My Telescopes

Astro-Physics Traveler

4.1" refractor, f/5.8

The Traveler, an apochromatic refractor, is my astrophotography instrument. Of course it is also used for visual observing. The Traveler is easy to carry outside for quick look-sees and is good for planetary viewing, especially when the atmosphere is too unsteady for larger telescopes. The Traveler is particularly good for wide field imaging of extended objects. Look here for more info.

Portaball

12.5" reflector, f/5

The portaball is my latest acquisition. The Zambuto mirror is superb, and stars have well defined airy disks under good seeing. It has a central obstruction of about 17%, and planetary views are sharp and contrasty. I've gotten some good views of Mars (1999) at 300x when the atmosphere is steady. I love the ball mount. The scope moves so smoothly when panning about the sky. Its easy to track an object at 300x. The portaball is a breeze to setup and take down, about 10 minutes. Everything fits inside the bottom sphere for transport, except for the truss poles which go inside a tubular container. This makes the scope quite portable, but it does weigh about 60 lbs. A shroud (not shown in the picture) goes around the truss poles to keep out stray light.

Orion Dobsonian

6" reflector, f/8

This dobsonian reflector from Orion has a good mirror in it. It performs quite admirably on the planets, particularly on the cloud belts of Jupiter. This is at least partially due to its relatively long focal length. It was a good buy for $300 new. Originally intended as a second scope for the family, its main use now is for when the local astronomy club hosts viewings for the public.

Meade LX-200

8" SCT, f/10

I have sold this telescope. Since many of my early astrophotographs were taken with this scope, a description of it is still available on-line. Look here to read about the LX-200.

 

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