Hope some of you guys are out there tonight....
Posted 31 August 2012 - 03:16 AM
I've ordered the Castell 2" UHC from 365 Astronomy.
Its a budget priced filter of which I have found good reviews. More to the point, I have not found any bad reviews of this filter. It will act as an introduction to deep sky filters. If I am not happy with it, I will sell it on and buy one of the more expensive ones.
I will let you know how it performs.
Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:36 AM
You mention in your post on the A.P thread that you are in for some settled weather there in the midlands.
Same goes for us here in Yorkshire, and, I think, for other parts of the U.K, so with a little bit of luck, a few of us should have the opportuniy to do our thing. Don't want to put a dampener on it, but last night was also forecast to be clear, but once again I was plagued with bands of high thin cloud which refused to go away. I stayed in the dome until 23.30 but had to call it a draw in the end. I hope for better tonight.
Good luck to you Tom, and anyone else who venures forth.
P.S Replied here so as not to clog up your A.P thread. Don't want to be reported to the Mods, do I.
Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:44 AM
yes fingers crossed for that more settled weather this week, but as you say, forecasts are never that accurate, at least thats my experience.Still we takes what we can and can only hope.
Sorry to hear you had to pull the plug as it were last night,such if life, but hopefully you will get some observing time in some time this week.
BTW,(borderline off topic ) i got your PM re-the Leamington Spa astro fest, fully understand your not travelling to London mate, should be a good day out in Leamington Spa though, look forward to seeing you there.
Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:16 AM
just wondered how your night was last night???, hope you had a chance to get out and do some of that stuff we A.P,ers never get a chance to do, ie, observing.
As for myself i think this says it all :bangbangbang: :bangbangbang: :bangbangbang:
Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:32 AM
Hope you got out Peter. I was in West Yorks in the early evening and it seemed nice and clear then. However it was clear here whilst I set up and then clouded over!
Posted 05 September 2012 - 12:03 PM
Warn, cloudless nights, low humidity, no wind - we must be back at school and back to the grindstone
Posted 05 September 2012 - 12:33 PM
It does it on purpose, ,I'm sure it does it on purpose.
Not too good Tom is the answer. As you rightly say Andy, clear skies in the early evening and I had high hopes. But the bands of high white cloud reappeared and by 21.30 had covered, in varying degree's of thickness, 70-75% of the sky.
Not to be beaten, I got the 10x50 bino's out and had an hour scanning the clear bits and drinking tea. (no point in wasting a flask full).
With no improvement showing by 23.00, I called it a night.
It a long time since I've had such a run of near miss's and it looks like its the same with you Tom unfortunately.
Sorry you were frustrated again.
Dare I say it, but the weekend is looking good, with Saturday night being the best bet.
Heres hoping we all get a chance to get out over the next few days.
Sorry for the late response, had internet problems all day.
Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:56 PM
The skies are clear but I'm whacked (and I'm nursing a headache to boot, so its off to bed *yawns*). Mind you, we have lots of striated cloud at the moment (did I spell that right?) so not a total loss.
Happy observing folks - Art is going to observe the inside of his eyelids!
Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:26 PM
Went to M11 first (Wild Duck) which always delights the eye. It told me that seeing was'nt up to much, 2 to 3 out of 5. Then down a touch to M26 the Eagle nebula for a first chance to test my new UHC filter. I could just about see the nebula without the filter. With it I could see it much clearer and there was more of it to see. Even in the conditions, I could see some structure. Very please with my first experience with a UHC.
As I have said in earlier post, I was keen to observe in and around Cygnus so Albireo was my next port of call. It was as beautiful as ever. I found I was not comfortable observing so close to the zenith but tried for NGC 6888 the Crescent nebula. Again the UHC filter really improved the view and as with the Eagle neb, made it an object you could spend some useful time on.
I was too uncomfortable so I left Cygnus for another time and lower my sights. Just had to take a look at M27 the Dumbbell Nebula on the way. Could see it quite well, although defused without the UHC filter but what a wonderful sight it was with the filter in place. It was my first WOW moment with the UHC. I stayed observe M27 for 20 minutes or more, swopping the filter on to different E.Ps, trying it with and without the barlow(bottom element giving x two and a half) and got some great results at the eyepiece.
M71 next. Its about two years since I last viewed M71. Although a Globular, it alway looks to me, at first sight in a wide field, like an open cluster, as it sits in a nice star field and has star within it that look like they belong to that field. Its only when you zoom in on the center of M71 that it reveals its true self as a globular. Last night, even in the not so good conditions, it looked very good filling the eyepiece with a mirade of small bright stars at x200. At x120 to x150 though,it was at its best.
Had a quick look at NGC6934 a 8.82 G.C which was well seen, and then decided to take a peek at NGC7009 the Saturn Nebula. Although low in the sky (20deg) and small in the eyepiece, it was still a lovely sight. I put the UHC in place which again enhanced the view and I spent good observing time with the Nebula. It danced and teased in the unstable atmosphere which made it look all the better.
Around 23.45 the thin cloud was starting to reappear and I, tired after a few late nights this week waiting for skies to clear, was ready for my bed. Had a look at M2 and M15 (can't miss those two if your in that part of the sky) then closed up for the night.
I think the UHC filter is going to be a very useful filter to have in my eyepiece case.
My thanks once again to Midnight Dan and Tel for thier advice in helping me select my first deep sky filter.
P.S just read your post Tom. Sorry you were once again foiled. Stay with it mate and I'm sure you will be rewarded. If not, I'm sending you a big hanky.(to cry into)
Fingers crossed. Peter.
Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:31 AM
its clear from your response and report of the UHC filter, that your well pleased with it,good advice from Tel and Dan then in enhancing your veiws.
Wonderful report BTW Peter, the differnce between observers and imagers is clear, while we AP`er`s spend hours imaging just one or possibly two targets on any given night, you observers are able to move around the sky at will, and take in so many more targets in one session, we, the imagers,have idle time on our hand`s and spend much of that time sweating on how good the next downloaded sub might be.It can be very stressful being an imager, :rofl2:
BTW, last night was yet another bust for me, too much high thin veils of cloud, i gave up around 12.30 am. Tonight though looks much more promising!
Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:47 PM
Yes, the differences between the visual observer and the A.P side is as chalk and cheese. Although you A.P lads do not have to be by the scope all of the time, it must be much more time consuming with setting up and processing etc. I don't know how much tension there really is, but visual has to be more relaxing, but no more enjoyable, giving that we take our chosen path because of the pleasure it give us. I know I am completely at ease when observing, which is of coarse, one of the reasons why I do it.
Good luck for tonight Tom. Saturday night is still a possibility for me.
Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:11 PM
Posted 09 September 2012 - 07:10 AM
Hope you and your family enjoyed the holiday. Pleased to see you did not come home empty handed.
Fingers crossed that the weather will improve for you.
My Saturday night turned into a no-go but at least I got a nights observing earlier in the week.
Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:33 AM
1) double cluster.
I had never seen the entire collection before, the 30mm framed it VERY nicely. It was gorgeous.
With the 30mm, the glob looked as a tightly packed star cluster within an even bigger cluster of stars. I couldnt tell you how many stars there were in the EP, but it was stunning.
Just some quick observations for about an hour or so out last night.
Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:50 AM
The double cluster and M71 are good targets for wide angle E.Ps. Pleased you enjoyed them through the GSO 30mm.
I have the same eyepiece, and find it gives excellent views.
Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:13 PM
I always have trouble deciding whether to look at a few objects closely, taking notes and perhaps sketching, or trying to find as many objects as possible, just to say I had found them. Under really dark skies, I chose the second approach, concentrating, as I have before, on globular clusters.
Lists of the approximately 150 known globular clusters in our galaxy are readily accessible. I pruned such a list to about 90 globulars north of declination -40° and magnitude brighter than 11.5, and this then comprised my observing list for the night. Of these, about 14 were not in the mid-September evening sky (e.g., M79 in Lepus) or already too low in the west (M3 in CVn).
I used a 13mm Hyperion eyepiece for both alignment and observing. I aligned on Arcturus (barely visible above some trees) and Altair, going back and iterating once on each star. (I usually start with Polaris, but it was behind one of the few trees north of my site.) Alignment remained good throughout the evening; all targets landed within the inner third of the FOV.
In all, I found 52 of the globulars on my list. The farthest west was M5 in Serpens, the farthest east M30 in Capricornus. Between these two, there were 23 other Messier globulars and 25 which eluded Messier but are in the NGC. I found one Palomar cluster (Palomar 11 in Aquila) and one from the Djorg catalog (of which I had never heard before this observing adventure). The Messier's included M9, M10, M12, M14, M19, M62, and M107 (all pretty bright) in Ophiuchus, and M22, M28, M54, M55, M69, M70, and M75 in Sagittarius.
Of course, it is impossible not to gaze for a little while at such outstanding sights as M13 and M22. But, to me, the real fun is finding the fainter NGC clusters sprinkled through Scorpius, Ophiuchus, and Sagittarius. Despite my pruning efforts, a few clusters were still too faint or too far south, and there were still about 15 I had not yet looked for when the clouds arrived.
I also looked at a few non-globular favorites: open cluster M11 in Scutum, planetary nebula M57 in Lyra, and galaxy NGC 7331 in Pegasus.
It was a good observing session that I'll remember fondly for a long time. It also reinforced my opinion that our 8SE scopes are superb observing instruments.
Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:31 AM
Thanks for a great report. You certainly covered some ground(night sky), 52 globulars in one sessions says much for the accuracy of your goto's. Just out of interest, what time was "dusk".
I tend to view fewer objects for longer but like you, I throw in the occasional big tour. I favour open clusters but globulars are a close second.
I'm going to check your location co-ords and see how many of the objects you viewed are available to me. It will be good to see how many I can pull in. Not had time to check the objects themselves yet.
Thanks again for posting Tony. Its good to read what others are up to.
Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:06 AM
I was home all weekend, and dealt with rain and clouds.
HOWEVER, I am working on location now just about an hour from home. For the last 2 night it has been crystal clear skies with just hints of LP (Milky Way easily seen crossing the entire sky). No Scope, but I do carry my Binos in my work truck.
On a quick tour of the early night and late morning objects, I was able to get the Double cluster, Andromeda and Hercules cluster....Tho none as stunning as thru the 8SE. In the morning ~5:30am, Pleadies, Jupiter +2 moons, Hit up Andromeda again, and of course Orion Nebula.
Again, with binos, not serious observing times. But always nice to get a quick look in. Just amazing how many stars I can see compare to my backyard.
Maybe if I talk nice with the company rep, he might let me make this one of my dark sites. HAHA.
Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:37 PM
Just out of interest, what time was "dusk".
Sunset was at about 7:20, Eastern Daylight Time, and by 8:00 PM structure in the Milky Way was clearly visible. I'd say that by 8:30 it was REALLY dark. (Although, sad to report, it's not quite as dark now as it was when I first went there, three years ago. This is discouraging, as the site is an International Dark Sky Association "Gold Tier" park. Still very good.)
I'm going to check your location co-ords and see how many of the objects you viewed are available to me.
I was at latitude 41° 40' N. The southernmost globular I found was NGC 6441 at declination -37°.
There are many globulars in Ophiuchus which should be visible even from your more northern location. (Of course, there are more open clusters to the north, so I guess it balances out.) And you will soon have more hours of darkness in which to look for them.
Posted 26 October 2012 - 06:12 PM
Unfortunately, we're expecting a hurricane next week so who knows how long till my next report. I hope others can provide some reading material!
Posted 27 October 2012 - 09:56 AM
Keep your feet up (along with anything else you value)! This storm looks to be a monster!
Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:16 PM
26/10/12 At Last, it seems like an age since I last observed at night (6/9/12 to be exact). I have managed a couple of daytime sessions observing Jupiter and the Moon.
Went out about 21.00. Temp was down to 2deg with a stiff breeze a-blowing. The sky was not completely clear due to the presence of wind blown high whispy clouds. Seeing was poor to fair at best. With the getting on for full Moon in the S.E not helping, I headed, as I had last time out, for Cygnus now high in the S.W. although lower in the sky than my last attempt at observing the area.
Col399 the coat hanger was my first target. It looked great in the 38mm W.A eyepiece. By passing M71 and M27 which I observed last time out, the O.C NGC6885 was next, I then spent a little time on the Veil nebula, but the seeing conditions rendered it a poor sight even with the UHC filter in place. Stopped by M29, a sparse O.C then on to NGC700 the north America nebula and the nearby Pelican. With the UHC filter in place I could just about make out some of the shape, but as said, seeing was not good. I was not comfortable at alt 75ish so I dropped down to NGC6826 a plantary nebula which showed up well.
I now decided to take a look at first Neptune, and then Uranus. Uranus was difficult because of the closeness of the Moon but I managed to see the disk along with Neptunes. Theres never much to see with the two, but its good to be able to view other members of our solar system. By 22.45 the clouds were on the increase so I put the polerised filter on and stayed with the Moon for a while, which is always a pleasure.
It was my intension to take my first look at Jupiter (at night) which was now high enough in the east (23.30), but the clouds had increased to such an extent that I had to put it on hold and head indoors.
Although not the best of nights, it was good to be out observing again.
Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:05 PM
Hope the rest of my U.K friends, as well as my oversea's ones, have similar skies.
EDIT... Will I ever learn. Popped my head out of the side door AFTER getting all togged up to observe (19.05)only to find the sky was 75 to 80% cloud covered. Sat in the obs until 19.50 hoping for a reversal, but no such luck.
Ah well, here's to the next time.
Hope some of you faired better
Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:42 PM
Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:15 PM
Re Sandy, we tend to forget what such storms leave behind, it must be devastating for so many people. Hope they all come through it O.K. Judging from your comments, I'm guessing your trade is plumming or something similar.