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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#6876 AllanDystrup

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 06:44 AM

     Really awful autumn weather the past couple of weeks up here at 56N Europe in Denmark -- I got a quick view at the sun in white light yesterday, with my Vixen FL80S f/8 refractor, using a Zeiss Herschel wedge.

     

     Here's a snapshot with my iPhone through a 13mm Ethos:

     

SUN 2020-11-20 12.00 AR 2783.png

 

     -- Allan


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#6877 Corcaroli78

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 08:22 AM

With the Zeiss Telementor,  I observed the beautiful Moon in an unusual crystal clear night in Denmark (Sorry Allan smile.gif ). Using the binoviewer,  the 3d effect of the craters, the terminator and the peaks was worth the cold temperature (- 2*C)

 

20201115_133617.gif

 

I closed the session observing Jupiter and Mars... Saturn eluded me this time as it was blocked by some tree branches.

 

Clear classic skies to all!

Carlos

 

 


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#6878 AllanDystrup

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:50 AM

      Nice visual back there for your Telementor, Carlos!

 

     I’d recommend upgrading to the TM motorized mount head, and using it in proper EQ mode — then you can just lean back and concentrate on the view instead of constantly tweaking the tracking knobs ☝️ (I have a Vixen SPDX coming up for sale, but that would probably be overkill for the Telementor OTA).

 

     I haven’t bought any astro gear recently (on the contrary, I’ve sold stuff like my Meniscas), but still I get the bad weather??! Something’s rotten in the municipality of Copenhagen...

 

     — Allan


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#6879 Corcaroli78

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 02:05 PM

      Nice visual back there for your Telementor, Carlos!

 

     I’d recommend upgrading to the TM motorized mount head, and using it in proper EQ mode — then you can just lean back and concentrate on the view instead of constantly tweaking the tracking knobs ☝️ (I have a Vixen SPDX coming up for sale, but that would probably be overkill for the Telementor OTA).

 

     I haven’t bought any astro gear recently (on the contrary, I’ve sold stuff like my Meniscas), but still I get the bad weather??! Something’s rotten in the municipality of Copenhagen...

 

     — Allan

Hi Allan,

 

The visual back is a kind loan from Thomas to help me to decide whether a binoviwer is suitable for my tired eyes. so far, i am still learning how to get the best from it versus the mono view. Instead of more equipment, i am trying to optimize the comfort and get more observing hours as you advised me some time ago.

 

I have seriously considered the possibility to get the TM mount due to the impossibility -for me- to understand and set the Hour angle / Dec in my T- mount.

 

For the weather, maybe you need so sell more astro gear to calm down the weather gods smile.gif

 

Carlos


Edited by Corcaroli78, 21 November 2020 - 02:06 PM.

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#6880 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 04:40 PM

Took the Tasco 9t out to have a look at the new sunspot. There it was, a nice dark spot with a large penumbra area. I was so engrossed that I almost missed the new sunspot group further north. This group appeared to be two spots about the same size. I wasn't expecting it because it wasn't on the NASA photo from yesterday.
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#6881 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:54 PM

2 Picture Perfect Views of Mars tonight:  200x in my 1971 RV-6 with the UO HD OR6; and, 180x in my 1980s C-80 with the spectros 5mm Plossl.  I can't imagine another 6" F8 Newt or 80mm F11 frac presenting views any sharper than I saw in the 8+ seeing.  I love the red-orange in the C-80, and I couldn't believe how prominent Utopia is in the RV-6.  Both views were sketch-worthy, but we got back late from a granddaughter's softball play-off, so observing only.  I had the Tinsley 6 on standby in the shed -- maybe tomorrow night...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 21 November 2020 - 10:54 PM.

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#6882 ccwemyss

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:57 PM

Last night I set out to see if I could get the C14 to align with the 6"f9 refractor on the tandem bar. The mount still isn't pointing perfectly, but it is getting whatever I send it to into the inner 2/3 of the view with a Panoptic 19, which gives about a 56' FOV in the refractor. So it's getting within about 20'. When an object is centered in the refractor, it's on the edge of the field in a 41 Panoptic in the C14, so they are misaligned by about 20'. I was hoping that it would just be orthogonal error, which I could correct with shims, but it's actually parallel error. Since there wasn't anything I could do about that at the moment, I decided to just observe.

 

First went to Mars, which showed a nice dark stripe, with a fainter parallel one. The best view was through the C14 with a 10mm (391x) and an orange filter. Then to M45, which is lovely in the refractor. M1 was a dim smudge in the 6" and bold in the C14. Quickly cruised through M36, M38, M37, all of which were nice in both scopes, but the C14 pulled in more members and stronger colors. Tried M42, but it was low and the Trap was four muddy, wobbly stars. M32 was straight up (requiring that I lay on the floor to get to the eyepiece), and in the 6" the view easily encompasses M32 and 110. Jumping to M33, it was faint in the 6" but clearly stood out in the 14. Then over to the double cluster, which is always a colorful and sparkling view in the 6". 

 

Then I slewed to Enif to recalibrate on that part of the sky, and went to Uranus. Despite the recal, it wasn't centered, but was obvious in the 6", although no moons were visible. In the C14, however, cranking up to the 10mm, I was able to see Titania and Oberon. Oberon needed averted vision but was definitely there. However, Ariel, which was close to the planet, was much harder and at best I might have gotten a couple of glimpses. Moving to Neptune, I tried for about 20 minutes to catch Triton, since it's the same magnitude (14) as Oberon, but Neptune was quite a bit lower in the sky, and I just couldn't pull it out. A 13th magnitude field star was fairly easy with averted vision, but although there were a couple of times I thought I saw something in about the right position, I could just as well have been fooling myself. 

 

At the end, I went back to M42, and the extra altitude made it possible to spot the E and F components of the Trap in both scopes. About that time the coyotes in the thicket behind the house started singing, and the dog wanted in to the observatory. A 70 lb golden retriever takes up a lot of space in an 8' diameter room, so I closed up, and we both went inside about 11:30. Temps were in the 40's, but I recently pulled out some Canadian Army surplus wool pants that I haven't worn in ages. They actually have an issue date of 1956. These make it apparent that the Canadian Army certainly knows something about keeping warm!

 

Chip W. 


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#6883 AllanDystrup

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 08:51 AM

... I have seriously considered the possibility to get the TM mount due to the impossibility -for me- to understand and set the Hour angle / Dec in my T- mount.

 

For the weather, maybe you need so sell more astro gear to calm down the weather gods smile.gif

Carlos

 

     Yes, the T-Mount has a fixed hour-circle whereas the TM (and Ib) has a Right Ascension-circle that rotates in RA with the mount, as the synchronous motor drives the mount at sidereal time velocity.

 

     So with the TM-mount you start by setting the RA circle fixed index to the current Sidereal Time (ST), and after that you can go ahead and directly set the RA and DEC for any object you want to observe.

 

     In contrast to this, for the T-mount you have to calculate the hour angle (HA) for the object you will observe next (HA= ST-RA), and then set the HA on the RA circle. This is not as cumbersome as in the golden olden days back in the 60'ies (in the house of the rising sun), when we had to look up ST, RA and DEC from assorted tables in books (those rectangular paper objects), then calculate the HA by hand. Today you just get all the current values of ST, RA, DEC and HA directly from your preferred smartphone app (like Stellarium), and you're ready to go-go!

 

     -- Allan
 

PS -- and oh yes, more astro gear coming up for sale the coming weeks, -- trying to live by my own advice of concentrating on maximizing the observing potential and operating comfort of just a couple of good telescope rigs grin.gif 


Edited by AllanDystrup, 22 November 2020 - 08:56 AM.

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#6884 John Higbee

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 08:57 AM

Continuation of the 20 November observing report...observed the Pleiades and the Orion Nebula...

 

11:30PM...Seeing was still excellent...temps in the mid '40s...using a Meade 56mm Plossl (~70X), one of my favorite eyepieces.

 

Pleiades...scanned across the cluster...scope is in excellent collimation (pinpoint stars, and many fainter stars in the field of view)...saw nebulosity around the brightest stars (inadvertently used averted vision and it stood out clearly).

 

Orion Nebula...the wings of the nebula filled most of the field of view...great detail at the heart of the nebula...Trapezium stood out clearly...saw "E" clearly, but had to close down early, so didn't see "F".

 

to be continued Tuesday evening...I fixed and lubricated the declination slow motion,  I also found out that if I brace my garage door more fully (higher) open with an 8 foot 1" x 4" , my C14 will roll majestically through the door on its Scopebuggy...so I can leave it assembled...exciting discovery!

 

John


Edited by John Higbee, 22 November 2020 - 10:13 AM.

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#6885 John Higbee

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 09:28 AM

The "big guns" (Cave 12.5" and C14).

 

the big guns.jpg


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#6886 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 10:05 AM

John

Thanks for the excellent and extended reports. Love the Big Guns pic. The C-14 appears to be so much wider in diameter than the Cave 12.5..? Probably just the pic...

It would seem that once one sets either of those Big Guns up it would be great to be able to leave them set up for a while and ease them out of the garage when needed.

 

Love to have a scope buddy for the day when I might benefit form having one. I guess I could benefit form one now.....but alas  I do not have a big Newtonian or big  SCT.

 

Great to hear folks report on their observations with the Big Guns  as you and Chip have done recently.


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 22 November 2020 - 10:09 AM.

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#6887 ccwemyss

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 02:57 PM

 This is not as cumbersome as in the golden olden days back in the 60'ies (in the house of the rising sun), when we had to look up ST, RA and DEC from assorted tables in books (those rectangular paper objects). 

     -- Allan

You mean like this?  https://www.youtube....h?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ

 

John

Thanks for the excellent and extended reports. Love the Big Guns pic. The C-14 appears to be so much wider in diameter than the Cave 12.5..? Probably just the pic...

 

Although some of it is perspective in the picture, the C14 really is a fat scope. The tube is 15.3" in diameter, and the cells make it nearly 16". People tend to think the C14 is just a step up from a C11, but it dwarfs the latter:

 

C11C14 - 1.jpeg

 

Of course, the Cave is a lot longer, but sitting on a low mount, it doesn't loom over you the way the C14 does, high on its fork. I can easily lift a C11 OTA onto a GEM dovetail saddle, but would never try it with the C14. Whereas I could imagine putting a 12.5" newt on a low mount with hinged rings.  

 

With my observing the other night, I found that the 6" was acting as a nice finder for the 14". The limiting magnitude difference is only about 1.8, so even if I do manage to get them better aligned, I think that the wider FOV of the refractor will help me to get oriented to views in the SCT, as I go hunting for faint targets in the mag 14 - 15 range.

 

It's also interesting to see where the two scopes take different roles. The 6" captures wide field objects, like the Pleiades, M31/32/110, and Bodes Nebulae, and makes brighter clusters and doubles sparkle. The 14" resolves more in globulars, and accentuates low contrast objects like M1 and M33. For smaller clusters, it pulls in more members and brightens color, but they are not as crisp as in the 6". The 14 makes moons around the outer planets visible that are otherwise out of reach of the 6". Depending on seeing, it can resolve more on planets, but not always. The gesture I associate with the 14 is, "Wow! I can see that!" and with the 6" it is, "Ohhh... that's so beautiful."

 

Chip W. 


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#6888 Lonnie Utah

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 07:06 AM

I took the scope (q6) out the past two nights, all the usual targets. Pretty good seeing. However, I caught a satellite in the scope as I was looking for/at the Andromeda complex of galaxies.  It was way cool and something I had not seen before (through the eyepiece.)  I had in a 32mm eyepiece which was giving me about 78x. 


Edited by Lonnie Utah, 23 November 2020 - 07:07 AM.

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#6889 John Higbee

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 07:45 AM

John

Thanks for the excellent and extended reports. Love the Big Guns pic. The C-14 appears to be so much wider in diameter than the Cave 12.5..? Probably just the pic...

It would seem that once one sets either of those Big Guns up it would be great to be able to leave them set up for a while and ease them out of the garage when needed.

 

Love to have a scope buddy for the day when I might benefit form having one. I guess I could benefit form one now.....but alas  I do not have a big Newtonian or big  SCT.

 

Great to hear folks report on their observations with the Big Guns  as you and Chip have done recently.

Barry - my iPhone 11 camera has a tendency to exaggerate the depth (Items in the background are smaller than they appear) thus the smaller appearance of the Cave.   

 

I agree with Chip...the C14 doesn't look as big in pictures as it really is.   It is truly a massive instrument, and being on a Scopebuggy gives it another 6" of height.  Rod Mollise gave some good advice about the C14 when he wrote that no one should buy one without seeing one assembled, in person, first.  Many folks who start out wanting a C14 actualIy decide to get a C11, which is about the largest SCT one person can handle by themselves. 

 

The C14 needs to be mounted on wheels to roll out of a garage, or permanently in an observatory, to be practical for use.


Edited by John Higbee, 23 November 2020 - 02:05 PM.

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#6890 Terra Nova

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 09:33 AM

Really strong winds through all of last week, followed by clouds and rain, with two more days of rain and another week of clouds forecast, along with the onset of cold, damp weather has curtailed my viewing activity for the time being! cloudy.gif


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#6891 photiost

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 02:32 PM

We had our first dust of snow here last night only 1 inch or so but the temp went up to 43 F today so most has already melted ... should clear only on Thursday.


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#6892 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 05:15 PM

No snow at The Swamp, but a moisture-bun sammich instead:  Moisture layers at the highest & lowest levels, yet bone-dry in between...  If the air is stable, seeing should be at least 7 / 10.

 

So, it'll be a SxS between my antique Mogey 3" F14 and somewhat newer Celestron (Vixen) C-80.  Adapted the Mogey to the tall pedestal Meade StarFinder, while the C-80 will ride on the Mizar Super Polaris.  Yep, gonna be tracking Jupiter, Saturn, & Mars with both 3" fracs...

 

Interesting comparisons in 8+ planetary seeing:  Used the antique un-coated prism & eyepieces in the Mogey, and My Zeiss (spectros .965") eyepieces + Tak diagonal in the C-80.  At about 35x, both fracs showed Jupiter's 2 EQ belts.  Up to about 100x, views were almost identical.  It was at about 150x that the C-80's advantages put it ahead -- much lower CA, much better resolution of very fine details.  I imagine when the Mogey was new, 200x would've been 100% usable.

 

Mars!  Red Planet in the Mogey, Orange Orb in the C-80.  Both fracs @ 100x showed the gap between Sirenum & Cimmerium, even though the disk itself is smaller now than weeks ago.  Sharp views, but no canali tonight.  Too bad Syrtis wasn't visible -- it really is a shark's tooth in the Mogey.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 23 November 2020 - 08:48 PM.

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#6893 oldmanastro

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 09:06 PM

It's been a very disappointing November. Tonight there was a break. I took out the 1986 Questar on the Celestron wedgepod. Not 5 minutes had elapsed after I finished polar alignment and a bunch of high hazy clouds come from the west! I had the first quarter moon in the Questar finder already. It was quickly in the FOV of the 16mm Brandon. I took a couple of images with the cell phone and you can see the haze in them. My focus was on the Imbrium basin. It is so nice at this point of the lunar phases and shows its nature as a huge impact basin. The impact itself billions of years ago must have been quite impressive. Anyway these are  hand held cell phone images. The higher magnification one was taken using the 6mm orthoscopic (UO).

 

Later on I continued to Mars but it was difficult through the haze. At some points where the haze diminished I could make out the dark areas using the 6mm orthoscopic.  Details that are easily observed with this telescope were missing. I waited to see if these clouds would go but it seems that they will continue to come for the rest of the night. After one hour and a half I collected everything and went inside. At this point in time there has not been one really clear night this month.  

 

Most of this weather is sometimes locally generated by the heat of the day and the humidity. That plus the fact that I live exactly on the bee line of clouds coming from the mountains and moving from the east  southeast. In other words, the satellite image tells me that all's clear but the local weather thinks otherwise.

 

BTW we just lost a big non optical classic from the 60s. The Arecibo Radio Telescope will soon be a lot of scrap metal. A real loss not only to science but to the island. I visited it back in the 60s when the reflecting material was just metal screening. Later on it was upgraded and in the 90s it was a sight to see. It was featured in the Movie Contact and in one of the James Bond movies. Lately it was highly involved in STEM programs. Many important discoveries were the result of work with this radio telescope. We will miss it.frown.gif

Attached Thumbnails

  • Moon2020112401-16UTQuestar16mmB.JPG
  • Moon2020112401-10UTQuestar16mmB2xBarlow.JPG
  • Moon2020112401-00UTQuestar 6mmortho.JPG

Edited by oldmanastro, 23 November 2020 - 09:07 PM.

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#6894 highfnum

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 09:08 PM

Meade 310 80mm

moon and mars

my smallest scope shot of mars

 

Capture 11_23_2020 7_30_20 PM310.jpg

 

Capture 11_23_2020 7_45_36 PM310.jpg

 

 

 

 

 


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#6895 oldmanastro

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Posted 23 November 2020 - 09:10 PM

Meade 310 80mm

moon and mars

my smallest scope shot of mars

 

attachicon.gifCapture 11_23_2020 7_30_20 PM310.jpg

 

attachicon.gifCapture 11_23_2020 7_45_36 PM310.jpg

Great shots with the 80mm. Nice detail.


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#6896 Mbinoc

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 10:25 AM

Lastnight was slightly overcast, but I still managed to get some nice views of the moon though the passing clouds using the skychief. I planned to take a few photos, but misplaced my webcam.

 

Not being able to find it drove me absolutely nuts, and I then compulsively searched the whole house for the next few hours trying to find it. A while back I took it out of the case I always used to keep it in, and placed it in another location. I remembered moving it, but forgot where. By the time I found it, it was too late.

 

It was piratically right in front of me the whole time, It was found In a small felt bag that was hanging off the tripod of another scope.


Edited by Mbinoc, 24 November 2020 - 10:29 AM.

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#6897 Terra Nova

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 10:42 AM

BTW we just lost a big non optical classic from the 60s. The Arecibo Radio Telescope will soon be a lot of scrap metal. A real loss not only to science but to the island. I visited it back in the 60s when the reflecting material was just metal screening. Later on it was upgraded and in the 90s it was a sight to see. It was featured in the Movie Contact and in one of the James Bond movies. Lately it was highly involved in STEM programs. Many important discoveries were the result of work with this radio telescope. We will miss it.frown.gif

bawling.gif

 

Remember the X-Files episode Little Green Men (S2/e1)? It supposedly takes place at the Arecibo Radio Observatory where Mulder finds that a SETI program has recently been shut down. It’s one of my favorites!

 

This article on The Big Dish’s closure was dated yesterday:

 

https://gizmodo.com/...ntis-1845738636


Edited by Terra Nova, 24 November 2020 - 10:47 AM.

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#6898 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 10:43 AM

My weather App is telling me thst it is sunny today, and that it will be clear until midnight. I haven't seen the sun all day. But IF it does clear up, I will be heading out.

#6899 ccwemyss

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 01:02 PM

After re-mounting the C14 onto the TGAD, I spent about two hours last night trying to get it aligned with the 6"f9, using Mars, Capella, and Rigel. Then mostly repeated my observations from last Friday, except for Neptune, which was too low by then. However, the late hour meant that the M81/82 pair were up. The 6" was able to nicely fit both in the field with room to spare. The 14" brought out detail that clearly showed their different natures. On M1, I took longer than the other night. Since it was higher and seeing was better, I could make out some texture. M33 also had more detail, with a distinct central area and some shading hinting at spiral structure. The bright region near the bright foreground star stood out clearly. M32 resolved into an oval with a brighter center. The e and f components of the trap were nice and clear in both scopes. On Uranus, this time I could see Titania and Ariel, but Oberon was playing cat and mouse with my averted vision. 

 

Chip W.


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#6900 photiost

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Posted 24 November 2020 - 02:30 PM

Unexpected very small break in the clouds and through the haze (using the sun projection method) I managed to get a quick glimpse of Regions 2785 + 2786 using the 60mm Tasco 9TE-5 on the spare Unitron 114 mount.

 

Region 2783 was also visible but did not come through well in this hand held iPhone image.

.

 

 

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  • Sunspots Nov 24 2020 iPhone b.jpg

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