerably less than new often.
I saw a 10" dobsonian with an accessory kit consisting of 3 eyepieces, 2x barlow, and color filters for $155 on ebay. Still pissed at myself for forgetting to bid :(.

If you wanna take pictures of deep sky objects, some of the most beautiful ones are done with a nice motorized mount with a simple fast short telephoto lens.
EX: This was taken with a Canon 20D with IR mods, and a 200mm F/2.8 lens.

That photo...omg, what telescope was used? I understand the Canon 20D lens portion. Sort of.


 

yhelothar

Lifer
Dec 11, 2002
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RESmonkey

Diamond Member
May 6, 2007
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Originally posted by: astroidea
No telescope at all :)
Just a fast midrange telephoto lens.
You'll be surprised how much stuff is out there in the sky. It's not that they're too small that we can't see them, but they're too dim. Taking a long exposure shot can reveal many of the hidden treasures of the night sky :)
Here's another pic taken with a wide angle lens at 20mm :)
http://www.astronomie.be/Hambs...bia06/milkyway_20d.htm

More amazing pics on his site :)
http://www.astronomie.be/Hambsch/namibia06.htm

All the images are taken either with a STL11000XM or ST10XME CCD camera. Also digital imaging was done using a Hutech modified Canon 20D.

You need the $5000-$10,000 telescope, don't you?
Or can you just get a camera like Canon 20D, and apply an IR mod to it?
 

silverpig

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
27,709
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Originally posted by: RESmonkey
Originally posted by: astroidea
No telescope at all :)
Just a fast midrange telephoto lens.
You'll be surprised how much stuff is out there in the sky. It's not that they're too small that we can't see them, but they're too dim. Taking a long exposure shot can reveal many of the hidden treasures of the night sky :)
Here's another pic taken with a wide angle lens at 20mm :)
http://www.astronomie.be/Hambs...bia06/milkyway_20d.htm

More amazing pics on his site :)
http://www.astronomie.be/Hambsch/namibia06.htm

All the images are taken either with a STL11000XM or ST10XME CCD camera. Also digital imaging was done using a Hutech modified Canon 20D.

You need the $5000-$10,000 telescope, don't you?
Or can you just get a camera like Canon 20D, and apply an IR mod to it?

Hmmm, most of those images look pretty but probably aren't the most accurate as indicated by the heavy post-processing in photoshop etc. Also, having several 5 minute exposures with a digital camera will introduce quite a bit of thermal noise. Pretty pictures, but yeah, not exactly accurate.

I had access to a 42cm telescope and a thermoelectrically cooled science CCD camera a while ago, and learned how to use IRAF to do the reduction after. I don't think I have the images still though :(

gah, they've been burned to cd somewhere :p
 

yhelothar

Lifer
Dec 11, 2002
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I was under the impression that most astrophotography wasn't really made to be accurate, but pretty. Even hubble's is very inaccurate, as they take several wavelengths outside of visible light, and assign them to certain color channels. Astronomy isn't too beautiful in visible light. The heavens doesn't really look anywhere near as colorful as any of the beautiful pics out there. Many are dismayed when they look through a telescope because everything looks almost black and white, even those rich colorful nebulas you see in pictures.

You need the $5000-$10,000 telescope, don't you?
Or can you just get a camera like Canon 20D, and apply an IR mod to it?
Those shots that I showed you was just the Canon 20D. Only the pics on his site that specifically state it was taken with a telescope was taken with a telescope.

The key to astrophotography is really the mount. Have a really accurate tracking mount, and you can take longer exposure photos that stay tack sharp. The longer the exposure, the more of the hidden treasures you can reveal.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
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Originally posted by: Fritzo
I have one pointed at my neighbor's window, and I can see a full moon every night.

GIGITY!!!!
Let me turn around, and point my "scope" right back at you.