Sun Distance

We created a Sun Distance Astronomy Calculator.


Sun Position

We created a Sun Position Astronomy Calculator.


Orion SteadyPix Quick Smartphone Adapter Review

I noticed a new product was being released called the Orion SteadyPix Quick Smartphone Adapter.  I had been researching the options for afocal astrophotography.  I have purchased a Carson HookUpz 2.0 and a different model of the SteadyPix Deluxe

One of the first thing interesting about the SteadyPix Quick was the price which was around $23 at the time I purchased.  So, I decided to give it a try.

The instructions were straightforward.  It easily expanded to hold the smartphone and then the eyepiece clamp move diagonally to align with the camera lens.  The eyepiece clamp then twist-locked around an eyepiece.  This provided for a very secure connection.


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Sun Longitude

We created a Sun Longitude Astronomy Calculator.


Observing Session–December 10, 2017

We had a series of clear nights so I decided to take the Meade LX70 Refractor out for its first light.  I was going to try to find the Andromeda Galaxy since I had noticed Cassiopeia overhead a couple of nights before. 

I setup the refractor and the first issue I had was getting it to point straight up.  I started to hit the tripod legs.  The next issue was I was looking in the wrong place.  I had used a reference in one of my books to do the star hopping to the Andromeda Galaxy but I got disoriented.  Once I figure out the region of the sky to be looking that solved by problem of the telescope hitting the tripod legs.  I also raised the telescope on it dovetail rail higher.

My next issue was using the finder scope.  I was very happy to have purchased the 90 degree model but still didn’t know where I should be looking.  So, I decided to just start over with the binoculars and find the galaxy first.  It took a while and a lot of misses but finally found the faint fuzzy.  With a more precise area of the sky to look at, I just scanned back and forth through the eyepiece and finally found it.

I tried a number of different eyepieces and the wide angle one was the best.  I was starting to get cold so really didn’t try of the eyepieces much more.  As I was picked things up and noticed that a lot of dew was starting to form.  First time experiencing dew.

Overall, it was both a good and bad experience.  But, I am still learning so that made the experience worth it.

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LX70 Refractor and Canon DSLR

I decided to do some research on the options to connect my Canon DSLR to the Meade LX70 Refractor.  I had a special adapter for the ETX 90EC that allows the Canon to connect along with a T-mount adapter.  So, I first searched for adapters for the LX70 but didn’t find any.  I did find that Meade sold a camera adapter that connected to a DSLR and then went in the 1.25” eyepiece holder.  This sounded like a great idea because I could then use it will all my telescopes.

I did some more research and found a great article about taking lunar photos through a telescope.  The article mentioned three ways.  One way was afocal photography which I was aware of.  The camera adapter would enable eyepiece-projection photography.  This was interesting because it actual uses an eyepiece so would allow for different magnifications.  But the drawback in the images are dimmer.

The third option was prime-focus photography.  I guess this is what I am doing with the Canon and ETX.  The article mentioned you could buy adapters for many telescopes so started doing that research.  I found a number of options including adapters that already had the T-mount.  But, then I had a thought.  There was a part in the box for the LX70 Refractor that I didn’t know what it was.  I took the T-mount adapter and tried to screw it on to the mysterious adapter.  It worked.  I then put in on the diagonal and it all works.  I added the Canon and tried to focus on a distant power pole.  I couldn’t get focus similar to what happened on my Lunt.  I guess it was time to research extension tubes.

But, then I had a thought.  The diagonal was removable so I took it off and added the DSLR and adapter to the back of the refractor and it all worked.  I was able to get a focused.  So, guess I already have everything I need to use the DSLR with the LX70 Refractor.


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