Saturday, August 4, 2018

Thrift Shop Meade 285 Reader Question

I got this question from a reader and I thought I'd post it here as well in case it is helpful to anyone else:
I recently bought a Meade 285 at a Thrift Shop. It is missing the eyepiece. Could you provide me any specifications (i.e. diameters) or supply sources for replacement parts? I stumbled across your blog with searching. Thanks for any info you can provide.
Here is my response and photos to help with the description:

If you have the angled mirror pieces and everything and you just need the eyepiece itself, you can buy a wide variety that will work. You can buy any of the 1.25" barrel eyepieces, this is the most common type as well.

The physical diameter of the bottom of the chrome collar is 1.50" but the eyepiece barrel itself is 1.25". I've attached photos showing the eyepiece dimensions for the ones that came with my telescope, they are the Meade MH9mm and Meade MA25mm. 

The 9mm gets more magnification but is kinda cheap, and the 25mm is a great medium magnification that shows detail but still wide enough field of view that you can find your targets faster (locating it with wider view and then changing the eyepiece for a closer view). Like I said the 9mm that came with it was basically cheap plastic so I bought a Orion 8920 6mm Expanse Telescope Eyepiece ( that I really like.

eyepiece barrel diameter
Barrel diameter

eyepiece barrel diameter
Chrome collar outside dimensions

eyepiece with chrome collar detached
Eyepiece with chrome collar

meade 285 eyepieces
Both eyepieces that came with my Meade 285

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What To Expect: January 31, 2018 Lunar Eclipse from Indiana

The weather is not looking great for the "total super blue blood moon" lunar eclipse tomorrow morning in Indiana, but would it be visible under nicer conditions? provides eclipse calculations by location, so just type in your zip code and see what the eclipse will look like at different times. 

We’d hit 50% magnitude when the moon is about 6° above the horizon (similar to this photo from the April 4, 2015 lunar eclipse in Indiana), so you’d have to have a completely unobstructed view to the West to see it reach total redness as it slips under the horizon (washed out by the lighter sky as the sun rises on the opposite horizon). For reference, 3 fingers held at arms length is about 5° of elevation.

April 4, 2015 lunar eclipse in Indiana
Photo from the April 4, 2015 lunar eclipse from Noblesville, IN

3 fingers at arms length against the horizon