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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#5501 Terra Nova

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 09:51 AM

Things here look like tomorrow night just might be good to get out in the backyard and do some viewing. After seemingly endless days of clouds and rain, skies are forecast to clear for a night and also the temps will be relatively mild. On the downside, my idiot nextdoor neighbors who have been more or less blacked out and staying in have begun again their ritual day and night traipsing and theIr porch and yard lights are again blazing!  


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#5502 tim53

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 10:07 AM

While this wasn't taken with a classic scope, it is classic glass.  And it was mounted on a classic scope.

 

Comet ATLAS, 2 minute exposure with Olympus OMD EM5ii and Konica Hexanon 135mm f/3.2 lens, mounted piggyback on MN56 on Tak EM-1 mount.  Batteries only!  We were at our Cosmic Acres house in Joshua Tree this weekend, working on painting the kitchen walls. We went there before we realized they didn't want folks to go to their vacation homes during the stay-at-home.  Besides, it's our retirement home/observatory site!  Anyway, we were never near anybody else, and we didn't stay long enough to burden the local hospitals.

 

Still, when we came back yesterday, I made sure to bring all my eyepieces, cameras and quadcopter home with us.  It might be a long time before we can go back.

 

msg-6788-0-85832200-1584891060_thumb.jpg


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#5503 Bomber Bob

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 10:51 AM

Things here look like tomorrow night just might be good to get out in the backyard and do some viewing. After seemingly endless days of clouds and rain, skies are forecast to clear for a night and also the temps will be relatively mild. On the downside, my idiot nextdoor neighbors who have been more or less blacked out and staying in have begun again their ritual day and night traipsing and theIr porch and yard lights are again blazing!  

As of RIGHT NOW, the NWS forecasts "mostly clear" for WEDS & THURS nights.  I hope they're right for at least one.  Unfortunately, due to The Panic, ALL of our neighbors are running their prison-grade security lights -- I can almost sunbath in parts of our backyard...


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#5504 Senex Bibax

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 01:09 PM

The skys are clearer than I thought they would be, around 7:00 pm it looked like they were going to be covered but cleared up nicely in the next 1/2 hour. I quickly checked out venus again through the sky cheif, and then sat back in a lawn chair for several minutes scanning the sky with some binoculars. I followed a few planes, and also spotted a satelight,

 

I may try to wake up before sunrise, and see if I can find anything new to look at.

 

The light polution is bad enough in my area that I can only see about 40 bright objects tonight with the bare eye that are above the tree line in the backyard, The binoculars open up much more, but its hard for me to find specific targets using the maps.

 

As a beginner, I try to concentrate on the easy stuff.

Get up before dawn, and you can see Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all lined up in the south..


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#5505 Senex Bibax

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 01:19 PM

I took my Sears 6339A out on Sunday evening for its first light after overhauling, now that its EQ mount has been refurbished and fixed to my surveyors' tripod. I was out from 19:30 to about 20:45 before the below freezing temps sent me back to the car. It was a beautiful clear, moonless evening in Ottawa.

 

I understand why people rave about the old RAO 76mm refractors. The Sears 6339A is definitely the best scope that I own, and with the 1.25" adapter and Meade 1.25" plössl eyepieces the views were clear and sharp. Venus was like a small, brilliant half moon lying on its back. The Pleiades were diamond pinpoints, as was Praesepe.


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#5506 Augustus

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 02:06 PM

Tonight I am going to attempt to view cloud detail on Venus with my C8.


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#5507 Terra Nova

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 02:17 PM

Tonight I am going to attempt to view cloud detail on Venus with my C8.

Are you going to use a W#47 Deep Blue/Violet filter?



#5508 Augustus

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 02:19 PM

Are you going to use a W#47 Deep Blue/Violet filter?

Yes, I believe I have one.


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#5509 Bomber Bob

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 02:23 PM

Good Luck Zane!   The only "detail" that I've seen with Venus:  Slightly brighter polar regions; and, just a couple of times, slightly dimmer / grayer "lobes" in the temperate zones.

 

Blue filters help; and, when it's not so bright, a broadband LPR -- but my eyes are light-sensitive, so YMMV.


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#5510 Augustus

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 07:27 PM

Sadly, I was greeted by clouds this evening. Hopefully I have better luck later in the week.



#5511 Pete W

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 07:36 PM

We have the first clear night in a month. Got the 6339a in the backyard riding it’s native mount fixed to better tripod legs.  

 

72F2CA64-5CD1-474C-A027-0470C311D752.jpeg

 

dunno what my targets will be tonight...perhaps doubles in Cancer, Puppis and Hydra, or maybe some galaxies rising in the east.  Any suggestions?


Edited by Pete W, 24 March 2020 - 07:39 PM.

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#5512 Pete W

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Posted 24 March 2020 - 07:41 PM

Zane, it looks like you guys are getting the clouds that plagued us for the last week or so.  Hope they clear out faster for you than they did for us.


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#5513 Senex Bibax

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 07:48 AM

Sadly, I was greeted by clouds this evening. Hopefully I have better luck later in the week.

Venus appears to be in a "half moon" phase at the moment from my observations.


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#5514 starman876

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 10:02 AM

Raining here. About all we have had for a week.  Be nice to see some clear skies.



#5515 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 12:00 PM

Looking forward to the grouping of the Pleiades and Venus as they close in on each other for about April 3rd./4th   I'm watching every clear night I can as they close in on each other.

 I'm planning on using an orange C-8   and also some ez widerfield type scope.

I have an old Cannon T 2 I  modified for astrophotography and now is a good time to finally learn how it works.

 

 

Funny how it happened on April 3  eight years ago

last time it was a direct conjunction was supposedly 203 years ago on    wait for it   April 3rd

a search reveals a bunch of info     like this cut and paste below:

 

On April 3, 2020, the planet Venus will fully conjunct with the Pleiades. The last time this happened was 203 years ago, to the very day (April 3, 1817). As Paul Dawson discovered recently, Venus has been ascending closer and closer to the Pleiades since 1516, around the time of the Protestant Reformation

Attached Thumbnails

  • VenusPleiadesth.jpg
  • venus-pleiades_200330-0407.png

Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 25 March 2020 - 12:08 PM.

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#5516 Terra Nova

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 12:15 PM

With my luck it will be clouded out here! I’m still amazed that I was able to observe the transit of Mercury last November! Who knows. We’ll see. I’ll hope for the best. fingerscrossed.gif


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#5517 rcwolpert

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 03:55 PM

One good thing about social distancing is that I’ll be able to view and photograph this without a line of people forming and saying, “Can I take a look?” laugh.gif


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#5518 Bonco2

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 04:14 PM

Exceptional steady and transparent skies last night. A once in a year opportunity for my location. Sure wish, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were available. But using my Unitron 142 I had a great time observing doubles in Orion. Star images at 250X were solid, no winking, dancing around and absolute text book images inside and outside of focus My favorites, Alnitak and Eta Orionis were clearly defined and solid as a rock. Looked like  snap shots. M42 and surrounding star field was stunning. The star colors were pure and pin point.  While Sirius didn't reveal her pup it was the most perfect and beautiful view that I've had in any telescope. Usually its a dancing blob at high power, but last night a perfect airy disk at 250X . Found some delicate doubles in Canis Major and lots of colorful stars of yellow, orange, red, and blue colors. It will be awhile before I get skies like last night. Looks cloudy for tonight.

Bill


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#5519 Pete W

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 06:16 PM

Bill, a great report! Last night I too spent time in CMa with the Sears 6339a in the backyard checking out doubles and opens, but my seeing was quite subpar.  Started in Lepus with M79 then eastward to gamma Lep (yellow primary with wide ruddy companion), then more eastward to M41 and nu-1 CMa and then pi and 17 CMa.   17 is a fine easy 4-star multiple and pi was a tougher 4.5 & 9.5 pair.   Lots of interesting doubles around M41.  NGC 2360 east of Sirius is a fine open, reminiscent of M37, lots of faint stars with few brighter ones.

 

Then switched to a galaxy cruise from M65/66 (pretty obvious in the 3”), then eastward to M99 & 100 (99 faint but there; 100 was a no-sighting), then south to the Virgo cluster.  Got about 9 Messiers in the cluster, but none looked like showpieces.  The Pocket Sky Atlas’s detailed chart of the Virgo cluster is a great tool for star hopping.

 

The last grabs were M3 and M81 & 82, along with nearby NGC3077.  Nice to end with bright stuff.  Didn’t get to bed till after 1...might be too beat to go out tonight.


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#5520 L. Regira

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 09:39 AM

First time my location was completely cloud free in weeks.  I had made a list of things I wanted to see in my Cave 12.5 inch f5. I started with Venus in the daytime about two hours before sunset with some great views.  When darkness fell I cranked up the power on Sirius to 640x and was rewarded with a view of the Pup. I made sure to rotate the tube to get the diffraction spikes away from the star and it was obvious and fairly far away from the primary star. Sirius presented me with a beautiful airy disk at 640x letting me know the air was very steady  I then tried to find Uranus but it was too low to see.  I checked out M42 and saw 6 Trapezium stars. Although the sky was steady it was not very transparent.  I also found M1 but it only looked like a puff ball due to the lack of transparency.  I had on my list R Leporis (Hind's Crimson Star) reportedly at mag. 8.8 but I did not have luck finding it. I forgot to bring out a finder chart. I also viewed M67 and M44 in Cancer. I finished up with an attempt to find Comet Atlas but my observatory roof was blocking that portion of the sky and I was unable to see it with my binoculars.  To top it all off I got up early and viewed Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn but just when they were climbing high enough to show me more than just glimpses of features the sun made its appearance ending my morning fun. Weather permitting I will be better prepared in my attempts to find Hind's Crimson Star and Comet Atlas tonight.

 

Lawrence 


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#5521 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 11:24 AM

Just for the record, I got my first 2020 view of Jupiter early this morning.  But it was with my new AT102ED, so no yakking about it here.

 

As for last night, my Triple Nickle (5" F5 triplet) established itself as a Classic RFT, with almost 3* of sharp views with color correction close to a modern ED.  Would like to put this scope up against a vintage Jaegers 5" F5 achromatic -- pretty sure it would win.  My cone baffle & other interior blackening improved the performance -- darker sky, and less star streaking at the edges.

 

The TN5 has a 26mm aperture advantage over the AT102ED, and that was obvious with Venus before sundown.  Much brighter.  Both fracs have ~ 700mm focal lengths, and I had them right beside each other, so comparisons were easy.  I started out swapping the same 2" diagonal + eyepiece between them.  Once I established that both 2" dielectrics gave the same views, I just swapped the eyepiece -- Nagler 7mm for ~ 100x.  Very similar views, including the same small albedo pattern in the white clouds.  An advantage the AT102ED has over the TN5 is the micro-focuser.  I can nail focus faster with that feature, whereas I have to "work" the TN5's vintage rack & pinion.

 

Right after sundown, seeing was about a 7/10 as the last thin lines of cirrus pushed south.  It improved while I was outside, and I got some fantastic views.  I've been exploring the legs of The Twins, but first turned the fracs to M35.  They were both at ~ 25x, and the TN5 showed almost twice as many member stars.  (I actually counted faint stars in sections of the cluster.)  After this, I devoted the rest of the time to the 5" RFT.  A lot of rich East - West star fields in this part of Gemini.  And, I knew the transparency was better when I found NGC 2392 with no trouble.

 

Leo Galaxies:  No finder on either frac -- primitive star-hopping all night.  I had no problem finding M65 & M66 at just 21x (UO 32mm Erfle).  In fact, they were as easy as M81 & 82, and seemed more prominent.  NGC 3628 was a thin faint smudge.  Switched to the Paradigm 15mm for 45x, and it was a trio of galaxies.  I get my best views of the Trio in my 8" F6 Newt (amazing, I know!), but seeing them well in a goofy 5" recycled non-astro triplet was rewarding.  So, I went on to attempt the Leo I Group.  I normally do this on an EQ mount, and it was trickier for me with an alt/az.  Took a bunch of tries, starting from Regulus, and when I did find a galaxy, I misidentified M95 for 96, which got me even more corn-fused.  I got it figured out, and besides those two, I found M105 (looks like a faint globular), and NGC 3384.  Not too bad for an old refractor guy -- a Faint Fuzzy Fan... I ain't.

 

I ended with the views the TN5 does best:  low power & wide fields of star rich zones.  These are my DSO comfort zones, too.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 26 March 2020 - 02:36 PM.

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#5522 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 04:39 PM

Yes!  As of Right NOW:  Satellite showing the potential for another clear night.  Not just that, but the air at all levels is drier, which will boost transparency.  The waxing crescent Moon will set soon after astro twilight.  And, though I went in to the office today (had to get permission!), I'll be home tomorrow, so I can stay up later tonight.  Given all that, I swapped the brand new high-tech AT102ED for my Big Scope -- a 1980s Meade 826 (8" F6 Newtonian).

 

Toting the 826 to the shed, I heard a loud metallic rattle...  Once Again, the secondary cell came loose in the spider.  I like this scope, but I hate the curved-vane spider assembly.  It's the weak link in a very strong / high-performance instrument (right, CHAS?).  Had to lift it up to my workbench, realign & tighten the holder, then re-collimate.  This is ridiculously easy with this Newt, but I like griping about it -- and the < 10 minutes it took...

 

I got the bare (as in Bare) OTA cheap -- no complaints!  I added a genuine Towa 6x30 finder & bracket (as originally equipped); and, that 80mm F5 RFT that I built with a WWII binocular objective + the OTA hardware from an equally cheap Celestron 90mm frac.  The coatings on this 70 year old lens are going, and I've thought about buying one of Sheldon's 80mm Carton achromats, but I've read that not all Carton lenses are great optics.  (I don't think I've ever tested one myself.)

 

Anywho, the TN5 (Triple Nickle / 5" F5 triplet RFT) is waiting for the Big Newt to warm up, and challenge it for deep sky dominance (a scope can dream, right?)...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 26 March 2020 - 04:39 PM.

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#5523 Pete W

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 06:47 PM

I  had on my list R Leporis (Hind's Crimson Star) reportedly at mag. 8.8 but I did not have luck finding it. I forgot to bring out a finder chart. 

 

Lawrence 

I too tried to track down R Lep a couple of nights ago in my 3” refractor but didn’t realize it is currently that faint.  I now don’t feel so bad that it was a no-sighting.



#5524 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 09:45 AM

A late night but a great night (& a 2 pot of coffee morning!).  Big Picture:  My Meade 826 is the Faint Fuzzy Killer, and my Triple Nickle 5 is my Tight Double Splitter.  826 was on the short pedestal Meade StarFinder motorized EQ.  TN5 on my improved Orion VersaGo alt/az. 

 

Seeing:  After 2000L (0100Z) 8+.  Too much surface moisture / humidity for "perfect" deep sky at The Swamp (would've been a near-perfect planetary night w/ calm air).  Smallest LPD (Light Pollution Dome) in years.  We're < 2 miles from downtown, so any outdoor events / stadium games > light; and, any surface moisture adds to glare, and the Dome swells.  With everything shut down, it's darker than usual to the west...

 

Both at 40x, I started at 0045Z with my M35 Test, and the 826 won handily -- 3x as many cluster stars as the TN5.  Even worse with M37, which was a resolved rich patch in the 826, but a smallish cluster with nebulosity in the TN5.  (Both clusters are west of the meridian, of course.)  I kept the 826 on M37 (Meade StarFinder tracks very well!), increased to 80x (Paradigm 15mm).  Very nice!

 

While  I waited on the Leo Galaxies to climb higher, I returned to Gemini & Cancer with the TN5.  The Beehive is stunning in this frac at 20x (2" UO Erfle 32mm).  Stars are so tiny & sharp in this scope that I could spot tight doubles by their deviation.  I had the Nagler 7 (97x) in a 1.25" adapter, and after centering the suspect star at 20x, I'd swap it in, and Boom!  Jet black hairline split.  I lost count, but I resolved at least two dozen doubles in this part of the sky.  This triplet adds a bit of red at center, so light red becomes ruby.  I'll have to look it up, but one very faint double has a red star & a white star -- Bama Fans would've loved that view...

 

Once Regulus crossed the meridian, I turned the 826 away from M37, and towards M95.  That 80mm F5 RFT that I put on the 826 makes finding the Messiers so much easier -- as does the EQ mount.  I began at 20x with an RKE 21mm, but found it better at 25x with an OLD Jaegers 16mm Erfle.  In general, most MAG 9 galaxies & a few MAG 10, showed as non-stars or larger in the RFT 80.  I was able to galaxy-hop from 95 to 96, to 105 (which was a surprisingly bright ball).  The Paradigm 15mm (80x) in the 826 was good for identifying a galaxy, while my UO 9mm / 6mm Orthos were best for wringing out detail.  NGC 3384 was more interesting to me than M105.  I tried, but could not see the fainter trio member NGC 3389.  I'm zipping through these galaxies, but I actually spent a good bit of time on each one, trying to pick out stuff -- good training for Mars / Jupiter / Saturn.  M65 & 66 were the "showcase" fuzzies, and both were bright & big in the 826.

 

A successful galaxy quest, and I'm looking forward to exploring the Virgo Realm of Galaxies in the coming weeks.  By midnight, I could feel the dampness (we had dense fog this morning).  I hated packing up, but it was after 0100 by the time I hit the hay.  For an old dude, that's late!


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#5525 Terra Nova

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 10:48 AM

Sounds great! Clouds and sprinkles here. cloudy.gif




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