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Light star gazing?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2012 at 19:21
Nimrod 1 View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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New to forum, been lurking here for a few days, good forum , lots of good info and reviews. I was leaning toward a Kowa spotting scope but after reading reviews here I believe I am going to end up with a Vortex Razor. Anyway besides the usual uses for a powerful spotting scope, has anyone done any light star gazing? I'm just curious because I've always wanted a telescope, just never bought one. Thanks.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/01/2012 at 11:32
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Optics Apprentice
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A good spotter such as the one you mention can indeed be used for light-duty stargazing.  I sometimes use my Pentax for this, and can easily see the Orion nebula and the Andromeda galaxy.  Get a star chart and a small red LED light, and you're set.
However, I would also mention that a set of 20x astronomical binoculars are easier on the eyes to use, and give a wide field of view.  Of course you do need a tripod that will be heavier that what you might have gotten away with when using a spotter, but you will want a decent tripod anyway.  A decent set of astro binocs are not greatly expensive at all.  Around the house, I actually prefer to use my 20x binocs for day and night use over any of my spotters as it's easier to use two eyes instead of just one.
 
An even better way to go would be an inexpensive dobsonian telescope w/a couple of decent eyepieces, which although will be less expensive than your spotter, will do a better job of stargazing.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/01/2012 at 12:03
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Optics Apprentice
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I hear a lot of good things about Kowa spotters I am unfamiliar with the Vortex Razor.   I use my spotter for light star gazing.  I would a recommend an angled eye piece spotter body for general use and star gazing.  The best way I have found to use my spotting scope for star gazing is to set the tripod so the eye piece is just eye level when setting in a chair so all you have to do is slightly lean forward.   You will notice the spinning of the earth at high magnifications and a screw type elevation a traverse head makes it easier to keep on target.

 

The best results I have had were seeing the color of the bands of Jupiter and the noticing the red color in Mars.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/01/2012 at 19:43
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Optics GrassHopper
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thanks for the replies guys. good to know. I'll have to look into the binoculars.
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