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What did you see last night in your binoculars? (Part 2)

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#801 JHollJr

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 07:21 AM

I got 46P/Wirtanen with my 10x50s last night. Large-ish (around half a degree) patch visible with averted vision. Couldn't see it in the 20" though.

It seems the 20”er would look right through the comet. I experienced this before, finding a comet in binoculars that was really difficult with a telescope.

 

Two nights ago I got a really nice view of Neptune and Mars in my 10x50’s, but last night it was too cloudy.


Edited by JHollJr, 06 December 2018 - 07:22 AM.

 

#802 Slartibartfast

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:25 AM

I got out again last night with the 25x100s but this time better prepared for the cold.  Observed 46P/Wirtanen again.  It has now moved closer to 3 eta Eridani.  Looked again for 38P/Stephan-Oterma in Gemini.  I knew I was in the right place but just couldn't see it.  Comet too dim, light pollution too much, I think.  I looked at M42 again and spent some time fine tuning the focus on the trapezium.  I'm pretty sure I saw all 4 members.  Is this possible at 25x?  I also looked at M44 the Beehive Cluster in Cancer, as well as M37 and M36.


 

#803 B l a k S t a r

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:54 AM

I got out again last night with the 25x100s but this time better prepared for the cold.  Observed 46P/Wirtanen again.  It has now moved closer to 3 eta Eridani.  Looked again for 38P/Stephan-Oterma in Gemini.  I knew I was in the right place but just couldn't see it.  Comet too dim, light pollution too much, I think.  I looked at M42 again and spent some time fine tuning the focus on the trapezium.  I'm pretty sure I saw all 4 members.  Is this possible at 25x?  I also looked at M44 the Beehive Cluster in Cancer, as well as M37 and M36.

It is possible. I've done it several times with my 25x100s, albeit from Barbados. 


 

#804 Jeff Lee

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:55 AM

So last night with wind around 15 mph, I decided not a good time for EAA.  Around 11 I went to the only window I see the the sky (it's about a 15-20 degree wide hole in the trees down to about -16 south (can see Sirius). With my 20 x 80's on my mono pod with it's fluid head and feet  -  I use the shoulder brace against the window from and have the handle front facing so I can brace it against the window. Since I've never pointed my scope in this area I am seeing quite a few things from home that I've never seen before in my Bortle 6 skies, last night it was M48 & M50.

 

M50 - Still pretty Dim in the 80's but  south & north (I think) were two linear groups of stars that seemed to frame the main part. Spent the better part of the full 30 minutes or so I could see it and could see it nicely with averted vision.

 

M48 - Really a large cluster and so easy to find from Polycon. Again only the brightest stars showing well but averted bring so much more of the cluster into view. Again watched it the full time trying to see patterns. For the central line of stars in this cluster is fascinating, With averted vision while see more stars it was not as rewarding to me as directly seeing the triangles and doubles of the brighter stars.

 

When I really stared using this binoc's (in Part one of this thread) I never had been excited/intrigued by open clusters, and with EAA I thought maybe I would not be using my 20 x 80's much. How wrong I was - last night was close to 2 hours:)

 

Putting a small fluid head on the monopod has given me a smooth way to raise and lower elevation and the ability to rotate the monopod with its fluid feet while the shoulder brace (free rotation) is held firmly against the window frame means I can view for long periods of time with a rock steady view.

 

Since I am looking through a glass window often at an angle I don't see a reason to get a better pair of the 20 x 80's now (went through 3 pairs to get these) which are not as good as my 10 x 50's but you wouldn't expect a $100 pair to match a 350-400 pair of binocs but the resolution, brightness, and magnification over the 10 x 50 is compelling. The enjoyment level is very high, I just can not believe that didn't think about this many years ago.

 

Next time I have my ES102 out, I am going to find a cluster and see how a brightness comparison is between the 20 x 80's and it.


Edited by Jeff Lee, 07 December 2018 - 11:02 AM.

 

#805 Slartibartfast

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:09 PM

It is possible. I've done it several times with my 25x100s, albeit from Barbados. 

Thanks!  The A and B components appeared very close so it was hard to see the split.  It would sometimes look like only 3 components: C and D and A-B merged together.  With enough tweaking with the focus, and letting the binos stay very steady, I'm pretty sure I saw all 4.  I'll keep trying.  I don't think the seeing was very good last night.  You probably had very good seeing in Barbados.


 

#806 B l a k S t a r

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:13 PM

Thanks!  The A and B components appeared very close so it was hard to see the split.  It would sometimes look like only 3 components: C and D and A-B merged together.  With enough tweaking with the focus, and letting the binos stay very steady, I'm pretty sure I saw all 4.  I'll keep trying.  I don't think the seeing was very good last night.  You probably had very good seeing in Barbados.

Good seeing and transparency yes. Even still the view revealed 3 stars 75% of the time with the 4th star revealing for many minutes at a time. Have not seen this from my location yet, maybe this weekend I'll get lucky. 


 

#807 astrochild

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:49 PM

The only thing I saw last night were clouds and it looks to stay that way for at least another several days. It make me appreciate the quick look I got the night before last, even more. I'll have to live vicariously through you ladies and gentlemen for the time being. 


 

#808 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 03:43 PM

Observed a beautiful thin crescent moon and earthshine with briljant Venus in the same binocular field of my Nikon 8x30 EII this morning. A few hours before that just some touring of the wonderful Orion region through a few large holes in the clouds.

I took a look at the slender crescent Moon (3.5%-illuminated, 30.5' in apparent size) and Venus (29.4%-illuminated, 37.9" in apparent size) with 12x50s on Wednesday morning after returning home from a trip to a dark site.  The two shallow-sky objects were much too far apart, about 20 degrees, to view simultaneously.  The earthshine on the waning crescent Moon was very prominent and I believe that I saw Venus as a crescent through the 12x50s.

 

Dave Mitsky

Attached Thumbnails

  • Crescent Moon December 5th.JPG
  • Venus December 5th.JPG

 

#809 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:19 PM

Hi Thomas,

 

That is the advantage of the binoculars. In this bad weather, I started to enjoy observing the interaction between seagulls, crows, doves and ducks here in the marshes of the local fjord and in the river that crosses downtown. I noticed that seagulls are very territorial and usually clash with the crows for the space or the areas where they can get food from the people, they also bully doves and the peaceful ducks..

 

But to keep the conversation on-topic :-)  if i want to see other "optical seagulls" at night, I just need to use my Seeadler 8x30 WA with 11 deg FOV...... plenty of them at the border.smile.gif

 

Carlos

For Sure Carlos, - My 80mm "Brandon Master Birder" Scope see's  more duty looking at astro/objects than it does looking at Birds.  We look at what we Can See.smile.gif


 

#810 Astroman007

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 09:48 PM

Comet 46P / Wirtanen finally sighted! Currently positioned just to the upper left of the star Azha (Eta Eridani), medium altitude in the sky, towards the SSE and conveniently just to the left of the spire crown of a tall evergreen. Appearance through my Fujinon 16x70s: a vast diffuse circular glow, no nucleus, barely any central brightening, yet bright as a whole, possibly enough to be at the threshold of naked eye visibility under dark skies matched with good conditions free of turbulence. Closely resembling a very large unresolved globular; no tail of any type in evidence. As it was, tonight was a rather poor night for viewing, and I had to wait patiently a number of times for holes to appear and reappear in the thick clouds that swept from N to S before I confirmed my initial glimpses of "something there that was solidly in the heavens not a knot in the clouds" and was able to take in the comet at my leisure, once a temporarily clear swath of sky appeared.

My mom and I took turns viewing the comet, passing my binoculars back and forth between us. While I am blessed with quite good vision, she unfortunately has rather poor vision and shakes more than I, yet she had no problem spotting Wirtanen and distinguishing it from the background stars...once the proper directions were conveyed to her through my frozen lips. I mention this only to prove that the comet is now of sufficient magnitude and size that it is impossible to miss.

Our session lasted for roughly twenty-five minutes, all of them devoted to the great comet, ending at 9:05 PM local time. The sky, when not marred by the swiftly passing masses of cloud, was dark, of poor seeing but of very good to excellent transparency. Stiff full Northern wind, likely lowering the temperature far past the -20*C registered by the thermometer.

All in all, a satisfactory session, for I have now for the first time and after so much waiting laid eyes upon the object of my long desire. I shall turn upon it my mounted 28x110s once a clear night next presents itself to me.


Edited by Astroman007, 06 December 2018 - 09:50 PM.

 

#811 duck2k

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 03:43 AM

Too many clouds again (and rain).  Last night and for today.

 

I did manage to focus test my 10x50 binos on Sirius.  It was in a small clear area of the sky.  Also got to look at Orion before a complete cloud cover up.  The binos will be ready for Saturday (supposed to be clear then).

 

I just got my Orion Resolux binos today.  They are going in the car; I do a lot of driving.  Sometimes on those nights in the car, I like to pull over and scan a perfect night sky.  For when I want to stop, or just bring them to a star party with my 15x70’s, and whatever APM I am using. Getting a monopod next week.smile.gif


Edited by duck2k, 07 December 2018 - 03:44 AM.

 

#812 astrochild

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:39 AM

Comet 46P / Wirtanen finally sighted! Currently positioned just to the upper left of the star Azha (Eta Eridani), medium altitude in the sky, towards the SSE and conveniently just to the left of the spire crown of a tall evergreen. Appearance through my Fujinon 16x70s: a vast diffuse circular glow, no nucleus, barely any central brightening, yet bright as a whole, possibly enough to be at the threshold of naked eye visibility under dark skies matched with good conditions free of turbulence. Closely resembling a very large unresolved globular; no tail of any type in evidence. As it was, tonight was a rather poor night for viewing, and I had to wait patiently a number of times for holes to appear and reappear in the thick clouds that swept from N to S before I confirmed my initial glimpses of "something there that was solidly in the heavens not a knot in the clouds" and was able to take in the comet at my leisure, once a temporarily clear swath of sky appeared.

My mom and I took turns viewing the comet, passing my binoculars back and forth between us. While I am blessed with quite good vision, she unfortunately has rather poor vision and shakes more than I, yet she had no problem spotting Wirtanen and distinguishing it from the background stars...once the proper directions were conveyed to her through my frozen lips. I mention this only to prove that the comet is now of sufficient magnitude and size that it is impossible to miss.

Our session lasted for roughly twenty-five minutes, all of them devoted to the great comet, ending at 9:05 PM local time. The sky, when not marred by the swiftly passing masses of cloud, was dark, of poor seeing but of very good to excellent transparency. Stiff full Northern wind, likely lowering the temperature far past the -20*C registered by the thermometer.

All in all, a satisfactory session, for I have now for the first time and after so much waiting laid eyes upon the object of my long desire. I shall turn upon it my mounted 28x110s once a clear night next presents itself to me.

Congrats on your long awaited view of Wirtanen, Martin and thank you for your detailed description. In reading it, I felt as though I was right there with you. It's still cloudy and snowing here, but it can't last forever and I'm ready, though not so patiently, waiting.  Clear and steady skies. 


 

#813 Mike G.

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:54 AM

for weeks and weeks and weeks we have been clouded out here in NE Ohio.  tonight looks like we might have skies that would allow visibility above 1500'.  a club member and I plan to try for 46P tonight with the APM's, his 6" jaegers and my 10x70 Fuji's.  wish us luck!


 

#814 astrochild

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 11:12 AM

Good luck, Mike. I hope it works out for you guys. fingerscrossed.gif


 

#815 Astroman007

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 11:19 AM

Congrats on your long awaited view of Wirtanen, Martin and thank you for your detailed description. In reading it, I felt as though I was right there with you. It's still cloudy and snowing here, but it can't last forever and I'm ready, though not so patiently, waiting.  Clear and steady skies.

Thank you for your kind words, Bob. smile.gif


 

#816 Mike G.

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 02:57 PM

Good luck, Mike. I hope it works out for you guys. fingerscrossed.gif

good luck to you as well.  we had a brief clearing this afternoon with some actual sunshine.  but back to clouded over for now...


 

#817 astrochild

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 03:04 PM

Thank you, Mike. We're seeing some sunshine as I write this, as usual though, cloudy skies are predicted for tonight. The binos are handy just in case. Ya never know. wink.gif


 

#818 Astroman007

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:04 PM

9:10 to 9:30 PM local time. Using my 28x110s, I had a closer look at 46P / Wirtanen. Through these large and higher powered binoculars, the comet's fuzzy circular form dominated the center of the FOV. It was now evident that the comet's circular halo of light was not nearly as uniform as it had appeared last night through my much smaller 16x70s. In fact, it rather appeared to be subtly (but quite noticeably with the aid of averted vision) lumpy, with thicker patches and knots of light distributed seemingly at random, but with most of their concentrations in the N, W, and S of the halo, leaving the E largely smooth. However, not one of the thickenings or knots was especially noteworthy for its prominence. I could verify that the comet has no definite nucleus, but merely a gradual brightening towards the center from the outside in. It also has no sharply defined edge to its glow, or even a certain edge at all, for averted vision will only extend the initially perceived boundary further out into the void. As a side note, the comet has moved a bit further north of where it was last night, and I now clearly saw it by naked eye; faint, but certainly there, to the left (E) and N of Azha.

The temperature was a very chilly -20*C. Ice coated the barrels of my binoculars and the cold greatly stiffened the grease in the mount head. The sky conditions were much like last night's were, only minus any hint of wind, and there was surprisingly excellent seeing as well as excellent transparency in those areas of the sky that were clear. The scattered patchy clouds, borne upon the wings of some upper-atmospheric wind, rolled in unstoppably from the N in ever-increasing thickness and tightness of formation, appearing deceptively stationary as they took over the sky. The session, which began under skies that were mainly clear, ended under skies that were nearly fully cloudy.

The planet Mars, dominating at medium altitude the WSW, appeared as a relatively bright deep orange star. Deneb in the NW, the Hyades, the Pleiades, Orion, and Cetus all appeared and disappeared at different times in between breaks in the cloud. One very bright meteor slashed nearly horizontally across the high SE sky, swift and yellowish of hue, traveling perfectly the length of a long thin break in the cloud cover.

 

Edit: I just finished disassembling my equipment. It is now completely cloudy, not one star in sight. And all that bare metal...ouch, ouch, ouch!


Edited by Astroman007, 07 December 2018 - 10:34 PM.

 

#819 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:40 PM

I drove away from the lights to do a quick search for comet Wirtanen and a few other things, but only about 40 minutes as I did not want to miss Jeopardy or Hawaii 50. First up was Fomalhaut, then the Helix Neb., which was an easy wide patch. It had rained earlier, and "seeing/transparency" were quite good. Checked out the Star "Ankaa" in "Phoenix", (Is Paul Anka from Phoenix)?  Next I searched for the Sculpter Galaxy, and it amazed me how pronounced and big it was/is in 15x70 binoculars. The nearby globular cluster NGC288 was an easy surprise also.  Then I started my search  for the Comet. My main problem? - I was disoriented trying to trace out Eridanus, without Orion above the horizon to make my start at Rigel. When I finally got my bearings, - Wirtanen was there big and diffuse, and at least twice as pronounced as the Helix. I forgot to search out Mira/M77/M2/M15, but did look up naked eye at the Andromeda Galaxy. It was very bright for naked eye. I also forgot to try for M33 naked eye, but I bet it would have showed itself, as high up as it was, and as clear as things were. The Milky Way was - WOW. A pretty good 40 minutes, all I all.  15X70's are Really Good for this kind of "Stargazing". 


 

#820 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 11:01 PM

 

The Thread Was too long So I started new thread to continue........as Part 2

 

If you want to read Part 1 then Click HERE

If you want to read Part 3 then Click HERE

 


 


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