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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#5276 barbie

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 09:31 PM

I'm really looking forward to using my vintage 32mm Erfle in my 4"F11 Apo!!


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#5277 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 08:49 AM

Hey, I agree! I have several Erfles from 20mm to 32mm and they are great in longer scopes. I wouldn’t part with the ones I have. But when you get down to F4 or F5 they start to really show their shortcomings if you’re using them with a scope that doesn’t have a field flattener.

I forgot to test my TV eyepieces with it.  But I will the next time -- hopefully tonight.  NWS forecast is promising, so I plan to set up my APM 152ED.  The TN on the VG is good companion to The Beast.

 

[Big Sigh]

 

NWS was wrong as usual.  No APM 152 tonight.  Instead, I'll cloud-dodge with my RV-6 on the Mizar AR-1 + ShortPod, and maybe get in some star clusters with the Triple Nickle + VersaGo -- and test my Televue eyepieces in that weird 5" F5 triplet.

 

Though the NWS gives me indigestion, there's no sour grapes here, no making lemonade from lemons.  Prior the the 6" ED, my Dynascope was my cat's meow "large" scope.  In terms of actual use, it still is.

 

I really wanted to use my Big ED tonight, since it's been months in its case, but my RV-6 performed like at least a 120mm aperture APO -- maybe a bit larger.  Seeing started out ~ 7/10, but after about an hour, during which I could feel the moisture seeping up from the soaked ground, the skies fogged, and I called it quits.

 

The TN 5 does very well with Nagler eyepieces:  Flatter field, and better color correction.  Both scopes at ~ 90x, and the 5" was only slightly behind in resolution with the 6" Newt.  25mm / 20mm / 15mm Naglers would be a great set for it.  


Edited by Bomber Bob, 01 February 2020 - 10:26 PM.

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#5278 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 04 February 2020 - 05:09 PM

We've been socked in here for the last week or more. I really wanted to see Venus and Neptune together, but no dice. But the other night, my son in Heidelberg sent a Snapchat photo of a clear blue sky just after sunset, so I set up the Vixen 80L and hoped the sky would clear. A half hour later, the sky was clear and I started by looking for Neptune. I looked great, though low in the sky. The blue color was very apparent. As I was looking, I saw the clouds entering the FOV! Oh no, that didn't take long. They were back already. As Neptune disappeared, I moved up to Venus. I wanted to test this scope so I pushed it up to 240x with an LV5 eyepiece. There was only a slight amount of false color, only on one side. Couls that be caused by the unsteady air? Venus soon was covered by the clouds, so I swung over to the moon. Here I had virtually no false color, and great detail along the terminator. I even picked up a few mounds because the contrast was really good. Finally, as the clouds came, I hit Orion. I did a tour of the main items. M42 was good, but not as bright as in my bigger scopes. But the stars were really fine points, and looked great. I hit some of the doubles, a couple carbon stars, and a few clusters before I had to surrender to the clouds. I was glad to have gotten in a good hour's viewing with what is rapidly becoming my favorite scope. 


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#5279 Uranotopia

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 05:56 PM

Today was first light of my Tasco 102M (I reported about the purchase and the scope one and a half week ago), I only used the 0.96" original equipment (including star diagonal and eyepieces).

The observation of the moon today was amazing, so many details of Gassendi I could see! Many little bright spots on the bottom of Mare Humorum, that are little craters, also two or three Rimae... such a wonderful image of the moon, I haven't seen before with a 4" achromat!

After this, I watched Rigel, could split it without any problem: the faint double was 'at seven o'clock', just a little faint spot. But it wasn't difficult to split in my 5mm Ortho! Although this is an achromat, the blueish fringe when using higher magnification is just visible, but not disturbing.

I' ve really enjoyed this evening with this 'new classic' refractor!


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#5280 Uranotopia

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 06:07 PM

We've been socked in here for the last week or more. I really wanted to see Venus and Neptune together, but no dice. But the other night, my son in Heidelberg sent a Snapchat photo of a clear blue sky just after sunset, so I set up the Vixen 80L and hoped the sky would clear. A half hour later, the sky was clear and I started by looking for Neptune. I looked great, though low in the sky. The blue color was very apparent. As I was looking, I saw the clouds entering the FOV! Oh no, that didn't take long. They were back already. As Neptune disappeared, I moved up to Venus. I wanted to test this scope so I pushed it up to 240x with an LV5 eyepiece. There was only a slight amount of false color, only on one side. Couls that be caused by the unsteady air? Venus soon was covered by the clouds, so I swung over to the moon. Here I had virtually no false color, and great detail along the terminator. I even picked up a few mounds because the contrast was really good. Finally, as the clouds came, I hit Orion. I did a tour of the main items. M42 was good, but not as bright as in my bigger scopes. But the stars were really fine points, and looked great. I hit some of the doubles, a couple carbon stars, and a few clusters before I had to surrender to the clouds. I was glad to have gotten in a good hour's viewing with what is rapidly becoming my favorite scope. 

The Vixen 80L is told to be a very good telescope!

I find it interesting that you report about using a Vixen LV eyepiece -'as I like these eyepieces very much, bought more than only ten of them, and started a new topic in the Forum 'equipment/eyepieces'...IMO these eyepieces fit very good with refractors, especially achromats, nevertheless there might be better (but more expensive) eyepieces.


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#5281 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 07:54 PM

I love the old Vixen LVs too! I have a set of them and a set of 1.25” circle T volcano top orthos that are my staples.


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#5282 oldmanastro

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 11:09 PM

I took the Sears 76mm f/16 equatorial out for a quiet and relaxing observing session. It was a deep sky and doubles night. Using my old 1966 Norton's Star Atlas I went after M93 after having observed M46, M50, M42, gamma leonis, Rigel and others. The moon was past first quarter and illuminating the sky. I found M93 after a while and looked for its reported starfish shape using a surplus 17mm Erfle eyepiece with a fantastic field of view. What I saw looked more like an X with a crooked side but it was a nice small open cluster. Averted vision showed much more. Tracking was done manually with the old but well maintained and refurbished equatorial mount just to remind me of times when clock drives were a luxury. The session also required bodily positions that I should not be attempting at this stage of my life and for which I will pay dearly tomorrow. It was a wonderful observing session nonetheless.

 

Clear Skies!


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#5283 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 06:01 PM

Today was an amazingly clear day so I took the opportunity to hunt down Mercury. So at sunset I packed the Vixen 80L into the SUV and went off to my usual Mercury "sunset" observation site, a dirt road in the farm fields on the high ground with a nice view west. Unfortunately, tractors had churned my spot into a quagmire with about 6 inches of mud. I quickly found another place where I only had to stand in one inch of mud. After setting up, I checked out Venus while waiting for Mercury. The air was steady enough that I could push 240x (5mm LV) and still get a nice image. A small amount of blue was visible, but nothing bad. Then I started looking for Mercury. No GoTo here, I hunt manually. About 45 minutes after sunset, I picked up Mercury. The air near the horizon was so unstable that I never got a good view. Lots of blue and red smears, though I did see that Mercury was a "half" Mercury. The lower it got, the redder. As it sunk into the trees on the horizon, it was dark red. I wanted to post a picture or two, but my not-so-smart phone won't let me.
CS,
Paul
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#5284 Uranotopia

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 09:02 PM

This evening/ night was meeting with three friends from our little astronomy club

I wanted to demonstrate my classic Tasco 102M refractor; one buddy brought his Vixen 80M, he had bought in 1993 - so we had 50% classic telescopes for observationwaytogo.gif  And nearby there was the vintage Russian car of another friend (he owns a LADA NIVA...), but in spite of his vintage car, heobserved a newer telescope (a 6" SC)...

First we observed the double Rigel, no problem for the Tasco...but nevertheless we also could split this star with the smaller Vixen 80M (I could see the double from time to time due to moderate seeing) !

Then observation of the nearly full moon; very impressing in both classic refractor, but of course the bigger one showed more fine details. One of my favorite regions to watch at moon's age of about 12 days is the "Miyamori valley", what I call more often "Miyamori region" or "Miyamori phenomenon" as it isn't described or approved officially   ( This region we examined for about two hours (my friends didn't know this interesting phenomenon before), discussed about it and took an AVI through the Vixen 80M (I hope, that I will be able to show this picture later...)

 

Interesting fact: although the classic refractors weren't the biggest scopes, most of the time we all stood together and enjoyed looking through these older achromats!


Edited by Uranotopia, 07 February 2020 - 09:03 PM.

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#5285 Bomber Bob

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 10:16 PM

Tonight, a little session with 2 little scopes that I don't use very often:  My Hy-Score 457 and my C90 Spotter.

 

For the new CSNs (Classic Scope Nutz), the 457 is a 50mm F10 refractor with a correspondingly tiny (9mm!) finder scope:

 

Hy-Score 457 P71 (Left Side FULL).jpg Hy-Score 457 S73 (Right Side ZOOM).jpg

 

Windy & cold favored short & light.  The C90 on the VersaGo with wood surveyor tripod is actually the heavyweight in this pair.

 

The waxing Moon was the main target, though it's closer to Full than I prefer.  But at 20x with a vintage B&L 25mm WF microscope eyepiece, I got that 3D Marble Moon effect, with a ray-streaked BRIGHT ball in the 50mm, and a dimmer but equally interesting view at ~ 60x in the C90 with a spectros .965" 20mm Kellner.  Haven't used the C90 in months, and forgot how sharp it can be.  With a spectros 7.5mm Plossl, I got tight angular features along the slender Terminator at 56x per inch (167x).  Some folks gripe about the big ring focuser's lack of accuracy.  When I added a Celestron 5x24 finder, I had the C90 apart, and took the opportunity to clean out the old grease, clean all the optics, and reassemble with a thin layer of lithium grease that I rubbed into the threads.  It's smooth & accurate enough.

 

The 457 has that funky tangent arm altitude slo-mo... that works.  It's a fun dinker-scope on its own.  Seems I can't take a scope outside without doing some kind of testing.  Tonight I swapped the 457's original prism diagonal with a Nihon-Seiko.  At 50x with a spectros 10mm Kellner, the N-S appeared slightly brighter, probably due to the better coatings.

 

 


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#5286 sdedalus83

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 10:56 PM

I love the old Vixen LVs too! I have a set of them and a set of 1.25” circle T volcano top orthos that are my staples.

For some reason I have a really hard time holding the exit pupil on mine. Comparing the 5mm to the 5mm edge on, a 5mm tmb clone, and a barlowed 10mm RG ortho, it's much less comfortable to use.  I need to try observing with contacts to see if that helps.


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#5287 Esso2112

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 11:00 PM

A new scope arrived tonight and it was clear. So, I unpacked the Nippon Kogaku 50mm I picked up on eBay and ran it through its paces. Didn’t clean anything, just put it together and away I went. First comment, the weird ball mount is an absolute joy to use. Very solid and stable. Smooth push motions (no knobs or gears).  I liked the Swift 838 mount, but the Nippon literally makes it feel like a toy. The focuser on the Nippon is very smooth in action.

 

First object was the moon, which was nice and crisp with a Takahashi Or 18mm. I compared the Tak 9mm Or to the Nikon 9mm Or. Interestingly, the Tak was easier to use. Eye placement on the Nikon was a little tight. The image was dimmer, too, but I suspect part of that was dirt.  No color on the edge of the moon. Then I moved to Sirius for a quick star test. Nice concentric rings. Sirius did show some CA, but I kind of expected that. Looked at M42, which was surprisingly good with a fair amount of nebulosity even with the moon. Using the Tak 9mm Or, I could easily see four stars in the Trapezium. 
 

Overall, I am really impressed with the Nippon. Way overbuilt and surprisingly heavy for its size. As far as condition goes, the whole kit is in much better shape than it seemed in the pictures. There are some minor scratches on the tube, but no dents. A spot on the wood legs in the photos turned out to be old tape and the varnish is fine. Just need to clean and oil the legs and they’ll be good as new. The whole kit needs a thorough cleaning, but that’s it and I was really expecting this one to be a full restoration. Considering I only paid $375 for a complete Nippon scope, I’m pretty happy. I do need to make a chain for the legs, but that is all that was missing. 


Edited by Esso2112, 07 February 2020 - 11:02 PM.

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#5288 sdedalus83

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 11:07 PM

The NK 50 sounds like an awesome little scope. It's fun to get the Trap centered at about 100x in a 50, then back off until you can't make out all 4. On a good night I can still do it with the 20mm RG in both f10 and f12 Royals.


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#5289 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 08:24 AM

I took the Vixen 80L out again last night. Mercury was the main target. The sky was slightly hazy and there was a band of clouds on the horizon. Picked up Mercury about 30 minutes after sunset, but the air was so turbulent that I could hardly tell I was looking at a planet. Occasionally, I could pick up the crescent, but mostly it was smearing and flashing red and blue. I tried various filters, and orange seemed to help a bit. Mercury was a ruddy red as it sank into the clouds. Venus was pretty good, being higher. I looked for Neptune, but couldn't find it in the bright sky. Finally, I checked out the moon. Bright and crisp! A fine view. I packed it in after only a few hours because "the toes was froze!"
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#5290 G-Tower

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 08:55 AM

In over 60 years of observing I've only had a handful of times that the seeing was good for Mercury.


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#5291 Terra Nova

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 09:07 AM

For some reason I have a really hard time holding the exit pupil on mine. Comparing the 5mm to the 5mm edge on, a 5mm tmb clone, and a barlowed 10mm RG ortho, it's much less comfortable to use.  I need to try observing with contacts to see if that helps.

I never used glasses to observe and never had contacts. I did have some astigmatism until I had it surgically corrected last year but I’ve used the LVs for years. I always found the LVs gave me plenty of eye relief. Much more so than my volcano top orthos. I can see how the longer eye relief could be a problem tho as the size exit pupil diminishes with shorter focal lengths with the LVs for some people tho. The trickest one for me has always been the 2.5mm but it works fine with my two Vixen refractors (F6.6 and F6.67), but not well at all on longer, slower scopes, because the exit pupil becomes so tiny.


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#5292 LDW47

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 09:07 AM

I took the Vixen 80L out again last night. Mercury was the main target. The sky was slightly hazy and there was a band of clouds on the horizon. Picked up Mercury about 30 minutes after sunset, but the air was so turbulent that I could hardly tell I was looking at a planet. Occasionally, I could pick up the crescent, but mostly it was smearing and flashing red and blue. I tried various filters, and orange seemed to help a bit. Mercury was a ruddy red as it sank into the clouds. Venus was pretty good, being higher. I looked for Neptune, but couldn't find it in the bright sky. Finally, I checked out the moon. Bright and crisp! A fine view. I packed it in after only a few hours because "the toes was froze!"

I find a variable polarizing filter normally used for moon views helps a lot many times. Because of the lack of color the filter reduces that white glare to the point where the crescent is easily seen, is more pronounced. Clear Skies !


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#5293 Bomber Bob

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 11:00 AM

BIF:  Somebody asked if I'd had cataract surgery.  Nope.  I have a few tiny spots on my left eye that are too small for surgery -- same as my previous eye exam.

 

Boy!  Do our eye change over time.  Some of that is a natural part of aging.  But a few years ago, after aggressive A/S [ankylosing spondylitis] treatment, both my eyes were floater-free.  And for once, I was lucky on the timing, as Mars/Jupiter/Saturn were better placed for prime-time high-power observing.  (Remember my glowing posts on the Tinsley after Majestic recoated the mirrors?)  But, the trade-off for acuity was weird off-color sensitivity -- stars & planetary features didn't look as I knew they should.

 

Well, the floaters are returning (microscopic "bubbles" that sometimes clump together), while my color vision is correcting.  Factor in advancing age, and it's one heck of a light show!


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#5294 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 12:48 PM

I can often get a least a glimpse of the crescent. Early morning and evenings in May/June, if I remember correctly. Mornings because the air has had all night to stabilize, and the late Spring because it doesn't really get dark, so the sky stays "warm". Normally, though, we have very unstable air. So seeing the crescent is always the goal. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don't. How often I long for those steady Texas skies!

#5295 Corcaroli78

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 09:06 AM

Hi Classic forum

 

These days I have been enjoying the Moon phase views from the balcony with the Telementor and an ES14 82 / ES 24 68 eyepieces, quite a pleasant experience!!

 

TelementorII_32.jpg

 

Carlos


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#5296 Augustus

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:54 PM

Looked through John's DX8, it's nothing amazing, but not bad either. I pushed it up to 448x and the image was mushy but nowhere near as fuzzy as I would've suspected and the star test was a lot less bad than I thought. If you told me it was just a lemon C8 or an average small Newt/refractor I'd believe it. I had a DX8 myself a few months ago and Jupiter with it again was no worse than just a crummy C8. A beginner would be more than satisfied with it.


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#5297 G-Tower

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:38 PM

Looked through John's DX8, it's nothing amazing, but not bad either. I pushed it up to 448x and the image was mushy but nowhere near as fuzzy as I would've suspected and the star test was a lot less bad than I thought. If you told me it was just a lemon C8 or an average small Newt/refractor I'd believe it. I had a DX8 myself a few months ago and Jupiter with it again was no worse than just a crummy C8. A beginner would be more than satisfied with it.

Are you saying its the good one? 448x would place it in the excellent category of any SCT. 



#5298 Bomber Bob

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 12:57 AM

Damp, cold, & clear tonight with my 5" F5 triplet & Questar -- my feet are still defrosting -- but saw enough to keep me through another pending week of clouds & rain.  It may be clear tomorrow night, but I've learned no to postpone on the local NWS forecast, even after a long week at work.


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#5299 G-Tower

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:43 AM

Damp, cold, & clear tonight with my 5" F5 triplet & Questar -- my feet are still defrosting -- but saw enough to keep me through another pending week of clouds & rain.  It may be clear tomorrow night, but I've learned no to postpone on the local NWS forecast, even after a long week at work.

In PR I could observe any time of year...


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#5300 Pete W

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:53 AM

Love my 7.5 & 12.5mm Celestron Ultimas so much that I picked up a 10mm Ultrascopic (Orion’s version of the same type).  Tested it out last night in the 60mm Monolux in the backyard.  Noticeably brighter and snappier focus than a 9mm Meade Series 2 ortho.  

 

Spent 1.5 hrs tracking down open clusters on Monoceros and Puppis, from M50 south to NGC2360, to NGC2362.  Also doubles and such; winter Albireo, Beta Monoceros, 20 Monoceros,  sigma Orion, and xi Ursa Major.   At the end the Monolux snagged NGC 2903 galaxy in Leo, faint but definitely there.


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