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alter
user 11660017
Group Organizer
Glenview, IL
Post #: 8
Hi guys, I'm very new to this hobby and its great to see others with the same interest. The sky has been pretty clear the last couple of nights so I was finally able to test out the new scope and get some nice viewing of the moon in. What types of telescopes are you using? Anyone doing any astro photography?
A former member
Post #: 28
Hello, everybody. I've been watching the sky since the summer of 2007, bought a 6" Orion Skyquest Dob in the summer of 2008, and received a Meade DS114 (4.5") go-to scope that same Christmas. I added to my collection of scopes a couple of 60mm refractors that I found cheap. Obviously, I'm working with modest equipment, but each scope has served me well when called upon. I haven't done any "serious" astrophotography, but almost any telescope and digital camera can turn out decent Moon pics, and a 6" will do okay with Jupiter and Saturn.

I spent my first couple of year as an astronomer observing alone, but I've made some friends in the hobby the last two years. The only catch is I usually have to travel. I met Chicago Astronomer Joe Guzman late in 2009, and have been to quite a few of his star parties outside Adler Planetarium, and other locations around the city. Yeah, there is way too much light pollution in the city, but astronomy is not impossible there, and it's a great place t meet people. A little over year ago I joined Calumet Astronomical Society here in Indiana, so now some of my friends in Chicago come out to our some-what dark sky observatory in Lowell, IN.

I'll probably post a meet-up at the observatory in the spring, BUT it will most likely be on a night with a bright Moon, or an inconvenient weeknight. It's a long drive, even for me, but quality time with the 16" is usually worth it. I try to keep the no-Moon weekends for CAS members. As friendships are made in this group, though, there will probably be invitations to come out on a dark weekend.

In the meantime, I suggest checking out the Chicago Astronomer forum. There are some experienced astronomers over there, and some still learning the ropes. All are welcome.

And I suppose I could plug my People's Astronomy blog, though I haven't written much lately.

Looking forward to discussions here, and- when it gets warmer- sharing scope time.

Paulie

alter
user 11660017
Group Organizer
Glenview, IL
Post #: 9
Hi Paulie, wow it seems like you have a lot of scopes! I' have only a couple, a tiny Celestron Firstscope and a Nexstar 6SE...that I've only been able to use a couple times so far. I very briefly had a Celestron 127EQ that I had issues with so I returned it. I want to try a large dobsonian some day because I hear they are very powerful.

I didn't know they do star parties outside the Adler Planetarium. I went to the planetarium last year though.

Thanks for the links! I'll definitely check those out.
A former member
Post #: 29
Big Dobs are great because for the size, they are the most affordable. They aperture wins, and wins big. It's true, but it isn't necessary to have a big scope to enjoy the hobby. It is nice to know somebody with one to check out once in awhile, but if I only had my little 4.5", I would still be a mostly happy astronomer.

Adler does one star party a month, Adler After Dark on the third Thursday. As far as I can tell, those nights are more about making money, music and booze than astronomy.Nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't want drunks around my telescopes. Adler is on Park District property though, so Joe is free to set up outside there during park hours. He posts when he's going out, and anybody who can make it just shows up. Sometimes these things are planned out ahead of time, others only an hour or two notice. So much depends on weather. They're a lot of fun, but sometimes on nice summer nights there are so many park visitors that we don't have much time for hanging out and talking to each other. Every session is different, but set out a big telescope, lots of telescopes, or lots of big telescopes, and curiosity will win out. People are drawn in wanting to know what's going on, then other passing by really want to know what's going on, etc. They're fun sessions, but it's good to get away from all those lights, too. Dark skies are awesome, although I've never seen a truly dark sky. They get pretty good out here in Indiana if you head far enough south, but nowhere near as dark as Arizona or New Mexico.
j.r.
user 12373430
Lake in the Hills, IL
Post #: 8
Lunar eclipse Saturday morning, but the CHicago area will only see the first 15-20 minutes of it before the mon sets & the sun rises.

ISS returns to the evening skies on the 14th.
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