What's So Great About Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes?
They are among the most popular telescopes among amateur astronomers, SCT's have been around for decades in the commercial market. During this hangout, we'll discuss some of the advantages of these scopes, why they are so popular, and delve into the many characteristics of their optical design.
Should you buy one? Tune in to find out! Each week Tony Darnell, Adam Smith, John Suffill and Alexander Reinders get together to talk about telescopes and amateur astronomy. You don't want to miss out on our expertise if you're new to the hobby and are thinking about buying your first telescope.
Join in our online chat on Discord here:
Forget Backyard Imaging! Use NASA Telescopes Yourself
Why go through all the trouble and expense of buying and learning to use your own imaging equipment when you have access to ACTUAL Space Telescope data?
If you've ever wanted to take a picture like the Hubble Space Telescope does of the Orion Nebula or capture Jupiter through the camera as well as the Juno spacecraft, then this hangout is for you.
You can actually use data from these missions yourself. The data taken with all space telescopes eventually end up in the public archives that you can download and process yourself. In this hangout we'll discuss some of the ways of getting and processing this data for your own use.
We'll also take some time to talk about what its like to have job processing data from these major missions and some of the requirements of that job.
How to Process Images Taken Through Your Telescope
So you've spent the money, installed the equipment, hit the 'Take Image' button and you have a computer full of images. Now what?
In this hangout, we continue diving into the complex topic of astro-imaging for the amateur astronomer. Taking images is only half the battle (I mean fun), now that you have a hard drive full of images, you can begin to sift and sort through them to get some decent ones.
The thing is, that's easier said than done! Join Tony Darnell, John Suffill, Adam Smith and Alexander Reinders as we continue to explore the wonders of amateur astronomy!
Please follow along on our Discord chat below and ask questions:
What You Need to take Images Through Your Telescope
So, you want to take images with your telescope? Watch this hangout and we'll tell you what you need to get started!
Taking images through your telescope is perhaps one of the hardest things you can do. It is an advanced activity that usually needs expensive stuff, like: an excellent mount, good optics, superior tracking and of course, a good camera.
This is not a beginner thing to do with your telescope, yet one of the first questions people ask who've never owned a scope before is, 'Can I take pictures through it?'
In this hangout, Tony Darnell along with amateur astronomers Alexander Reinders, John Suffill and Adam Smith outline all the pitfalls you need to avoid when taking pictures through your telescope for the first time and we'll let you know what you need to get going!
If you missed it live, you can always check it out on Deep Astronomy's website:
Winter Night Skies: The Best Time of the Year!
As we approach the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere, we talk about some of the best things you can see all year!
Join us for the last Deep Astronomy Hangout of 2017 and let's talk about the wonders of the night sky during the longest night in the northern hemisphere. Where is the Orion Nebula? What about the Andromeda Galaxy? The Pleiades? The Crab Nebula?
Every chance we get, Tony Darnell, Adam Smith, Alexander Reinders and John Suffill come together to discuss our love of amateur astronomy and the night sky. Please join in with your question or comments.
Top 5 Telescopes for Amateur Astronomy Under $500
Looking to buy your first telescope? This hangout will let you know the best telescopes for under $500
Looking to get started in amateur astronomy but are confused about the telescope to start off with? Our advice has always been to never spend more than $500 on your first telescope. Why? Like many hobbies that many people start, they aren't always sure they'll stick with it or if it will hold their interest so keeping the monetary investment to a minimum makes a lot of sense.
Plus, the lesser expensive scopes tend to have the best qualities for a beginner: ease of use, light weight and wide field of view. In fact, in my 30+ years of observing through a telescope, the one I still use the most is the one I bought first and spent only $269 on: a four-inch reflector.
Please join Tony Darnell, John Suffill, Adam Smith and Alexander Reinders for a discussion of beginning telescope and our recommendations for what you should buy.
Here are the links to the scopes we talked about:
Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dobsonian 8? (203 mm) (US) $475
8-inch (20 cm) Newtonian
Collapsable, easier to fit in your car
2? Crayford-style focuser with 1.25? adaptor
4-element Plössl 25 mm and 10 mm 1.25? eyepieces
8×50 right angle erect-image finderscope
Skywatcher Skyliner 250PX Dobsonian (UK) £429
Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm
Dual-Fit 1.25"/2" Crayford-style Focuser
Direct SLR Camera Connection
Skywatcher SKYMAX-102 SynScan™ AZ GOTO (EU) €386
Orion StarSeeker IV 102mm GoTo Mak-Cass Telescope Kit (US) $649
4-inch (10cm) Maksutov-Cassegrain
Goto Telescope w/ database of objects
Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm
x2 Deluxe Barlow lens (1.25") with camera adaptor
90° Star Diagonal (1.25”)
SynScan™ AZ GoTo Computerised Alt-Azimuth HD Go-To Mount
Alternative: Celestron AstroFi 102mm Wi-Fi Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope $419
Not a goto - Control your telescope via integrated WiFi using the free Celestron SkyPortal app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices
The Astro Fi 102mm Maksutov-Cassegrain with fully coated glass optics provides outstanding views the Moon and planets, as well as bright deep space objects beyond our Solar System.
Accessory tray holds 2 x 1.25" eyepieces, miscellaneous accessories, including a rubber-lined area for a smart phone or small tablet.
Includes a StarPointer finderscope, 2 Kellner eyepieces, and mirror star diagonal
Orion Telescope N 114/500 StarSeeker IV AZ SynScan-GoTo (EU) €493
Orion StarSeeker IV 114mm GoTo Reflector Telescope (US) $450
4.5-inch (114mm) diameter Newtonian
Goto telescope w/ 42,000 objects
Two wide-field 1.25" eyepieces are included: 23mm & 10mm
f/4.4 wide field
Orion Dobson telescope N 100/400 SkyScanner DOB (EU) €129
Orion SkyScanner 100mm TableTop Reflector Telescope (US) $99
Very easy to use, inexpensive
Analogous to the Edmund Astroscan (can sit on car hood)
Includes two 1.25" telescope eyepieces: 20mm (for 20 power magnification) and 10mm (for 40 power magnification),
EZ Finder II aiming device,
Starry Night astronomy software
Skywatcher Evostar 120 with EQ3-2 (UK) £349
Good value for refractor
Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm
Direct SLR Camera Connection
Dual-Fit 1.25"/2" Focuser
2" Star Diagonal
Celestron NexStar 102 SLT Computerized Refractor Telescope (US) $499
1.25” Star diagonal
Orion SkyQuest XT8 PLUS Dobsonian Reflector Telescope (US) $499
8-inch reflector (20 cm)
Comes with a 2” focuser
Lots of accessories:
2" 28mm DeepView eyepiece, 1.25"
10mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece,
Safety Film Solar Filter (!)
Shorty 2x Barlow
EZ Finder II reflex sight,
Thumb screw secondary makes for easy collimation
What Telescope Accessories Do You Need?
So now you have a telescope, what telescope accessories do you need for it?
Most telescopes, when you buy them, unbox them and take stock of what came with them, you notice you probably one got one eyepiece. That will get you started in the beginning and will probably let you learn your new telescope and see a few things with it, but you can dramatically increase its usefulness with a few, well-thought-out items.
In this hangout, Tony Darnell, John Suffill and Adam "Synergy" Smith will discuss the ones they think you need, and what to avoid.
Telescope Mounts and Eyepieces
Are you confused about the purpose of telescope mounts? What about eyepieces? What are they for? Watch today's hangout to learn more!
As with any hobby, there's never any shortage of choices for accessories and amateur astronomy is no different. There are mount designs galore to choose from, but which ones are best?
Eyepieces are also plentiful, they are so important that they can give you the best views you've ever had through your telescope or ruin you night completely. But which ones should you own?
In this hangout, Tony Darnell, Adam (Synergy) Smith and John Suffill help you navigate these issues. Learn about the best eyepieces for observing the planets, deep-sky objects and more. We'll also go into the topic of field of view and magnification.
Getting Started in Amateur Astronomy
Want to learn more about amateur astronomy? What telescopes and equipment should you get? How do you get started in this amazing hobby?
Join us for the inaugural hangout dedicated to amateur astronomy! Each week amateur astronomy experts, Tony Darnell, Adam (Synergy) Smith and John Suffill will share with you knowledge, expertise and advice on owning telescopes and getting familiar with the night sky.
Please join us each week to explore this amazing and interesting hobby!
Eclipse 2017 is almost here! How should you view it?
One of the most highly anticipated solar eclipses is happening this year, August 21. What can you expect? How can you safely watch it?
There are so many ways to enjoy a solar eclipse and this one is going to be one of the best in a long time. In this hangout, we will explore and discuss some of the ways you can get involved and safely watch the eclipse. It will be visible across the entire United States, but others in the U.K. and Europe can get in on the action too!
Join us and let's talk about the Sun!
Download the Eyes on the Solar System App from NASA:
Try out Harvard's Eclipse 2017 App for Android and iPhone:
Refractors vs Reflectors: Which one is best?
In the programming world, it's spaces vs tabs. In amateur astronomy, the never-ending debate is: Refractors vs Reflectors.
Which one is best? What can you see from each type of telescope?
Why are refractors so expensive for their size? How come reflectors can see so much more of the night sky than refractors?
If you have ever asked any of these questions, you need to check out this episode of Telescope Talk, the premier show for learning about telescopes, accessories and the wonderful and fulfilling hobby of amateur astronomy.
Each week, Adam Smith, John Suffill and Tony Darnell take you on a journey to help you find the perfect telescope for you and your burgeoning interest in the night sky.