Had a good (but short) session after moonset last night using the 16" f/7 Zambuto. Unfortunately, set alarm incorrectly so I lost an hour of precious time.
Some joyriding in Sagittarius testing out a new APM 24 UF against a 22 Panoptic. Results inconclusive. Then I decided to pick up observing list stragglers in Hercules and Draco (why I left the Milky Way I don't know ...) using the NV eyepiece. Anyway, found a couple of gems new to me. From my notes:
NGC 5907: Score 4! Hi aspect ratio spiral galaxy strong core, fairly large. Does OK prime focus better reduced using the either the 0.7x reducer or the 55 Plossl afocally. The afocal configuration was the best view. At first I thought I saw a hint of a dust lane but it appears just to be the contrast between the edge of the galaxy in space. Not quite sure why I get that impression on just one edge. Just for giggles tried it in the APM 24UF, nice but not even close to the image intensifier view despite the large magnification advantage.
Edit: Looking at images of this galaxy this morning there is in fact a dust lane. I suppose observer bias is to blame for me discarding the initial dust lane observation, I had an expectation that with an edge-on galaxy a dust lane would bisect the galaxy. But on this one there is enough of a tilt so that the dust lane was right near the edge with just thin line of brightness at the edge. The asymmetry should have been the tip-off, should have pumped the magnification a bit more.
NGC 6543: Score 4. Very high surface brightness PN. Good in all NV configurations, takes magnification well, best with 2.4x Barlow. In the low power mode nearby NGC 6552 (magnitude 14.5) was very easy to see direct vision. Oddly enough using a hydrogen alpha filter masks interior detail and makes the entire nebula appear almost uniform. Without the filter the interior detail stands out. This one is so bright a filter is not required - or desired! Also tried the Leica Zoom with the DGM filter. Nice also but less interior detail. In better seeing I suspect this one will take any magnification thrown at it.
Last week CN member Scottsdale90 was up for a wide field NV shoot-out between his TEC140 and my Takahashi Epsilon. Among his toys was a SQM device, which I have never used before. Nice to know my zenith skies run around 20.5, when the device is free-standing. When on the observing table and somewhat screened by eyepiece cases the reading jumps to 20.9. My worst horizon is south at 19.9.
I'm going to have to get one of those meters.
Edited by Jeff Morgan, 09 June 2019 - 03:28 PM.