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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#6476 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:08 PM

Kasmos

 Good news   Good report   

   But now it is all socked in here still in Connecticut  but now it is normal clouds and spits of rain  no high atmosphere

    smoke from the other side of the US.   Never thought normal clouds and rain would lift me out of the funk I was in

DSG


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#6477 Garyth64

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 08:08 PM

The sky was nice and clear, and blue for a change, for most of the day.  As the Sun was going down I set up my 5" Apogee.

This has been/and is a very good scope.  I've taken to many outreach events.

 

5 inch Apogee 9 17 20 a.jpg

 

I was able to view Jupiter and Saturn just after the Sun went down.  The temp was dropping and the wind was chilly.  A very good evening.

Jupiter was waving a little, but I got very good views once in a while.  Kathy came out, and I got a "Wow" from her.smile.gif   She's becoming a good observer, and she's looked thru all my different scopes.  She calls the 5" Apogee, the "Professor's scope".  Because I bought it from a retired professor from Latrobe University.  Anyway, she can tell a good image from a bad.  She also said that Jupiter did look better in the "professor's scope than the 3" I had out the other evening.

 

After a while the sky did seem to calm down a bit, and Jupiter became a little steadier.  It soon disappeared into the trees.  So I turned the scope on Saturn.

With the sky steadier, there were moments Saturn looked very crisp with Titan below (or above) it.

 

The sky clouded over, and I just brought the scope back into the house, but I left the mount set up and covered it up.  I'll get up about 2am, and if it clears, I'll take a look at Mars.


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#6478 dusty99

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 09:39 PM

Nice!  But I’m afraid all your smoke is over us out West...
 

It might be hard to beleive this is South West Torrance today. (yes the same Torrance you all know)

This morning had high clouds with blue areas of sky with no noticeble orange tint.

The onshore winds are really cleaning things out in my corner of the city.

D



#6479 Kasmos

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 09:44 PM

Nice!  But I’m afraid all your smoke is over us out West...
 

My smoke?

 

I had nothing to do with it wink.png



#6480 dusty99

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 09:45 PM

Guilty by association...

 

 

My smoke?

 

I had nothing to do with it wink.png



#6481 Bomber Bob

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 10:25 PM

Tonight I managed 2 hours with 2 very different F7 Refractors:  My vintage Lafayette (Yamamoto) 60mm and my new AT102ED, on AZ mounts KDS II & VersaGo 2, respectively.  I set them up so close together that their tripods were cross-legged, which made comparisons easy.

 

As usual, Jupiter & Saturn were in the worst seeing -- 6/10 at best -- low thin clouds streamed from SW to NE.  On the plus side, I could stay on the planet, knowing a decent gap would come along every couple of minutes; but the air from surface to space was in motion.  I got the transiting GRS in both scopes at 100x (Radian 4 / Nagler 7), and considered myself lucky.

 

By 2100L, skies overhead were clear with very few clouds, so I did some super sweeping at 25x in each (Jaegers ER16 / RKE 28) from Lacerta to Aquila, and some field-by-fields at 50x (RKE 8 / AT Paradigm 15) in the northern half of Aquarius, until the thick cloud deck rolled in.


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#6482 Kasmos

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 03:40 AM

Did a little observing of Jupiter and Saturn with the SP-C80. I'd become very use to using several 60mm scopes so the images of the planets with the 80mm were nice and bright with more background stars seen. Saturn's shadow on the rings was also much more defined compared to any of the views with the 60s.

 

The seeing was all over the board. Some moments the images were realtively sharp, the next, they were jumping around and going really soft. 

 

I was using a 7.5mm Ultima and then tried an old Circle T 9mm Kellner. While it was sharp it had an annoying reflection that I quickly remembered, especially on Jupiter. Swaped it out with a 18mm Vixen Ortho with a Ultima 2x barlow for the same power (100x). 

 

Then clouds started to roll in. Right before calling it quits, I swung it around for a look at Mars which was in a clearing but still fairly low in the east. At 120x I was a bit surprised how large it's disk was. I could make out some mottling, but it was hard to tell if a bright spot was a polar ice cap or an illusion. More clouds were developing so that and the seeing made it not worth hanging out. 

 

Worse yet, a neighbor up wind from me was burning some very stinky wood in an outdoor fire pit. Besides making me want to go inside, we had to close up all of our windows. Now what kind of inconsiderate dope does that after days of unhealthy smoke filled skies? ohlord.gif

 

SP-C80-Me.jpg

 

 


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#6483 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 10:35 AM

It’s undergone quite a change here as well. A strong Canadian cool front moved in bringing with it blue skies, a Fall breeze, and night-time temperatures in the 40s, °F. I just got back from my morning walk and it really feels like Autumn! Tonight should be a good night for viewing!

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#6484 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 01:06 PM

trending in the right direction it seems   nice you have blue again

 Still all clouds here     but Hope Springs eternal


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 18 September 2020 - 01:07 PM.

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#6485 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 01:58 PM

It’s pretty breezy here! Surface weather map is showing 10 knots. Hopefully that will die down.

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#6486 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 05:30 PM

“Ready to rumble!”- Frank Castanza
This is the first cloudless, very blue sky we have had in a long time. Up first is my new-to-me and otherwise twenty-five y.o. Meade model 395 90mm. F11 achromat on my rebuilt 1” shaft Jaegers GEM. This is this scope’s nighttime first light for me. It’ chilly and breezy still but if the air settles out, the Vixen ED102SS might also come out.

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#6487 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 05:32 PM

Jupiter’s GRS will just be rotating out of view as it gets dark but there will be a transit of Europa later in the evening.

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#6488 Bomber Bob

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 06:37 PM

Definitely a Wet Summer at The Swamp -- Sally has barely left the area, and now Beta is ginning-up -- no cloud gaps tonight...



#6489 Bonco2

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Posted 18 September 2020 - 08:49 PM

I walk with the wife every night at sunset here in the Tampa Fl area. I haven't seen Jupiter or Saturn for many days. Finally both were shinning clear. So I set up the Genesis 4 inch f/5. It's been some time since I've used it. Let's just say it delivered! Both planets were stunning. Sharp contrasty views especially on Jupiter. Viewed  up to 10 banding features. Sure seems to me tho that the polar regions are not as dark and striated compared to a few years ago. Best views were at 250X using a Dakin 2.4X barlow and a Nagler 4.8 mm Plossel. The same set up with a Meade 7mm research grade eyepiece came in at a close second. Saturn was best with the same eyepieces and rivaled my views not too long ago with my 8 inch Dob. Finally had some enjoyable observing.

Bill


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#6490 Alanvogt

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 01:02 AM

Haven't seen Jupiter or anything else in over a week.  You expect that here in December but now it's all smoke.  Tomorrow is the first promising night so I'm heading to my dark sky sight:  Goldendale Sky Village.  I'm a founding member and you can read about it In S&T Oct issue page 84.  Wish me luck!  Terra, I hope you like your 395 as much as I do mine.


Edited by Alanvogt, 19 September 2020 - 01:04 AM.

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#6491 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 07:51 AM

It's been over a week but last night I went out and saw good seeing.  I grabbed the Uitron 140 off the 142 mount in the living room. Dropped it in a clamshell/vixen bar courtesy of Terra  and popped it on the big Unistar alt az. It is easy to forget how good the scope is. Jupiter was a good size disc with cloud belts well defined using the Nagler T6 11mm to the Delite 9mm and finally T6-7mm. A 1.25 friendly draw tube helps, again thanks Terra..... I could have pushed magnification with a 5mm but did not bother to back in the house. Did not locate the GRS  spied Europa sliding across. Saturn was creamy white and needed the higher power of the 9 and 7.  Mars was up on the other side of the house and I decided to put the Unitron on the pool table but leave the Unistar set up for early Mars viewing around 4.30 am. Failed to wake up though....

 

Having multiple choices on which scopes to break out is  a nice problem to have. Tonight I'll mix it up again. But are telescope really like old stringed musical instruments that really need to be used every now and then? Let's just go with yes. Tonight might be a good night to go wide and far the four inch TV....nice to get the sky back


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 19 September 2020 - 07:53 AM.

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#6492 Terra Nova

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:41 AM

The Meade 395 was fun last night. It didn’t take too long tho to remind me of why I’ve switched over to apos for the most part. There was very noticable purple haze around Jupiter, Saturn, not so much. I did change out the prism diagonal with my 1.25” TeleVue Everbrite mirror diagonal which is very good and some of the purple went away and things sharpened up a bit. Seeing was not good much beyond 100X, (9mm circle T ortho). The GRS had rotated off limb, the Europa transit was in progress but not with the seeing. I could make out the NEB, SEB, and there were fleeting views of a couple of temperate belts in each hemisphere. Saturn was pretty, the Cassini division was easily seen, along with subtle but definite atmospheric banding and muted color differences across its globe.

 

It wasn’t too long before I took it off the GEM and replaced it with my Vixen ED102SS. Then I was one very happy camper. I examined the two Gas Giants a bit more before settling in on Sagittarius and its resident DSOs. It was just not a good night for planetary viewing. I did find out a couple of other things. I was using the old Jaegers GEM and while it was wonderful for low power, wide-field viewing of the southern Milky Way last night, I really missed slow motions and tracking for planetary viewing. It was harder to balance the long tube of the Meade compared to the shorter Vixen on the Jaegers mount. Also the longer Meade produced too much torsion. I would have to tighten down the locks so much that I was getting stick/jump rather than smooth movement. I didn't care for that. In the future, the 395 will go on the LX70. I also found that the big 8x50 finder was too much rear and side weight which didn’t help the balance issues with that setup. I replaced it with a smaller, lighter 6x30 and that worked out much better. 

 

Not to worry tho, the 395 is a keeper. I bought it for use primarily as a solar scope for H-alpha, Calcium, Fe, and white light viewing, and doing sunspot numbers, for which it will be perfect. Then the TV Sol Searcher sun finder which weighs nothing will be on it as well.


Edited by Terra Nova, 19 September 2020 - 09:22 AM.

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#6493 steve t

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:49 AM

We had clear blue skies yesterday and nice cool night last night.

 

The winds died down around sunset so I set the scope up for a quick tour along the milky way (MW). The MW was visible naked eye though the seeing was a little rough.

 

Autumn is my favorite time of year to observe with the MW passing directly over head along with some of my favorite deep sky objects and variable stars.


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#6494 Terra Nova

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 08:57 AM

The seeing was bad last night on this side of the River too Steve. But I too noted the wonderful transparency. I couldn’t make out the Milky Way naked eye from my near-urban location but all of Sagittarius was easily seen down to forth and fifth magnitude! It’s been three or four weeks since we’ve had skies that clear and dark.


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#6495 oldmanastro

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:46 AM

There was a bit of haze yesterday and some clouds coming and going. During some periods the sky would clear completely and remain like that for a while. Then clouds would come again in small groups. It was also windless, hot and humid but good for planet observing.

 

 I gave the 60mm f/17 Carton a ride on the Sears 60mm f/15 equatorial mount. This 50 year old equatorial has good stability and smooth movements, a pleasure for hand guiding. I never use the RA slow motion cable. There's a knob on one side and the gear that connects to the clock drive on the other. It's easy to reach those and move the scope in RA avoiding the instability produced by the RA cable. The Declination cable does not bother at all but it can be substituted with an old radio knob. An average polar alignment sufficed and I was observing Jupiter in no time.

 

The Carton objective is excellent. At 9:00pm Jupiter came up crisp and clear on the 9mm Plossl (111x) with several belts visible and a dark elongated feature on the equatorial border of the NEB. At 166x the NEB was showing irregularities and the equatorial region was evident. Sometimes the Saharan haze would thicken and a reduction in glare brought up the thin clouds north of the NEB.

 

Saturn was very nice at 166x with the Cassini division clearly showing. I powered up to 250x with the 4mm ortho and the planet image held very well still showing the equatorial belt and the Cassini division. Though not a fan of very high power, I like to push the optics and see how far they can go. Good optics can take high magnification. After Saturn I had to wait a while for clouds to go away.

 

Mars was a pleasant surprise showing the little south polar cap and dark regions very clearly even at 250x. I experimented on Saturn with my lighter filters and found that the Wratten 15 and 80A produced the best results. The 80A enhanced the darker areas and reduced the planetary glare to make the brighter areas easier to see. I was also surprised at the clarity of the view that resulted by combining the 9mm Plossl with the  vintage Celestron Ultima barlow (222x). 

 

The Carton is a notch above the Sears 6305 but not a big notch. 

 

There was no use trying DSOs with the haze. Albireo was totally obscured and the Lyra parallelogram was absent. That gives an idea of the level of haze present. Summer may be over for many of you folks but we'll have it here at least until mid October. 


Edited by oldmanastro, 19 September 2020 - 09:52 AM.

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#6496 oldmanastro

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 09:57 AM

 

 

Having multiple choices on which scopes to break out is  a nice problem to have. Tonight I'll mix it up again. But are telescope really like old stringed musical instruments that really need to be used every now and then? Let's just go with yes. 

Agree 100% !waytogo.gif


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#6497 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 10:05 AM

Having multiple choices on which scopes to break out is  a nice problem to have. Tonight I'll mix it up again. But are telescope really like old stringed musical instruments that really need to be used every now and then? Let's just go with yes. Tonight might be a good night to go wide and far the four inch TV....nice to get the sky back...

 

It is, and it sounds like your situation is similar to mine:  With so few decent nights in a month, I have to fight against using the same lightweight scopes over & over -- try to get back into some kind of rotation.  But, it's tough!


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#6498 Kasmos

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 11:37 PM

Early last evening I tried to use the SP-68R 68/1000mm Mizar but the seeing was terrible. The worst I ever remember. I'd formly only tried it on the Moon  and was reminded how it's mount is basically unusable with it's long springy slo-mo controls. It was so frustrating I didn't have the patience to document how long they take to settle. Probably 8-10 seconds. Since it's less used I pulled the one off the DEC and twisted the bare shaft by hand. Between the seeing and frustrating controls I quit and went inside. 

 

Later I thought of going back out and then we had a moderate earthquake. My wife and I rode it out in our recliners looking at each other wondering if it was going to gain strength and/or where was it centered? It turned out to only be a 4.5 but at first, we both thought, now what 2020?!!  undecided.gif


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#6499 Augustus

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Posted 19 September 2020 - 11:49 PM

Today I went for a flying lesson and then watched Meet John Doe and participated in a discussion that went on until 10:30 (a really excellent film BTW; I saw it as part of an informal film class I'm taking), so I really didn't have the time (or energy) to get up to Litchfield with my 14.7", so I just set up the Coulter 13.1" in my driveway. Mostly wanted to look at Mars; the seeing is pretty mediocre but I could still spot the main dark albedo patches and the ice cap. Could faintly see the Milky Way overhead somehow, and most of the neighbors' lights were off, so I went for DSOs just because.... I can?

  • M31 and M32 look good, could see the dust lane
  • Double Cluster was coma-ridden as could be, still cool
  • Pleiades was horrific to look at; small FOV + high amounts of coma + bright stars + cheapo Plossls.
  • M15 was pretty nice
  • M57 was blue, looked ok
  • M27 was kinda faint, I don't have 1.25" filters
  • Veil was barely visible, very hard to spot 
  • Double-Double was hard to split due to seeing

IMG_6859s.jpg

 

 


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#6500 BigC

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:19 AM

Yesterday at 0430 looked at Orion using the Scope 76x1200.Early morning skies here better than early evening. Looked for Mars but had trouble with finder and the cold.

It was 37 degrees Fahrenheit!

Today light frost and 32 degrees at dawn.

 

Wave goodbye to summer off there in the distance!!!


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