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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#7301 Stevencbradley

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 03:01 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...


Planning to observe with the c90 last night, so of course it was completely overcast. Was not happy yesterday with its performance daytime, so I tried it again today at about midday. Same as yesterday, so I moved "in" a bit to see if it was heat distortion or something else. It was the heat. In the spring, AZ mountains have a "long thermometer," meaning there's lots of variance between day and nite temps. So whenever I looked at things say, 1 mile plus in distance (probably 2km), the scope appeared not to come to focus. When I moved in closer (50ft. To 200 yd.), everything was completely clear. I could see the little hairs on my neighbor's cholla. I could se detail on leaves in my yard. I initially thought that the mirror was either misfigured or some other issue. NOPE. Great little scope. So someone tell me: IS the c90 a "classic scope" in its modern iteration, or is it a "new" design with the nod going only to "classic" for the old design? I will try the sky again tonite. If it is nice, I'm sure I'll enjoy the new scope on the sky.

Edited by Stevencbradley, 02 May 2021 - 03:03 PM.

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#7302 Stevencbradley

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 10:51 PM

I agree! I find a good little C90 is a nice complement for a Questar. The Q to use at home and the C90 for travel.

That's exactly why I got mine--as a small but useful complement to my more expensive scopes.
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#7303 mpsteidle

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 12:14 AM

Picked up an old C60 for $15 new in box off of goodwill (more on that soon), had it out tonight for confirmation of collimation and some star testing.  Ended up having to rotate the objective to get it right, but the out of focus star now is nice and concentric and the airy disc is clean and round.  Spent a while observing Mizar then Arcturus with my lovely 18mm Ortho, then switched to Algieba with my 6mm Ortho.  Split it right in two! 

I think this small scope will be a winner, now I just need a new finder...

qxuvoKH.jpg


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#7304 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:24 AM

Severe Storms & Tornadoes in the area knocked out the power at 1905L; power restored almost exactly 12 hours later - 0709 this morning.  NWS forecasts at least 3 "clear" nights, which with no Moon, should be great for my Meade 826 Newt, but... a sunny day today will mean a sauna tonight after the sodden ground moisture evaporates.  No planets in the night sky, which is a shame.  Thursday & Friday nights will be drier, which helps with the Fuzzies.  So, I'll check the mirrors & move the 8" F6 to the shed today, but won't plan on using it tonight...

 

Do other CNers with lots of scopes plan their rotations?  

 

Anywho, I had fun with the 1958 Questar, and two 1970s refractors - Triple Nickle 5SYW 60 F7 - on Monday night, grabbing views between thin cloud streamers, so they'll stay put.  The Q did very will with M53 & M3.  And, I want to see Jupiter & Saturn in the mornings with it.  The TN5 is always fun when the Moon is gone - it grabbed the whole M66 Trio @ 128x (Nagler 5).  IF the Wx looks promising tomorrow, my Tinsley 6 Cass will join the party - it can grab quite a few of the Leo - Coma - Virgo galaxies with those spectros Big Kellners!

 

Gotta thank Terra for this solution:

 

ATM 5 RFT S34 (Edmund Filo Tripod).jpg

 

Her adapter makes it plug & play with my Filo & similar surveyor tripods.  When you see that wide stubby 5" F5 OTA on it, the Edmund axes don't look anywhere thick enough.  But... I've seen some Zeiss EQs with narrow axis housing that can also carry heavy loads.  The Trick -- Balance!


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 May 2021 - 06:09 PM.

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#7305 clamchip

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 10:38 AM

I'm about to embark on something new in observing, wide-field or I guess

richest field.

I reluctant to call it 'richest-field' because its only a 4 inch.

It is f4.5 though and offers up a 3 deg field.

I did some trading with a friend and acquired the 4 inch f4.5 yesterday.

He offered it to me once before on a telescope trade and I declined due

to excessive CA.

This time around I did not exceed 50X and the color is not too in your face.

In fact with the supplied 20mm 70deg eyepiece at 23X it is sweet.

And sweeter yet with a Edmund pre RKE 28mm for 16X

I did some daytime observing on my usual test objects and the low power

left we wanting, I upped the power to test levels and got shot down in

beautiful neon purple, even at focus !

So I guess I'm going to try what is basically binocular astronomy.

Something new, I'm looking forward to it.

 

Robert 


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#7306 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 10:45 AM

I love my RFTs! Of course I also love Binocular Astronomy (the two offering up similarly expansive, immersive views). If you have fairly dark nighttime skies you’re in for a treat!


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#7307 Stevencbradley

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 12:52 PM

Was thoroughly annoyed with my Parks 60mm refractor last night. Mount is steady enough, but the yoke can't be properly tightened. Switched to binoculars. 12x50 1st. Checked to see that Mars was still in the sky , enjoyed Gemini's stars for a few minutes, then switched to my north side yard with the 8x40's. Yes, I could have brought out another scope, but I was having too much fun. Besides. I need to set up any other scope in daylight. That side of my driveway is my drunk side, meaning it has angles undetectable in the dark. It's a challenge just walking there at night. Anyway, it was fun...
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#7308 Pete W

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 01:23 PM

Took the Tasco 10TE out on the Mizar SP mount in the backyard.  The white scope on the black mount always looks impressive.     Experimented with a red-dot finder taped to the dew shield, figuring I could use this instead of wrenching my neck to look through the finder.   This worked reasonably well with the 1 1/8" Edmund pre-RKE in the main scope, but lots of eyeglasses coming on then off and eyepiece switching.  Still, didn't wake up this morning with a kinked neck.

 

Started with the three close uneven doubles theta Aur, delta Gem & epsilon Hya.  Seeing was meh, so it wasn't surprising that none were "easy" but delta Gem was the easiest of the three.  The primary seemed more whitish (less orangish) than what I recall when observed with the Sears 6339a.  Not sure what to make of this.  Epsilon Hya was by far the most challenging, but the secondary popped out just beyond the 1st diffraction ring in the 7mm criterion ASP.  

 

From Hydra I headed north to M67 in Cnc.  Appeared sparse with direct vision but averted vision brought out a smattering of faint stars.   Jumped over to M3; some resolution with the 12.5mm Ultima.  Then north to Cor Caroli.  While in the neighborhood tracked down M94 (the best light-pollution galaxy of the spring, other than M81...in my opinion) and M63.  Was surprised on the faintness of M63 - significantly more challenging than M94.  Next to the double 2 CVn.  Quite nice pale orange primary with fainter gray 2ndary.   Headed to the bright Seyfert galaxy NGC4151.  Wasn't sure if it is doable in the 3" but it was there albeit faint - its stellar nucleus made it look like a very faint star with AV.  

 

Took a quick look at Izar (epsilon Boo) before packing it up.  The secondary was tight but visible with the 12.5mm Ultima; easier and more color-contrasty with the 7.5mm Ultima.


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#7309 steve t

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:19 PM

Observed the sun this afternoon. No spots.

I've shortened the semi-pier from 12" to 4" so I can use the scope while seated. 

My Shih Tzu observing buddy has approved the changesmile.gif

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#7310 Stevencbradley

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:58 PM

Off topic, but that is one gorgeous yard/garden. There is apparently something to be said for those rainy days & nights.
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#7311 steve t

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:59 PM

Off topic, but that is one gorgeous yard/garden. There is apparently something to be said for those rainy days & nights.

Thank you for the compliment. Gardening is a common hobby for my wife and I. She also gets the credit for doing most of the layout.

 

With a small G&G scope, it's easy to move around to different spots, in the yard, to avoid trees, houses, and porch lights. 

 

Maybe it's just me, but there is something special about observing from the garden with a scope or naked eye.


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#7312 mpsteidle

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 08:56 PM

SHOOTOUT!

Having some fun comparing my visual scopes.  Everything pointed at Castor.  The 60 gives the sharpest views by far, mostly because the C5/6 images are so bright they try to blow it out.  When masked down or used with a moon filter the views are comparable to the 60, albeit dimmer.

This is going to be a fun night.

V4ZQDcb.jpg


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#7313 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 09:02 PM

Thank you for the compliment. Gardening is a common hobby for my wife and I. She also gets the credit for doing most of the layout.

 

With a small G&G scope, it's easy to move around to different spots, in the yard, to avoid trees, houses, and porch lights. 

 

Maybe it's just me, but there is something special about observing from the garden with a scope or naked eye.

I heartily agree. I have really enjoyed observing at home since the covid! In fact, the covid has made me appreciate my home so much!


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#7314 steve t

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:06 AM

SHOOTOUT!

Having some fun comparing my visual scopes.  Everything pointed at Castor.  The 60 gives the sharpest views by far, mostly because the C5/6 images are so bright they try to blow it out.  When masked down or used with a moon filter the views are comparable to the 60, albeit dimmer.

This is going to be a fun night.

V4ZQDcb.jpg

Very nice line up.


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#7315 PawPaw

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 07:46 PM

 Two nights ago I setup to do a side by side by side comparison between my circa 1965 Edmund 3" refractor and a set of twin 80mm Goto Semi-Apo's one from 1977 the other from circa 1982.  Late afternoon, after a day of light rain, the clouds moved out with a slight cold front pushing them beyond the horizon before dusk.  Perfect setup for good skies in the midwest.  Dusk was 58 degrees and 39% humidity and rising.

 

Goto's 80mm:  Eyepieces used were original .965 MH 25mm, 12.5, 9mm and 6mm.
Edmund 76mm:  Eyepieces used were RKE's  28mm, 21.5mm, 15mm, 12.5mm and 8mm.
All three collimated and polar aligned.....close enough for visual.....clock drives set up on both mounts and purring away.

 

To my surprise the night turned out to be one of the best skies I have seen here in many moons.  It was  perfect for double star observing and that was my goal for the evening.  The twin Goto Semi's did not disappoint.   I  started with Arcturus as a sanity check and the Goto's are just spot on.  With the clock drives humming it is a joy to move your  eyes 12 inches to see if that one is the same or maybe close or back over to this side oh just a tad more sharpness but wait again......the center ring, is it brighter here then there no the same......call it a draw!   The Edmund also was very sharp and only false color I could detect was in and out of focus....None detected on focus.   Moved to Izar.....was able to split cleanly with 12.5mm HM  on the Goto's. The Edmund also split with a 12.5mm RKE.  Just beautiful small concentric rings on all three scopes with the a redish hue on the companion.    It was one of the best evenings I have had the pleasure to observe for a long time.  All three provided focused star images that remained steady as tiny disks and brighter stars had  1 or 2 very faint but steady concentric rings.

I moved onto Leo 54, a very nice greenish white and blue.  Leo Y showed a golden hue to me.  Both targets separated easily with 12.5 on the Semi's and the 15mm on the Edmund.  While in Leo I popped in the 25mm for the Gotos and watched M65 and 66 with delight.  The Edmund 28mm RKE was very nice on these although my eyes have a harder time coming to focus with the 28mm porthole effect....still lovely.  Castor was next up and what a nice white they present.  Castor had best luck with the 9mm on Goto's and 8mm on Edmund. 

 

The Goto's in my opinion are as good as it gets for visual 80mm and I cannot wait for DPAC test so I can compare my visual skills with fact.  The Edmund 3 is also very good and even with the 4mm aperture difference it held its own against the bigger 80mm's.    I could detect only the faintest of CA  on the 3 and only when in / out of focus.  The Goto's do show a little more color.....my eyes detect more blue/purple but again only when de focused.  One advantage I noticed in Edmund's favor is for whatever reason it stood up better to dew formation....maybe the lighter weight tube and cell.....the Goto's are built very heavy and all the metal does take longer to get to ambient temp.  

 

I finished the night with Spica emerging above the trees a brilliant blue to my eyes.  I stood for quite some time just looking around and admiring the luck of such a night, finding familiar fainter constellations I had not seen for sp long.  About 3 hours in the session I noticed the midwest humidity rising rapidly and the tubes while not wet yet......was not far off.  Breakdown for me is usually melancholy but this night I took extra time as I just did not want to stop looking up!
While walking back and forth through the freshly mowed grass I looked at my shoes with one hole in the sole and confirmed.....yes the grass is wet and so is my sock.  I thanked the night and on the last trip took one more look up while the tree frogs started their crescendo song.

 

Cheers

 

Don

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#7316 PawPaw

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 07:49 PM

Almost forgot one other observation before the sun set........A spectrum reflection from the Edmund 3" on the inside of the dew shield.  Life is good.

 

Don

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#7317 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 11:07 PM

No 826 tonight - still lots of moisture / haze at mid-levels.  I had to "get by" with my QuestarTN5 for clusters & doubles... Oh! Shuckee Darn!  GOES infrared showed "lobes" hanging towards the SE, with only a few decent-sized clear areas:  W. Bootes to Canes V to Coma (MEL 111); and Lynx to Pollux.  TN5 nabbed both M51 & M63 with the Jaegers ER16 (40x) / RKE 8 (80x).  Q grabbed dozens of doubles in Bootes.

 

I have a feeling... by the time the atmosphere dries out, we'll be clouding up again, so I'll use the 8" Newt tomorrow night no matter what.


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#7318 oldmanastro

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 09:10 AM

This is not from last night but from the night before. I just didn't have the time yesterday to write it up. 

 

My old friend the Sears 60mm f/11 altazimuth mounted refractor from 1965 got a well deserved refurbish during last week. The tube assembly parts except the focuser were stripped and repainted. The focuser was disassembled, cleaned and lubricated. The optics were cleaned and the objective remounted using appropriate spacers. Newton rings were visible and centered. The whole procedure ended up in a collimation that was almost there. It required only a small nudge and a shim to get it where the Cheshire eyepiece indicated.

 

The night of the 5th cleared up at about 9:00pm. The 60mm was out in a minute. I took the original eyepieces with me and added a couple from the 2535 76mm refractor, the 9mm Huygens, 6mm Huygens and 22mm Kellner. The first target was Arcturus. I checked the collimation and it was the best I have seen in this telescope in years. A nice round Airy disc surrounded by a thin first diffraction ring. That metal ring spacer should have been removed a long time ago. A tour of some Bootes doubles followed with Ksi and Pi Bootes, both very nice. Then I tried Izar. I used the 6mm Huygens on that one and the secondary showed no clear separation but I could see it right on the dim first diffraction ring. The blue color gave it away. Porrima was a required visit and so was Algieba. Both doubles showed nice Airy discs in the 9 and 6mm Huygens. The best views were provided by the 6mm Huygens. This eyepiece always surprises my with a rather large field and excellent views. 54 Leonis was visited too. A nice pair for this telescope. In Corvus Struve 1669 was an easy target. Then I went after Rasalgethi in Hercules. An excellent view with the light orange primary and blue secondary showing off the colors. Cor Caroli and Mizar were observed at low power reminiscing my first observations of these doubles many years ago. Epsilon Lyrae was a nice catch already later at night. The 9mm Huygens started to resolve the double double but the 6mm Huygens finally did the job. 

 

Doubles were not the only objects observed during the night. M13, M3, NGC 3242 and Omega Centauri were also observed. Omega Centauri was about 20 degrees above the horizon. It spanned most of the field in the 9mm Huygens but was great using the 22 mm Kellner. NGC 3242 was also a nice catch. The best view of this planetary was provided by the 6mm Huygens. 

 

I closed up the session after midnight and as a cloud cover began its slow movement from the east. M57 was my target when the clouds interrupted a nice session with my old friend.

 

The photos were taken at the very end of the session on my usual observing spot on top of the roof. It was so easy to move that telescope around to wherever it was comfortable.

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Edited by oldmanastro, 07 May 2021 - 05:13 PM.

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#7319 steve t

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 11:49 AM

FYI - There's a fair size sunspot that has just rotated into view today. 


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#7320 mpsteidle

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 12:14 PM

FYI - There's a fair size sunspot that has just rotated into view today. 

I just got the white light filter for my C5 two days ago, just in time!


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#7321 Bomber Bob

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Posted 07 May 2021 - 03:12 PM

Steve, once again, thanks for the heads-up.  Just confirmed it with the Mighty Jaegers 50 F12 + Lunt Wedge.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 07 May 2021 - 03:13 PM.

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#7322 steve t

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Posted Yesterday, 06:37 AM

Steve, once again, thanks for the heads-up.  Just confirmed it with the Mighty Jaegers 50 F12 + Lunt Wedge.

Your welcome, This spot has already produced a class M level flare.

 

Your Jaegers are nice looking scopes. 


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#7323 oldmanastro

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Posted Yesterday, 07:11 AM

The sky cleared yesterday a bit late. It was about 9:30pm when I came out and there were some lingering clouds. By about 10:00pm they had moved west leaving a clear sky with good seeing and transparency. The Sears 6336 76.2 mm (AO) was chosen for the night. An intermittent breeze precluded using the pedestal. It is prone to vibrations. I mounted the 6336 on the Astroview mount which is excellent for this telescope.

 

Arcturus was the first star in the FOV. I checked collimation. It was on the spot. The nice orange Airy disc appeared surrounded by a first diffraction ring. The next test object was Izar. The 6336 easily resolved this one and the bright orange and blue colors of the components were clearly seen especially at 150x (8mm Plossl) and 200x (6mm ortho). The secondary of the pair was sitting right on the first diffraction ring of the primary. 39 Bootis followed, a close bright double easily resolved also at 150 and 200x. Mu2 Bootis was a very tenuous pair under the glare of Mu. I moved to Hercules and observed the nice bright pair Rho Herculis. A well separated double easy for small scopes. Veering south Pi Lupis was found at about 22 degrees from the southern horizon. Atmospherics at this level required the use of high power to confirm separation of the pair. Mu Lupis was next. I expected a closer pair but it is wide open right now. Both Pi and Mu Lupis are very bright pairs. Centaurus was showing off its brightest stars. D Centauri was found about 17 degrees over the souther horizon. This is a close double. Both components were showing a reddish color that I suspect is coming from atmospheric absorption. N Centauri was next showing a well separated pair but at a higher altitude and without the effects of atmospherics.  

 

The observing session ended past midnight again with clouds invading from the east as if someone was telling me that it was time to collect and go to sleep. The photo shows the 6336 looking at one of the Centaurus doubles.

 

I was using the old 1966 copy of the Norton's to find these doubles by star hopping. The southern skies were much darker than to my north where the center of the city lies. The 6336 was showing excellent star images. Star tests of this telescope indicate excellent optics. I need a night with less breeze to use its original pedestal mount. Well, as the Sears ad said, "it is an observatory instrument". If I complained about wind induced vibrations that would have been their defense. lol.gif

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#7324 Bomber Bob

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Posted Yesterday, 07:47 AM

Ole BB in the Realm of Galaxies:  I nabbed at least 3 dozen galaxies last night with the Meade 826 (8" F6 Newt) in 7+ seeing; and, had my socks blown off by M3 @ 200x in this 35+ year old reflector.  When I got tired of standing, I sat at the Jaegers 50 F12 refractor, and nabbed doubles.  Seeing was so good in the eastern half of the sky that even M53 was impressive.  I wound up using 7 different eyepieces in the 826 -- 6 in the tray, and one in the scope.

 

Started at the Leo Trio @ 2040L.  M66 was a tiny non-stellar smudge in the 80mm F5 finder; and the Trio was framed nicely at just 43x (RKE 28 "Space Walk").  I spent the most time observing the dust lane in NGC 3628 @ 150x (Brandon 8), but all 3 were sketch-worthy.  Could've spent an hour here, but an ultra-high level zone of moisture acted like sky-glow.  It was slowly drifting west, and literally pulled down a curtain, so I headed east.

 

A kid with an 8" Dob can see at least a dozen galaxies just on the line from Denebola to Vindemiatrix.  It's not as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, but I had printed 2 charts of the Realm (Coma & Virgo), and with the 80mm's help, I zig-zagged east with my 8" net.  I'm surprised Messier didn't add NGC 4216 to his catalogue.  Very bright core at 75x (Jaegers ER 16), yet only a hint of the arms at higher powers; at 171x (Nagler 7), I could see that the core had uneven brightness.

 

I did break from the Realm to go south into the very best seeing for M49.  Very bright elliptical that takes magnification well.  The trick for me was first seeing the halo, and then finding the best eyepiece to maximize it -- found that 133x (UO OR 9) was best here.

 

I also took a break from faint fuzzies to be Wowed! by M3, approaching the meridian.  It goes from pretty to spectacular as I rack-up the power, and the number of stars gets ridiculous!  Almost too much.  I had the J50 set up beside the 826, and M3 is 3D in the scope:  at 125x (spectros PL 5) the field stars are tiny yellow or orange Airy Disks, and when I focus on those, the globular seems to zoom closer.  Very cool effect.

 

Sorry CHAS, but I gotta pick at ya:  You got any more hand-me-down scopes?  I'll take 'em!!

 

BIF:  I fixed the last nit-noid on the J50 -- the "wiggle" of the focuser tube in the crude casting.  Milk jug plastic was too thick, but a strip of Scotch clear packing tape did the trick -- after I rubbed in Lithium grease.  Focusing is now very firm & smooth -- I could hang the Vixen Turret off it now with no slipping.  Last night, I put the 1.25" to .965" adapter in, and used the smaller Tak prism & spectros eyepieces.  No doubt in my mind now that this frac could pace the Swift 838.


Edited by Bomber Bob, Yesterday, 07:53 AM.

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#7325 Terra Nova

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  • Loc: 39.07°N, 229m AMSL, USA

Posted Yesterday, 02:09 PM

I did some H-alpha solar observing around noon today and it was the best I’ve seen in a log time. There was a very bright, tall, thin eruptive prominence on the limb about 20° left and above the big new sunspot that has just rotated into view and a short, broad eruptive prom group on the limb diametrically opposed. There was also a nice big arch prom on the limb about 40° below the new sunspot. Also nice plage zones around the sunspot and several dark filaments.

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  • photiost, steve t, mdowns and 5 others like this


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