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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#7276 geovermont

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 11:16 AM

"Tried out the RV6 with the original eyepieces + Barlow. 30mm AR needs ridiculous amount of back focus, focuser drawtubes are about to fall out. Izar is an easy split, Mizar/Alcor is nice, M3 looks pretty good, Moon is pretty."

 

 

I'm far older than Zane and remember seeing the ads for these in Sky and Telescope back when I was his age. I made the mistake of thinking that because they were cheaper that they would not have functioned as well as the completely unaffordable Caves and Unitrons that looked so pretty in the advertisements. I should have bought one (although even the modest price of an RV-6 would have been difficult to pull off). Well, I put together a homemade 6 inch f/8 that gave me a lot of pleasure (with a Coulter mirror set), but I'm not sure it functioned any better than an RV-6 would have. At the time though, I really thought the view through my 6 inch was something (that particular mirror set was optically pretty good, but a shaky mount). What would I have made of the views through Zane's bigger scopes?
 


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#7277 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 09:37 PM

I got to do a little bit of testing my Jaegers 50 F12 in its completed (internally!) OTA tonight.  First star test on Pollux straight-through & with Baader 1.25" prism were near identical both sides of focus.  I could see that Castor was not a single star at just 31x (Meade RG WA20) -- tiny Figure 8 with brighter & dimmer lobes.  View was superb at 125x (Nagler 5).  This area was in the clear, with seeing about 7/10.  From there, I had to jump around for the better spots.

 

Mars was a feature-less micro-disk at 125x & 156x (N5 / Radian 4); but, there were color variations - light orange rind, off white or gold disk.

 

Leo stayed cloudy, so Algieba was tough, but did get a clean split at 125x.  A few Cancer doubles were clear enough to see color differences.

 

Didn't wait on the Moon -- clouds are banking-up in the east from the unusual wrap-around NW to SE.


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#7278 Steve Allison

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 12:39 AM

Last night I observed the moon, Castor and Polaris with my two little 40mm Unitron, F17.5 refractors.

 

One has an air-spaced objective and the other, a 1950's model, utilizes a cemented doublet. Both displayed beautiful Airy disks and both provided a "3D" effect when the moon was viewed at low power. Lovely!

 

For comparison, I set up my Orion 120mm, F8.3 achromatic refractor on a Carton heavy-duty, counterweighted alt-az mount. Controls were butter smooth and tracking was effortless.

 

I was surprised at how well the Orion performed and how lovely were the Airy disks it displayed. It was like a different telescope!

 

In the past, the big refractor always gave good images but at focus, the brighter stars would usually display a sort of bulls-eye pattern with overly bright and numerous Fresnel rings. Classic spherical aberration to my understanding.

 

But last night...

 

The central disk was bright, hard and round and was surrounded by a single diffraction ring on most stars. What happened to the spherical aberration?

 

Only two things were different this time:

 

The seeing for once was essentially perfect, with no heat waves to distort the images and the telescope was perfectly acclimated  (although it usually is when I observe). Can bad seeing mimic optical aberrations like SA?

 

The other difference is that I cleaned the lenses earlier in the day and removed the blackening I had applied to the edges. I had found the lenses difficult to remove because the thickness of the black paint was enough to cause the lenses to "hang-up" slightly in the cell. When reassembling, I made sure that each lens element was free and rattled slightly in the cell. Could the possible binding of the elements cause an unwanted increase in the lens spacing with attendant spherical aberration?

 

In addition to lovely views of Castor and Polaris, the 4.7 inch Orion achromat displayed compelling detail on the moon. Yes. there was a little color on the limb, but I seldom observe the limb anyway. 

 

I am quite aware of the loss of information in the image due to chromatic aberration, but I was seeing too much detail to care. With a green filter (admittedly not the best aesthetically), the image sharpness was breathtaking!

 

Tonight, low back permitting, I plan to put my 3 inch Brandon, F/15 achromat through its paces. It is a great, all-around, small refractor.

 

Steve


Edited by Steve Allison, 28 April 2021 - 12:46 AM.

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#7279 Stevencbradley

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 12:41 AM

New telescope curse. Ordered a c90 from Optics Planet. CLOUDS. moon quietly resting in its blanket of white near invisibility, the stars visible whenever they feel like. I know the c90 isn't a classic, but it apparently has "cloud power." Hopefully because of its small aperture, the clouds will soon depart...
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#7280 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 05:19 AM

Took the Vixen 80L out for some Mercury hunting. This is the time when your astro yearbook says that it is not yet visible, wait a week. So I just had to look.

First up was Venus, deep in the gloom about 10° above the horizon. Just as it was setting, Mercury popped out of the haze straight above it. That was easy! Neither planet was visible to the naked eye, and the turbulence was so bad it was hard to even focus, but I bagged it.

Just as Mercury went down, the moon was rising. And what a moonrise it was! The moon was severely flattened, and was a deep dull red, bordering on purple, as it crept above the horizon. It reminded me of a big tomato.

I love watching the moon and planets rising and setting against distant horizons. Very dramatic, with distant trees giving an interesting perspective.
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#7281 Stevencbradley

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Posted 28 April 2021 - 04:13 PM

New telescope curse. Ordered a c90 from Optics Planet. CLOUDS. moon quietly resting in its blanket of white near invisibility, the stars visible whenever they feel like. I know the c90 isn't a classic, but it apparently has "cloud power." Hopefully because of its small aperture, the clouds will soon depart...

Man! These c90's are powerful scopes!
Last night clouds. Today, when I took the scope out to see how it worked, it started raining. It could be just coincidence, but...
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#7282 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 03:12 PM

Newest scope purchase  weather influence is real.....

Could be just a coincidence of course   except we all have experienced this phenomenon 

 Just saying


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#7283 Bomber Bob

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 10:26 PM

First Messier 3 for BB in 2021...  Crazy BONUS Night (& I know crazy!) -- mid-level wisps moving FAST from W to E.  Seeing was 8+ in the clear, and this would've been a great night for Mars / Jupiter / Saturn -- like that night that I got high-res Jupiter images right after sundown with the RV-6...

 

Used just the C80, and came in when the clouds covered too much.  Y'all, I could see the brighter members of the Coma Cluster with my nekkid eye, so that's where I turned first.  C80 has one of those very fine Vixen 6x30 finders, and it was easy to cruise around Coma with it.  Lots of doubles in & around the SE strand that flows from Gamma.  At < 1" separation, Diadem (Alpha) eluded the C80, but the color was a very pretty yellow-white.  Couldn't even get a Figure 8 at 150x (UO OR 6)...  [Made me wish I'd set up the Meade 826.]

 

M53 was tough!  I guess my eyes are tired.  I knew I was in the right spot, but could not see any trace of it at 45x (RKE 20).  Took "jiggling" with the Jaegers ER16 (56x) to lock on; at 112x with the RKE 8 it's a very faint hazy patch, with the larger diffuse lobe brighter than the smaller one.

 

Saw M3 in the finder as a very tiny fuzzy star.  It took magnification to 180x (Nagler 5), and the core stayed bright relative to the halo.  There are 2 yellow-orange background stars on either side of the core, and they form a straight line -- haven't noticed that before -- at 56x.

 

M65 was in one of the clearest patches & on the meridian -- nabbed it first try with the J'Erfle 16mm (one of my favorite OLD eyepieces).  Stretched slender oval / bulbous cigar with a very bright center in the RKE8.  M66 wasn't as easy -- comet-like short streak at 100x (UO OR 9) with a fainter core than M65.  A bit brighter with the CLS filter, but still couldn't nab the 3rd member of the Trio.  [826 blows all 3 up to respectable resolutions.]

 

For a 3" frac, the C80 did well.  I wanted to use it with the Tak diagonal on the off-chance that the SE skies are clear in the morning for Jupiter & Saturn.  Outstanding star tests - as usual.


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#7284 AllanDystrup

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 08:17 AM

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Solar continuum with Zeiss 4" f/6.4 refractor.

     

     

     I was out this early AM to catch the small train of sun spots and their large plage area, before they rotate behind the SW solar rim. My "observatory" is a heavy Zeiss pillar in the backyard, so setup is just adding the Ib mount head and fixing the OTA on top, then I'm ready to rock&roll. 

    

   4inch APQ Solar.jpg

     

     The view was great with the Baader AstroSolar film, my Mark V bino plus a set of Zeiss 25mm OPMI eyepieces; --  I've uploaded a couple of pics here: https://www.cloudyni...ion/?p=11069315.

     

     -- Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 30 April 2021 - 08:22 AM.

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#7285 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 01:01 PM

Not a cloud in the sky until I set up my little TeleVue Pronto to do a little white-light solar observing, then here they come! ☁️🌞🤬

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#7286 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 01:05 PM

A bit later, and still teasing, the sky wasn’t behaving quite so badly, so I thought I’d try to sneak a peak of the Sun in H-alpha. Hoping Goldie would bring me luck as she often does, I replaced the Pronto with my wonderful little old Coronado MaxScope. Back came the clouds after just a peek!

 

bawling.gif

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Edited by Terra Nova, 30 April 2021 - 01:07 PM.

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#7287 mpsteidle

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 01:09 PM

Back came the clouds after just a peek!

 

bawling.gif

My whole solar experience in a sentence.


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#7288 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 01:14 PM

My whole solar experience in a sentence.

I pressed a like because we don’t have a [SAD] button!


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#7289 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 01:17 PM

Oh well, at least it’s not pouring rain, I’ll do a little gardening instead and plant the flowers I bought yesterday. Of course I can’t plant my tomatoes and peppers because we have a frost warning tonight! Don’t you all just love Spring! undecided.gif


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#7290 steve t

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 02:06 PM

Just got back in from doing some solar observing. Here in SW OH the wind was very strong and gusty so the scope was vibrating quite a bit. Could only make out one spot on the edge of the Sun.

 

Terra - You're right about spring in SW Ohio. Here is a photo of my backyard a a little over a week ago. Today I'm back to weeding the gardens  lol.gif

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#7291 steve t

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 02:26 PM

.

Solar continuum with Zeiss 4" f/6.4 refractor.

     

     

     I was out this early AM to catch the small train of sun spots and their large plage area, before they rotate behind the SW solar rim. My "observatory" is a heavy Zeiss pillar in the backyard, so setup is just adding the Ib mount head and fixing the OTA on top, then I'm ready to rock&roll. 

    

   attachicon.gif4inch APQ Solar.jpg

     

     The view was great with the Baader AstroSolar film, my Mark V bino plus a set of Zeiss 25mm OPMI eyepieces; --  I've uploaded a couple of pics here: https://www.cloudyni...ion/?p=11069315.

     

     -- Allan

Allan - That is a very nice setup, I didn't know Zeiss made a short 4" f/6.4 refractor. Very cool 


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#7292 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 April 2021 - 03:19 PM

Just got back in from doing some solar observing. Here in SW OH the wind was very strong and gusty so the scope was vibrating quite a bit. Could only make out one spot on the edge of the Sun.

 

Terra - You're right about spring in SW Ohio. Here is a photo of my backyard a a little over a week ago. Today I'm back to weeding the gardens  lol.gif

Pretty much the same here a few miles south of you that day two weeks ago Steve! Here a view out my upstairs bedroom window. And the wind here is something else here too today. It was quite the PITA while I was out gardening this afternoon.

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#7293 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 01:12 AM

My lack of reports is because we are having the same crappy weather on this side of the pond. They just reported that this April has been the coldest since....well, I can't remember, but the coldest in a long time. Wind, rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, all mixed up, the weather changing so often that you don't dare set up a scope. Forecast is for more of the same for the next two weeks.
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#7294 Stevencbradley

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 02:10 AM

Just came back inside. Enjoyed using my Super Zenith 12x50's (Japan), my Broadhurst & Clark 12x40's (Britain), my Parks 60mm (don't know exact date, but Japan, 700MM.).

Got excellent views of quite a few brighter objects, mostly with the binoculars. The Parks scope has a problem. Optics are fine, but the alt-az altitude movements now loosen unaccountably. I'm going to see if I can't add some friction washers to solve that problem. If that doesn't work, I'll remove the alt-az yoke and replace the mount. I'd prefer to leave it as it is, though, and made workable. I like alt-az mounts. On the other hand, I enjoyed the evening immensely, visiting old friends and reacquainting myself with them.

Edited by Stevencbradley, 01 May 2021 - 02:15 AM.

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#7295 Bomber Bob

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:22 AM

Pre-Dawn Jupiter:  Brandon  vs. Tele Vue

 

Saturn in the clouds, but Jupiter in the clear.  C80 + 1.25" Tak prism.  First thing I noticed, Jupiter's disk was off-white to light gold in the Naglers & Radians; paper-white in the Brandons.  Cloud belt details darker & sharper in the Brandons, including the white SEBZ splitting that belt into N & S components -- much better defined at 112x (B8) than at 128x (N7).  Ditto for the Galileans.  At 112x, I could see 2 black barges; the eastern-most had a tail at 180x (spectros PL5); and, got fleeting glimpses of a white oval in the STB @ 112x that really stood out at 120x (spectros PL7.5).

 

All of this in about 30 mins.  After about 0540L, air got increasing active, so I buttoned-up & got my coffee...

 

Tonight I'll prep & position my 1958 Questar Standard, and maybe get a chance tomorrow morning to see how it does against the C80.


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#7296 davidmcgo

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:58 AM

We had crazy transparent skies here last night and while I worked way too late to get out to our club site now that I’m a couple of  weeks past my 2nd vaccine dose, I set up my 1975 C8 in the yard on the pier for my C10 and managed to get views of M51, 64, 106, M87, brighter members of Markarian’s Chain, M3, M5, Porrima, Izar, and a few others.

 

This C8 has superbly well corrected optics and was recoated by Celestron with Starbright back in the early 2000s when I had seen some coating degradation on the edge of the primary and since the corrector didn’t have the special,coatings originally they were able to do it with the anti reflection as well.  Definitely a lifetime keeper scope and it feels much more precise and solid than the later die cast units.  Especially on the pier for the C10.

 

The houses across the street have the new LED porch lights which are kind of dazzling so I rigged up a couple of vertical redwood 2x2s and an outdoor curtain rod and some dark outdoor curtains to block the lights which made a huge difference in ability to dark adapt and I was surprised that in the 32 and 20mm Erfles I could see M51 both cores and some hints of outer illumination on M51.  M3 and M5 were crazy sharp and contrasty with myriad stars visible in each.

 

Dave


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#7297 AllanDystrup

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 01:16 PM

Allan - That is a very nice setup, I didn't know Zeiss made a short 4" f/6.4 refractor. Very cool 

     Yes Steve, post WWII Zeiss made three models of 4" refractors:
     

Zeiss 4inch 01.jpg

     

     The 4" APQ was offered in to FLs: f/10 and f/6.4 :

     

Zeiss APQ.jpg

 

     I've had a chance to buy all the 4" models, but I chose the 100/640 APQ because it is a "Jack of all trades" for rich field  (see here ff) as well as solar system (with appropriate Barlows for visual); -- for the kind of simple astro-photos I prefer, the f/6.4 is also stunning on the sun and moon with a small pix camera such as the IMX183 at prime focus, though the f/10 would be a better choice for dedicated DSO astrophotography. And I can carry out the 100/640 and mount it with one hand and it cools down fast, which a BIG plus in the grab-go backyard observations I prefer.

 

     -- Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 01 May 2021 - 01:18 PM.

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#7298 Terra Nova

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 02:51 PM

I had a bit better luck today viewing the Sun. The clouds and strong wind are gone. The sun is again quite tranquil. The small sunspot that was near the limb has rotated out of view along with its associated bright plages. Still a few short prominences are visible, a couple of short dark filaments, and some nice orange peel texture.

 

In white light the sun is again a featureless glowing orb today. Limb darkening, sugary granulation, and one small brightish patch of barely visible faculae are all that’s notable on our quiet Sun on this pleasant afternoon.

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#7299 steve t

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 07:43 AM

     Yes Steve, post WWII Zeiss made three models of 4" refractors:
     

attachicon.gifZeiss 4inch 01.jpg

     

     The 4" APQ was offered in to FLs: f/10 and f/6.4 :

     

attachicon.gifZeiss APQ.jpg

 

     I've had a chance to buy all the 4" models, but I chose the 100/640 APQ because it is a "Jack of all trades" for rich field  (see here ff) as well as solar system (with appropriate Barlows for visual); -- for the kind of simple astro-photos I prefer, the f/6.4 is also stunning on the sun and moon with a small pix camera such as the IMX183 at prime focus, though the f/10 would be a better choice for dedicated DSO astrophotography. And I can carry out the 100/640 and mount it with one hand and it cools down fast, which a BIG plus in the grab-go backyard observations I prefer.

 

     -- Allan

Thanks for the information and nice report on the referenced Deep Sky page



#7300 steve t

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 07:52 AM

Made a trip to Indianapolis (got to see the grandkids for the first time in over a year) yesterdayyay.gif

Got home a little late, but was able to get a quick peek at the sun. It looks like it has gone back to being spot free. 


Edited by steve t, 02 May 2021 - 06:37 PM.

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