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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#7426 kansas skies

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 10:30 PM

I noticed we finally have a few sunspots, so I took the opportunity to check out the Questar's off-axis solar filter. For being such a small piece of glass, it did an amazingly good job. Still, I found the yellow image to not be as pleasantly detailed as the green image produced by the Baader Solar Continuum filter, so I set up my Tasco 9VR for solar observation using my Lunt Wedge as has been my plan. Try as I might, the Tasco's image just didn't feel right, so I set up my C80 with a 16mm Meade Series 3000 Plossl. This combined with the Lunt Wedge, Solar Continuum filter, and a Baader IR Cut filter, and I was back in business. Somehow, this combination brings out just a touch of granularity and delivers beautifully detailed sunspots. It's as though the sun is alive. Although the C80 with a Lunt Wedge is on a different level than the Questar, I feel having both at my disposal to be a huge plus.

 

Bill


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#7427 oldmanastro

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 10:45 PM

Last night, my observing pal and I went to our local club’s (Friends Of The (Cincinnati) Observatory) monthly star party to our regular spot for such events, a State Park about 25miles out of town. It’s a semi-darkish spot (Magnitude 5 stars and Milky Way visible to the naked eye). I took my +25 y.o. TeleVue Genesis SDF and my box containing eight 2” eyepieces (38mm to 7mm) a 2” barlow, and a couple of nebular filters. It was to be a night of DSO observing with no moon, nice clear skies, lowish humidity, pleasant temperatures, and no clouds or dew. It turned out to be perfect. The best night I have seen there in a number of years. My scope was on my TV Gibralter Mount and i was using my GLP finder which I have found to be the perfect device with this scope and setup. Especially when used in conjunction with my 20 y.o. Oberwerk 12x60 binoculars.

 

It was a fun time to be out because right after dark the late Spring sky was still defined by Leo, Virgo, Corvus, and Cancer (low in the western sky). As the night progressed, the Spring Sky transitioned to that of early summer. Vega was already up and the Summer Triangle gradually came into view over the next several hours as Deneb and Altair rose above the trees; and at this time Antares was also slowly coming up in the southeast. At the beginning of the evening Lyra, Hercules, Leo, and Virgo were all at comfortable viewing positions, and by the end of the night around 1 AM, the Big Dipper was moving down a bit, Ophiuchus, the Scorpion, and Sagittarius were availing their treats. So over the five hours of darkness that we were set up there was much to see.

 

As far as doubles, I only checked out a few, the usual suspects for this time of year: I started with beautiful Alberio in Cygnus- my absolute favorite looked like lovely topaz and emerald jewels, also Cor Coroli, were like a pair of lovely diamonds in the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici) chasing after the lion, reminiscent of Castor in Gemini which was low to the southwest. Then there was of course the Double-Double E1 and E2 in Lyra, which split cleanly at 100X, and toward the end of the night Mizar and Alcor, the Double-within-a-Double in the Big Dipper.

 

I visited a few nice open clusters. The first by necessity was the Beehive (M44) as it was dropping fast toward the horizon- I always enjoy this Springtime cluster. Then Berenice’s Hair (Coma Berenices (really an asterism). And then it was on toward the east where there were M29 and M39 in Cygnus and at the very end of the night the Wild Duck Cluster (M11) in Scutum was just clearing the trees. Also NGC 133, NGC 225, and NGC 281 gradually became visible in the north. My 38mm Erfle yields 14X with a 4.6° FOV in the F5.4 Genesis SDF which is perfect for the more expansive subjects.

 

For Globular Clusters I observed M13 in Hercules which is always amazing. It was stunningly beautiful with many stars resolved at ~75X to ~150X. Then there was the huge, dim and diffuse M4 near Antares in Scorpio, and a host of Globulars on parade in Ophiuchus, three or four which were fun to look at. The evening’s Planetary Nebulae consisted of two of my favorites, which were well displayed- The Ring (M57) in Lyra and the Dumbbell in Vulpecula, both of which were just gorgeous, (a UHC filter really bringing out fine detail in the Dumbbell. Whilst in that part of the sky, I paused to insert my 38mm Erfle and enjoy the cute little Coathanger asterism. 
 

Not forgetting galaxies, late in the evening I observed M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici, close to the Big Dipper, and M101, diametrically opposed to M51 on the other side of the Dipper’s handle. (I had intended to search out the Virgo Cluster of galaxies earlier in the evening but the sky wasn’t dark enough then and I got sidetracked looking at other things.) Finally, after midnight, Sagittarius was clearing the trees and the Steam from the Teapots Spout coming into view. Again, the 38mm Erfle went into the diagonal and the Lagoon (M8) and Trifid (M20) were stunning in the same field. I’m leaving out some others items we viewed but the aforementioned were the highlights of the session. By a little after 1AM we packed up and headed home. All in all, it was a great night. (Also saw three or four satellites and a couple of nice meteors!)

Excellent report Terra. I wish that I could see M51 again from my location. Not anymore. I did see it the other night on my computer screen using my DSO camera but it's not the same. Only the 8" Celestar gives me a hint that M51 is there. 


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#7428 Terra Nova

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 07:15 AM

Excellent report Terra. I wish that I could see M51 again from my location. Not anymore. I did see it the other night on my computer screen using my DSO camera but it's not the same. Only the 8" Celestar gives me a hint that M51 is there. 

Thanks Guido, most people call M51 the Whirlpool but I often call it the Ghost. It’s so hard to see. It’s big but being face on, the luminosity is spread over such a large area that it’s very dim. The only time of the year I can see it is when the Dipper is near overhead late at night when the sky is darkest and it’s far from the horizon. Even then it sometimes just disappears when you look straight at it and then reappears when you look to the side, kind of like the Veil and the North America nebulas.


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#7429 ccwemyss

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 12:24 PM

Another observing evening at school. This time of year, it gets dark too late to do much with deep sky. Used the '87 Questar with a Kencor drive corrector to look at Venus, Mars, Castor, Alberio, and just before 10PM it was dark enough to see M57. Mostly doing constellation work. 6 students and 1 parent came. They just finished a section on red giants, white dwarfs, and Type I supernovas, so the double stars and ring were a good illustration. 

 

Chip W. 


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#7430 Terra Nova

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 01:15 PM

Another observing evening at school. This time of year, it gets dark too late to do much with deep sky. Used the '87 Questar with a Kencor drive corrector to look at Venus, Mars, Castor, Alberio, and just before 10PM it was dark enough to see M57. Mostly doing constellation work. 6 students and 1 parent came. They just finished a section on red giants, white dwarfs, and Type I supernovas, so the double stars and ring were a good illustration. 

 

Chip W. 

If they had waited a bit longer they could have done Antares!



#7431 ccwemyss

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 08:28 PM

Arcturus was a good enough example of a red giant. Antares was just up before they left, and I did point it out to them as the brightest star in Scorpius. It's a supergiant. I suppose I could have mentioned its potential as a Type II supernova, but there's only so much you can put into a lesson before it starts to be confusing. The before/after comparison of Arcturus and M57 is memorable.

 

They also liked seeing the arrangement of Ophiuchus standing over Scorpius, while head to head with Hercules who is standing over Draco. In the fall, Antares sets early behind some trees from where we observe, but last night the four constellations were arcing right up across the sky. 

 

Chip W. 


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#7432 oldmanastro

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 09:51 PM

Thanks Guido, most people call M51 the Whirlpool but I often call it the Ghost. It’s so hard to see. It’s big but being face on, the luminosity is spread over such a large area that it’s very dim. The only time of the year I can see it is when the Dipper is near overhead late at night when the sky is darkest and it’s far from the horizon. Even then it sometimes just disappears when you look straight at it and then reappears when you look to the side, kind of like the Veil and the North America nebulas.

The highest altitude that the Whirlpool or Ghost (that describes it well) attains at this latitude is about 45 degrees. Unfortunately north is also the direction of the city center. The glow from the city plus that of three flood lights recently installed in a walkup right in that direction makes the Ghost very difficult to see. I don't understand why people point flood lights in every direction except toward the ground.

 

My recent observations are just clouds. It has been raining here for several days.


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#7433 Jacques

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 04:42 AM

Had the Vixen 102M out for a nice deep sky session the other night. Magnifications used ranged from 38x all the way up to 250x (some globulars, doubles, planetaries). Had a blast smile.gif

 

Brighter galaxies observed: Canes Venatici/Ursa Major: M63, M94, ngc 5005, ngc 5033, ngc 4490  (Cocoon), ngc 4449, M106, M51 and M101. Most looked best at 90x (11T6) except for M101 that looked best at 38x (26mm plossl).

 

Globulars: M3, M10 and M12. All three showed some resolution and had different character with averted vision at 133x (7.5mm plossl) and at 250x. Can't say that I saw more detail at 250x than at 133x but the larger image scale was nice. .

 

Double stars: Cor Caroli, Epsilon Bootis, Delta Cygni, Rasalgethi (so beautiful!), Albireo, Omicron Cygni (so nice!). 

 

Bright planetaries: ngc 6210 (Turtle), ngc 6826 (Blinking planetary), M57 (mag 13 star just outside the ring shimmered through now and then at 250x).

 

Open clusters: ngc 6866, ngc 6811 (Cygnus) , ngc 6709 (Aquila). All 3 looked best at 90x. 

 

Getting the old lady ready for the upcoming eclipse on june 10th, forecast is good. Have fun with your classic telescopes my friends wink.gif


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#7434 steve t

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 06:08 AM

We're in a summer rain cycle of off and on showers, so I've only been able to get out, between showers, to observe the sun.


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#7435 Garyth64

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Posted 08 June 2021 - 12:46 PM

With my classic eyes, and old binoculars, I've been getting some fantastic views of the Milky Way.

 

From SE Michigan?  Of course not.  I'm in the middle of a two week stay in SW Colorado!  

 

Just awesome!

 

The locals feel its no big deal,  yeah, yeah, yeah, they see it all the time.  But to me, it's like, OMG!


Edited by Garyth64, 08 June 2021 - 06:59 PM.

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#7436 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 01:22 AM

I'm getting jealous! Here we're having rain, rain, and more rain. My Mercury / Venus grouping was clouded out, and it hasn't gotten better since.

Even if it is clear, at this time of year, the stars don't start coming out until 11 PM, and it starts getting light again around 2 AM. If you look at the northern horizon at midnight, you will see the purple, dark reds and deep yellows of late sunset, as the sun passes by. It doesn't really get dark, we get astronomical dusk.

Tomorrow we have a partial eclipse of the sun, and I'm hoping to at least get a glimpse of that. Got my fingers crossed!
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#7437 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 05:13 AM

At 0910Z (0410L), stars!  Jupiter & Saturn brilliant in a cloud-free sky!  Set up the FC-100, got it tracking, went back in to get my 1st coffee, and... stars are veiled, Saturn struggling in the soup, and only Jupiter remained in clear air.  All that change in maybe 5 mins.  On GOES:  A lone Nail of a cloud - NE to SW - drifting north from The Gulf had Saturn in its head...

 

So about 40 mins of Jupiter in 6-8 seeing, 94% R/H, and no wind.  "Only" 5 belts at 100x (Brandon 8), 6 belts @ 160x (Nagler 5).  No oranges.  Browns, blues, & grays.  No GRS.  Pretty much the same cloud features as last time.  After all the rain yesterday, I had to set up on the pool deck.  But, with both eyes open & relaxed, and that dull dark concrete as a backdrop, Jupiter appeared brighter than otherwise,

 

TAK Contrast:  In the better seeing, so many background stars...  Nice to see the Jupiter System slide past them...

 

OTOH, the Galileans put on a show!  I watched Callisto's shadow slide across the cloud tops; and, watched Io "collide" with Europa before vanishing in Jupiter's shadow.  IOW:  Coulda been worse!  Not a bad start to another wet & stormy day...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 09 June 2021 - 05:56 AM.

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#7438 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 June 2021 - 09:12 PM

For the past 2 Nights:  Arcturus.  One star.  One object.  Both "sessions" Arcturus let me do the absolute minimum with my 2 new 1980s Mizar 80mm refractors...

 

BN-80 F5 Nature Scope:  Got its 6x30 finder aligned, then it was lost in the clouds.

 

GT-80S F6.25 Astro:  Tonight, I got an excellent star test before the clouds blanked it out -- 62.5x with an RKE 8.  

 

As a result of these near-imaginary sessions, I can state that the F7 has less red than the F5; and, both Mizars appear to have very good optics.

 

10Z (05L) Io Transit:  8+ seeing, and at 100x per inch (400x / Nagler 5 + GSO 2.5x Barlow) in my FC-100, Io's disk is yellow-white, sharp-edged, and easy to follow against the cloud-tops.  8 Belts, and the pale orange of the NTZ did not wash out until sunrise.  Still haven't seen the GRS in this scope!


Edited by Bomber Bob, 10 June 2021 - 06:25 AM.

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#7439 Bomber Bob

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 09:39 PM

Based on a half-dozen star tests tonight, I expect the DPAC for my Mizar GT-80S to show zones.  Otherwise, a very good 80mm F7 achro.  I'll run the DPAC before cleaning & element alignment corrections, and after.

 

I had the GT-80 on the Mizar SP, and I was pointing all over the sky -- wherever I could find a clear patch.

 

Really don't need a finder with the RKE 28 Space Walk eyepiece at 20x.  Doubles from Leo to Hercules, and M3 & M13 -- the latter only a few degrees above the tree tops.  Regulus & Denebola are a cool white - no trace of blue in the little king.  At 70x (RKE 8), Algieba is a pretty split, with interacting 1st rings.  


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#7440 steve t

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 01:05 PM

This afternoon, between gaps in the clouds, I was able to get a quick peek at the sun. The seeing was only fair and the sun is once again blank with no spots visible in the 4" scope. With thunder off to the west, I decided to quickly pack it in. 


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#7441 Bomber Bob

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 01:28 PM

With thunder off to the west, I decided to quickly pack it in.

 

Last night, I was so desperate to look, that the strong down-drafts & erratic surface winds didn't drive me indoors.  But, lightning followed by thunder < 2 seconds later... yeah, that did it!  (An old guy can move pretty fast when he needs to!)


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#7442 Bomber Bob

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 05:30 AM

GRS x 2 & Ganymede Transit, Too!!

 

The ONLY thunderstorm in Bammy is moving over The Swamp right now...  'twas the thunder that woke me, which was a good thing; and, I had my Mizar GT-80S + VG2 and Tak FC-100 + SP outside in < 5 mins.

 

Got the GRS in the GT first, but didn't notice Ganymede at 112x (Nagler 5).  Got that Bonus with the FC at 200x (Radian 4).  This moon was actually in the GRS "notch" on the north border.  Upping the GT to 225x with the Tak Barlow made it easier to see, but the GT is definitely an F7 achromatic:  yellow-gold disks, muted belts, and non-Red GRS at the higher magnification.  As usual, the FC's views were near-perfect.

 

The more valuable FC was back in the shed first, of course.  I stuck with Saturn in the GT until I could smell the coming rain.

 

With the approaching storm, seeing was an 8 for transparency, and a 6 for air stability, for an overall 7.  With a 77* air temp, those powerful downdrafts were a welcome relief!


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#7443 Bomber Bob

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 10:52 PM

Y'all, I worked on scopes & such all day today.  Tonight, I got about 90 mins of reward:  Star & sky-testing for the cleaned & collimated Mizar GT-80S F7, and first light for this BB Oddball -- 1950s Atlas 60 F15:

 

Atlas 4436 Restore S11 - 1st Setup MSF-TP (RS FL).jpg

 

The Atlas has less CA, but the GT-80 has a near-perfect star test (along with 20mm more aperture).

 

I started immediately after sunset with mostly 7/10 partly cloudy skies.  Cloud-dodging devolved into gap finding, then into a solid deck of cotton ball clouds (with lightning 10 miles to my west!)...

 

The Atlas excels at doubles and at star colors; and, I suspect, will prove to be an excellent Moon Scope.  So many pretty doubles in Bootes; and, I took the Arc from Arcturus into the Big Bear -- often one small field at a time.  I had the Atlas on the MSF/TP to make aligning the surprisingly good 20mm achromatic finder easier.  In future, it'll be on the Mizar SP for sweeping...

 

Considering it's a fast achromatic, the F7 GT-80S is a good all-rounder + grab & go on the VG2.  Every object is shown crisply up to 70x per inch (~ 210x), which automatically puts it in my Excellent Achro Category.  I used the 1.25" Tak prism tonight rather than the Baader, and I could see the difference with both M13 & M92 -- both still far away from the meridian.

 

Like most of my other refractors, the GT-80 matched its DPAC pattern.  (As I posted earlier, it looked very similar to the AT102ED, which is not a bad comparison at all.)


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#7444 davidmcgo

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 10:34 AM

Took my 1965 Questar 3.5 up to Mount Laguna last night for its first dark sky outing since I have owned it.  Posted over in the Questar forum:

 

https://www.cloudyni...5#entry11163602

 

Dave


Edited by davidmcgo, 13 June 2021 - 10:34 AM.

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#7445 steve t

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 01:41 PM

Took my 1965 Questar 3.5 up to Mount Laguna last night for its first dark sky outing since I have owned it.  Posted over in the Questar forum:

 

https://www.cloudyni...5#entry11163602

 

Dave

Read your great report over on the Q forum. Amazing what a small, high quality, scope can dosmile.gif



#7446 JoshUrban

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 06:18 PM

I recently got a white-tube Edmund Palomar Jr. 4.25" f/10 reflector converted into a dob. (Bought the mountless tube here on CN, had Spectrum recoat the mirror, and built a dob base around it.  I had it out for it's first serious session in the middle of the night, and man what fun!  The Ring, Dumbbell, Double-Double, Alberio, Lagoon, Trifid, Wild Duck, M13, and even capped the session with Saturn!  The single-stalk secondary isn't ideal for double stars, but the unit was light, portable, and a heck of a lotta fun!   


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#7447 sdedalus83

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 06:47 PM

I was checking out reflections off a telephone pole with an original ETX 90 I picked up recently. Can someone help interpret these out of focus patterns?

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#7448 mpsteidle

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 07:39 PM

Finally got the 10" back together with a fresh secondary and refreshed mechanics.  Starting the afternoon off with some cicada watching!  10mm eyepiece about 200 yards.

m7tMmPT.jpeg

hTsPGVI.jpg

CujVsb7.jpg


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#7449 Mbinoc

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 08:03 PM

I keep finding my vintage scopes usefull.

 

Earlier this year I attempted some bird watching, next I used them to identify surrounding trees, and today I was looking at cans.

 

1.JPG

 

I took the Jason out for the first time in a long while today, and put in a 30mm plossl. The combo made a excellent spotting scope for target practice.

 

For fun I was using a slightly modified Crossman air powered pellet gun.

 

2.JPG

 

I set up a bunch of cans in the back yard at various distances, and used the Jason as my spotter.

 

3.JPG

 

I will leave the Jason outside until it gets dark, and plan to spot a few things tonight.

 

In the last week I have woke up early twice to check out Jupiter and Saturn. I can first see the two planets pop up over the trees around 2:30am, and can then observe them until the sun rises and blinds them out.

 

One of the times last week while observing Saturn at about 3:40am, in about 15 seconds I saw two what looked like meteors flash across the eye piece. In both cases I pulled my head away, and could not see anything in the surrounding area with my bare eyes. I'm not 100% sure if it was not just my eyesight playing tricks on me.


Edited by Mbinoc, 13 June 2021 - 08:23 PM.

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#7450 Bomber Bob

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 09:08 PM

3-day old waxing Crescent Moon in my Atlas (Asahi?) 60 F15 in a narrow lane of 7+ seeing, at 50x / 75x / 100x with the 3 teeny-tiny barrel eyepieces.  Pretty sure the glass in these is uncoated.  They are parfocal. 

 

At all 3 powers:  No fringing.  No yellow or violet along the bright limb; or, along the Terminator; or, at the high points of crater walls.  VG contrast & resolution, but need to re-visit with the Moon near zenith, at least an hour after astro sunset, and against a black sky...


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