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Equipment Discussions >> Refractors

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The Ardent

Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Virginia
Re: Fall M.A.R.S. Oct 6 [Re: Paul Derby]
      #5460459 - 10/08/12 11:37 AM Attachment (107 downloads)

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All week long the forecast for Saturday was cloudy with rain. I arrived at the Star Gaze a little early to do some solar before the clouds arrived. I had about an hour at lunchtime. The clouds came, it did rain for a minute, and an hour later it started clearing. By 3pm the skies were mostly clear. I was able to observe the sun until it set beyond the distant pines. I didnt plan on staying long given the forecast. I thought I would be home by dinner time but the clear skies kept me out past midnight.
I set up my 152mm f/9 Starfire and 900 mount. I considered selling this setup given the poor weather this year. There were two large sunpots facing and one on the limb. I saw a pair of tiny spots near the center. The surface was littered with granulation and faculae. I used a Baader Herschel wedge, Televue Binovue with two 18mm Ultimas giving around 76x, and Televue 1x corrector.
The Novac was kind enough to provide food so I had dinner while waiting for darkness.
After dark I replaced the solar setup with two AP 2.7" extensions and a Tec Turret. The turret is a wonderful device that allows easy switching between eyepieces. I didnt have a finderscope with me so i just used a 32 plossl as a finding eyepiece. I showed the public some nice doubles like Delta Cep and Gamma And. For other astronomers it was Zeta Aqr at 180x, 23 Aql and Epsilon Lyr. The seeing wasnt great but the transparency was good enough to see IC 1396 naked eye.
With the moon and Jupiter low in the east I switched to straight thru binoviewing mode. The views werent the best, but it was nice to see them in the refractor. Despite the poor seeing numberous bands were visible on Jupiter. I love those steady moments when the single band is revealed to be two or three separate ones.

The Novac were generous hosts and put on a great event.

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