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Concerns about 8SE starting to be alleviated.

observing report
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#1 LuckstedM

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 08:53 AM

Aug 20th looking cloudy at 8:30 so decided to set up on concrete step outside the house. At 9:30 Jupiter at zenith 193°, alt 22°. Not good "seeing", Arcturus twinkling. Completed auto two star w/ Polaris and Arcturus and swung to Jupiter. At135X not very crisp, 4moons visible. Over to Saturn at 81x rings complete but Cassini not. Up to 162x w/Barlow. Viewing still a little shaky to clearly see division. I have worried about scope shake but this was definitely planets altitude.

Let's go deep space. Consulting SkySafari decided to try Wild Duck Cluster (M11), in Scutum. This raised the alt to 37°. Whoa! Good choice. Viewing was much improved. With 32mm, 55° the fog(.87) was filled with stars. I was now on a mission, but will come back and spend time here. Sagittarius Star Cloud was not as impressive at alt 26°, but will deserve more time.

Looked at the NNW sky it looked clear and crisp. GoTo Mizar w/32mm. Mizar and Alcor centered and well separated. What's going on around the Big Dipper? Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) and Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) in Canes Venatici were each visible, a little low in the ep. Neither resolved at 63x. 

Now we're in Canes Venatici, just below the Dipper handle. The Sunflower Galaxy (M63), M94, NGC4449, and M106 a spiral galaxy were all easy goto. They deserve more time, but I wanted one more view with instant gratification. Hmm? Higher is better! M13 Great Hercules Cluster was not far away and ~ 54° alt. A great way to finish the night. Changing to the 25mm  the fov was again filled with a plethora of stars.

It may seem as though I sped through the night sky, but I was having concerns about my new 8SE. Tonight I saw some serious glimpses of its capabilities. By the way, I did defocus both Polaris and Arcturus to an airy star to check  collimation, each showed an almost imperceptible  squash at the top. I don't think I'm ready to collimate yet. Ordered vsps  to help planetary viewing.

Any comments on viewing galaxies, I.e. Eps, magnification, would be appreciated.



#2 SeattleScott

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 11:05 AM

Other than Andromeda galaxies are small, so they can take as much magnification as you can give it before they start getting too dim. Figure 100-200x with your scope. Wide field eyepieces not required because of their small size, and your tracking mount. A couple Plossl around 20mm and 10mm would work perfectly fine for galaxies.

Wide field views can be nice though for galaxy groups, like Leo Trio or M81/M82.

Scott


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