Matt Lochansky

Guide Scope Pixel Scale

When setting up a guide scope, the main consideration is the comparison of the pixel scale of your imaging rig compared to your guiding rig. Pixel ScaleThe pixel scale is just 206 * (pixel size) / (focal length). Assuming your 30 mm guide scope is f/4 that would be a focal length of 120mm.  Using a common guide camera such as the ASI120MM which has a pixel size of 3.8u, the pixel scale is 206 * 3.8 / 130 =…

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Visual Astronomy Buyer Guide – Introduction

Most newcomers to Astronomy start with the quintessential telescope.  These telescopes are widely available and offer an easy entry into the hobby. Notes:   Keep your expectation real.  No telescope is going to provide a view akin to a Hubble image.  Making visual observations require some patience and appreciating nuance. What to Avoid:  If you want to view deep sky objects, avoid telescopes with an aperture smaller than 6″.  A telescope is a light collector – and more light means faint…

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How will you use your telescope? Visually, Camera Assisted, or for Astrophotography

More Info: Visual Astronomy EAA Astronomy Astrophotography Introduction: This guide is intended for beginners looking to buy a telescope.  We recognize there are a lot of choices out there and we focus on what works best for our club members considering the Raleigh, NC area.  When preparing to buy a telescope, one of the first  considerations is how you plan to use it.  Each section below will take you to specific information about that style of observational astronomy.  With big…

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Recommended Dobsonian Telescopes

RAC receives a lot of questions about buying a telescope. The answer always depends on your goals in astronomy, but for many a dobsonian style telescope is the most cost effective option to own an amateur class telescope. Dobsonians are relatively inexpensive because their optical tube is the least complex and it is mounted on a very simple base. This makes them very rugged telescopes and very easy to set up and operate. And since Aperture is king when it…

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Telescope Accessories

No telescope comes with all the accessories you need out of the box. Consider this list of accessories that many amateur astronomers buy over time. The exact accessory may depend on the telescope you buy. What not to Buy Generally you’ll get a 10mm and a 25mm plossl eyepiece that fits a 1.25″ focuser. Stick with those. They’re all you’re going to need for a while. Avoid buying color filters as they are virtually useless. Also avoid buying any 1.5x,…

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Aperture is king

For visual astronomy (looking through the eyepiece at the telescope), aperture is the most important feature of a telescope. Telescopes are light concentrators, so a bigger aperture collects more light and dim objects are brighter. Magnification is not an important consideration for most first-time telescope buyers. For most newcomers to the hobby, it is recommended to start with at least 1200mm of focal length and at least a 6″ mirror. For every 2″ of aperture you add ~72% more light…

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    Member’s Activities Nominations are Open For Officers vRACOBS – Success April’s Virtual Imaging Meeting  April’s First Virtual Meeting  Website Content of the Month Why Are RAC Events Being Cancelled

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I Purchased the Starry Night program to help with star alignment and location of objects and found out that it is a big help but was still not getting to the objects as I expected.  I thought that the problem might be with my polar alignment, so I started looking into ways to improve on that.  I was quick to discover that there is a camera that would get excellent polar alignment.  So, entering my world was the Orion StarShoot…

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May 2020 Star Newsletter

2020 May MY VENTURE INTO ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY By Gerry DiNunzio  Facebook Highlights  Astronomy Meets Amateur Radio  RACOBS Friday 22 May *Cancelled* PixInsight DBE Function Imaging Meeting 9 May RAC Meeting Minutes 8 May 2020 Stellar Spectroscopy   Website Content of the Month Star Newsletter April 2020 Home Page

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Changing Your Dues Payment Option

RAC offers several convenient payment methods for your annual dues payment.  You can pay your dues using a credit card through our website or by giving our treasurer cash or a check. Our website has two payment options:   An ‘Annual Membership’ and ‘Auto-Pay Annual Membership’   At any time you can update your RAC website account to reflect your current choice.  It is very important that you are not on an auto-pay membership if you do not want your credit card…

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Subscribe to the Calendar

Our calendar can now be exported to your device, Google calendar, or any system that can import .ics files! To subscribe, just hover over the “Subscribe” button on the club calendar. and select the option that works for you.   If you do not want ALL club events on your calendar, you can select only the categories you desire.  Once you have selected the categories you want exported, then click the subscribe button to export to your desired calendar program.…

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Cancelling Your Membership

There comes a time where it may be time to part ways, no hard feelings.    It is especially important to cancel your membership if you set up auto-renewing annual dues payments.  The club does not offer refunds for partial years nor can it refund membership dues that were paid prior to you cancelling your membership. To cancel your membership:1. Log into your account using your account email and password. If you forgot your password, click here. Fig-1:  Click the “Members”…

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Lunar Eclipse Jan 20/21, 2019

The night of January 20, extending after midnight into Jan 21 there will be a total lunar eclipse well positioned for us in Raleigh. The moon will start fading away by 10pm and will then be cast in a reddish hue as the total lunar eclipse begins at 11:41pm. The moon will be fully eclipsed until 12:43am and then take about two additional hours to exit the Earth’s shadow. RAC does not have a public event planned for the eclipse…

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December Indoor Meeting: Swap Meet

NOTE:   DIFFERENT LOCATION!!! Location: Covenant Christian Church: 2911 SW Cary Parkway, Cary, NC 27513 (on the right just after you pass the ‘YMCA’ on the left)Date: December 14, 2018Time: 7:30-9:30pm Swap Meet! Bring your own table, chairs are provided.  Bring any gear to swap or sell. RAC Business:After the presentation, we will discuss additional RAC business. We will then adjourn for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings

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Using the Calendar

Non-Members: To use the calendar, you do NOT need to be logged into the site.  Non-Members can see all calendar entries except private club events and outreach events not open to the general public.  Membership is not required to register for most events. Exporting the Calendar: Currently, there is no functionality to export the entire calendar.  However, by registering for individual events per the directions below, a calendar file will be sent to your email for each event, individually. Using…

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