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#1 Peter9

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 03:27 PM

Hi,
With the thread we visual observers have been using, "Hope some of you guys are out there tonight" getting a bit long in the tooth, and a little diverse in subject matter, I thought it would be a good idea to open a new post dedicated to the visual side of our hobby. Anyone with a visaul report to make, regardless of his/her main interest in the hobby, is invited to post their visual observations here. This would be mainly for Celestron,Nexstar scopes, but I'm sure the Mods won't mind reports from "other" scopes we own.

Sorry I don't have a report to start the ball rolling. The weather still refuses to play ball.

If you lads respond and start posting here, all well and good. If not, I will ask the Mods to delete it. Please let me know how you feel about it.

Regards. Peter.

#2 ben2112

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 05:56 PM

Sorry your weather hasn't been cooperating with you, Peter.

I was out Saturday night but the humidity was pretty thick. I did get to see M31 and could barely make out M8. Wanted to stay out long enough to see the Pleiades, but I was getting tired so I packed it in. Seeing was dismal. Come on cooler weather.

#3 hopskipson

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 07:18 PM

Sorry I don't have a report, but I like the idea and like to hear about what others see, how they observe, what filters and accessories work or don't work. If you feel we need to retire the other thread then I will post my next report here.

#4 nodalpoint

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 07:39 PM

Saturday and Sunday I was in relatively dark skies to see some Perseids. No scope with me but used my planetary cam to make a Milky Way time lapse. Captured a few meteors in the process. Really slow but when I was packing to leave I saw one of the best meteors of my life, a real smoker with green flame and a fragments breaking off.

Earlier Sunday I brought my scope out to get a shot of the moon. Last night the clouds were coming fast but I set the scope up on the deck and managed to get in 45 minutes of lunar observing and trying out my new Baader zoom. The seeing wasn't too good and thin clouds were moving through (a nice sight, really) but it was pleasant out. I quick solar system align on the moon did a fine enough job of tracking.

It should clear up later in the week and I hope to take my scope out to some dark skies for a bit of fun with no camera involved but the moon will be in the way.

I've posted this in another thread:
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Shot over the last month:
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#5 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:26 PM

Peter,
Spot on! I think this is a good idea :waytogo:

Weather hasn't been the best here. I planned on doing some observing when my daughter was down this past weekend but we had a lot of clouds. I did get out with a pair of 7X35 binocs with a very wide FOV and enjoyed Sagittarius and Scorpio. I was out last night for awhile and I saw one very good Perseid that last about 2 seconds. Nothing after that. Hope to get out some this weekend if it is clear...

#6 Peter9

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 06:20 AM

Hi Ben,
Thanks for your support. Good you were, I like me last week, able to snatch some time to observe.
Unfortunately, Sagittarius and it's wealth of goodies never gets much above 17deg for me at 53 and a bit North, with M11 topping out at around 30 deg. The good side is that it skirts my horizon for 3 months or more, so I get a few goes at it. :lol:

Hi James,
Thanks for your support. We'll see how it developers. Should be good to exchange experiences both viewing and equipment wise, plus the god awful weather. :lol:

Hi Nodalpoint,
Many thanks for your report and support. Pleased you managed to capture a few of the Perseids. Well done on seeing the "green flame beauty". The show has been clouded out so far here in Yorkshire. May catch one or two still if the skies clear.

Hi Tony,
Thanks too for your support. Hope others will use it too. It would be able to throw ideas/ viewing experiences etc around in one place. Time will tell. Good to hear you saw something while your daughter was visiting. Binoculars are a good fall back when all else fails.

Let's hope our skies clear soon.

Regards. Peter.

#7 Peter9

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 04:23 AM

Looks like Friday night is the best chance I'll have for any observing this week, and even that forecast is iffy.
Will try for Sagittarius and surrounding area again if the forecast holds good.

Regards. Peter.

#8 coutleef

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:23 PM

great idea Peter,

we can see so much with these scopes, it is nice to discuss of what we see and not only what we play with

i will start by writing that buying the Herschell 400 book by Steve o'meara is a great idea. it gives observation goals doable with the 8se.

from a dark site i managed to see the faint galaxy near M13. only a faint fuzzy but before i started using this guide i was unaware of its existence. the fun is mainly to use charts and finder without using the go to.

#9 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 05:53 PM

That is a book I've been thinking about too. I've also been wanting to get the new (1 volume all sky edition) Uranometria 2000.0 I'll probably get it first. Not observing tonight as it looks like a few thunderstorms are moving in...
________________________________________________________

Just read the thread on the field book, "Objects in the Heavens" and ordered it. Looks like it will be a good field book...

#10 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 05:54 PM

nodalpoint - Nice pictures...

#11 Peter9

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:21 AM

Hi Francois,

Herschel 400 is indeed a good book to have. I have it along with Turn left at Orion, which looks like it is based on the same format as, although much less detailed, Herschel 400.

As for it being fun using charts instead of Goto, I 'm afraid I have to disagree. The fun for me is in observing heavenly objects, not spending half my time trying to find them. :watching:
When I switched from my slow mo controlled Newt to the Goto 6se it was one of those " why did I wait so long " moments. I know, I'm a lazy begger. :roflmao:

Thanks for your support. Look forward to yours, and everyone else's, further contributions.

Regards. Peter.

#12 coutleef

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:53 AM

go to is great from the city but searching with charts is a lot of fun from a dark site. goto is also great when i feel lazy. or when i have a list of targets that is longer than my grocery list of the week (teenagers at home still).

#13 nodalpoint

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:33 PM

More looking the moon the last couple nights and trying out the Baader zoon. For lunar it's a great eyepiece, for deep sky I think I'll need to get a couple dedicated ep's with a better field of view.

Tonight should be good for seeing the nova if the moon doesn't wash out the sky too badly. Using the NexStar mount go to Stars>Asterisms>Diamond Cluster. The nova should be somewhere northwest of that. Please correct me if I'm wrong. ;)

I realize this is a visual observing thread but I'm attaching a couple photos. I'm able to put my ASI120MM camera into the scope and take images of what I'm looking at, quick and dirty. Even though my background is in fine arts, I can't draw well enough to make decent stick figures so sketching is a no go. This is my substitute.

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#14 coutleef

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:51 PM

i do not call these photos quick and dirty

they are excellent, very nice job

#15 Peter9

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 02:02 PM

Hi nodalpoint,
Your pics are very good and welcome, they being done while observing. Thanks for your report.

To compliment the Baader zoom, I have 3 W.A eyepieces of 26mm, 30mm and 38mm. All are 2" E.Ps in order to maximize the F.O.V
My skies are clear right now, so I too am making preps for a nights observing. :fingerscrossed:

Regards. Peter.

#16 nodalpoint

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:59 PM

Thanks for the encouragement!

Last night the moon was too bright to do anything but look at the moon, and seeing how I'm new to owning a telescope, of course I'm going to look at it. I made images of Clavius and Copernicus while sitting at the eyepiece (it's kind of sci fi to me) then turned my attention to the new nova. I was able to find it pretty fast and made a quick capture to see if I could line up the stars with online photos of the nova to make sure I had it. With the moon out it was not a naked eye object from my vantage point. Nevertheless, it was easy to find both by going to nearby NGC 6905 or putting in the RA/Dec.


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#17 hopskipson

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:23 PM

I got some time in behind the eyepiece on Friday night. The clouds cleared out around 11pm local time, but I had prepared and set up before hand :grin:. I got aligned pretty quickly and slewed over to Neptune first. The moon had set behind some buildings to my west so it was too late for lunar observing. I took a couple of quick videos of Neptune and Uranus before doing some visual observing of DSO and a few double stars. I don't know why but I'm always drawn to the same targets. I guess a lot has to do with what is possible with so much skyglow and obtrusive light fixtures. I checked in on M57 and 27 right away. I noticed that M27 seemed much dimmer than usual. I think if it is not directly overhead that it gets washed out in the glow. I popped in the OIII and that helped darken the sky and increase some details. The ring seemed bright as ever and adding the filter increased the contrast and made it look bigger. I went to M13 and M92 and they seem to be decent targets for the city. M31 is always fun to go for even if it is in the direction of that "Bleeping" :4 street light! Soon it will be overhead and maybe I'll capture it. Went to a couple of doubles before I packed it in around 2:30 a.m.

I've attached some pics even though you can't see much detail in the planets. Thanks for looking.

Attached Files



#18 hopskipson

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:24 PM

First one is Neptune and this is Uranus. Like you couldn't tell :roflmao:

Attached Files



#19 Peter9

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 03:29 AM

I did finally manage to get out on Friday night. The Sun set around 20.30 so I was in the dome by 21.30. The sky at this time was perfectly clear. Had to abandon my original plan to observe in around Sagittarius due to the presence of the Moon. Had a quick look at the same before centering Rasalhague in order to tweak my collimation. Let the fun begin. First time I've done this and to help me, there's two screws in a line and one above, leaving me to guess which one is the A screw. Start turning this one and that one as per the chart, but things through the eyepiece are getting worse not better. Another turn and back to eyepiece and Rasalhague has all but gone. Looked up and the sky is blanketed with clouds. Sat it out for 40 minutes when to sky is now patchy at best. Finally turned a screw that improved things, well there's only 3 so I was going to hit the right one at some time. Managed to get it as close as a knats hang down giving me great views for the rest of the night.

First target was M11. It is a gem of an O.C. and looked great in the 26 mm 70 deg E.P. On to NGC6823 a nice, if small O.C. Then on to the Coat Hanger Asterism. This is a favourite of mine and looks great in the 9x50 finder. M27 (Dumbbell) next. Spent time here with the UHC filter making a world of difference. Lots of wispy cloud about but x200 showed some detail and lots of nebula. Next was NGC6834 an unusual OC. it's shaped roughly like an edge on galaxy with a line of 5 brightish stars running along the Lenght of the cluster. Took in I.C 4756. This is a lovely rich open cluster come star field. Best view was again through the 9 x 50 finder. Had a quick look at OCs NGC6709 and 6934 before popping along to G C M15. Stars were easily resolved in the 11inch and at x230 it put on a great display. Clouds are now gathering (23.30) with a vengeance, but I press on to M2 for another excellent view of a GC. Then on to NGC 7009 the Saturn Nebula. Not the greatest view due to the fact that it was low in the sky (25deg) and in hazy cloud. None the less, the UHC filter enhanced the view. It's now 00.30 and the clouds are making it difficult to continue. Had another look at M11 and called it a draw or the night.
The 1100 performed flawlessly. Same brilliant optics as the 8se but with 3 inches of extra aperture to make everything bigger and brighter. The other big advantage it the stability. The 1100 on it's tripod is rock steady.
On the two nebula I viewed, the UHC filter made a big difference. Well worth the price.
All in all I had a great 3 hours or so in the company of a fine telescope.

Edit... For the Open clusters I use my 26mm, 30mm, and 38mm 70deg eyepieces. I use the Baader zoom on M15, M2 and the Saturn Nebula.

Regards. Peter.

#20 Tel

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:27 AM

Some of the best lunar landscape images I've seen, Nodalpoint ! Many congratulations ! :bow::bow:

If these are quick and dirty, I'll certainly be one of the first to put on the running shoes and hide the soap !

Best regards,
Tel

#21 Tel

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:37 AM

Hi James,

I too attempted a shot at Uranus,.... back in '06. No detail but just nice to say I'd "got" it !

What I like about your two images, (if shot under the same conditions), is the well illustrated comparison in the distance related size between Uranus and Neptune.

Congratulations on such a presentation ! :bow::bow:

Best regards,
Tel

#22 Peter9

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:21 AM

Many thanks for your input Tel. Much appreciated.

Regards. Peter.

#23 Peter9

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:02 AM

Great report James. Many thanks. Glad you put your O111 filter to good use on M57 and M27. I am toying with the idea of adding the O111 to go with my UHC. The UHC is doing all I want at the moment so I'm undecided. Missed out on M57 on Friday, skipped passed it on my list. :bigblush: Hope you got a good view in the end. Neptune and Uranus are too low here for any useful observing. Good images from you of the two, thanks.
I see you stayed out longer than me, you old night rake. :lol:

Regards. Peter.

#24 hopskipson

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:22 AM

Thanks Tel & Peter for the comments on my captures. I always like to show what I see when possible. Nice detailed report Peter, looks like that 1100 is a keeper! Nice that you finally got her collimated and the weather cooperated.

Sorry I'm not familiar with your English slang. Could you explain a "night rake". Believe me I paid for it the next day. The kids wake up early and make plenty of noise :smash:. My forecast called for clouds last night, but by 9:00 it cleared. Unfortunately, this old night rake was dead tired :lol:!

#25 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:43 AM

James, Good catches! I like the colors and I hope to catch them at some point... good job....






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