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The AT92

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#1176 Tyson M

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 04:47 PM

20191123_135020.jpg

 

Nov 23, 2019 Solar report

 

I somehow had good seeing 4/5 and relatively clear skies today, so I decided to have a quick solar session.

 

Equipment used: AT92, Lunt Herschel Wedge with 2" Baader Solar Continuum filter

 

Just for kkicks, I tried out the 31 nagler and 17 ES.  The latter of which wasnt bad actually.  Contrast was apparent including granulation and a wide fov.

 

I swapped it out and put in my hi hat adapter and tele vue 15mm and 11mm delites.  These are my go-to solar eyepieces.

 

The 15 delite is a very good eyepiece. I thought I would swap this out for the 18.2mm, but I find the focal length to be quite useful in my average to poor seeing conditions.  Virtually every outing I use it, and it performs well for the conditions.  I cannot say the same about the 11mm, as with lunar and solar viewing can be a bit too much mag for the conditions with small refractors.

 

Both eyepieces today performed well, only slight moments the 11mm was a tad blurry. Towards the end of my session it was super clear and steady. 

 

I could notice solar granulation cells even with the 11mm, which is quite spectacular. As per Sky and Telescope, the cells themselves are bright plasma bubbling up to the surface, and the dark outlines are the areas where cooler gas is falling back down to the surface. I could see granulation pretty much to the edge of the disk, which is rare with limb darkening but can be observed with careful scrutiny.

 

It was only a short 30 min session as the sun was at a mere 13 deg above the horizon and slowly arching its way behind a distant neighbors tree.

 

Regardless, it was nice to get outside for a quick session.


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#1177 t.r.

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 06:23 PM

Tyson M how was the Porta mount combination?

#1178 Tyson M

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 07:47 PM

Tyson M how was the Porta mount combination?

Not ideal enough for me.  It works- but I get vibration even when focusing with fine focus. I am certain this is entirely because of the aluminum legs.  Better legs would likely eliminate this problem.

 

I don't own this Porta II but I could buy it off my friend.  I would then have to buy the hal 130 tripod legs, but for the same total price I can buy a small portable tracking mount like a CG4 with tracking or CG5, maybe a skyview pro used.

 

I am thinking I will eventually return the mount and buy CG4 new as it is a portable, tracking mount that apparently is right at home with the AT92 on it.  Another CN member aa6ww (Ralph) gave me idea and raves about it. Maybe he will chime in.

 

I have an EQ6 but it is too bulky for the AT92 for regular use.


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#1179 Tyson M

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 11:29 PM

Had the AT92 out again tonight for some night time viewing.  Only had a small pocket in the clouds and didnt realize it.  I tried setting up the EQ6 and spent too long trying to get it set up. I should have stuck with the porta II as I didnt have a lot of time.

 

Nonetheless I didnt bother with alignment the mount, I just used it manually without any power of any kind.  Put in the 31N and had a good look at Melotte 20, or Alpha Persei Moving cluster.  I moved up to M45.  Here I put in the 17 ES, another incredible eyepiece in this scope.  Here cloud was encroaching on the views and it wasnt nearly as vibrant as usual.

 

I put in the 32 brandon and found almach. The edges arent great, FC was observed on the outer field.  I switched out to the 15 delite which was much better corrected.  Then I put a 5x powermate and got the beautiful split. Brilliant yellow/orange and blue companion. Seeing was a tad choppy at 167x mag at times.

 

I got clouded out in 20 mins but still got a few targets in. 


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#1180 Tyson M

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 01:45 PM

Nov, 30, 2019  Clear skies 5/5, above average transparency 4/5, average seeing 3/5   

 

Equipment used: AT92, Vixen Porta II on aluminum tripod, only 2 eyepieces, 31Nagler and 17 ES 92 deg, Baader BBSH

 

Yellow zone dark site, a ridiculously cold -19C but felt like -23C, session last just over an hour.

 

I will start this observing report with this important preamble.  This kind of weather is typically binocular weather only!  My camera wouldn't even turn on its flash for a picture at the beginning of my observing session.

 

At these temperatures, equipment tends to fail easily.  Electronics dont work well (or at all).  Even as I dressed in long johns, sweatpants, jeans, 2 pairs of socks in winter boots, a t-shirt, sweater and 3 jackets of varying width I couldn't stay out for longer than an hour or so.  The outer jacket was a feather down large jacket.  Gloves and toque required - but I forgot my scarf.  Thankfully the wind wasnt too bad at the farm.

 

I thought long and hard about actually not going out at all.  I was fairly tired from an extended family outing. I had to have a nap from 22:00 to 23:00 before even leaving the house.

 

What beckoned me were a few factors.  I am a student and I don't have a lot of free time for observing sessions at a dark site, only if clear skies falls on a weekend.  I wanted to get a glimpe of Orion constellation, as I have been seeing the Hunter rise high in the sky while its still dark on my way to school.  The last factor of course was testing out the 92mm aperture with the epic wide field eyepieces.

 

I set up for a total of 5 mins approx and got to work.  I don't use a finder scope with the two eyepieces, just starhop. The Nagler sports a 4.75 deg fov and the ES 3.1 deg. 

 

The skies were absolutely stunning.  I was pulling in 4 to an intermittent 5 stars naked eye of the Pleiades.  More on this target later in this report. 

 

First up, I observed Hyades.  Putting Aldebaran on the outskirts I could barely frame the majority of the cluster.  I was getting a tiny bit of heat plumes affecting focus but these went away after 5-10 mins, not bad from a warm car to -19C

 

Instead of going up to M45, I went south to find M1 the Crab nebula.  I missed it on my first sweep, and realized I wasnt slightly off.  So I just starhopped directly down from Elnath.  There is a perfect little triangle that assists with starhopping in this area.  These consist of Elnath, Betelgeuse and Aldebaran.  I sweeped up M1.  Nice glowing little patch of light.  I put in my ES 17mm and the view was even better.  I enjoyed this target, as I don't typically see this one much from light polluted skies.

 

Instead of sight-seeing in this area (I wanted to come to it later), I went far west.  I noticed Cassiopeia in an area of sky I don't observe much.  Seven star row was tilted vertically!  This may not seem bizarre at first, but I am use to seeing it horizontally, and not this time of the year.

 

I visually got my bearings, and starhopped down from Almach to Mirach, to Mu Andromedae and found M31.  It was spectacular.  Huge glowing target.  First time I saw so much size.  It def look approaching 3 deg.

 

Even more special, M110 and M31 were popping right out.  I rarely see M110.  M31 is fairly easy in a lot of scopes even in town.  I put in the ES 17 and it was one of the best views of this target I have ever had.  Glowing nucleus, with a large diffuse patch of light to the left (in the EP) which was M110, and a small bright orb which was M32.

 

Knowing now that the transparency was very good, I went for M33.  I starhopped the opposite direction and found it quickly.  Again another target best for me.  M33 is typically a binocular target only, best seen barely with a pair of Fuji's at a dark site, or the Canon IS, all previously owned binoculars I tried.   Here it was slightly larger than the full moon, still diffuse, no spiral structure but definitively popping out.

 

I decided to surf around Cassiopeia, not looking for anything in particular.  So many stars, just enjoying it all.  I found one cluster, looked almost like a globular cluster, but with the 31N this was likely an open cluster like Stock 2 or something..  I didnt try to identify it but it was popping out as a dense congregation of stars lost in a field of stars everywhere.

 

I decided then to make my way back towards Orion.  Here I stopped along the way at M45.  Looked great as always.  I switched it up to the ES 17 and was blown away.  This was the perfect framing and aperture for this target.  I could see the reflection nebula on Merope and Alycone easily, and saw it also around Electra a bit.  I went back to the 31N and the nebula was actually harder to discern.  I put back in the 17 and the added magnification/ reduced exit pupil helped pull it out.  Seems backwards but its what I saw.

 

I found Orion easily.  M42 was a naked eye target in the sword.  I travelled down from the head of Orion, Meissa.  I was tempted to split it, but the seeing was alternating between average and poor.  I could see twinkling in brighter stars.  My hands were getting very cold and didnt want to change out eyepieces and my 1.25 adapter.  Also, the focuser was getting stiff to move in the cold.

 

I kept with the 2 x 2" mega glass EP's.   Another stunning view was rewarded to me with Cr70, or the belt of Orion.   Stars everywhere, best seen in the 31N.

 

I dropped down to Orion.  I could encompass M42 with M43'S comma shape above, NGC 1980 with Nair al Saif below, and NGC 1981 the "bouncing ball" cluster, and could even snag Sigma Ori all in the same FOV.  The nebula looked like a floating ghost almost with a jagged outline.

 

I put in the 17 ES and enjoyed it more.  I also put in my UHC filter and felt it was the same more or less, just with green stars, so I took it off.  

 

Here the focuser was getting stiff, and I my body was telling me to quit very soon.

 

I put in the 31N and starswept until I found NGC 2244.  Here, I put in the UHC filter and pulled out faint wisps of Rosette nebula.  I switched to the OIII filter and it came out a bit more.  It is very large, but fairly faint.

 

I was going to try to split Sirius or go for some clusters there, but I could not take it anymore and I didnt want to break anything (like this very stiff focuser).  Satisfied with an amazing evening, I packed up.

 

This report had given me my best view of M31 and galaxy group, M33 and especially M45.  Generally I like M42 more with these winter sessions, but the right mix of aperture, transparency, and the perfect framing with the ES 17 92 deg made M45 the best, most memorable view of the night. 

 

Seeing the reflection nebula off the 3 sisters, with the entire cluster in my face framed perfectly with dark black sky around them reminded me of proverbial bright white diamonds, but this time they were burning with so much intensity that icy blue smoke was seen emanating off them. 

 

And to think, I was planing on staying inside this weekend.  Grab and go session made entirely possibly only by a quick set up like the AT92 and Vixen Porta II.

 

Thanks for reading and clear skies!


Edited by Tyson M, 01 December 2019 - 01:51 PM.

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#1181 jay.i

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 06:46 PM

Epic report, Tyson! You got me all excited again, wanting to buy an AT92. I musn't! But if you keep posting reports like that, I can live vicariously through you. :) Thanks for sharing.


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#1182 Tyson M

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 06:54 PM

Epic report, Tyson! You got me all excited again, wanting to buy an AT92. I musn't! But if you keep posting reports like that, I can live vicariously through you. smile.gif Thanks for sharing.

It was an epic session J.

 

The 31N and the 17 ES were made for this scope, especially with the Baader BBHS diagonal.  I don't really notice any FC, if I was super discriminating maybe a tad on the 31N with brighter stars (mag 1) on the absolutely edge of field.

 

The short transportable length is my favorite part for this- 16" and fits into my photobackpack.  The optics are outstanding, as are the mechanics.

 

There is really nothing to say bad.  I enjoy using it a lot. Yes it is a fast refractor, so pick your eyepieces wisely.  That is pretty much the only caveat. Pretty much any Tele Vue's will likely sing in it (except the 22N or any known for a bit of FC). 

It isnt as light as the Borg 90, but you likely get better optics IMO.  For sure better correction.  The AP 92 stowaway is likely an all-around better scope, but not as small and compact and a lot more expensive for a small gain optically.  Mine is 98.3 strehl shrug.gif

 

The best scope is the one you use- I tend to use this one. 

 

I really wanted the Starfield 80mm f10 doublet apo - but this one has me super content and keeps putting a pin in that idea.  


Edited by Tyson M, 01 December 2019 - 07:01 PM.

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#1183 coopman

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 09:30 PM

Nice report Tyson.  Thanks for sharing. 


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#1184 weis14

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 09:38 PM

Tyson, your report is making me jealous.  My AT92 arrived last week and I am expecting clouds for the next month or so minimum as a result.

 

Can't wait to try it out.


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#1185 Tyson M

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 06:35 PM

Nice report Tyson.  Thanks for sharing. 

 

 

Tyson, your report is making me jealous.  My AT92 arrived last week and I am expecting clouds for the next month or so minimum as a result.

 

Can't wait to try it out.

Thanks for reading! 

 

Yes the AT92 will give you a lot of joy. Especially with wide field eyepieces under dark skies!



#1186 peleuba

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 02:11 PM

Yes the AT92 will give you a lot of joy. Especially with wide field eyepieces under dark skies!

 

And, on the test bench!


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#1187 Tyson M

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 02:19 PM

And, on the test bench!

Yes, thank you for providing that service!  My scope is the one Paul tested on his bench.

 

I am now enjoying this scope thoroughly!  I think all of the AT92's are worth the buy.  They mechanics, focuser and optics are the perfect package.

 

I have also started considering EAA with this scope.   My seeing is dreadful and I typically observe in light pollution.

 

My expensive premium 8" mak cass languishes inside most nights, a closet queen.   Only had a handful of nights of average seeing to enjoy the views with it.

 

Although it would be nice to have two scopes with 98% strehl with reports, my big scope deserves a better home with someone with consistent seeing.

 

My AT92 fits my needs better.  EAA might be my best option if I want to see more.

 

EDIT:  with expensive 2" wide field eyepieces (31N and ES17mm 92), this AT92 has replaced my need or want for binocular astronomy observing as well.  Sold my amazing Canon 10x42L, keeping my budget 12x50 Pentax's for birding at the lake


Edited by Tyson M, 03 December 2019 - 02:27 PM.


#1188 peleuba

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 02:47 PM

Yes, thank you for providing that service!  My scope is the one Paul tested on his bench.

 

I am now enjoying this scope thoroughly!  I think all of the AT92's are worth the buy.  They mechanics, focuser and optics are the perfect package.

 

 

For anyone waiting for an A-P Stowaway or wishes they could find a Takahashi Sky 90, the AT92 telescope is a worthy replacement.  Its really a very good lens in a terrifically compact package.

 

I have a Stowaway and wish it was as compact as the AT92 is.  Mike and team at Astronomics really hit a home run with this.  I have never looked through a TMB92SS but can't believe it could be any better then the current AT92. 


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#1189 moshen

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:00 PM

I have a Stowaway and wish it was as compact as the AT92 is.  Mike and team at Astronomics really hit a home run with this.  I have never looked through a TMB92SS but can't believe it could be any better then the current AT92. 

 

 

It'd be really interesting to see some size comparison photos between the AT92 & Stowaway from a few different angles if you ever get a chance to take some. laugh.gif



#1190 Tyson M

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:04 PM

It'd be really interesting to see some size comparison photos between the AT92 & Stowaway from a few different angles if you ever get a chance to take some. laugh.gif

I do not have a Stowaway but I can give you some perspective on the size.

 

20191111_200017.jpg

 

20191111_193232.jpg


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#1191 Moondust

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:21 PM

Looks like there is about a three and one quarter inch difference in length between the AT92 and the Stowaway. The AT looks to have a stubbier dew shield but that may be a deception. I may be in the minority but I actually wouldn't mind if my Stowaway were even longer at around f/7.5.



#1192 scooke

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:55 PM

So, will there be a dedicated flattener that will thread into the focuser in the next 3 months? In the meantime, do we use a 1.0X flattener or 0.75X reducer with the AT92? What’s the optical chain?

 

Opinions vary for imaging. In an earlier thread (#944), I see vignetting with a M42 diameter tube. Perhaps a M48 would be better in regard to vignetting. Decentering was also noted on the diagonal coupler end with a camera. So a threaded solution for a flattener may be ideal with the extra camera weight.

 

I was thinking about implementing the TSFlat2.5. Has anyone done this?...
The AT92 and TS 90 scopes have M63x1 female threads on the EP side of the focuser. The TSFlat2.5 has a M63x1 female thread on the focuser end, so M63 male to M63 male Adapter is needed. The camera end of the TSFlat2.5 is M69x1. So, a M69x1 to M48x1 adapter is needed. The flange distance of Nikon F mount is 46.5mm. The TSFlat2.5 requires 106mm back focus distance for a <500mm scope, and 101mm for a 510-600mm scope.

 

I’m trying to decide on a 90mm class APO refractor. I already have a TEC 140 for visual and dedicated FF, but can’t remember the last time I used it. It’s too big to transport 80mi and set up. I like the fact that the AT92 is much shorter than the TS 90, but the flattener issue seems untested to this point.

I use the Stellarvue 2.5 which is essentially the same.  It works great.  the TSFlat2 also works great for visual threaded into a diagonal.




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