Once upon a time, Ole BB was a rational person, but since 2016, the NWS (National Weather Service) has been on a covert mission to make me superstitious... Forecast is for 4 consecutive nights of "mostly clear" skies... Yes, TD Mindy has pushed across the Deep South, and is hovering off the coast of GA; but, yet another Tropical Low has formed in the central Gulf -- about 300 miles due south of Lake Charles, LA -- and it's pumping a steady stream of clouds my way... Will a cold line push the stream SE, and out of the way? In the Summer, and at The Swamp? Not too likely!
But just in case, I checked the condition & collimation of my 1980s Meade 826's mirrors, and moved it to the shed. Like my 1988 Tak FC-100, and my 1980s C80P & C102, I haven't done any imaging yet with the refractor-like Newt; so, if I get a chance, I'll try the new SVBONY 205 camera on Saturn & Jupiter at the meridian... The 826 joins my C102 and my Triple Nickle 1970s 5" F5 non-ED Triplet at the Ready Line. The waxing Moon sets around 2100L tonight, so I'll have deep-sky covered, along with the Big Gas Giants...
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Hat's Off to our Sponsor! I ordered 2 more A-T Paradigm 1.25" eyepieces from Astronomics on TUES evening, and they were delivered yesterday morning. Pretty Dang Fast in my book!
I added the 8mm & 3.2mm to my set, and I got to test these last night in my 1980s Celestron (V) C102 F10, 1970s Triple Nickle 5" F5 non-ED RFT, and my 1980s Meade 826 8" F6 Newt. Overall, these eyepieces are better than my RKEs, and almost as good as my Tele Vue Radians in my old scopes. Flatter fields, more than double the eye-relief, and truer colors than the RKE 8mm; and, about half the weight of my Radian 8mm & 4mm...
At sunset I had my C102 + Mizar SP set up on the SE porch to grab Saturn, then Jupiter. Seeing varied with the thin streamer clouds -- 7'ish at best. In this old frac, the 8mm = 125x, and the 3.2mm = 312x. I saw Titan + 2 Moons at 125x; 312x added a 3rd Moon, and Cassini's arc extended further; 3 Belts in various shades of gray. Jupiter stole the show! 2 Galileans almost touching, a bright salmon GRS @ 80x (Para 15mm) that faded toward light gray at 125x, and light gray @ 312x. Best Views at 125x in my Brandon 8mm; most comfortable view with the Radian 8mm & 4mm; but, the Para eyepieces aren't a mile behind the Radians. Once I saw that, I put the TV's back in the case...
1980s Meade 826 = 2017 APM 152ED
I saw so much stuff with the 826 last night... Overall, its best views were equivalent to that APM 152ED F8 that I owned & loved -- on every stinking object type!!
But before I started testing the Paradigms in it, I did one last collimation, using a UO HD 6mm Ortho (200x) on Altair & Vega, and made micro-fractional corrections -- mainly to the secondary.
Paradigm Results (826)
- 25mm (48x): Delphinus Double-Double is eye-watering. M27 is big & bright; north lobe is smaller than the south; small bright clumps in both lobes, but easier to see in the south.
- 15mm (80x): OMG! So. Many. Pinpoint. Stars. The sheer number of clusters in & around Aquila -- seemed like every other field. Saturn showed Titan + 3 Moons, 3 belts (gray-olive, lilac, & salmon). Jupiter has 7 belts (brown, yellow-brown, light orange, rust, & blue-gray), light RED GRS.
- 8mm (150x): Fine Details in & out in Saturn's NEB, and ditto for the Crepe / C Ring (tough to keep my eye from wandering!); olive & browns most prominent belts colors. Jupiter has 10 belts; GRS has more light gray in it than pink, and I can see a thin interior line that's slightly darker than the material between it & the much thicker & darker outer edge.
- 3.2mm (375x): "Soft" until Saturn got well west of the meridian, and into calmer air. Jupiter is higher, and in much better air, and I count a dozen belts; zones are shades of white -- more details than I can sketch.
Just for Fun, I put my Radian 4 in the Tak 2x Barlow, and attempted Jupiter at 600x in the 826... Big, Soft, & Dim! But, 400x with the Brandon 6 + Tak Barlow was sharper than 375x with the Para 3.2mm eyepiece -- but every time I blinked, my lashes swept the field lens!
Edited by Bomber Bob, 10 September 2021 - 11:43 AM.