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What was the first proper telescope you looked through

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What was the first proper telescope you looked through

Postby Supercooper » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:22 am

Hi all,

Last night as my friend, Rob, was leaving I noticed that it was a lovely night and he had never seen Jupiter through a telescope. So, I set up my 120mm Refractor and he had the 'WOW' moment...

My first look through a 'proper' astronomical telescope was at the Lytham St.Annes Astro Soc in 1977. We met monthly at the St. Annes College of FE. - One night we decided to observe through the College instrument, a skeleton 12" f6 Newtonian on massive driven EQ... So we lugged it outside in anticipation of what we might see. Ken Porter (sadly missed) picked up Jupiter for us and we had our 'WOW!' moment right then. The detail on the planet was better than any of us had dared to hope for. The moons were discs! That was when I had it confirmed that I had to have a better telescope than the 60mm Astral refractor I was struggling along with. At one point I observed Jupiter through the 30" Newtonian at the AAC (1985 - See pic), but the seeing was really poor and the wow factor wasn't there!

Since then I've had a succession of instruments, but I must say that nothing to date has been as spectacular as that first view of Jupiter through the LSt.AAS 12" f6 Newtonian. My 120mmRefractor comes close but, not quite! (That's why I'm working towards a 150mm Refractor - :o)

What was your first 'proper' view and what were you looking through?

Regards, Barry
Attachments
30InchDobSmall.jpg
A much younger me with the 30" f4.1 Dobsonian
30InchDobSmall.jpg (56.01 KiB) Viewed 3713 times
Last edited by Supercooper on Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What was the first astronomical telescope you looked thr

Postby Aratus » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:22 pm

As I've mentioned elsewhere my first telescope was a Tasco 4VTE which was a Christmas present from my parents back in 1971. This telescope was a 40mm refractor with a zoom type eyepiece giving magnifications of 25x to 50x. I used it until the early 1980s when the rack and pinion focuser broke, and eventually it was thrown out. I have since found the identical model and I am having fun using it today.

Image

My first log entry
Tuesday 28th December 1971
1640 UT - the gibbous moon. I noted several craters and then then later identified them from the moon atlas. There were Tycho, Plato and the Ptolemaeus/Alphonsus/Arzachel crater group.
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Re: What was the first proper telescope you looked thr

Postby Supercooper » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:00 am

Hi Aratus,
With respect, that was your first telescope... The question was 'What was the first 'proper' telescope telescope you looked through?

We all had tiny telescopes as our first ones. Mine was a 30 x 30mm refractor! Then I got a 60mm - Not much better! I was wondering if we could unearth some interesting stories about people's experience with larger sizes and their reaction to the view through the eyepiece.

For instance: I've seen Jupiter and it's moons through...
(List in size order - Correct as of: 15/04/2016)
The finder of my Bresser Skylux (6x24mm)
My 1p Telescope, a 10x25mm Refractor,
Dad's 6 x 30 binoculars,
Dad's 30x30mm Refractor,
My 8x40 binoculars,
My 10x50 Binoculars,
My friend, Michael's 60mm Refractor, 1976 - This inspired me to get my own.
My first telescope which was an Alt-Az 60mm f9 Astral Refractor,
My 20x70 binoculars,
My 70mm f13 Zennox EQ Refractor
My Bresser 70mm f10 EQ refractor
My SkyWatcher Maksutov-Cassegrain Mak90mm f13.9
My Celestron Omni XLT120mm f8.35 Eq Refractor
My Sky-Watcher 130P Explorer f5 Eq Newtonian,
My SkyWatcher 150mm f5 EQ Newtonian,
Paul Money's Alt-Az 150mm Reflecting Binoculars,
My first 'proper telescope', an A.E. Telescopes 152mm 6" f7 EQ Newtonian,
A 200mm f10 EQ Refractor at the Horncastle Astronomy Weekend,
The Godlee 8" (203mm) f15 EQ Grubb Refractor at Manchester University Observatory,
Paul Money's Bedford Astronomy Supplies EQ f5 10" (250mm) Newtonian,
A 12" (305mm) f6 Skeleton EQ Newtonian at Lytham & St. Annes Astro Soc. (appx.1977),
Paul Money's 14" (360mm) f6 Alt-Az Newtonian in Horncastle,
A 22" (560mm) f4.5 Skeleton EQ Go-To Newtonian at Stickney, Nr. Boston (Lincolnshire),
and the 30" (750mm) f4.1 Alt-Az Newtonian at the AAC, near Todmorden.
(I doubt I'll ever look through a bigger telescope!)

Cheers, Barry
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Re: What was the first proper telescope you looked through

Postby Aratus » Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:41 am

I'm sorry I misunderstood your intention. :( Clearly your definition of 'proper' is different from mine. :? Did you mean stories about observing through 'a large telescope' or something like a 'professional telescope'?

Over 10 years I made nearly 700 observations with the 40mm telescope. I observed and learnt dozens of lunar features. I observed the planets Mercury to Uranus through it. I observed around 30 deep sky objects with it. I made many solar observations with it. I split more multiple stars than I can remember. I think I would have fought you in the playground if you had said to me at that time that it wasn't a proper telescope. :evil: As it is I'll let you off. :D

Obviously the 6" reflector I used for many years, and the 8" SCT I have now are in a different league but never have I considered them to be more 'proper' than the Tasco. They do have a larger light grasp.
So I did do a lot of observations of Mars with the 6", which was impossible with the Tasco. The larger telescopes enabled fainter objects to be seen which were beyond the ability of the Tasco. Larger, professional telescope will do even better than my present telescope I suppose. To me it is just a sliding scale.
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Re: What was the first proper telescope you looked through

Postby Supercooper » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:00 pm

Hello again,

Thanks for not fighting me in the playground :o)

Of course from time to time people write to asking what they can do because they've been bought a tiny telescope that can't show detail on Jupiter!

My answer is usually that at one time their telescope would have been the largest in the world and it is with such instruments that the first astronomers made their discoveries. I send them off plotting the night to night movements of the Galilean satellites, looking for the rings of Saturn, a glimpse of uranus and neptune and a list of Asteroids to find.

Any instrument is better than none and it's amazing what a small telescope will show. I take my hat off to you for sticking with your 40mm instrument for so long. When I got my 60mm refractor it was apparrent on the first night that it was not good enough for the observations I wanted to make. And within six months was superceded by my first 6" Newtonian.

Cheers, Barry
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Re: What was the first proper telescope you looked through

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:44 pm

I'd say it was my 127mm Mak in 2002. I've seen cloud belts in my 60mm refractor, though.
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Re: What was the first proper telescope you looked through

Postby david48 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:06 pm

The first telescope I looked through, was a "Charles Frank Junior Astronomical Telescope".

It wasn't very good, by modern standards. It had a simple, non-achromatic object-glass, with a diameter of 47mm. This diameter was further stopped down to 38mm, by an metal ring on the front.

And the eyepiece was also very simple - just a small short-focus convex lens.

This provided a magnification of about 30X. But that was enough to give views of the mountains and craters on the Moon, and the disc of Jupiter, and the crescent phase of Venus, and the Pleiades star-cluster in some detail.

These views had a magic, which I have never forgotten.
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Re: What was the first proper telescope you looked through

Postby Graeme1858 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:12 pm

First wow was Saturn through a 60mm refractor. So much so that I went out an bought a 150mm Newton EQ. Next wow was Jupiter through that. Then Albierio through the 26" refractor at Greenwich. Then numerous faint fuzzies with my 10" dob. Now looking forward to getting a 9.25 SC Evo for my birthday!
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