Just took my first step toward getting back to observing, but taking my Questar and accessories case out of the closet. Everything looks like it did when I put it away last October and the battery in the Powerguide III was showing a 70% charge.
A Newbie's Early Observation Log - Join me!
Posted 17 August 2019 - 05:16 AM
Date: Saturday Aug 17, 2019 | Time: approx 1:30 AM – 2:30 AM CDT
Weather: Temp 82 F | Humidity 88% | Clear
Scope: Celestron C90 Mak (FL = 1250 mm)
Eyepiece(s): Meade 8-24 mm Zoom, Agena Starguider ED 18 mm
Filter(s): #21 Orange (46% transmission)
Just a simple session viewing the Moon. (Waning gibbous - 96%)
A couple of days ago, I received my new #21 Orange filter and also my new Agena Starguider ED 18 mm eyepiece. Surprisingly, the astro gods must not have noticed I had received some new gear because the nights have been clear. However, it’s been warm and muggy so I haven’t been too anxious to get out with a scope but I wanted to try out my new goodies. I set up on my townhouse patio as usual.
I’ve read here on CN and some other places that the #21 Orange filter is supposed to be good for enhancing contrast of the Moon. With the Moon almost Full, I figured it was a good time to try it out. So, I attached the new filter and the new eyepiece to my C90 Mak and turned it towards the Moon. I was very pleased with the view of the new 18 mm eyepiece. It was a nice, sharp image. I can just fit the entire Moon into the field of view of the C90 at 69x. The orange filter does seem to help bring out contrast but this is only the first time I’ve used it. It was kind of striking to see an orange colored Moon. It reminded me of a Lunar eclipse.
Looking around the Moon, I noticed my old friend Aristarchus and I decided to concentrate on it. I used the Meade 8-24 Zoom for the rest of the session so I could easily vary the magnification (52x through 156x in the C90). Aristarchus and the immediate area has some interesting points of interest. The orange filter really helped to highlight Schroter's Valley.
Location of Aristarchus
From Wikipedia: “Schroter's Valley, frequently known by the Latinized name Vallis Schröteri, is a sinuous valley or rille on the surface of the near side of the Moon. … This is the largest sinuous rille on the Moon. It begins at a 6 km diameter crater located 25 km to the north of Herodotus. (The start of the rille has been termed the "Cobra's Head" by some observers, due to its resemblance to a snake.) From the crater it follows a meandering path, first to the north, then setting a course toward the northwest, before finally bending back to the south until it reaches a 1 km high precipice at the edge of the Oceanus Procellarum. The rille has a maximum width of about 10 km, then gradually narrows to less than a kilometer near its terminus.”
The Aristarchus crater itself stands out like a lighthouse. It’s albedo is about double that of most lunar features. The "Cobra's Head" is also bright and is easy to spot. Herodotus was easy to see and I was also able to pick out Aristarchus B, Vaisala, and Aristarchus Z along with Aristarchus F and Krieger. IMHO, it’s an interesting area so check it out if you haven’t looked at it before.
It was a fun session but it was also warm and muggy so I decided to call it a night after about an hour.
Cheers and remember to keep looking up! Bob F.
The following screenshots are from the “Moon Atlas 3D” app for Android. I recommend it.
The images are reversed left to right (an option within the app) to match the orientation of the view in my telescope.
Edited by BFaucett, 17 August 2019 - 09:23 AM.
Posted 17 August 2019 - 01:22 PM
Very nice repot, Bob. I wonder what caused the rille? It kinda looks like a great flow of something from the original crater that - over the distance slowed to a trickle... Seem like no matter where you start on Luna, you will find something interesting.
I took a look for my very first time at Albireo with the 120mm. It was a very interesting sight, but was so high up that I had a hard time looking through the eyepieces. I didn't know the star colors before I took my look, and at first thought the companion star looked pale green and the primary as red. A more careful look let me see that the smaller star was pale blue, and the primary not so red as I first thought, but actually a more golden-yellow. I have always assumed my color sensitivity was below average on telescope objects. It may be, but this experience just shows me that a more careful look can reveal more subtle details.
Edited by brentknight, 17 August 2019 - 01:23 PM.
Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:58 PM
Just to note: star colors can typically be fairly subjective, and while many people may see one color combination, what YOU see is what YOU see, and is not "wrong", just your perception. Lots of double stars in the literature as reported by highly experienced (sometimes even revered!) observers differ in the colors experienced.