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#1 Bataleon

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 07:45 AM

First time going to Cherry Springs state park in north central PA, otherwise known as Potter county. Though I've been under some similarly dark skies before, this was my first time with a reasonably capable telescope, 8" SCT to be exact. I was very impressed with what I was able to see vs at home where I live in light yellow light pollution. Saturn appeared almost as detailed as the Voyager photos, with fine detail on the surface, ring shadows, the Cassini division and at least four moons. Normally I can only make out the rings and Titan at home, but I clearly saw Rhea, Dione and Tethys as well. Jupiter was brilliant as always, but I was actually able to spot the shadow from Io transitioning! For a moment I thought I saw a fifth moon of Jupiter, but after refreshing my memory on its moons, I remembered only the Galilean moons are going to appear in amateur equipment so I concluded that it was a faint star. Still impressive to see a star so close to Jupiter's glare as to be able to discern it from the moons! Uranus was clearly distinct as a bluish green ball, and I saw Titania. This would be unheard-of where I live and this was my first time seeing Uranus so blatantly obvious as a planet and not just a fuzzy star. Neptune was also clearly discernable as a deep blue orb and unless it was a faint star, pretty certain I saw Triton (it did match the position on my interactive planetary viewer). A bit to my dismay, most DSOs I went to weren't much better than they would be under more moderately polluted skies, but I was able to clearly resolve more in terms of numbers. The Saturn, Bode's and Dumbbell nebulae were quite a bit more clear and colorful than I've ever seen before and I revolved a lot more stars in all of the well known clusters and double clusters. Back home, I'd only get that kind of star count in a big dob. I peeked at the moon a bit to end the night, but once it started to get higher in the sky, I knew I had seen about the best I was going to see so packed it in. Overall, very productive night and I think my home skies might be a bit ruined for me now!

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Edited by Bataleon, 21 September 2019 - 07:47 AM.

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#2 M11Mike

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:30 AM

Nothing beats a really dark observing location.  

 

Glad to see you had a really great night.  For many great night like that are RARE.

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!!!!  

 

M11Mike



#3 Cali

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:00 AM

Yeah, I locked onto Orion last night with my binoculars and had hours of good view.

 

- Cal



#4 Allanbarth1

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:41 AM

Sounds like you got the most out of your time there as you possibly could. Had to have been a great time. Being able to resolve and gain more contrast in the DSO's you viewed must be like reliving the first time you ever pointed your scope at them and they appeared in your eyepiece.

 

Great that the weather was on your side. A memorable trip with some great eyepiece time. I would put this trip in the win column.

 

Is this a trip you'll be repeating? 

 

I can't wait until I can get to Cherry Springs State Park. Or any observing field/area that's darker than my Bortle 8 sky. I'm 45 years old and have yet to see the Milky Way with my own eyes. There are a few darker areas that I can get to here in N.J. but none a roundtrip in one night for me. It would work out better to make the 265 mile 5 hour drive to the observing field I've heard so much about at Cherry Springs. Here's a snip of the light pollution map from Dark Site Finder showing what I get to contend with. If I had an EQ mount or a Alt-Az with setting circles I would have a easier time. I can't afford one anytime in the future. (setting circles would be a HUGE help here in the light pollution here to get me to or at least within a degree or two of DSO's) Can you tell I'm jealous.....LOL

 

Glad you were able to escape the light pollution of your area and get to dark skies. It's also great that you had clear skies for the time you were there and were able to get in the most observing time as possible. It's a good night when you get to call it quits because your tired and not because it clouded up.

 

LP Snip.jpg



#5 Bataleon

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Posted 21 September 2019 - 11:43 AM

Sounds like you got the most out of your time there as you possibly could. Had to have been a great time. Being able to resolve and gain more contrast in the DSO's you viewed must be like reliving the first time you ever pointed your scope at them and they appeared in your eyepiece.

Great that the weather was on your side. A memorable trip with some great eyepiece time. I would put this trip in the win column.

Is this a trip you'll be repeating?

I can't wait until I can get to Cherry Springs State Park. Or any observing field/area that's darker than my Bortle 8 sky. I'm 45 years old and have yet to see the Milky Way with my own eyes. There are a few darker areas that I can get to here in N.J. but none a roundtrip in one night for me. It would work out better to make the 265 mile 5 hour drive to the observing field I've heard so much about at Cherry Springs. Here's a snip of the light pollution map from Dark Site Finder showing what I get to contend with. If I had an EQ mount or a Alt-Az with setting circles I would have a easier time. I can't afford one anytime in the future. (setting circles would be a HUGE help here in the light pollution here to get me to or at least within a degree or two of DSO's) Can you tell I'm jealous.....LOL

Glad you were able to escape the light pollution of your area and get to dark skies. It's also great that you had clear skies for the time you were there and were able to get in the most observing time as possible. It's a good night when you get to call it quits because your tired and not because it clouded up.

attachicon.gif LP Snip.jpg

Definitely worth it. I'm here for the weekend so I'll be going back to the astronomy fields tonight. I'm a little better off than you at home but it's still mind blowing to really slew a scope around anything darker than green. Just the increased detail on the gas giants alone makes the trip worth it, let alone DSOs and even naked eye observing. I counted at least a dozen naked eye Messiers.

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#6 scotsman328i

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 09:57 AM

Sounds like you got the most out of your time there as you possibly could. Had to have been a great time. Being able to resolve and gain more contrast in the DSO's you viewed must be like reliving the first time you ever pointed your scope at them and they appeared in your eyepiece.

 

Great that the weather was on your side. A memorable trip with some great eyepiece time. I would put this trip in the win column.

 

Is this a trip you'll be repeating? 

 

I can't wait until I can get to Cherry Springs State Park. Or any observing field/area that's darker than my Bortle 8 sky. I'm 45 years old and have yet to see the Milky Way with my own eyes. There are a few darker areas that I can get to here in N.J. but none a roundtrip in one night for me. It would work out better to make the 265 mile 5 hour drive to the observing field I've heard so much about at Cherry Springs. Here's a snip of the light pollution map from Dark Site Finder showing what I get to contend with. If I had an EQ mount or a Alt-Az with setting circles I would have a easier time. I can't afford one anytime in the future. (setting circles would be a HUGE help here in the light pollution here to get me to or at least within a degree or two of DSO's) Can you tell I'm jealous.....LOL

 

Glad you were able to escape the light pollution of your area and get to dark skies. It's also great that you had clear skies for the time you were there and were able to get in the most observing time as possible. It's a good night when you get to call it quits because your tired and not because it clouded up.

 

attachicon.gif LP Snip.jpg

 

Ugh, that sucks! Hoping you get out to darker skies soon!


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#7 REC

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 10:27 AM

Wow, to see all that detail in your 8" SCT make me jealous! I hardly ever get to see anything that good in my 8"SCT. I live in a red zone so I'm limited to observe in those conditions. If it wasn't for the computer in the scope I couln't find........T.

 

Clear skies all!



#8 Bataleon

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Posted 22 September 2019 - 02:48 PM

Wow, to see all that detail in your 8" SCT make me jealous! I hardly ever get to see anything that good in my 8"SCT. I live in a red zone so I'm limited to observe in those conditions. If it wasn't for the computer in the scope I couln't find........T.

Clear skies all!

I was a bit surprised myself but I owe it entirely to the perfect conditions. Saturday night wasn't quite as good because of wind and atmospheric turbulence and there were a lot of people at the nearby campsites shining flashlights and driving vehicles around, but I still got a lot done. Friday was absolutely ideal. Low humidity, very still skies and not nearly as many people coming and going with their white lights. Aside from more planetary detail, one thing I enjoyed a lot was being able to split globs into more detail and see some of the fainter nebulae. All but impossible to achieve in my yellowish orange home skies.

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#9 REC

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 01:29 PM

I was a bit surprised myself but I owe it entirely to the perfect conditions. Saturday night wasn't quite as good because of wind and atmospheric turbulence and there were a lot of people at the nearby campsites shining flashlights and driving vehicles around, but I still got a lot done. Friday was absolutely ideal. Low humidity, very still skies and not nearly as many people coming and going with their white lights. Aside from more planetary detail, one thing I enjoyed a lot was being able to split globs into more detail and see some of the fainter nebulae. All but impossible to achieve in my yellowish orange home skies.

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Bright Globs like M13, 22,3 and 5 can take a lot of power if the sky is very transparent. I use a 11mm 82* fov for 185x and M13 or 22 will fill the eyepiece. I find using averted vision is the key on these. The nebula work best with lower power and an a UHC type of filter. Do you have one of them?



#10 Bataleon

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 01:32 PM

Bright Globs like M13, 22,3 and 5 can take a lot of power if the sky is very transparent. I use a 11mm 82* fov for 185x and M13 or 22 will fill the eyepiece. I find using averted vision is the key on these. The nebula work best with lower power and an a UHC type of filter. Do you have one of them?

Yes, I have a pretty robust set of filters and eyepieces. I was switching between my WO 9mm 1.25 and 40mm 2". I have a few UWA Meades, but I've found William has better glass for the price point. Thinking of taking the plunge on a high power 2" soon. Probably an ES or TV.

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#11 scotsman328i

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 02:00 PM

Yes, I have a pretty robust set of filters and eyepieces. I was switching between my WO 9mm 1.25 and 40mm 2". I have a few UWA Meades, but I've found William has better glass for the price point. Thinking of taking the plunge on a high power 2" soon. Probably an ES or TV.

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Bataleon, Yes...this is the time of year to really experiment with filters due to beautiful fall Autumn clear nights with great transparency and seeing. Clear skies!



#12 Bataleon

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 02:11 PM

Bataleon, Yes...this is the time of year to really experiment with filters due to beautiful fall Autumn clear nights with great transparency and seeing. Clear skies!

I had great results on most of the Messier objects I was looking at as well as a few other oddball clusters and formations. The family near me with a 10" SCT was going back and forth between their own and mine because they were so impressed with the resolution I was able to get on clusters and nebulae. Chalk it up to using better than OEM glass lol

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#13 scotsman328i

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 05:48 PM

I had great results on most of the Messier objects I was looking at as well as a few other oddball clusters and formations. The family near me with a 10" SCT was going back and forth between their own and mine because they were so impressed with the resolution I was able to get on clusters and nebulae. Chalk it up to using better than OEM glass lol

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That’s awesome, Brother!




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