Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Len and his 12" ...

... and currently under some west Texas stars with my DobSTUFF
12" f/5 (taken earlier in the day). Love my scope.

Under the Stars with my 10" F4...

A beautiful evening for some astronomy...

A Mirror Cell for Mark . . .

Hi Dennis: You sure took care of business sir. The cell is AWESOME.. Thank you for your prompt fabrication and delivery .I will send a few pics also in a day or 2 when I put it in the Dob. Mark

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Jerry's 12" Kit Completed . . .

Jerry's kit includes Easy Transport, strings, his mirror cell onto the
mirror board and an extra clamp for Telrad. Now to get this packaged
up and ready to ship.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Jerry's 12" Kit - Almost Completed ...

The "top ring" for Jerry's kit. Note the focuser bracket and
spider brackets in place. He'll be using a 3-vane Protostar.

And Jerry's rocker box is completed too.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

A Note from Carl and his 10" Telescope . . .

Hi Dennis:  I’ve been an ATM’er for almost fifty years. During the build I was very impressed how accurate and square the pieces were cut. Clamping the components yielded corners being square without having to clamp squares to the work while fastening together. I liked how you placed small marks where they were needed identifying centers and which part was for the left or right side. I’ve made many azimuth pivot bolts to accept encoders and I was really impressed with the azimuth pivot assembly you supplied – heavy duty with solid machined parts.

Friday evening I set up the scope for first light and spent several hours just star-hopping around. The motions were smooth with no stiction and a good balance between ease of movement and resistance to drooping when changing eyepieces. But most importantly, there was NO FOCUS SHAKE! That is one of my pet peeves about a scope/mount. Also, the scope held collimation well when changing altitude. Moving from horizontal to vertical resulted in NO change to collimation. No need for strings on this scope. It was a very enjoyable first experience and I am extremely happy with the kit you provided.  Carl.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

14" F3.5 for HIten Completed . . .

Complete with a "blue" Moonlite focuser, Easy Transport and encoders,
this 14" F3.5 sports a Hubble Optics mirror. a real beauty.

Overall, the struts are 42.25" long. Half that with the Easy Transport option.

Jerry's Kit -- Moving Along...

The rocker box sides, not yet sized for height and 22"
altitude bearings with clamps.

The OTA rings, with ETT and cell mounted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

A 12" Strut Kit for Jerry...

15" I.D. OTA rings for Jerry's 12.5" telescope. The mirror cell has
been modified and affixed to the "mirror board". This kit
has the Easy Transport Telescope option and strings.

Friday, May 1, 2020

An Event on May 12, 2020....

Use this telescope, too!!
One and a quarter hours before sunrise on May 12, 2020, as seen from Palm Springs:

Date and Time:  May 12 at 4:32 a.m. PDT
Object                Azimuth         Altitude
Moon   (71%)       166                 31
Jupiter                   166                 34
Saturn                   160                 34
Mars                      130                 26

Moon is 3.2 degrees below Jupiter.
Saturn is 4.7 degrees east (left) of Jupiter and 5.2 degrees upper left of Moon.
Mars is 27.6 degrees east of Saturn and 32.3 degrees east of Jupiter that morning.

Moon will pass Jupiter-Saturn at intervals of 27-28 days. The most compact gathering of Moon with the two giant planets this year will be on the evening of December 16, 2020, when Jupiter-Saturn will be just 32 arcminutes (just over 0.5 degree) apart, and the Moon within 5 degrees to their SSW. Five days later, on December 21, Jupiter-Saturn will be just 0.1 degree apart.

May 2020 is quite an interesting month for watching planets. In the evening, Venus drops dramatically, showing ever thinner crescent phases before disappearing into the solar glare in the final days of May. Mercury emerges by mid-month and passes just one degree south of Venus on May 21. Two nights later, the Moon forms a compact gathering with Mercury and Venus.

In May's predawn sky, Jupiter and Saturn are in "quasi-conjunction", within 5 degrees apart all month. They'll move into better evening view  as they pass opposition in July, and separate to over 8 degrees apart by late in August before coming together for their very close conjunction in December. In May's morning sky, Mars is some 20 to 40 degrees east of Saturn.

May's gatherings of Moon and planets, the changing views of Venus and Mercury in the evening sky, and the ongoing predawn saga of the three bright outer planets are all illustrated on the May Sky Calendar, available at

Also check the Sky Calendar Extra Content Page for morning and evening twilight sky maps showing naked-eye planets and bright stars through July, with details about planet visibility. Early in May, additional content and links will be added about the 2020 apparition and close approach of Mars.