The Author's Astronomy Equipment
Version 1.3.4 of 10/2/2011-1:00 a.m.
The author's main equipment:
- A small Tasco D=60mm and f.l.=700mm, fortified with a 45 degree diagonal, a
shorty Barlow 2x and a good zoom eyepiece 7-22mm, all from Apogee.
- A pair of giant multi-coated Apogee 20x100 binoculars.
- A pair of BCF Chinon 11x80 binoculars.
- A custom metal T-bracket
which can be used to align either pair with the Tasco or which can be disassembled to
allow a simple altazimuth mount for the Tasco, alone.
- A professional stable Chinon tripod, capable of carrying weights of up to 20
- A smaller Velbon photo tripod.
The author is a DSO hunter, so he is after light gathering power and portability.
Magnification doesn't concern him much, but whenever the object requires it and the sky
allows it, the Tasco with the good eyepiece can go up to reasonable magnifications such
as 90x (without the barlow).
The metal T-bracket allows exact visual alignment of either binocular pair with the
Tasco, which in turn transforms either pair into a giant finder for the Tasco. This way
DSO's are located easily and then both views can be compared directly.
Here's how M22 looks through all three instruments, with digital sketches made in
Photoshop from a real image of the object:
All the equipment mounted, at head's height.
Closer side view.
Close up from head's height.
The T-bracket disassembled and serving as an altazimuth mount for the Tasco alone.
Distant boat through the Apogee 20x100 pair.
Distant boat through the Tasco with the Apogee zoom eyepiece, at 35x.
Distant boat through the Tasco with the Apogee zoom eyepiece, at 92x.
The author's ideal setup: Armchair mounting demonstrated by Dr. Henry E. Paul.
Mounting is controlled by convenient hand cranks. This "Sky Sweeper" chair was
originally designed and build by Dr. Edgar Everhart, who used it in his discovery of
the comet 1964h, which now bears his name. The author's engineer assures him that he can
build a modern version of this chair which can also be conveniently disassembled for
transportation. The price he is asking: &Euro;1,400.
- Built by the author's Engineer, VRM-S. Kanellopoulos.
- More digital sketch representations of visual comparisons of all three
instruments for some famous Messier objects can be seen here.
- View from the author's one past female companion's house.
- From page 199 of The Amateur Astronomer's Handbook, by James Muirden, 1974.