Sept 20, 2019 - dark yellow zone dark site. Clear skies, average to good transperency, good and at times, poor seeing.
Canon 10x42L IS(first light), 8" Mak Cass, EQ6, 76mm refractor
With my new Canon 10x42L IS WP's - session from approx 21:30 to 22:30
I have been very excited about these binoculars. I have used them in the daytime and that's where image stabilization truly shines. It seems that shakes are harder to stabilize when looking horizontally, as I have learned to reduce the shakes looking up higher in the sky. So for birding, these are already a win. I am used to using Pentax12x50 and it takes a bit of work to stabilize the view, usually by bracing my elbows on something and holding by the objectives. With IS, I don't need to do any of that.
Nonetheless, I was eager to try these out at night time for astronomy and was not disappointed, as Image stabilization again is a boon. It will make it easier to split double stars that are within range of the binos, and focus on the details rather than reducing the shakes. The shakes are not completely gone - but reduced.
The milky way was sprawling across the sky. I couldnt get over how nice it looked. I was getting good transperency at 21:30.
I focused first on the targets leaving the sky early- Sagittarius. I found M8, M20, M24 which looked very good. Hopped up found M16 and M17. These are bright and easy pickings with the bins. There were some star clusters here but too but I didn't identify them. I also travelled up and found M11, and the coathanger. The field on these are flat!
I travelled to Hercules, found M13 and M92.
I really tried hard for the Veil nebula, and around Cygnus for any nebula but no luck. Hundreds of stars though, and with the milky way very defined the view blew me away nonetheless. I actually get lost in this area and don't try to identify anything as it is too crowed to do anything but just admire. Eventually I will start learning Cygnus more, besides the brightest stars.
I observed M31. I could see it's massive shape. Approx 2.5 degrees across. One of my better views of this galaxy ever with any instrument. But the transparency was fairly good. Similar to my previously owned NP127 with 31 nagler.
With that in mind, I hopped down to M33. I was able to find it fairly easy. Still very faint, no galaxy details visible. Probably my best view of this to date, as normally it is hard to pick out even at my dark site.
Melotte 20 was fantastic, like usual. One of the best binocular sights. These binos are similar to the fujinon 10x50 with fov and field flatness, and image sharpness, except these are much lighter and have image stabilization! Can you tell that I like these binoculars?
I hopped to the double cluster. The two leading "arms" of stars going into the double cluster remind me of the ends of spiral or barred spiral galaxy leading into the dense double nuclei. Stock 2 up a head looking fantastic as well, with its diffuse cloud of stars above.
I found M103 in Cass. I tried to spot some nebula around here (like pacman) but no luck.
M45 was rising, so with my naked eye I wanted to judge transparency. I could intermediately see one brighter star, but with careful scrutiny I could see 3 other fainter members. 4 members via naked eye! Using the Canon's I got the rest of those blue jewels, which are the 8 brightest members, and the Alcycone's chain of stars leading towards it. With the 76mm refractor I observed this closer up as well, with the 24 and 32 Brandon's to frame the cluster and observe the triangle of stars inside it. I found this pic online to show you Alcyone A, with the triangle B, D, and C. Also one of my M45 favorite views is Ally's Braid, the chain of stars leading to Alcyone A.
I tried for some galaxies in Ursa Major but it was super low and in the muck. No luck with M51 or M101.
All in all, I am very impressed and these binos are going to get a lot of use.
After that, I put away the binos and started using the scopes more. My friend came out for the first time to join me in the night sky and look through my telescopes. He is going to get into the hobby so I am encouraging him to get a dob off kijiji here locally. Going to start him off with a set of starter eyepieces.
With the refractor and the mak, I checked out much of the same. Before I set up the mak and aligned the mount, I caught Saturn with the 76 refractor. Using the 2.5 powermate with the 11 delite I got a nice view. No cassini division, barely if any hint of hemisphere discoloration. Still looked nice despite the seeing and observing it in the muck. I also checked out M24 with the refractor. At low power it almost looks like Melotte 20 does in the binoculars, similar shape.
M11 with the 11 delite in the refractor to frame it well. And then with the 48mm brandon, 32mm and 24mm in the 8" Mak. The 24mm was a bit too high of power for the conditions. It does look like a flock of birds taking off from a lake. One of my favorite targets.
M13 and M92 in the Mak looked very good. I was seeing more stars out here but my last in town session with good seeing at dusk seemed better! Never thought I'd say that, as it has not happened before. I will need a night of good seeing AT the dark site to really get blown away. The 48 brandon looked great, super bright cluster just barely being resolved in individual stars (brightest members only), and it could handle up to 24mm but I found the best view between the 32mm and the 24 brandon (at times). M13 looked like a spider my friend told me. M92 has a different shape as well, and both cluster had a solid 20 stars or so visible.
I tried for the Ring nebula. Curiously I couldnt find it while in my mak. I was sort of aimlessly moving the 0.6 deg FOV around and didnt stumble across it. My GSO RA finder wasnt completely aligned either, which didnt help. I should have found Sulafat or Sheliak and went from there....doh.
After some time, the moon was rising and it really started washing out the sky and that glorious milky way almost completely disappeared. So I just trained my viewing on the moon with both scopes. The seeing was not great and it didnt look that good in the mak, plus the corrector was just starting to dew over. It looked great in the small refractor. I was getting caught up with talking and socializing more than observing and actually started getting cold, even though I had a decent amount of layers on. My shoes were soaked with the dewy grass and dew basically covered everything anyways.
Not a bad night, amazing with the binoculars, but my last session in town was much better with the mak.
Thanks for reading and clear skies!
Edited by Tyson M, 21 September 2019 - 09:40 PM.