Equipment Envy

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Equipment Envy

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Mon May 29, 2017 11:13 am

We've all been there! We see a photo online or in a magazine that was taken with a 999mm APO and a multi zillion, billion, quintillion terapixel camera. We think that if we just got a higher-paid job or won the lottery, we could get the gear and take pictures like that ourselves.

Apart from the fact that there might actually be some skill required, the fact is that most of us have to work, have families and generally don't have THAT much time for observing and processing photos.

In my particular case, I would like a better solar telescope but hold on a minute! My time at work is very tight and I don't have time to get out at lunchtime, save for a quick binocular scan for sunspots. That leaves 3 days a week (early finish on Friday) and, as often as not, I am clouded out. So if I had a better solar telescope I would not get much use from it.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

My website: http://www.philippughastronomer.com/

My blog: http://sungazer127mak.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: Equipment Envy

Postby voyager » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:35 pm

Heh. It's one reason why I prefer to not use any equipment (OK, apart from occasional use of 10x50 binoculars). However, I do have sky envy whenever someone posts images of aurorae, southern skies, and other night vistas I have yet to see...
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Re: Equipment Envy

Postby Aratus » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:12 pm

Bad weather has always been one of main bug-bears of British astronomy. It can certainly give a sickening feeling when equipment you hoped would give good results is just lying there while the wind beats the rain against your windows. However, I think opportunities can be maximised by constantly monitoring the cloud cover. There are web sites that help with this, and with a little practice the timing of short periods of clear skies on an otherwise cloudy night can be predicted. Simply poking one's head out of the door as it gets dark, and condeming the whole evening based on that will inevitably lead to less observing sessions.

Deciding whether it is worth buying particular equipment is very subjective, and different conclusions will be right for different people. Other people's images are interesting in themselves, and they do set the bar, but for me it is getting the best use of the equipment I have is my only goal. When I've done everything I can do with one piece of equipment, only then is it time to look at getting something better. IMHO what someone else has, and what they have seen is their own affair.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, currently housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a Canon DSLR for imaging. I still occasionally use my original 40mm refractor, 47 years after I first started observing.
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