First Quarter Moon With $7 Refractor
Taken by Wayne Wooten on October 15, 2018 @ Pensacola, Florida
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I used my Eon 72 for years for sharp smartphone images with guests at our beach stargazes, but the $500 price did not help inspire them to get a scope. So I first built the 50mm f/12 Star Splitter with $8 achromat, and it gave nice images with only a faint blue fringe. But when I found Surplus Shed has a 50mm f/7.2 (360 mm focal length) for just $7, (item L14811). decided to use PVC and a mirror star diagonal (L2177) to make an RFT version. I expected a good deal more chromatic aberration, but when I shared it with neighbor kids last evening, was amazed by its quality. I think anyone interested in astronomical outreach should consider building one of these simple refractors to use in public gazes, since the cost will inspire beginners to get started on a budget!

First shot is six day moon with iOptron smartphone adapter, 12mm Plossl, camera mode and 4X zoom. Let the kids take take all these photos.

Here is the 360 scope. Used an Ozark Trail 8x21 monocular ($7.86 at WalMart, with paper clamp and bungee cord for mounting) for the finder scope.

Third shot is with no zoom; almost all readers have a smartphone superior to my iPhone 5c; the neighbors Samsung Galaxy gave much better images.

Teaching the mom and kids how to set the timer, focus, sharpen contrast by touching the moons image, and take these images is a great procedure for public outreach at gazes.
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Also found it makes a nice travel scope/RFT. Used a 40mm Plossl, item

to give 9X with six degree field of view. Will do a great job on our December Comet! Have a Draco Productions 2.5 Baader filter mounted in a front PVC threaded extension for safe solar viewing; based on 2 PVC pipe from Lowes.
Posted by wwooten 2018-10-16 12:00:28
great job! I wish more people would take their kids out with a telescope. We are a slowly dying breed :(

Posted by amplelight 2018-10-17 09:53:34
If you want more magnification, combine the two telescopes together!! Look up the relay lens formula to calculate the new focal length.

(Lens2 back focal length to camera/ Lens2 front focal length from objective focus ) X Lens1 objective focal length
Posted by amplelight 2018-10-17 09:56:58
10 thumbs up
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