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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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Dave MitskyModerator
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob
      #5819108 - 04/24/13 03:36 AM

Last May I ordered a 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic truss-tube Dob from Teeter's Telescopes. My telescope was supposed to be finished by October but, due to delays by the fellow who ground the mirror and not by Rob Teeter, I was not able to take possession of the 15" TT/Classic until March 15th.

http://www.teeterstelescopes.com/catalog.html

I was unable to use the new scope under dark skies until the night of Friday, April 5th. The location was one of the best "local" dark sites, a mere 75 miles from my home. I arrived at the site at 7:20 p.m. EDT and departed sometime after 7:00 a.m. EDT the next morning.

The last stretch of dirt road to the observing field was in terrible shape, even for an SUV. Two fellow CAS members were already present. It was windy at sunset, with gusts of about 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour). The wind died down eventually but there were occasional gusts from time to time. The temperature dropped to 24° Fahrenheit (-4° Celsius) by 4:00 a.m. EDT. The transparency (an SQM reading of almost 21.4 was achieved) and seeing were quite good overall.

Before my telescopic observations began, I observed Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) and M31 with my Burgess Optical 15x70s and tripod-mounted 16x70 Fujinons belonging to one of my observing buddies until about 9:05 p.m. EDT. The comet was about three degrees to the west of M31. Seeing Comet PanSTARRS was not easy. I also viewed the False Comet (Zeta Scorpii, NGC 6231, and Collinder 316), LDN 1773 (the Pipe Nebula), Melotte 20, Melotte 111, M4, M6, M7, M8, M34, M35, M36, M37, M38, M41, M42, M44, M45, M46, M47, M48, M50, and M93 with my 15x70s and the Fujinons, during the course of the night.

As I mentioned previously, this was first light for my new 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic truss-tube Dob. Eyepieces employed were a 6mm Tele Vue Delos (284x), a 7mm Pentax SMC XW (244x), an 8.8mm Meade UWA, a 10mm Tele Vue Delos (171x), a 13mm Tele Vue Ethos (131x), a 20mm Explore Scientific 100° WP Eyepiece (85x), a 21mm Denkmeier (81x), and a 35mm Tele Vue Panoptic (49x). All eyepieces used came to focus. My favorites were the 7mm Pentax, the 10mm Delos, the 13mm Ethos, and the 20mm Explore Scientific. The 7mm Pentax XW provided the best overall high-power views. I was not using a Tele Vue Paracorr and the coma from the fast mirror was not objectionable. I haven't decided yet whether I'll be buying a Paracorr in the future. The Sky Commander DSC unit worked very well indeed.

The light of M42 was the first from a non-stellar celestial object to grace the virgin 15" mirror.

Here's a list of some of the other objects that I observed that night: Markarian's Chain, M1, M3, M4, M5, M11, M13, M27 (with an Orion UlltraBlock filter), M49, M51, M53, M58, M59, M60, M61, M63, M64, M67, M68, M80, M81, M82, M84, M85, M86, M87, M92, M94, M95, M96, M97, M98, M99, M100, M101, M104, M105, M106, M108, M109, NGC 2158, NGC 2438, NGC 2683, NGC 2903, NGC 3384, NGC 3690 (Arp 299), NGC 4388, NGC 4435, NGC 4438, NGC 4449, NGC 4473, NGC 4477, NGC 4485, NGC 4490, NGC 4565, NGC 4567/4568, NGC 4627, NGC 4631, NGC 5195, NGC 6960 (with a Lumicon OIII filter), NGC 6992 (with a Lumicon OIII filter), and Saturn. I also saw two telescopic meteors and two telescopic satellites.

My favorite views were of Markarian's Chain in the heart of the Virgo Cluster, M5, M13, M27, M35 and NGC 2158, M51 and NGC 5195, M82, NGC 2903, NGC 4565, and NGC 4631.

Some of the objects that I saw through a 22" f/3.6 SDM Dob that night included M65 and SN 2013am, M17, B86, Saturn and five of its satellites, NGC 4565 (a great view with an 8mm Ethos), NGC 6960, Hickson 44 (NGC 3190 and its three companions), Hickson 61, and NGC 6309.

SN 2013am, the recent supernova in M65, was very faint and was glimpsed only fleetingly. The seeing was excellent at the time and Saturn was simply superb through the 22". The Cassini Division was easily visible, as were clouds belts on the disk of the planet. Titan displayed an obvious orange tint and was south and west of the planet. Dione and Tethys were just north of Saturn's disk. Enceladus was almost level with the ring plane on the east and Rhea was farther north and east of Enceladus.

I also had some great views through the other large Dob on the field, a 17.5" f/4.5 TeleKit, including NGC 6888, Comet 63P/Wild at 183x (10mm Delos), SN 2013ab in NGC 5669, and M57 and the "nearby" faint galaxy IC 1296 at relatively low power (183x). IC 1296 did not appear much more than stellar at that magnification but was visible without undue difficulty nevertheless. Comet 63P/Wild was just a dim, amorphous glow.

On the return trip, we discussed the events of the night and other matters over breakfast.

Some photographs that I took that Friday evening are posted at http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5754279/page...

Dave Mitsky


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IVM
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/07/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5819415 - 04/24/13 10:05 AM

It is a good-looking scope and, as I understand, a big step up in aperture. Looking forward to more of your reports with it.

PS It was great to see some familiar faces in those pictures; I have not seen those gentlemen in years.


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skyquest25
member


Reged: 08/22/12

Loc: United States
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: IVM]
      #5819594 - 04/24/13 11:45 AM

Great Looking scope, thanks for sharing your first light observations with us. Always enjoy reading these reports !!

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Dave MitskyModerator
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: IVM]
      #5819713 - 04/24/13 12:41 PM

Quote:

It is a good-looking scope and, as I understand, a big step up in aperture. Looking forward to more of your reports with it.

PS It was great to see some familiar faces in those pictures; I have not seen those gentlemen in years.




Thanks. My largest telescope had been a 12.5" Starsplitter Dob so the 15" wasn't a major increase in aperture. During the past few years, I've mainly used a 10" Sky-Watcher Collapsible Dob simply because of its ease of transport and set-up. Last year I bought a SUV, something I thought I'd never do, which was the impetus for acquiring a larger scope. Most of the guys that I observe with regularly have rather big apertures, up to 25 inches, and I still use the 17" classical Cassegrain at the Naylor Observatory fairly often, even though the skies there have been seriously degraded by light pollution during the past two decades.

Dave Mitsky


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galaxyman
Vendor - Have a Stellar Birthday
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Reged: 04/04/05

Loc: Limerick, Pa
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5820052 - 04/24/13 03:33 PM

Congrats of a beautiful scope, and I'm anxious to see through it in the next week or so.

For those who don't know Dave, he's one of the most dedicated observers anywhere, and has been for a long long time.

A well deserved telescope.


Karl
E.O.H.


Chesmont Astronomical Society - www.chesmontastro.org
Galaxy Log - http://www.youtube.com/user/GalaxyLog4565?feature=mhee
Galaxy Log Blog - http://galaxylog.blogspot.com/
HASB - http://www.haveastellarbirthday.com
Telekit (Swayze optics) 22" F/4.5 Dob
Homemade (Parks Optics) 12.5" F/4.8 Dob
TMB/APM 8" f/9 Refractor”The Beast”. One great DEEP SKY achro
ES 6" f/6.5 achro. Good one
Celestron Omni XLT 102 refractor.
Celestron 10x60mm Binos


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Dave MitskyModerator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: galaxyman]
      #5820255 - 04/24/13 05:02 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Karl!

Dave Mitsky


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Achernar
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5820297 - 04/24/13 05:22 PM

Congratulations on your new telescope, now you will never run out of things to see.....

Taras


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george golitzin
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/24/06

Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: Achernar]
      #5821146 - 04/25/13 12:30 AM

Nice report Dave, and a beautiful scope. Sounds like it had quite a full first night out.

-geo


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: george golitzin]
      #5823480 - 04/26/13 01:22 AM

Welcome to the Dark Side, Dave. What finish did YOU get?

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Dave MitskyModerator
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: Starman1]
      #5824552 - 04/26/13 02:31 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Don,

I chose the cherry finish.

Dave


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Dave MitskyModerator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5824576 - 04/26/13 02:46 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

After having seen the 15" with the light maple and black anodized finishes at the Northeast Astronomy Forum on Saturday, I would have been happy with that option too.

Dave Mitsky


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #5824606 - 04/26/13 03:00 PM

Dave,
I'm planning a 10" "suitcase" dob right now, and I'm thinking about a black lacquer "piano" finish for that one. It would be a relatively unusual finish for a telescope, I think.
But the cherry finish on the Teeter is a good look. Over the years, the red will fade and become a rich brown. After a year, mine is already fading. That's not exactly bad, either.
Enjoy!


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Dave MitskyModerator
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: First Light for My New 15" f/4.5 TT/Classic Dob new [Re: Starman1]
      #5825283 - 04/26/13 08:41 PM

This thread is drifting a bit but there's a video of the 10" TT Journey travel scope posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kCitl8BHUM

Dave Mitsky


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