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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: Skip]
      #5209994 - 05/07/12 09:53 AM

Skies haven't been very cooperative of late but I finally got a nice window last night. Had the SE set up by sunset and got in a little daylight Venus viewing. The crecent is getting very thin as we near transit time. My seeing was bad, but not being out for 2 weeks I didn't care. Mars came out next, but very little detail is showing now. I went in to let the scope cool and to wait for darkness. Went back out and aligned the scope. I just got a Baader Maxbright Bino viewer (@ NEAF)and I was desperate to try it out. In hindsight I probably should have used a single EP to align the scope. My gotos were particularly off but within the FOV. I was using 2 14mm ES 82* EP in the bino. The image converged nicely and the 2 eye experience is almost 3-D like. I went to Mars again but still very little detail. I was focusing on small targets to see how the binos perform. I tried M51 which I can't see with one EP. Well I was able to see something. No well defined shape but a smudge of light. I went to M13 and even with the moon rising I was able to pull out more detail than when it's been overhead and no moon. With averted vision I could resolve some stars. I went over to Saturn and I could tell the seeing was horrible most of the time. The image seemed to waver like a dream sequence on TV. When it got better for a brief second I could make out more details like some banding in the cloud cover and the CD was in and out. I tried with my new 2X powermate and altough the image got bigger and softer I could make out some more banding details in those brief moments of good seeing. The moon finally rose above the rooftops and with the bino it's hard to put into words the view. It feels like your floating in space. Lots of details and a 3-D like view.

I spent a lot of time on Saturn and the Moon and got in just before midnight (darn work). The binos were great. I didn't notice a significant dimming in the view and keeping both eyes open and recieving information makes images appear brighter and with more detail. One downside is that now I need more EP's .

Today, back to clouds and rain for the rest of the week.

Clear skies to you!!

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]
      #5216632 - 05/11/12 07:17 AM

Hi James,

Many thanks for the report. Sorry I have not responded earier but have other things on my mind just now.
Glad to see that, like me, (and others), you take the conditions as you find them and make the best of it.
Mars will be very difficult now as it moves away but at least you got one last look.
Pleased the Bino's worked out well. Using both eye's must make a big difference. Not the same I know, but I use an eye patch from time to time, and I do see more detail having both eye's open, even though one is covered.
As Tel has said in another post, we here in the U.K have not seen a clear sky in a more than a month. Saturday night is forecast clear and if it materialises, I'll be out like a shot.

Once again James, thanks for your report.

Regards. Peter.


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cpl43uk
sage


Reged: 02/09/08

Loc: Bristol, UK
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #5217670 - 05/11/12 07:00 PM

We are running a public observing session saturday night here in Bristol and with luck we'll finally be able to get our scopes out for what has seemed like ages. Better make sure the batteries are charged. I'm hoping to see what difference my new 2" diagonal plus 40mm WFOV makes vs the 1.25"

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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: cpl43uk]
      #5218292 - 05/12/12 07:01 AM

Good luck with that Chris. Hope all goes well and the skies clear for you.
I have my fingers crossed for clear skies here in Leeds tonight. Looks promising at the moment.

Regards. Peter.


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chrisjgreenfield
member


Reged: 04/08/12

Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Peter9]
      #5219179 - 05/12/12 07:06 PM

First Light with my 5SE - from my front garden - despite the street light, Saturn with the 9mm eyepiece was superb. The crescent of Venus (never seen before) amazing.
Think I'm going to like this little scope lots.
Chris


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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: chrisjgreenfield]
      #5219582 - 05/13/12 12:20 AM

Good luck with the weather Peter. Hope the clouds stay parted. Chris please give us more details in your reports. We love to hear the good, the bad and even the ugly. Good luck with your new scope!

I got a special treat last night. My second clear night in the same week ! That hasn't happened in a long time. Weather was mild, a bit of wind whiched deminished during the night. Seeing was poor to fair which is what I'm becoming accustomed to in the city. I got my scope aligned quickly and my gotos were spot on for most of the night until I nudged the mount by mistake . My first goto was to Venus and it landed in my 14mm EP. A very thin crecent which was wavering in and out of my tube currents or atmospheric disturbances. I went to Mars next and the planet is showing no details in my C8. I tried out my ES 102 ED later in the evening and was able to tease out a little polar cap detail. I went next to Saturn, the planet never disappoints. There was a little banding and I could make out 3 moons. The CD was in and out. The wind, and seeing made it very difficult to pick it out but patience and averted vision were needed to tease it out. I must have spent a good 30 minutes on Saturn and then I turned to galaxy hunting. This has become easier with the new binoviewer. Where once I could see nothing, I am now able to tease out a smudge or a little gray patch. I went to M81 and could make out a long bar of gray. I tried averted vision and could barely make out a core. I went next to the Sombrero and could only make out a dim smudge. M64 and M51 are overhead and made good targets. A few detail can be had if you look long enough. M65 and 66 were not visible in my scope. I decided to go over to M13 and M92. I could see a lot of details with averted vision. M13 had a nice tight core and hundreds if not thousands of stars surrounding it. Overall it was another stellar night. I hope your skies are clear.

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]
      #5219771 - 05/13/12 07:26 AM

Thanks James. I made it. The skies cleared completely giving me just over 3 hours of viewing time.
I went out before total darkness (22.30)as I am an early riser, 06.00 to 06.30 each morning and, having failed to get a nap during the day, the only way to stop myself falling asleep before total darkness is to get out there.
Just managed to catch Venus before it disappeared below my shed roof. Its been a brill naked eye sight since early winter and still continues to be so. The crescent looked very good in my 25mm last night.
Then on to Saturn, a good object to view in the semi dark. Seeing, as with James, was poor to fair and with Saturn at only 30deg, I was surprised at being able to see the northern band so clearly. Cass div was making brief appearances and I viewed for a good 45 minutes.
I headed for the Virgo cluster at around 23.45. Tried for M60,85,100 and others but had no luck at all. Same with the Needle Galaxy(NGC 4565) and the Whale Galaxy(NGC4631) not a sight of any.
Not to be beaten, I turned to the Globular clusters. Stared with M3 which showed up well, then down to M53 fainter at mag 7.6 but still a good catch, and then on to M5 which, although the lowest in terms of deg, turned out to be the best of the bunch. I don't know if it was in a pocket of clear air it had found for its self but it readily started showing individual stars and easily took mag 250m at which it looked wonderful. I spent a very rewarding 30 minutes with M5. Just had to finish the G.Cs with M13, another treat on a night on poor seeing.
Took another look at Saturn, now lower at 22deg. It is a truely great object to view. Stayed for another 20mins.
It's now 01.45 and not wanting to waste the night, took a tea and cake (made by Yvonne's fair hand) break(in the dome) and decided on a look in and around Ursa Major. Before I could press the goto, the clouds started to roll in. They were blanket white clouds with holes. Unfortunately, there was far more cloud than holes so I had to call it a night.
Although the seeing was poor with many targets unavailable, I was more than pleased to have been out there.

Regards. Peter.

Quick edit :- P.S Going through my notes taken on the night, I realised I had not included my visits to Globular Clusters M10 and M12. They are fine objects which showed up well on the night.
My mind must be fading fast, though nothing to do with age you understand.

Peter.

Edited by Peter9 (05/15/12 07:22 AM)


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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: Peter9]
      #5219934 - 05/13/12 09:46 AM

Thank`s Chris,Chris, James and Peter for your reports, as usual a joy to read.

Enjoyed the idea of a tea and cake break in the obbsy Peter, with me its just plenty of coffee to keep me going!

regards,

Tom.


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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: haytor]
      #5242967 - 05/27/12 10:02 PM

This has been one of the crummier weeks of the spring. It either rained or was cloudy from Monday to Friday. Got lucky yesterday, we traveled to my bro-in-laws house in a green border line blue zone. Weather forecasters were calling for clouds and rain all weekend, but we went any way. Thank goodness we made the trip. It's been warm some clouds and last night I got a somewhat clear sky for 2.5 hours. I forgot my tripod but I improvised with a overturned metal garbage pail . For the first time I had trouble with the Sky-Align method but went to A2SA and had sucess. The clouds were playing hjde and seek but all in all I had a good night. I saw the Swan nebula for the first time . Popped in the OIII and could make out some more detail. I wenr to the Eagle but could not see a thing. Do I need a H-alpha? I was drooling over how much more light I could make out in M13 and 92. Spent some time with M51 and was able to tease out some details with averted vision. I am always amazed here the constelations are just awe inspiring. Watching Scorpius rise in the east and actually being able to recognize the other constellations is very humbling. The night went really fast I didn't notice the clouds rolling in from the southwest. Oh well, thank goodness I'm coming back in July.

Clear Skies everyone and happy Memorial Day

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]
      #5243946 - 05/28/12 01:34 PM

Thanks James, pleased you managed some detail from M51.

We've had clear blue daytime skies and and clear blue night-time skies (it gets dark so late this time of the year) for the past week. I have set the scope up tracking the Sun most days and in between gardening / pottering around etc, have done plenty of solar viewing. I also, thanks to a prompt by our friend Tel, had a great view of the crescent Venus.
I have been out early most nights, concentrating mainly on the Moon using a polerising filter. On Saturday night (26th) the Moon occulted M67 (open cluster). Because of the light skies it was not much of a spectacle at the eyepiece. Much of M67 was just not visible under the conditions. I saw some of the brighter star being occulted but by 23.15 I had lost the Moon low down in the west. The occult end around 23.40-45ish.

Still, one way and another I have had plenty of time at the eyepiece.

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]
      #5254146 - 06/04/12 12:44 AM

Hey guys, just had a quick session last night here at work. I introduced 8 new guys into the wonders of astronomy.
Tho Im not QUITE sure what impressed them the most, the almost "textbook" like views of Saturn, the plethora of Craters on the moon at high mags, or the fact fact that the scope has a computer that moves on its own, OR the GLP racing across the sky.
Down here in south Texas, almost everyone owns some type of firearm, and all of them swear they need one on their rifles. Boys will be boys you know.
They almost had themselves fooled that I had somehow managed to hang a picture of Saturn at the front of the scope while they were at the EP. a few of them had even mentioned that they might want a scope to carry with them as well.
As for myself, after they were done "Oohhing and Aahhhing" I decided to try Mars again. For some reason I hed never tried to push mags upwards of 300x, mostly due to hunting DSOs and such, but the almoat full moon and our enourmous natural gas flare werent permitting ANY deep space viewing. I took out the Zoom and popped in the 9mm Nagler with 2x Powermate and focused the best I could, and I must say, no surface detail, but definately could make out the northern Polar cap, a first for me.

On a side note, we are supposed to be released from this job tomorrow, so it looks like "Transit Tuesday" WILL take place at home. The kids will be so excited. I even have a few friends comming over who I kinda bit with the astronomy bug as well.

Enough for now,
Clear skies everyone!!!


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Chris Boar
sage
*****

Reged: 02/23/09

Loc: Vancouver Island, Canada
Re: Hope some of you guys are out there tonight.... new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5254167 - 06/04/12 01:41 AM

Ill be taking my 8se on a plane flight tomorrow to Phoenix to ensure I see the transit. The OTA is going as carry on, but the tripod/head is going as checked baggage. Its wrapped good so i hope it isnt abused by baggage handlers too much.

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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: Chris Boar]
      #5254951 - 06/04/12 04:32 PM

I'm taking my 6SE with my annular-eclipse-home-made-modifications (stopped down aperture and solar filter) over to the local community college. They are having a Venus-transit party there. My daughter's astronomy professor is sponsoring it and asked her if she would beg me to bring my scope. So after some mock arm-twisting, I agreed to do it. Should be fun.

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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: Skip]
      #5255011 - 06/04/12 05:08 PM

Good luck with the weather, looks like NYC will be clouded over. I can hope the weatherman is wrong.

James


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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: hopskipson]
      #5274557 - 06/16/12 04:14 PM

Hi all

Finally got a somewhat clear night. Skies had some high clouds but cleared up at around 10:30. Quite windy so no need to attempt any AP. Went to Saturn first to check the seeing. Not great but hey It's been cloudy for so long I'll take it. I tried to go to 300X with the binoviewer but was not getting good results. I took off the powermate and even at 150X the view was unstable. Although it did have its moments of clarity. I dropped down to monoviewing with the 24mm @ ~85X and think I could detect 6 moons. I tried to check with the higher mags but the image was not cooperating. Could only make out 3 with higher magnifications. I bumped the scope and had to do another alignment.

My next targets were three globs-M13, M92 and M3. Now I've seen these before but could swear that I was picking up more details last night. My observatory has lots of stray light and is in the middle of a huge light dome. I must be getting better at observing. The binoviewers help alot but I was starting to resolve more stars. Spent alot of time on these three and then went back to Saturn. Could still see the 6 moons at low power but not at the higher powers.

Was a great night out let's hope the weather stays this way for more than 1 night .

James

Edited by hopskipson (06/16/12 04:25 PM)


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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: hopskipson]
      #5275037 - 06/16/12 11:31 PM

Well no such luck tonight. Bot set up and aligned and the clouds rolled i. Got a few minutes of Saturn. Waited 2 hours but it just got worse. Hope some of you are doing better

James


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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: hopskipson]
      #5275150 - 06/17/12 02:05 AM

Same thing for me too James. Had a friend over and just got everything set up and aligned and started to work on NGC6888 before the cloud cover suddenly overtook the sky. A real bummer especially since the forecast called for a clear night.

George


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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]
      #5275336 - 06/17/12 09:11 AM

Thanks for your report James. Pleased you were able to get some observing time in.
You certainly did well to see so many of Saturns moons and to get some individual stars out of the Globulars.
I think for you to expect two night on the trot is being a bit greedy though.

The weather is still atrocious here in the U.K. I have not had so much as a sniff of a clear night for over a month.
Still, longest day on Wednesday so its all down hill from there.

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.... [Re: Peter9]
      #5275423 - 06/17/12 10:33 AM

Isnt that the norm George? Invite a friend or 2 over, and clouds pour in.
I hate when that happens, get everyone excited then nothing. Even rained one time, just out of nowhere!! Glad my buddy was there to help me get everything in the garage fast.

Sorry to hear about the UK skys Peter. Hope they clear up soon.


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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.... [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5275551 - 06/17/12 12:15 PM

Many thanks Matt.

I'll try saying my prays tonight.

If I had a ($) for every time I've set up only for the clouds to roll in, I'd be a rich man.

Regards. Peter.


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