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#1 jmoore

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 01:24 PM

For those interested, see my viewing report in the DSO forum. I had a good observing night last night...mostly with my 8" scope, but I had my 15x70s with me, too, and saw quite a lot with them, including:
M57 (Ring)
M65,66 (galaxies in Leo)
M13 (glob in Hercules)
M44 (beehive)
M46,47 (OCs in Canis Major)
M36,37,38 (OCs in Auriga)
various galaxies in Coma Berenices

I had previously posted a question in this forum to the effect of: "what's the point of using binos for DSOs, when a scope will give a better view?" Well, I was further persuaded on the joys of binocular astronomy last night...even for small DSOs...thus answering that question for myself...

Observing DSOs last night was awesome...mainly because of the context one can appreciate when viewing over a large scale. In some ways, the galaxies I saw in binos last night were more impressive than in a scope, simply because they were surrounded by so many stars, and could be viewed within the setting of their constellation. Their 'tinyness' gave me a much better of a sense of how far away they were, and how small they are relative to the scale of the larger universe...so I guess I got a further visual appreciation for the immensity of space. And the overall aesthetic quality of a little galaxy smudge, or fuzzy patch of open cluster, set amongst a wide-field view of dozens of stars, was really breathtaking...

I'm not saying that DSOs are *better* in binos than a scope. You're definitely missing out if you can't zoom in on a rich open cluster (like M47) or a bright globular (like M13), etc., but let's just say that the view of some of these things through 15x binos is very worthwhile.

#2 Dennis

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 02:00 PM

Nice report Jeff. I'll use your targets for my viewing tonight. I received a pair of Oberwerk 15x70 on Friday. Took them out that night discovered they were out of collimation. Saw two Venus. I squeezed them a bit and was able to use them for about 10 minutes. Enough to realize that binoviewing is in a class by itself. Different views, very enjoyable. I like the large FOV of 5.6*. Definitely a great way to learn my way around up there. I'm very suprised what 15x can do.

You'll appreciate what happened today. I went on-line to get instructions from Oberwerk site for collimation. Took scope, tripod, and small screwdriver outside. Tweaked the collimation with good results. As I was walking back to the house, I saw a large bird a tree in the woods next to my house. Grabbed my astrochair and quietly set up. It was a red tailed hawk. It was perched and searching the ground. Suddenly it swooped down about 100 feet an hit the floor of the woods. Back it flew with a snake in its talons. I watched, fascinated for 10 minutes. Filled my FOV. Awesome moment. I'm looking forward to tonight with them.

#3 jmoore

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 03:28 PM

Dennis...

awesome observation of the snake predation!!

Those Obies have 5.6 deg FOV? Wow....that's huge. I think my Burgess are 4.4 deg. Note...5.6 degs * 15x = 84 deg AFOV. I didn't know binos went so wide.

As for targets, Dennis...I picked mine last night based on what I wanted to look at through my *telescope* (with the exception of M44). So, there are plenty of targets that probably would have been better for binos than the ones I looked at...

I'll recommend that you look for a bunch of open clusters (M35 is a really good one that I didn't bother with last night), but if you shoot for M46 and M47, try to get out pretty early. Canis Major sets within a couple hrs of dark these days.

At the opposite end, M57 and M13 probably won't be available in binos until pretty late....midnight or so? M57 didn't look like much, but the rest of the objects were pretty cool.

good luck...and have fun tonight!!
jeff

#4 KennyJ

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 04:11 PM

Jeff wrote :

< In some ways, the galaxies I saw in binos last night were more impressive than in a scope, simply because they were surrounded by so many stars, and could be viewed within the setting of their constellation. Their 'tinyness' gave me a much better of a sense of how far away they were, and how small they are relative to the scale of the larger universe...so I guess I got a further visual appreciation for the immensity of space. And the overall aesthetic quality of a little galaxy smudge, or fuzzy patch of open cluster, set amongst a wide-field view of dozens of stars, was really breathtaking... >

This whole paragraph epitomises the wonder of astro-bino viewing.

That it comes from the mouth of one so sceptical about the possibility only a few weeks ago only serves to add even more weight to it.

Dennis , I suspect you got the TFOV figure wrong !

It is stated as 4.3 degrees for the 15 x 70 Oberwerk , which of course is very reasonable, if not about optimum for a 15x bino.

Regards , Kenny.

#5 Bill Grass

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 04:52 PM

Cool, Jeff! I had a gig last night about 30 miles north of Baton Rouge. I took along my 15x70s 'cause I figured the sky would be much darker than at my house. I was right! I saw the Beehive with my naked eyes for the first time. Through the 15x70s, it was IMPRESSIVE! I also spotted the 3 Messier OCs in Auriga. I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked looking through the binocs, but the little I saw really makes me anxious to get to a dark site!

#6 Tom L

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 05:58 PM

All great observation stories! I love these binocs also. I wish I still had my old office I had a few years ago. It looked out over a wetlands that is protected and there was always something going on...hawks especially, but also all kinds of water fowl and other creatures large and small. The lease ran out and we moved several buildings over...now I look at the parking lot! :(

I think I'll just pack up my binocs, walk over to my old building with a sack lunch and my binocs/tripod and set up for about 45 minutes! :jump:

#7 jmoore

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 06:31 PM

sounds like a great way to spend your lunch break, Tom!

cool story, Bill!

#8 Scott Beith

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 06:50 PM

Well it looks like everyone is using their 15x70's to good effect. Stars, galaxies, wildlife.....
I need some now. You guys are really a bad influence !!! :grin:

#9 Dennis

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 06:55 PM

Kenny, you are absolutely correct. Oberwerks are 4.3 degrees. My Nikon 10x36 Sporter I just got are 5.6 degrees. Crossed some wires. :foreheadslap:

Jeff, Thanks, I will try for open clusters and may catch M45. I do want to try for M65/66 though.

Bill: It's so cool that you pack your binos for your gig return. Can't improve a ride home any better!

Tom: Lookin forward to a sack lunch report!

#10 Bill Grass

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 10:25 PM

You guys are really a bad influence !!! :grin:

Thanks! All in a day's work! :grin:

#11 jmoore

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 09:53 AM

Did you get out last night, Dennis? Any luck?

#12 Dennis

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 10:06 AM

Het Jeff: Overcast most of the night. Around 11:00 I poked out for a quick look. Very hazy. I did view Jupiter with the 15x70s. A bit of glare, almost a second image of it. One side was clean, the right side had this glare. Careful focusing didn't help. Will switch eyes next time just to confirm. These binos may be a couple of years old, so they don't have the newer coatings. EdZ commented about this recently. Moons easily visible. I did pan around briefly, but since it was so poor, I turned in for the night. Mabey tonight.

#13 nemo

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 03:20 PM

Jeff,
I have got to tell you that I enjoyed your report a great deal. I must confess that of the various posts that we get it is the observational reports that I enjoy the most. I guess I am just more interested in the applied end of binoculars as opposed to some of the more technical aspects of their internal makeup. Your report was such that I could sit here in front of this computer and visualize the experience. That is all most as good as being there and doing it myself(remember I said all most!) Thanks for the ride.
R/S,
Dan
:jump:

#14 jmoore

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 03:39 PM

my pleasure, Dan...thanks for the compliment and the encouragement of future like-postings!

cheers,
jeff


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