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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#4251 shredder1656

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:13 AM

Had a few minutes last night with the Edmund 3001.  Good buddy of mine and his son came over.  Don, my buddy, bought a Nexstar 5 from me for his son for Christmas.  Brad, the son, is a senior in college, and working in IT or electronics/computers in some way.  Great kid.  Very excited about the scope.  I was going to help him square away collimation, and run over a few things with him.  So, dragged the Edmund out to enjoy as well. 

 

Unfortunately, it is a little bit of the blind leading the blind this time of year.  Still learning the winter objects, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.  The Nexstar made me happy, because I knew it was a nice scope when I sold it to Don, but I was glad to see that it should give him nice views and the go-to and electronics will be fun for Brad too.  He is already a camera geek, and has a 3D printer.  Should be easy to suck him into this cavern too.  LOL.  We found Pleiades and Orion with no issue.  Anything else we found was unidentified.  

 

The Edmund 3001 with my Brandon Vernonscope 32mm showed Pleiades against a pretty black background with more stars than I remembered.  His Nexstar was no slouch, but I think that extra inch and faster scope really makes a difference.  The Edmund is still not perfectly collimated, but close enough that when I first centered Pleiades it almost took my breath.  I really need to get to know the winter constellations better.  When people describe it as "jewels sparkling against black velvet" it sounds pretty, but falls short of actually seeing it in person.  Wow!  

 

Orion was beautiful too.  I think the imperfect collimation showed itself more easily on Orion.  Still very nice, and even with icy fingers and toes it was heart-warming.  

 

My 32mm Brandon gave a ghostly shadow at the edge of the fov as evidence of the slight delamination (if you are familiar with my Brandon).  Not enough to take away the joy, but enough to make me wonder if attempting to heat and separate, then re-cement would be worthwhile.  I think I will wait until it gets worse before risking what nice performance I get from it now.  

 

Not a terribly long session, but fun to help a friend, and always nice to have clear skies.  Hopefully tonight too. 

 

Tried to catch some meteors this morning, but saw nary a one.  My neck was getting angry, so gave up and got warm.  

 

Clear skies to the rest of the team!


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#4252 shredder1656

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:20 AM

.

     The first night in 2019 brought a storm from the NW with freezing temperatures and winds at 60 km/h, sweeping away scattered rags of Cumulus Humilis, and leaving a clear morning sky with the dirty old Moon and young Venus on a sugardate in libra...:

 

attachicon.gif Sugardating in Libra.png

[*Click*: Left: Stellarium; Middle&Right: iPhone5 snapshot at 1x this early AM]

 

 

     The forecast for tonight looks good, still with some wind (~35km/h) but reasonable humidity (50-70%), ie. all-in-all good transparency and acceptable seeing. Looking forward to continue my project of wide field observations of the HII-regions in the Unicorn.

 

     -- Allan

Taking NOTHING away from the reports posted by all of the other members, I wanted to say that I enjoy reading your posts, Alan.  All of them are informative, and usually over my head.  However, I like a challenge and you have PICTURES TOO.  lol.gif

 

Seriously, all of the details are awesome and while I doubt I will ever rise to this level of knowledge all of the testing and reports are something to emulate at some level.  Thanks. 

 

* edited to add... AND, you like fluorite scopes lol.gif   Wish I would have been prepared for one of the ones you sold recently.  Beautiful.


Edited by shredder1656, 04 January 2019 - 07:21 AM.

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#4253 terraclarke

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 10:09 AM

A Nikon, a Towa, and a C90 ... walk into a bar spy the GRS.  Same EP on all three - TMB 7.5mm . The NK65 at 131x as usual surprises by monochrome NEB, SEB, GRS, NTB, STB (no festoons) at 11 degrees elevation in the dawn (35 minutes to sunrise) - you could see the turbulence come and go, down to the "wiggles". The Towa 339 at 160x added in the hues of the belts/GRS, some barges in the STB ... but the turbulence was less distinct, just an overall blurring.
 
The C90 still has it's secondary baffle intact, and that big CO makes it impossible to get a good focus with any turbulence. It's like Jupiter becomes a big fuzzball, except for flashes of a sharp image. With the improved baffle design it's a more colorful fuzzball. However, this is to be expected, as this is the "before" session, so with my two controls (NK,Towa) I can judge the changes with the secondary change weighed in.
 
Overall the key issue with the C90 that bugs is the inconsistencies of getting a sharp, good contrast view that to them "makes it a Mak". Often it teases such in ideal conditions, but usually refractors are setup fast, easily focused due to contrast, and then you wait for best seeing. If you can't get good focus on a C90, your wait is in vain.Thus, it's not a Mak.
 
I get the color I got with the Towa, but we're at 133x and a larger exit pupil, again an improvement over the stock baffles. What I now need is the snap focus.
 
I can make out all of the features in the other control scopes. Just not as nicely defined. And I've seen the GRS better at 150x near zenith before with this very C90 - it was the surprise that caused me to keep it and refine it when I could make out the "hollow".
 
Time to remove the secondary baffle, then optimize again all of the cases, as well as insure no flooding or aperture reduction. It will require reworking other glare issues in the tube, as the secondary is now exposed to all of the other components, so flocking matters in a different way.


The best I could ever get out of my C90 were views that could (maybe/sometimes/barely) keep up with a good 60mm x 700mm. Once I got to that realization, I lost interest in it (the C90). Yes the C90 was more compact, but both were being used on the same mount- Stellarvue Dwarfstar an tripod- Paragon XHD (not at the same time), and the weight of the ots’s were similar but the views through the 60mm far more consistent. So it wasn’t a hard decision for me to see who the clear winner (or more appropriately the clear looser) was. Once I got my Questar and saw what I should/could be seeing with a good 3.5” Mak, it was a done deal. The walking papers for the C90 were drawn up.
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#4254 davidmcgo

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 10:10 AM

For a little delamination at the edge of a lens that isn't fern leaf shaped, you can try putting a little bead of mineral oil on the joint between the elements and letting it wick in.  Need to disassemble the eyepiece to do this, and might take a couple of applications.

 

I've done a few finder objectives that way as an in between solution to trying the heat and re-cement which usually doesn't go as easy as it should.

 

Dave


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#4255 shredder1656

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 10:59 AM

For a little delamination at the edge of a lens that isn't fern leaf shaped, you can try putting a little bead of mineral oil on the joint between the elements and letting it wick in.  Need to disassemble the eyepiece to do this, and might take a couple of applications.

 

I've done a few finder objectives that way as an in between solution to trying the heat and re-cement which usually doesn't go as easy as it should.

 

Dave

Thank you.  I will definitely try that before anything more drastic.  waytogo.gif 



#4256 shredder1656

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 02:03 AM

Pleiades, Orion, and Andromeda with the Edmund 3001.  With the Brandon 32mm Pleiades was very pretty.  Initially the clouds rolled in, but I left the scope out for a couple of hours, because I trusted the forecast.  The gamble paid off.  

 

Tweaked the collimation, but one minute it looked perfect, but the next it needed tweaking again.  Still was a pleasant view.  

 

Tried to take a few pics, which was a first for anything other than the moon or planets.  

 

20190105_014800.jpg

 

20190105_003101.jpg

 

 

 


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#4257 Pete W

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 10:41 AM

Took the RV-5.5 and the Monolux 60mm f/15 out to a dark sky location near Bertram, TX. Picked up a 1.25" mirror diagonal for the refractor, but couldn't get eyepieces to focus - not enough IN-travel, which was not expected.   Consequently, the Monolux was used in straight-thru mode...awkward.

 

With the 60mm I was able to pick off the Messier clusters M44 (beehive), 46, 47, 48, 67 & 93 when they were still close to the horizon.  Of these M47 and M67 were the most pleasing; M47 with a nice mixing of bright and fainter stars and M67 as a nicely resolved patch of faint stars of similar brightness. 

 

The biggest 60mm Messier score was the faint Pisces galaxy M74.  Tried it early in the evening when it was nearly overhead, but had to literally lay on the ground to look through the eyepiece. Needless to say - no sighting in this position.  But, later as it got closer to the western horizon I was able to get it at 35X.  Very faint, only popped out with averted vision as a roundish patch of light.  M33 was also tracked down - almost looked like a larger and brighter version of M74.  Could see a brighter center in M33 at 57X with the faint ovalish outer-parts just fading out to background.  Could glimpse NGC604, the large HII region in M33, with AV as a faint small patch near a bright field star. 

 

The RV-5.5 bagged some straggler Herschel galaxies in Cetus, Sculptor, Pisces and Camelopardalis.  The two nice surprises were NGC 613 in Sculptor (surprisingly bright with an elongated brighter center) and NGC 2655 in Cam (small, fairly bright with a stellar nucleus).  The RV-5.5 performed well, but still have a backlash issue in RA that I thought I had fixed.  More fiddling to come.

 

By the time we packed up our stuff every finder and eyepiece was covered in dew, and the tube of the RV-5.5 was covered in frost!  


Edited by Pete W, 05 January 2019 - 11:54 AM.

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#4258 terraclarke

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:10 AM

It’s looking like it might actually be aver 40° and clear tonight. If so, the TVGSDF will be taking in the wonders of the mid-winter sky! :jump:


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#4259 shredder1656

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:45 AM

I messed with the Orion pics with Snapseed.  Not sure if Snapseed ends up filling in stars, or if they are actually there but not visible until the contrast, saturation, etc, are adjusted.  Looks a little fake, but not bad (in my biased opinion) for a cell phone, single shot, stationary scope, picture.  

 

I found Andromeda too, but couldn't get it to show up in the phone camera.  Fun night.

 

Good luck, Terra!  I hope you can get out there.  

 

Pete, very impressive.  Hope I can gain that much knowledge of the sky eventually.  LOL.  

 

 

20190105_111226.jpg


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#4260 wfj

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 12:11 PM

The best I could ever get out of my C90 were views that could (maybe/sometimes/barely) keep up with a good 60mm x 700mm. Once I got to that realization, I lost interest in it (the C90). Yes the C90 was more compact, but both were being used on the same mount- Stellarvue Dwarfstar an tripod- Paragon XHD (not at the same time), and the weight of the ots’s were similar but the views through the 60mm far more consistent. So it wasn’t a hard decision for me to see who the clear winner (or more appropriately the clear looser) was. Once I got my Questar and saw what I should/could be seeing with a good 3.5” Mak, it was a done deal. The walking papers for the C90 were drawn up.

Understood. A good Q is a fine instrument, and I loved the NASA branch chief’s one when I was a high school intern drafted to explain to the press what Pioneer 10/11 encounters would show, by showing them Jupiter ahead of time with it (“is anyone around here an amateur astronomer? Oh yeah get that kid, and he’d better not break my scopes,,,”).

 

I’ve always been curious when things don’t work. Didn’t have the time/patience to tell a bad Q by putting a $1K+ scope at risk with disassembly and deduction - it had a bad DPAC. Given a $20 good DPAC C90 that would hang around anyways as a portable for missions (and I have a slightly less portable short refractor that can cover mission needs if that C90 were to be lost), nothing holds back from deciphering the mystery of why some love the thing when I’ve had such poor luck with half a hundred of the things.

 

I’d suggest that you’re overly generous with the comparison to the 60x700 with most C90’s - I’d easily choose a Manon over a prior bad DPAC 90’s Taiwanese black C90 doorstop.

 

Latest results suggest that it’s simply aperture restrictive so the CO is such that it doesn’t balance the residual HSA but drowns it. Perhaps those making the optics and those building the OTA didn’t communicate well?

 

it remains to be seen if many C90 are functioning as a Mak at all, but a slapdash Cass! 

 

The Q is an example of a optimum design (which I’ve experienced failure on). Already can see that the C90’s OTA obscures what the Q attempts to excel at. 

 

It seems that scattering in the main tube needs to be directed away from the unbaffled secondary, so the microbaffled “flocking” needs to have a blaze angle (like a grating) that’s steep. If you were to machine it as a thread, it might crumble the cast aluminum. Perhaps the Celestron engineers knew this? And without a cost effective option, fell back to a cost optimized tube/baffles to meet volume demand?

 

So diving down this maze to see if I can get the C90 to function as a Mak, to see how much that gives back. Subjectively there are returns. Weather, seeing, and Jupiter are rate limiting this. And the final objective proof of gain while now achievable its far in the future.

 

Another question is how applicable would this be to others? Might just be a “onesie” for me only here. That’s fine too.

 

Perhaps I’ll find my answer. Meanwhile I’m looking at rain out the window now.


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#4261 steve t

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 04:17 PM

Did some solar observing this morning with the 6" Newtonian. For the last two months the sun continues to be quiet. 

 

I've also got my fingers crossed for clear skies tonight.

 

Steve T 


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#4262 Esso2112

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:02 PM

It is finally clear in Texas. I have the FS-152 set up to take some images. While it will be dining its thing, I have the Brandon 94 set up on the alt-az mount I got from Dave.  Looks to be a great night and I’m excited to run the Brandon through its paces with a couple “new” eyepieces, mainly the Orthostar 26.6mm and then I may compare my Chester Brandon eyepieces with the equivalent Vernonscope Brandon’s. 


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#4263 steve t

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 08:15 PM

Great night here in sw Ohio.

Started with two bright meteors, first one at about 6:30 while setting up, traveled from west to east from Andromeda to Taurus guessing about magnitude -2 and left a short lived trail. The second one about an hour later, traveled south to north from Taurus and disappeared to the north, again it was bright and left a brief trail. 

Went on to check in on a couple variable stars then tracked down a few open clusters in Perseus before the cold chased me in.  

Steve T 


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#4264 shredder1656

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 09:49 AM

Last night I was pretty excited, because it was nice and clear all day, and into early evening.  I returned home around 6 from running errands, and sat the Edmund 3001 out to "chill out" for awhile.  Came outside around 30 minutes later and tried out the Ultima Plossls in the scope for a few minutes.

 

Pleiades was beautiful.  I thought I would try to grab a couple cell phone shots again.  I went inside to get the junk to make it happen and diddled around for a bit.  I went back outside and in that short time clouds rolled in and blotted EVERYTHING out.  It was almost solid from edge to edge.  Bummer.  

 

Carried everything back inside, but left it handy in case the morning was ok.  Went to bed early.  Up this morning at 0500.  Very nice, but a little haze.  

 

Spent the whole morning looking at Venus in the Edmund through the Ultima plossls.  Took some time to try some pics.  It was fun, and Venus looked nice in the ep.  The old-school focuser is not the best for trying pics, but I tried.  I wonder if a filter would help.  

 

Pics here...


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#4265 Esso2112

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 12:10 PM

Last night turned out pretty good. Had a few issues with my camera, but got that worked out and got to imaging. Then, I turned to the Brandon 94. Played around in Orion for a while trying out a few different eyepieces. The Orthostar 26.6mm did not disappoint with a very nice crisp view of the Orion Nebula. Stars were crisp points all the way to about 90% of the FOV. Not bad for an f7 scope. Tried the Vernonscope Erfle 40mm, which gave an amazing view of the Orion Nebula and surrounding area.  The view was surprisingly flat with pinpoint stars. Did not get around to testing the Chester Brandon eyepieces with the Vernonscope ones, though. It was pretty cold and the dew was really bad. I had dew heaters on the imaging scope, but forgot to put them on the Brandon, so the visual session got cut short.  


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#4266 Russell Smith

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:19 PM

Had nice clear skies here in Waco, TX last night so I took out the Celestron C4.5. Lots of trees in the yard so I set up before dark using cell phone apps. Even with the terrible light pollution Orion just jumped out at me using research grade meade eps.  The inexpensive logic drive works great in south mode and is easy to use for visual until the housing hits one of the lock levers. Hmmm? another challenge.

All and all a very fun night.


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#4267 Augustus

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 01:34 PM

Last night I bagged three new H400s with the RV6, you can read more on my thread here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...t/#entry9057019


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#4268 Bomber Bob

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:40 PM

Pretty Sickle Moon in the Goto tonight, and in the P-100 -- a great little Newt! -- before packing it up for UPS.  

 

When I got home, winds were from the north, and the patio is sheltered; but right after sunset, they shifted to the west, and picked up speed.  Not enough to rattle the 60mm F20, but tough on my arthritis.

 

IF the NWS is right, the overall patterns should shift around the end of the month, which gives me hope for a more "normal" Swamp winter -- with fewer cloudy nights.  Fingers crossed...


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#4269 Pete W

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 09:47 AM

Had the Jason 313 out last night with a 40% moon.  No “new” Messiers but did track down the Eskimo neb (NGC2392) in  Gem; obviously not stellar at 45x and @ 150x the bright center stood out, but the central star couldn’t be confirmed.  NGC2903 in Leo was also grabbed; faint but obviously elongated with 65x and AV.

 

The dew fell hard at 10:00 cutting the evening short.


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#4270 Augustus

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 05:37 PM

Took out the RV6 at dusk to look at the Moon and Mars. Remarkably, I could see Mare Cimmerium and the ice cap on Mars despite its tiny angular size now. I'm pretty sure I also saw the dust storm described here: https://www.cloudyni...m/#entry9064496

 

It clouded over before it got dark enough to see anything else.


Edited by Augustus, 13 January 2019 - 07:03 PM.

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#4271 shredder1656

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 05:48 AM

Had a clear night, and the seeing seemed to be better than average.  Maybe much better.  It was a little hazy, with an occasional ring around the moon with the naked eye, but overall very nice.  

 

I used my C102F with several eyepieces, but spent most of the time with a TV 13mm plossl, and the Pentax 3.5mm XW.  I actually barlowed them both as well.  The higher I went in magnification, the better the views got. 

 

I double-barlowed the 13mm, with a 2x Ultima and 2.5x TV.  I was shocked to see how sharp everything was staying.  I was intrigued by what I think I have determined, with a moon map, is Mare Vaporum, and just below it, in the ep, a horseshoe-shaped feature that I believe is part of the Hyginus Rille (or, the rille is part of it?).  That area and feature never stood out to me in the past, and last night was popping in just about every level of magnification.  I could see lots of detail throughout, with craterlets and ejecta with more definition than I had noticed previously.  The TV plossl is definitely growing on me, and was outstanding last night.  

 

Since I was already getting carried away, I decided to get crazy with the 3.5mm.  I really like that ep's wide fov.  It is by far my most expensive ep.  I shouldn't have purchased it, because it makes me want another...and another...and so on.  But, it really is nice.  The views were already impressive, but then I added the barlows one at a time.  I ended with the TV at 2.5x.  Once again, it showed me why I need to figure out how to improve my mount and tripod and add a 2-speed.  Maybe I am a sucker, but even at over 600x last night, the view just kept getting better.  The rilles looked like river valleys, the craters had sharp terraced edges, ranges stood out, and the ejecta looked like individual boulders. 

 

With a better mount that would prevent that annoying vibration as I focused, I might have ended up with severe frostbite.  I already had a hard time packing it in.  I played with the focus over and over at 600+ power, and was repeatedly rewarded with nailing it, but there was enough minor disturbance and real vibration that it was brief perfection.  I finally decided the lack of feeling in my fingers was getting dangerous to my eyepieces, so I ended the night.  

 

The good old moon gave a great show in Indiana.  Purty purty purty...


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#4272 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 07:12 AM

Nice report Scott , I got to hand it to ya cold weather observers . I don't know how ya do it , My eyes get tears running down my face .


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#4273 Steve Allison

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 03:11 AM

A night or two back I took my little Meade 2045, 4 inch SCT out to see if it could split Eta Orionis, a double star with a separation of around 1.70".

 

While optical theory would suggest that such a double should be resolvable with an aperture of 3 inches, I have found this pair fairly challenging at times, even with somewhat larger telescopes.

 

While the seeing was not perfect (and the night bitterly cold), the miniscule Meade was able to split the pair cleanly, as it had done on several prior occasions.

 

I think this is pretty good for a mass-produced SCT of such handy size. Because of the time I spent carefully collimating the small telescope, it displays lovely and concentric diffraction rings at higher powers. 

 

A fun little telescope, that.

 

Steve


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#4274 AllanDystrup

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 08:42 AM

.

     Last evening I had a look at the Apollo 15 landing site on our moon,

     after several weeks of overcast, rainy and stormy weather.

    

     Here's an iPhone5 snapshot through my classic Vixen FL-80S/640:

 

A15-02.png

A little more info here:

https://www.cloudyni...moon/?p=9076610
 

 

     -- Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 15 January 2019 - 08:52 AM.

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#4275 Piggyback

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Posted 16 January 2019 - 02:03 AM

Fascinating detail, Allan. Could you make out Rima Hadley visually? 




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