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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#5326 AstroKerr

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 08:54 AM

Selsi solo. Better Seeing whilst setting up, decided to just do Jup w/ Selsi. Cold. Good this a.m. down to 12.5 & 10mm, Jup itself seemed to look better / clearer than yesterday, moons really sketchy. Switched around 0.965s, same results - so just skies I guess some dogging whispies up there. 10, 6, 4 uninspiring - moons kept vanishing with whispies. Stayed with it, but same-same. 11T and a Celes 90x900 tomorrow. Should get 6~8 mins more viewing on Jup - have missed the planets over the winter =/ Sat's just outta reach. meh.

 

It's what we do, yeah? try. try again. outwait the whispies, Sun, seasons, love/hate the moon (more love than hate over the winter). My dog, Maximus, has priority over all that, but... but... he stays out there with me when frailer folk bail. Without his perseverance, I'd've long ago fallen prey to the Alien Coyote Zombies while begging the wind to shift - Thank You, Max!

 

Gonna go open that box from Fred - some big ole clunky lens in there...

 

Always Try.


Edited by AstroKerr, 19 February 2020 - 08:56 AM.

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#5327 AstroKerr

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 08:43 AM

Selsi 60 & Celes 90 this a.m. Mars, Jup, and a bunch of STARS not whisped away!!! and, boohoo, no moon at the moment. back out, more fun while the sky lasts. 4mm doesn't chug today!


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#5328 oldmanastro

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 06:41 AM

Yesterday I had good clear skies during the evening and decided to use the 60mm f/11 Empire model 614 Galaxy.This is a telescope that had been used maybe once or twice since I got it years ago. It sat in my “telescope room” as a display. To my surprise the optics turned out very nice. The telescope was in good collimation and I was able to observe quite a few objects. These included M42 with pinpoint stars in the Trapezium, M41 great as usual, Rigel but I could not glimpse the secondary, Algieba easily resolved, Betelguese dim as ever and Sirius. While in Sirius, I did a star test that showed no astigmatism and nearly identical intra and extrafocal images. Surprising for a telescope of this size. The only drawback was the use of .965” eyepieces and the lack of at least an altitude slow motion control. An adapter to use 1.25” accessories could not be used because there was not enough focuser travel unless it was used without a diagonal. That would have required neck contortions that I can’t do anymore. Anyway, this was a night of observing with no frills including a pretty bad finder. The telescope performed better than expected.

 

Clear Skies 

 

Guido


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#5329 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 01:33 PM

Unitron 140 got some chatter lately so I decided to pop it out the front door... Having the option to use the 1.25 eyepieces with a separate draw tube has so many plusses...

 

 First on Venus quite nice  and it held its ground as power increased. Lovely Longfellow refractor she is...

 Moving over to Orion with old TV 32mm then to  Celestron silver top 26mm and slowly increasing power  there is so much to see... M 42    trap    M41      Betelgeuse smaller as previously noted  one  wonders what the end game on this will be?   As Orion dives west later this Spring and we lose him for a bit    what will it look like in the early morning next fall? More of the same?

 

 Going back to low power for the Pleiades  and the Longfellow refractor U140 is just not a wide field dazzler          more   narrow and sharp      like  Jimi's Dolly Dagger ( she drinks the blood from the ragged edge)  but she is great at what she does best  being  long and pretty


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 21 February 2020 - 01:34 PM.

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#5330 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 07:36 PM

No Moon & Crystal Clear...  This can't be The Swamp!   Got my Meade 826 cleaned & collimated soon as I got home, and it's waiting for me in the shed.  Thanks to Vinay, it now has a pristine Meade branded Towa 6x30 straight-through finder -- one of the best & most reliable scopes to come from that company.  A small touch, but it gives this 1980s reflector that vintage look...

 

Gonna use this 8" F6 Newtonian to blow open tight clusters like M37, pick out the rather faint clusters like NGC 2158, and fill the fields with all the glory of M42 -- among many other deep sky wonders.  And, of course, I'll be comparing its colors & resolution with my new AT102ED (y'all had to know there'd be at least 1 refractor in the mix tonight).

 

The phrase in an 8" or larger instrument shows up a lot in object descriptions -- for good reasons.  When I was a kid, an 8" Newtonian was a Big Scope, not a Starter on a Dobson mount.  On the Meade SF + short pedestal, it doesn't look large at all.  But the Views... twice the aperture of the F7 ED made it seem bigger.  And near-perfect seeing let me study objects that I normally just admire.  BIF:  The Meade RG 20mm Erfle @ 60x is an ideal "sweeping" eyepiece in this scope.

 

M37:  In some photos, this cluster is almost lost in the rich fields, and that's also true of the 102ED at 35x.  It's a pretty view, but hazy straight-on.  The Nagler 7 takes it to 100x, and reveals dozens of faint stars, but the 826 @ 60x shows 100+ stars in intricate arcs & pairings, while maintaining the cluster -- it's obvious this is a single object rather than a richer Milky Way field.  While in Auriga, I had to check out M36 & M38, and from the latter moved SW to IC 405 -- the Flaming Star Nebula.  Saw 2 distinct lobes, with the brighter on the south side, using an OR12 + OIII filter.  It's nice when the faint fuzzies aren't quite so faint.  I could've spent hours in central Auriga -- clusters & clusters & clouds...

 

M35 & Company:  M35 is looser than M37, but at 80x with an AT Paradigm 15mm, is rich!  I used this combo to observe the tiny & compact NGC 2158, but got the better views at 133x with an OR9.  And, from 2158, I eased west to IC 2157 -- a loose sparse arrangement of maybe a dozen stars in a N-S line.  The patterns within these clusters interests me, along with the star colors & types.  And the views, of course.  I could pick out 2158 with the 102ED at 50x, but the 826 makes it a compact star cluster.

 

Got errands to run, or I'd be on this post all morning.  I get the appeal of Big Dobs, but it's tough to beat an 8" Newt on an EQ silently tracking while I compare views between scopes.  One thing I did regret not having last night -- rotating rings!  Spent quite a bit of time getting the eyepiece positioned just right...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 22 February 2020 - 10:32 AM.

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#5331 Joe1950

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 09:04 PM

I just bought a used, new to me AT-102ED, JW!  Gets here Monday!  My birthday present to myself (March 16th). Very excited.


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#5332 sdedalus83

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 09:16 PM

I just bought a used, new to me AT-102ED, JW!  Gets here Monday!  My birthday present to myself (March 16th). Very excited.

Second person I've run into in the last three days with my birthday.

 

I just snuck out while cooking to take a peek at the Trapezium. Going on an hour and it was still in the center of the fov, looks like my first polar alignment with the GM8 was pretty good.

 

With the 20mm RG in the 10te, I nudged the helical focuser on my new Baader t2 to bring it back to focus now that the lens had reavhef ambient. Bam! Six perfect little balls of light clear as day, first time I've seen E and F.


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#5333 oldmanastro

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 09:52 PM

No Moon & Crystal Clear...  This can't be The Swamp!   Got my Meade 826 cleaned & collimated soon as I got home, and it's waiting for me in the shed.  Thanks to Vinay, it now has a pristine Meade branded Towa 6x30 straight-through finder -- one of the best & most reliable scopes to come from that company.  A small touch, but it gives this 1980s reflector that vintage look...

 

Gonna use this 8" F6 Newtonian to blow open tight clusters like M37, pick out the rather faint clusters like NGC 2158, and fill the fields with all the glory of M42 -- among many other deep sky wonders.  And, of course, I'll be comparing its colors & resolution with my new AT102ED (y'all had to know there'd be at least 1 refractor in the mix tonight).

Back in 1979-80 I bought one of those wonderful 826s. Cost me an arm and a leg to get it here. In 1988-89 I made the mistake of selling it. The buyer still has it and told me once that "death will do us part". I remember the pristine optics and excellent drive. It is does well on everything. I hope you enjoy it a lot. 

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido


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#5334 ccwemyss

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 11:29 PM

Testing night for some loaner OTA's I've been working on.

 

Jaegers 80mm f15. Collimated after rehab. Good, round star test. All four Trap components clear at 200x, couldn't see E until dropping back to 133X, F a maybe with averted vision. Pleiades barely fit with a 32mm Plossl, M31/32 was clear.

 

Unitron 114, straight letter, donated by roscoe. Elements were flipped, needed a spacer, blacked out some clams, gave a very good star test. All four Trap components nice and sharp at 150X, E maybe with averted vision. Pleiades fit with some space. M31/32 not as bright as the 80mm but still quite good. 

 

Unitron 114 from an auction a while ago, 1970s. Elements were flipped, needed three spacers. Gave a good star test. All four Trap components clear at 150X, but better at 100X. No E or F. Focuser very stiff.

 

Unitron 114 "Frankentron" assembled from parts, late 60's cell, early 50's focuser. Elements were flipped, and one spacer was damaged, but I thought I got it smoothed.  Star test a bit out of round, but the draw tube is also a bit loose. Hard to make out the D component. This one still needs work. 

 

Chip W. 


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#5335 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 08:26 AM

Chip 

   as someone who has not done alot of lens removal and reassembly I wonder how\

elements get flipped    is this common?  


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#5336 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 10:35 AM

I just bought a used, new to me AT-102ED, JW!  Gets here Monday!  My birthday present to myself (March 16th). Very excited.

You'll love it.  Happy Birthday!!   The views are so clear & precise, and the scope is so light...  I had mine on the VG2 last night -- sweeping & zooming.

 

While I'm plugging products from our Sponsor:  The AT 15mm 1.25" Paradigm eyepiece has replaced 2 vintage units in my F8 & slower scopes, including an excellent Jaegers 16mm Erfle that was my preferred medium-power cluster-buster & double-divider.  The AT 1.25" 99% dielectric mirror diagonal shows truer colors in my APOs than my Baader prism.  And, most impressive of all, the AT102ED.  After a few clear nights with yours, my selling the Vixen 80mm fluorite will make sense.  The 102 goes deeper, shows more detail, and is about the same size as the FL80S.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 22 February 2020 - 05:56 PM.

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#5337 Joe1950

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 02:58 PM

Thanks JW!  I’m really looking forward to it!


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#5338 ccwemyss

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 03:49 PM

Chip 

   as someone who has not done alot of lens removal and reassembly I wonder how\

elements get flipped    is this common?  

It's an interesting question. I kept reading reports by people here about all of the times they had encountered flipped elements, but until I got this string of 114s, I hadn't seen it. (Except that the 142 I got from Neil had them flipped when he found it.) I have taken apart nearly every objective in the loaner set, since I tend to go for units that need work, and have gotten pretty ho-hum about it. I was lifting one of these out of its cell, focusing on finding alignment marks, and I suddenly had a, "that's not right" feeling before I realized that the flint was on top. Then the other two came along right behind it. 

 

I've talked with various people who have a wide range of theories. One is that kids like to take things apart and put them back together (although one would expect to see more clams in those cases). Some have blamed quality control, at the manufacturer (but it would seem the JTII would notice). Perhaps some meme went around, as was common in the '60s, that there was a secret way to improve your telescope by flipping the glass. Or, most likely, people who aren't paying attention have cleaned the optics at some point.

 

I think it's telling that all three of these had other issues (and show signs of cleaning or wear on multiple faces). 

 

Chip W. 


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#5339 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 05:29 PM

Back in 1979-80 I bought one of those wonderful 826s. Cost me an arm and a leg to get it here. In 1988-89 I made the mistake of selling it. The buyer still has it and told me once that "death will do us part". I remember the pristine optics and excellent drive. It is does well on everything. I hope you enjoy it a lot. 

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido

Thanks Guido!  I've been very happy with all my Newtonians, even those I didn't keep.  I thought that VMC200L might be a way to get Newtonian qualities at a refractor focus.  It came close, but my 2 traditional Cassegrains are closer, and are easier to deal with, yet I still see them as niche instruments.  My RV-6 & 826 are more versatile.   I hope it's many years before I find them too difficult to use on a regular basis.

 

I'll always be a Refractor Fan -- right now I'm itching to get out back with my AT102ED + Tak FC-50 (cloud-dodging or not!) -- but my lightweight high-quality Newts are my largish scopes with no compromises.


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#5340 barbie

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:19 PM

I just bought a used, new to me AT-102ED, JW!  Gets here Monday!  My birthday present to myself (March 16th). Very excited.

Those are really wonderful scopes!!  I hope you enjoy it for many years to come!!


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#5341 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:38 PM

Hi Barbie

 I cant help but notice in your sig      that you have two of the Tak FC-76's.... One from 1987 and one from this year    Henry and Vera..... Since this is  a what did you observe with your classic scope thread    I don;t think it is out of bounds to ask   what you observed with the old FC-76?       And    obviously   how does the classic  compare with the new model...?


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#5342 barbie

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 07:01 PM

With the old 76, I've observed the moon at 325x, the planets at 240x, split many doubles(close pairs like Izar, etc.) and the brighter Messiers of each type.  I will be observing with the new 76 Saturday evening. The focusers are excellent on both as are the mechanicals.  Vera is a heavier scope with a larger diameter tube and a 2" focuser while Henry is a smaller diameter tube and much lighter with a 1.25" focuser.  I will be out with the new 76 on Saturday evening and will report more after that.

 

Regards.

 

Barbie

 


Edited by barbie, 22 February 2020 - 07:08 PM.

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#5343 barbie

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 08:49 PM

I just got in from comparing the two FC76's and both did equally fantastic splitting Sirius, Rigel, and six stars in the Trapezium of M42, which also looked terrific!! False color was not present at high magnification. Vera will be my stay at home scope and Henry will travel away from home with me since it is lighter and smaller. Both showed textbook perfect startest and cooled quickly. Seeing was average and transparency above average. It was a very fun but cold evening of observing!!  Also had a chance to view some open clusters in Cass.


Edited by barbie, 22 February 2020 - 09:02 PM.

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#5344 Bonco2

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:08 PM

Finally clear steady skies in Florida, Temps in the 60's. Decided to use my grab and go Unitron model 28. It was a good choice but I have some comments to pass on.

Rigel was my star test and the inside/outside/ and in focus images were just plain perfect. The secondary became sharp with  a 9mm and 7mm eyepiece. Previous observations indicated that the Model 28 had best resolution for double stars with a 7mm. Tonight I found that my 4.8 Nagler at 187X was superior in resolving Alnitak. 7mm no go, Nagler, nice split.

Sigma Orionis was a fine view with a 16mm and 12.5. Both showed all the well known field stars and 3 components of Sigma...couldn't see the 4th in my 3 mag skies.

Unfortunately I've never had a Unitron 40mm mono eyepiece so I don't know how it performed. I've been using a 40mm Celestron Kelner which is not parfocal for the Unihex, so I haven't been satisfied with it. But tonight I used a Cave 26.6mm in the Unihex and was blown away. Space walk type view of M42 and the surrounding star fields. This eyepiece has been a great performer in every telescope I've tried it on, Maybe like the 28mm RKE that I'd like to try. Went back to Rigel to compare my .965 eyepiece views with the previous 1.25 views.. I found that the Unitron eyepieces provided very sharp views of Rigel that were similar to my more modern eyepieces...Just a more narrow field of view. I think that will be true on lunar and planetary observations.

Bill   


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#5345 Garyth64

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 09:21 PM

You know some jerk is going to say, "Don't you mean your Unitron model 128".

 

lol.gif


Edited by Garyth64, 23 February 2020 - 08:27 AM.

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#5346 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 10:01 PM

Short & sweet tonight in the only clear patch of sky, from Castor to Algieba, with 2 APOs + dielectric diagonals + UO HD Orthos -- kept it simple, too.  Tak FC-50 @ 20x shows the whole Beehive, razor sharp from edge to edge.  Bumped it & the AT102ED up to about 50x, and swept up the doubles in Cancer.  It got confusing... which frac is the finder in this pair??  IOW:  The Tak makes some incredibly tiny star dots -- and gaps.  Love this Duo-Scope...

 

Joe, I paid closer attention to star color differences (this hobby ain't all glamour!).  To me, the AT shows reds a bit redder than the fluorite (& my eyes), while whites are a bit warmer / softer.  Considering the price & materials, I'd say the ED gets plenty close enough -- I look forward to reading your results.


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#5347 Joe1950

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 11:00 PM

Thanks JW!  I will certainly add my impressions.


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#5348 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 February 2020 - 11:19 PM

I know the AT102ED isn't a Classic (yet.  Give it a couple of decades.), but like my fine old fracs, it does very well with vintage & simple eyepieces, too.  At F7, Kellners aren't the best, but Orthos & Erfles work.  (I should've kept a few of my Tani volcano-tops, just for comparisons with my newish UO HDs.)  The Orthos are super-sharp, and the fields are flat -- same as in my fluorite APOs.

 

Maybe these "economy APOs" are today's RV-6 or 826?   They deliver a lot of capability for the (relative) prices.  They're definitely not flashy.  The hardware is basic, but it works.


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#5349 shredder1656

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 06:31 AM

A good friend of mine came over last night.  We did a little coyote hunting in the late daylight.  (No worries.  No animals were hurt in the making of this post.)  As we were walking the half mile back to my house, we chatted about what few astro objects the two of us could pick out in the darkening sky.  Sadly, he probably could name more than I could.  lol.gif  I can sure point at them, though.  

 

He commented that he had never looked at Orion through a telescope.  I was already hoping for an excuse, and he had a bit of time.  Once we made it to the house, I sat the C102F in the front yard to cool down a bit.  The temp had dropped from almost 50* F to mid 30s.  My front porch is not heated, but it had been a sunny day, and it was still significantly warmer there. 

 

Inside for a beverage and some cookies my wife had just finished making.  Good convo about our respective kids and all.  Then, we went outside.  Unfortunately, the sky had some wispy clouds here and there. 

 

We were still able to get some nice portholes here and there.  What we were forced to look THROUGH still allowed us pleasant opportunities.  When he looked through the scope for his first "in-person" look, he provided the exclamatory response that makes sharing the experience with friends and family so much fun.  He stayed glued to the eyepiece so long, that I started to worry that his eyebrows might have frozen to the rim.  It was a privilege to share the blessing of God's amazing creation with a good buddy. 

 

We stayed outside for probably around 30 minutes or so.  I happened to get lucky and found a SARD Mk 43 6x42 binocular awhile back.  Then more recently, I found a second pair.  So, I pulled out the cases where I keep them and treated him to a wide angle view of all that we could see of the Milky Way through the WWII glass.  It was fun, but the impact was minimized by the increasing clouds.  Bummer!  He still enjoyed it, but sadly it was nothing compared to what he would have seen a few hours later. 

 

Before he left, I dragged the C6 into the driveway, just so we could compare the difference in FOV and brightness.  It needs the collimation tweaked again, and I still have not had the time to fix the focuser knob.  It still gave a nice rendition of its abilities.  Orion was beautiful and brighter through the C6 and its native 26mm Silver Top.  That was pretty much the end of the session with my buddy. 

 

He thanked me several times.  A lifelong, but geographically-distant friend of his built a radio telescope when they were kids.  Other than that, he said, he had a limited exposure to observing.  Even though, given my skill and experience level, it is a bit like the "blind leading the blind", he really seemed to love the experience.  waytogo.gif

 

After he left, I chilled on the couch with the queen of the castle.  Eventually, I popped back outside to check on the conditions.  Holy smokes!!!  Crystal clear.  I was pretty zapped for the night, but I did grab one of the Mk43s, and eventually my Audubon 820EDs.  The Milky Way was so beautiful through both of them.  I am looking forward to a clear night for my buddy and his wife to come over for dinner and some more observing. 

 

The C102F gave gorgeous diamond-like pictures of the stars, even through the clouds.  I used a 26mm Silver Top, and a 40mm TV plossl.  I like the 26mm the most, between these two.  Orion just never ceases to provide a boost to my astronomy drive.  It is even better when shared.


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#5350 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 08:25 AM

Shredder,

 

 

Nice report     always great to turn someone else on     to the sky

nice to have company   many times we are solo?

 

Orion does kind of have some gravitational pull on us as it becomes a starting point each time 

Yes  I am still very pleased with the views of my C-102fl....it is a simple   light and competent classic. When one first  reads about them and the raves reviews and decides one has to have one, you expect it to be as magical as 6-7 inch 7k dollars scope and it is not. But when you do break it out for a session it still amazes what it actually does do.....

 

I am with you on the 26mm Silvertop   not sure how it has become one of my favorite eyepieces   but like the C-102fl it is just really  competent. It sweeps around so well even when I am lazy gazing..

 

Finally  one cant help but notice how you have become the classic/older binocular guy. You have gone through more binoculars than a Ruger 22 goes through rimfire brass at the range. I only have 4 or 5 all used binocs  but I have gotten in the habit of keeping a pair of binoculars in the car at the ready. Driving home from some travels perhaps where skies are darker than one's own yard ....one just has to pull over and get a glimpse of the show...

 

At night the stars put on a show for free


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 23 February 2020 - 09:09 AM.

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