Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2001 8:53:21 From: email@example.com (Bob Estes) Last night's wonderfully clear skies coincided with the local astronomy club's "dark site" star party, providing an excellent opportunity to compare my ETX-125 to larger scopes. Like some other correspondents, I had casually considered "moving up" to the LX-90; but after last night, I would now consider such a change to be "sliding sideways and up just a bit." Scopes in the vicinity included 2 8" dobs (one Meade, one Orion) and a larger 12" dob. Deep sky objects were a bit brighter in the larger dobs, but the only ones which were appreciably better visualized were M81 and M82. All of the globulars were very comparably resolved (M3, M5, M13, M92, M11, etc.) and the Ring, Swan, and Trifid nebulas were minimally different in the 8 inchers. The 12" did have a significantly brighter view of the Swan - as would be expected. If anything, Mars looked a bit better in the 125. Obviously, the dark skies made the difference for the 125. Globular clusters which had appeared somewhat fuzzy in suburbia were clearly resolved away from town. Setup and take-down took 5 minutes each, and everything (including folding chairs) fit easily in the trunk of my compact car with room to spare. Each user will need to individually assess his or her particular situation, but I would encourage current ETX-125 users to try to compare images side-by-side if possible before spending a lot of money for what may be a very minimal difference in your viewing experience. Bob Estes (Nashville)
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