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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#4151 ziridava

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:19 PM

Bomber Bob

 

I enjoy very much the wide fields I get with my humble home-made 60mm F/4 RFT refractor.

Especially in the Summer Milky Way.

I can't imagine how it look in a five inch RFT like yours...

 

Actually I can , I built a 125mm F/4.5 Newtonian but reflectors ask for much stronger compromises.

So I am constrained to only a 2.3 degree field.

 

Have you heard that Albireo is not a genuine double star but only an optical pair ?

 

Ziridava


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#4152 Bomber Bob

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 04:39 PM

Have you heard that Albireo is not a genuine double star but only an optical pair ?

 

No, I haven't heard that... but it makes sense, given the distance from Earth & their apparent separation.

 

I built a 125mm F/4.5 Newtonian but reflectors ask for much stronger compromises.

 

I know what you mean.  I have a nice Edmund 6" F4 Newt, but The Thing's views are more pleasing to my eyes.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 29 November 2018 - 04:41 PM.

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#4153 terraclarke

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 05:40 PM

No...  Actually, I lowered the price to $150 on the Mizar P-100 -->  https://www.cloudyni...no-mizar-p-100/

 

Friday, it goes on eBay.

I can’t imagine it didn’t sell like hotcakes! I must have missed it when I was looking.



#4154 davidmcgo

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Posted 29 November 2018 - 08:01 PM

I’d be ping BB about getting it if I had any more room and wasn’t still recovering from the Questar optics replacement, that price is a steal and those were awesome small reflectors.

 

Dave


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#4155 deepwoods1

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 12:51 AM

Had somewhat clear skies Weds. morning after kids off to school. Quick grab n’ go! Celestron/Vixen 80mm f11.4 refractor along with some of the UO Orthos I picked up a couple of weeks back. Nice quick views in poor seeing. I really love old orthos. Sure they’re not as wide as my ES 82* eyepieces, BUT they’re sharp to the edge and when viewing along the Lunar Terminator, there’s NO glare. Details abound! Closed looking a Venus in the daylight. Amazing how bright she is even with the naked eye. Clear and steady skies....


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#4156 Bomber Bob

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 10:37 PM

Gap Analysis

 

Just came in from what is most likely the last cloud gap of the night.  Low level cottony clumps.  Fast moving, but that means the gaps are short-lived, too.  Had my tablet in the shed with the AWC satellite close-up loop; as I saw a gap imminent, I'd rush out and grab some views.

 

Wanted to compare my ATM 5" F5 triplet -- The Thing -- with my APM 6" F8 ED APO.  Nope, not tonight.  Oh well, at least I got APO-like views of M36, M37, & M38 -- got my Vixen 80 F8 fluorite out as a cross-check.  The Thing's focal length is just shy of 700mm, the 80's is 640mm, so it makes the magnification math easy for this old guy.  So, I can get ~ 35x in each with an RKE 21mm & ER16, respectively.

 

The Thing showed M37's bright central star as more orange/yellow than the Vixen's yellow/orange, but pretty close for a non-scope lens with a big clam in it.  Its extra 2" of aperture made the 3 optical doubles to the west, and small "V" to the east easier to see than in the 80mm fluorite.  Naturally, it showed more background stars, too -- that's why I wanted to compare it with the 6" ED.  


Edited by Bomber Bob, 01 December 2018 - 12:59 AM.

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#4157 DMala

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 12:23 AM

Last Thursday evening I had an opportunity to start putting to use some of my night vision equipment, with my 1980s-era F6 S&S Optika 6" newtonian that I literally salvaged from a junkyard a few years ago. I was pleased to find the right balance of the whole rig and have it tracking fairly well on the original mount, after an initial rough daylight polar alignment using SkySafari, following some lucky drift alignment after it got dark.

 

Details and pics of what I could actually see in near real-time without post-processing are available at and appended to the link below, as EAA topics would be out of place here. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...vs-7/?p=8982992

 

New lifestyle for the good oldies!

 

Edit added: I was also very happy that after fixing some off-center mount plate holes last summer, the rings are now concentric and the image stays in place when I rotate them. Yey.

Attached Thumbnails

  • _DSC3070a.jpg

Edited by DMala, 02 December 2018 - 12:25 AM.

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#4158 Bomber Bob

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 07:43 AM

my 1980s-era F6 S&S Optika 6" newtonian

 

Fine-looking kit.  IMO, this aperture is the just-right reflector.


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#4159 DMala

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 09:35 AM

Thanks, I had the mirrors recoated by Majestic and it was totally worth it. I saw excellent details of Jupiter with it last summer. Interestingly even if old the drive has a worm gear made of some sort of high quality polymer material, I guess it was high tech at that time and probably not for cost savings. For my location in North NJ I am now waiting for the 8" Edmunds f5 from the CN classifieds (OTA + rings/dovetail, no mount), which will go on my modern mount.
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#4160 Pete W

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 03:15 PM

Last night headed out with the 76mm Sears 6339a under a reasonable sky (border between bortle 5 & 4).  First clear weekend evening for a while!  Removed the draw tube and experimented with the number of extension tubes needed for getting 1.25" eyepieces (w/diagonal) to focus. One 2" thread-on and one 2" inserted extension was needed and still had to pull out the extension tube by about 1" to get the eyepieces to focus.  The inserted extension has a long barrel so pulling it out a bit wasn't a problem.  Used the Interstellarum atlas...Not sure if I'm a fan yet...more used to Uranometria.

 

From what I remember:

Gamma Andromedae: great colored pair

Gamma Delphini: yellow primary with off-yellow secondary

Gamma Arietis (geez, lots of gamma's tonight):  Tight white pair, similar magnitudes

Eta Persei: Nice orange primary with distant and faint secondary

Lambda Orionis: Tight white pair of unequal brightness

M15 (globular):  hints of graininess along the edges but no clearly resolved stars at 160X

M37 (open): Super nice! dusting of faint stars, best view with 16mm Konig

M57 (planetary): small but obvious at 50X, dark center at 100X

M77 (galaxy): obvious at 75X, but in within the local light dome.  The nearby 10th mag star was visible.

NGC7006 (globular in Delphinus):  Faint and small, but clearly visible.  

NGC772 (galaxy in Aries):  Actually, a no-sighting...some potential hints, but no confirmation

NGC1746 (open in Taurus): large and poorly concentrated center; sorta nice @ 50X, sorta unrecognizable as a cluster @ 100X

 

The big score: Comet Wirtanen: situated on the border of Eridanus and Cetus. Found in 8" f/6 dob @ 50X.  Large and diffuse with brightish center, but overall quite faint - averted vision was needed for it to pop out.  


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#4161 deepwoods1

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 07:05 PM

Sounds like an awesome observing session! I will live vicariously as it's cloudy yet again here in the Northeast. 


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#4162 Pete W

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 10:06 PM

Cloudy weather has dominated our autumn down here too.   Can count on one hand the nights out with a scope since August.mad.gif 


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#4163 terraclarke

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 10:22 AM

I got home Saturday night at midnight after an evening on the town. It had been densely cloudy, dark, and rainy all day Saturday and on walking in, I noticed how the skies had cleared and how dark and transparent the sky was. Orion had risen in all his glory, M42 brightly visible naked eye. Sirius had cleared the trees and all the Dog’s dimmer stars were plainly visible. It was clearer and darker than I had seen it since last Winter. Tho the stars had quite a twinkle it was a perfect winter night. And the temperature was in the upper 50s! I walked out on the deck to take it all in, and gaze at the stellar splendor with my good old 8x40s that I keep by the kitchen door, drinking in the stardust from Cassiopeia through the Charioteer, and down deep into the Hunter and his dogs. Unfortunately, after a night doing the bar scene, that was all that I could muster and soon toddled off to bed. Last night, of course, the clouds rolled back in.


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#4164 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 07:03 PM

I had a short session last night with my Pentax J60 on my "new" Mizar AR-1, and my dang-near-perfect Vixen FL80S APO on the Polaris.  The J60 has surprisingly bright views, and that showed with the clusters & star fields, but it couldn't keep up with the fluorite.  I really saw the difference with close doubles in Draco & Auriga.  

 

What to do with the J60?  I bought it to add weight to my APM 152's focuser end, but now that I have my Tak FC-50 rig, the Pentax is redundant... and, with my Goto, it really serves no purpose.

 

Hmmm...


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#4165 rcwolpert

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 07:27 PM

Watched the Space X Falcon 9 taking off with my 25x100 binoculars through the open doors of my Florida room. It never gets old. I could easily see the rocket itself on top of the red glow of its engines. Always a spectacular show.


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#4166 shredder1656

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:04 AM

Watched the Space X Falcon 9 taking off with my 25x100 binoculars through the open doors of my Florida room. It never gets old. I could easily see the rocket itself on top of the red glow of its engines. Always a spectacular show.


Wow! That's an envy-inducing story. LoL. Nice.
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#4167 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 08:59 PM

The Weather Gods are a cruel lot... got less than 45 mins to enjoy the fruits of my labors -- my Tak FC-50 riding along on my APM 152.  Two very different F8 APOs!  

 

In that brief session, I learned that their are APOs & "APOs" -- care to guess which is which?

 

I had no trouble using 200x on the Tak, and in the 8/10 seeing, micro-Mars yielded... few details.  But the disk was Tak sharp.  100x / inch?  No sweat.  But the APM won by virtue of its brute force aperture & focal length -- 428x (Nagler 7 + 2.5x Barlow) -- and Syrtis & Hellas were easy, and I could trace along to Cimmerium without straining.

 

FC-50 at 25x with the ER16, and 152 at 43x with the RKE28, and I gave myself whiplash going from eyepiece to eyepiece.  IMO, orange stars in the fluorite are more orange in the ED, but close enough for gov't work.  Though there's no doubt now in my mind that fluorite doublets are closer to true color than the ED variety.

 

M15, well past the meridian, and close to our LPD [Light Pollution Dome], stood out against the dark gray like a Q-Tip with a fainter fuzzy halo in the Tak 50mm.  If this smallest APO is a finder scope, I kicks every other 50 to the curb -- including my vintage Nihon-Seiko.  A slow sweep from there through Cygnus & Cassiopeia to Perseus, and I was as hooked on those wide fields as I was in the way the Big ED exploded those same objects.  The 50 shows only the brightest members of the Double Cluster, but the way it frames it with that thickening of the Milky Way flowing in & out, is something that gets lost in the 152's crowded field.  


Edited by Bomber Bob, 06 December 2018 - 10:30 PM.

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#4168 bremms

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:44 PM

Little bit of observing tonight. Comet Wirtanen was found with WW2 7x50's and was a decent sight in 80's Celestron/ Vixen 20x80's in my rather light polluted back yard. It was the first test of an 2014 iStar 6" F15 lens. Lens looks good, but needed a little collimation. Hard to really tell, the scope kept trying to keep up with the dropping temps and never seemed to quite settle down. Initial impression is very good, a little less CA than my 6" F10 Jaegers. DPAC was good and showed good spherical correction.


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#4169 steve t

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 08:03 AM

Got my fingers crossed, we may have clear skies sometime this weekend here in SW Ohio.

 

In order to bring the eyepiece on my 6" scope to a more comfortable height, I added a 4" pier extension to the mount and have been wanting to trying it out.

 

Steve T 


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#4170 Augustus

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 07:16 PM

RV6 so far:

Despite the bad seeing I can just pick out Mare Cimmerium on Mars with the 5mm William Optics XWA (which causes all kinds of balance nightmares with this scope).

M15 is vaguely resolvable with the 5mm.

Pleiades look pretty good.

 

NGC 1245 is alright, has a vague resemblance to a 5-pointed star shape. I thought I hadn't seen this before and was looking to add another object to my H400 list - turns out I've already observed it in binoculars. Oh well.

Was going to hunt for NGC 253 but some thin clouds have rolled in to the south.

 

Took a break for a few hours for dinner. Came back and the southern and western sky were clouded out, and fog was starting to roll in. Made a few more observations:

 

M42 - Quite good. At high power (5mm) I could just make out the dark nebula opposite the Trapezium from the Fishmouth. M43 was barely visible at all though.

NGC 1684 and PGC 16168 are faintly visible with averted vision. I meant to be hunting for NGC 1622, 1625, and 1637 but star-hopped to the wrong place. Whoops!

 

The easiness of those last two gives me a lot of confidence in pushing deep into Eridanus with the 20" in the coming weeks.


Edited by Augustus, 08 December 2018 - 10:15 PM.

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#4171 rolo

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 10:08 PM

Watched the Space X Falcon 9 taking off with my 25x100 binoculars through the open doors of my Florida room. It never gets old. I could easily see the rocket itself on top of the red glow of its engines. Always a spectacular show.

You need to let us now when the next event is so we could come visit.waytogo.gif


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#4172 wfj

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 10:48 PM

Am waiting for a national security launch (NROL-71) right now on an Delta IV Heavy from Vandenberg. 80 x 560mm refractor. Try some IPhone shots with NightCap.

 

add: Didn't come off,  Enormously dangerous "hangfire" on an RS-68A engine. (Second scrub in a row.) Not what I like to see for national security. Oops.


Edited by wfj, 08 December 2018 - 11:53 PM.

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#4173 shredder1656

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 04:19 AM

Seems like it has been an eternity since the last opportunity to get a look at anything other than clouds.  <20*F out last night, but took a few minutes to look at Mars.  Too chilly and too many irons in the fire to really get all that was possible, but it was nice to see again.  

 

It was a very tiny 3/4 ball.  Very pretty.  Seeing was better than I had experienced for awhile, but not great.  Still able to squeak out around 250x, I think.  I used my 8mm Brandon Vernonscope ep and Ultima 2x barlow in my C102F.  I could sharpen the image to a sharp edged disc with around 1/3 sliced off, but it wouldn't stay that way.  The visible portion had some mildly distinguishable gray muddling and a nice faint dirty orange hue to the rest.  It was so tiny that it was hard for my inexperienced eye to know for sure I was seeing what I thought.  I stuck with it for a bit, and was rewarded with a fluctuating view but enough that I knew I was seeing what I had hoped.  Long time no see, so even at this distance it was a nice reunion.    

 

If the skies were a little steadier, the weather a little warmer, I woulda had more time...coulda, woulda, shoulda, I think the C102F would have really given me a show.  But, I will take what I can get.  It was all good.  


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#4174 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 11:37 AM

I was out last night in the cold with the Vixen 80mmF     Saw ok Mars views.  I wanted to see the comet for the first time with the wide field eyepieces  but I could not see it as it and Orion's pointing foot stars were  still too low in the sky  and then low clouds seemed to frustrate my efforts and my desire to go out later....The pleiades look nice.

 

A friend north one state up in much darker skies has been viewing it for two days ...

   sans moon  we should see it.....right?

 

 

 

You said  "  I think the C102F would have really given me a show "     I agree with this of course.

 

But I am being careful with the temperature changes.....  scope goes from house to garage to reduce temps slowly over an hour or two before viewing    then outside to the patio      then when all done back to the garage


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 09 December 2018 - 11:43 AM.

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#4175 DMala

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Posted Yesterday, 01:08 PM

Last Dec. 7 I came home from a dinner at 21:30 and decided to brave the weather as the temp was just a hair below freezing, no wind. I decided to keep things simple using the loyal Televue Pronto on the Panoramic mount.  I checked some newly acquired filters for my night vision setup by looking to the East, in full light pollution situation, and then it occurred to me that the opposite way Andromeda may have been in sight, under better skies. And it was. I also visualized M32, while for m110 I am not sure yet. Details here if interested:

 

https://www.cloudyni...-7-prime-focus/

 

IMO one limitation of the Panorama mount (and maybe other altaz mounts?) is that it is not ideal for short telescopes that can not move much within their ring. They therefore allow only limited weight shift back and forth to adjust for changing weight of the EP (and night vision equipment in my case). The mount's friction knobs seem to work well for light weights (which is probably what the mount was mainly designed for, or long easy-to-balance OTAs), but often it gets a bit hard to set them to counteract unbalanced stubby-heavy setups like the Pronto, which is built like a tank. It would be nice to have some adjustable counterweight system. But, to my surprise, maybe because of the cold affecting friction, or pure luck, last evening I always easily found the perfect tightening pressure to swing my setup in all directions with good fine control, and no sudden crashes or lockups. 


Edited by DMala, Yesterday, 01:08 PM.

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