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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: haytor]
      #5142403 - 03/26/12 03:01 PM

Great to read your report Skip. Sounds like you had a good night. Good to see you are still getting some visual time in. You certainly managed a good few objects, many of them favorites of mine. Thanks for sharing.

My cable arrived duly arrvive Tom, thanks for asking. Its is now fitted and all is well. Spurred on by Skip, I took advantage of last nights clear skies and put in a 4 hour session. It was one of those night were it was just nice to be out there, cyrstal clear skies and warm to boot.

I have clear skies again tonight, so I'll be heading out in 10 or so minutes. I'll have to write a double report later.

Thanks again for the report Skip.

Hope your night goes well Tom.

Regards. Peter.


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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: Peter9]
      #5142490 - 03/26/12 03:46 PM

Thanks Tom & Peter,

Peter, glad to see you getting some clear skies!


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haytor
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/29/07

Loc: Smethwick near Birmingham UK.
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Skip]
      #5143833 - 03/27/12 12:05 PM

Looks like we are being spoiled with these rare and recent clear nights Peter.

Cant say i have a observing report as such, but i did find time last night,(while imaging) to step out of the obsy and look westward just with the naked eye, seeing the moon,Venus and Jupiter was a real treat, i called my grand daughter out to view this trio,and she thought it was very COOL, i then pointed out Mars which she actually knew just by its colour!

Also it was kind of sad to see the great Orion dipping his toe to the west,soon to be lost until he rises in the south east once more.

Need sleep tonight to catch up so will have to give it a miss tonight, but if Wednesday night is clear as predicted ,then all the better.


regards,


Tom.


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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: haytor]
      #5144062 - 03/27/12 02:35 PM

Hi Tom,

With regards to our clear nights, I think pampered is the word I'd use. Hope it continues into the week end.

It's clear here again tonight, so if I'm not too bushed, I'll go out after watching the football (22.00)

Yes, looking West over the past few weeks and seeing Jupiter and Venus gracing the skies has been a great sight. When the crescent Moon has joins the party, it's been truely wonderful. Glad your Grand daughter enjoyed them. Jupiter is still showing me good detail even though it's now low in the sky by nightfall. M42 is also looking good as Orion, as you lament, is now sadly slipping from view.

I tried a little Galaxy hunting last night but the seeing wasn't up to it. Still, there's always, or so it seems at the moment, another night.

Thanks for your report Tom.

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]
      #5144138 - 03/27/12 03:23 PM

Nice night last night trying to image (using just my camera lens) Venus, the Moon and Jupiter with some degree of success. No time to cart the stuff outside, align, set up the camera, etc, etc.

Lovely clear night tonight too - lesson prep interferring though. Why couldn't we have this weather next week when I'm on half-term and can enjoy the sky?

Trio, hand-held again (wife had "tidied" the tripod away!)



Canon EOS550D (T2i) with 70-300mm IS lens set to 75mm, f4, 1/180 sec at ISO 3200 (auto) at 18:19 UT

Moon is a tad over exposed, but I hadn't got the time to fiddle.

Art


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HubSky
member


Reged: 12/28/11

Loc: Virginia
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Arthur Dent]
      #5144273 - 03/27/12 04:34 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Here's mine. Definitely some overexposure but going for the dramatic.

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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: HubSky]
      #5150293 - 03/31/12 02:28 PM

Hi Gang,

Fifteen minutes to Sun set and it's clear skies over Leeds. Just opened the dome in preparation for a few hours observing.

How is it where you are?. Same as here I hope.

Regards. Peter.


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hopskipson
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/24/10

Loc: Queens, New Yawk, Light pollut...
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #5150308 - 03/31/12 02:39 PM

Unfortunately I am not as lucky as you. The weather has not cooperated with my schedule and the next couple of days/nights don't look promising.

Good luck to you!

James


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TmaninTn
sage


Reged: 12/19/10

Loc: Nashville, TN USA
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: hopskipson]
      #5150339 - 03/31/12 03:01 PM

I'm getting teased by the clouds, probably because I just got my new UV/IR cut filter in the mail yesterday.



Shipment of new telescope equipment = fresh storm activity overhead.


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haytor
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/29/07

Loc: Smethwick near Birmingham UK.
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: TmaninTn]
      #5151286 - 04/01/12 08:16 AM

Thanks for the pics Art and Hubsky.

Peter,

i had hoped to get out last night, glad you had some clear weather fairly early on, but Saturday morning, the forecast said clear here in the midlands from 6pm, then changed it to 8pm,10pm and so on, in the end i did not bother.

I hope the Met office does not have a football team, any opposing team would soon find that when trying to score a goal, "THEY" would move the goal posts

Regards,

Tom.

Edited by haytor (04/01/12 08:20 AM)


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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: haytor]
      #5151407 - 04/01/12 10:02 AM

but true.

"Oh, and for the lady that rang in earlier asking if there is going to be a hurricane, don't worry, there isn't!"

Absolute classic.

Art


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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: Arthur Dent]
      #5151893 - 04/01/12 03:09 PM

Hi,
Sorry you lads had no luck last night. I was out for just over three hours.
There was not much point in hunting down D.S.Os as the half Moon was very bright. It was casting shadows in the obs. Jupiter was too far West and too low in the sky so I really had to say farewell until the next time round. It was the same with Orion and with it M42.
I started with the Moon as there is so much to see. I don't think I will ever tire of looking. Stayed about 30 minutes them tracked down some of my favorite open clusters and double stars. Decided to have a quick look at Mars and to my utter surprise, at last, at last, I could see surface detail on Mars even with the 26mm e.p and the Moon in such close attendance.
Popped in the baader zoom and spent 45 minutes, teasing the best out of Mars as if I was looking at the cloud bands on Jupiter. I could clearly see the Sytis Major, Utopia Rupes and the Utopia Planitia. This is the first time I have ever got to spend useful observing time on Mars. At X250 (8mm) the detail was still fairly sharp. It was at it's best at X142(14mm) to X200(10mm). The Baader zoom by the way performed brilliantly, giving me wonderful views of my "newly found" planet.
Time flies when your having fun. My flask was empty and I was in need of some sleep.
I will not forget my night on Mars in a hurry.

Regards. Peter.


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hopskipson
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/24/10

Loc: Queens, New Yawk, Light pollut...
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #5160441 - 04/07/12 09:59 AM

Finally had an observing window of about an hour total. Set up my scope at 21:00 took a quick look at M42 but it's much too low to enjoy. So much scintilation on the trapezium. Well there's next year. Took a quick peek at Venus but there was so much false color around the 1/2 illuminated disk. Went in to settle the kids for bed and fell asleep also. Got up around 23:30 and the moon was high. Wind picked up and a few high clouds moved in. I decided to focus on Saturn and Mars. I guess the longer you look at them the more details one can pick-up. Seeing was poor but did get those fleeting seconds of good seeing, Was able to pick out four moons three very faint and Titan, unless those are faint background stars. Could see some banding on the planet and for brief periods could make out the Cassini division. Was able to use my ES 8.8 mm ocular (227x + magnification) not bad on a night like this with vibration from the wind. Went over to Mars and with averted vision and patience could make out some nice detail. With the moon rising high and the clouds getting thicker I called it a night and went to bed content. Was the first night out since 3/13 ouch!! Hoping for more clear skies soon.

James


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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: hopskipson]
      #5164976 - 04/10/12 10:50 AM

Hi James,

Sorry I'm late with this post. One of those thought I had but hadn't things.

Good to see you managed and hour at the eyepiece even if conditions were not up to much.
At least you got to take a look at Saturn, something I have not been able to do so far. Still, should be better placed when I finally do.
Mars, from your report, seems to have been a little more rewarding than it normally is.

Best thing is you got out there and made the best of what was available.

Thanks for the report.

Regards. Peter.


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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: Peter9]
      #5171382 - 04/14/12 12:35 AM

Well, it never fails. All week long, gorgeous nights, no time to view. Decided to have the neighbors over, cooked enchiladas, played some Call of Duty, and set up both scopes. Darkness falls, CLOUDS!! From horizon to horizon.

Just wanted to share my report for the night.

Clear skies I hope for everyone else.


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hopskipson
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/24/10

Loc: Queens, New Yawk, Light pollut...
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5179800 - 04/19/12 07:27 AM

Hi all
I had access to a much darker site this weekend, just farms and mountains. It was like a completely different viewing experience, like I had never seen before. I was confused by the abundance of stars especially in the northern sky. Seeing the constellations of the zodiac and Orion with so many higher magnitude stars visible, I felt like one with nature. I had been here last year but without a dew shield so viewing was compromised. This time I was armed with my 8se and a few wide field eyepieces and a dew shield.

I started my session at around 19:30 and went right to Venus. The half illuminated planet was high in the sky and very bright. Jupiter was already too low in the sky and just slipping behind a mountain top. As darkness settled in and the stars started to populate the sky I knew it was going to be a great night. I got the scope aligned quickly and my first goto was to be M42 as it too was heading for the mountain. M42 is a favorite target for all but at this site it was at least double in size than in the city. I popped in my OIII filter and the nebula just got more defined and took on its familiar bat-in-flight shape a thing of beauty. I stuck with it for a good 15 minutes but was getting anxious about seeing other DSOs I had never seen before. I went to Mars next to get a quick view and to check my seeing conditions. It was hard to pick out many details. It was so dark that I didnt realize that I went from my 2-24mm EP to a 1.25-8.8mm EP instead of the 1.25-14mm. So at 227x magnification the seeing was decent. I revisited Mars a bit later and there were many more details, polar ice caps and some blackish midsection detail. After Mars I went through a bunch of open clusters, favorite targets of mine in the city. Well they must have reproduced about 50% more stars because very few clusters fit into the FOV of my 24mm 82* EP.
Next I tried out some galaxies and went to M81 and 82. In the city Ive only seen one galaxy, M32, when it was near the zenith at least I think I saw it. I saw a fuzzy dim patch of grey. Both M81 and 82 were visible and pretty bright. M82 seemed to have some structure to its elongated shape. M81 was more like M32 but brighter and with some dark grainy features. I got to see the ghost of Jupiter. It didnt impress me as much as the galaxies but I had never seen it. I got to see the Crab Nebula for the first time and many other DSOs. At about midnight my diagonal hit the base and screwed up my alignment. I tried to re-align twice with no success. I then just manually slewed to Saturn and think I saw 4 very faint moons. Is that possible? After watching Saturn for about 20 minutes I went back to Mars for another 15 minutes. By 01:00 I was cold and packed it in, but I was satisfied my scope had performed so well.

The next day it was mostly sunny so I used my home made Baader solar filter to get a look at the Sun. Just two sections of sunspots, one near the limb and one just left of center. The second one had an interesting configuration, sort of a Y pattern with two spots coming out of the v part. It started to cloud over so I was not going to be able to observe the final night of my stay.

I probably wont be traveling back to this place for a few months, but the memories of what the 8SE can do, will not be forgotten soon. Hope you enjoy the report, Sorry about its length.

James


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haytor
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/29/07

Loc: Smethwick near Birmingham UK.
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: hopskipson]
      #5179851 - 04/19/12 08:50 AM

Thanks to all for your reports, as ever great reading matter.

Peter, so glad you finally got to see some detail on Mars on the 1st April(no fooling),i`ve only ever seen detail on Mars on the live view screen when imaging so congrats on your observations.

James, a report is never too long to read, i had that same feeling of almost being lost when seeing stars from a really dark site, easy to get lost when so many stars fill the sky.

Great reports guy`s,

regards,

Tom.


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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: haytor]
      #5179891 - 04/19/12 09:25 AM

Thanks for a great report James. I really enjoyed the read. Tom is right in saying that no report is too long. Glad you were able to get to a dark site, it makes a world of difference. It would be good if you can get there during the summer months and go galaxy hunting in Virgo. You should see quite a few with the 8se on a good night.
I get to see M81/82 from my home site and a few, and I mean a few, in Virgo. Still, I enjoy the chase.

Thanks Tom and I was not kidding, (1st April) the detail I saw on Mars that night was a real surprise and of course, a real thrill.
Not had much luck of late and things are not looking good over the next week or so. I'm guessing it's the same with you.


Regards. Peter.


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haytor
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/29/07

Loc: Smethwick near Birmingham UK.
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... [Re: Peter9]
      #5179918 - 04/19/12 09:46 AM

Quite right Peter, since that one good week in March,its been horrible here in the Midlands,and looks set to stay that way for a while at least.

So many things i need to do, just made myself a temporary extended dew shield, to test if i can cut off some more of the stray light that is a real problem at my location, also want to check that i`m not getting and leaking light via the filter wheel, but as said the weather just wont play ball!

regards,

Tom.


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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: hopskipson]
      #5180186 - 04/19/12 12:27 PM

Outstanding report James! You have learned what we all learn at some time or other. Everything changes when you leave the LP of a city and head out to dark skies! I wish I could live in the dark desert of Arizona, but if I did that I'd have to leave my SWMBO in town - she doesn't much care for deserts!

Quote:

In the city Ive only seen one galaxy, M32, when it was near the zenith at least I think I saw it.




James I think you meant to say M31, although M32 and M110 (satellites of M31) are both visible at dark sites with your 8SE (and my 6SE).

Quote:

I then just manually slewed to Saturn and think I saw 4 very faint moons. Is that possible?




Absolutely! I have seen up to six (and maybe seven) with my 6SE at times. Up to four are frequently visible even in town.

Once again great report! Keep 'em coming!


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