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What did you observe with your classic telescope today ?

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#9126 Senex Bibax

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 08:38 AM

Saturday evening was one of those rare, almost perfect observing nights according to the Clear Skies forecast for Ottawa - no Moon, no clouds, low humidity and excellent seeing - so I headed out to one of my observing spots in a rural area west of Ottawa. I was not disappointed, and there weren't even any insects. It's amazing how dark the skies are less than 20 km northwest of the city, you could see the Milky Way clearly all the way from Sagittarius low in the south to Cassiopaeia and Perseus in the Northeast. Using my 130 mm F/5 reflector, I got some good views of M22 and some beautiful star fields in Sagittarius despite its closeness to the horizon. I also observed M81 and M82, also M31 as Andromeda rose. Jupiter was low in the southeast, and partially in the remaining glow from the city but still an easy target along with its four primary satellites. Otherwise just lots of aimless but enjoyable sweeping, and I lost count of all of the satellites that crossed my viewing field.

 

Only downside was the steady numbers of pickup trucks with bright headlights that passed by, that site's only drawback is that it is beside a relatively popular sideroad.


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#9127 Bomber Bob

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 10:22 AM

Sunday Night... excellent views from both my Kenko SC-125L and my Tak FC-76 in 7/10 seeing, after they sat idle for over a month.  Saturn:  Both showed 3 belts, but only the SC put colors in them; SC - Titan + 2, FC - Titan + 1; Cassini crisp in both, along with shadows on Disk / Rings.  Tried 300x in the SC, but settled at 225x; FC topped-out at 200x.  Saturn is BRIGHT in the SC to the point of almost overwhelming the subtle belt colors, but it sure helps with seeing those moons.  Albireo:  Nice in both, but the pair is gorgeous in the FC -- both scopes at 100x.  I split time, with FC on M57, and SC on M13 (sparkles in & out of view at 180x).  Finished with some sweeping & casual double-splitting in the FC.


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#9128 steve t

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 12:08 PM

Over the weekend, here in SW Ohio, we had some very nice skies. The Milky Way in Cygnus was faintly visible to the naked eye, and the 4" Newtonian just showed12th magnitude stars at 62X. 

 

For the most part I chased a few variable stars from Hercules through Cygnus. 

 

Part of Saturday night I observed like it was 1906, using William Olcott's book "In Starland With a Three-Inch Telescope" as a guide.


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#9129 steve t

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 03:46 PM

There is an interesting cluster of sunspots on the sun's meridian. 


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#9130 clamchip

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 05:30 PM

Here is the finder I mentioned yesterday.

I'd like to mention it, even though its not a classic or even vintage, think of it as a

medical aid much like a couple Ibuprofen. 

What makes it work well is because it is quite a ways from your face, the red dot becomes

one of the other stars, only a red one.

I happened to have a Telrad base mounted at the focuser, you can eliminate the stick

and just mount the Easyfinder at the objective end.

Robert

 

IMG_0922.jpg


Edited by clamchip, 29 August 2022 - 05:30 PM.

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#9131 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 06:51 PM

Like your  Jaegers  5 inch f5

 Mine is also very nice  except dressed in black tube

  I had it out at Stellafane in some great seeing.....what it does  it does very well

   Nothing like sweeping the summer sky with a low rider like this

    I mean   low wider

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Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 29 August 2022 - 06:54 PM.

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#9132 Lemmon714

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 09:38 PM

I took the Swift 819 (50mm x 630mm) and an assortment of Swift and Takahashi eyepieces outside to view Saturn.  I randomly used a couple eyepieces until I decided that I would see how the detail changed when starting with low magnification and increasing to the maximum magnification.  I lined up the eyepieces in order.  Swift 40, Tak 25, Tak 18, Tak 12.5, Tak 7, and Swift 6.  Both Swift eyepieces are Huygens and the Taks are all Orthos.  The 819 doesn't have a finder or iron sights, this is a point and pray.  All eyepieces are 0.965" and used the original prism diagonal.

 

The 40 gave me a crisp view across the field but at 16x magnification I wasn't expecting much.  Saturn was a slightly elongated blob.  Detail was non-existent.  Maybe I can figure out another use for this eyepiece.

Next up was the 25.  Again crisp views across the field.  At 25x, the view of Saturn was showing two bulges but no "Space" between the rings and the planet.

I stepped up to the 18 and began to get some detail.  I could see a black space between the rings and the planet.  The view was crisp, it was a nice pleasing view.  This magnification was 35x.

The 12.5 provided a crisp view.  The rings were very discernible from the planet.  Telescope and eyepiece are providing nice views at 50x.

Next up was the 7mm at 90x.  Views are starting to get dim but the combination is still performing well.

Last eyepiece was the 6.  Eye relief is tight.  View is slightly dimmer than the 7.  Clarity is still good.  At 105x, I think I am reaching the max this scope can handle for the night.  We have random clouds across the sky. 

 

I did one more view to end the night.  I raised the scope about 30 degrees.  I swapped the 6 for a 40.  I sighted down the OTA and adjusted.  Double checked again and took a look.  Ahh, almost nirvana- when Orion isn't around at night I like to look at Delphinus.  As I listened to the crickets and the other nighttime bugs, I was able to discern a few chords of Manfred Mann singing an old favorite- Singing the Dolphin Through.


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#9133 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 29 August 2022 - 11:12 PM

Just in from an early morning session. I went out at 04:00. The sky was partly cloudy with average seeing. I set up the Vixen 80L.

First up was Jupiter. All 4 moons off to one side. There was not too much detail visible due to the seeing. Only the main belts and some glimpses of details.

Mars was next, high in the sky. Here the seeing was much better. Mars looked like an orange egg with some darker markings on it. The best view was at 170x. I was surprised that I couldn't see any polar caps.

I cruised through Taurus and then I saw it come out of the clouds: Orion! First up was M42. As the sky was getting light, the nebulosity was washed out, but the Trapezium was clear as a bell. Though low in the southeast, the seeing was quite good (7+) so I took some time to check out some doubles.
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#9134 oldmanastro

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Posted 30 August 2022 - 08:57 AM

I had a very short session last night with the old RV6 Dynascope. At 9:00pm everything was set up for visual observations and if possible, some imaging. After tweaking the collimation using Altair to get it just right, I went right to Saturn. There was some light breeze and a light haze but the view was very nice at 150x with the Carton Plossl. The planet was showing three belts and the Cassini division went around the rings. I could see two  satellites, Rhea and Titan. The haze was probably obscuring others that are visible with this scope. The 6mm UO orthoscopic provided the best view of the planet at 200x. In moments od excellent seeing I could see the A, B and C rings. The seeing was about a 7 so the moments of good seeing were not many. In a half hour the mild breeze died down and at 86 degrees with the humidity above 85% it became  a sauna. I continued observing Saturn until a wall of clouds (literally a wall) came up from the east. By 10:00pm I was inside and by 10:30pm we had a torrential downpour, thunder included. My little investment in wheels for the pedestal legs of the RV6 has paid well. Now it's a cinch to move that pedestal and mount in and out. The mirror recoat from last year improved the image brightness a lot. The old Beral coatings lasted 30 years but had become quite hazy. The image is not from last night but the telescope is at the same position and the pedestal wheels are shown. They have allowed for a more regular use of this classic.

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#9135 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 01 September 2022 - 01:44 AM

Now that it is starting to get dark at a decent hour, I am getting out more. I had intended to use the 12" dob, but the sky was very hazy, so I brought out the Vixen 80L instead.

Saturn, nearing the meridian, but still low in the sky, was up first. The haze helped steady the sky, and I was able to use high power. Best view was at 170x. Though the image was sharp and detailed, it was somewhat washed out. Probably due to the haze.

Jupiter was also nice and crisp, but also very bland. It made me wonder if a bigger scope would show more color or be even more washed out.

I then hit some brighter clusters, split some doubles and checked out a few carbon stars before calling it a night.

Edited by Paul Sweeney, 01 September 2022 - 08:42 AM.

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#9136 norvegicus

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Posted 01 September 2022 - 10:15 PM

Just spent about half an hour ogling Saturn.  

 

Tried 5 or 6 different eyepieces.

 

My favorite planetary eyepiece remains the 8mm RKE.  It's better than a TeleVue 8mm Plossl, which I think I'll sell.


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#9137 highfnum

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Posted 02 September 2022 - 06:05 AM

edmund 4 inch refractor 

jupiter

Capture 2022-09-02T05_23_55ed4js-Dnle.jpg


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#9138 highfnum

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Posted 02 September 2022 - 06:22 AM

orange tube c8 saturn in IR

 

Capture 2022-09-02T00_21_37c8i16-Dnll.jpg


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#9139 Drainpipeviewer

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Posted 02 September 2022 - 01:41 PM

I used my ETX90RA to do some sun observation with the newly purchased solar filter and a TAL Ploessl 25mm . Works great, I could see some sunspots. 

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#9140 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 03 September 2022 - 07:54 AM

The last 3 nights have been nice with low humidity and good seeing. I have been outside intermittently each night   grabbing quick looks here and there.   Admitting to being overtired from busy activity  yard work  boat maintenance  and scuba diving work on the sailboats bottom, one lacked the energy to go bigger      Not having a grab and go scope set up at the ready  i have been using the old WW2 Binoculars   and a newer pair of 15x70's I ran into very inexpensively.  It is nice to just sit in the  lounge chair and casually sweep around. The 15 x 70s are just heavy enough to need a tripod I think....Sold the easy grab and go C-80   and miss having an 80 dollar scope set up for G and G      sure we have the venerable old Tak 76 but we hesitate to leave it set up    with two year old grandson here alot and my own clumsy nature

 

Finally, last night I felt guilty wasting these good seeing nights and broke out the basketcase

 A    10 dollar Celestron Omni XLT 120mm.It was at a church ministry thrift shop for 10 bucks    obviously it  had toppled over and the focuser is damaged and rough in spots.....the ota looks worn and scratched the finder cross hairs are way off...they said they have the stand but have to look for it   the lens is fine though

 

set it up on the Unistar it came into focus   and surprised me with good images. So  we can fix it up and donate it  perhaps     but  for now maybe it just stays set up in the garage or even outside under cover  ready for what  comes into my window of opportunity


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 03 September 2022 - 09:24 AM.

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#9141 steve t

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Posted 08 September 2022 - 08:14 AM

Last night I set up the 4" Newtonian early to allow plenty of time for it to cool down before I started observing.

The Moon was in its waxing gibbous phase plus a bit of haze in the atmosphere washed out the skies, so the night was spent observing the Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter.

 

Starting off, time was spent cruising the lunar terminator The seeing was very good and at 125x magnification it took a while to take in all the detail.

 

Saturn was sharp and impressive; the Cassini gap was prominent along with slight shading of the planet's belts. Titan was off to one side, but easy to identify.

 

After midnight Jupiter, the seeing had deteriorated a bit since earlier, but 4" st 125x plus a Moon and Skyglow eyepiece filter showed quite a bit of detail in the bands and the shadow of Io as it transited. 

 

By 1:00AM, the scope was dripping with dew, so I called it quits and brough everything in to start drying out. 


Edited by steve t, 08 September 2022 - 08:15 AM.

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#9142 Kasmos

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Posted 08 September 2022 - 04:57 PM

Yesterday my 30 year old nephew was visiting and stayed until evening so I set up the Mizar before he left.

I don't think he'd ever looked thru a telescope, let alone viewed Saturn.

At first his glasses may have presented a bit of a problem but I think he had a pretty good experience.

There was quite a bit of upper atmosphere smoke and turbulence  but with moments of decent clarity.

He asked if it was normal to go in and out of focus.

It wasn't the kind of night you'd ideally pick for observing but he's never here at night.

 

Mizar-9-7.jpg

I love this scope and now think of it as a 60mm killer.

Just as easy to set up and with much better views

 

After he left Jupiter cleared a tree and the seeing was a bit better.

Sometimes taking advantage of a special opportunity is better than waiting for ideal conditions.

 

 


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#9143 ccwemyss

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Posted 08 September 2022 - 09:47 PM

Had the Pentax 85 out tonight. Because of a frontal passage, the air is pretty unsteady. Jupiter, just barely clearing the trees, was a boiling blob with two stripes. Saturn, much higher, was sharper and the 6mm Pentax ortho showed Cassini, ring shadow, and one belt, but only during brief moments. The double cluster was sparkling in a 32mm plossl. M31/32 was washed out by the nearly full moon, and I couldn't make out M110. M57 was near zenith, so it had better contrast. Alberio was beautiful in a 9mm Delite, Almach split best in the 6mm, and Izar (being very low) was a challenging split, but came through in 5mm DeLite and a 4mm UO flat top ortho. Some shimmering views of lunar craters as well. Temperature was a comfortable 61F, and my new observing buddy was happy to hang out with me (when not chasing something across the yard).

 

The little Celestron Logic Drive did a great job of tracking, and I really appreciate the precision of the Pentax finder, which lets me center objects, even in the highest power eyepieces, without having to step back to a wider eyepiece. 

 

Chip W. 


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#9144 Ehanc

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Posted 10 September 2022 - 10:28 AM

I installed a .965 to 1.25 eyepiece adapter on my SPI 60mm.   Now I can use modern 1.25” eyepieces on this classic scope. Great advice I got here on CN!


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#9145 oldmanastro

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Posted 10 September 2022 - 03:53 PM

Yesterday I had the best night of the summer in terms of transparency and seeing. The now usual afternoon rains left a nice quiet and clear sky. I waited for the planets to achieve a good altitude for some visual observing and imaging with my early 90s Celestar 8, Scruffy. The inside-outside temperature gradient was minimal. I had the wedgepod polar aligned and Scruffy mounted in no time. Since Jupiter was still a bit low, I went straight for Saturn. The almost full moon was not interfering much because the sky had no haze at all. I had Saturn in the FOV using my 3X Barlow and a 25mm Plossl. The view was crisp. Several bands were visible as well as the Cassini division all around the rings. The Encke division and the crepe ring were also evident. The 18mm orthoscopic provided a better view. I could see Titan, Rhea, Tethys and Dione. The last two were close to the planet and looked like two tiny pinpoints. The image included was taken using the 3x Barlow with my ZWOASI224mc. It a compendium of 4000 stacked frames. I took four videos of Saturn before continuing visual observation of the planet. The observation of Saturn is never tiring. The 3x Barlow and 18mm orthoscopic provide about 333x which is an excellent magnification for the planet.

 

As soon as Jupiter gained enough altitude I had it in the FOV using the same magnification. Many details were visible. It would have been challenging to draw everything. The GRS was in transit and already past the planet's meridian. I used the same camera setup for the Jupiter image below. This is the result of stacking 5000 frames. The satellites Ganymede and Io are included and I think that some features were captured in Ganymede. One thing is for sure, the GRS is a small representative of its former self. After the images, I continued observing Jupiter until the GRS completed the transit. By this time I had already processed a couple of Jupiter images and was trying to compare the visual view with the more detailed image. It was an interesting exercise. The eye can capture and process a lot too. We have to take our hats off to Bertrand Peek and other amateurs who studied Jupiter in the 20th century using only their eyes to observe and draw a lot of detail that led to important discoveries about the planet's atmospheric dynamics. The Planet Jupiter by Peek is a must read.

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#9146 oldmanastro

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Posted 10 September 2022 - 10:55 PM

The same weather pattern repeated today but but more heavy rains in the afternoon that left the humidity quite high. It cleared up but the transparency was not as good as yesterday's. With the temperature just at the dew point and the humidity as it was I decided on visual observations with telescopes that have a good dew shield. Two telescopes were used. One was the plum coloured 1950s 60mm f/15 Atlas. Jupiter was surprisingly sharp even on the 100x original eyepiece. I counted four belts and the demarcation of the polar regions. The two main belts showed irregularities and the equatorial region was showing very well. Saturn was also sharp at 100x showing the Cassini division at the ansae and one belt. Titan was clearly visible and Rhea appeared in and out according to atmospherics. I guess that this telescope could easily take about 175x but it needs a homemade adapter for 1.25" eyepieces. I'm working on it.  The finder still needs new crosshairs but works ok as is. I wish that whoever designed this one would have used standard eyepiece sizes. Star testing with Altair shows good collimation. 

 

The other telescope used tonight was not a classic. It was the Meade 2090 f/8.8 90mm refractor. It's an old goodie except for the focuser. Here's an image of the Atlas riding the Astroview mount and looking at Jupiter toward the east.

 

 

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  • Atlas60mmf15-2022.JPG

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#9147 sdedalus83

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Posted 10 September 2022 - 11:00 PM

With a full moon, high, thin clouds and haze, and poor seeing, nothing is looking good tonight. While I’m waiting for Jupiter, I played around with my 3-6 Nagler zoom on Epsilon Lyrae, spent about 20 minutes chasing focus on Saturn, and star tested on Altair.

 

I tweaked the collimation on my Kenko 80 ED a few days ago with a cheshire and it looks like I’ve got it close. The seeing conditions are making it difficult. When I get my eye position right and Altair centered there are moments where two diffraction rings and the Airy disk look round and concentric with no visible CA. It’s significantly more sensitive to atmospheric focus shifts than my F9 Vixen ED but shows substantially less CA than my SV102ED. If I’m interpreting the oof diffraction patterns correctly, it’s slightly undercorrected and somewhat better than 1/8 wave.

 

I did get a clean split of Epsilon Lyrae at 106x and the star images stayed sharp at 160x, but 213x was too much for tonight. Saturn was pretty soft at 160x and best at 120x.

 

The Teegul 60 mount and tripod are just barely adequate with minimal leg extension. The mount might be enough on something like a Bogen 3040. I can get enough tension to engage the slow motion controls and still pan smoothly.

 

Jupiter and Luna just rose over the trees. Luna looks like it’s boiling and Jupiter is displaying considerable atmospheric dispersion. It’s even easily visible on the moons.  Hopefully the sky stays clear long enough to get a better view.

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Edited by sdedalus83, 10 September 2022 - 11:21 PM.

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#9148 Bomber Bob

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Posted 11 September 2022 - 11:48 AM

Great report & photo of the ATLAS, Guido!  You prove that this is a quality Oddball, not a toy, and deserves sky-time.  Yes, those very non-standard eyepieces are a pain, and a limitation -- you get props from me for using them.  But... the Lens is so good... 


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#9149 oldmanastro

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 08:42 AM

Great report & photo of the ATLAS, Guido!  You prove that this is a quality Oddball, not a toy, and deserves sky-time.  Yes, those very non-standard eyepieces are a pain, and a limitation -- you get props from me for using them.  But... the Lens is so good... 

Thanks JW! The little eyepieces work quite well even though they are old simple designs. Even how the diagonal attaches to the focusing tube is non-standard. I wonder what were they thinking because at this time the .965" Japanese standard already existed.


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#9150 LukaszLu

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 07:11 PM

Yesterday I had the best night of the summer in terms of transparency and seeing. The now usual afternoon rains left a nice quiet and clear sky. I waited for the planets to achieve a good altitude for some visual observing and imaging with my early 90s Celestar 8, Scruffy.

Amazing detail!


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