It's 9:36 am Tuesday September 17th, 2019, Arizona time.
Click on the image above for details on how to read the Clearsky Clock and for observing details.
Since my dad bought me my first telescope when I was 11-years old, I've loved looking at the stars. I've owned a few telescopes over the years, but through moving, disruption, and just downright sloth, I've been without a telescope since moving to Arizona.
I recently acquired one of Meade's new line of telescopes called a Lightbridge. It's on a dobsonian style mount, which is a low-tech, non-computerized means of moving your telescope around the sky. Instead of typing in what you'd like to look at on a keypad, you just bump the thing around until you find what you're looking for. This low tech mount means that most of what you pay for in the telescope are the optics.
This particular model has an 8" diameter primary mirror, with a focal length of 1219mm. That means with a 21mm eyepiece, you are viewing at about 60x magnification. (Focal Length/eypiece length) Doesn't sound like much, but the 8" mirror is capable of bringing in a lot of light, and that's what counts when you want to see detail in planets, nebulae and star clusters. The scope weighs in at about 40 Lbs. For perspective, my last big scope was a 10" Dobsonian, and weighed in at almost 80 Lbs. The advantage to the Lightbridge is that it's a truss tube-design, meaning that it breaks down into little, itty-bitty bites, so that it packs away really nicely, even in a small car. My 10" Dob was exactly like moving a water heater around the desert - this one's very portable.