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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: ghataa]
      #4784748 - 09/02/11 03:17 PM

Hi Tom and George, sorry to hear your nights were ruined by clouds.

I managed just over two hours in what can only be called poor condition. I started at M11, but soon realised that higher Latitudes were the order of the night. Took in Albireo, tried a few NGC, but could see nothing over Mag 6.80.

Then came the highlight of the night, the "Coathanger" which looked great in the 9x50 RACI.

Still, the chase was good, and, after contenting myself with a couple or three doubles, I ended the session by dropping down to M15 and M2, neither of which, like most D.S.Os I'd looked at, give me anything by way of detail, M15 being the better of the two.
All in all though, it was an enjoyable couple of hours. I took what was on offer, and made the best of it.

Regards. Peter.


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BruceG
member


Reged: 12/29/10

Loc: Apex/N. Topsail Island NC
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #4787966 - 09/04/11 08:45 AM

Finally some real scope time at the dark site. What a difference in the objects I could see. Tried to catch up on the summer Messiers doing a lot of globulars. Made me realize I need to reserve a week in the summer to come to the beach and look at the stars. There actually is a galaxy out there it's just hidden by light pollution at our house.

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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: BruceG]
      #4788487 - 09/04/11 02:07 PM

Went to our club public star party last night. Downtown Fort Worth, so you can imagine the LP. But viewed the nearly quarter Moon for quite awhile. Got to see the Delta Scorpii occultation by the Moon. Watched a very nice ISS pass - lasted about 4 minutes and went almost overhead. Then spent the rest of the evening gazing at MizarA/MizarB/Alcor. People seemed to really like it - or was it when I used my GLP to point out where they were looking? Not much else to see. A friend had M13 in his CPC 1100 for a bit - but LP just about washed it out. I got a chuckle at all the comments coming from his scope - "I don't see anything" "Well look at it for a while, relax, and use your imagination" . In the meantime, he had about 20 people lined up at his scope. The Lyra double-double and Alberio were challenged by some high cirrus, so they were not very good. And, the aforementioned LP ruined almost everything else.

I've about decided that those big public events are not for me anymore. I'm so tired by the time it's time to pack up, that I can hardly get my equipment back in the car. As much as I loved doing them, I may have to plead old age and cut back on those events.


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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Skip]
      #4788704 - 09/04/11 03:55 PM

Nice report Skip. Sound like you had a similar night to mine last time out i.e. not too good. Nice to hear you saw the ISS. We rarely get the chance to see it here in West Yorkshire.
Alcor and Mizer is one of the ones I visit every now and then. Its very pleasing on the eye.
As regard to giving up the public events, I gave up on the group thing a long time ago. As you indicate Skip, time catches up on us.
I live in a Col De Sac and one or two neighbours sometimes put round when I'm observing, which is nice, so I content myself with that.

Regards. Peter.


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Arthur Dent
Galactic Hitch-Hiker
*****

Reged: 10/23/08

Loc: South Yorkshire, UK
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #4788957 - 09/04/11 05:55 PM

That's a nice night you had there Skip.

Wish I could say the same


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flboy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/10/10

Loc: De Leon Springs, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Arthur Dent]
      #4789892 - 09/05/11 07:15 AM

I awoke around 6am and step outside to find Orion high in the east, while Pleiades was at my zenith and Jupiter just west. So I grabbed the TV85 and took a peek.

Seeing M42 reminded me that winter isn't too far off, which is a mixed blessing. I love the winter objects/sky, but I totally dislike the cold. Oh well, it's still wonderful to see Orion

Pleiades looks so cool through a small refractor compared to the 8SE. Having such a large field of view, with plenty of sky surrounding Pleiades just makes it pop in the EP.

And to see two reddish-brown bands on Jupiter with her four bright moons all in a horizontal line is such a nice way of starting the day.

Unfortunately the no-see-ums were chewing around my ankles and the mosquitoes were diving bombing my head. Yes, winter does get cold, but at least these little buggers will be dead for the season


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: flboy]
      #4790039 - 09/05/11 09:36 AM

Skip, I cant believe the star party went that well last night. From my back yard the only things i could see were the moon with clouds, and barely Cygnus. Other than that just all haze. Beautiful morning though.

Matt


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #4790245 - 09/05/11 11:33 AM

Hi Matt,

It sounds like you guys were still feeling the residual effects of TS Lee on Saturday. All we got out of Lee was an increase in the winds (~20 mph). We also had a cool front go through late yesterday and the temp this morning has been in the 71 - 72 (instead of the high 80s)!!! Only supposed to get to 84 today!!! Tomorrow morning could be as low as 58!!!

But clear skies and still no rain. It is so dry that we are on watering restrictions (2 days a week and only between 6PM and 10AM) and the wildfires are again becoming a problem west of Fort Worth.

The good news is, it is way cooler and observing is pretty good (except for seeing).


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ac1
sage
*****

Reged: 01/12/11

Loc: Utica, NY USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Skip]
      #4793463 - 09/06/11 10:07 PM

John, I hope you're right. The Pleiades and Double Cluster type of stuff are about all that's going to save my SV 80L from the sales ads. Can't see a damn thing with it. When the big winter open clusters appear, perhaps that will change my mind. Otherwise, that scope has been a huge disappointment this summer. I think my expectations were way too high- I bought all that "refractors rule" stuff hook, line and sinker, expecting to see something the SCT couldn't show me. Wrong. In reality, it's just an expensive finder scope, I suppose. Turns out, stuff I like to see, like DSO's and tight doubles, just aren't what this scope is made to do.

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ac1
sage
*****

Reged: 01/12/11

Loc: Utica, NY USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: ac1]
      #4801049 - 09/11/11 01:39 AM

What a phenomenal night out there. Started just after dusk to make sure Ursa Major was high in the sky. Caught the Pinwheel Galaxy and the supernova (I think- see the other thread). Albireo was it's usual stunning self, and I surfed a whole bunch of double stars earlier in the evening. The doubles in Bootes, Cygnus, Coma Berenices, the Double Double in Lyra (great with the 16mm eyepeice, catch both in the same FOV easily) and Cor Caroli. The tight ones in Bootes were especially nice tonight. Switched over to DSO's as the night wore on, and it was a virtual festival using the "Named Objects" catalog. Bode's Nebula, Ring Nebula, Cat's Eye Nebula, Blinking Planet, Blue Snowball, Blue Planetary Nebula, Dumbbell Nebula, North American Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, Stephan's Quintet (tough- not bright or well defined at all, but the smudges are there) and a few other galaxies. Gotta get an OIII and Hydrogen filters to get the Crescent and Veil Nebulae. Any ideas which brands to buy? Jupiter is now high enough, and I think the Great Red Spot is visible (with the inverted view, it's on top, correct?) along with at least four moons that are as bright as stars. Found Uranus and Neptune early in the evening as well. Also got my first views of the Owl Nebula and the Saturn Nebula tonight. Skies are clear, and even with the Moon showering down on me (it's wickedly bright, with excellent detail at lower power), it's still transparent and seeing is good enough to get things down to 11th mag or brighter without a big struggle, clean enough to use the 9mm Nagler (310x) without much fuzz at all, although the 25mm Plossl gave superbly sharp views tonight. Just a great night, comfortable, absolutely perfect for stargazing. Still have an hour or so left in me.....will wait for more stuff to pop up over the trees. Caught Eta Cas, and a couple other doubles in Cassiopeia, including Sigma Cas, as well as seeing the return of the Double Cluster. Don't think I'll make it long enough to catch the Pleaides or Hyades, but they're not too far off in the future. Hope some of you guys in the southeastern US enjoyed tonight as much as I did. This is why we wait for the clouds to break, boys and girls!

As an aside, although I know it's not a fair comparison due to a big aperture difference, but the big SCT absolutely crushes the small refractor. Aperture DOES rule!

Edited by ac1 (09/11/11 01:51 AM)


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flboy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/10/10

Loc: De Leon Springs, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: ac1]
      #4801460 - 09/11/11 10:37 AM

Tony, you're right. A small refractor will not suit your viewing needs for DSO's.

"I bought all that "refractors rule" stuff hook, line and sinker, expecting to see something the SCT couldn't show me."

It's too bad you don't see the advantages of a small refractor.


Be well!!!


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ac1
sage
*****

Reged: 01/12/11

Loc: Utica, NY USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: flboy]
      #4807894 - 09/14/11 05:44 PM

Don't "see" the advantages? No, I literally do not. LOL.

But I did heed your advice, John. I will keep it around through the winter to see the Pleiades and Hyades, Double Cluster, and all the decent opens in Auriga, Taurus and a bunch of others.

Got some nice lunar views with it a couple nights back.....it must be an acquired taste. I'm working on it...who knows, maybe I'll spring for an Ethos 3.7mm eyepiece for it.


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hal2000
member


Reged: 01/16/11

Loc: County Antrim
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: ac1]
      #4807957 - 09/14/11 06:21 PM

Great report Tony. Congrats on tracking down Stephans Quintet.
The guys I observe with and I have been using O111 filters a fair bit recently, a couple of different brands, and they are all pretty good. I have the Baader myself. They really bring objects like the Veil to life.

Edited by hal2000 (09/14/11 06:22 PM)


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flboy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/10/10

Loc: De Leon Springs, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: hal2000]
      #4808803 - 09/15/11 07:13 AM

Hi Tony,

Here's to some clear, dark skies this winter

And best to you on your move to upstate NY.


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: flboy]
      #4808827 - 09/15/11 07:33 AM

Quote:

It's too bad you don't see the advantages of a small refractor.




Hey, small refractors have lots of uses ... finder, guidescope, rifle sight, conversation piece on the living room shelf ...


-Dan


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Peter9
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #4809615 - 09/15/11 05:05 PM

What a disappointment. I'm back inside typing this when I thought I was in for a long nights observing.
Sun set around 19.25. I'm in the dome at 20.15. The sky is completely clear and I set about re aligning the scope as I'd repositioned it earlier today.
Alignment done I test it with a Goto to M11. Success, so I stay and observe M11 for a while. Decide on one more test so I Goto Altair. It's in the eyepiece. Thought I'd compare my new 26mm W.A eyepieces F.O.V to my 25mm plossl while I'm wait for true darkness. It's 21.10 as I look through the 25mm Altair is dimmed. I look up and the sky is filling with white cloud. 21.25 and its blacket cloud cover.

I decided to Hibernate the scope to fool the weather God into thinking I'd gone indoors, hoping the sky would then clear. Gave up at 21 40. and here I am.

You just would not believe it. Well, you would really, as those of us who observe on a regular basis have it happen on a regular basis.

Still, got my alignment done.

Regards. Peter.


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flboy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/10/10

Loc: De Leon Springs, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #4828474 - 09/26/11 11:51 AM

I just wanted to share that we(north central FL)had a hell of a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon. The wind blew down a few trees in the neighborhood and we got 3.75" of rain in 23 minutes.

The force of nature is powerful!!!

On a side note, it's starting to cool off and the skies seem to be getting darker as the days past. I can't wait to get back under the stars!!!

Edited by flboy (09/26/11 11:52 AM)


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ghataa
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/20/11

Loc: Central, NJ
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: flboy]
      #4828674 - 09/26/11 01:30 PM

The weather here in the northeast US has been horrible for the past few weeks. Off and on rain, downpours, fog and/or overcast. This week doesn't look much better. This is my longest stretch since June without even a reasonable chance for viewing. Looking forward to a clear and dry spell.

George


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flboy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/10/10

Loc: De Leon Springs, FL
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: ghataa]
      #4828757 - 09/26/11 02:12 PM

Hi George,

Don't feel too bad as I haven't spent any time behind the EP since late Spring. But that should be changing soon


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... [Re: flboy]
      #4828993 - 09/26/11 04:40 PM

Well since I posted a few times complaining of the horrible heat here in Texas, I thought I'd better report that the weather has cooled considerably. Now instead of temps in the low 100s, we have them in the high 80s and low 90s. Much better! We are still in extreme drought conditions though. So, John, send some of that rain our way! I'll even take the wind along with it if necessary.

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