Review of Adler Optik Jupiter 20×80 ZCF Binos

Posted by XTSee on 19th August , 2008

The review of my Adler Optik Jupiter 20×80ZCF Giant Observation Binoculars which I have provided on my web site is now complete, and also includes an excerpt from Sky At Night magazine, September ‘08 issue, which did a group test on six pairs of binoculars, one of which was almost identical to my binos.

Overall I am very pleased with these binoculars.

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Partial Lunar eclipse thru 20×80 binos

Posted by XTSee on 17th August , 2008

Well I had very little hope of actually seeing the Partial Lunar Eclipse which took place on 16th August, starting at 20:36 BST, and ending at 23:44, with maximum coverage at 22:10. This weekends weather had been forecast (once again) as rainy and cloudy. Dull, dull, dull!

So I had given up all hope of actually seeing anything, and so me and my good lady settled down to watch a couple of movies. Well halfway through the first film, we paused it to get a drinks top-up, and since I fancied a whisky-on-the-rocks, I had to go outside to the freezer in our garage, and glancing up at the sky was very surprised to see a gap in the clouds, only around the Moon, but large enough for me to go racing inside to fetch my new 20×80 binos and shouting for the wife to follow.

That’s the beauty of binoculars, and within about a minute the tripod and binos were setup and we were looking at the ghostly vision of the partially eclipsed Moon peering through a viel of clouds. It was quite a beautiful sight, and all the more special considering the clouds had opened up at exactly the right time for us to see the moon at almost maximum Earth shadow coverage. Very nice!

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First light with Adler Optik Jupiter 20×80 Giant Binoculars

Posted by XTSee on 10th August , 2008

At last after patiently waiting for the clouds to clear, I have enjoyed “first light” with my birthday present from my missus. A pair of Adler Optik Jupiter 20×80 Giant Observation Binoculars.

Adler Optik Jupiter 20x80 Giant Binoculars

We bought them from Scopes-n-Skies (click the link for their writeup).

These binos are quite hefty, requiring tripod mount for stable viewing, and I also purchased the ScopeTeknix Zodiac ST90 counterbalance binocular mounting, which raises the binos right up to above eye level for comfortable viewing without having to strain your neck or bend down, and the counterbalance makes them easy to move around. Read the rest of this entry »

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French skies and meteorites

Posted by XTSee on 9th August , 2008

I’ve been on holiday in France for a 2 week break. I took a small pair of binoculars (10×25) for some casual astronomy viewing of the night sky down near the Med. We went to a campsite at Canet-en-Rousillon, near Perpignan. While we had a fantastic hot holiday, the night sky was frankly quite terrible. I think this was due to us being pretty close to sea-level, and the heat resulting in humid conditions, so that even though most nights were clear and the stars were out, it was very poor transparency, with only the brightest being visible.

The first day of our holiday was my birthday, and for that my wife had bought me a new pair of giant 20×80 binoculars. Unfortunately they had not been delivered in time for the vacation, which was a little disappointing. Never mind.

One thing worthy of mention was a large meteorite that shot overhead on the Sunday night (27/08/2008). It was very bright, and crossed about 100 degrees of sky in about 1 second, and actually broke up in a final shower of pieces as it died. As with most meteorites it was over incredibly quickly, but the breakup made it quite spectacular.

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Planet Mars astrophotography section online

Posted by XTSee on 7th July , 2008

Brace yourself for some truly terrible photos of Mars which you can find on my web site.

I’ve had these photos for quite some time and have been meaning to add them, partly tongue-in-cheek, and partly as a momento of my very first attempts at astrophotography with my XT10 telescope. I took these in December 2007 about a week after getting my brand new scope.

Planet Mars Considering that Mars was at its nearest position to Earth for quite a long time, these photos are truly criminal and just do not do Mars justice at all. Oh well, it was early days and I had a lot to learn about taking pictures with a telescope.

We all have to start somewhere.

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Saturn added to astrophotography section

Posted by XTSee on 7th July , 2008

Tonight I finished creating a new page within the Astrophotography section of my site showing the photos I have taken of Saturn (don’t get too excited, they’re nothing great).

They demonstrate afocal astropics of Saturn taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera held up to the eyepiece, and also a couple of webcam images produced from AVI movie captures of Saturn and its moons.

I’m at a very early stage in my attempts with astrophotography, but they show what can be achieved with a Dobsonian mounted Orion Skyquest XT10i newtonian reflector telescope.

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First photos of Jupiter through XT10

Posted by XTSee on 5th July , 2008

As promised in my previous days post, here are pictures of Jupiter taken with my Philips SPC900NC webcam, and after processing them.

This is the very first time I have taken Jupiter, and the conditions were not very good. I had a very short slot of time to get set up and take the movies, Jupiter was very low in the sky, between buildings, and there was lots of atmospheric turbulence, and also some very light cloud cover.

Read the rest of this entry »

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First light on Jupiter and its moons

Posted by XTSee on 4th July , 2008

Well, I’ve only had my telescope for 7 months(!), and last night was the very first time I’ve got up close and personal with Jupiter. Hooray, no rain, no clouds, and Jupiter positioned enough above the horizon for me to view it properly. I did view it through binos a week ago, but that was too late to be getting the scope out and me and the wife were a bit drunk having just returned from a wedding party.

Unfortunately the seeing wasn’t so good tonight, a lot of turbulence in the atmosphere (being so low in the sky) and my view was between buildings so I only had about half an hour to observe the big gas giant and its moons. By the naked-eye it was clear, bright and obviously a disc as opposed to a point of light.

Through my 38mm SWA EP in the Orion XT10, Jupiter and its moons were un-mistakeable, and using the 2xBarlow+10mm Plossl I was able to make out the bands.

I put the webcam in and was able to get a couple of AVI’s while the planet drifted across the view, but I have yet to process these in K3CCDTools.

I hope to get a better view fairly soon if the skies are favourable.

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Astro Music section complete

Posted by XTSee on 2nd July , 2008

I have added an Astro Music page to my web site.

This contains a small and convenient music player which plays a collection of tracks by a variety of my favourite artists and bands. The common thread being that the tracks are based upon a “Space” theme to suggest a voyage through deep space, passing planets, stars, novas, and encountering aliens, UFO’s and a few other mysterious things on the way.

A lot of the music chosen is ambient, ethereal and either beautiful, hypnotic or wierd as the mood takes you! The intro page provides some information about each of the artists, and the player has buttons to control which tracks play, and volume and so on. Each track also has a button beside it which links off to the appropriate website for that band.

You might know or recognise some of the pieces of music or artists, but there are also some unusual items as well.

Music is a very personal thing, so only you can say whether it appeals to you.
Anyway its there to enjoy while you browse my web site, so be my guest. The player will continue to work uninterrupted while you browse the pages of my site.
If you like the music then please support the artists by purchasing their music.
I don’t make any money from this - I simply like this music, and thought you might also?
Jim

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Lunar photos of the Moon added to astrophotography section

Posted by XTSee on 21st June , 2008

Tonight I have brought the Astrophotography section of my web site to life by creating a sub-section showing the pictures I have taken of the Moon.

Although I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to astrophotography, the point is to show folk what I was able to produce on my very first attempt with the Orion Skyquest XT10i telescope. You will see that I used some pretty basic equipment, a simple point and shoot digital camera, and just the standard eyepieces that came with the telescope.

There are also a couple of my first pics of the Moon taken with the Philips SPC900NC Webcam.

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