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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#5076 JeniSkunk

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 05:32 AM

Finally got to properly see if my adjusting and working the joints of my RAO 50x500 would pay off.

While I still can't properly manage the gunbarrel sights on the scope, I did, through dumb luck spot something unexpected, ρ Eri, seeing it sharply enough to be able to tell it wasn't a single star, though not magnified enough to see the split between ρ Eri A and ρ Eri B.

I'd been trying to line the scope up on Achernar.

It was checking Stellarium and Sky Safari 6, after the clouds moved in and forced me to give up on viewing for the night, that I was able to ID what I'd seen, of the stars nearby.

TYC 8478-0661-1, TYC 8478-0642-1, TYC 8478-0505-1, HIP 7542 and HIP 7699.

 

edit: fix missing


Edited by JeniSkunk, 18 October 2019 - 05:34 AM.

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#5077 Augustus

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 08:16 PM

Took the C8 all the way to Ward Pound Ridge thinking it'd clear up. It didn't, and the high wind gusts led to me packing up after around 45 minutes. Looked at Jupiter, Saturn, M22 and one other glob in Sagittarius.


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#5078 Esso2112

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:20 AM

Finally did some observing last night. Mostly, with more modern scopes, though. I setup a WO Spacecat 51 for imaging and the Classic TMB 100 f8 for visual.  I did use a 1989’s vintage eyepiece that I recently got, a Masuyama 45mm. Wow, with the TMB, the Mas gave pinpoint stars across the entire field and had that wonderful diamonds on black velvet appearance. The Pleiades was beautifully framed. The Double cluster was nice but neeeded more magnification, so put the Leitz 30mm, which brought out a few more stars in the clusters. 

 

The weatherman lied, as he said it was dry.  About 12:30, the dew hit and I had left off the dew heaters. So packed everything away and went to bed. 

 

I got the Mas 45 a couple of weeks ago at a really good price. Physically, it shows use with some wear on the 2” barrell and minor scratches on the body, but the optics were perfect.  This was my first opportunity to really give it a test and I am very happy with it. 


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#5079 Pete W

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:19 AM

Had the RV-6 (6" F/8) in the backyard last night riding the Losmandy GM-8, and the Sears 6339a (76mm f/15) riding the Tasco's native mount.  Transparency was quite good, seeing was quite poor, surprisingly poor.

 

Found that the GM-8 needed the RA worm adjusted - way too much wiggle.  The last time the mount was used I had some tracking vibrations due to the worm being too tight.  Apparently I loosened it too much back then. 

 

Anyhoo...tracked down a few faint things in the 76mm, namely M110 and indistinct glimpses of M74, but without the 6" confirming the field, M74 would have been invisible through the Sears.

 

Began but did not finish a double star tour from Almach in Andromeda down through Aries, Pisces and ending in Cetus. Prepared this tour before-hand, printing out a small chart laying out the course. Quite fun even with the poor seeing.  Doubles looked significantly better through the Sears.  


Edited by Pete W, 19 October 2019 - 11:20 AM.

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#5080 Augustus

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:13 PM

I brought the C8 to Ward Pound Ridge again tonight. I wasn't expecting much - conditions were pretty bad and I mostly focused on helping this guy set up his new Celestron NexStar Evolution 6. 

 

At around 7:20, two large vans showed up. I was getting ready to pack, and I thought the vans were film crews. There were only maybe five scopes at this point in operation (few WAA members showed up due to the crappy forecast) - even the Evolution guy was packing up. I thought the vans were a film crew or something, and were gonna ruin any meager hopes of observing by erecting giant spotlights (this has happened previously at Ward).

 

Nope. It was about 40 Fordham students doing their observation requirement for Astronomy 101. 

 

Due to the near-overcast skies, there were only a couple other astronomers left on the field, and I unwittingly became the center of attention for about 90 minutes. I showed M31, the Double Cluster, M57, Albireo and Saturn between the clouds.

 

IMG_3420s.jpg

 

So yeah, that was fun.


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#5081 Joe1950

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:20 PM

All right, Zane!!!  Lucky you!!


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#5082 ccwemyss

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:58 PM

I love it when something like that happens! Great work!

 

Probably the biggest example I've encountered was when Halley's comet came around and a few of us in the local club decided to go to a nearby viewpoint, and set up a half dozen scopes and invite some friends. Somehow, word got out, and unbeknownst to us it was announced on one of the local TV news programs. Fortunately, since the comet was such a dud, we also had great views of Saturn, so hundreds of people went away happy that night.

 

Chip W.  


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#5083 rolo

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:34 PM

I brought the C8 to Ward Pound Ridge again tonight. I wasn't expecting much - conditions were pretty bad and I mostly focused on helping this guy set up his new Celestron NexStar Evolution 6. 

 

At around 7:20, two large vans showed up. I was getting ready to pack, and I thought the vans were film crews. There were only maybe five scopes at this point in operation (few WAA members showed up due to the crappy forecast) - even the Evolution guy was packing up. I thought the vans were a film crew or something, and were gonna ruin any meager hopes of observing by erecting giant spotlights (this has happened previously at Ward).

 

Nope. It was about 40 Fordham students doing their observation requirement for Astronomy 101. 

 

Due to the near-overcast skies, there were only a couple other astronomers left on the field, and I unwittingly became the center of attention for about 90 minutes. I showed M31, the Double Cluster, M57, Albireo and Saturn between the clouds.

 

attachicon.gif IMG_3420s.jpg

 

So yeah, that was fun.

Good job young man!



#5084 scrufy

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 02:24 AM

Threw my back out so couldnt even think of my cgx/9.25/72ED setup and decided i wanted to relax with a few beverages outside. Los Angeles area so not really cold. Grabbed my Selsi 60x700 and just sat back and looked at Saturn, Formalhaut, then arcturas. Enjoyable evening with simple grab and go in the backyard and grabbed an eyepiece case so easy fun. Loaned my Monolux out but that would have been even better.


Edited by scrufy, 20 October 2019 - 02:26 AM.

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#5085 rolo

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 09:24 AM

This is my naked eye observation from a few days ago.

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#5086 terraclarke

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:42 AM

We have had the most beautiful October in Kentucky this year in my recent memory!


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#5087 Bomber Bob

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 02:20 PM

If Nestor's stragglers clear out tonight, I got a bunch of stuff to test before The Moon returns:  A 1.25" OIII nebular filter, and a set of "new" (post 2000) 2" eyepieces.  Stubby, Dakin 4, & TN 5 are waiting in the shed -- all 3 scopes have 2" focusers (and all 3 are UO Japan imports from the 1970s with the same basic hardware).  [Stubby = ATM/Edmund 6" F4 Newt, TN = ATM 5" F5 triplet refractor]

 

Work Night, so naturally... Perfect Seeing.  Oh well.  The new 2" eyepieces are Plossl designs, and suit the Dakin 4 to a Tee:  Dark backgrounds, decent fields (Sadr & M29 together in the 40mm), flat to within a small % of the field, and very good resolution.

 

For nebulae, the OIII filter is a definite improvement over the CLS.  M27 was Yuge & mottled in the Dakin at 100x. Can't wait to test this filter in my 8" reflectors!


Edited by Bomber Bob, 20 October 2019 - 08:46 PM.

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#5088 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 09:13 PM

Stubby...  Big on Fun!

 

ATM 150mm F4 Newtonian - S21 (Mizar AR1 EQ Short Pod).jpg

 

My vintage ATM / Edmund 6" F4 on a Mizar AR-1 + Mizar ultra-short tripod, puts the eyepiece at the perfect height for my most comfortable lawn chair.  Seeing tonight was about a 7 -- more moisture in the air than the previous session -- so I didn't test the "new" Meade OIII filter.  Instead, I swept up the Milky Way with a 1960s Edmund 2" Erfle 30mm @ 20x; or, popped up to 67x with a UO 9mm Ortho to split the tighter doubles.

 

Pure-Dee Fun!

 

But... when I upgraded the Edmund 1.25" focuser to a vintage UO 2" model, I didn't move the mirror forward to compensate for the taller unit; and, I didn't replace the diagonal with a larger mirror.  So, upgrades on the list for this old Newt.


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#5089 Corcaroli78

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 02:11 AM

Hi Forum,

 

with the perspective of some clear spots in the night cloudy sky, I took my Telementor II to the balcony and after some minutes, i positively found Uranus. It was not precisely a visual highlight at 120x, but i found interesting to compare it with nearby stars of the similar magnitude to see the difference in brightness, scintillation, color etc.

 

After that, i moved to the Pleiades and spent ca. 30 min with special interest in Alcyone and the doubles around it.

 

My plan was to move to Auriga, which was well positioned in the sky, but while having a phone call, the clouds covered the sky and i ended the session. 

 

Clear skies to all!

Carlos


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#5090 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 06:06 PM

Yes, it's a work night.  Yes, the seeing will be near perfect.  Oh.  Well.

 

Got my FluoroDuo prepped & waiting in the shed:

 

2x Fluorite APOs Piggyback on Polaris Mizar S01.jpg

 

Stubby is out there, too, but I'm gonna leave her buttoned-up -- no star sweeping tonight.  Instead, I'm going to systematically explore the NW third of Pegasus:  from Beta to the borders of Cygnus & Vulpecula and back again.  Lots of doubles, and lots of colorful stars, and these two Classic APOs do so well with the latter.  I'll get to see all sorts of reds, blues, oranges, and weird combinations of these & others.

 

Bout to head out & grab Saturn before it slips too close to the pollution dome, then dinner, and then the fun begins.

 

I started with the new Baader prism in the FL80, and my 40+ year old Tani in the FC50.  But during my star comparisons, I swapped the prisms.  The Baader let the 50 go a bit dimmer.  Otherwise, star colors & resolution were about identical.

 

Star colors... so natural in these fluorites, and pretty much matched between them.

 

Star fields in Pegasus aren't rich in these small fracs set up in my urban backyard.  OTOH, it made the doubles and the red stars obvious.  I had both scopes at 40x using spectros .965" Kellner eyepieces.  After a few double comparisons, I could predict which ones would elude the FC50.  

 

After I finished my section for the night, I popped the Edmund RKE "space walk" eyepieces in, and turned to the Milky Way in Cygnus, and got my Rich Fields fix.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 23 October 2019 - 09:11 PM.

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#5091 ccwemyss

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 09:33 PM

Had most of the class out for an evening of observing. Took along the Unitron 114 that I'm getting ready to go out, to test things. The tailpiece is a little weak, with the diagonal flopping over too easily, and the azimuth axis is a bit stiff. So it's good I checked. Optically, it was wonderful.

 

Started with Saturn, of course. Then Pleiades, M31, and Alberio. The Pleiades were very popular. 

 

It was mostly a night for constellation work, with moon out of the way. Part of the class involves making a star atlas, and then choosing a constellation to paint with its mythical figure. As often happens with all the preparatory work, the students were very excited to recognize the figures they have been working with. Lots of exclamations of, "Oh my gosh! There it is! It really looks like it!" The one who is painting Delphinus was especially pleased. It was high up and sparkling, so quite beautiful for being so tiny. 

 

Chip W. 


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#5092 Pete W

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 08:35 PM

Been playing with the old Kowa TS-1 spotting scope picked up off of the local Facebook Marketplace.  After cleaning up the objective and internal prisms it does well spying on the, flowers, monarchs and anole lizards in the garden.  So far I've been pleasantly surprised.

 

Towa Prominar TS-1.jpg

 

With their 1.25" barrels removed, my Meade and Celestron eyepieces will almost thread into it, giving more magnification options than the native 25X eyepiece.  I figure that the scope has a 370-380mm-ish focal length; the 20mm Meade Wide View gives a wonderful view at about 18X and my 7.5 Ultima plossl should be around 45X.  Perhaps I will find some native eyepieces for it one day.

 

Astronomy-wise, at 45X Jupiter's disk revealed one fairly obvious band and four Galilean moons were visible with one nearly touching the eastern limb.   Saturn's rings stood out at the same mag.    Alpha Herc was split but challenging - the orange-red color of the primary stood out. Andromeda and M32 looked great at the native 25X along with the double cluster.  Almach (gamma And) had a distinct color contrast at 45X.   Also tracked down M2, M22, M28 and even M17 was faintly visible through the Austin skyglow @ 25X.

 

Considering the 4 uncoated prisms that the light path passes through, the star images aren't too shabby - definitely not disappointed with it.  


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#5093 kansas skies

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 11:13 PM

After finally breaking down and purchasing a late seventies 3.5" Questar Standard, I'm now in the process of trying to decide which scopes to keep and which need to be moved along in an effort to keep the peace (IOW, pay for the Questar). So, last night I took out my late seventies Celestron C8 along with the Questar. What I found to be amazing was that the Questar was ready to go in about fifteen minutes, while the C8 never settled down. The temperature was steadily dropping and the C8 couldn't catch up. The Questar acts like a beautiful little refractor, displaying Epsilon Lyra as four tiny little points of light, each with a single diffraction ring that was ever so slightly more pronounced than my C80 or C100E refractors would display. The C8 showed two elongated sparkly blobs that would occasionally break down into binary elements. Due to the terrible seeing conditions, Saturn was immersed in shimmery soup. Once again, the Questar stole the show. Then again, since I can only go to around 133x with the Questar, I felt that there was room for even more magnification, but probably not much due the poor seeing conditions. It is important to realize that my C8 is actually an extremely capable scope and was only struggling due to the poor seeing. I just thought it was interesting that the Questar seemed to be relatively unaffected by the seeing. On a slightly different note, I could have simply installed a 2.5" to 3" off-axis mask to the C8 and achieved refractor-like results from it as well, which is what I would normally have done given the poor seeing. I would then remove the mask for extended objects where light gathering power was of greater concern.

 

Tonight I repeated the events of last night, only this time I took out my 7" Meade Mak and the Questar. The temperature was probably twenty degrees colder than last night. With a fairly strong wind blowing, it was to the point of being uncomfortable. I expected a little better showing with the Meade, but found the Meade's behavior almost identical to that of the C8 from the night before. Again, the Questar stole the show.

 

Something tells me this is not going to be an easy decision as I really have no desire to sell any of my scopes. Realistically, the C8 and Meade perform almost identically, so I'd have to admit that they probably are redundant. At this time, I feel fairly strongly that the C8 will end up staying, not so much due to the optics, but more for the whole package.

 

Bill


Edited by kansas skies, 27 October 2019 - 11:15 PM.

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#5094 BKSo

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 12:02 AM

Took my 2045 to another star party at Saturday night, and along with it I got a new, decidedly non-classic 64mm DIY Dollond eyepiece (that gives maximum exit pupil) for first light under realistic conditions.

Sky was clear and Bortle 3.

 

NGC7000 Mainly used 64 D + k-uhc. Looked like there were faint nebulosity everywhere but difficult to pinpoint. Brighter patches would disappear when centered. After some searching managed to find the Mexican Gulf part, with brighter nebular surrounding a round nebula-less patch.
NGC6960 Faint, even with 64 D + k-uhc. Straight, thin bar going through the star 52 Cyg.
NGC6995 Much easier then NGC6960. With 64 D + k-uhc looks like a photo.
IC1396 Used both 40 PL and 64 D, with and without filter. Very large, bright, round open cluster, but no nebulosity.
NGC253 Used 40 PL. Elongated. No detail. Meh.
NGC246 Small, eggshaped. Not too difficult with averted vision.
NGC7293 Used 40 PL + k-uhc. Some hint of darker center, like fainter and bigger version of M57. The transparency at low southern sky was not that good. Meh.
M45, NGC1435, NGC1432 Used 64 D. Area between the 4 main stars notably darker. Brighter patch near Merope moves with the stars and unchanged in shape or brightness even when main stars moved out of the field. This confirms the sighting was not some artifact.
NGC7789 Beautiful mist with partially resolved star with 40 PL. 8.3 GSWH turned the whole cluster into a loose group of faint stars. Not pretty.
NGC6939, NGC6946 NGC6946 seen as small and nearly round with 40 PL. Pretty much averted vision only.
M52, NGC7635 Seen both with 64 D + k-uhc. Small, round, not so difficult. Then I asked my buddy to show me the same object with a 8" Dob to reconfirmed the 4” observation. Hint of a second, fainter patch of nebulosity.
NGC281 Very elongated with 64 D + k-uhc. Did not quite looked like what I recalled but cannot be wrong.
IC405? Probable. Hint of something at reported position using averted vision. Forgot exactly which eyepiece/filter combo tried.
NGC2264 Easy with 64 D + k-uhc.
NGC2244 Again used 64 D + k-uhc. Nebulosity seen while panning around keeping cluster at edge of field. Revisited later and was even easier (somewhat visible with direct vision).
NGC2359 Easy to find. Best with 40 PL + k-uhc. Quite bright (much better than the fainter nebulae above), rectangular about 3:1, some more irregularity but could not see clearly.
M42 Test 64 D + k-uhc. Loop structure. > 1 degree.

 

Also watch Uranus with the *" Dob. Blue disc. 2 moons very close.

Saw at least 3 bright meteorites with trail.


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#5095 Bonco2

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 04:05 PM

I love reading Meade 2045 reports. A very underrated telescope. Finally got a good tripod for mine. It's a tripod made for the ETX and has a latitude flip plate. So now I appreciate the fine fork mount and have a lightweight grab and go. Recently very pleased with Saturn and Jupiter observations. Will be doing some double star observations in the near future.

Bill


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#5096 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 06:57 PM

So I decided to take my wife and especially my 32 year old daughter away from some of the local foolishness and agita going on here        so we packed up and drove to a friend's farm in Southern Maine (N Berwick)

 

I had left a Meade 314 up there last year       I grabbed the Selsi 80mm and we were on our way. Despite the monsoons predicted for Sunday     Saturday evening was delightful   clear cool moonless    and 60 acres gently sloping due south. We had a good night on the usual suspects  Jupiter for a short time sinking into the western muck        Saturn  was  much better   then on to some doubles......Everyone was pleased  especially the newbees    everyone .....except me.... what was I thinking? Much darker skies and clear views with treeless farmland  and I did not bring another larger and or   wider field scope....

 

note to self    next time  bring the big Tak   and the new to me the wideflatfield NP 101  and / or the  C-8 

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Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 28 October 2019 - 07:00 PM.

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#5097 2696

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 09:35 PM

I had my Mayflower 814 out for a little while earlier for the first time. And when I say a little while, I mean it, the clouds cleared out for me right as I was getting out of work and came back only about 30-45 minutes later.

But while I was out there, I caught Jupiter through a small clearing in the trees before it went down. Obviously it was super low so it didn't look great. Though I could still make out 2 cloud bands, as per in a 60mm scope in decent conditions. Next I had to move across the yard to another even smaller clearing in the trees for Saturn. Saturn looked great, super sharp. I had Saturn for the shortest amount of time, unfortunately, before it went behind a big tree. After, I moved over to M13. Looked nice, but I noticed that my EP's were plagued with dew, only after about 20 minutes. But they weren't completely shot yet, I ended up just sweeping around Cassiopeia to end the very quick first light..

Even though it was such a quick session and under some not great conditions, it was still exciting. I've been very excited to use this scope under the stars so I was satisfied. Looking forward to using this scope much more!
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#5098 semiosteve

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 09:31 AM

Last night may be the last clear night (above freezing) until April here.

 

I went out to test my Tasco 10TE mounted for the first time on a workhorse CG-5. I also mounted a nice new 60mm Stellarview finder.

 

Goal was to test "go to" which was only partially successful (i.e. never got very close to objects).

 

But my consolation prize was to be able to enjoy steady, long views of the double cluster in Perseus with a variety of EP's with the Tasco tracking on the CG5 (vs original Tasco mount),

 

The sweetest view was with an old Meade MA 25 eyepiece, closely followed by an old Masuyama 35mm with 1.25 adaptor.

 

Black with pinpoint stars and both clusters in same view.

 

OK so the actual observation is not newsworthy, but the point I'd like to make here is that I own much bigger scopes. Yet there is still something magical about ANY good view of an interesting object with any good scope.

 

I lingered in the frost, forgetting goto and AL lists and EP comparison and lost myself in the simple act of observing.

 

Hope you all the same.

 

Best,

Steve


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#5099 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 10:55 AM

I had my Mayflower 814 out for a little while earlier for the first time. ….

Even though it was such a quick session and under some not great conditions, it was still exciting. I've been very excited to use this scope under the stars so I was satisfied. Looking forward to using this scope much more!

Really like the little Mayflower 814 myself        I  have had mine out only a few times so far since I got it 7 weeks ago but I have been impressed with it   especially the easy mechanics of the mount     just received the adapter to convert it to 1.25 eyepieces    best 14.00 dollars I have spent this year...…………..  enjoy it


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#5100 2696

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 11:16 AM

Really like the little Mayflower 814 myself I have had mine out only a few times so far since I got it 7 weeks ago but I have been impressed with it especially the easy mechanics of the mount just received the adapter to convert it to 1.25 eyepieces best 14.00 dollars I have spent this year...………….. enjoy it


I too was impressed with the mount, as lightweight as it is, it's surprisingly stable. It's extremely smooth as well. The only thing I would want for it is some more height, but I suppose this one will be used sitting rather than standing, which I don't mind at all. I plan on getting the vixen adapter for it too, it'll just make it that much better. Very excited for that.
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