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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#7876 PawPaw

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 01:31 PM

9/15 observing report

Session start 7:00 pm cst:  Humidity 49%
Session end 10:00 pm cst:  Humidity 83%
Goto Uranus 58mm E.D. FL 800mm
Eyepieces:  All .965 Goto’s  MH 25mm ,12.5, 6 and OR 9mm, 6, 4. 
Accessories:  Original Goto moon filter.

 

My goal last night was simply to try out the Goto Uranus type 4 on the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and see if the skies were conducive to a star test. The last week and a half has been very poor skies but I noticed the haze becoming less over the last two days.    I started early because I knew the moon would be casting my shadow.  On the plus side I didn’t need my red flashlight!  I setup with the Sun still up but behind the hedgerow of trees.  With the moon visible I started early and noticed immediately it could be a good night if everything held.  With a southeast breeze (normally a good sign) I started with the HM 25mm.  Good views and the atmospheric waves/tremors on the surface or the edge were minimal.  Within 30 minutes dusk was in full swing and the contrast between shadow and light was starting to pop.  My wife came out to try the new scope before the mosquitos found me and commented on the crispness of the craters.  I decided to try the moon filter since it had been 50+ years since I tried one and as darkness fell the filter did wonders with the glare.  Plus it was just cool to use.  Continuing with Luna I scrolled through the eyepieces and decided it time to try the 4mm ortho and was pleasantly surprised at the detail.  The image held up so well I knew it was a good night.  At 200x while dim the detail was very good and steady.  The CA was negligible on the circumference with all of the Goto eyepieces.  I did have one eyepiece that needs cleaning and using them on the brighter areas of the moon brings out the culprits. 

 

With the the brighter stars emerging I swung directly overhead to Vega for a sanity star test and decided ok time to chase some doubles before the moon became too bright.  I moved to give Zeta Cygnus a go and noticed immediately pinpoint steadiness and a clear crisp diffraction ring.  With the 12.5mm the ring was easily visible but no hint of the secondary.  Moving to the 9mm ortho I intermittently could distinguish a difference on the ring to one side.  Finally the 6mm (133x) Ortho and HM both brought out the beautiful ring and without question the secondary, to me a pale bluish hue, right on the diffraction ring.  Knowing now where to look I moved back and forth between the 9mm and the 12.5 trying to catch a glimpse with no luck on the 12.5 but fleeting moments on the 9.  Back to the 6mm I spent over 45 minutes watching this amazing pair and with no less than a 58mm and 70 year old glass.  I know the .965 eyepieces get a bad rap but for me they are matched perfectly with this Goto for doubles. There is something about the glass in these eyepieces that just works on dim objects.  Now the moon I noticed some ghosting on the lower power eyepieces but on dim doubles not a hint.  The altitude and azimuth slow motion controls on this mount really work nicely and the steadiness of the brass mount just anchors the OTA to the legs.  I noticed my best viewing of doubles is not directly on axis of this scope but halfway between center and the edge of the FOV.  As Lyrae moved past the meridian it became easier to view so of course I wanted to double my fun with the double double.  The 12.5mm (64x) split the wider of the two and enlongation of the second pair but  It took the 9mm (88x) ortho to split both cleanly. 

 

Of  course I viewed our Gas giants and they were lovely but after Zeta Cygnus for me it was melodramatic.  I thanked the night and using the moon as my flashlight I carried my 70 year new/old partner back to the porch for a well deserved rest.

 

Don

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by PawPaw, 16 September 2021 - 01:35 PM.

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#7877 Terra Nova

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 04:36 PM

Great report Don. That is such a classic design that your Goto exemplifies. Instead of 70 years old it could just as easily be twice that. It’s just a lovely scope and judging from your report, it’s a good performer as well. I love the elegant simplicity of its lines.


Edited by Terra Nova, 16 September 2021 - 04:38 PM.

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#7878 PawPaw

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 04:51 PM

Thank you Terra.....I like old glass waytogo.gif. It really is a older design and while I understand why Goto changed their Alt-Az mounts to the "Unitron alt-az style the  long altitude rod creates a large triangle which is very stable and smooth.  I honestly was surprised how well it works.

 

Don


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#7879 barbie

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 08:22 PM

Thursday night, I observed Jupiter and Saturn at 104x, 139x and 208x under Antoniadi II conditions with average sky transparency with my 1996 ETX 90. I could easily see two belts, the polar hood and Cassini on Saturn with 139x and even better at 208x. Jupiter's maximum power this night was 139x with several cloud belts easily visible.


Edited by barbie, 16 September 2021 - 08:24 PM.

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#7880 oldmanastro

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 10:04 PM

9/15 observing report

Session start 7:00 pm cst:  Humidity 49%
Session end 10:00 pm cst:  Humidity 83%
Goto Uranus 58mm E.D. FL 800mm
Eyepieces:  All .965 Goto’s  MH 25mm ,12.5, 6 and OR 9mm, 6, 4. 
Accessories:  Original Goto moon filter.

 

My goal last night was simply to try out the Goto Uranus type 4 on the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and see if the skies were conducive to a star test. The last week and a half has been very poor skies but I noticed the haze becoming less over the last two days.    I started early because I knew the moon would be casting my shadow.  On the plus side I didn’t need my red flashlight!  I setup with the Sun still up but behind the hedgerow of trees.  With the moon visible I started early and noticed immediately it could be a good night if everything held.  With a southeast breeze (normally a good sign) I started with the HM 25mm.  Good views and the atmospheric waves/tremors on the surface or the edge were minimal.  Within 30 minutes dusk was in full swing and the contrast between shadow and light was starting to pop.  My wife came out to try the new scope before the mosquitos found me and commented on the crispness of the craters.  I decided to try the moon filter since it had been 50+ years since I tried one and as darkness fell the filter did wonders with the glare.  Plus it was just cool to use.  Continuing with Luna I scrolled through the eyepieces and decided it time to try the 4mm ortho and was pleasantly surprised at the detail.  The image held up so well I knew it was a good night.  At 200x while dim the detail was very good and steady.  The CA was negligible on the circumference with all of the Goto eyepieces.  I did have one eyepiece that needs cleaning and using them on the brighter areas of the moon brings out the culprits. 

 

With the the brighter stars emerging I swung directly overhead to Vega for a sanity star test and decided ok time to chase some doubles before the moon became too bright.  I moved to give Zeta Cygnus a go and noticed immediately pinpoint steadiness and a clear crisp diffraction ring.  With the 12.5mm the ring was easily visible but no hint of the secondary.  Moving to the 9mm ortho I intermittently could distinguish a difference on the ring to one side.  Finally the 6mm (133x) Ortho and HM both brought out the beautiful ring and without question the secondary, to me a pale bluish hue, right on the diffraction ring.  Knowing now where to look I moved back and forth between the 9mm and the 12.5 trying to catch a glimpse with no luck on the 12.5 but fleeting moments on the 9.  Back to the 6mm I spent over 45 minutes watching this amazing pair and with no less than a 58mm and 70 year old glass.  I know the .965 eyepieces get a bad rap but for me they are matched perfectly with this Goto for doubles. There is something about the glass in these eyepieces that just works on dim objects.  Now the moon I noticed some ghosting on the lower power eyepieces but on dim doubles not a hint.  The altitude and azimuth slow motion controls on this mount really work nicely and the steadiness of the brass mount just anchors the OTA to the legs.  I noticed my best viewing of doubles is not directly on axis of this scope but halfway between center and the edge of the FOV.  As Lyrae moved past the meridian it became easier to view so of course I wanted to double my fun with the double double.  The 12.5mm (64x) split the wider of the two and enlongation of the second pair but  It took the 9mm (88x) ortho to split both cleanly. 

 

Of  course I viewed our Gas giants and they were lovely but after Zeta Cygnus for me it was melodramatic.  I thanked the night and using the moon as my flashlight I carried my 70 year new/old partner back to the porch for a well deserved rest.

 

Don

Excellent report Don. I enjoy looking at that telescope as much as you enjoy looking through it. Like Terra said, the vintage classic design is just wonderful. I like using older moon filters like the green ones included in the vintage Japanese refractors. That Goto moon filter looks blue?


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#7881 PawPaw

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 09:08 AM

Excellent report Don. I enjoy looking at that telescope as much as you enjoy looking through it. Like Terra said, the vintage classic design is just wonderful. I like using older moon filters like the green ones included in the vintage Japanese refractors. That Goto moon filter looks blue?

Thanks Guido.  Goto designed the filters to be screwed onto the top of the eyepieces.  You have to remove the lens cap which is essentially used just as a light trap.  The moon filter is more blue-green than green.  

 

Don

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#7882 Terra Nova

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 10:35 AM

I watched the ISS last night with a pair of classic Japanese binoculars. In keeping with the CN rule of not double-posting, you can read the whole story here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...t-3/?p=11367434


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#7883 PawPaw

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 03:11 PM

9/15 observing report

Session start 7:00 pm cst:  Humidity 49%
Session end 10:00 pm cst:  Humidity 83%
Goto Uranus 58mm E.D. FL 800mm
Eyepieces:  All .965 Goto’s  MH 25mm ,12.5, 6 and OR 9mm, 6, 4. 
Accessories:  Original Goto moon filter.

 

My goal last night was simply to try out the Goto Uranus type 4 on the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and see if the skies were conducive to a star test. The last week and a half has been very poor skies but I noticed the haze becoming less over the last two days.    I started early because I knew the moon would be casting my shadow.  On the plus side I didn’t need my red flashlight!  I setup with the Sun still up but behind the hedgerow of trees.  With the moon visible I started early and noticed immediately it could be a good night if everything held.  With a southeast breeze (normally a good sign) I started with the HM 25mm.  Good views and the atmospheric waves/tremors on the surface or the edge were minimal.  Within 30 minutes dusk was in full swing and the contrast between shadow and light was starting to pop.  My wife came out to try the new scope before the mosquitos found me and commented on the crispness of the craters.  I decided to try the moon filter since it had been 50+ years since I tried one and as darkness fell the filter did wonders with the glare.  Plus it was just cool to use.  Continuing with Luna I scrolled through the eyepieces and decided it time to try the 4mm ortho and was pleasantly surprised at the detail.  The image held up so well I knew it was a good night.  At 200x while dim the detail was very good and steady.  The CA was negligible on the circumference with all of the Goto eyepieces.  I did have one eyepiece that needs cleaning and using them on the brighter areas of the moon brings out the culprits. 

 

With the the brighter stars emerging I swung directly overhead to Vega for a sanity star test and decided ok time to chase some doubles before the moon became too bright.  I moved to give Zeta Cygnus a go and noticed immediately pinpoint steadiness and a clear crisp diffraction ring.  With the 12.5mm the ring was easily visible but no hint of the secondary.  Moving to the 9mm ortho I intermittently could distinguish a difference on the ring to one side.  Finally the 6mm (133x) Ortho and HM both brought out the beautiful ring and without question the secondary, to me a pale bluish hue, right on the diffraction ring.  Knowing now where to look I moved back and forth between the 9mm and the 12.5 trying to catch a glimpse with no luck on the 12.5 but fleeting moments on the 9.  Back to the 6mm I spent over 45 minutes watching this amazing pair and with no less than a 58mm and 70 year old glass.  I know the .965 eyepieces get a bad rap but for me they are matched perfectly with this Goto for doubles. There is something about the glass in these eyepieces that just works on dim objects.  Now the moon I noticed some ghosting on the lower power eyepieces but on dim doubles not a hint.  The altitude and azimuth slow motion controls on this mount really work nicely and the steadiness of the brass mount just anchors the OTA to the legs.  I noticed my best viewing of doubles is not directly on axis of this scope but halfway between center and the edge of the FOV.  As Lyrae moved past the meridian it became easier to view so of course I wanted to double my fun with the double double.  The 12.5mm (64x) split the wider of the two and enlongation of the second pair but  It took the 9mm (88x) ortho to split both cleanly. 

 

Of  course I viewed our Gas giants and they were lovely but after Zeta Cygnus for me it was melodramatic.  I thanked the night and using the moon as my flashlight I carried my 70 year new/old partner back to the porch for a well deserved rest.

 

Don

Oops........I obviously need to review my Greek alphabet.  Replace Zeta with Delta on the above post.  

 

Delta Cygni:  RA: 19h 45.0m   Dec: 45° 08′

Magnitudes: 2.89, 6.27
Separation:   2.7″

 

Don


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#7884 steve t

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 03:19 PM

I watched the ISS last night with a pair of classic Japanese binoculars. In keeping with the CN rule of not double-posting, you can read the whole story here:

 

https://www.cloudyni...t-3/?p=11367434

 

 

 

Terra - Nice write up.

 

Last night I observed a few variable stars in Hercules, Lyra, and Cygnus. The haze limits any DSO.

   

For the past two days the Sun continues to have no sunspots, or even any facula visible. It's still very early in cycle 25, so activity may start picking up again soon.


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#7885 Terra Nova

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 07:53 PM

BULLETIN! Callisto’s shadow is transiting the GRS!!!


Edited by Terra Nova, 17 September 2021 - 07:54 PM.

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#7886 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 09:32 AM

Jupiter and the moon last night from my deck. Jupiter was amazing! I watched a wonderful shadow transit (a solar eclipse on Jupiter) by one of its four Galilean moons. My old (1997) Takahashi FC-76 (3”’F8 fluorite apo) performed perfectly. The simulated view was made using the Gas Giants app for iOS which will produce real time + prior, and future (+/- 24 hrs) views of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. I highly recommend it. I wasn’t even planning to take a telescope out last night. I was tired because I hadn’t slept well the night before and was out with a light pair of binoculars to watch the ISS go over between 8:12 and 8:18 pm. I guess my afternoon nap or the excitement of seeing the ISS (I always love watching it) recharged my batteries because after seeing the Space Station drop below the hill to my north I looked around and noticed what a beautiful night was coming on. The near-full moon was rising and Jupiter and Saturn were gleaming in the darkening sky as a few high clouds idly drifted by. The air was warm and somewhat humid from the day, but it was quite still with no hint of a breeze. I thought to myself, this is to nice to pass up. So not wanting to haul out a lot of gear, I brought up my Vixen Porta II mount, my Tak, and a box of 1.25” eyepieces. I hadn’t checked my Gas Giants app so I had no idea what was happening. I began with a few quick looks at Saturn, which was lovely, and then I shifted over to Jupiter and bang! There was a tiny black dot ⚫️ easily detectable in the 18mm (T) volcano-top ortho that I had looked at Saturn with. I thought, this can’t be! A shadow transit at 33X!?! I put in the 12.5mm ortho and there it was, but there was more. At 48X, it looked like the Great Red Spot nearby! Could it be? I checked the Gas Giants app and sure enough the shadow looked like it was going to cross into or pass very close to the GRS. That’s when I posted the Bulletin above. Then I upped with with the 9mm (T) v-t or. The view was lovely. I cycled up with the 7mm Meade R.G.O., then the UO 6mm (T) v-t or at 100X and finally my trusted old Edscorp 4mm (T) v-t or. I observed Jupiter for over an hour, teasing out more detail with my medium Yellow (Wr. 12), light Green (Wr. 56), light Blue (Wr. 80A), and Orange (Wr. 23) planetary filters. What a sight! From the 25mm Ortho (24X) up to the 4mm (150X), and through the abbreviated spectrum of color filters, as well as natural unfiltered light, Jupiter put on quite a show. I hope some of you got out and saw the splendor of Jove last night as well.

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#7887 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 09:48 AM

Last night was the first time that I used my Tak FC-76 on my Vixen Porta II. Prior, I had always used it on a GEM. But I have to say, after last night, the 76mm apo and the Porta II alt-az mount are a perfect combination! I didn’t exceed 150X (4mm Ortho) last night (I generally don’t use barlows) but I don’t think it would have been an issue. Last night, I think the limiting factor would have been the seeing rather than the mount, but the views were so good without the barlow, I didn’t want to obsess over high magnification, and instead I just wanted to sit back and do some easy viewing. For ‘easy viewing’ this is the way to go!

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#7888 PawPaw

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 09:49 AM

Wonderful report Terra.....I was chasing doubles early last night and missed the show.  

 

Don


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#7889 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 10:33 AM

One of the things I used to like to do is pour on the power and see how much good glass can take before the image breaks down. Recently I have come up with a new activity. Lay off the power and see how much you can see at very low magnifications. I came upon this new activity one night this summer when I noticed that I could clearly see Jupiter’s main bands and also Saturns rings with my  excellent, 60  y.o., tripod-mounted Zeiss Oberkochen 15x60 binoculars. Another factor were memories of when I first started observing back in 1965/66 with my then new Mayflower 60mm x 700mm refractor and the 20mm Ramsden eyepiece (35X) that came with it, and also with my 3” F6 Edmund kit-scope Newtonian on a homemade alt-az pipe mount and its 1” Edmund Ramsden eyepiece (18X). I will always remember those wonderful crystal clear views. So those two things started me down my new passion, low-power observing, not of the stellar system (I’ve always loved that), but of the solar system. I feel like this low-power observing not only put me in touch with my own roots, but also in touch with the roots of telescopic observation itself- what Galileo, and Huygens, and Newton, and Cassini saw. If you don’t have a LPOP (low power observing program), I highly recommend you start one. (I made up the LPOP acronym, (or simply said L-pop) for your benefit JW (BomberBob) wink.gif .

 

Last night, after finishing with Jupiter (not L-pop), I did my L-pop) activity with Saturn. I guess because Saturn was the very first thing I ever looked at with my first real telescope in October of 1965, and tho the rings then were nearly edge-on, as opposed to today’s wide open configuration, they were still plainly visible, and to me, astoundingly so at 35X in 1965. The image of those first views of Saturn at low power through that little telescope are forever burned into my hypocampus! 
 

For last night’s L-pop viewing of Saturn I concentrated first on four eyepieces from my classic 1.25” eyepiece box: an old brass WWII 38mm wide-field gun-sight eyepiece with a huge field lens (in an aluminum adapter I turned on my friend’s lathe), my old 32mm first edition Brandon from 1948, an old globe shaped 26mm Questar König), and a (T) volcano top 25mm Kellner; then I added three more- a Vixen (V) 25mm v-t ortho, a (T) 20mm Erfle, and an 18mm (T) ortho.These seven eyepieces gave me a range of magnification in the FC-76 from 16X to 33X. Saturn was just lovely in all of them. All showed the rings, including the black between the inner ring and  planet’s orb (just barely yet distinguishable at 16X). Titan was visible beginning with the 25mm eyepieces. And the coup d’état, Cassini’s division was just barely hinted at at 33X with the 18mm Ortho (I confirmed it with my 12.5mm and boosting to the mid mag range of 48X). After my L-pop session with Saturn, I spent another half hour or so with this beautiful planet and cycled up to 150X with the orthos, with both the planetary filters and also au natural. At 150X and the light blue filter, the view looked like a beautiful painting of this wonderful (my favorite) planet.

 

The seven low power eyepieces are highlighted below. The 38 mm gun sight eyepiece is the one with the one on the upper far left. The left vertical column of three, top down: 32mm Brandon, 26mm Questar König) a (T), 25mm Vixen ortho. The right vertical column of three, top down: 25mm Kellner, 20mm Erfle, and 18mm ortho.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 07D50766-EB4B-4DD7-9C04-A43B4F31CB86.jpeg

Edited by Terra Nova, 18 September 2021 - 11:16 AM.

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#7890 deepwoods1

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 11:33 AM

Terra, thanks for your write up. It certainly conveyed the excitement of observing the eclipse. It’s a pleasure to read something with emotion. Sadly, clouds and mist here last night. Sunday’s forecast is promising, but that can change. Europa and it’s shadow will be transiting. Fingers crossed!


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#7891 oldmanastro

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 02:31 PM

The afternoon promised clear skies but did not deliver on its promise. A window of opportunity opened up at 8:45pm after a blanket of clouds left the skies quite clear and with good transparency. With the waxing moon past first quarter and between Jupiter and Saturn I knew that planets and moon was what the night was going to be about. I had a premonition that more clouds would come later on and unfortunately this is exactly what happened after just 75 minutes. My observations were done with my twin telescopes, the two Sears 60mm f/11 altazimuth mounted scopes. One of them, the one on the right in the image, is a completely original model 2620 that dates back to sometime after 1965. It was supposed to be a parts scope when I bought it years ago. The condition of the telescope was so good that I decided to keep it in one piece. The other telescope to the left is my 1965 model with the Meade replacement focuser. As you can see both are twins but like many twins there are subtle differences. The 2620 has a non-achromatic 5X24 finder, the tray light has a flared shade and the altitude control mechanism is flimsy. I placed them side by side and did a comparison test with Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon using .965" eyepieces. In all three tests my original 1965 telescope performed better than the 2620. Now, I have to be fair. The 2620 is completely original including the metal ring spacer in the objective cell. In a star test the telescope shows some residual astigmatism. I have measured around the circumference of these metal rings before and found that the thickness is not constant. My original telescope metal ring was replaced with three foil spacers. This one shows no astigmatism on the star test. and provides very good images. I could see several belts in Jupiter and the Cassini division of Saturn plus at least one belt on this planet. While I was obseving Jupiter, the shadow of Callisto was transiting the planet. The best images of Jupiter and Saturn in both telescopes were delivered by my trusty 6mm HM eyepiece. I could see a hint of the GRS finishing its transit with the original telescope but not with the 2620. On the moon the crater Gassendi and the Sinus Iridum were prime targets. Both telescopes delivered good images using the original green moon filter that was provided by the manufacturer. The image of the moon was taken with my smart phone over the eyepiece of the original 1965 telescope. I spent all the available time going from one telescope to the next until at about 10:15pm the skies clouded up again. The clouds have arrived like clockwork these days. 

 

One more note. Recently the original 1965 60mm OTA received a new coat of paint. It's not original but it looks nice in Winter Gray. After 56 years the original paint looked real bad. You can also see the bright LED of my southern neighbor.

 

In summary I should say that these Towa made telescopes were good to very good considering the fact that they were on the lower end of the price scale. Cost cutting measures like metal ring spacers in the objective lenses, simple eyepieces and sometimes poor collimation could have contributed a lot to their sometimes subpar performance. More cost cutting measures like the non-achromatic finder and flimsy slow motion altitude control came later. The telescopes definitely benefit from new foil spacers in the objective.  These telescope can see much more than one could imagine but then my old eyes have been trained by many hours on both telescopes and microscopes. My younger eyes with better photon capturing capacities needed a better image processing system and that took sometime to develop. I ended the observing session satisfied with both telescopes and with the fact that they were inside in less than a minute.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by oldmanastro, 18 September 2021 - 08:19 PM.

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#7892 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 04:18 PM

Terra

 Great report and great idea......I think many of us have a tendency to start low and work up to see how high we can push it with solar system targets. I know I do...I seem to only work to a lower power when I have pushed it too much Yours is a wonderful alternative. Can't wait to try your method out myself....

 

 

 

p.s. 

LPOP    very cool acronym 

reminds me of my 13 years of death penalty cases     we tried so hard to get 

LWOP  life without parole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

love the acronym  LPOP


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 19 September 2021 - 06:51 AM.

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#7893 Stewc14

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 03:03 AM

I watched the "eclipse " of the Great Red Spot. 15 to 30 minutes of fun.
Observed with unitron 160,questar 7 c14 and tmb 9" apo
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#7894 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 09:36 AM

Must have been awesome seeing it through all those big guns...



#7895 kansas skies

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 01:55 PM

I had planned to get my newly acquired Vixen Polaris-80L refractor and Questar Standard out for a decent comparison Friday night, but after getting the P-80L setup, I became more interested in just observing Jupiter. Then again, since there appeared to be a huge stormy cloud-bank approaching from the northwest, I decided it best to wait awhile before setting up the Questar. On another note, at one point, I noticed a very bright satellite moving fairly quickly from the northeast to the northwest, and although I had my suspicions as to what it was, Stellarium confirmed it to be the ISS.

 

Back to Jupiter. At pretty much any magnification I chose to employ, the P-80L showed a beautifully circular shadow of one of Jupiter's moons on the planet's surface that stood out in very high contrast. From what I gather, I was a little late to see the shadow eclipse the GRS. Other than that, a considerable amount of fine detail was evident on Jupiter's surface.

 

While waiting to see what the cloud-bank was going to bring, I decided to just play around with some of the accessories I've acquired for adapting other accessories to my Vixen scopes. First, I have a ring that replaces the entire threaded ring in the drawtube of a Vixen scope to allow for the attachment of a Celestron/Vixen eyepiece turret (I have both the .965 and 1.25 turrets, both of which I did not use on Friday). I also have an adapter that replaces the tube on my 2" William Optics diagonal to allow its use with an SCT. This SCT adapter on the diagonal then attaches to the threaded ring in the drawtube I mentioned earlier, which then allows for the unobstructed use of 2" accessories with a Vixen scope. I was a bit worried that the scope wouldn't have enough in-focus travel to allow for the use of these adapters, but it just barely made it with a little room to spare.

 

Using this configuration, I popped in my 2" 32mm Vixen Erfle (one of my favorite eyepieces to use with the 12" Meade SCT). I was immediately presented with the effects of astigmatism (mine, not the scopes). Fortunately, the eyepiece has just enough eye relief to allow for the use of my glasses and I was able to enjoy the show.

 

Finally, I got a little gutsy and inserted a 20mm Type 2 Nagler into the diagonal. After moving the telescope tube quite a ways forward in the mounting rings, I was able to balance out the weight of the eyepiece. Although I was a bit nervous in thinking the whole mess was going to topple over, I managed to spent a little time observing. My conclusion is that this setup was my favorite combination so far. It was like the perfect OTA coupled to the perfect eyepiece. Then again, I don't think the Polaris mount was the best choice for this combination, as the Nagler was a bit like the tail wagging the dog.

 

About that time the clouds rolled in, so I packed it all in and went to bed.

 

I did get a chance last night to spend some quality time comparing the P-80L to the Questar, and I'll try to write about that when I get a little more time.

 

Bill


Edited by kansas skies, 19 September 2021 - 01:58 PM.

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#7896 Kasmos

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 04:16 PM

It's been mostly cloudy and because Friday night was clear I was mad at myself for not observing. So last night I made it a point. The pattern in the sky of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn was striking. It was breezy so the seeing wasn't the greatest but there were moments of decent clarity. I used the Mizar SP-68R with many different EPs (both .965" & 1.25" too much to get into) and enjoyed the two 9mms and 12mms (both formats) since they gave the best contrast. I didn't know there would be a transit so I was happily surprised to see the shadow of a moon on Jupiter. But unlike what Terra showed it was smack in between the two main cloud belts. Later I saw it appear as a bump on Jupiter's edge and watched separate. I looked it up and it was Io. Early on, I wasn't completely sure if I was seeing the GRS but later in a smoe moments of stillness it was obvious. Saturn was fun as well, showing a cloud belt and upper shading, the Cassini division, and Titian.

 

M-J-S-CN.jpg

 

p.s. since it was clouding up I packed up at 11:00 p.m. When I was done doing that, of course it was clearer and much stiller! mad.gif


Edited by Kasmos, 19 September 2021 - 04:19 PM.

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#7897 kansas skies

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 06:57 PM

As I mentioned in my last post, I was finally able to get my Vixen Polaris-80L and 3.5" Questar out for comparison last night. The sky was free of smoke and the seeing was seemingly very good, with only a slight atmospheric shimmer noticeable when I got to magnifications of 120x and above. The moon, being close to full, prevented comparisons of deep sky objects. For that reason, I spent pretty much all of my time viewing Jupiter, Saturn, the moon and the double-double in Lyra. Since the two telescopes are close to the same focal length, I tried to use the same eyepiece whenever possible when making comparisons. And, I also have to add that my conclusions were based entirely on my own visual perceptions, flawed as they might be. I suffer from astigmatism, and a large exit pupil tends to exacerbate this condition. On the other end of the spectrum, I suffer from floaters, so I tend to avoid small exit pupils on bright, low contrast objects such as Jupiter, although they don't tend to be much of a problem when viewing higher contrast objects such as Saturn. For this reason, I tend to stay with medium focal length eyepieces (12mm to 18mm) under conditions that cause me grief. Also, the Vixen was equipped with a Celestron 1.25" eyepiece turret.

 

Saturn was beautiful in both scopes. Titan and Rhea were easy in both scopes with a 16mm eyepiece, although just a little brighter in the Questar. I got the distinct impression there was another moon or two in close proximity to the planet, but I wasn't sure. When I checked later, I saw that to indeed be the case. The Cassini division was easy in both, and held beautifully when viewed through a 10mm Orion Ultrascopic eyepiece. I set my upper limit at 50D, which was accomplished in both scopes with a 7.5mm Orion Highlight Plossl. There was a slight image degradation at that magnification, but I was also seeing a bit more atmospheric shimmer, so I was satisfied with both scopes performance with this eyepiece. Something else I noticed in the comparison (other than the rock steady operation of the Questar vs that of the very long refractor on its Polaris mount), was how the Questar just snapped into focus, while the long refractor took a bit more time to achieve. I assume this is because the acceptable zone of focus at f15 is fairly wide, but the zone of exact focus is still very small.

 

Moving on to Jupiter, I arrived just in time to see one of the moons move in front of the planet. I watched the bright moon in both scopes for a while, until it finally faded into the background of the planet. All the while, I was mindful of the comparison of the two scopes. In this respect, the diffraction rings of the moons of the Mak were slightly thicker than that of the refractor, and although the Questar presented a very rich view of the planet's surface, I got the feeling that what I was seeing in the Vixen was slightly more refined and somewhat more delicate. I realize these aren't precise scientific terms, but I don't know how else to describe them. I didn't see any details in one scope that couldn't be confirmed in the other, but the refractor's images just looked ever so slightly nicer. I will add that on Jupiter, and even on the moon, I couldn't detect any perceptible false color in either scope with the 7.5mm eyepiece. Of course, this was noted with the refractor at perfect focus. There was the slightest hint of blue fringing inside of focus with the refractor, but in my opinion, that's not relevant in this application (astronomical observation). This was true even when viewing the almost full moon.

 

Viewing of the moon was pretty much as noted when viewing Jupiter. Subtle features just seemed a little more delicate in the refractor. That being said, I have absolutely no complaints with the Questar. In fact, after this night of simple comparisons, I found myself appreciating it even more. The only way I can describe this feeling is to say that even though the images are not quite as delicate as those of the refractor, the ease of setup and use tends to blow the refractor completely out of the water.

 

Last but not least, the double-double in Lyra. The only thing I can say here is that this object always tends to favor a good refractor, and that was very true in this case as well. Still, the Questar would easily best my C8 in this respect on all nights except those of perfect seeing, which unfortunately don't happen all that often around here.

 

As a final note, I don't think I'll be letting either scope go any time soon.

 

Bill


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#7898 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 07:35 PM

I am SO jealous!!  We won't start to dry out here until WEDS...  NWS is forecasting a great weekend, so I have all my fingers crossed (makes typing tough, though!)...


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#7899 ccwemyss

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 10:54 PM

Had the Edmund 4 and Meade 152 at school tonight. For some reason, the Edmund wasn’t tracking.  It was fine yesterday. So it didn’t get used, and I’ll need to debug it now. The 152 put on a good show. The students got to see Io go behind the planet, and the GRS come into view. It was a perfect illustration of how objects in the sky aren’t static. They also had good views of Saturn, Rasalgethi, Mizar, and the moon. M31 wasn’t great, but it was visible.  A good amount of the hour was spent on constellation work. 
 

After they left, I took a better look at Jupiter. 7 bands, detail around the GRS, and in the NEB. No CA on the moon at all tonight. Tried to do a star test, but the objective had fogged over. 

 

Evan without the bracing, the short pedestal was usable. It made loading and unloading the scope a breeze. 
 

Chip W. 


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#7900 Alex65

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 06:26 AM

I bought a little late 60s/ early 70s 60mm Kenko refractor over the summer which I have used mainly for solar projection viewing. The telescope, I have found, is pretty useless for observing the stars, let alone DSOs. Nor has it adequate aperture for viewing the planets though it does show the four main Jovian moons and, just, the rings of Saturn. However, I haven't had a chance to try it on the moon.

 

Yesterday evening I decided to try it on the 13.5 day old moon (98% illumination) and I can honestly say that it provided some very good views of the lunar surface. I was very pleasantly surprised.

 

The first thing that I noted was that due to the small aperture the reflected sunlight of a nearly full moon was nowhere as uncomfortable as seen thru my 4" Newtonian, let alone the 6". I could observe with comfort, with no straining of the eyes at all for the full hour that I observed the moon.  Secondly, at 60X the entire lunar disc filled the eyepiece so I'm guessing that the FOV at that magnification is a 1/2 degree.

 

I had a very good view of the craters along the terminator and spent most of my time looking at the chain of craters north of Grimaldi. The 4000 feet high mountains that surround Grimaldi's dark lava flooded plain were stunning, as was the surrounding hilly area. I could see Lohrmann and Helelius with its 6000 feet high walls, and lastly Cavalerius. Riccioli and Sven Hedin were hidden in the shadows. To the NW I could clearly see Reiner Gamma.

 

Another stunning view was the foreshortened crater Pythagoras, lying close to the northern limb. The 16000 feet high terraced walls showed up nicely though the group of central peaks only showed as a single mountain.

 

I was very impressed with the lunar views that this little Kenko refractor gave, even with the small 60mm aperture. It certainly makes a nice telescope for recreational lunar observing. 60X is probably the optimum magnification for a telescope of this size.


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