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Welcome to the Local Group

Welcome to the Local Group Astronomy Club of Santa Clarita, California.

Those of you visiting from the general public can access many of the features here.  All public events, articles and newsletters should be accessible to you.  When you decide to join us, the rest of the features will open up to you.  You can apply for membership right here by clicking the sign-up link in the upper right.



09/20/2016 - Celestron brings out something new by: Simon Tang

CGX

When buying a telescope the most important thing isn't the telescope itself but what you put it on. After many years of being dormant with no real new products, Celestron has dropped a bomb with 2 new mounts that has the astronomy comunity lit with interest. Some whom have just purchased the now older mount are already debating to return the mounts in favor of the newer versions.

So whats the big fuss? Is it really worth it?

So far, the CGEM II is an upgrade to the original CGEM with the difference of an improved motor, a saddle that accepts both Vixen and Losmandy style mounting plates and more importantly, the USB2.0 making this mount a step forward into the 21st Century. For years people have battled the RJ22 to Seriel (RS-232) connector using USB converters. Is it worth the upgrade? Since the price point (retail) differs by a few hundred dollars, it seems to make sense. For those who are thinking of returning, hold fast! The saddle upgrades and better knobs can be easily obtained from ADM as a user upgrade. In reality, you are really only paying more for the newer handset. Everything else on this mount has pretty much remained the same as intermediate mounts would go.

So what about the new CGX?

WOW! What a huge change. The original CGEM DX, which the CGX is replacing, was nothing more than a modified version of the CGEM with longer and thicker counter weight shaft. The tripod uses the more sturdy CGE Pro tripod. The CGX however is completely different. A huge upgrade on the motor with the belt system, a handle (I know!! A Handle... but boy does it make a difference), the complete redesign of the mount itself, in fact there are so many extra things it's a huge upgrade. Not to mention that it can hold 55lbs worth or stuff!

So what's the bottom line? Is it really worth it? The CGEM can be picked up from different places for around the $1200 mark as retailers are desperate to unload the last of there stock to make way for the newer one but personally, just for the USB upgrade it doesn't seem worth it as this mount isn't really for someone setting up an observatory. In terms of being mobile for star parties, it's a bit of a rock to carry around compared to the aging CG5 and AVX mount.

However, the CGX is a different story altogether. As far as consumer grade mounts go, this is a serious mount and is worth the effort. At 44lbs for the head alone, the handle makes up for it making ... more



09/14/2016 - Vasquez Rocks Star Party by: Simon Tang

Vasquez Rocks Star Party

Come and spend the evening under the stars as the LGSCV puts on a display.

Saturday, October 1st 2016


Vasquez Rocks Natural Area ... more


08/09/2016 - To scope or not to scope by: Simon Tang

Have you ever looked up and wondered what is up there? Maybe take a picture or two.

Astronomy doesn't always have to be about owning a telescope. You can still do a lot with just a pair ... more


07/17/2016 - PBS Crash Course by: Simon Tang

 

PBS and Crash Course got together and created a series on Astronomy for the web. This particular episode talks specifically about telescopes.

I strongly recommend that you watch the entire series (you can do it in ... more


07/14/2016 - Cup of Tea anyone? by: Simon Tang

The constellation of Sagittarius is rich with interesting objects. Not to mention it is also where a big Black Hole lives! Don't worry, we're not going to be pulled in and even if we are, we wouldn't actually know anything until it's too late!

So what makes this part ... more