Last updated: 4 September 2005
Subject: A New ETX 125 AT User... Sent: Saturday, September 3, 2005 06:12:07 From: Myles at MCG (email@example.com) I am a new visitor. My ETX 125 AT is now a little over a month old and it has paid for itself already in the joy that I've had with it. Living in Newtown, PA (a 300+ year old community north of Philadelphia and near where Washington crossed the Delaware to win the Battle of Trenton) night skies are not very dark, especially looking south and east. Looking north is a bit better since it looks up county towards less developed areas. To increase the dark skies difficulty July and August as us Easterners know were hot, hazy and high humidity and the skies were terrible. To make matters even worse, my backyard backs up to woods and there are big trees between my house and my neighbor's leaving just a modest East/West viewing area. But I set up on the deck anyway. On the first clear night of viewing, I had a clear shot of Jupiter, saw a bunch of Messier objects, and the ring nebula. This was with a moon blazing on the other side of the house. I was in the house's shadow so the moonlight didn't destroy my night vision. Then I set it up in the front on another clear night and looked at the half moon. Terrific! I also discovered that when it's aligned you can manually point it at something and hit identify and it tells you what you're looking at. AMAZING! But the best fun came last week when I packed it up in the hard shell case and took it to another part of our subdivision where there is a wide open space, back towards the playing fields. I was far enough in to be away from house lights, and was actually able to see the entire Big Dipper unlike behind my house where the woods blocks the bottom star of the bowl and completely hides Polaris and was able to get a very accurate alignment. I saw almost the entire catalog of "tonight's best" and was even able to start resolving individual stars in some globular clusters. I saw Andromeda and could resolve the bulge, although it took a lot of staring. To align north behind the house I used Google earth to show an overhead view of our house on our street. North is clearly shown on the picture and using CorelDraw and the image I determined that our house is pointing about 12 degrees east of north. So I just angle the telescope about 12 degrees off of perpendicular with the back of the house and its pretty close. Then came the coup de grace It started to show the planets that were out that night. The only ones were Uranus and Neptune. These aren't usually listed in the manuals since their so far and so faint for a medium size telescope. Furthermore, they were low on the horizon AND they were towards the bright sky that is looking south and east towards Philly. But, wham! There was Uranus, round and blue. I was able to view it with the Barlow and could clearly see its shape. The telescope tracked it perfectly. Then I went for Neptune which was in the same general direction and even lower in the sky. It came through also. It was difficult to focus since the atmosphere wasn't cooperating, but hey I was only out there about an hour and a half and saw perhaps fifteen celestial objects that without this magical scope may have eluded me for a lifetime. It is a wonderful device that I am going to enjoy for many years. I have a wish list of other accessories that will keep my kids busy for a long time. Questions 1 What digital imaging system is reasonable to use with the ETX 125? 2 Can they be used for deep sky or just planetary imaging? 3 What is the difference between a plossel and super plossel eyepiece? 4 What is a plossel eyepiece anyway? 5 I have the standard Meade 28mm super plossel, and purchased the Celeston lens set that includes some filters. 6 The Celestron eyepieces are just plossel not super. What difference does this make? I do find that the Meade eyepiece is easier to image in my eye. The 35mm Celestron forms its image above the eyepiece so I have to float my eye above the eyecup. But they do focus and the images are very good. I can't wait until October and November skies and Orion comes up. Myles MarcovitchMike here: See the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for lots of info on cameras and imaging systems that can be used with the ETX. See the article "Eyepiece Designs" on the Helpful Information: Telescope Tech Tips page for some info. Eyepieces with long "eye relief", which is the how far from the eyepiece the image focuses, can be a good thing or a bad thing dependning upon the eye of the individual looking through the eyepiece and whether or not glasses are required.
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