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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#6701 highfnum

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 09:00 AM

a little treat for right side of brain

usually not my thing 

but i did drawing with c8 and clave eyepiece  6 , 8 mm 

 

 

clave2.jpg

marsdrw2.jpg


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#6702 oldmanastro

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 09:23 AM

A very short session yesterday under variably hazy skies. The clouds left the neighborhood very late. It was almost 10:00pm when I saw a clearing. There was some haze but I knew that it would be helpful for Mars.

I decided on a visual observing run with the Sears 6336 in original mount and hand driven. It was set up in five minutes. The seeing was about 8 but the transparency was not more than 3.

 

Mars was already high and I had it in the FOV in no time. The 9mm Plossl (133x) provided a good view with the south polar cap clearly visible plus some of the darker areas. I checked the S&T Mars profiler to see what features Mars was showing at this hour. The main ones were Mare Sirenium and Solis Lacus. Mare Sirenium was quite evident but Solis Lacus not so much at this magnification. The 6mm UO orthoscopic (200x) brought Solis Lacus into view.  The center of the region was there but then "spokes" that sometimes makes it look like an old wagon wheel were not. The image was very crisp at this magnification. I went up to 300x with the 4mm orthoscopic and could focus clearly. It was then that the "spokes" became visible in moments of excellent seeing. Not bad for a 76.2mm lens. I continued observing Mars and testing a set of Nikon microscope eyepieces adapted for 1.25" focusers. These vintage eyepieces have surprised me. The 20x one provides a magnification that's near 200x using a 2x Barlow. The image of Mars with this one was bright and clear to the edge of the FOV and I could see the central marking of Solis Lacus with it. I have been pleasantly surprised by these eyepieces and their rather ample field of view coupled to a nice eye relief.

 

I ended the session with the Pleiades. The haze had increased and Orion was out there with its belt of three stars barely visible. The 6336 refractor was a pleasure to use. I must add that there was no significant wind. This is the achilles heel of this pedestal mount but then, the description of the telescope in the 1965 Sears catalog indicates that this is supposed to be "an observatory instrument" ! wink.gif

 

Clear Skies!


Edited by oldmanastro, 22 October 2020 - 11:40 AM.

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#6703 John Rogers

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 03:58 PM

Two mornings ago, I was observing with my Meade RG880.  With the 31mm Nagler, a nice 2 degree field-of-view is achieved.  It is rather breathtaking to see all the stars in the Pleiades cluster together.  The contrast was excellent, with nebulosity easily seen around all the bright stars.  The seeing was good enough that I took some time to search for the streamers near Electra, but was unable to detect them.  The extension of the nebulosity around Merope was easily seen and I convinced myself that there was some structure evident as well.

 

The Orion Nebula was very striking.  For me, this object never gets old.  Every time I look at it, the same feeling of fascination crosses over me as when I first observed it at age 10.  A single field presented M42, M43 and NGC 1977.

 

I tried something this particular morning that I had not done in the past.  I decided to crank up the magnification on the trapezium, using the 6mm Delos and 2x Powermate.  The atmosphere was very steady and all four of the stars showed nice clear, classic diffraction patterns at 400x.  The E and F components were easily seen, but did not display the diffraction effects.


Edited by John Rogers, 22 October 2020 - 03:58 PM.

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#6704 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 06:08 PM

Not that I don't trust the NWS, but after lunch I went ahead & "star" tested my "new" C-80P using the microwave tower shiny hardware (about 2 miles away)...

 

There's about a 1mm slump in the focuser.  The lens cell cannot be adjusted.  So the star test is deformed, both straight-through & with a Celestron (Vixen) 1.25" prism diagonal.  IOW:  This 30+ year old prism doesn't hurt the views.  I'll have to take the focuser apart this weekend, and see if I can use a very thin felt piece or vinyl arc to correct the slumping.  For 1st light, I'll push in a vinyl piece after I get it focused, which should help the views.

 

I also got the original 6x30 finder aligned.  I have a better quality black Vixen 6x30 LER (Long Eye Relief) that I may swap in; or, if I decide to keep this frac, put an R/A finder on it.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

 

Celestron (Vixen) C-80 Premium - First Light

 

Seeing varied 7-8 / 10.  Best deep-sky seeing after 0130Z, when the surface winds picked up to a steady 5-8 knots.  The slump is < than 1mm after focusing on an object.  Straight-through star tests on Altair, Vega, Sadr, & Deneb were much better than I predicted, using spectros .965" Kellner 10mm and Plossls 7.5 & 5mm.  Jupiter & Saturn had sharp disks at 180x (PL5), better with the Baader prism than the C/V.  My C-102 showed more belts & within belt fine detail, but the C-80 was close behind.  Minimal CA, and I had to look slightly off-axis to get the Purple Flash at the planetary limbs. 

 

After this SxS, I retired the C-102, and swapped the C-80 to the Mizar SP.  I put my excellent Lafayette (Yamamoto) 60mm F7 on the VersaGo, and did SxS double star comparisons within the Great Square of Pegasus.  The 60 has perfect star tests, and seeing in the eastern half of the sky was 8+ for deep-sky.  Star colors were closer to actual in the C-80, of course.  Airy Disks were better in the 60, with both fracs at about 80x.

 

The 60x per inch put this C-80 in my Excellent category.  Then Mars got high enough to stay sharp at about 240x (Radian 4mm), which is Outstanding in my book.

 

So overall, the C-80 is mechanically in better shape than I thought; and, the optics performed at a higher level.  Hoping to get in a SxS with my AO 76mm F15 this weekend.

 

I really enjoyed the Lafayette 60.  50x with an RKE 8mm... Andromeda Trio is pretty, and the Double Cluster is impressive for this aperture -- frac compares well with my Tak FC-50.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 23 October 2020 - 07:00 AM.

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#6705 Terra Nova

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:54 PM

I almost forgot! Anyone notice the beautiful alignment of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn all lined up on the ecliptic last night? I snapped this pic with my iPhone while I was out on my deck observing.

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#6706 steve t

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 06:22 AM

I almost forgot! Anyone notice the beautiful alignment of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn all lined up on the ecliptic last night? I snapped this pic with my iPhone while I was out on my deck observing.

I was able to briefly see the alignment just before clouds rolled in. 

Very nice 


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#6707 steve t

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 04:10 PM

We're currently under a severe thunderstorm watch but, earlier was able to get a quick peek at the sun. the current active region continues march across its face.


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#6708 oldmanastro

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 06:38 PM

Yesterday I went out at 8:00pm to find a nice arrangement of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. They formed almost a right triangle with the moon and Jupiter forming the base, Saturn and the Moon the height and Saturn and Jupiter the hypothenuse and... I didn't take a photo! bangbang.gif

 

I did spend the night observing the planets with the 100mm f/13 Carton lens refractor. Seeing was excellent at about 8 and transparency much better than the day before, at least 4. Jupiter was already low but showing good detail at 216x. There was a nice blue festoon at the south border of the NEB. The color was quite evident. The equatorial region was full of small details and several belts were clearly visible. Io and Europa were paired up nicely at the side of the planet like a well separated double star. Saturn was also nice but the moon almost obliterated Rhea. It could be observed with averted vision. The planet itself was crisp with the Cassini division all around the ring.

 

The main issue for the night was Mars and the Carton brought it up nicely. At 216x I could see the Solis Lacus without any difficulty with Mare Sirenium nearby. I increased the magnification to 325x and the image was clear, the Solis Lacus showing its central region with one of the "spokes" coming out from the center and another observed in those moments when the seeing is extra excellent. This time the Wratten 15 filter did an excellent job of bringing up the planet features, even better than the Orion Mars Filter or the Wratten 80A. I spent sometime observing Mars and then decided to take some images. Two of them are included here, one with and one without the use of the "white balance feature". At 10:45 a formation of broken clouds arrived out of nowhere and overtook the sky.

 

The Carton lens did a great job. Every time that I am out with this telescope it reminds me of John Mallas and his 4" Unitron (even longer than this one). His book, with Evered Kreimer, The Messier Album contains just the Messier portion of the extensive survey that Mallas carried out with his Unitron back in the mid 20th century. It also included double stars. A tremendous work, done with a 100mm f/16 telescope, that has been only partially published. I do remember that The Review of Popular Astronomy published some of the work.  

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Edited by oldmanastro, 24 October 2020 - 09:17 AM.

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#6709 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 06:42 PM

Nothing for days  and days    just soup ..rain .. drizzle ..  clouds   anything but what we need 

  living vicariously through your reports here   keep me coming thanks


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#6710 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 09:40 PM

Nice pix Guido!  My views tonight of Mars at 240x (spectros PL5) in my 1971 RV-6 looked just like your images, except Mars wasn't that red:  Bull's Eye with Solis Lacus at the center, and the Goose Neck of Sirenum.  Small faint blotch near the limb was most likely Propontis -- too far north to be Olympus Mons...  In the clearest & calmest moments, I got that Mac Finder "face" icon in jet black lines.  [I did see some white limb haze in the 6336, but it was way west of Tharsis.  I have captured clouds at Olympus with this frac, but that was years ago.]

 

Before sunset, I had a SxS between my 1964 Sears 6336 (AO 76mm F15) and my Celestron C-80P (Vixen 80mm F11) on Jupiter & Saturn.  Not even close.  The 6336 showed more belts & details starting at 100x, and maxed out at 240x (spectros PL5), vs. 180x in the C-80 with the same Baader diagonal & eyepiece.  Almost no yellow on the disks & Saturn's rings, and much smaller & fainter Purple Haze.  The 6336 split the Delphinus Double-Double at 30x (spectros KE 40); C-80 took 46x (spectros KE 20).  Seeing in that area was near-perfect.  If J&S had been at least 10* higher... Whoa, Nelly!  Saturn in the RV-6 was amazing at 300x (TV Radian 4) -- 3 belts, Titan + 3 other moons -- but I lost the belt colors seen at 200x (UO HD OR 6)...

 

IF I'd only known yesterday afternoon...  I almost moved my Tinsley to the shed, but it looked like it was gonna be a cloud-dodging session, and the Tinsley don't dodge clouds.  Great as my RV-6 is (& IT IS), the Tinsley will show more intense belt colors on Saturn, and more detail inside the GRS, and ON the Galileans.  300x is no sweat with the Tinsley.

 

BIF:  With the 6336, I get a small faint Purple Flash on Jupiter, but not on Mars or Saturn.  I do see a Yellow Splash around Mars if I look the least bit off-axis.  What do the other AO 76mm F15 achro owners see??

 

Purple Flash is obvious in this RAW image from 3+ years ago:

 

S6336 - Jupiter (GRS) 20170514V07AS26ST01.jpg

 

No Purple Flashes with Mars or Saturn from 6 & 3 years ago, respectively:

 

Sears 6336 - Mars 20140427CS8008RO.jpg Sears 6336 - Saturn 20140713V04V01.jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 24 October 2020 - 07:23 PM.

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#6711 Terra Nova

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 02:36 PM

We have finally had a little solar activity this past week and I’ve been enjoying daily views of the Sunspot AR2776 work it’s way across the solar surface. Today it’s approaching the limb so tomorrow I imaging it will be gone. I set up on the deck this afternoon with my 55 year old Mayflower model 814. I was using my Lunt 1.25” wedge, Baader solar continuum filter, Baader 495nm long pass (yellow) filter, and Baader polarizing filter, and my Meade 13.8mm SWA, 9.7mm SuperPlossl, and Carton 8mm Plossl eyepieces.

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Edited by Terra Nova, 24 October 2020 - 06:11 PM.

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#6712 steve t

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 06:47 PM

Terra - Very cool, I've been following the same spot, when it's not raining, over the last few days.

 

Just saw what I think may have seen a satellite reentering at 8:29 EDT . It was a small faint spot starting near zenith, moving from the North West to the South East with a trail of faint sparks, like a bottle rocket, about 3 degrees long. It was moving about the speed of a high altitude aircraft or the ISS when it passes over, but much slower than than a meteor.


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#6713 Pete W

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 01:14 AM

Set up the G8 & the Argonaut mak-newt at sunset under clear skies.  Jupiter and Saturn were fine at 180x.  Went back out  at 8 only to find thick clouds!  So, brought the scope back in.   The clouds thinned by 1030 so grabbed the Shrine 60mm for quick peeks of the moon and planets.  Mars revealed its tiny polar cap and some wispy dark patches at about 170x with the 2-4mm nagler zoom.  Stayed clear so at 1130 decided to drag the argonaut back out for Mars. A good call but only had a max of 180x with the Tak 5mm LE.  The wispy dark patches resolved into different shades of dark with texture.

 

 Took quick peeks of the Pleiades, Andromeda, double cluster, M36& 37 with the 2” Meade 32mm RG wide Angle, and resolved 36 And with the Tak 5mm  LE.  Even got my first look at M42.   I need to use the mak-newt more.  


Edited by Pete W, 25 October 2020 - 08:35 AM.

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#6714 highfnum

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 04:47 AM

classic c8

seeing not so good

so had to keep to f10

but i noticed some  haze 

so i went for UV shot  like F W Wright did back in 20's

also a color and IR for reference

 

Capture 10_24_2020 9_47_48 PMc8uv.jpg

Capture 10_24_2020 9_41_20 PMc8ir.jpg

Capture 10_24_2020 10_08_49 PMc8.jpg

 


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#6715 Terra Nova

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 08:33 AM

Terra - Very cool, I've been following the same spot, when it's not raining, over the last few days.

 

Just saw what I think may have seen a satellite reentering at 8:29 EDT . It was a small faint spot starting near zenith, moving from the North West to the South East with a trail of faint sparks, like a bottle rocket, about 3 degrees long. It was moving about the speed of a high altitude aircraft or the ISS when it passes over, but much slower than than a meteor.

Very cool Steve. I missed it. I went out couple of times with a little handheld sweeper I made from left over parts, my last CNC focuser, a Surplus Shed 80mm F4 binocular objective and a 28mm RKE to scan the skies. The field is huge. The moon was pretty.  had a lot of cirrus clouds moving through. I was surprised to find it raining this morning. I wasn’t expecting that. I didn’t think it was going to start again until tonight? Looks like rain through the next couple of days. 


Edited by Terra Nova, 25 October 2020 - 08:38 AM.

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#6716 oldmanastro

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 09:47 AM

 

 

BIF:  With the 6336, I get a small faint Purple Flash on Jupiter, but not on Mars or Saturn.  I do see a Yellow Splash around Mars if I look the least bit off-axis.  What do the other AO 76mm F15 achro owners see??

 

Purple Flash is obvious in this RAW image from 3+ years ago:

 

attachicon.gifS6336 - Jupiter (GRS) 20170514V07AS26ST01.jpg

 

No Purple Flashes with Mars or Saturn from 6 & 3 years ago, respectively:

 

attachicon.gifSears 6336 - Mars 20140427CS8008RO.jpgattachicon.gifSears 6336 - Saturn 20140713V04V01.jpg

I can see that faint purple flash around Jupiter and Mars when I first place them in the eyepiece FOV but after a while, it's gone. It's as if the eyes adapt to it. It happens with all my achromatic refractors including the f/15-16 ones. The other telescope that produces a similar effect is the 150mm f/12 Mak. It must be the thick corrector.

 

There are images of Jupiter in my files, all taken with achromatic refractors and all showing that purple splash over the planet that makes some features look purplish. I don't get that with Mars or Saturn. It must be the brilliant white colors on Jupiter.


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#6717 steve t

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 10:45 AM

Very cool Steve. I missed it. I went out couple of times with a little handheld sweeper I made from left over parts, my last CNC focuser, a Surplus Shed 80mm F4 binocular objective and a 28mm RKE to scan the skies. The field is huge. The moon was pretty.  had a lot of cirrus clouds moving through. I was surprised to find it raining this morning. I wasn’t expecting that. I didn’t think it was going to start again until tonight? Looks like rain through the next couple of days. 

The 80mm sounds like an excellent scope.

 

On our side of the river, we're going to have clouds for the next few days and next week is looking hopeful.

 

It took me a bit to figure out I was seeing space junk reentering. It looked so strange I felt, for a second, like I was in a sci fi "B" movie from the 50's. Those movie always seem to start with a strange meteor sighting. Of course I should keep an eye on my neighbors to see if they start acting strangelyshocked.gif lol.gif

 

It is the seasonscared.gif .



#6718 oldmanastro

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 10:52 AM

This is a late report from the night before yesterday's. It was not as clear as the previous night but the seeing was very good. The Celestar 8 was set up for an imaging session on Mars. I wanted to capture the Solis Lacus area with the 200mm aperture. As the telescope acclimated I did some Jupiter and Saturn observing. Then Mars was in the FOV of the 6mm UO ortho and showing the Solis Lacus and Mare Sirenum very clearly. I placed the 3X barlow with the camera on the eyepiece holder, connected the camera and obtained a couple of good images. Afterwards I continued to observe Mars visually and with filters. The Wratten 15 was the best. It enhanced the details in the dark areas and even the south polar cap. The Orion Mars filter did a good job too. 

The old 25+ years old Celestar did a good job once more. It has come a long way from its arrival with a dirty misplaced corrector and non-functional clock drive. Later on I observed some doubles like Epsilon Persei, Gamma Piscis Austrinis and Delta Piscis Austrinis. They were all nice pairs and easy pickings for this telescope. Like the night before, clouds appeared by 11:00pm. Yesterday there was no observing to be done with clouds and haze. The day looked and felt like mid summer with temperatures in the 90s and humidity in the 70s. Today it looks like more of the same.

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Edited by oldmanastro, 25 October 2020 - 10:52 AM.

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#6719 Corcaroli78

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 05:04 AM

Hi All

 

After three weeks of cloudy and rainy weather, the sky cleared yesterday in my location. I took the Zeiss Telementor to test a recently purchased 6.7 mm 82*, so, i put in the pocket the O-10 and a 2.5x GSO barlow for a quick observation at 8 pm.

 

Mars was high in the sky and it was clear at 125x, with the barlow, it was still clear at 300x. The image was nice, Mars escorted by the visual pair formed by 77 Psc A und B.

 

I pointed to the Moon just to be amazed by the clear, sharp -color free- view i had, Sinus iridium and Plato were the most prominent features that i observed, Near Plato, i detected a chain of craters with some indication of impact spikes that i will research today if they are related .

 

Well... a short very enjoyable session, happy to be back in the observation and not so much at the computer :-)

 

Thanks for reading

Carlos


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#6720 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 09:30 AM

Talk about under the wire:  I got just enough time last night to check my "new" Takahashi .965" prism diagonal on my Tak FC-50 before Zeta's northern-most arm clouded me out...

 

Quick star test on Altair:  no diagonal / with diagonal using .965" eyepieces (spectros KE 10, PL 7.5 & 5).  Then a sky test on Jupiter & Saturn at 80x.  The prism didn't add any "noise" to the views.  There is a small area of haze on the back of the prism that I'll remove before I use it again.

 

Cosmetics are perfect -- looks like NOS.  But, no Tak branding on it, so it could actually be a COC accessory -- some of their scopes & such used the same Swift / Tak tightening band rather than a thumbscrew.  [Of course, it could be that all those brands bought accessories from the same supplier...]

 

Takahashi 965 NOS Prism Diagonal S01.jpg Takahashi 965 NOS Prism Diagonal S02.jpg

 

Some interesting differences between this TAK and other vintage prism diagonals:

 

- Rather than a bent brass "spring" to hold the prism in place, this one uses an actual stainless steel spring;

- No black paper for the back / large prism face;

- All the edges of the prism are blackened;

- A soft black gummy material seals the brass back to the frame for dew / water resistance;

- Unlike the Twist Rings on my Swift 838 accessories, this one uses a vinyl band rather than a brass band.

 

It's clean, collimated, & reassembled.  Just me, but the small scale suits my Tiny Tak 50mm F8 fluorite.  And, I like having another reason to use BB's Zeiss Eyepieces -- my Swiss-made spectros set. 


Edited by Bomber Bob, 27 October 2020 - 11:39 AM.

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#6721 Terra Nova

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 10:29 AM

I got just enough time last night to check my "new" Takahashi .965" prism diagonal on my Tak FC-50 before Zeta's northern-most arm clouded me out...Quick star test on Altair:  no diagonal / with diagonal using .965" eyepieces (spectros KE 10, PL 7.5 & 5).  Then a sky test on Jupiter & Saturn at 80x.  The prism didn't add any "noise" to the views.“

 

One usually lives at the back of my Tak FC-60. I’s a wonderful diagonal, matched only by its 1.25” big sister on my FC-76.

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#6722 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 10:46 AM

Yes  I really like the Tak prism diagonals   as well     1.25

 I recently got another used one here    so now I have two

   one is dedicated to the Tak FC-100 and 128  and the other moves around a lot   I like it on the 58 Tasco 10te(Vixen vb conversion)  and the old 59 Unitron 140  with the 1.25 conversion draw tube   I got from Terra    thanks again T

 

Having said that  still in the thick of it       clouds and no windows of opportunity to observe here in Southern New England for quite some time now    oh well    such is life in 2020


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#6723 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 11:43 AM

I lost my best 965 prism when I sold the Goto.  This Tak / COC has better glass (bit larger, too) and build quality than the 2 N-S diagonals I bought a while back.


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#6724 Bonco2

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Posted 27 October 2020 - 03:41 PM

Sniff, sniff, I smell thread drift. LOL!

Bill


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#6725 Bomber Bob

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  • Posts: 18,248
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, USA

Posted 27 October 2020 - 05:10 PM

Sniff, sniff, I smell thread drift. LOL!

Bill

Yeah -- y'all cut that out!  Oh... wait a tick...

 

In my case, it's called Hurricane Zeta.  I've honestly lost track of all the tropical systems that have clouded my skies -- and I think the NWS has, too...

 

On Topic:  My Tak FC-50 is by far my best refractor, ever.  Near-perfect optics, and views.  So, it boils down to the Accessories -- especially as it's a "fast" F8 refractor, rather than an F15 or F20.  At just 80x, Jupiter is a sharp well-resolved disk.  A few of the belts (NTB & STB) hover right at the limit for my old eyes to see colors.  When I > to 150x, no hints of natural belt colors at all.  In 7+ seeing, I do get red in the GRS all the way up to 150x, but at 200x, nope.  But the disk stays sharp.  Amazing performance for a 2" refractor.  Saturn... at a humble 40x (KE10), is enigmatic, and most nights it floats in a black field with only Titan for company.  The disk gap & Cassini really jump out.  Overall, just a beautiful view.


  • steve t, Terra Nova, oldmanastro and 2 others like this


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