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Vixen 81S + PST Ready for Mercury!

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#1 BillP

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 02:38 PM

Just added my PST to the 81S rings so I could have a nice, light, portable little ready-when-I-am setup for the Mercury transit.  Of course the weather predictions for Monday here in Virginia are not all that hopeful confused1.gif

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Edited by BillP, 06 November 2019 - 02:38 PM.

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#2 SeattleScott

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 03:29 PM

Same here. AR6 with white light filter (which has been for sale for a year but no takers) is ready to go, but unlikely to actually be used.

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#3 Nippon

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 04:07 PM

My 103 is ready but my PST has a clouded filter at the inside end of the eyepiece holder. Only three years old and the blocking filter went bad. Meade wants $150 to fix it plus shipping. Can't decide if I want to invest that much in to another three years for a one trick pony.



#4 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 06:10 PM

Just added my PST to the 81S rings so I could have a nice, light, portable little ready-when-I-am setup for the Mercury transit.  Of course the weather predictions for Monday here in Virginia are not all that hopeful confused1.gif

Nice setup, Bill. You may want to consider setting up for white light as well (just my opinion, but with solar transits I've done Ha didn't add anything, and the white light views show more detail, especially as the limb is approached... but YMMV).

 

Ha Venus transit seen below:

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#5 BillP

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 12:22 PM

Hi Paul.  I am set up for white light.  The Vixen 81S is equipped with a Baader Solar Filter up front, and the PST is of course HA.  I agree that overall the white light is more aesthetic, but I still like both views and no effort to have both at once with this setup grin.gif


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#6 BillP

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 12:27 PM

My 103 is ready but my PST has a clouded filter at the inside end of the eyepiece holder. Only three years old and the blocking filter went bad. Meade wants $150 to fix it plus shipping. Can't decide if I want to invest that much in to another three years for a one trick pony.

 

I thought Meade fixed that issue from the distant past!  There used to be a list of the serial numbers of the older units that were the ones that would have this problem.  Hmmm.  Might be more cost effective to buy one the much older units (I got mine used 7-10 years ago).  If you do that then you can get an inexpensive 1.25" focuser and mount that to the removed brass tube and front filter with the objective and have a really cute 40mm f/10 achromat for the Moon.  A lot of fun like that as I did that to mine for a bit.



#7 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 01:25 PM

My 103 is ready but my PST has a clouded filter at the inside end of the eyepiece holder. Only three years old and the blocking filter went bad. Meade wants $150 to fix it plus shipping. Can't decide if I want to invest that much in to another three years for a one trick pony.

There is a better fix for this...check the solar forums about this. But I do believe it costs a bit of money. 

 

And it does not appear this issue has been fixed properly yet. Has to do with not sealing the edges of that filter and they oxidize. It's not the same issue as the rust situations on the objective.

 

If your scope is that new I think I'd try to demand they fix it for free.



#8 Nippon

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 09:12 PM

I did check the forums and found two companies that make filters for this. The cost looks like about $75. If these companies produce a better filter than Meade uses than it may be worth it. I don't think Meade would fix it for free no matter how much I demanded.



#9 Tyson M

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 12:10 AM

I am going to have clear skies and excellent transparency 5/5, with average seeing 3/5 for this event!   

 

Mercury Transit.png

I am excited!  I will be out with my AT92 with Lunt herschel wedge and Baader solar continuum filter.


Edited by Tyson M, 11 November 2019 - 12:25 AM.


#10 GOLGO13

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 09:27 AM

Cleared up enough here to see it in WV. Took a few photos, but tough to do with cell phone.

 

Better in person

 

mercury

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#11 BillP

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 10:19 AM

Not perfectly clear here either in Fredericksburg, VA, but clouds were very thin this morning so from 8-9am had great views with both the PST and the Vixen 81S.  Having the Baader Zoom on the Vixen was really convenient...that and a 2x.  Hurray....finally saw Mercury in from of the Sun!!  hamsterdance.gif  Even though small compared to Venus transits, was still quite impressive. Then after Mercury turned towards the swans at the far end of the lake and also to several bird nests high up in the surrounding tree line to look at those.  Love the convenience and broad range of capability of an 80mm on a light rig smile.gif


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#12 BillP

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 01:20 PM

Sun stayed out here towards the last hour or two of the show so got to see Mercury wink out as it trasited off the Sun.  Always enjoy seeing the leading edge of a planet or moon "kiss" the limb of object it is transiting across.  The today for the Sun was cool when it was about half way off the limb as it made the Sun look like it had a hole-punch hole on its edge like when you punch a sheet of paper with a hole punch that is not fully inside the paper.  Way cool! laugh.gif

 

Next one will be in 2032.  Ugh, I will be 76!  Will probably still have this little Vixen 81S + PST setup together as it really is light as a feather Alt-Az mounted and a joy to use day or night! Ihavenojoints.gif


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#13 Tyson M

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 02:46 PM

I observed the transit.  It was a bone-chilling -20 deg C but with the next one being in 2032, I wanted to make sure I caught this. Day off- check, weather- check. 

 

I was not able to catch Mercury coming or going off the disk.  It rose with the planet already on the surface, and I couldnt wait until 11:15 ish for it to leave, as I was out there for 2.5 hours.  I had my car running right beside me, so I could take frequent warm up breaks.  I set up in a church parking lot on the eastern edge of the town I live in.

 

The seeing wasn't great for even the 32 brandon until 0915am, as the sun was just too low on the horizon.  Also, I was getting some thin high altitude cloud but it didnt obstruct the view.  I was also near an airport with flight paths so I was getting planes come around.  One large 747 actually transited the disk as well, the lower right side in the eyepiece.  I also had a curious passerby stop and ask for a look, so I gave an impromptu outreach session.

 

As for the planet, it was remarkably small in size but great to see.  I observe the sun a lot, so seeing something like this was a nice change.  No faculae really observable, just the granulation that the lunt wedge + SC filter combo typically produces well.  I tried up to a 15mm delite, but the seeing/altitude just wasnt supporting it well.  Best eyepiece was the 24mm brandon, and at 10:00 to 10:30am when the sun was highest.  I left shortly after that back home.

 

Here are some pics of my outing.  No pictures of the event itself, just enjoyed the views at the eyepiece. 

 

20191111_081037.jpg

 

20191111_100130.jpg

 

20191111_085445.jpg

 

20191111_085513.jpg


Edited by Tyson M, 11 November 2019 - 03:00 PM.

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#14 GOLGO13

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 02:54 PM

Nice Tyson...but cold! yikes. Was 60 degrees here, but will be cold tomorrow with possible snow.


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#15 Tyson M

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 03:04 PM

Yea, it slowly warmed up from there. Started at - 20C, I think was around-16 to -17C by the time I left.  Needless to say, I took a lot of car breaks.  And I couldnt tough it out until it exited the disk.  I just didnt want to stay out for any longer, as I felt a deep chill that I couldnt shake. 



#16 zjc26138

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 04:14 PM

Great reports everyone!

 

The forecast didn't look great, but thanks to a fellow CN'er who posted a nifty website called windy.com, I was able to tell when the clouds would be the thinnest.

 

I had clear (high thin clouds) skies between 11:00 am and 12:25 pm. I had great views of the planet with both my TMB130SS and my PST. I tore the setup down around 12:30 only for it to be clear by 12:50 again. Oh well, no worries. smile.gif

 

Attached is a cropped view taken through the TMB130SS with an Astrozap white light solar filter. Camera was a Canon 60da.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#17 Nippon

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 08:55 PM

Our club did a public observing event at Bok Tower Gardens in Central Florida for the Mercury transit . The sky was clear through the entire event. The common comment from people seeing it through one of the 10 or so scopes we had set up was how tiny Mercury is compared to the sun in the background. The view gives an appreciation of scale you can't really get from books.


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#18 Tyson M

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:58 PM

The common comment from people seeing it through one of the 10 or so scopes we had set up was how tiny Mercury is compared to the sun in the background. The view gives an appreciation of scale you can't really get from books.

This was the biggest take-away from the event for myself as well.  How small that planet is with respect to the sun.




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