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#326 kfrank2380

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:40 AM

I got out this morning and I was able to get my camera to focus on the moon. It took some experimenting but I figured it out. The trick was using a barlow and to set the ISO lower than 800. Scope was fully extended. I put the camera in manual then switched to live view and used the telescope focuser. It was really touchy and I swore a mm made a difference. I set the camera timer to 2 seconds because when I pushed the shutter down the image would vibrate. I had to process the pictures because there was some blur to them. I'm still happy with how they came out. No tragedies or idiotic moves tonight. 

IMG 3474.CR2
IMG 3477.CR2
IMG 3475.CR2

 


Edited by kfrank2380, 18 September 2019 - 08:41 AM.

 

#327 NYJohn S

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:34 AM

9/7/19  Looked out of the upstairs window and lots of stars.   Out at 9PM to find a low level fog to about 12 feet.  Really?  Wasn't predicted till 1AM.   Guess there is a new player in town.  Bummer.  jd

I had a similar experience. No mention of clouds in the forecast so I carried out my eyepieces and observing chair. Looked up and the sky was 90% overcast. Turned around and went back in. Later that night when the moon was nice and high smile.gif it was clear. I just looked around with binoculars before heading in. 

 

I can't believe the forecast for the next 4 days. Haven't had 4 clear nights in a row for some time now. Lets see what happens.

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#328 trapdoor2

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:50 AM

Quick bino report.

 

With the moon lighting up the joint at night and puffy clouds scattered here and there, I've been pretty much limited to very short sessions at home with the 10X50s and tripod.

 

Saturn has dropped down into the trees, so although I can occasionally see it peeking thru the leaves it isn't worth looking at. In my narrow observable window (over the roof of the house, between the chimney to the left and the taller roof-peak to the right) I can see Scutum and if I really crane my head back, Aquila.

 

So, I was scanning around and discovered the little group of stars that stood out of the LP in my area: Gamma Scuti (HR6930) and V432 Scuti. There's a little triangle of stars to the left that include HR6962, HR6956 and V450 Scuti (aka HP6959). I think these two variables are my first (at least the first ones I have noted). Not like I was going variable hunting, of course. What I was doing was attempting to use these stars as alignments to hop to M16 (Eagle Nebula). Even though I was seeing mag 6 stars easily, I could not make out M16... Just too much LP.

 

However, since I am now getting familiar with Scutum, I was able to easily find M11 (Wild Duck). I need to find a cheap lounge chair (zero gravity) so that I can lay back and explore around the zenith more. 


 

#329 The Luckster

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:30 PM

I had a similar experience. No mention of clouds in the forecast so I carried out my eyepieces and observing chair. Looked up and the sky was 90% overcast. Turned around and went back in. Later that night when the moon was nice and high smile.gif it was clear. I just looked around with binoculars before heading in. 

 

I can't believe the forecast for the next 4 days. Haven't had 4 clear nights in a row for some time now. Lets see what happens.

 

This may change; my Orion 2" Dielectric Twist-Tight diagonal was (mis) delivered today...to my neighbor.  They brought the package over, after opening it.

 

So, sorry in advance for any changes in your 4 day forecast.

 

 

CS

 

jason


 

#330 brentknight

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:46 PM

Quick bino report.

 

With the moon lighting up the joint at night and puffy clouds scattered here and there, I've been pretty much limited to very short sessions at home with the 10X50s and tripod.

 

Saturn has dropped down into the trees, so although I can occasionally see it peeking thru the leaves it isn't worth looking at. In my narrow observable window (over the roof of the house, between the chimney to the left and the taller roof-peak to the right) I can see Scutum and if I really crane my head back, Aquila.

 

So, I was scanning around and discovered the little group of stars that stood out of the LP in my area: Gamma Scuti (HR6930) and V432 Scuti. There's a little triangle of stars to the left that include HR6962, HR6956 and V450 Scuti (aka HP6959). I think these two variables are my first (at least the first ones I have noted). Not like I was going variable hunting, of course. What I was doing was attempting to use these stars as alignments to hop to M16 (Eagle Nebula). Even though I was seeing mag 6 stars easily, I could not make out M16... Just too much LP.

 

However, since I am now getting familiar with Scutum, I was able to easily find M11 (Wild Duck). I need to find a cheap lounge chair (zero gravity) so that I can lay back and explore around the zenith more. 

Even with the OIII?  How about M17 then - it seems brighter to me. 

 

Oops...  Missed that this was with your Bino’s...


Edited by brentknight, 18 September 2019 - 08:50 PM.

 

#331 MP173

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:58 PM

Sept 18, 2019 - session #34

 

SS 654pm, MR 924pm - 84%

T 75, DP 62, H 63

 

Scope - AT102Ed

EP:

32mm - 22x

20mm - 36x - 1.46 fov

16mm 44x - 1.17 fov

9mm 79x - .65 fov

 

New eyepiece from Astronomics - their 20mm Plossl @ $22.00.  I really liked it and used it quite a bit.

 

Havent been out in a couple of weeks.  Sunset is now in the 6's rather than 7's making it an earlier evening.

 

Outside at 730 and viewed Jupiter and Saturn.  Jupiter will soon be behind the neighbor's tree.  Summer is fleeting.  Vega was directly overhead.  The summer triangle is high at twilight.  I had a plan developed for tonight, but couldnt use it as the focuser hits the slo motion control cable.  I havent not adjusted it yet....need to do it as it really restricts what can be viewed.

 

So, I winged it.  Started at Altair and with use of iDSA was able to see quite a bit.

 

Moved from Altair to gamma Aquilla and between the two is wide double AG 391 - easily spotted in the 20mm.  I estimated it as 45" @ 315 degrees.  Actual is 7.7.9.2, 52" @ 297 degrees.  I was in the ballpark, but not very close.

 

About 30' to the west was a grouping which iDSA charts as Ray15.  I was able to see 7, perhaps 8 stars all in the 10th mag range.  It is just south of gamma Aquilla - aka Tarazed.

 

STF 2570 - Aquilla - is just west of gamma Aqu and required 9mm to capture the 9.8 mag companion (7.6 primary) 4.5" @ 280 degrees.

 

Then I moved south 2 degrees to STF 2562 - Aquilla,   This appeared to be a triple in my scope....very wide with a star an estimated 75" @ 220 SW.  STelle Doppie confirmed this as the "D" star.  AB - 7.0/8.7, 28" @ 251. AD is 7.0/9.9, 117" @ 222 degrees.  The C component was not viewed as it is 12.1 mag star.  I saw the primary as yellow/white....confirmed by SD.

 

East two degrees to NGC 6828 which is shown on iDSA and listed in DSO as an asterism.  I viewed 7 stars with 3 in a north south line and the others forming a diamond.  Not a bad non cluster!

 

Moved east (still in Aquilla) 2 degrees to a line of 11 or so stars forming a north south fence.  I straddled the fence south a degree and slightly east to STF 2612.  Easily spotted with 20mm and estimated as 8/9.5, 30" @ 30 degrees.  Actual data - 8.3/9.9, 42" @ 54 degrees.

 

I moved back west again to mu Aquilla then south to STF 2543 and caught a view of the 10.5 companion (6.8 primary) @ 11", 151 degrees.  It was the toughest double of the night....big delta between the two stars.

 

South and west about 4 degrees to STF 2532 which is a triple.  With the 9mm (78x) i spotted the two companions, one north and one south.

AB - 6.3/10.5, 33" @ 2 degrees.  AC 6.3/10.9, 120" @ 197.  

 

Finished with STF 2533 which is 3.5 degrees south of STF 2532.  I used the 20mm to view this.  7.4/10.0, 22" @ 211 degrees.

 

Great weather, great viewing.  Inside at 913 as the eastern sky was beginning to glow with the moon rise.

 

Ed


 

#332 aeajr

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:16 PM

9/18/19 - 10:15 -10:25 pm    10X50 binoculars    Clear sky, waning gibbous Moon, about 80% illuminated.   

Maybe less than transparency as there was a glow around the Moon. 

 

Just got home from an Astronomy Club meeting.  Sky was clear and I really should have pulled out the 12", but I was tired.  So I pulled out the binoculars for a quick look to the east as a few favorites.

 

Mel 20 - near Mirfak.  I just love this open star cluster.   In the telescope it doesn't look like much but in the binoculars it looks great!   I learned about this cluster from this community.  Thanks!

 

Double Cluster - An easy hop going up from Mel 20.  Looks like a couple of paintball splats in the binos.  laugh.gif

 

Cruising around Cassiopeia - Just taking in some of the stars in the constellation for a few minutes 

 

Finished up on the Moon, at about 10 degrees altitude.  Spent a few minutes to spot the Apollo landing sites. 

 

That was all I had the energy for tonight.  Have to be up at 7, so quickly post this report then off to bed.

 

Clear skies guys!


Edited by aeajr, 19 September 2019 - 07:27 AM.

 

#333 Studly

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:48 PM

The skies this evening were certainly less then crystal clear, but I headed out for a short session with Saturn:

 

2019-09-18
Time: 22:30 local time (EDT); 02:30 UTC (09-19)
Cloud Cover: Approximately 15% and fluctuating
Wind: Moderate and variable
Temperature: Approximately 69F
Overall Seeing: Fair to Poor due to clouds in area
Length of Observing Session: 35m
Equipment: Orion 120mm Refractor (fl 600mm, f/5.0)

 

Summary: At first glance, I could see that the conditions were not going to be ideal. However, I wanted to seize an opportunity (however mediocre it may be) to get in some views of Saturn before it sinks too low in the sky for good viewing this year. I also knew my time would be short, as the Moon was beginning to rise and would soon be bathing the sky in reflected light. I grabbed the Orion 120mm Refractor, and utilized the Vixen SLV oculars for this short session.

 

Saturn: At 25mm, the ringed planet was identifiable by the shape of the rings protruding from the planet’s sides. However, at this low magnification, the gaps between the rings and the planet itself were barely discernible. At 20mm, the gaps became slightly easier to make out, but still no other details were visible on either the planet or its rings. At 15mm, the gaps resolved more clearly, and could be viewed reliably. The rings remained featureless, but the planet obtained a slight bit of color, appearing beige or very light brown in hue. I could already see the image shaking from the wind hitting the scope, so I knew my magnification options would be limited this evening. At 12mm, the image grew larger, but remained mostly unchanged. Patient observation, however, revealed the hint of a darker colored band on the planet during moments of better seeing (and no wind). The shaking of the scope made this determination impossible to positively verify, but I believe I spotted this feature several times. At 10mm, there was still just a hint of that darker band flickering into view occasionally. At this magnification, I could see the planet’s shadow falling on a section of the rings, adding some detail to the view. Again exercising some patience, I was finally able to verify the presence of the darker colored band on the planet when the image stabilized. At 9mm, the equatorial band on the planet became more pronounced, and could be made out most of the time. There was still no clear resolution on the planet’s rings, however, and no Cassini Division could be seen. At this point, the shaking of the scope in the wind was beginning to make accurate views challenging. At 6mm, the image degraded. The darker band on the planet disappeared, and the image grew softer and less resolved. I switched to the 6mm BCO ocular, and noted that the image very slightly improved, showing the merest hint of the planetary band seen using the 9mm eyepiece, but overall the image was still fuzzier and less well resolved. Out of curiosity, I tested several other oculars of similar focal length, but the results were consistent—the atmospheric conditions simply would not allow these higher magnification views without significant degradation.

 

Conclusion: Well, the short session yielded some okay views at low to moderate magnifications, but little else. Still, it was nice to bring Saturn to bear in a scope again. Perhaps another opportunity will present itself in the next week or so.

 

 

Until next time!


 

#334 Tyson M

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:26 PM

20190918_220409 (1).jpg

 

Sept 17, 2019 - backyard red/white zone

 

I was studying for an exam but the sky beckoned to me with the prospects of clear skies with average to good seeing.

 

I set out my 8" mak to cool for an hour prior in its soft carrying case.  I went out at 9pm which was dark, aligned the mount.  Scope was still collimated from the last outing.

 

The views were razor sharp and no flaring or cooling issues.  The second layer of reflectix has helped.  It basically is always ready to go for me, and it seems more resistant to dewing of the corrector.

 

Regardless, I was hoping to hit up some planetary nebula, but at first my mount alignment was off and I had to redo it.  To find these small targets with a small field of view, you really need good alignment.

 

After I got good alignment, I decided to not spend too much time hinting for planetary and check out some favorites.

 

Before the moon started to rise, the views were very good and full of contrast and pinpoint stars- absolutely beautiful and refractor like.

 

Targets I viewed this night.  I used the 48, 32, 24, 16 Brandon's for max mag of 250x....which is quite good for me.

 

M2- resolved several members easy, several more just able to be detected. Not a bad view of this smaller faint glob, 

 

M15- very nice view with many members visible. 15 to 20 or so

 

M71- faint patch of light, barely discernible.  Only a few members visible of this faint cluster in a patch of haze

 

M13- I viewed this later on in the night, when it was close by a streetlight and with the moon rising, not that good

 

M27, looked best with OIII filter and 48 Brandon

 

M57- this is quickly becoming on of my favorite views with the 48 Brandon, perfect grey smoke ring in space, bright with nice image scale

 

Alberio- golden yellow primary and blue secondary

 

17 Cygni- beautiful pair! split with 48 Brandon, looks good up to 24 Brandon yellow primary, red secondary

 

Almach- yellow orange primary and blue secondary

 

Checked out the double cluster, but can only frame one half of the cluster at a time so can't really call it that. NGC 884 then 869, which I think is a nicer view. Very good!

 

M31 was a bright nucleus, picked out M32 in the adjacent field of view while panning around.

 

M11- the wild duck cluster.  Probably one of my favorite views of the night.  This looked killer in the early half of the night. Many members, 30 or so visible

 

And, one of the main reasons for me going out tonight was to check out Neptune.  I strategically set up my mount at the opposite side of the yard to clear the neighbors tree to view it at its earliest possible point in the night.

 

I missed the nice conjunction recently, but I thought about it and I have never got a good look at the ice giant since I began the hobby.  With the 16 Brandon it was a ice blue orb, still very small image scale but the 11 Delite was not happy while observing it.  My best view of the outer planet to date, despite its meager view it was a joy to see!

 

After this view at around 23:00, I packed it up to go to bed and get up early for school.

 

Thanks for reading and clear skies!  


Edited by Tyson M, 18 September 2019 - 11:37 PM.

 

#335 MP173

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 07:54 AM

Tony:

 

Your reports are extremely detailed.  I viewed Saturn for 5 minutes last night and saw rings and a equatorial band.  I really admire your attention to detail and your ability to report such details.  

 

Looks like the weather will cooperate here in Indiana....clear skys!

 

Tyson - heck of a session with school and an exam.  

 

Ed


 

#336 trapdoor2

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 09:28 AM

Even with the OIII?  How about M17 then - it seems brighter to me. 

 

Oops...  Missed that this was with your Bino’s...

Actually, I considered doing your bino trick with the OIII. I have extra lens caps for the objectives, couldn't be too difficult to cut a filter-sized hole in one.

 

M17 was actually too low (behind my roofline) to view at that time of night.


 

#337 NYJohn S

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 10:47 AM

Nice to see the reports as everyone is getting out again. Night 1 was mostly clear as promised here so I went out with the XT8. I wanted to see some of the summer objects to the south that I'll be losing soon. It was windy so the seeing was pretty bad. I setup on Saturn and at just 50x it was already shimmering. I'm glad I had such nice view last time out because it wasn't happening this time.

M22 - I just caught this before it dipped below the trees. I really had to power up to cut thorough the haze down there. At 218x I could resolve quite a few stars in it but the seeing didn't support the magnification so it looked like the focus was going in and out. 136x was better and gave me a decent view but nowhere near what I see when it's higher in the sky.

M24 - I tried for the Lagoon Nebula but it was too low so this was the next stop as I worked my way up the Milky Way. The transparency to the south wasn't the best but it still spilled out of the field of the ES 24mm - My 38mm Agena was best for capturing the entire star field. I'm glad I caught this in dark skies earlier in the season. It just doesn't hold up well to light pollution.

M17 - Taking a quick look at M18 on the way I located the Swan Nebula. At 50x the nebula was unusually faint and required averted vision to see at all. The transparency down low must have been even worse than I thought. The big surprise was the difference the OIII filter made. I've used it before on this but this time it went from an almost invisible object to a very nice detailed view of the nebula. The swan shape was distinct and looked like cloud that zig-zagged across the field at both 50x & 75x. I find my ES 68º 16mm to be a great eyepiece for faint DSO like nebula and galaxies. It seems to be just enough magnification to darken the sky yet the image stays bright enough to show detail. At 75x the OIII darkened the stars embedded in the nebula but most were bright enough to still be visible for a nice view.

M16 _ Eagle Nebula - This was suffering from the transparency as well but the stars in it stood out well enough for me to identify it with no filter. The OIII helped here again but the UHC was a little better this time. I did a nice job of bringing out the nebula while keeping the stars bright enough to see. The nebula seemed brightest to the SW of the cluster of stars in the center.

M11 - After fighting the haze down near the horizon I moved up to this. At 50x I had a beautiful view that looked like glitter or dust that spread out in a fan shape. I viewed it at 75x and then 136x for a nice detailed view that seemed to resolve the entire cluster. It's hard to pick a favorite view but I think I actually liked the low power view with some haze mixed in from the partially resolved stars. The fan shape was more obvious and the nebulous view seemed more interesting to me with the specks of resolved stars scattered throughout it.

NGC 6822 - Barnard's Galaxy & NGC 6818 - Little Gem Nebula - I thought it would be interesting to view these together but the problem is the galaxy is very large and has low surface brightness while the planetary nebula is just the opposite, very small, compact and bright. I tried both 50x with the ES 68º 24mm & 31x with the 38mm Agena but just couldn't confirm Barnard's Galaxy. Either my skies are not dark enough or the transparency wasn't good enough. At 50x with the 24mm I should have had both in the field. I could see the Little Gem Nebula as a soft starlike object. Meanwhile the galaxy was extremely faint and nearly invisible. Like most compact planetary nebula NGC 6818 took as much magnification as I could throw at it. With the poor seeing that was 218x with the Meade 5.5mm. It was starting to look interesting as a patchy but very bright round nebulous area. HD 186107 a deep orange star was in view to the West. This is a nice bright planetary that stands up well to light pollution. I'll have to try again for Barnard's Galaxy from a dark site. It sounds like it could actually be a binocular target. Another large galaxy like M33.

The moon was up by now so I called it a night. I probably should have moved away from the southern sky. Transparency over the ocean wasn't the best but I managed to see a few of the Summer objects that will be gone before long. I may have another 4 clear nights ahead with the moon rising later each night. Hoping for the best!

John

Edited by NYJohn S, 19 September 2019 - 06:07 PM.

 

#338 SeaBee1

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:23 AM

John, I have noted in my observations that transparency trumps just about everything. Even in my abominably light polluted location, with excellent transparency, I can DETECT some objects that otherwise I can't, even through the LP. Not to diminish the LP part of the equation, but what I have noticed is that if the transparency is good, the LP doesn't scatter, the background sky is darker, and things get more visible. However, it is subtle...

 

Good hunting!

 

CB


 

#339 NYJohn S

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 12:26 PM

CB, You are so right and last night that caught me by surprise. The sky just didn't seem as dark as usual. I probably made a bad choice with some of the objects considering the conditions but usually when it's windy the transparency is good and the seeing is poor. This time they were both bad. Tonight the forecast is showing above average transparency and good seeing so maybe it just took some time for the wind to clear the skies. 

 

I think I'm done with the southern sky for now and will move on to other things. There's so much to see right now as we transition from Summer to Fall. It's a good time for you dark site trip.

 

John


 

#340 Studly

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 01:02 PM

Tony:

 

Your reports are extremely detailed.  I viewed Saturn for 5 minutes last night and saw rings and a equatorial band.  I really admire your attention to detail and your ability to report such details.  

 

Looks like the weather will cooperate here in Indiana....clear skys!

 

Tyson - heck of a session with school and an exam.  

 

Ed

Thanks, Ed! I sincerely appreciate the comment.

 

I have been trying not to rush myself at the eyepiece. I found last year that I had a tendency to jump from target to target too quickly, not giving myself the chance to eek out the nuances in the views of each. So, I have been actively trying to take it more slowly. This means more verbose reports, but I do find that I am able to see more when I slow down and take my time. This sometimes means hitting fewer targets each night, as well, but I think it is worth the trade.

 

Out of curiosity, does anyone else here find himself rushing between targets too quickly? I am just wondering if I am the only one with this tendency...


 

#341 Studly

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 01:06 PM

Nice to see the reports as everyone is getting out again. Night 1 was mostly clear as promised here so I went out with the XT8. I wanted to see some of the summer objects to the south that I'll be losing soon. It was windy so the seeing was pretty bad. I setup on Saturn and at just 50x it was already shimmering. I'm glad I had such nice view last time out because it wasn't happening this time.

 

M22 - I just caught this before it dipped below the trees. I really had to power up to cut thorough the haze down there. At 218x I could resolve quite a few stars in it but the seeing didn't support the magnification so it looked like the focus was going in and out. 136x was better and gave me a decent view but nowhere near what I see when it's higher in the sky. 

 

M24 - I tried for the Lagoon Nebula but it was too low so this was the next stop as I worked my way up the Milky Way. The transparency to the south wasn't the best but it still spilled out of the field of the ES 24mm - My 38mm Agena was best for capturing the entire star field. I'm glad I caught this in dark skies earlier in the season. It just doesn't hold up well to light pollution.

 

M17 - Taking a quick look at M18 on the way I located the Swan Nebula. At 50x the nebula was unusually faint and required averted vision to see at all. The transparency down low must have been even worse than I thought. The big surprise the difference the OII filter made. I've used it before on this but this time went from an almost invisible object to a very nice detailed view of the nebula. The swan shape was distinct and looked like cloud that zig-zagged across the field at both 50x & 75x. I find my ES 68º 16mm to be a great eyepiece for faint DSO like nebula and galaxies. It seems to be just enough magnification to darken the sky yet the image stays bright enough to show detail. At 75x the OIII darkened the stars embedded in the nebula but most were bright enough to still be visible for a nice view. 

 

M16 _ Eagle Nebula - This was suffering from the transparency as well but the stars in it stood out well enough for me to identify it with no filter. The OIII helped here again but the UHC was a little better this time. I did a nice job of bringing out the nebula while keeping the stars bright enough to see. The nebula seemed brightest to the SW of the cluster of stars in the center.

 

M11 - After fighting the haze down near the horizon I moved up to this. At 50x I had a beautiful view that looked like glitter or dust that spread out in a fan shape. I viewed it at 75x and then 136x for a nice detailed view that seemed to resolve the entire cluster. It's hard to pick a favorite view but I think I actually liked the low power view with some haze mixed in from the partially resolved stars. The fan shape was more obvious and the nebulous view seemed more interesting to me with the specks of resolved stars scattered throughout it.

 

NGC 6822 - Barnard's Galaxy & NGC 6818 - Little Gem Nebula - I thought it would be interesting to view these together but the problem is the galaxy is very large and has low surface brightness while the planetary nebula is just the opposite, very small, compact and bright. I tried both 50x with the ES 68º 24mm & 31x with the 38mm Agena but just couldn't confirm Barnard's Galaxy. Either my skies are not dark enough or the transparency wasn't good enough. At 50x with the 24mm I should have had both in the field. I could see the Little Gem Nebula as a soft starlike object. Meanwhile the galaxy was extremely faint and nearly invisible. Like most compact planetary nebula NGC 6818 took as much magnification as I could throw at it. With the poor seeing that was 218x with the Meade 5.5mm. It was starting to look interesting as a patchy but very bright round nebulous area. HD 186107 a deep orange star was in view to the West. This is a nice bright planetary that stands up well to light pollution. I'll have to try again for Barnard's Galaxy from a dark site. It sounds like it could actually be a binocular target. Another large galaxy like M33.

 

The moon was up by now so I called it a night. I probably should have moved away from the southern sky. Transparency over the ocean wasn't the best but I managed to see a few of the Summer objects that will be gone before long. I may have another 4 clear nights ahead with the moon rising later each night. Hoping for the best!

 

John

Great report!


 

#342 MP173

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 02:34 PM

Tony:

 

I use a log/sketch book to slow down the process.  By sketching the entire FOV it forces me to look beyond the intended object.  

 

Last night I was out from 730 to 915 (105 minutes) but had a couple of mechanical issues which probably consumed 20 minutes so lets figure 95 minutes observing.  I had 9 objects viewed and sketched plus Saturn (no way can I sketch it), so that is about 9 minutes per item including star hopping.  My sessions are pretty efficient - usually in a 10 degree x 10 degree area so the star hopping time is not much.

 

Probably leaves about 7 minutes per object.

 

Ed


 

#343 brentknight

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 04:38 PM

I really wish I could get myself to sketch.  I always assume it's going to take too much time.  But it sounds like you can get them done pretty quickly.  Do you have a secret?


 

#344 brentknight

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 04:50 PM

Nice to see the reports as everyone is getting out again. Night 1 was mostly clear as promised here so I went out with the XT8. I wanted to see some of the summer objects to the south that I'll be losing soon. It was windy so the seeing was pretty bad. I setup on Saturn and at just 50x it was already shimmering. I'm glad I had such nice view last time out because it wasn't happening this time.

 

M22 - I just caught this before it dipped below the trees. I really had to power up to cut thorough the haze down there. At 218x I could resolve quite a few stars in it but the seeing didn't support the magnification so it looked like the focus was going in and out. 136x was better and gave me a decent view but nowhere near what I see when it's higher in the sky. 

 

M24 - I tried for the Lagoon Nebula but it was too low so this was the next stop as I worked my way up the Milky Way. The transparency to the south wasn't the best but it still spilled out of the field of the ES 24mm - My 38mm Agena was best for capturing the entire star field. I'm glad I caught this in dark skies earlier in the season. It just doesn't hold up well to light pollution.

 

M17 - Taking a quick look at M18 on the way I located the Swan Nebula. At 50x the nebula was unusually faint and required averted vision to see at all. The transparency down low must have been even worse than I thought. The big surprise the difference the OII filter made. I've used it before on this but this time went from an almost invisible object to a very nice detailed view of the nebula. The swan shape was distinct and looked like cloud that zig-zagged across the field at both 50x & 75x. I find my ES 68º 16mm to be a great eyepiece for faint DSO like nebula and galaxies. It seems to be just enough magnification to darken the sky yet the image stays bright enough to show detail. At 75x the OIII darkened the stars embedded in the nebula but most were bright enough to still be visible for a nice view. 

 

M16 _ Eagle Nebula - This was suffering from the transparency as well but the stars in it stood out well enough for me to identify it with no filter. The OIII helped here again but the UHC was a little better this time. I did a nice job of bringing out the nebula while keeping the stars bright enough to see. The nebula seemed brightest to the SW of the cluster of stars in the center.

 

M11 - After fighting the haze down near the horizon I moved up to this. At 50x I had a beautiful view that looked like glitter or dust that spread out in a fan shape. I viewed it at 75x and then 136x for a nice detailed view that seemed to resolve the entire cluster. It's hard to pick a favorite view but I think I actually liked the low power view with some haze mixed in from the partially resolved stars. The fan shape was more obvious and the nebulous view seemed more interesting to me with the specks of resolved stars scattered throughout it.

 

NGC 6822 - Barnard's Galaxy & NGC 6818 - Little Gem Nebula - I thought it would be interesting to view these together but the problem is the galaxy is very large and has low surface brightness while the planetary nebula is just the opposite, very small, compact and bright. I tried both 50x with the ES 68º 24mm & 31x with the 38mm Agena but just couldn't confirm Barnard's Galaxy. Either my skies are not dark enough or the transparency wasn't good enough. At 50x with the 24mm I should have had both in the field. I could see the Little Gem Nebula as a soft starlike object. Meanwhile the galaxy was extremely faint and nearly invisible. Like most compact planetary nebula NGC 6818 took as much magnification as I could throw at it. With the poor seeing that was 218x with the Meade 5.5mm. It was starting to look interesting as a patchy but very bright round nebulous area. HD 186107 a deep orange star was in view to the West. This is a nice bright planetary that stands up well to light pollution. I'll have to try again for Barnard's Galaxy from a dark site. It sounds like it could actually be a binocular target. Another large galaxy like M33.

 

The moon was up by now so I called it a night. I probably should have moved away from the southern sky. Transparency over the ocean wasn't the best but I managed to see a few of the Summer objects that will be gone before long. I may have another 4 clear nights ahead with the moon rising later each night. Hoping for the best!

 

John

Thanks John!  Another 2 objects that I've never seen that I definitely need to put on my list.  I might get a chance this weekend as my club is having another gaze at Big Lagoon - very nice southern horizon.


 

#345 NYJohn S

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 05:32 PM

Tony:

 

I use a log/sketch book to slow down the process.  By sketching the entire FOV it forces me to look beyond the intended object.  

 

Last night I was out from 730 to 915 (105 minutes) but had a couple of mechanical issues which probably consumed 20 minutes so lets figure 95 minutes observing.  I had 9 objects viewed and sketched plus Saturn (no way can I sketch it), so that is about 9 minutes per item including star hopping.  My sessions are pretty efficient - usually in a 10 degree x 10 degree area so the star hopping time is not much.

 

Probably leaves about 7 minutes per object.

 

Ed

I was thinking the sam thing as Brent. I always wanted to try sketching but just didn't know where to start.

 

Thanks John!  Another 2 objects that I've never seen that I definitely need to put on my list.  I might get a chance this weekend as my club is having another gaze at Big Lagoon - very nice southern horizon.

Sure, Let me know if you have any luck with Barnard's Galaxy. I may try again from here on a better night. 

 

I keep looking at Grus Quartet. 4 galaxies next to Grus which just barely make it above the horizon here. Maybe you'll have a shot at them from there. 


 

#346 brentknight

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 06:21 PM

I was thinking the sam thing as Brent. I always wanted to try sketching but just didn't know where to start.

 

Sure, Let me know if you have any luck with Barnard's Galaxy. I may try again from here on a better night. 

 

I keep looking at Grus Quartet. 4 galaxies next to Grus which just barely make it above the horizon here. Maybe you'll have a shot at them from there. 

And there's 4 more I just added.  They get about 17° above the horizon here around midnight.  While looking at the Constellation-Guide website, I saw mention of IC 5148 (Spare Tyre Nebula), an 11m planetary that I'll try for too!

 

 

I was reading about the Fornax cluster earlier this week.  I don't see much written about it - I suppose because it's so far south - but it's the second brightest Abell cluster out there.  When Orion is up, I'll be looking for these too.

 

Fornax Cluster.jpg

Chart adapted from Aladin Lite

 

That's about a 1° field I have highlighted there.


 

#347 brentknight

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 06:42 PM

I just grabbed An Anthology of Visual Double Stars by Bob Argyle from Amazon (I got the Kindle version).

 

          41lRLFCwBQL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Everything I know about double stars I learned from this thread - no fault of you fine people, but it's not much.  So far this book looks really nice with observation advice, history, and biographies of double star observers (historical and contemporary).  For each of the 175 doubles in the books' catalog there is a finder chart, a diagram of the orbits and historical information.

 

The charts are zoomable, but they are of a fixed resolution in the ebook, so they start to pixelate a bit.  An interesting feature though is that as soon as you select a chart, it will bring up a thumbnail chart in the top left corner that highlights where you have zoomed in on the chart.

 

I know I'll enjoy reading this book - and using it in the field as I have it downloaded to my trusty iPad.  It may only cover 175 doubles, but I think everyone here who is interested in these objects would get some value from this book.

 


 

#348 Migwan

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 09:30 PM


 

Out of curiosity, does anyone else here find himself rushing between targets too quickly? I am just wondering if I am the only one with this tendency...

When conditions aren't so great I like to hit a lot of targets, but usually note the ones I want to come back to.  So on those nights I don't consider it rushing, even if it is a little.

 

When conditions are really good I slow down.   If I catch some extra detail I always feel its worth the extra time. 

Even in a short weather window.

 

I am starting to have a problem with taking notes.  Wish I didn't have to turn the red headlamp on so much.   I need a secretary.  

 

jd


 

#349 Jeffmar

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 09:49 PM

I went to Neptune last night for the first time ever. I have always thought it would be underwhelming to see a tiny blue ball but I was wrong. When I found Neptune it was between nine and ten pm and it was almost 30 degrees about the horizon. I switched from a 39mm to a 20mm eyepiece and got a better look. It was round, very blue, and around three billion miles away. What's not to like about that! 


 

#350 brentknight

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 10:48 PM

I went to Neptune last night for the first time ever. I have always thought it would be underwhelming to see a tiny blue ball but I was wrong. When I found Neptune it was between nine and ten pm and it was almost 30 degrees about the horizon. I switched from a 39mm to a 20mm eyepiece and got a better look. It was round, very blue, and around three billion miles away. What's not to like about that! 

What telescope (I mean spaceship) were you using?


 


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