Astronomy Magazines

The two astronomy magazines I read regularly are Astronomy and Sky and Telescope.

I find both magazines to be very interesting.  There are some differences between the two so if you can’t afford both, you would probably want to check them both out before you make a decision.  I asked someone at a telescope shop once which one to pick and he said “both”.  I will give the same advice.

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Meade ETX-90EC

I purchased my Meade ETX-90EC in the summer of 1999.  My wife and I were joining my parents for a few days on their vacation to Bend, Oregon.  I can’t remember why I went into the store but I did and noticed the ETX.  I was amazed that it was automatic and could point at an object in the sky.  I hadn’t followed astronomy or telescopes at all so this seemed unbelievable to me.  I thought this might let me do the things I wished a could do as a kid.  So, I went back to the store and purchased it.  I even have the original receipt that I kept with the manuals.

I recall trying it out a few times but never finding the time to really use it.  I never even learned to align it.  I did purchase a carrying care, a few eyepieces, a Barrow and an adapter for my Nikon SLR.  But, I never used it and it moved from apartment to apartment as we moved.

A couple of years ago I restarted some of my hobbies including astronomy.  With eBay’s help, I was able to get a full tripod and a Meade camera called the LPI Imager.  I was thinking astrophotography sounded interesting and figure an old camera would be a good thing to take a look at.  I even found a book written by Mike Weasner called “Using the Meade ETX”.  He has a website called Weasner’s Might ETX Site.  I found and re-found this website over the years and it is an incredible site for ETX owners.

I did get the ETX out a few times in the last years to let the kid’s look through it for a major astrological event.  I even setup the camera but never found the time to set it up to start some test astro-photographs.  But, that is now the goal and I will update my progress in this blog.

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Past and Future Astronomy Interests

I have blogged about some of my past astronomy interests in the post “Why Clear Sky Tonight”.

My future astronomy interests are:

  • Planets – The planets have always fascinated me.  Sure you can see the moon with the naked eye, but the planets are so big but just so far away.  I have seen the close up pictures from the different large telescopes, Hubble and the main NASA space crafts.  But, I want to see them for myself with my eye.  I remember the first time I saw the fuzzy images in my ETX of the four moons of Jupiter and mentioned to my children that was what Galileo saw over 400 years ago too.  I remember the first time I saw Mars and it was red.  I remember the first fuzzy images of Saturn’s rings on my ETX.  I want to see the planets closer, sharper and be able to photograph them.
  • Moon – Sure, we can all see the moon.  But I am interested in exploring some of its detail.  Plus, it is a good goal on those “so-so” nights.
  • Galaxies – I want see a galaxy in a telescope and realize how small we really are in the universe!
  • Astrophotography – I want to document all my observing
  • Computer-Controlled – I want to figure how to automate all of this and sit back and enjoy the images.
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