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When All You Have Is Up (Video 3.8MB)
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Nice Moon Phase Calendar!
Fort Wayne Astronomical Society (Indiana)
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All the Astrophotography on this site was taken with a Canon SD1100IS! (EOS Section coming soon!)
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How to buy your first telescope. 
Step 1: Don't buy a telescope!
Start slowly. Study. If you're an impulse buyer like me, you're either laughing or getting sick...but don't worry, I will help! Must read for first time buyers!

Welcome to Zookland Astronomy and Astrophotography.  I have been fascinated by this subject all my life, deciding long ago that it would become my retirement hobby.  I recently saw an article noting that there would be an above average number of opportunities to see the Int'l Space Station for that particular weekend.  Well, the entire weekend was cloudy here, and I didn't get to see squat, but it got me started.  I looked around on one of NASA's websites and found that you can get a schedule quite a ways in advance.  Next thing you know I've got a binocular (I'm not normally a stickler on such details, but I'm trying to train myself that pair of binoculars would mean two complete instruments).
I got the binocular for satellite spotting, but quickly found out just how much binoculars can be used for astronomy.  Looking at the stars through a binocular is amazing.  The number of stars visible to the human eye is limited to primarily some of the larger stars in the milky way.  Our sun is an average size star, but there are very few our size close enough for us to see.  The reason for this is that the size of our fully dialated pupil is never big enough to see an object that dim.  Those two big lenses in the binocular collect way more light than our eyes can, and focus it down to eye-size. 
I bought a 16x50 binocular, which was a mistake.  That means 16 times magnification and a 50mm objective lens.  The objective lens was a good call.  That's the big end, so a 16x35 would not see as many extra stars.  The 16 magnafication on the other hand is hard to aim, and there is a lot of jiggle.  I can hold them steady enough to see Jupiter's moons, but just barely.  The book I will mention in my recommendations section suggests 10x50 as the best astronomy binocular, and I agree completely.
At any rate, once I saw how many more stars could be seen through a 50mm apeture, I just had to get a telescope, and since huge objective lens was what I wanted most, I bypassed all the techno-gadget go-to controls in pursuit of pure optics.  I will soon be using a light bucket 5 times the diameter of my binocular with a 10" Newtonian Reflector on a Dobsonian mount.  On the advice of my old friend Jim "Hank" Hankey, a longtime astronomer himself, I passed on the "briefcase of lenses" deal entirely, and instead bought three extra lenses which, combined, cost more than the scope and its two stock lenses.  The additional lenses have a wide apparent field of view and high eye relief so I can see the entire field of view even with my glasses on.  I have a lot of astigmatism, and while the focuser on the scope will compensate for any amount of near-sightedness, only my glasses help with astigmatism.  These better lenses also have far superior edge to edge focus and contrast.


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