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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#7326 Dan /schechter

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Posted 08 May 2021 - 04:53 PM

Thanks for the heads-up Terra. Just came in for a late lunch, but many of the features you describe are still present. Viewing with a Borg 77 ED. Not sure if it is a classic yet, but it is pretty old. I have a 70mm SolarScope H-alpha set and it is performing quite well. I have had that set for a good 20 years so it may qualify as a classic as well.

Thanks again,

Dan


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#7327 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 07:21 AM

M13 - first 2021 view last night, and very good views of Jupiter & Saturn this morning.

 

I'm so glad I took the Meade 826 out FRI night:  Cloud-dodging last night, and a solid week of clouds & rain begins tonight.  My Dakin 4 was giving me the stink-eye, so it joined the Final Version of my Jaegers 50 F12 for tons 'o fun with doubles, clusters, and a few (very few compared with the previous session!) galaxies.  Taks prisms in both fracs -- 1.25" in the Dakin, and .965" in the J50.

 

Terra, I put the Dakin on your old Edmund EQ -- required 2 counterweights (same as the TN5) -- with the tripod raised about a foot.  It was okay on concrete, but I setup on the lawn, and pushed the Filo's spikes 2" into the dirt.  Solid.  This rig is fine up to about 120x.  It's faster & smoother for sweeping than the Mizar SP or Meade StarFinder.

 

I didn't stay out late.  I was starting to pack up when The Keystone cleared the oaks, and I turned the J50 to M13.  Globular appeared at least twice as large as M3, with a less symmetrical core at 125x.

 

When Regulus to Arcturus was in the (relative) clear, I did attempt a repeat of the 826's Galaxy Quest with the Dakin...  Leo Duo rather than Trio; and, overall, about the best I could do was separate the spirals from the ellipticals.

 

Damp air this morning, but my Questar still managed 5 belts on Jupiter, and the rising GRS.  Wish the Io Transit had been an hour earlier, as this Mak is refractor-like with Galilean shadows.


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#7328 steve t

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 09:24 AM

Terra - Great solar observation. I observes the sunspot group, in white light, around 1:00 yesterday afternoon and it has become quite complex. It will be interesting to see how this group evolves over the next few days.

 

We're going to be socked in with rain most of today and probably won't get another chance to observe the group until Monday.


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#7329 oldmanastro

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Posted 09 May 2021 - 09:35 AM

I took out the "Unitowa" yesterday. That's the name I have given to the Sears 6305 60mm f/15 with the Unitron lenses. This is the second time that I have used the Unitron 62mm f/15 objective. The sky was very clear with good seeing, much better than the first light night. 

 

Arcturus was used as a collimation check and it was ok. At 150X (6mm ortho) it was showing a nice round Airy disc with a thin first diffraction ring. Izar was next. At 112x (8mm Plossl) it was showing the blue secondary embedded in the first diffraction ring of the primary. The best view was at 150x. Pi and Ksi Bootis followed. 39 Bootis revealed a two well resolved dim Airy discs. Struve 1835 was a nice pair resolved at low power with the 16mm Konig (56x). Zeta Corona Borealis was a nice and bright pair at 112x and so was Sigma Corona Borealis.  Rasalgethi provided a great view. The contrast is not as strong as that found in Izar. The Secondary color looks a lighter blue although Norton's reports green. The equal magnitude pair 95 Herculis was next and reminded me of Porrima. I tried Pi and Mu Lupis but no luck on those two. I could not resolve them. Beta Scorpii was a really nice easy treat for the Unitron lenses. My last observation was that of NGC 6441, the first NGC object I ever observed back in the summer of 66. A small dim cloudy patch at the very tip of the scorpion's stinger.

 

The Unitron 62mm lenses are very good to excellent. The only other comparable that I have is the Carton 60mm f/17. Even though the 6305 tube is of smaller diameter than the Unitron tube I can see the whole lens from the focuser side. The smaller tube is not blocking any light. Maybe a parts tube will be available someday and a complete Untron reassembled. In the meantime these lenses remain in the Towa. The photo is not from yesterday's session but this is how the Unitron objective looks now mounted on the Towa tube assembly. I know, a dew shield is needed. I will see if a plastic one can do the trick. 

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#7330 ccwemyss

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 10:19 PM

Finally had a break in the clouds and took the Edmund 4" out to test the new spacers. The star test is better. Rings outside of focus still not quite as sharp as inside, but getting close. I'm not sure whether to leave it or try something a bit thicker. It's improved enough that it will be quite usable for an observing evening. Izar was now starting to show as a double at 100X and split clearly at 167X. It wasn't as distinct until 214X before the change. 

 

Managed to find M81 & M82. Barely fit in the same view with the 32mm Plossl. Finished up with M13, which was best at 60X with the Pentax K25. Nicely resolved stars to the center. As I tried moving to higher powers, the clouds, which had graciously opened a window for about an hour, decided to close up for the night.

 

Did some additional testing on a terrestrial subject I often use at night, which has some fluorescent lights. Better resolution than any of the smaller classics I've tried on it, and the CA seems to have diminished somewhat. 

 

Chip W. 


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#7331 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 May 2021 - 07:54 PM

I observed this classic place with my classic eyes today:

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Edited by Terra Nova, 11 May 2021 - 08:56 PM.

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#7332 steve t

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:24 AM

I observed this classic place with my classic eyes today:

Terra - That is cool


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#7333 steve t

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:32 AM

Yesterday, I saw there's a second fair size sunspot that's in the opposite hemisphere from the group that produce a flare a few days ago.


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#7334 starman876

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 08:25 AM

I was observing the fence posts in my back yard testing out an antique refractor I picked up.


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#7335 ccwemyss

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 09:41 PM

Testing the Edmund 4", after changing the spacers again, my last observation was M57, for the first time this season. Of course I set up the pedestal exactly where Sulafat and Sheliak had to rise up directly behind my chimney, so I waited until midnight before it finally cleared the obstacle. With the thicker spacers, it really is an impressive scope. I'll wait to do any more tuning of the spacing until I can get a DPAC setup going (hopefully this summer). 

 

The ring was bright and clearly had a hole in it even at 47X. The scope easily kept revealing detail up to 167X, and I didn't push it further. The wider fields were rich with background stars. I was noting that it reminded me of how the ring looks, in terms of scale, at similar powers in the 6"f9, and then it dawned on me that their focal lengths are within about 30mm of each other. It's a shame that it can't take 2" eyepieces to get an even wider view, but even if the focuser was changed, the baffles would prevent wide 2" eyepieces from being very useful. 

 

Chip W. 


Edited by ccwemyss, 12 May 2021 - 09:42 PM.

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#7336 highfnum

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 03:54 AM

Jeager 5 inch F5 RFT -  just in visual mood

M17 M16  Vail NA nebula witches broom M27

using Lumicon UHC and OIII

 

happy i can still do visual on these objects


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#7337 Bomber Bob

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 02:56 PM

Oh, Joy!  Oh, Rapture!!  The Moon is waxing & returning...

 

So for the next few clear nights, I'll have a friendly competition between 2 import F11 Refractors:  Japan-made Vixen C80P & Taiwan-made Meade 390.  Got the Black Jewel on the Edmund/Filo, and the White Mess on the Mizar SP.

 

Over an hour studying M3 in the 390 at 143x & 200x (Naglers 7 & 5), observing differences in both the core & halo, similar to observing Jupiter at high power.  Took breaks from the eye strain to enjoy bright doubles in the Jaegers 50, or sweeping with the C80 -- that Edmund GEM just begs to cover lots of sky!  Mizar SP tracked very very well - only had to use the DEC slo-mo when returning to the 390.

 

In case you haven't tried it:  Starting at Arcturus, you can zig-zag up one side of Bootes, get to the northern boundary, then do a 180 and go south down the other side, and enjoy all types of doubles -- even in a 50mm refractor.

 

I did nab Micro-Mars with both "large" fracs right at sunset, before the planet dipped below the tall buildings.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 14 May 2021 - 07:10 AM.

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#7338 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 03:04 PM

We had a bit of sunny weather today, so I had the Vixen 80L out for a peek. The seeing was pretty good, for once, and I could see both sunspot groups clearly. The upper group had a large spot with a chain of smaller spots. The lower spot appeared to have a circle of very small spots or large granulation. It was hard to make out, but it was very obviously different from the rest of the sun's surface.
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#7339 ccwemyss

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 09:23 AM

I did a side-by-side comparison of the Edmund 4" with the Pentax 85. Because of the different focal lengths, I could only get close to the same magnification, with different eyepieces. The Pentax gives a perfect star test, which was a good reference for the Edmund, which is still showing a slight bit of overcorrection. The Edmund's additional aperture, however, was making up for the slight loss.

 

On Regulus, the Edmund showed more CA than the Pentax. At 47X on the Edmund and 40X on the Pentax, Castor was equivalently split. The extra aperture gave the Edmund an advantage on deep sky. M13, M81/82, and M57 were similarly resolved in both, but brighter in the Edmund. That made it easier to see stars to the center of M13, but the Pentax had more of that feeling of the stars being like fine dry sand, versus a wet sand quality in the Edmund.

 

On M81 and 82, there was similar resolution of the structure, but the added brightness in the Edmund made it easier to see, with less use of averted vision. However, the Pentax was able to go to a wider view that provided more context, while the widest view in the Edmund had them closer to the edge of the field.

 

With the ring nebula, which is brighter, there was less of a difference at lower magnifications, but the Edmund could go to higher powers and still have it stand out strongly against the background. 

 

Lastly, I was able to see Alberio for the first time this season. In the Pentax there was a bit more of that sparkling quality that comes from having more of the energy concentrated in the airy disk, especially in the secondary. With the Edmund, the stars were tight disks, but not with as much of the bright point in the center. Of course, the extra aperture made them brighter overall.

 

I will be very curious to continue the comparison on the Moon and planets. The Pentax gave stunning views of Venus last year, and I'm hoping to use it when Venus and Mercury are in conjunction later this month. 

 

Chip W. 


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#7340 Bomber Bob

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 11:00 PM

I knew before I went out tonight that the seeing wouldn't be as great as last night; and, that the session would be shorter than I wanted.

 

Waxing Crescent Moon:  Picture perfect in the Jaegers 50 F12 at sundown.  Whole disk at 62x (spectros KE10) - tie between brilliant arc & Earth-lit gibbous for beauty.  Glare with all the eyepieces caused by the Tak .965" prism -- none without it.

 

Messier 53:  I gave this globular the same treatment in the Meade 390 F11 that I gave M3 last night; EXCEPT, since the seeing was maybe 7/10, I put the 1.25" Astronomik CLS filter in the nose of the Baader prism.  The cluster was bright & obvious at just 36x (Edmund RKE28 Space Walk); nicely framed with an oval core at 67x (AT Paradigm 15); and highly detailed yet comfortable at 125x (TV Radian 8).  At 125x & 143x (Nagler 7), I could see the small tapered arm / spur that runs SE-NW from off-center; and, that the core was not a regular oval -- wider & brighter in the southern half.

 

While I was in the area, I used the RKE21 (47x) to hop from M53 to M64.  In the 90, it's not as easy to find on a city night like this as you might expect -- I went past it twice.  No dust lane, but the nucleus is a squashed oval with variable brightness.

 

This is my last night with the 390 for a while:  Gonna repaint the tube this weekend, and file & sand the tube-crusher ring bases flat (which they're NOT right now).


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#7341 4Texans

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 09:19 PM

Today, I had time to give my 6339-a Sears refractor some attention. Pulled it out of the wooden crate, cleaned it and assembled to finally give it a good test. The .965 to 1.25" adapter came in Friday, so finally had a chance to test the 76mm objective with better eyepieces. 

 

Of course, clouds started to roll in, but at least I had a chance to check Arcturus. The view at high power reminded my why I like refractors. Clean airy disk surrounded by multiple rings. Never get tired of that sight! Before more clouds moved in, I picked it up and moved to a spot in the yard where I could see the crescent moon. Very sharp with minimal color. I swept over to Castor and that was an easy split again with beautiful airy discs and diffraction rings. 

 

I think I have a keeper. Not too bad for a $60 antique store find!


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#7342 Bomber Bob

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Posted 15 May 2021 - 11:04 PM

3 Hours of observing tonight -- smear me with butter, cause Ole BB is on a Roll...

 

Started with the FC-50 on the VG2 and the waxing crescent Moon.  For a change of pace, I used the .965" Tak prism, and my Second Set of eyepieces rather than my spectros set:  all vintage Tani, Vixen, & Zeiss glass.  Got the Marble Moon at 13x (AO KE30) & at 18x (AO KE22 - Black Version).  I used my CZJ H-22 @ 18x for sweeping, and zoomed-in on doubles & globulars with 2 very different Vixen Orthos:  old-style black cap 5mm (80x) & orange on black 7mm (57x).

 

As usual, the Tiny Tak showed no CA on anything at any power I used tonight.  It had less glare with the Tak prism than my Jaegers 50 F12 last night, but it's definitely the prism.  I'm not in a hurry to take this brand new accessory apart; but when I do, I'll re-blacken its interior.

 

I did not observe the Moon in my beautiful Clammy -- 1980s C102 F10 achro with its strand of tiny flint clams.  I had it on the Edmund/Filo, and went after globulars first -- nabbed M53 at 2045L.  As with the Meade 390, I had the Astronomik CLS threaded into the Baader prism.  Once the Moon was behind the skyline, I did some slow sweeping in the Realm Of Galaxies at 48x (RKE21) & 63x (Jaegers ER16) before enjoying some of the galaxies in & around the Big Bear.  Despite the moonglow, M81/82 were prominent, but it was M51 that I spent the most time on.  At just 63, its companion was visible -- looked like a dim Mini-Dumbbell.  I was ready to give up before I finally found M101 -- it was barely brighter than the background sky!  (It's a completely different Fuzzy in my Meade 826.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 16 May 2021 - 10:39 AM.

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#7343 Bomber Bob

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 05:42 PM

Little Bits of Lunacy Last Night with the 1960s Hutson Chromatar 60 F9 & my 1980s C90 riding on the 1985 Tak Sky Cancer EQ:

 

Tak SC Filo Tripod S03 - Chromatar 60 & C90 MCTs.jpg

 

Very Good views in these Mak-Cass Spotters, though it was tricky getting my big noggin to the Chromatar's eyepiece!  60x in the 60, and 100x in the 90 were the best views in the 6-7 / 10 seeing.  No CA.  No fringing. No ghosting.  Black shadows where they should be.  

 

Clearer skies east of the meridian, and I really enjoyed comparing M3.  Considering that the 60 has that complicated terrestrial prism assembly, the globular was fairly bright.  As for doubles, the Chromatar is sharper at the same Mag per Inch.  Both scopes at about 25x, the stars were smaller dots, too.  Neither is a Sweeper, but in Coma, they were sorta/kinda at very low power.

 

I haven't made any improvements to the Chromatar.  In town, the background skies in both are almost black at 30x / inch & higher.  In the country & in the clear, they'd be refractor-like.  I like that the Hutson accepts both Vixen .965" & 1.25" thread-in adapters.  My C90 is .965" only, so I used all spectros eyepieces last night.

 

I couldn't nab M53 in the 60; and, it was tough in the C90 -- it really was the tiny end of a dim Q-Tip!

 

Daylight:  The Hutson is Questar quality build & heft (for its size), yet it's maybe 1/3 the weight & length of my RARE Carton ZO65x101 (101mm achro spotter).  I tried ONE TIME taking the Carton to an Auburn home game... won't repeat that mistake!  But I could see taking the Hutson to outdoor events & to Bald Rock (on Mt. Cheaha).


Edited by Bomber Bob, 17 May 2021 - 05:45 PM.

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#7344 rcwolpert

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 06:59 PM

“I tried ONE TIME taking the Carton to an Auburn home game... won't repeat that mistake!  But I could see taking the Hutson to outdoor events & to Bald Rock (on Mt. Cheaha).” 

 

I’ll be bringing the Questar up to Lake Martin in a couple of weeks. My granddaughter goes to Auburn and my son-in-law owns an enormous home on Lake Martin. I just hope the skies are good.


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#7345 Bomber Bob

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 09:20 PM

“I tried ONE TIME taking the Carton to an Auburn home game... won't repeat that mistake!  But I could see taking the Hutson to outdoor events & to Bald Rock (on Mt. Cheaha).” 

 

I’ll be bringing the Questar up to Lake Martin in a couple of weeks. My granddaughter goes to Auburn and my son-in-law owns an enormous home on Lake Martin. I just hope the skies are good.

You're heading north, we're heading south to Biloxi to visit our daughter... and... maybe... check out a casino or two...

 

I've taken my Questar on the road quite often, but haven't done that with the dinky Hutson... may be a good time to try it out.  

 

It's so Cute -- bound to draw a crowd (if they can see it!).


Edited by Bomber Bob, 17 May 2021 - 09:24 PM.

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#7346 Russell Smith

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 11:32 PM

Rain and thunderstorms have been the norm here in Waco for the last few days then the sky clears up close to sunset. 

Short sessions in the yard with me trying to learn some lunar features. 

Mostly I bring the firstscope 80 but tonight I wanted to try the new drive on the GP/DX so the fl102 came out.

Even with all the moisture in the air the views were stunning in both scopes.

 

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#7347 Alanvogt

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 09:41 PM

Saturday and Sunday night were clear here in Seattle with the crescent moon, so I grabbed my trusty Unitron for some ambush astronomy at Kerry Park.  Saturday the park was packed and at least 150 - 200 people took a look. It was high school prom night and busload after busload of high school party-goers kept arriving as Kerry Park is a well known tourist attraction. It was a great night as the moon slowly slid by Mars and made a beautiful pair. I could get both in the eyepiece at once.  Also watched a Star-link train march across the sky about 10:00. Sunday night was much tamer but at least 100 got a look.

Montage4.jpg


Edited by Alanvogt, 18 May 2021 - 09:56 PM.

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#7348 combatdad

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 06:30 AM

I had my 4 inch Unitron dressed up and out last night on the G11 mount.  Lunar observing was the primary objective including checking out the Lunar X and V that were due to appear at 7:41 pm.  For magnification I used the original 1.25 inch Plossl's and a 10mm TV Radian.  The Lunar X and V popped in at exactly 7:41 pm and the Lunar views were sharp and contrasty.  I had also intended to do some double star observing, but other than Porrima and Algeiba I was distracted by an emergency vehicle with all lights blazing on the street next to my home!

 

Dave

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#7349 steve t

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 07:43 AM

Last night was spent observing the Moon with the 4" F/10 Newtonian. We had high thin clouds, but the seeing was fairly good.

 

The other day I found my old Zeiss Jena 6mm orthoscopic and decided that tonight I'd give it a try in the 4". Due to eye floaters, I normally don't like to use magnifications that produce an exit pupil much smaller than 1mm, but was very surprised at the nice, sharp, view the it produced at 166X (even with the formations of floater flying back and forth across the field of viewsmile.gif ).

 

If the weather holds, and once the crater Plato is out of the shadows, I'm going to take another shot at looking for the larger craterlet on its floor. I know it's a long shot, but it's a personal snipe hunt for mewink.gif


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#7350 oldmanastro

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 09:39 AM

Lunar observing was the main event last night after setting up the Sears (AO) 2535 76mm f/16 refractor. I missed the lunar X but was able to capture some shots using the smart phone camera. Visually the moon was excellent with clear views at higher powers. Mare Vaporum was just out of the terminator and is always a fascinating area including the nearby Rima Hyginus. The Apennine, Caucasus and Alpes mountains were emerging too with the Alpine Valley almost in shadows. Hipparchus and Albategnius were prominent and just out of the terminator. 

 

The seeing was just good enough for lunar observation. A heavy layer of Saharan dust has been visiting us for a couple of days now and a heavier one is looming. Combined with the glow from the city, the fine high altitude dust becomes a transparency killer. I used 1.25" eyepieces with a 1.25" to .965" adapter. 

 

With just some breeze from the south, the original mount behaved well while being manually driven just like in the "good old days" when clock drives were expensive items. If my memory is ok, a clock drive for this mount retailed around $50.00, a small fortune in 1966.

 

 

 

 

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