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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#4526 Tourneciel

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 02:46 AM

Glad to see your setup Peter.

 

Two days ago, I took mine on the balcony (used my Orion tripod + fine adjustment mount) to look at the moon. I used my meade 8-24 zoom eyepiece and, despite some turbulences sometimes, I had very nice images of Clavius at 100 x

 

Next time, I'll try my ES 5.6mm to see what it looks like. If the weather forecast here in Brittany are not responding to my demands, I just give up observing.

 

Yesterday, I was monitoring my two young, sleeping children and so needed a mobile set-up to enjoy the 6 day old Moon. Evenings are getting brighter but lovely just to be able to sit outside and observe the Moon gradually becoming more and more pronounced in the evening sky.

I used my Bresser 80/800 Mangin Cassegrain on its screw-in legs - nice and stable (it's nearly all metal, deceptively heavy) on my garden table. The fine-controls work very smoothly. I used the supplied 25mm Kellner and took some shots with an attached smartphone. I didn't really push things too hard at all when it comes to magnification - I was happy with a 12.5mm Plössl. This is a scope that I use more as a daytime spotter (thanks to the generosity of CN's Tourneciel!) but as a ultra portable, table top instrument, it is a pleasure to use for relaxed lunar observing.


Edited by Tourneciel, 15 May 2019 - 02:50 AM.

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#4527 AllanDystrup

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 03:08 AM

.

     It's closing time of galaxy season, and the moon is swimming naked (as Cohen sang...) -- at least up here in The Kingdom at 56dg North --, so I've spent the past couple of nights trying to scout out the Abell galaxy clusters forming the "Sloan Great Wall" in central Virgo. Talk about faint White Walkers... My weapon of choice was my "big" classic Zeiss 4" refractor on motorized EQ mount. I've described some of my latest galaxy observations with this set up here (and in the previous posts).

 

     -- Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 15 May 2019 - 03:14 AM.

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#4528 terraclarke

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:31 PM

I spent two hours quality time out on the deck last night viewing the moon as well. I didn’t have a classic out tho, but instead my Celestron Omni 4” F9.8 on a GEM, which looks and behaves like a classic, and I did use my full set of classic circle T volcano-top eyepieces. It was nice to just polar align, turn on the drive and let it track all evening. I started right around sun down and had everything back inside around 10:15PM. Tycho was wonderful as a starting point, then a brief detour to Clavius, then back up to Deslandres, Hell and Bullialdus in a traverse across the expanse of Mare Nubium ending with Copernicus on the sea’s northern margin, and then into Mare Imbrium stopping at Archemedes and finally ending my tour at Plato. I guess you could say that my quarry last night were my favorite walled plains and ringed mountains. I saw several craterlets on the floor of Plato using my 4mm Edscorp Ortho. All in all, it was quite a pleasant journey. I was quite pleased with the operation of the Synta-made refractor. CA is very well controlled, images are sharp and contrasty. I picked it up late last year when in the mood for another longish achromat after selling my F15 and F11. I have to say, this one is considerably more manageable and I’m quite pleased with it. I got it with solar observing in mind and also as a scope to take to outreach events, but it makes a very nice lunar cruiser as well. It handles 250X well, so I’m happy.
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#4529 Compressorguy

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:04 PM

Got a couple precious moments this evening with my teenage son and the Polarex 128 looking at Apollo landing sites! We also munched on some Nutty Buddies while observing. Can’t beat that! Good times!

 

BCFB98FE-564E-4008-A8CB-7E42BD1B7F89.jpeg


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#4530 highfnum

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 05:16 AM

with near full moon eh- the moon

jaeger 83mm F 11

 

jag83southside.jpg

 

 


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#4531 Bomber Bob

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 09:49 PM

Before the Full Moon rose & wrecked things, I got in a short & sweet DSO session with my APM 152ED + Takahashi FC-50 (riding shotgun).  What made it really Classic?  Both fracs were riding on my antique Tinsley EQ & pedestal.  I'd forgotten what a superb platform this mount is for everything from low power sweeping to high power serious observing.

 

First bright star to appear in the 50mm's sights was Algieba.  Absolutely gorgeous split with the 152 at 100x; the 50mm fluorite at 80x (spectros 5mm Plossl) was tough!  Both stars are intensely bright in it -- the primary is a deep orange, and in this scope almost overwhelms the secondary.  In the 152ED, I saw a very bright orange red and a orangish/yellowish fainter companion.

 

I set the FC-50 to 20x (Meade RG ER20), and the 152 to 43x (RKE 28mm), then swung the rig east.  Arcturus was blazing against the faint moonglow.  Star-hopped with the Tak, and... Bam!  Messier 3 stood out like a tiny fuzzy Q-Tip.  At 43x the 6" ED showed more, and I went straight to 120x with my spectros 10mm Kellner.  The globular took up about a third of the absolutely flat field.  Straight-on, I saw a reverse check-mark; while with averted vision, the core split into 2 messy blobs, one about half the size of the other, and the outermost stars popped in & out of view.

 

Now the moonglow had me under the gun.  I swept back west to the Sickle, and zig-zagged north & east, grabbing as many doubles as I could.  A few I knew from memory, but most I'd have to look up.  The Tiny Tak caught one -- looked like a squashed Figure 8, but split nicely in the 152.


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#4532 Steve Allison

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 08:27 PM

with near full moon eh- the moon

jaeger 83mm F 11

 

attachicon.gif jag83southside.jpg

That is one nice photograph!


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#4533 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:14 PM

It's a great Moon shot -- look at all those rays, like a giant spider straddling the globe...



#4534 TerryWood

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 08:41 AM

Early yesterday morning I set up the Questar 3.5 and ZWO 178 monocam to take some images of Jupiter and Saturn. The seeing was pretty steady with some intervals of rippling here and there. Jupiter was captured at it's maximum of 26 degrees elevation. Saturn was a bit lower. The weather forecast was for clouds and possible rain. Glad they were way off base this time!

 

V/R

 

Terry

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#4535 Garyth64

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:36 AM

Those two are great shots!

 

And it looks like the Red Spot has turned into an eye.


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#4536 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:02 AM

I have a medical procedure this morning, so no work today, which meant I got to stay up a bit later last night.  Clear skies, no Moon, and my Dakin 4" F10 + The Triple Nickel (ATM 5" F5), with some sweeping & some serious (for me) observing.

 

Tried some galaxy sweeping through Leo & Virgo with the 5" RFT, and came along behind with the Dakin 4.  I had the RKE 21mm in the former for about 30x, and the Meade RG ER 20mm in the latter for about 50x.  In town, the Realm of Galaxies is more like Guess the Messier! in about 7 / 10 seeing (increased humidity hurt transparency).  Only the largest & brightest members stood out against the background, but I enjoyed that challenge.

 

Hopped from Vindemiatrix to Coma.  M53 in the RFT really is a tiny (tiny!) fuzzy star, and a small faint globular in the Dakin.  At 110x, it reminded me of M56 in Lyra -- but easier to find, with Alpha CB just to the SW, and the background is sparser.  Naturally, continued north to M3.  My Vixen 8" Field Mak opens this globular up in ways the 4" frac can't, but the view is sharper.

 

Strange, but it was easier to spot The Whirlpool in the RFT's 60mm finder than in the 5" itself -- slightly brighter large hazy patch vs. a hazy patch right at my limits.  (Mel 111 is a true cluster in that 60mm, too.)  But my big target for the night was M101, and I spent the most time studying it in the Dakin.  It took magnification better than I expected, and at 143x with the Nagler 7mm, I broke out the brightest arm from the star-like core -- I'm gonna have to use the VMC200L on this one.  Decades ago, this galaxy was "easy" in the 8" Newt RFT that I made, but that crude reflector was magnification-limited -- especially compared to the CAT.  Back then, I had my Tasco/Towa 80mm F15, and I ignored M101 for the M81/M82 duo.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 22 May 2019 - 02:01 PM.

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#4537 Steve Allison

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:15 PM

I managed to get in some quick views of Jupiter and Saturn last night, although both were pretty low in the sky. During moments of steady seeing, the views through my Tak FS-102NSV with my new Baader Zeiss Diagonal and Nikon 5MM .965 eyepiece were everything I had hoped they would be.

 

The power of 164 was just right and the views were bitingly sharp, color-free and detailed. I believe I was getting the best performance any four inch telescope of any design could possibly provide. No need to wonder anymore...

 

But...and I know I may be sounding like a broken record here...my Brandon 3 inch F/15 refractor was throwing up some views of these two gas giants that would likely satisfy any casual observer. If all I could own for the rest of my days was this little 3 inch achromat, I would not feel despondent.

 

Steve


Edited by Steve Allison, 22 May 2019 - 08:30 PM.

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#4538 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:05 PM

Literally just sat down.  Better transparency tonight, but we paid for it:  95F evaporated all the moisture!  Just one scope:  My VMC200L.  Not a Classic, but my main test was aperture not scope type.  An 8" reflector vs. a 4" refractor.  Local civil sunset at 1921L.  Clean split of Castor at 1941L -- couldn't see it without optical aid.  M3 at 2017L.  M53 at 2026L.  And, M101 at 2035L.  Were these DSOs blazing against a black sky?  Nope.  Skies weren't dark purple until about 2025L.  But an 8" reflector at 50x opens up a lot of sky.


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#4539 Steve Allison

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:58 PM

Well, it's nice and clear out here in Olympia, Washington. I should be able to try out my new (to me) mid-1970's, Celestron orange tube C-8 later this evening.

 

I am pretty excited, 'cause I think I've got myself a goodun'. The air has calmed down a little and the vintage SCT displayed a really nice star test using the tiny reflection off a telephone insulator.

 

In focus with my Takahashi 4mm Hi-Ortho eyepiece (500X), the insulator itself was quite sharp and clear, and the Airy disk formed by the Sun's reflection was round and intense. One diffraction ring was evident, surrounded by a small amount of "junk" caused by the unsteady air. 

 

The above results are similar to those produced by my optically excellent Meade 2045, 4 inch SCT, and are much better than those displayed by a SP-C8 I used to own in the late 1980's.

 

I will post the evening's results late tonight or tomorrow. Can you tell I am excited?

 

Steve


Edited by Steve Allison, 23 May 2019 - 01:47 PM.

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#4540 Steve Allison

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:46 PM

Well, the air was so bumpy last night everything was just a swirling mass in the eyepiece. I was, however, able to totally torque my back lifting and carrying the C-8 out into the yard. I am still paying for it today. I am afraid this telescope is not for me, regardless of how good optically it might turn out to be.

 

Creaky old back Steve


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#4541 steve t

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 03:43 PM

Well, the air was so bumpy last night everything was just a swirling mass in the eyepiece. I was, however, able to totally torque my back lifting and carrying the C-8 out into the yard. I am still paying for it today. I am afraid this telescope is not for me, regardless of how good optically it might turn out to be.

 

Creaky old back Steve

Sorry to hear about your back, but understand where you're coming from. I did the same thing moving my 6" scope a couple of weeks ago and now thinking of downsizing to a smaller scopefrown.gif

Steve T 



#4542 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 07:48 PM

The Swamp at 2330Z (1930L):

 

Temperature  88°F (31°C)

Humidity 52%
Wind Speed SE 6 mph
Dewpoint 68°F (20°C)
Heat Index 92°F (33°C)

Seeing 8 / 10 [DSO]

 

BB & the Triple Nickel -- sweatin' & regrettin' on another crystal clear Work Night...

 

Kept it simple:  My 5" F5 triplet on the Goto 106 EQ + 2" dielectric diagonal + 2" UO 30mm Erfle for a whopping 20x & huge field of view.  Got M3 at 0126Z [2026L].  Kept the DEC axis locked, and started E - W stair-step sweeping, field by field.  Got to the western fringe of our LPD [Light Pollution Dome], shifted north one field, and swept East.  Didn't stop until I got to M81/M82. 

 

Along the way... double stars.  Seemed like I got at least one pair every other field.  The highlight:  The Whirlpool.  The bright core was a lop-sided oval.  Jiggling the scope a bit made NGC 5195 visible, too.  20x didn't resolve the arms.  These were very very faint, like a tiny patch of thin cirrus.  M51 was barely seen in the 9x60 finder; odd, as I've gotten good views in my vintage Selsi 20x60 binoculars.

 

Oh, and meteors.  Some bright tumblers, most while I was in Bootes, and they seemed to be coming from SE Ursa Major.  Combine this weird triplet's edge of field "starship" smear effect with a 2" Erfle, and these would enter the field like psychedelic comets, become flashing dots of orange to red, then exit with a reverse comet to smear pattern. 


Edited by Bomber Bob, 23 May 2019 - 10:12 PM.

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#4543 photiost

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:57 PM

Literally just sat down.  Better transparency tonight, but we paid for it:  95F evaporated all the moisture!  Just one scope:  My VMC200L.  Not a Classic, but my main test was aperture not scope type.  An 8" reflector vs. a 4" refractor.  Local civil sunset at 1921L.  Clean split of Castor at 1941L -- couldn't see it without optical aid.  M3 at 2017L.  M53 at 2026L.  And, M101 at 2035L.  Were these DSOs blazing against a black sky?  Nope.  Skies weren't dark purple until about 2025L.  But an 8" reflector at 50x opens up a lot of sky.

 

Yes I find the 8in reflector works very well even from my suburban backyard.

 

Club observing scheduled for this Saturday, lets hope the skies clear !!


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#4544 Bomber Bob

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 06:02 AM

M51 was barely seen in the 9x60 finder; odd, as I've gotten good views in my vintage Selsi 20x60 binoculars.

 

Well... duh-huh.  (Yeah, I was tired last night.)  Two eyes beats one with a low contrast object (from my urban backyard, M51's arms are definitely low contrast).  Growing up in the country, M51 was clearly visible in my used & abused 50mm Nikon binoculars.  Lots of fuzzies were observable in that higher-elevation & lower-humidity environment, and I took that for granted.  Until I joined the BAS, and heard members talk about driving an hour to get away from B'ham light pollution.

 

The Vixen 8" helps, and makes me wonder if my Tinsley mount could carry an 8" F4 refractor RFT...


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#4545 Bomber Bob

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 10:54 PM

In a Coma with the RV-6

 

I went through 2 sweat rags in an hour-long study of Coma Berenices with my 1971 Criterion RV-6 on the Vixen Polaris + short pedestal.  It hit 98F today, and wasn't much cooler at 0100Z.  Before Coma, I got the RV-6 up to 200x on Algieba, and saw nested faint crosses from the vanes, and 2 picture-perfect Airy disks.

 

I centered Alpha CB around 0200, spent a few minutes on M53, then started my galaxy quest with the Meade RG 20mm Erfle for 60x.  M64 was tougher to find going from Alpha than following the "hair" stars from Gamma.  The core was larger & brighter than I remember.  I got a hint of the "black eye" at 100x, and a better view at 133x with the UO HD OR9.  Using the CLS filter made lane blacker by a bit.  M85 was disappointing.  I used the hair again in the N-S 50mm RACI finder to get in the area.  At 60x, I could see a small low-contrast shape, that didn't improve much bumping up the power.  M100 made up for it a bit.  Its small bright core was easy at 60x, and I got a good view of its stretched oval shape at 170x with the Nagler 7 -- plenty of black space around it.

 

The Royal 1.25" focuser carries the heavy eyepieces well.  It's probably about the same age as my RV-6.

 

Some CNers caught flak for posting that "there's nothing to see right now" with no planets in the night sky.  I get what they mean.  Hauling out gear in this heat stinks (literally, with all the sweat!).  And hunting faint fuzzies in town is a challenge.  I doubt that I'd be out there if we'd had a normal winter, but 98% of the "comfortable" nights were overcast, so I'm enjoying the views & using this old gear -- that still works after decades.  But 2 hours is my limit.  So is equipment weight + the hassle factor.  When I got home from work, my Little APOs looked like better options than my reflectors, but the RV-6 is ultra-light for its aperture.  And its views are so good.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 25 May 2019 - 07:58 AM.

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#4546 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:02 PM

Last night I returned to Bootes & Coma Berenices to finish the observing part of my Bresser Messier AR-102L review -->  https://www.cloudyni...essier-ar-102l/

 

The Bresser isn't a Classic, but I also had my vintage Tiny Tak (FC-50) as a companion to the 4" F13.5 achromatic, and the 50mm F8 fluorite delivered some big views.  I started out with the Tak following along as I moved the Bresser from object to object, checking star colors & seeing.  But when I finished with the Bresser, I went all over the sky with the Tak on the VersaGo.  First of all, stars seem brighter in this 50mm frac than they should.  I fitted it with my Baader 1.25" prism diagonal plus a Meade RG 20mm Erfle for 20x to start.

 

M3 was large & bright, even after I jumped to 80x with a vintage spectros 5mm Plossl.  M53 wasn't visible at 20x, but I got the core at 50x with an RKE 8mm.  24 Comae was pretty & tight at 20x, and just about as bright at 80x.  I kept that power when I swung west, to just south of Berenice's last "hair" and nabbed the tighter & dimmer yellow-orange pair [Struve ????].

 

From Coma, I went all over the meridian from south to north, and that's when I was surprised by how rich the fields were for this dinky APO.  Cor Caroli -- holy moly!   Alpha-2 is bright white with a suggestion of blue-green, while Alpha-1 is fainter & yellow-white (vs. the "pale lilac" 19th Century descriptions).  I dropped down to 20x, and tried for The Whirlpool, but no joy.  No finder on the Tiny Tak, so I used the 20x to star-hop, and finished up the session hunting down doubles in Ursa Major & Draco.

 

Last night was the driest & clearest so far in The Swamp's mini-drought (no rain for at least 3 weeks).  I'll be watering grass & flowers tomorrow!


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#4547 memento

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:05 PM

A short glimpse on M13, M29, M39, M57 yesterday evening at a friend's terrace with my trusty C5+ and the 30mm silvertop Plössl.

 

DSCF8098_lr.jpg


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#4548 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:21 PM

Thomas, you're reading my mind -- stop it.  (That path leads straight to insanity.)

 

Before I saw your post, I had already planned for a Holiday Night CAT Fight with my orange C5 Astro and my 1958 Questar (on the Meade 884 tripod).


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#4549 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:16 PM

My CATs tried to fight tonight...

 

2x CATs on Meade Tripods S02.jpg

 

... but collapsed from heat exhaustion 2 minutes into Round One!

 

I made it for about 90 miserable & sweaty minutes -- a rag in my left hand the whole time.  I already know these 2 Cats -- views are tighter in the Questar & brighter in the C5 -- so I just enjoyed the differences.  It's forecast to be cooler next weekend, so I'm done for a while, but these clear dry Moon-less nights have been about as good as it gets at The Swamp.


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#4550 deepwoods1

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 10:30 PM

Cloudy, yet again........




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