Aug 11, we (charlie and me) are going to partisapate in the Idaho springs 1/2 marathon. Charlie will run in it and I will help out at the finish line, collecting shoe chips(this is how you are timed now-a-days, computer chips). 3000 plus folks will run the race.
Then we will set up camp somewhere near there, perhaps up Spring creek or Saxon/Lamartine area.
Then the cool part, at least to me...
We will set up the 2 telescopes.
1 telescope is an Orion 80mm apo short tube
1 telescope is a Celestron 8 inch Schmidt/Cassagrean computerized monster. Bairly fits in the jeep. It has all the bells and whistles, and can magnify to about 325x.. It follows the star as it moves across the sky, and can automaticly locate 200,000 sky objects. We can connect the Celestron to a laptop and follow the space station and other man made objects. We have a camera mount for it, which we really don't use as I want a CCD just for the telescope...some day...
The moon(which is bad for stargazing) will be new(gone) for the weekend, so there is a moonless sky to view. Idaho Springs is too close to Denver for a real dark sky but it is better than my backyard.
Tom, Bridget is taking an astronomy class at Red Rocks, and I think she'd love to see the scopes. Not sure we'll be able to stay the night, but I think we can at least meet up with you wherever you're camping. Bridget would love it, and Tricia got a kick out of the DU observatory.
"How the heck do you get there?"
"Duh! Big RED Jeep!!!"
She will love it...
The telescopes are of good size and quality.
To have a computer control the finding, pointing, and tracking takes a huge amount of "work" out of it.
Used to be, one needed a two year degree just to point a telescope. RA, DEC, ALT, AZT, XYZ, constilations,...don't need to know any of it. Just look at a chart and, find an object, enter the name into the hand paddle and press enter...SWEET.
I needed to learn 2 constilations and like 5 star locations, to callabrate the mount. The computer even helps in this. This is to find true north. Some telescopes have a gps built into them, so this step isn't even done. Some call it cheating...I call it"telescoping for Dummies"