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kleinbl00  ·  81 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Small stash o' pics from last night's full moon.

Yeah MASSIVE shout-out to francopoli, whom I sincerely hope is happy wherever he is.

I will never be half the astronomer he is. Seeing as I'm at sea level in Seattle, there's very little reason to try. However, I will gladly spill whatever tips I can all over anyone else foolish enough to stand up a tripod.

(1) There are upgrades that will help you now that will help you later if you take this further. Spotting scopes are straight garbage, and the spotting scope in your friend the Tasco is garbage squared. Telrads are spectacularly useful and are available on Amazon. It is rare you see all five stars filled in on a product with over 400 reviews that has remained entirely unchanged since the '80s. If your scope takes 1.25" eyepieces, there are no eyepieces you can buy that are worse than the one you have. Not only that but simply throwing red and yellow filters on the end of it will radically improve your planetary astronomy. Computer modeling kicked the shit out of optics starting in the mid-late '90s to the point where modern glass is astoundingly better. Based on a quick perusal of the internet it looks like the weak point in that scope is the right angle prism. Which is optional and can be replaced.

(2) Your viewing is probably better because you're at a higher altitude. It matters. Of course you're also viewing the moon which is always bright enough that it doesn't much matter. Humidity also screws with stuff.

(3) Greenbelts on the outskirts of town aren't a bad place to see planets. However, greenbelts on the outskirts of college campuses aren't a bad place to see friendly girls who will happily walk up to you and look through your eyepiece. It surprises me that serial killers have yet to figure out how harmless men look with a telescope. Especially if you only know enough to fill them in 30 seconds worth and don't geek out about it. Not saying it will get you laid? But it will get you conversations with people who wouldn't normally talk to you.

Keep it up. Someone has to keep us in astronomy photos.