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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#1 photiost

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Posted 29 January 2016 - 10:37 PM

Setup the 60mm Unitron model 114 since we had a small break in the clouds and had some beautiful views of Jupiter and its 4 moons.

 

Wonderful configuration with Io on one side of Jupiter while Ganymede, Europa and Callisto were on the other.

 

Nice view with the Unitron 6mm Ortho but the Best views this evening were with the Unitron 9mm and 12.5mm eyepieces.


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#2 Chuck Hards

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 12:17 AM

Sounds great, Frank, wish I was there!

 

Sunny skies this morning had transformed into total overcast by the time I got off work.  I was hoping to use my new 1.25" Lunt wedge on my 50mm f/20 after work, but it wasn't to be.  Rain had started falling by dinner, and now it's supposed to change to snow overnight.  The entire weekend is looking like a washout.

 

I'll bet you a cold beer that Monday morning at 4:45 AM, just before I start work for the day, the skies will be crystal clear.


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#3 Vesper818

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 12:42 AM

Another day of drizzle here. I set my new little swift tecnar on a tripod, and focused it 8feet away on the hummingbird feeder outside.
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#4 clearwaterdave

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:28 AM

Is Thursday night OK.,,I had my Sears 60mm f/11 out w/it's .965 20mm EP.,,first up was M31,,before it went behind the trees.,,it showed as a well lit oval.,I also got glimpses of M110.,it sorta came and went,,next I went up to the sisters.,with this EP the stars were beautiful points of light.,,I just couldn't get it all in,(1*TFOV).,moving down I went to M42.,nice clouds (say what).,could only get 3 stars in the trap.,last but not least.,M41,.not to much to say.,it was still pretty low.,"in the mud".,so the dimmer stars were.,well.,,dim.,,and by that time my fingers were getting cold.,and my eyes were watering.,20*F.,,that little piece of glass in the 20mm EP is had enough to find in the dark.,,never mind with eyes wartering away,,good fun all the same.,I'm going for as many M's as I can get with this scope and it's original EP's from my yard.,I have found that once my eyes have fully adapted this scope will show quite a bit.,I made an adapter so I can use my 1.25" EPs with it as well,,and it really likes the $10 Vite EPs.,,

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#5 Astrojensen

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:26 AM

It's been raining here for days. Last time I observed something with one of my classics was almost a week ago, when I observed some protuberances with the Quark on my Zeiss Telemator and at night I had my 85mm Zeiss apochromat out for a comparison with the TMB 100/800. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#6 BillShakes

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 09:44 AM

I find myself building a small collection of the two tone blue Sears refractors, and I've picked up a matching 114mm newtonion imported by JC Penney of the same vintage.  Aside from looking pretty in the house, I began thinking about what to do with these fun scopes, once I had them reconditioned and cleaned up.  So last fall I began using them to pursue the Asto League's double star list.  I've worked my way through two thirds of the list now and have had great fun putting these scopes through their paces.  Along the way I've had to pick up a few better .965 eyepieces, as the 1.25" adaptor I use does not come to focus in the newt.  So now I have a few nice orthos and kellners that really show off what these old scopes can do.  This week Orion was the focus - we had one nice night of decent seeing and I picked off 10 doubles with the 60mm and 114mm scopes.  A very different experience than with my modern scopes, but rewarding in its own way.

Clear Skies, 

BS


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#7 Sasa

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 11:30 AM

It's been raining here for days. Last time I observed something with one of my classics was almost a week ago, when I observed some protuberances with the Quark on my Zeiss Telemator and at night I had my 85mm Zeiss apochromat out for a comparison with the TMB 100/800.


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


This sounds very interesting, old technology versus the modern one. How it went?

#8 Astrojensen

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 02:01 PM

More or less as expected. The long Zeiss is easier to focus, but the TMB has a brighter image and greater resolution. What I did *not* expect was that there was basically nothing to choose between them in terms of image stability. The TMB was just as stable as the Zeiss. On the other side, the Zeiss was impressively close to the TMB in color balance and freedom from chromatic aberration on the almost full Moon, as well as freedom from glare and scattered light. Except for the aperture difference (it was a very cold and windy night and I didn't bother making an 85mm mask for the TMB), they almost ran neck and neck. 

 

I hope to get lots of nights with Jupiter this coming spring. The TMB already show a huge amount of subtle shadings on Jupiter, if the seeing is just halfway decent. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#9 terraclarke

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 02:52 PM

The weather hasn't been very agreeable the past few weeks so I haven't had a scope out in a while. But today you guys encouraged me to take the 60mm challenge. I decided to use my favorite little grab and go, my venerable Mayflower #814 that I have owned for 50 years, this past October. The little scope has undergone a few major changes in it's long lifetime. Today I thought I would use it in it's original optical configuration so I unscrewed the Vixen 1.25" visual back and put the original 0.965" gray one. The scope has also had its original mount replaced with custom rings and a Vixen rail. The original finder was also replaced about 15 years ago with a standard Vixen finder shoe. Today, I had a Televue Sol Searcher in place of it's optical finder. I thought it would be fun to use it on theVixen Porta II mount. The Porta is an absolutely divine ride for this little optical jewel. The sky looked a bit dodgey so I wanted to 'travel' light, even though the trip was just out onto the deck. It's a good thing because I was only able to catch a few glimpses of old Sol before the clouds rolled in. Nice big sunspot if you have a chance to look!

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#10 BillShakes

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 03:54 PM

The Mayflower sure is a beauty Terra.  How did you get the finder shoe to fix to the tube?  I assume a machined bracket of some kind?  And where can I get a set of those beautiful rings?  The Porta II is perfect for these scopes.  

 

I have been using the original GEM mounts for the 60mm scopes and having fun rebuilding those too.  I was lucky to find an original sears 120V AC clock drive, which I power with a small 12V Lion battery through an even smaller 12V to 120VAC converter.  I can pick up the whole rig with one hand out the door, and I get tracking.

 

The 114mm is just too heavy for those old GEMs though, so that goes on my Great Polaris, where it is rock steady.  That takes two hands (and a grunt) to get out the door.

 

Clear Skies

BS


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#11 terraclarke

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:16 PM

Hi Bill. Thanks. It is an older finder shoe. I think I got it from Orion. I drilled the telescope tube and put it on with two little countersunk bolts (nuts on the inside). The rings were made by Danny Crawford (Crawmach) back when he was in that business. The Mayflower #814 is by APL and the optics are exceptional. I think this is the setup I will take with me when I drive to the big total solar eclipse a year from this summer. Its seen way more eclipses than any of my others. It was wonderful for the annular eclipse back in the early 90s.


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#12 clamchip

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 07:50 PM

To keep my observing skills exercised here in Seattle I do

a lot of daytime observing and I enjoy it immensely.

It was a nice sunny day and lots of birds to observe I spent

the entire day out observing.

Three telescopes quite different than each other made it very

interesting today using the same magnification in all three at

the same time.

Edmund 5"f/15, Cave 8"f/7, and Celestron C14.

Robert

 

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#13 Johnnydman

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 12:05 AM

I woke shortly before dawn, saw that it was clear and decided I had time to quickly get dressed and drive to a nearby park with better sky view than my home.

First time using the Unitron 114 I got at Christmas (dialed in finder last week)...setup was quick and easy, pointed to the bright point in the sky and saw a very nice view of Jupiter and 3 moons. I enjoyed that for 10-15min then a short bit of Lunar observing, then back to Jupiter as the sky started to lighten.

 

I really wanted to see Saturn too but the park I picked also had obstructions to the East and South East. I need to find a better spot.


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#14 bremms

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 09:08 AM

Been out a little here and there. Mostly the 4" Jaegers. Two weeks ago I lugged the 6" F10 out and M31, M42, M45 the three or four Auriga clusters, M35, M44. Looked at Jupiter a week ago with the 60mm F8 Edmund 6001. Sadly, this is the first telescope view of Jupiter this season.


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#15 ziridava

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 11:19 AM

 

Hello

 

I don't know where to report such  observations ,so if they don't belong here I'm asking Chuck to remove the post.

 

This is not a classic telescope ,it is more a reenactment telescope.

It is a Keplerian refractor made of singlet lenses like  XVII Century telescopes.

The OG is a positive meniscus eyeglass lens of +0.3 D of 330mm focal length .

The ocular is a  a crossed magnifier lens of 35 mm f.l. ,  providing a magnification of 9x.

The OG is stopped down to 15 mm according to specifications given by Huygens , Auzout ,  Martin or Thomas Dick.

The ocular is provided with field stop in front of the lens , toward the OG,   and an eye relief guide 25 mm long , on the eye side.

The OTA is entirely home-made of carboard.

The tube is containing three baffles and is fully blackened with India ink.

The outside  is ...what it is.

 

Thursday 28 of January I made observations with the tripod mounted ''Telescopium Keplerianum''.

 

In Collinder 70, the open star cluster including star Alnilam of Orion' s Belt , I counted 10 stars.

The stars belonging to Cr 70 are located to the West of Alnilam making an  ''S'' shape.

 

In Collinder 69 ,the open star cluster including Lambda Ori star , I counted seven  stars.Small but pretty!

 

In Collinder 65 , about half way toward Auriga , I counted 14 stars.

This is an open star cluster too wide for the Keplerian ocular,the stars are filling the whole visual field.

I don't wonder Cr 65 was not reported as a cluster by early astronomers (which include Messier and Herschel) due to small field oculars they used.

I knew previously  and I searched the spot where Cr 65 lie and colu d be seen/

Otherwise I would miss yhis cluster !

 

In Collinder 39 I counted ten stars including Alpha Persei.

I counted only stars located to the East of Alpha Persei as the books say so !

 

In Pleiades I counted 22 stars ,this is the average of five countings.

Very nice vista ,the wide open cluster was  well framed by the small refractor , with space to spare .

 

Hyades cannot be described by words , even for such a small singlet refractor it make a marvelous view.

But much wider tha the filed of Keplerian ocular.

 

The Double Cluster was well seen as two small hazy patches with  one/orange  here and  two dim  cluster stars visible  there.

 

But the cherry on the top was the inner part of Orion : M43-M43 was much bigger and brigther  than  expected and Theta 2 and Struve 747 double stars were resolved into stars.

 

In the mean time , Jupiter rised above the roof of my neighbour.

The first look showed clearly a planetary disc but without any details.

Of the Galilean satellites , three were visible : two to the West -Ganymede and Callisto- and one to the  East - Io.

I was baffled why I can't see the fourth satellite.

When ckecking next day the ''Jupiter's Moons'' Javascript tool  on Sky&Telescope site I learned Europa just finished crossing the Jovian disc.

It was to close to the limb for my small refractor.

 

http://www.skyandtel...cript-utility/#

 

 

Keplerian refractor 15mm F/32 at 9x -built in

Orion L15mm 28.01.16

Collinder39 L15mm 28.01.16

Jupiter L15mm 28.01.16

 

Such small refractors , and even smaller , were sold by Semitecolo by thousands.

 

https://www.google.r...K--SbSc64sl9cM:

 

The 15mm  refractor is......really  a very small refractor but , tripod mounted , is proving  observational capabilities on par or better than a hand hold 10x 50mm binocular.

Owners of such instruments were able to do basic  telescopic  observations and enjoy  a lot of fun!

 

Ziridava


Edited by ziridava, 31 January 2016 - 11:29 AM.

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#16 Astrojensen

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 02:14 PM

Excellent work, Mircea! I for one welcome such "observing reenactment", as I used to do it a lot myself. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark



#17 ziridava

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 02:23 PM

Thank you Thomas.

I know , you are inspiring me.

 

''Telescopium Keplerianum'' is a ''one foot '' telescope.

Friday I got a 28mm x 1250mm singlet lens for a  ''four feet '' singlet refractor.

 

Mircea


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#18 Astrojensen

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 03:12 PM

Interesting! What will the planned magnification be? 25x? 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark



#19 photiost

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 05:34 PM

Wonderful observing notes and sketches.

 
:waytogo:



#20 ziridava

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 12:18 PM

Thank you  all for the encouragement !

 

Thomas

 

About 25 years ago I used a 25mm x 1000 mm singlet refractor with a  + 1 D spectacle  lens as OG.

The sweet spot was at 40x obtained with a 10x  IOR 25 mm microscope Huygens ocular.

The new 28mm x 1250 mm lens was ground for astronomical use by TaviF , using optical glass .

I'm very confident to be able to pump up the magnification to 50x or 70 x on Moon and bright double stars.

 

Regards , Mircea


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#21 ziridava

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 02:08 PM

Thank you Carol

 

 (Ovidiu , member also on ''60mmtelescopeclub'' , fell into an ''aerial refractor crisis''.

To ''help'' him to dive even deeper , I will send him one of the singlet lenses of 2 meter focal length you was so kind to send to me...)

 

I would like to make a question to everybody : do you have any plans to observe with your classic telescopes  the transit of Mercury across the Sun , going to happen on 2016 May 9 ?

If yes ,which gear ? Method? Resources,books,links ? Any special project ? Is it possible a group project ?

I for one  I see a group project : even  supposing the  sky  being clear , I  cannot see the whole transit ,only the  start and the  middle of the transit.

But the ones on USA Eastern Coast will see the middle and everybody in USA the end.

 

 

Mircea 



#22 Astrojensen

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 02:37 PM

Thank you  all for the encouragement !

 

Thomas

 

About 25 years ago I used a 25mm x 1000 mm singlet refractor with a  + 1 D spectacle  lens as OG.

The sweet spot was at 40x obtained with a 10x  IOR 25 mm microscope Huygens ocular.

The new 28mm x 1250 mm lens was ground for astronomical use by TaviF , using optical glass .

I'm very confident to be able to pump up the magnification to 50x or 70 x on Moon and bright double stars.

 

Regards , Mircea

Interestingly, such singlet refractors with +1D spectacle lenses were the usual beginner's scope here in Denmark for many years, only ending in the 1950'ies with increasingly affordable Japanese 50mm and 60mm refractors becoming available and disposable income increasing. They were usually 40mm diameter, but stopped down to 25mm. The eyepiece was often a 10x loupe, which, as we know, has 25mm focal lenght, giving 40x. A little bit on the high side, but fine for showing lunar craters, Jovian moons, some doubles, etc. Some also used 5x microscope eyepieces, giving just 20x. 

 

I've seen quite fancy building plans for such instruments, complete with equatorial mounts and gravity clock drives, using old alarm clocks as regulators! 

 

The famous Danish astronomer Lupplau Janssen build one himself, as a ten year old kid. He wanted it to magnify at least 100x, so he opted for a +0.5D lens, with a focal length of 2 meters. The eyepiece was a 12.5x loupe (20mm focal length), so he did actually get 100x from it! The scope had a german equatorial mount with a gravity drive. The first object he saw with it was the lunar crater Plato, from what I can remember reading. He even built a camera for it and took succesful lunar shots with it. This was before WW1. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 01 February 2016 - 02:43 PM.

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#23 photiost

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 02:41 PM

We have been having unusually warm weather this past week or so and today it went up to 8c which is around 46 degrees Fahrenheit

 

Took advantage of the nice clear weather and setup the 77mm Swift 831 with the Baader Astrosolar filter.

 

Not too much activity in white light at this time of the day but there is a nice prominent Solar  group visible I believe it may be 12489 



#24 Astrojensen

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 03:19 PM

 

 

I would like to make a question to everybody : do you have any plans to observe with your classic telescopes  the transit of Mercury across the Sun , going to happen on 2016 May 9 ?
If yes ,which gear ? Method? Resources,books,links ? Any special project ? Is it possible a group project ?

I do plan to observe it, if it is clear. Equipment not yet decided upon. No special projects planned.

 

Maybe we could make it a "60mm Club" observing event? Any ideas?

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark 


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#25 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 03:43 PM

Maybe we could make it a "60mm Club" observing event? Any ideas?

 

I'm in, and I can quickly swap between the Mayflower 815 & Space Scope for the 60mm.  For the 3" class... I'll go with my Questar & my Mogey.

 

Maybe our skies will be clear by then...




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