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Happy Book Publication to Me!

Years ago when I thought about what I'd do to as a present for publishing my first book, I wanted something that doesn't really interest me any more. So I've been thinking about it for a while and updated my desire to something that I would love, that I've wanted for a long time, and that's appropriate re: the book. A mondo-sized Dob!

Meet my new Meade Lightbridge 16" Dobsonian reflector. This is the simplest form of telescope to use: just point and shoot. No complicated computers that fail, no motors that fail, no nothing but the observer and the instrument and the sky. I imagine I'll eventually rig up a tracking system for easier view-sharing among friends, but as big as this is, its short focal ratio means magnification is only about half that of my GPS-powered 'scope (which is currently out of service, despite hours of effort in software and hardware troubleshooting), and thus images will remain in the field of view longer.

I've missed the lovely Orion 10" Dob that I sold when I bought my bells-and-whistles Schmidt-Cassegrain 'scope, but one doesn't just replace a telescope with one of the same size. And considering Dobs are much cheaper than SCTs, I decided to take the big leap up to 16 inches of light-gulping power! If you're a boat owner, you know what I mean, only it's two-inch-itis instead of two-foot-itis. On the practical side, it's about as big an instrument as I can carry around by myself - note that the truss-beams unscrew, and the tube lifts out of the base, making it really portable for its size.

EDIT: Oh, and I almost forgot to mention! Those of you who know me well are aware that I purchase almost nothing at full price. This 'scope is no exception - I got it for much off the retail price plus free shipping. The free shipping part is HUGE with something that weighs 150 pounds or so.

Snapped this shot a few minutes ago after I finished assembling it... can't wait to try it out later!

Next star party, y'all're invited.

Chris

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
clevermanka
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, that is one sexy telescope. WOW!
mckitterick
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
Isn't it though?
emt_hawk
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
What state do you live in?

--EMT Hawk
mckitterick
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
Kansas! I think there's an observatory that hosts regular star parties not far away, and the local astro-club gathers monthly. But I also invite friends out once in a while for private star parties, too.
emt_hawk
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Meh. Too far to go. I'm in NY.

Happy observing. Make sure you don't point it towards Ms. Green's apartment. She tends to walk around naked.

--Hawk
mckitterick
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
Oh, she'd be disappointed if no one noticed.
sf_reader
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
I think there's an observatory that hosts regular star parties not far away

Louisburg.

My first thought when looking at that photos is "I think he is over compensating for something!"

I hope it brings you years of pleasure.
mckitterick
Dec. 2nd, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
Hahaha! I'm compensating for having such a small Dob before ;-)

I soooo need to get to Louisburg sometime soon. Well, when they start doing public viewings again.
saffronhare
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
"...I decided to take the big leap up to 16 inches..."

That line made your post approximately 573% sexier. As if it weren't already sexy enough, with the fabulous hunk pictured above. The 'scope ain't bad either. :)
mckitterick
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha! And you're sweet.
miischelle
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Holy Telescope Batman!
mckitterick
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
Batman could fold that up in his pocket, I bet.
weaselmom
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
I, for one, welcome our new telescopic overlords.
mckitterick
Dec. 1st, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
They come in peace to reveal the secrets of the universe.
garyomaha
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
How about swapping some telescopic goodness for a hot air balloon ride? (DISCLAIMER: I have not been fully authorized to offer this but I have a feeling the resident balloon pilot will agree.)
mckitterick
Dec. 2nd, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
OMG that would be awesome!
normalcyispasse
Dec. 2nd, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
Wow, that looks like a ton of fun!
mckitterick
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:21 am (UTC)
Ha! Only about 130 pounds of fun. You could carry it in one hand ;-)
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Yep, and not a lot lighter, either! Even so, it wasn't so difficult to move out of the house - fully assembled - set up in the yard, and move into the garage.
shellyinseattle
Dec. 2nd, 2010 07:03 am (UTC)
OMG. You have fun with your 16 inches.
mckitterick
Dec. 2nd, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
That's what she said.
karin_gastreich
Dec. 2nd, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
That's just too cool.
mckitterick
Dec. 2nd, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
Tried it last night, but clouds prevented seeing anything. *sigh*
karin_gastreich
Dec. 2nd, 2010 08:19 pm (UTC)
Hope you have better luck tonight. Skies are clear right now in KC...
(Deleted comment)
clevermanka
Dec. 2nd, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Wish I could come to the next star party.

I wish you could, too.
mckitterick
Dec. 2nd, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
Ha! There is that. Thanks so much for getting the Lawrence Contingent informed on self-experimentation. I'm so much happier and healthier since losing that pile o' fat I was lugging around and replacing it with strong stuff.

FBO looks really lovely. I'm sure they'd welcome you back if you mentioned your prior time there!

I really miss Hobbs Observatory.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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