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TV-102 cupped the Moon

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#1 Ron B[ee]

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 12:23 AM

With the foul weather lifted this morning, my lucky 4" TV-102 Light Cup cupped the Moon ;-) and let me peaked at the total lunar eclipse (first time through the telescope for me) tonight starting at 8:05pm PDT (03:05UT). The eclipse was already well underway in the west coast :-(.

With naked eye and a 30mm Celestron Ultima (30x), I noticed it was almost completely covered showing a small crescent. The view has a very low contrast. The "shadow" part was unlike the terminator, gradually decreasing in brightness which covered about 60-70% of the Moon with the dimmest part of the rim not seen. Mare Crisium was easily identified. The color of the "shadow" part via naked eye
and telescope was yellowish orange. At 8:27pm, I could make out Plato, though with some effort due to extreme low contrast which needed the 12mm Radian (73x). At 8:43pm, I realized Moon has a 3-D look, a sight unseen during any full moon that I've viewed. I digressed briefly to the globular NGC 5897 with great difficulty as the sky wasn't very dark.

Not wanting to bore the reader, we skip directly to most exciting part of the evening. At 9:05pm, my Light Cup showed me a sight so unexpected. The Moon's northern rim started to brighten most considerably (72x). It was like dawn was fast approaching on the Moon. No words, sketches, and I bet any CCD image could accurately describe the beauty! At 9:11pm, I dropped down my 40mm Pentax XL
(22x yielding a whopping 3d FOV). The rim is now very bright yellow contrasting with the shadow. At the opposite rim, it was pale orange. The whole image can only be described as someone putting the bright rim in the solar oven while the opposite end was an orange heat glow!
The 40mm Pentax gave a stunning 3-D, colorful view as never seen before on the Moon! At 9:25pm (22x), the Moon suddenly appeared hollow and translucent like a ball lamp with a soft-glow orange bulb within. The effect last only a couple of minutes and eroded away as the crescent is now too bright. Spectacular was an understatement! I noticed the Moon never take on gibbous shape, always crescent,
though fatter and fatter even after 10pm ;-).

I was sorely disappointed that I never saw the Moon completely dark and thought I was robbed of the **Total** Lunar Eclipse :-( before I lived too far west. Only before I wrote this report, I searched the web for some past total eclipse pictures. Say, what do you know; the Light Cup showed me the correct "total" view ;-).

Here's the nagging question: why wasn't the Moon completely dark, sort of like the Sun during a total solar eclipse?

Thanks,
Ron B[ee]


#2 rboe

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 09:03 AM

I was forced to drag my scopes to the front yard to see the lunar eclipse in action because of my house being in the way. This baited two energetic kids to come running over: My bane. Then a shooting buddy came over to check things out and he was able to stress test my new observing chair (230#, passed just fine thank you).

Tossed my camera into the NS11 to take some pictures so I could finish off my roll from vacation: Discovered later the camera was empty! Major bummer.

Between the NS11 (32mm TV plossl, 50mm finder scope - Orion right angle) and the Pronto with a 20mm TV plossl the Pronto and finder scope provided the best images. Moon was too low in the sky to support even the 32mm.

One of the kids even commented on what looked like heat waves making the edge of moon look like water. And he had never looked through a scope before (showed them Jupiter before I had to tear down).

So all this makes me think when my name comes up for the Astro-Physics scope I should jump at it. It doesn't have the apature of the 11, but I'm beginning so see why refractors compare so favorably to large SCT. There are many times you can't beat them. Not to dis SCT though!

Ron

#3 Ron B[ee]

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 09:56 AM

Sure sounded like Lady Luck was eclipsed from smiling upon you last night as well Ron :-(.

I had to carry by TV-102 setup on the SP EQ mount a 20% incline 50 ft. up the hill to get the view of the Moon. Not bad really, just lean the tripod a little on my shoulder.

Perhaps you might want to think about splitting the Pronto into a Telepod or Unistar for quick deployment, Ron. And yes, when your name comes up on the AP, don't walk, don't run, but jump ;-). BTW, which AP are you waiting on?

Ron B[ee]


#4 rboe

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 12:49 PM

Ron;

(I feel like I'm talking to myself)

The Pronto is on a telepod head which, in turn, is on a 3036 Monfrotto. I reserve the right to toss it on the NS11 but at home I tend to keep them seperated for those quick collections of old photons.

Like a silly toy hungry boy I put my name on the list for the 105 Traveler and the 130 Starfire. For the life of me I don't recall which version of 130 I went for. I think that was back in January of 2001. My fear is both will appear at the same time. I'm waffling on whether I should go for both (and perhaps sell one or be greedy and keep both - I don't think I'm worthy of both).

I've even considered passing on both; I really don't NEED another scope. But Roland won't be making these guys forever (like I'll live forever) so if I want one later on there's a good chance my chance would have passed me up. One of those things if you don't take it now it won't happen again.

It will depend on timing. And I have an affinity to the Traveler.

Ron

#5 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 02:19 PM

At 8:43pm, I realized Moon has a 3-D look, a sight unseen during any full moon that I've viewed.


I had the same impression !!! I was using my AT1010 with a Vixen 8-24 Zoom about 11:45 EDT and noticed that the moon appeared to hang like a ball from a string. It's nice to know that someone else had the same thought

Keith
Cincinnati, OH

P.S.

I don't think the moon can really be dark because there will be always be light refracted thru Earth's atmosphere reaching the moon.



#6 Ron B[ee]

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 03:07 PM

I've even considered passing on both; I really don't NEED another scope. But Roland won't be making these guys forever (like I'll live forever) so if I want one later on there's a good chance my chance would have passed me up. One of those things if you don't take it now it won't happen again.

It will depend on timing. And I have an affinity to the Traveler.

Ron


Oo-la-la, Ron 'ole buddy! The Traveler sounds like a great idea :jump:! (You could take the AP130 too and sell it on Astromart for a tidy profit :smirk:). Perhaps someday, Kharma might transmutate my Light Cup into a Travelling Cup ;-).

Ron B[ee]


#7 rboe

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 09:23 PM

Ron;

I'm tempted, but my mid-western up bringing says bad Kharma will come my way if I try to profit that way. Don't get too happy, don't get too mad and there won't be a pay back day.

My lean days in the west says to hoard everything because you never know when you'll need it. Every once in a blue moon I make use of that theory; which drives my wife nutty.

That Traveler would be nice. Maybe next time I'm in Hawaii I'll actually remember to put the scope in the car when I go to Mauna Kea. Nothing is more embarrassing to than to bring the tripod and not the scope. What was I thinking?

Ron

#8 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 05:42 AM

Ron, the light from eclipse comes from atmospheric refraction. It's red because the atmosphere scatters blue light (hence the blue sky) and transmit the red; same reason for red sun rise/set.

-Alex


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