General Interest

August 28, 2022: Skywatching at the Art Museum

Date:  August 28, 2022 Time:  8:30 – 10:30 pm Location: NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC Volunteers: Bethany Bennett, Steven Blake, Dana Bostic, Mike Keefe, Barton Meeks, Matt Lochansky, Tony Verdone, Chris Wittum Event Attendees: 80-100 Overview: The event was coordinated through the NC Museum of Art, as part of their Summer series in the museum park. We were located by the “Tilted Gyre” – the set of 3 giant ring sculptures. We arrived at 7pm – earlier than usual…

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Can RAC Help with My Telescope?

Can RAC Help with My Telescope? Short Answer, Yes! First, a shameless plug for the club:   If you’ve got your first telescope and need some help, you are a perfect candidate to become a club member.  With membership you get access to our club email list and can find a mentor to help get you started in the hobby.   Additionally, you gain membership into the Astronomical League, which through their observing challenges helps progress you in the hobby and keeps…

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Donate a Telescope to RAC

How to Donate a Telescope to RAC If you have an old telescope laying around that you want to get rid of, but do not want to throw out, RAC may be able to accept it.  RAC owned telescopes are used as part of a pool of loaner telescopes for our members.  This gives our members the opportunity to try telescopes before investing in one. What Kinds of Telescopes does RAC Accept?  Telescopes must be in working order.  Other than…

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Where to Stargaze Around Raleigh and Beyond

Local Places (and beyond) to Skywatch at Night RAC’s home area includes Raleigh, Apex, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, Fayetteville and surrounding communities. Looking for a good observing site can be challenging.  The Raleigh area is beautiful during the day – lots of trees, great public parks, and convenient shopping centers.   However, at night parks close and light pollution obscures the night sky. What do you want to Observe To find an appropriate spot to skywatch, what you plan to observe…

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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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