#OptUp Inspiring Astronomy RSS

barlow, eyepiece, eyepieces, luminos, magnification, plossls, seeing -

When you’re selecting a new eyepiece, the first and most important consideration should be how it fits in with the eyepieces you already have – particularly, your magnification scheme.  To figure out the magnification of your eyepieces, you take the focal length of your telescope (1200mm for an f/6 8-inch dob) and divide it by the focal length of the eyepiece.  For example, if you have, say, 25mm and 10mm Plossls that came with your 8-inch dob, they’re giving you 48x and 120x respectively. So, the first analysis is to fill in magnification “gaps” you have – like a high-powered eyepiece,...

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It has taken longer than I had hoped to get here, but our new retail showroom will be opening in mid-November! Note: From October 28th - Store open, no local pickup or phone support will be available while we are busy setting up and moving into the new space! We will be located in Lakewood, Colorado at the intersection of West Colfax and Kipling. We will be located on the NE corner of West Colfax and Kipling in the same development as the Disguises costume shop, towards the west side of the building. Store Address:9797 West Colfax #3vvLakewood, CO 80215...

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It’s fall in Colorado, and that means more humidity in the air, and, if you aren’t mindful, dew on the telescope. This is particularly important for refractors and Cassegrain telescopes - SCTs and Maks, which have a large lens at the front that is highly susceptible to dew buildup. Here are some tips to prevent and in the worst case, remove that dew.  Passive Prevention Lens Hoods and Dew Shields Dew shields are the first line of defense. These work well when you keep your objective pointing far enough towards the horizon that the lens isn’t exposed to the dew coming down...

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You've probably seen a very bright yellow-orange star rising from the East as the sun sets. That's Mars! July 27th is the Mars opposition - the best and brightest Mars will be for the next 17 years. Don't worry if you can't get out to see Mars on the 27th though - it will still be extremely bright and brilliant for the next several weeks through Mid-August, when it will begin gradually dimming as the planet moves further away again in its orbit.  If you DO get out on the 27th, you'll see Mars right next to the full Moon! How...

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Family, How To, Kids, Telescopes -

I see too many very well intending parents buy the toy store telescope (often with an included microscope), only to find the whole experience of trying to setup and use their child's new prize to be a frustrating, rather than amazing, experience for them and their child. 

A Little Story about a Too-little Telescope

A few weeks ago at an astronomical club open house, some kids and their dad brought in a little telescope he'd gotten them. This was one of those $20 toy store items. It had a shaky little tripod that you would sit on a table (the legs didn't extend), a very small aperture lens (about 30mm) and a couple of very cheap plastic eyepieces. The family was frustrated because they weren't able to see anything through this little telescope, and even had trouble getting it pointed at the Moon...

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