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.