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Guest T_Tucks

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Guest T_Tucks

Hi all, 


My name is Tim, I live in Swannington, North West Leicestershire. 


I'm an absolute novice, however when my children expressed an interest in the solar system a few months ago, I became somewhat obsessed and began researching. I bought them a Celestron NexStar 4SE for christmas and am infuriatingly restrained in what I can see.


To that end, I have lined up a nice used CPC 1100 which I hope to pick up this week. 


My priority is to explore the solar system with the kids, though I do have a decent DSLR and would love to explore DSO photography for myself (wedge shall of course be the next expenditure). 


Any pointers greatly appreciated.



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Welcome to EMS Tim.


Great that your children are inspired and have obviously got you interested.


You've certainly taken a big leap in scope size.


You will get lots of help from EMS members.

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Hi Tim , a warm welcome to EMS.


Strewth, nothing like jumping in with both feet eh. On the positive side the CPC1100 will definitely show you the solar system, and do it well. I am assuming you already know something about astronomy, if not then optics, as it seems a bit of good luck if you just pinned the tail on the CPC.

To be fair, the 4SE isn't a bad little scope, and would give you at least a half decent view of the Planets, and certainly nice views of the Moon.


What you will need with this is dew control, certainly a dew shield, and more than likely some form of dew heating on the front corrector plate. These scopes need a good while to cool down to ambient temperature, and if you don't have dew control, your night could be over before you even start.

Once this has been sorted, then you will not be disappointed, and it will also perform reasonably well on the smaller brighter DSO's. Planetary nebula would do well, have a look for the Blue Snowball in Andromeda.

I am not sure what images you would get with a DSLR, most planetary images are taken with a CCD camera, which has something to do with the image size, someone who takes images might advise better.


Feel free to ask away with any questions you have ( Beginners and help section, just so it gets seen sooner ) someone will be along to help out.


Here's a challenge for you once you get your scope sorted. :D



In the meantime, enjoy the forum. :)

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Hi Tim and welcome to EMS. :)


The CPC's are very nice scopes - you'll get great views with the 11" (I have the 9.25). For imaging planets and solar system objects a simple webcam is usually the best tool. For imaging deep sky objects you'll be better off using a dslr and long exposures (typically 5mins+).


The scope will need a wedge, a reducer, and remote camera control for dso's. Both techniques require some form of stacking several frames together and image tweaking using software. You also need to be aware of polar alignment, tracking, and frame rotation. A good book to get is "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards - it's the astrophotographer's bible and it's only twenty squids. More good news - the software you'll need is free.


Depending on how tall your kids are you may need a caravan step so they can reach the eyepiece - especially when wedged up - it's a big scope. Here's a few links you'll find useful:








I'm in NW Leics too - so if you fancy a get together any time just pm me. :)

Edited by Brantuk
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Guest T_Tucks

Thank you all for your very kind welcome. This is the first forum I have ever joined, and to be quite honest, I almost didn't and would have continued on stumbling around in the dark. 


Baz - Nope I'm an absolute novice, just got carried away in a frenzy of research and landed upon the CPC. Thank you for the heads up regarding dew control. I was aware of it but hadn't appreciated it's necessity.


Alan - It's a small world. I'm opposite the Chilli and Spice! I have good views from my garden to the east, but do you have any sites that you go to locally?


Kim - Book ordered. I'd really appreciate meeting up. Talk soon.

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EMS isn't like other forums, think that's why most of us are here. More like a communication board for friends;-)

Edited by tuckstar
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Alan - It's a small world. I'm opposite the Chilli and Spice! I have good views from my garden to the east, but do you have any sites that you go to locally

I'm half-way up Hough Hill, with quite limited horizons, unfortunately, due to lie of the land and neighbouring buildings.  

Have been to the dark sites at Wymeswold and Belper a couple of times. Have also been approached by Swannington Heritage trust (I'm a member) about feasibility of an astro themed night up at the Mill - I think the view up there would be pretty good and will contact the forum event organisers about it ASAP.

Scope hasn't been out of the box since last spring, sadly...



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