Archive for Meade Lightbridge 16″

Saturn improved

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , on 2009/05/14 by computerphysicslab

Saturn is getting hard to be photographed. I have recently bought a low-quality barlow 2x and a ScopeTronix EZ-Pix II. The clouds aren’t giving me many opportunities to see Saturn, but I could find a hole in the sky 2 nights ago. I took a time trying to collimate the dobsonian as better as possible. Nevertheless I couldn’t get a sharp focus. I took video and single frames. After stacking with Registax 5, I have got this image.

Saturn-Lightbridge-16

Meade Lightbridge smoothness

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , on 2009/05/05 by computerphysicslab

Hi CPL,

Thanks for posting that cool vid of the 16″ Lightbridge. I just spoke with someone at a telescope store who said they were looking to get rid of their 12″ Lightbridge because they said it is very shaky when viewing, and gives an unstable image.

I just was in a shop which had an 8″ Lightbridge and I would describe it as very smooth and rock solid.

Can I ask you if you’ve had any shaky or bouncing issues with your 16″?

I’m thinking of the 12″ for myself!

Thanks, PK

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Meade Lighbridge does not come with slow motions for altazimuth movements. If you compare the movement of the Lightbridge with that of a tripod mounted refractor, for example, probably the tripod mounted is going to be much precise.

Nevertheless, it depends too much on what kind of observation are you planning. Watching the Moon, Lightbridge may became very smooth and exact in movement, because you always have a bright lunar surface all over the field of view and the movement you apply to the optical tube is constantly compared to the drift as seen through the eyepiece. On extensive deep sky objects, the same happens. The most difficult objects to track are planets, because the surrounding field of view is pitchblack and you lose any references once the planet gets out of the field.

If you try to use high power eyepieces with small apparent field of view with a planet, the lack of equatorial mount and a sideral motor drive may become a nightmare. In this cases, my advice is to always use widefield eyepieces and reduce the magnification if necessary.

To get a smooth movement it is important to balance correctly the optical tube, adding some magnets at the bottom side of the tube, near the mirror. Do not forget to check that the base of the dobsonian mount is not tilted. Following these advices, the telescope will have a very smooth movement in both axis, as shown in my video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUGCk0wN24

The tracking becomes more difficult as longer the focal length. So Meade Lightbridge 16″ is the most difficult to track, because a slight movement in your hands transforms in a great movement in the field. Lower aperture telescopes, have less focal distance and apparent movements in the field are smoother.

If you are planning the use of the telescope for observational purposes, you won’t have any problems with the smoothness of the tracking once you get trained in several sessions. If you plan to do astrophotography, dobsonian movement may become a problem. Nevertheless, I do astrophotography of Moon, planets, and stars through my Meade Lightbridge 16″. You may check it out at my webpage: https://computerphysicslab.wordpress.com/

My final advice is: if you have previously be using regularly a smaller scope doing astronomy, you won’t find any problem using any of Meade Lightbridge series. Collimation is an important point to deal with in this scopes, but the quality of its elements is superb, and the price is really good.

Proclus and surroundings

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , on 2009/05/02 by computerphysicslab

Stacked from a video under Registax 5 and stitched with Autostitch, I got yesterday this Moon mosaic. Equipment: Meade Lightbridge 16″ and Casio Exilim EX-FS10.

Proclus and surrounding mares

Copernicus Crater

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , on 2009/04/04 by computerphysicslab

Copernicus is the name of a big Lunar crater. A video taken with the compact digital camera and the Meade Dobsonian was processed using Registax, and the resulting three frames were stitched with AutoStitch. We see here a zone in the terminator for a 9 lunation days Moon around Copernicus:

Copernicus crater

Tycho and the South Pole

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/04/04 by computerphysicslab

A sequence of shots to the Moon taken with the Dob Meade Lightbridge 16″ telescope has been integrated into one final image, thanks again to Registax and Paint Shop Pro. This mosaic of Tycho crater and the South Pole region is composed of 30 individual frames. The biggest crater in the terminator is Clavius. Inside it there a lot of small craters.

Tycho and South Pole

Looking for Sirius B

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , on 2009/03/31 by computerphysicslab

Sirius is a difficult binary system, hard to resolve. I am trying it, and I have got one image that shows a dim star very near to Sirius A, but I think it isn’t Sirius B. I have been trying to find out which is the name of the star. I still don’t know it. Searching in Internet (and star atlas) other images of the area I see the star exists, but with no name so far. Here are the sources found:

Mizar & Alcor

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2009/03/24 by computerphysicslab

Mizar and Alcor are probably the most well known double star in the sky. Located in Ursa Major,it is very easy to separate Mizar from Alcor, even with the unaided eye.

Sidus Ludoviciana is the faint star between Mizar and Alcor. Mizar is the brightest one, which in fact is a binary system: Mizar A & B, with an angular separation of 14 arcseconds.

Photo taken with the dobsonian reflector Meade Lightbridge 16″, using afocal eyepiece proyection. Here we see 222 shots of 0.5 seconds of exposure stacked. No tracking, shift-and-add method.

Mizar & Alcor