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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#4476 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 09:24 AM

Last night was the first Side-by-Side between the new Bresser AR-102L F13 and my Dakin 4" F10.  For once, seeing actually improved as the skies darkened (got a big gap from 2000-2100 local), and DSO seeing jumped from 6 to 8 / 10.  Though it wasn't part of the SxS, I had The Thing (5" F5 triplet) mounted on the Goto + Unitron rig, and it stole the show!

 

The 4" fracs couldn't show the entire Beehive; but with a 1.25" ER16 at 40x, The Thing showed the cluster + some surrounding space.  The improved focuser supports my 2" diagonal + bino-viewer, and M44 was spectacular at 22x with both eyes.  I think last night was the first time I tried the spectros prism + Big (35mm barrels) Kellners in this scope.  Y'all, with the KE30 at 21x, I got a flat field edge to edge, and none of the color changes, comet tails, or smearing that I normally see.  This combination makes The Thing a visual APO compared to my Jaegers 4" F5.  For example, I saw Struve 1177 (6/7/3.5") as a blue-white primary + brick red secondary, separated by a black hair-line.


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#4477 Peter_D

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 02:56 PM

Similarly, I took the opportunity to observe M44 yesterday - I used my Tasco 9VR and a 18mm Celestron X-Cel LX eyepiece. Despite its size, the ep works well in the 9VR when using a 1.25 inch adapter - focusing to pinpoint stars was not a problem.

The sky was not fully dark so I spent a little while actually finding Praesepe in my light polluted skies. I was rewarded with a lovely display of understated, shimmering points of starlight. One little triangle of 3 stars was particularly evident. Perhaps due to increasing moisture in the air, a slight wispiness could be detected around the brighter stars in the cluster.

To the left, Leo was resplendent and I focused in on the golden yellow double star Algieba.

Finally, I turned northwards to another wide double, Mizar/Alcor and enjoyed another beautiful sight, even in my modest 60mm instrument.

Edited by Peter_D, 23 April 2019 - 03:01 PM.

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#4478 Bomber Bob

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:25 AM

I spent most of last night chasing faint fuzzies with my VMC200L, but I did compare some of its views with my RFT 80 F5 on the VersaGo.  13x with my UO / Tani ER30, and I could trace some Milky Way boundaries, but the coolest view was M35:  a hazy cottony patch, but with its brightest members resolved, it was definitely not a nebula.  Saw The Beehive as a compact cluster of visual double stars.  Bumped up to 25x with my Jaegers ER16, and followed behind the VMC in Cancer & Leo.  At 65x, stars in the Field Mak are pinpoints, while the same stars are micro-dots in the frac.

 

On a windy night (gusts up to 15 knots), my "stubby scopes" rule!


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#4479 Chuck Hards

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:28 AM

Nothing lately.  It was clear as a bell on Sunday night through Tuesday night, when I have to be in bed before it's even dark.  Rain last night but still couldn't stay up.  Next storm is coming- you guessed it- tomorrow night, the next night I can stay up after dark.  :bangbang:



#4480 Pete W

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:35 PM

Tonight had the Jason 313 in the dewy backyard to track down some Messier galaxies.  Was able to snag quite a few, along with some spring globs.  The highlights.

Nice bright galaxies: M49 & M60 in Virgo, M64 in Coma.

Faint but obvious with averted vision: M58, M88

Very faint but confirmed: M90, M91

Superfaint and "no sighting": M59

 

Also tracked down the Spring Messier globulars beyond M3: M5, M53 and M68.  M68 in Hydra was surprisingly challenging, much fainter than M53 in Coma.

 

Hope to have the Monolux 60mm under dark skies this weekend!


Edited by Pete W, 25 April 2019 - 11:41 PM.

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#4481 hasebergen

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 04:22 AM

Yesterday I tried to split z Cnc (the 1"1 components) with my 102/1300mm Vixen Pulsar-refractor. Couldn´s split it because of cruel seeing and  - later - clouds ...

Later again.

 

Regards Hannes


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#4482 steve t

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 07:54 AM

I woke up last night just before 2:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep. Being wide awake, I took a look out of the open bedroom window and saw moonlight and twinkling stars so I thought, why not! I toddled down stairs and out on the deck, barefoot and in my PJs. It was beautiful! Vega was blazing away with Lyra up about 60°, Deneb was rising over the neighbor’s roof and Altair was twinkling through the new Spring foliage of their backyard tree. How glorious to see the Summer Triangle again! The Strong Man was approaching Zenith, Arcturus had just culminated, and the Claws of our friend the Scorpion were well up! Best of all tho was a beautiful juxtaposition of the gibbous Moon and old Jupe, separated by less than degrees. The sky was dappled with random scattered altocumulus clouds, with wisps of cirrus and the hint of cirrostratus above them. I could tell immediately it wasn’t a night for a telescope as I contemplated what instrument to take out. I gave strong consideration to my ATM ST80, but alas, not wanting to waste the perfection of the totality of the night and be disappointed with the imperfections brought on by just the meteorological component, I reached for my 12x60 Oberwerks- not yet classics but still well seasoned and at least half way their. I came back outside with them in one hand and a cool glass of water in the other, slumped down in a comfy Adirondack chair, took a gulp and began renewing acquaintanceships with stellar friends I hadn’t seen in months! It was a glorious hour. I came in, went to bed and just woke up. It’s ten after nine and the coffee just finished brewing. I’m out on the deck again and about to have my first sip. What a glorious hobby we share my friends. It’s a time machine! Last night I was fifteen all over again.  

Terra,

What a nice write-up , thanks for sharing 

Steve T 


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#4483 steve t

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 08:03 AM

The last couple of weeks my wife and I have kicked off spring prepping of our landscape gardens,  so by evening I end up  crashing before it's darksmile.gif

 

I have been able to get in some solar observing over the past few days. 

Steve T 


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#4484 Bonco2

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 03:28 PM

Being a classic myself. I find it hard to observe with Daylight Saving Time in place.

Bill


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#4485 Chuck Hards

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 07:13 PM

I get up at 4:00 AM for work, I'm in bed before it's really dark for 8 months of the year anyway.  I can stay up late tonight but there's a hail storm going on at the moment and rain forecast most of the night.  Hopefully tomorrow, I still haven't tried the 4" Jaegers on the stars.


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#4486 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 11:21 PM

Classic Newtonian vs. Weird Mak-Cass

 

Temperature  61°F (16°C)

Humidity 60%
Wind Speed W 5 mph
Dewpoint 47°F (8°C)

Seeing  6 - 7 / 10 [mid - hi haze w/ gaps]

 

I put my RV-6 and VMC200L out in the shed before we went to our granddaughter's softball game (her team won 18-2!), and set up as soon as we got back.  Two fantastic hours of DSOs -- a fine way to end a busy work week.  

 

As usual, I started at M35.  With both scopes at ~ 65x, the VMC showed more stars, but the RV-6 stars are smaller dots.  Star colors between the two scopes are very similar.  NGC 2392 is sketch-worthy in the VMC at 283x with the Nagler 7.  

 

The eastern half of the sky had the best seeing, and it was easy to acquire M65 in both reflectors at ~ 40x, as I could look at it straight-on without losing it.  M66 & NGC 3628 required averted vision at first.  As I continued to observe the Leo Triplet, all 3 became obvious.  The RV-6 gave the best overall view of the Triplet at 60x with the Meade RG 20mm Erfle.  The VMC gave the most detailed views at 132x with the spectros KE15, including 3628's dust lane.

 

I ended the session with M3.  What a high note!  Pretty in both reflectors, but best resolved in the VMC at 220x with the UO HD OR9.


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#4487 Uranotopia

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 05:01 AM

Last night I observed with my vintage Celestron C 90 under the light polluted sky, located in the suburb of a great Kasakh city (where I spend my holidays with my girlfriend). Especially the southern and western regions of the sky were brightened. But the air wasn't too turbulent, so I decided to observe some double stars.

I used the original 0.96“ eyepieces and the Celestron 0.96“  45 degree (amici-like) prism, but the performance on the stars wasn't very well... at magnification of 111x and more (with the 9mm and 6mm orthoscopic eyepieces) there was  little rainbow-like colour, very little spikes and a faint halo around the stars - I don't think this was caused by the eyepieces, as I have used these Japan made eyepieces with other scopes and they have ever worked very well. So perhaps the prism could be the problem, or the little MAK itself. But the startest in direct focus (without any star diagonal,  prism or mirror) wasn't so bad - perhaps very little miscollimation (but it is not easy to make this better on a C90), without a relevant coma. But because of more comfortable position when observing, I needed the Celestron prism.


But it took a lot of time to observe the following  only four double stars cause of these problems with image and the Celestron ring focuser, that doesn't move as  easy as needed (nevertheless I cleaned it from ugly clue-like China grease and put on Vaseline only a few days ago). And of course I wanted to make sure, that I've seen the image of split doubles indeed.

1) Castor (alpha Geminorum): not so difficult to split at magnification of 80x (12.5 mm Ortho), better to see at 111x (9mm orthoscopic eyepiece).


2) Algieba (gamma Leonis): more difficult to detect the double, magnification of 111x and above needed. And I had to focuse very properly, not so easy with the hard moving focuser.

3) Izar (Pulcherrima, eta Bootis): rather difficult, took a lot of time, cause it needed higher magnification of above 111x and I changed the eyepieces twice. I was able to see the double, but unfortunately I hadn't any impression of the star colours.


4) last but not least I took a look at pi Bootis, this double star was little easier to split. The 12.5mm orthoscopic eyepiece (80x) was sufficient, also nice to see at 111x, but the stars were then little faint.

Then I stopped observation because of worse air condition (atmospheric haze), but it was already one o'clock and temperature below 0 degree C.


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#4488 Compressorguy

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 05:59 AM

Woke up at 5:15am and went outside to check the sky and went back inside thinking I would view another morning. Glad I changed my mind! Went back out and had a great view of Jupiter and the Great Red Spot this morning with the brass TV Renaissance and TV 5mm Radian at 110x. It’s a great grab and go setup on its Panoramic mount. I’m also really amazed at how exceptionally well this scope is corrected at F5.5, very little color evident and not distracting at all. Finished up on the moon and went in and had a nice cup of coffee and pondered on my viewing this morning and was very happy I made the effort!


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#4489 Pete W

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 10:42 AM

Last night had the Monolux 4380 and 18" Obsession under the dewy darkish skies near Bertram, TX.  The Obsession is 23yrs old...almost a classic dob. wink.gif

 

A great night of cruising through the Virgo cluster with the Monolux.  Got all of the Messier galaxies in Coma and Virgo and quite a few NGC's, some down to around 12th mag...with a 60mm!  The highlights:

 

Monolux 4380:

M84 & 86.  Bright pair of uniform brightness, but M84 seemed to have a slightly brighter center

M88 - the most interesting Virgo Cluster Messier.  Very obviously elongated with a elongated bright center.  @ 73X and AV a field star seemed superimposed on the glow.

M58 - bright  and elongated.  Seemed somewhat asymmetrical with one side being less bulgy...dust lane?

M64 - very large and quite bright with a brighter center.

M83 - large and faint but obvious with AV.  And, with AV a small, bright central region is visible.

M61 - Roundish, faint but obvious with AV. Uniform brightness.

 

Some of the 18" objects:
M5 - A great mix of size, central concentration and resolution. The stars streaming from its center made it appear bigger than M13 (took a quick view for comparison).  My 2nd favorite Messier globular!
M51 - @ 160X the curving arms were quite obvious, but it wasn't the best view from Bertram.  The dew and humidity likely hampered transparency.
M99 - Round with a slightly brighter central concentration.  One of the arms was quite obvious.

 

One of the most productive nights of observing quite a while.  Only have about 30 Messiers remaining to be tracked down with the 60mm refractors!


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#4490 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 10:48 PM

What fun I had tonight!   Excellent DSO seeing for a Side-by-Side:  APM 152ED vs. Vixen VMC200L.  And, I star & sky tested my 1950s Hy-Score 457 with a Kenko 40x500 lens.  I had 2 low to no false color scopes to compare it with, and I can say that false color is very well controlled.  On most stars, I saw it only by looking in off-axis.  

 

Dozens of doubles as I worked west to east.  And like last night, I ended the session with Messier 3.  It took up a big chunk of the 457's field at ~ 67x with the spectros 7.5mm Plossl.


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#4491 Chuck Hards

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 12:20 AM

I finally had some time with the Jaegers 4" f/15 tonight.  Skies were clear all afternoon and into the evening but lots of skyglow, humidity is still on the high side and I live under the light dome of 2 million people.  It was darker 30 years ago when I moved-in, and further from town.  Anyway, it was fun using a large refractor again.  I have a modern Chinese 4" f/8 APO and it feels very much like a smallish telescope in-use- I can use it on an Edmund 5/8" shaft mount without too much vibration.  But the Jaegers at f/15 is simply massive.  The tall pier and Jaegers 1" shaft mount was a good ergonomic choice for viewing with the main instrument, but I'm going to have to replace or convert the finder to RA.  My neck is just aching after tonight's session.  

 

I ran the Jaegers RA drive and the scope was balanced enough to let it work smoothly.  I first looked at Castor, found two textbook diffraction rings in an 8mm UO Zebra Plossl.  Then over to the Beehive, with the UO 40mm 7/70 2" Barrel.  I couldn't find my 2" enhanced diagonal so I used a nice 2" Japanese prism.  The cluster just filled the field, diamonds spread out on velvet.   I looked at Regulus, then just scanned through Leo into Virgo.  Anything north and east of that was washed out, I couldn't find M3 which shows how bad the light pollution is in that direction.  It's darkest to the northwest, over the Great Salt Lake, where there are no lights.  So I swung back to Auriga and swept-through looking at clusters.  By then I was happy, my neck was hurting, and the sky was still getting brighter, probably with cars on the road.  It will darken up again after midnight.  

 

I was surprised that the Crawmach 2" focuser was so "notchy" on the coarse adjustment, smooth on the fine motion only.  Need to look into that, could be some dirt accumulation on the track or shaft.  But so-far I'm very pleased.  This lens has just enough aperture & resolution to show you some stuff in detail.  I need to look at the moon and planets with it to asess the color.  Maybe the sun tomorrow if the weather holds.


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#4492 rolo

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:14 AM

Chuck, Glad you got out to observe. Reminds me of my observations with the 4" f/15 Unitron. Just big enough to make a difference! I recall observing M27 and thinking how nice it looked and clusters are just beautiful in that aperture.

 

I was able to get out for a little while with the Meade 2045 and also looked at Castor, M44,M41 and Regulus. Castor was a nice split, not text book like a refractor but easy to resolve. Tweaked the collimation and did some star testing with a 10.5mm TV Plossl, very nice for an SCT. Got up around 6am and couldn't go back to sleep so I stepped out on the deck and saw Jupiter and the moon. Unfortunately too tired to take out the scope. Also, man how the trees have grown! I may have to cut down a couple of them to see my southern skies again!


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#4493 CHASLX200

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:18 AM

Just had the 8" 826 Meade out and jupiter was pretty crazy with a 3mm Delite. I think i found my keeper and scope and the rest are going.  Crazy to think Meade made a mirror this good back around 1980 and i gotta wonder if it was refigured.


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#4494 rolo

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 06:21 AM

Just had the 8" 826 Meade out and jupiter was pretty crazy with a 3mm Delite. I think i found my keeper and scope and the rest are going.  Crazy to think Meade made a mirror this good back around 1980 and i gotta wonder if it was refigured.

The three or four 826's I've had were all excellent performers. So everything is going including your SW150 that you just bought?



#4495 CHASLX200

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:06 AM

The three or four 826's I've had were all excellent performers. So everything is going including your SW150 that you just bought?

I think so.  The ED can't come close to the 8" Meade that cost $200.  Plus set up is not easy for the 6" ED.  My house is just not set up to roll out big scopes. The 8" Meade on the AP800 at least will roll out the door.  While these big ED's are very good for the price a old school Newt will win everytime and cost much less.

 

While i dream to own a 7" AP like you have, i just no longer want to set up these big scopes everytime i use them. 


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#4496 rolo

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:13 AM

I couldn't own a large scope if not for the wheelie bars and driveway on the side of the house.



#4497 terraclarke

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:31 AM

I think so.  The ED can't come close to the 8" Meade that cost $200.  Plus set up is not easy for the 6" ED.  My house is just not set up to roll out big scopes. The 8" Meade on the AP800 at least will roll out the door.  While these big ED's are very good for the price a old school Newt will win everytime and cost much less.
 
While i dream to own a 7" AP like you have, i just no longer want to set up these big scopes everytime i use them.


At least keep the SW 120ED! That one makes sense to hang on to!
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#4498 Chuck Hards

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 03:23 PM

Chuck, Glad you got out to observe. Reminds me of my observations with the 4" f/15 Unitron. Just big enough to make a difference! I recall observing M27 and thinking how nice it looked and clusters are just beautiful in that aperture.

 

I was able to get out for a little while with the Meade 2045 and also looked at Castor, M44,M41 and Regulus. Castor was a nice split, not text book like a refractor but easy to resolve. Tweaked the collimation and did some star testing with a 10.5mm TV Plossl, very nice for an SCT. Got up around 6am and couldn't go back to sleep so I stepped out on the deck and saw Jupiter and the moon. Unfortunately too tired to take out the scope. Also, man how the trees have grown! I may have to cut down a couple of them to see my southern skies again!

 

What a coincidence.  I was absolutely beat last night after a day of long-neglected yardwork and almost didn't set up the Jaegers.  For a long time I stared at the Meade 2045 and thought how much easier it would be to take that one out instead.  But the Jaegers ended up having the most allure and I hauled it out back even though the sky was bright.  I'm looking around now for a 50mm finder with a RA configuration, I have a few options.  A Telrad would be a time-saver as well.

 

Now I want to have a shoot-out between the Meade and the Jaegers.  That would be interesting.

 

And another low pressure area is moving in so we will have cold and clouds for a few days before spring returns.  My next chance is Friday night, so I'm glad I went out last night even though conditions weren't ideal.


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#4499 Augustus

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 03:56 PM

Took out my girlfriend's Tak last night. The objective was extremely far out of collimation - I've never had to deal with this with a refractor. Fixed it and it's ready to go for her to use tonight.


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#4500 Starrynightowl89

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 04:49 AM

Well now, tonight was a night I will remember for some time now. I do believe that the Sagittarius/Scorpio part of the night sky is my new favorite, (close tie with Orion/Taurus.) Tonight I only spent roughly an hour or so outside. Only ended up getting 2.5 hours of sleep but it was not a sacrifice in vain. If I am not mistaken I saw M8 (The Lagoon Nebula), M20 (The Trifid Nebula), M21, M22, M23, M24 (Sagittarius Star Cloud), M25, Jupiter, and Saturn. There was some very faint grey blob that may have been one of the preceding Messier objects but I am unsure. It was extremely faint in a 26mm EP and I couldn't resolve it at all. It was in or near Sagittarius. I also wanted to see if I could find the Cat's Paw Nebula but it was just behind the trees so instead I got to see some of the stars of Scorpius' tail. I usually switch between a Meade 26mm EP and a 15mm Orion Expanse and am looking into getting some nebula filters to add that extra pop. Anyways, I wish everyone clear skies! Now to catch up on some sleep and dream of the heavens.


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