Much obliged gentlemen.
Sketching the Night Sky with a large Maksutov
Posted 26 February 2015 - 04:53 AM
Neil, now you're talking. Nice observation and sketch of Jove. That's Jupiter, alright. Beautiful.
Posted 03 March 2015 - 06:10 PM
Thank you kindly Norme; loving my big Mak although the weather couldn't be worse at the minute.
Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:25 PM
Ambient: Fresh westerly winds, temperature +5C, both transparency and seeing very good (I-II)
Object: Jupiter CM II: 221 degrees
Notes: After a week of unfavourable weather, a bright and breezy day gave way to a fine evening. Despite the moderate winds, the seeing was found to be very good to excellent. I did not use any filter this evening and experimented with slightly higher powers. The drawing is what the telescope showed at 190x.The NEB is noticeably darker and more monolithic than the SEB, which presented as fragmented and more diffuse. The GRS was very prominent and I imagined it ‘bulldozing’ its way through the planet’s atmosphere, disrupting what would otherwise be a smooth, laminar flow. Needless to say a glorious sight after a week long hiatus!
Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:51 PM
Now, ain't that something!
Nice catch Alexander and very good agreement on the main features!
Posted 09 March 2015 - 03:38 PM
Great sketch of Jupiter, like the oval spots being included in the sketch and all the other fine details.
Posted 12 March 2015 - 05:46 PM
Cheers Cindy. I got a real good night last Sunday but sadly they never last this time of year.
Object: Messier 36
RA/Dec: 05 36/34 06
Ambient: 3C, good transparency, seeing III
Notes: The large Maksutov presented a beautiful and striking sight when I turned it on M36 in Auriga. Using my 32mm Plossl yielding 84x in a half degree field, several dozen stars of varying degrees of glory could be made out, strewn haphazardly across my portal. Most looked white or blue-white but a few outliers had a ruddy tint. The cluster lies 3,900 light years from the solar system.
Edited by astroneil, 12 March 2015 - 05:47 PM.
Posted 15 March 2015 - 02:27 PM
Ambient: -1C, clear and cold, seeing II
Object: Xi Ursae Majoris (Alula Australis)
RA/Dec: 11 18/ +31 30
Notes: The large Maksutov has continued to serve up excellent images of close binary stars throughout the Winter and now that Spring is nearly upon us, I took a few minutes to ferret out a favourite binary system in the constellation of the Great Bear. Xi Ursae Majoris consists of a well matched pair of stars, both golden in colour. The primary shines at magnitude +4.3 and the secondary (+4.8) is separated by about 1.6 seconds of arc off to the southwest. I took a break for about twenty minutes and returned to the telescope about fifteen minutes after local midnight only to discover that the seeing had deteriorated badly. Where once two lovely Airy disks existed only a big, ugly seeing blob was recorded!
The gravitationally bound pair lies only 26 light years away and was the first binary system to have its orbit computed by careful observation over decades and centuries.
Edited by astroneil, 15 March 2015 - 02:44 PM.
Posted 17 March 2015 - 03:36 AM
Excellent observations of Jupiter, Messier 36, and Xi Ursae Majoris. A good amount of detail recorded over Jupiter. M36 is a beautiful open cluster and Xi Ursae Majoris a stunning double star.
Alexander - An excellent observation of Jupiter. Interesting detail surrounding the Great Red Spot (GRS) and blue festoons along the NEB-S.
Thank you both for sharing them with us all.
Posted 19 March 2015 - 10:35 AM
Thank you very much Carlos. I hope you are enjoying your Mak as much as I am.
Ambient: +1C, very good transparency and seeing (Ant I-II)
Object: Iota Leonis
RA/Dec: 11 34/ 10 32
Notes: Iota Leonis consists of a creamy white magnitude 4.1 primary and magnitude 6.7 secondary separated by about two seconds of arc. But it is much easier said than done. It requires steady air and even so, the system culminates at a fairly low altitude from my observing site, making it that little bit more challenging.
While I have glimpsed the elusive companion in smaller instruments, the decent aperture of the Maksutov enabled me to make the best sighting yet of the secondary and a clearer estimate of its position angle; which was seen with direct vision, somewhere between the three and four ‘o clock positions, as indicated in the sketch. A magnification of 340x was employed.
The system lies about 79 light years from the solar system.
Edited by astroneil, 19 March 2015 - 04:04 PM.
Posted 19 March 2015 - 11:32 PM
Great catch, Neil. I tried Iota Leonis again a few nights ago, but the seeing was nowhere stable enough to split it. I've always found it tougher than the numbers would lead one to believe.
The 2015 WDS Ephemerides puts the separation as of Jan 1st of this year at 2.10" and a position angle of 95.9 degrees. Impossible to gauge the separation in the sketch, but it looks like you've confirmed the position angle rather well..
Posted 20 March 2015 - 06:40 PM
Cheers John; I was chuffed to bits to see it so well as I've been after it for a good few nights recently.
Thanks for keeping me up to speed with its orbital details.
Posted 25 March 2015 - 08:18 AM
Time: 23:05-15 UT
Jupiter: CM II 200 degrees.
Notes: The air was nice and tranquil and though the planet had lost some altitude as it had passed culmination in the south, the image was clean, stable and bright at 190x, tack sharp and full to the brim with low contrast details. A wonderful sight!
Posted 25 March 2015 - 12:26 PM
I was viewing in PA last night and saw the same sight. The GRS was a lovely Salmon color. I also see you caught some ovals as well.
Thanks for Sharing.
Posted 26 March 2015 - 04:01 AM
Excellent observations of Iota Leonis (easily separated at two seconds of arc) and Jupiter (good amount of detail captured over the planet). Thank you for sharing them with us all.
Posted 28 March 2015 - 01:08 PM
Ken & Carlos; thank you both very much.
It's a great pleasure to use this telescope.
Posted 03 April 2015 - 07:31 AM
Neil, Just checkin in.
"I hope you are enjoying your Mak as much as I am."
I'm happy you are enjoying yours as much as I enjoy mine. Below are a few reasons why.
Nice Jove above. Missed that this year, late and short observing season. Busy.
Edited by Asbytec, 03 April 2015 - 07:33 AM.
Posted 05 April 2015 - 12:17 PM
Cheers Norme; you done some really great work with your 6-inch Mak.
Onwards and upwards eh!
Posted 08 April 2015 - 02:13 AM
Excellent observations of 42/45 Orionis and 72 Pegasi. Thank you for sharing them with us all.
Posted 13 April 2015 - 05:24 PM
Object: Messier 51 & NGC 5195
RA/Dec: 13 30/ +47 12
Notes: I brought the 17cm Maksutov with me on a short vacation up north. The skies are darker and more transparent here and I took this opportunity to observe the magnificent Whirlpool Galaxy (M 51) in the constellation of the Hunting Dogs. This time of year is ideal for viewing this spectacular face on spiral galaxy, now situated nearly overhead at my location. The island universe was well framed in the half degree field delivered by the 32mm Plossl (84x). With good dark adaptation, I was able to move my eye way from its bright and condensed core and follow the faint traces of its spiral arms outwards. Its magnitude +9.5 companion, NGC 5195, was also seen as diffuse and distinctly non-stellar. A fine sight at the end of a fine day!
The system lies about 15 million light years away.
Edited by astroneil, 13 April 2015 - 07:41 PM.