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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#4401 steve t

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 08:52 AM

Was out this morning to check the cluster of sunspots as they approach the edge of the sun. 

The one large spot was very foreshorted (sp?) while the following group appears to have become more active. Anyone with a scope fitted with Ha filters may get and excellent view from this group before it rotates out of view .

Steve T 


Edited by steve t, 23 March 2019 - 04:28 PM.

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#4402 Bomber Bob

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 06:01 AM

The Swamp at 0430 Local:

Temperature  43°F (6°C)

Humidity 89%
Wind Speed Calm
Dewpoint 40°F (4°C)

Seeing  7 / 10 (thin surface fog)

 

Jupiter in the Dakin 4:  Who could ask for more?  The 4 Galileans in order (Io Europa Ganymede Callisto) & in a line like a strand of pearls.  I watched the GRS creep into the light -- cherry red at 116x with the UO HD OR9.  And, I compared my high-power eyepieces:  University Optics HD Orthos, spectros .965" Plossls, and my 2 TeleVues.  I used to think there was hype about the TV products.  After all, they're imported from Japan -- same as my UO HDs.  How could they be that much better?   Well, in this old 4" F10 achromatic, Jupiter at 263x with the Radian 4mm was larger & yet sharper than with the PL5 at 210x -- and in a wider field that made manual tracking easier.


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#4403 terraclarke

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 09:46 AM

Bonfire last night with friends; second one of 2019, this one was to celebrate the Vernal Equinox. Lots of stars out so it was fun just sitting out around the fire and looking up. I loved watching Leo rising up above the woods, still bare of leaves from winter. I was surprised to see how high Gemini was with it nearly April; Castor and Pollox were nearly overhead. Orion was behind me, his sword and M42 quite visible naked eye, and The Big Dog at his heels; Sirius blazing away- the Star of Isis dominated the still moonless night sky. Classic ‘60s rock blared, one nearly forgotten tune after another, as we continued to pass around the ‘good cheer’ and let the spirit move us. As the evening progressed, the stars gradually succumbed to the overrunning high clouds. Close to 11, a ragged, just past full Moon rose through the clouds while a random star peeked through open pockets in the cirrus and altus. I brought a coat but didn’t even need to fasten with a sweat shirt on and with the blazing fire. Sometimes you can’t beat just soaking up the starlight and taking the whole, vast, gradually changing nighttime panorama in with nothing more than the eyes we were born with. It was a perfect night.
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#4404 steve t

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 12:02 PM

Early last night, I read the April chapter in my old 1908  copy of "Astronomy With The Naked Eye" by Serviss. Later, when I let my four legged observing buddy out, I was able to follow up with some observing of my own. Just something about observing with the unaided eye and an old classic like Serviss I find relaxing.

Steve T 


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#4405 Steve Allison

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 10:54 PM

I just had my Brandon 3 inch, F/15 alt-az achromatic refractor out for a quick peek, in anticipation of setting up my 4 inch Takahashi FS-102NSV later tonight. Not for the first time, the performance of the little 75mm achro made me wonder why I should bother with anything else!

 

At 125 power, Polaris was a hard and round Airy disk surrounded by a perfect, appropriately dim diffraction ring, while the faint companion was the tiniest pinpoint of light imaginable. Just beautiful!

 

Iota Cassio


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#4406 DMala

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 11:12 PM

(....)

The highlight was the Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392).  Its nature was obvious in both scopes at just 60x.  At 100x, it remained a pale gray in the Newt, while the CAT showed a green-gray outer lobe and a brighter & bluer inner lobe.  I could see some internal structure at 285x in the Vixen using the Nagler 7mm.

(....)

 

Cool!



#4407 DMala

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 11:41 PM

Last night (Sat. 23) I took out the JSO NSC-12B (5" f10).

 

From my notes: TAK 7.5mm EP.  Top, Screw in, No;    Top, Unscrew, Nul;    Bottom, Screw in, PERFETTO!

 

Now the stars are really teeny-tiny little bright dots. As achieving good collimation was the primary objective of the evening, and since this SCT on the Panorama mount is very imbalanced, I took it back inside and moved on spotting three globular clusters within 3 seconds, to the left of Cassiopeia,  with my night vision device+200mm telephoto lens, while comfortably sitting in a deck chair.

 

 

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#4408 terraclarke

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 07:17 AM

Last night (Sat. 23) I took out the JSO NSC-12B (5" f10).
 
From my notes: TAK 7.5mm EP.  Top, Screw in, No;    Top, Unscrew, Nul;    Bottom, Screw in, PERFETTO!
 
Now the stars are really teeny-tiny little bright dots. As achieving good collimation was the primary objective of the evening, and since this SCT on the Panorama mount is very imbalanced, I took it back inside and moved on spotting three globular clusters within 3 seconds, to the left of Cassiopeia,  with my night vision device+200mm telephoto lens, while comfortably sitting in a deck chair.


That’s a very attractive setup!
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#4409 DMala

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 08:31 AM

That’s a very attractive setup!

Do you mean the TV Panoramic+SCT combo? Thanks but it is actually very unbalanced. I used it last evening just for the rapidity of set-up.  The JSO NSC-12B is quite heavily built. It is manageable if you really want to, but it takes a lot of effort to point it where you want while counteracting the weight pull backwards on the Panoramic mount handle.  Same issue if I mount the JSO SCT on a heavy duty photo tripod. Maybe it would be nice to build a simple rod with counterweights to bolt to the mount base, but there are already so many projects on my waiting list... IMO a light duty EQ mount with a small counterweight, still easy to transport around, would be the perfect complement for the JSO NSC-12B.


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#4410 terraclarke

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 08:40 AM

“Do you mean the TV Panoramic+SCT combo?“

 

Yes. The yellow OTA, black accents, wood of the tripod, setting on the red bricks. It’s a lovely composition. As far as the mount’s stability, I love mine but only use it with my 60 to 80mm refractors and my solar scope.


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#4411 Kasmos

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 03:15 AM

Tonight I drove out to the observatory of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society, about a half-hour drive away from me, located in the Tooele valley south of the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake.  Housed there is a 16-inch Ealing Cassegrain, an 8" Brandt refractor, and a club-built 32" Cassegrain on a go-to Springfield mount.  Mike Clement's mamoth 70" Dobsonian is housed there as well, by special arrangement.  Tonight I was getting my yearly refresher on the scope, it's required for everyone.  We really only looked at the moon since we all had to leave before it got truly dark, but the moon was amazing in a clear, blue sky for a change.

 

The Brandt is a wonderful scope built by Patrick Wiggins, discoverer of supernova and several minor planets.  He also generously donated the instrument to the club in honor of his late mother.  We have known each other since at least 1975.  I was also fortunate to have him as the instructor tonight.  With only one other student, a young woman from the club, he could take his time for her to make sure she got the hang of it.  She had no other telescope experience, imagine learning on this big 8" refractor as your first!

 

attachicon.gif 8 inch Brandt 001.jpg

 

Patrick used to drive this scope around on a trailer, to set up at star parties around the region.

 

attachicon.gif 8 inch Brandt 002.jpg

 

It uses many genuine antique telescope parts in it's execution.  I believe that the cast-iron pier it is mounted on is one that originally sat outdoors, when the club had individual observation pads and piers.  It was owned by Ziggy and the story goes that it's a Unitron.  Somebody here surely recognizes the maker.   Ziggy was the one driving force behind the creation and ongoing endowment for this jewel of an outreach-oriented observatory, without his efforts it might not exist at all today, or at most be a shadow of it's present importance to the community.   Qualified operators can reserve the scopes for their own use on non-scheduled public star party nights, by blocking-out nights on the club calendar.  

 

attachicon.gif 8 inch Brandt 003.jpg

 

While there, Patrick showed me the OTA of the 11" D&G refractor that was recently donated to the club.  I have to say, this one really made my heart skip a beat.  It makes a 6" f/15 refractor look like nothing special at all, in comparison.  I feel like I need to wear a Percival Lowell outfit just to look through it.  I can't wait to see it mounted again.  This is inside the building that houses the 70", which is just beyond us to the left rear.

 

attachicon.gif 11 inch D&G 001.jpg

 

I'm happy to finally see spring start to get a toe-hold, and with any luck I can spend more time out there this year.  The sky is best there right about this time of year.  I've seen NGC 7000 clearly, like a photograph, from there about ten years ago.  A friend was with me and saw it too, we both were a bit amazed.  

I'm just getting caught up on this thread.

Holy Moley! That's one heck of a Astro Club.


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#4412 Pete W

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 09:14 AM

Took the Jason 313 60mm out in the backyard last night - the first clear moonless night in a month!  Even under not-quite mag 5 skies, the Jason performed well in snagging spring Messier galaxies.  The 0.965 eyepieces used were: 30mm, 22mm & 18mm kellners and a 12.5mm Celestron Ultima.

 

M65/66: M66 was much more obvious, but AV brought out the elongation of M65

M105: Pretty obvious with AV

M96: Super tough; took multiple attempts considering there are essentially no guide stars in the vicinity

M67: One of my favorites clusters in the 60mm

M87: Obvious with AV, but invisible without it. Nice at 50x (18mm)

M84/86: Super tough with M86 being a bit more obvious & M84 only popping out occasionally.

M85: Good guide stars in the vicinity pinpointed its location - not as easy as M87 but easier than M96, M84/M86

M99: Super tough, only popped out occasionally with AV.

M104: The easiest "new" galaxy with the Jason

M94: Needed an easy object; the brightest galaxy of the night

M3: Visible in the reflex finder.  Round, bright, like most Messier globulars, with a hint of graininess at 75X

 

Also tracked down NGC2903 in Leo and tried but failed with NGC 4490 in Canes.  Can't say if the optics of the Jason are top notch, but the scope is easy to set up and use, and it seems to do well on DSOs.


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#4413 Esso2112

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 06:28 PM

It’s clear. At least I think that’s what it means if the sky is blue and there’s a big yellow orb in the sky. 

 

Got the TMB 100 set up for some testing. It’ll be a quick night.  I have to work tomorrow and I’m still tired from seeing Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets concert last night, which was truly spectacular. I just love the early psychedelic Pink Floyd and seeing Nick drum away at 75 was fantastic. 


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#4414 Esso2112

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 10:15 PM

It was a good night. Transparency was good, but not great. Seeing was very steady. Spent most of the night trying out different eyepieces on M42. Could make out the E star in the trapezium, but the F star eluded me tonight. 

 

At 200x, stars show a nice bright airy disk with a faint 1st diffraction ring. Overall, very happy with the TMB 100. Sirius, was a nice blue with absolutely no CA visible. Betelgeuse was an orangey red. Inside and outside of focus looked identical. I had read great things about the TMB, and they are true. Now, just need to put it up against the Tak FCT-100. I think the Tak is in for a difficult fight. I was able to push the TMB to 400x; stars showed nice disks, but the image was getting pretty dim. 


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#4415 DMala

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 01:46 PM

I took out the Pronto again last evening, as I am using it as testing ground for various night vision and photo equipment. I hope to work out a couple techniques soon, and then start dividing the time between night vision and traditional visual observing. I did most of my practice on Messier 38, but as I was beginning to get ready to finish, I decided to make a sweep of the sky just above the roof of my dining room, where I had spotted a few clusters some evening ago.

 

I bumped again into Messier 36 and I took some pics. Here is a version where in post-processing I removed the green of the phosphors of the image intensifier (Televue Pronto, Lumicon NightSky filter, PVS-7 with milsurp OMNI-3 tube in prime focus, Sony NEX-5N, f4, ISO 400, 2" single exposure).

 

 

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Edited by DMala, 28 March 2019 - 01:48 PM.

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#4416 Bomber Bob

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 02:52 PM

Got in a short casual DSO session last night with my ATM 80mm F5 RFT and my Vixen VMC200L.  No planned targets.  I just drifted around the Milky Way with the RFT, and when I saw something interesting or unusual, I'd turn the 8" F M-C on it.  Before sunset, I got some decent views of Mars at 285x with the VMC + Nagler 7mm.  When I looked back an hour later, the turbulence made it into a Red Comet!

 

If it's clear tonight, it'll be the 80 F5 + my black tube C90 Spotter (to check out all those doubles from Gemini to Auriga).  Again, no pre-planning, chart checking, or Googling before I head out.


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#4417 AllanDystrup

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 06:05 AM

.

     This month has been the wettest March in recorded meteorological history here in Denmark (since 1873) with lots of rain, especially in the first half of the month. The past week however, spring has arrived with high pressure weather, warmer westerly winds and some clear nights.

 

     I've spent these nights with wide field observations of the galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, lastly using my classic 4" refractor for some close up views of the giant elliptical monsters in the Virgo group. I've placed some descriptions here https://www.cloudyni...ield/?p=9251505, and in the previous posts.

 

     -- Allan


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#4418 Starrynightowl89

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:09 AM

I currently have a Meade ETX-90 RA and I viewed Mars, the Pleiades, and Theta Tauri as well. I plan on trying to see if I can see more of Taurus and Orion perhaps tonight. I would love to have the time to be up around 3-5 A.M. here in the southeastern United States so I could see Jupiter, the Moon, and Saturn as well.


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#4419 rolo

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:13 AM

I took out the Pronto again last evening, as I am using it as testing ground for various night vision and photo equipment. I hope to work out a couple techniques soon, and then start dividing the time between night vision and traditional visual observing. I did most of my practice on Messier 38, but as I was beginning to get ready to finish, I decided to make a sweep of the sky just above the roof of my dining room, where I had spotted a few clusters some evening ago.

 

I bumped again into Messier 36 and I took some pics. Here is a version where in post-processing I removed the green of the phosphors of the image intensifier (Televue Pronto, Lumicon NightSky filter, PVS-7 with milsurp OMNI-3 tube in prime focus, Sony NEX-5N, f4, ISO 400, 2" single exposure).

Is this the same unit?

 

https://www.ebay.com...dgAAOSwlf5cfElx



#4420 DMala

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 07:51 AM

Is this the same unit?

https://www.ebay.com...dgAAOSwlf5cfElx



Same type of device, better tube, way lower $$ cost. I was greatly helped by a member of the EAA forum. PM for details if interested.

#4421 Bomber Bob

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 10:04 AM

Back when I bought those Meade rugged vinyl cases from Bill (@ Telescope Warehouse), my plan was to have at least 2 scopes in the shed, all ready to go at any time.  I put them on the top shelf of my tallest shelving unit.  And... forgot about them.  When I got the 80mm F5 down on TUES, I remembered that my C90 is up there, too...

 

So last night, it was my C90 + my 80mm RFT dodging finger clouds, pointing SE from NW.  Mars!  Tiny & pretty - and pretty tiny! - stayed sharp up to 200x with the spectros PL5.  Tweaking that big focus ring at that power takes both hands, and patience.  I could see a polar cap, and one dark marking.  Then I switched the C90 to that vintage B&L 25mm WF microscope eyepiece for 40x and some DSO hunting.  I found M35 at 1940L -- about 10 mins before the RFT could nab it at 25x (Jaegers ER16).  Stars are smaller in the frac, but the Mak ain't far behind.  Moved both scopes to the north end, and explored M42.  Got 4 stars in the Trap with both.  The nebula is larger in the frac, but the C90 showed more of the finer structures.

 

The Ready Scopes are back in their cases, and up on the shelf, but I put a strip of red tape across the front at their end.  Maybe that'll jog my memory next time...


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#4422 photiost

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 09:29 PM

Observed Sirius B last night with my 8in f/8 reflector with a Parks primary and the 7mm Delite eyepiece.

 

Nice !!  cool.gif


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#4423 shredder1656

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 06:07 AM

What a difference a dark sky makes, right?  Wow! 

 

Spent the last two nights in a cabin in the Hocking Hills, OH, State Park area with my wife, our three youngest kids (12-18), my sister, her husband, and their 5 youngest (I know, how many total lol.gif, 5yoa - 16).  What a gorgeous view last night and this morning.  We didn't get all of the kids outside, but we were able to distract a few long enough to give them a chance to see what a beautiful gift a dark sky is.  The artistry of the Creator is stunning and an amazing blessing. 

 

Orion, Pleiades, the Beehive, Andromeda, and fields of stars from edge to edge of the porthole through the trees, were brilliantly exposed to us.  We didn't even stay outside long enough for our eyes to fully adjust, but after 45 minutes my neck was nearly stuck in position. LoL.  However, we were enthralled with the treat, and thankful for such an amazing creation to enjoy.

 

We couldn't squeeze a telescope into the car, but did bring a few binoculars.  Besides our late 40 stop early 50s classic eyes, we used Swift Triton Mark 1, Bushnell Classics, and a newer set of Pentax that my BIL brought. 

 

My cell phone cannot do it justice, but I propped it on the deck this morning and have it a try.  What a nice place to visit.

 

We passed the John Glenn Astronomy Park too.  Hopefully next visit we can time it to coincide with a public viewing night. 

 

20190403_062017-01.jpeg

 


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#4424 Augustus

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 02:36 PM

Took the Tak to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation last night for a star party with the Westchester Amateur Astronomers. Few members of the general public showed up. I viewed some bright DSOs with my scope then ended up seeing M51, M81/82, M3, M35, the Monkey Head, the Pac-Man Nebula, the Horsehead and the Flame through highfnum’s 10” Meade Starfinder and night vision tube.
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#4425 shredder1656

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 03:41 PM

I just noticed that the picture I uploaded was not the correct one.  Well, it wasn't wrong, but it was too dark.  Here are a couple grainy, but more accurate pics.  You can see the shadow of the trees and cabin.  It was a beautiful morning. 

 

20190407_121551-01.jpeg


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