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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#6226 Terra Nova

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 01:49 PM

Thomas (Astrojensen) has been very happy with his F11.  I gave it a lot of thought, but went with the F7 -- the F11 wouldn't work on the VersaGo.

I love my two 4” apos and they are easier to carry out and mount. I don’t need another either.



#6227 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 03:51 PM

Great write up Terra......sounds like a good night to be observing for you....I have long heard from you and others about the FC-76 and I have had my eye open for one...….Not in a      I have to have one right now kind of way  but rather when a good one pops up....and I know about it...I'm going to make the move.  I missed out on a good older one here 8 weeks ago when a member who had both the old version and the new version. She mentioned something about the convenience of the new one.....but I'll get one eventually.  They seem to have a reputation for punching above their  weight class...

 

I'll go out tonight  and I'll be using the  FC -100 ….


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#6228 Bomber Bob

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 04:05 PM

I'll go out tonight  and I'll be using the  FC -100 ….

 

Sure!  Rub it in...

 

If clear tonight, I'll be out there, reflecting more light from my high-albedo OFF! coated skin than Io or Europa...

 

NOPE...  The Swamp is between 2 NE to SW squall lines -- stuck in the middle, with no rain, but all the heat & humidity...  I have the Dakin 4 & TN5 in the shed.  The former to compare with the C102, and the latter to enjoy the Core of the Milky Way -- if I get a chance.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 08 August 2020 - 05:00 PM.

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#6229 Esso2112

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 04:39 PM

A little blood letting is good for the soul.  A lot of blood letting sets the soul free. 
 

I did field work in the Everglades. Those mosquitos could carry you away. Off! was a condiment  to to them. 


Edited by Esso2112, 08 August 2020 - 04:39 PM.

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#6230 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 04:56 PM

MY observations with a twist  post  the storm       Darkness cometh

 So the Storm Isaias blew through here like a freight train from the south. Much heavier winds than predicted. But I am always prepared   On Monday I moved the sloop to the cove for protection  good thing  as out in the harbor   6 boats were on the rocks two sunk.

 

We lost power fast but the storm moved past us quickly  two small trees  and many branches  but over a million without power in the tri state area...I had an old small generator to work the fridge freezer cell charger and radio and a lamp.   The sky cleared super blue post storm clear you know what I mean  As night fell  I settled into a lawn chair with the binoculars and an Irish Whiskey.  I had the Vixen 80fl on the Unistar in the driveway.  It is getting really dark   square miles of darkness nice

 

Hey this is not so bad   it is dark here for a change.  Stars behind stars   seeing so much more than normal     no annoying neighbors LED lights as security    just pure darkness

 

Jupiter seemed more crisp as did creamy Saturn or was it my imagination? No some more detail here...   But it was the background stars that impressed me most    the binoculars must have thought we were in Vermont     it was great popping around the summer triangle especially Vega  I love hanging around     then east to Ursa Major   easy  Alcor Mizar   a  true test of naked eye vision    not quite Lasik  but better...a fuzzy here or there easy finds..swinging back south to Ophiuchus     and   hey what's this    do they have power somewhere south of here?   Oh   its the moon    rats     it is the moonglow....oh well      back to the Irish Whiskey

 

Day two         still no power       camping is getting old now     but at night more stars put on a show for free        and a bit later but yeah   that moonglow invading our new found darker skies

 

Day three      still no power     I go to the office just to get internet  dark skies the only consolation but we need our power back please    at 5.00pm   we pack some dinner and head for the boat where it is cooler and the sloop has power actually.  After a good sail and dinner aboard we return home after dark......Turning down our street  lights are on   Power   we have our power back      Diane is so happy  and I am relieved   But our two nights of Darkness on the edge of town is over  it is all good...……...


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 08 August 2020 - 05:16 PM.

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#6231 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 06:52 PM

Classic observing with four thousand of your closest flying insect friends?  What do you do to prepare? Long pants  long sleeve shirts? Socks? Sautee three cloves of fresh garlic 90 minutes before going out?

Someone said that they skeeters are heavy at dusk and the skeeters peter out somewhat after an hour or two. Of course some folks live where they have serious skeeters   like near  a swamp



#6232 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 06:53 PM

There were serious dark skies in the Everglades back then I would guess



#6233 davidc135

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 10:41 PM

The first satisfying view of Mars since 2018 and pretty well first light for the 8'' Dynamax with its new corrector. Better than usual seeing and x280 mag showed the polar cap clearly whilst a pale sliver extended some way up inside the crisply defined limb. Extensive darker markings over the lower hemisphere appeared bluish by comparison with the red surroundings.

 

Some sight-seeing up and down the moon terminator but the seeing now only fleetingly very good. Before long it clouded over and I packed it in. Need a dew shield and an easier finder for overhead objects. Some filters too.  David


Edited by davidc135, 09 August 2020 - 01:55 AM.

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#6234 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 09:00 AM

A 2nd late night for BB.  8+ seeing, near-perfect transparency, but frequent upper-air motion.  IOW:  A deep-sky summer night vs. calm sticky planetary.  TN5 (5" F5 RFT) literally gobbled-up the stars.  Dakin 4" F10 easily out-resolved the C102 -- no GRS dang it!

 

I spent more time with the RFT -- worked from Scorpio, N&E to Aquila.  Then spent a lot of time W&S of Altair, zooming in to ~ 90x (Nagler 7).

 

Dakin vs. Vixen:  For Jupiter & Saturn, the C102 has noticeably less violet limb-flash / corona than the Dakin.  But, as expected, the Dakin has much higher resolution & contrast -- Saturn is especially crisp @ 200x (Nagler 5) vice the Vixen.  No surprise:  The Dakin was hand-crafted by an experienced frac user, the Vixen was mass-produced (and has those edge clam-strands).  Dakin is sharp at 300x (75x / inch) on both Jupiter & Saturn.  Shoot!  At just 80x (OR12.5), I saw Titan + 2 moons against a black background (dark gray in the Vixen).  That little bit makes a difference.  With the Brandon 8mm @ 125x, the Dakin is very Tak-like for crispness & clarity -- the Vixen isn't.

 

The Dakin is a Definite Keeper (obviously, I had it powder-coated).  What about the Vixen?  It is an Excellent Classic refractor.  It's lighter & better-suited to the Mizar SP than the much heavier Dakin.  I got it cheap, it has issues, and most folks wouldn't want a damaged objective (even though I can prove there's no performance hit).  It'll be great for sharing.  I've already worked on the lens, and I'll probably make some modest restores / improvements -- when I have time.  So... Conditional Keeper...

 

BIF:  With most of my eyepieces, the field curvature / distortion in the TN5 -- 5" F5 non-ED triplet -- increases steadily towards the edge:  Stars change color, then spread / smear into spectrum-looking patterns, EXCEPT with my 1.25" RKEs.  At the extreme field edge, maybe the last 3%, the stars change colors, but they don't smear.  One more reason to add to my Why I Love RKEs catalog of reasons.  And, lest I forget, the 20 - 35mm of Eye Relief -- yes Virginia, the 28mm really is a Space Walk!


Edited by Bomber Bob, 09 August 2020 - 04:10 PM.

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#6235 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 09:04 AM

The first satisfying view of Mars since 2018 and pretty well first light for the 8'' Dynamax with its new corrector. Better than usual seeing and x280 mag showed the polar cap clearly whilst a pale sliver extended some way up inside the crisply defined limb. Extensive darker markings over the lower hemisphere appeared bluish by comparison with the red surroundings.

 

Some sight-seeing up and down the moon terminator but the seeing now only fleetingly very good. Before long it clouded over and I packed it in. Need a dew shield and an easier finder for overhead objects. Some filters too.  David

David, thanks for the report.  I suspected my DX8 had excellent mirrors -- the lousy corrector definitely hobbled it.  Too bad!  Good to hear that a DX8 can deliver with lunar/planetary.


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#6236 Pete W

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 10:21 AM

We had a crowd at our dark sky site near Bertram TX - 8 observers spread out in the observing field.  Even though we were socially distant I donned my mask for most of the night.  95 degrees at sunset, after which a breeze kicked up that kept the bugs at bay.  I had the older RV-6 riding the newer RV-6 mount and the alt-az Shrine Manon in 1.25" mode.   At twilight's end the milky way was nicely visible through eastern Ophiuchus and central Scorpius; the dark Pipe Nebula was detectable with naked eye averted vision.

 

The planets looked great, albeit small, in the Manon - about 93X was the max power with the 7.5mm Ultima.  But even at that power Saturn's Cassini's division was "visible", though it could have been the contrast effect between the bright B ring and dimmer A ring.  A smattering a faint stars popped out from the edges of M22 at 93X - it looked like it does in the C5 from my backyard!

 

The first RV-6 targets were three summer galaxies: NGC 6118 in Serpens, 6384 in Oph. and 6814 in  Aquila.  I've failed getting NGC 6814 in the RV-6 in the past, but tonight it was visible but elusive in the 16mm Konig.  Small, round and uniform in brightness.   NGC 6384 in Oph was a pleasant surprise.  I've seen it in the 18" but not in a small aperture.  In the RV-6 it was much more  obvious than 6814; with the 10mm Ultrascopic it had an oval-shaped brighter center surrounded by an oval-shaped halo.  NGC6118 in Serpens was a "no sighting", but I need to give it another shot - this is arguably the most challenging Herschel 400 target. 

 

Then spent most of the night tracking down 5 NGC planetaries in Aquila, mostly without a filter.    NGC's 6778, 6781 and 6804 stood out as the most interesting, particularly NGC 6778, which was showed more detail in the 7.5mm Ultima without a filter than in the 10mm ultrascopic with the UHC filter.  Without gave an impression of a faint field star superimposed on a round nebulous glow.

 

Hopefully last night was the first of a few dark sky outings now that moon rise is after midnight.  Clear evenings are one positive of the drought we are currently experiencing.


Edited by Pete W, 09 August 2020 - 01:01 PM.

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#6237 oldmanastro

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 10:36 AM

Reading all the last reports has been a real pleasure. It feels as if I am right there observing with the Taks,, Dakin, Vixens and a good Dynamax 8. Terra's report with the FC-76 was especially delightful with its nicely written descriptive detail of the planetary observations. Mosquitoes, power outages, heat and humidity are things that I can relate to year round. BTW I have tried a plastic wrist band that contains citronella. It's has worked for me. 

 

Yesterday the sky cleared up but there was some haze from "the usual suspect". It was hot and humid as it should be these days. I saw clouds in the eastern horizon and decided that this was a grab & go night. So I grabbed the now 21 years old ETX-90 with the 884 tripod, polar aligned and went after Jupiter and Saturn.

 

Jupiter was first. A nice crisp image at 150x with the 9mm Plossl and still crisp at 200x with the 6mm UO ortho. That's as far as I went magnification wise. At first details were not easy but as time went by, the telescope stabilized and the planet went higher above the horizon, more bands and details became visible. It was a pity that the GRS was not available. Io and Europa were on either side of the planet with Europa getting nearer for an eventual occultation. As Jupiter crossed the meridian it was high up there at 50 degrees above the horizon. It was there on moments of excellent seeing that some details popped up in the NEB and more belts could be observed. 

 

I did some eyepiece/barlow combinations and came up with one that provided comfortable and great views. It was an Orion 3x barlow with the 17mm Erfle. This combination should provide about 250x but the image looked more like a 200x magnification. I tried the same barlow with a 23mm Aspheric eyepiece and the view was very nice. This is an eyepiece that came as part of the $50 Celestron Nexstar102GT deal some years ago. It is not original to the kit but I was surprised at it's performance. I even tested the original Celestron 1.25" Huygens and Ramsden eyepieces. Aside from the lateral color and as long as the planets were centered, these eyepieces gave a good account of themselves.

 

Saturn followed. It was observed almost at the point of meridian crossing and like Jupiter approximately 50 degrees above the southern horizon. Great views of the planet were possible with the 6mm UO ortho. The rings were crisp and clear with the Cassini division well defined and some finer atmospheric bands visible. The 23mm Aspheric with the 3X Barlow (about 180x) provided comfortable crisp views. I could observe Saturn forever. The first time I saw it was early one morning 54 years ago through my 60mm f/11 Sears refractor with .965" 15mm and 4mm eyepieces. The view was astounding. It was the moment that kept me hooked to astronomy all these years. I was separated from the eyepiece only after I heard my mother's firm voice. It was a school day and I had awakened before 4:00am to see the planet. 

 

Clouds came and went during the night. I was tempted to do some images but the ETX-90 tracking is not good enough for this. It has too much tracking error in RA that you need to keep correcting with the hand controller. I ended up using almost all my potpourri of 1.25" eyepieces just for fun. After midnight clouds began to gather again and I closed shop. The Last Quarter Moon and Mars were low on the horizon, a nice pair. The ETX-90 provided a pleasant grab and go night of visual observations. Unfortunately the haze prevented any DSO observing. Later on came the realization that I missed Europa's occultation by minutes! 

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido


Edited by oldmanastro, 09 August 2020 - 01:46 PM.

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#6238 Terra Nova

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 11:48 AM

We went to a friend’s house last night for a socially distanced campfire in the backyard. On the drive over it was near sunset and the sky was golden yellow with haze and I wondered if it was Saharan dust. It was so yellow! Then driving home just before midnight the rising moon was a deep reddish orange! And OMG, the mosquitos tried to eat up up! It was so bad that we relented and put on some Deet 100. That helped, but required a thorough late nite washing before bed. The stuff is so nasty!


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#6239 steve t

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 01:45 PM

Was out the other night observing Jupiter and Saturn. Also tracked down a few variable stars before moon rise.

We are blessed that have a cave about a block from our house and the resident bats keep our mosquito population under control.


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#6240 ccwemyss

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 05:35 PM

Been having frustrating weather. Clear in the late afternoon, then cirrus and scud after sunset. Finally had an evening last night with just the scud, and managed to get out the 7TE-2 that PeterB donated, which was put back into operation with parts from Dionigi's for-parts 7TE-5 that Barry gave me. Just had time to do some cloud-dodging between Jupiter and Saturn. 

 

The 7TE-2 did not disappoint. It nicely took 150X on both planets, with more detail (not just increased scale) on both, stepping up from the 7mm Celestron/Vixen Ortho to the Pentax 6mm Ortho (two very fine 0.965 eyepieces). So that's better than 60X per inch.

 

Jupiter showed good contrast and some nice detail in both equatorial belts. Cassini was barely visible on Saturn, but the ring shadow was quite clear, and some very distinct banding on the planet. This will serve my students very well. 

 

This one is now ready to inventory, pack, and put into the loaner set. Class starts in three weeks, and I want to get the scopes out ASAP while we're in-person, in case we have to go remote again. 

 

Chip W. 


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#6241 oldmanastro

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:07 PM

Came in about an hour ago after a quick observing run. We had a power outage for about three hours tonight. I went out and found a very dark sky and scattered clouds with a break to the south. This would be a short one. I took the old almost 55 years old Sears 60mm f/11 altazimuth refractor, my first scope, with the original 15mm Huygens and 4mm Ramsden eyepieces plus a  22mm Kellner, 9mm Huygens and 6mm Huygens borrowed from the 76mm f/16 scope. Even the old and long original 2x Barlow came along. 

 

Jupiter was in the FOV of the 22mmK quickly. Ver nice and very small at 32x. At 47x with the 15mm Huygens the view was much better with two bands on jupiter showing and three satellites, Io, Callisto and Ganymede. So,  I checked the satellite's positions and found that Europa was transiting. I could not see the shadow yet. At 78x with the 9mm Huygens there was a hint of Europa's shadow but it was at 117x with the 6mm Huygens that the shadow became evident and clear. Not only that, the GRS was now visible and also going through transit. I was surprised to see the GRS so easily with this telescope but I had never used the 6mm Huygens with it on Jupiter. This is an eyepiece that has always surprised me. I tried 155x using the Barlow and the 9mm Huygens but it was not as good as that 6mm. Some clouds came and went, the sky cleared for a while in the same direction and I continued observing. Saturn was also very nice at 117x showing the Cassini division clearly and one band in the planet's disc. It was also observed at 47x and 175x with the 4mm Ramsden. This was too much magnification for this night. At a higher altitude and during a better night it may be possible to observe Jupiter or Saturn with this magnification. So I was back at 117x enjoying the view. 

 

The sky continued to be quite dark (outages have their good side) with transparency at about 5 but unfortunately too many clouds. I went back to Jupiter and continued to watch the transits of both the GRS and Europa until some clouds announced rain. There is always something special about observing the movements of Jupiter satellites and it's atmosphere. In this case I could only detect the atmospheric movement using the GRS. No other details on the bands were detected. Only the NEB, SEB and polar regions were evident but not bad for the little Towa that has been looking up since Christmas of 65.

 

Clear Skies!

 

Guido


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#6242 highfnum

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Posted Yesterday, 09:23 AM

classic c8 (orange)  moon

air was steady 

Capture 8_11_2020 5_50_44 AMc8corp.jpg

Capture 8_11_2020 5_43_00 AMc8tyco.jpg

Capture 8_11_2020 5_41_41 AMc8clav.jpg


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#6243 Bomber Bob

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Posted Yesterday, 11:01 AM

Great shots!   What camera did you use??



#6244 highfnum

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Posted Yesterday, 11:06 AM

ASI120MM 

with mars filter -- good for moon also

but the main thing air was real dead 

very rare this quiet


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#6245 oldmanastro

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Posted Yesterday, 12:18 PM

Really great moon shots. The detail is tremendous. The second and third shots are like 3D. Like hovering over the craters in a spaceship.

 

Guido


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#6246 clamchip

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Posted Yesterday, 04:31 PM

Excellent shots, I nearly stopped what I was doing and set up a C8 for this evening.

 

Robert


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#6247 highfnum

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Posted Yesterday, 05:44 PM

just remember 

its not only the scope

but the air above

i get about 5 to 8 days

out of 365 like this


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#6248 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted Yesterday, 08:59 PM

I have to learn how to take pics   Great moon shots 

That camera is not very expensive   right?  

 

  Decided to take a quick ride a bit north  with a  very light kit     the Edmund Voyager   to see how it does on Jupiter and Saturn    with really good eyepieces     Super light one hander on the car hood     I used the   Nagler types 6's I have grown very fond of     the 16   small disc great image   the 11  better somewhat bigger   then the 7mm T6    very sharp      great 63 mm achro    sharp good contrast  bands   the four moons and an interloper probably a star    to the upper left     oh boy clouds moving in fast      not getting to Saturn   no early eve Perseid meteors just now....shut down

 

two things  great little scope and lens and T6's work so well with it

 

Finally  the diagonal is sub par   non descript basic    what would you recommend   yes I have good ones  but Id like to have one always inserted    would a good yet inexpensive celestron diagonal  be good ?

Not a good night for observing but I good night just the same w  the little red scope that could


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, Yesterday, 09:00 PM.

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#6249 clamchip

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Posted Yesterday, 10:09 PM

The telescope does the work, the camera merely records the event.

You did a beautiful job recording the event. 

 

Robert



#6250 Bomber Bob

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Posted Yesterday, 10:17 PM

I have to learn how to take pics   Great moon shots

That camera is not very expensive   right?

 

My first imager was that used Orion StarShoot 2 -- cost a whopping $35.  I've seen some of the much better Celestron NexImage 5 cameras for $50 or less.

 

Been reading good things about the new SVBONY cameras, and their prices are very reasonable, too.


Edited by Bomber Bob, Yesterday, 10:18 PM.



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