This was my second dark site session with my new telescope.
A week before, I had to cut the session short as humidity became unbearable - spider and shroud started dripping.
I want to share my impressions of this device now that I had a full session.
This is not a small scope so I got a folding aluminum ramps for loading it. This way, I can load the scope alone and it is faster than loading my SW 12" collapsible.
just need to make sure that mirror box is tilted a bit so the bearing will not hit the car ceiling.
Truss and shroud are light and have plenty of room.
For a 20" monster, the process of loading is easy enough.
If not totally lazy or must, the scope can be loaded/unloaded without ramps.
The road to the dark site is about 2.5 hours drive. I have been making this trip every month for over a year now and love the drive.
I was the first on site, about an hour before dark.
Unloading was simple enough and once everything was out of the car, I went to assemble the scope
Assembly is quick, Truss to mirror box, fasten the bolts, UTA on Truss, fasten the bolts and then the shroud.
This takes few minutes and is easy, just as Ryan show in his Youtube channel.
For collimation I use the Farpoint 2" collimation kit - laser and cheshire.
Even after 2.5 hour drive, last part of it is off-road, collimation did not drifted by much.
The entire process of assembly + collimation takes about ~20 minutes.
With camp set - tent, table chairs, I still had time to dress for the cold before total darkness.
I was lucky to see the gathering of Venus, Moon and Jupiter with Saturn watching from above.
That was an amazing sight!
First I revisit the Vail nebula.
Eyepiece - Nagler 31mm filtered with O-III
Started with the Western part of the nebula from the tip through Cy52 to its bottom part. The amount of details was insane.
The Eestern part as equally stunning.
The central part of the nebula was nicely visible.
Tonight's plan was to go through objects in Cassiopeia, Perseus, Andromeda, Orion and Ursa Major.
Double cluster fits nicely into the FOV of the Nagler 31mm. Very sharp image.
Raising magnification a bit, still could see both clusters within view.
Next came the Owl cluster, M103, NGC 663 and more.
Pacman nebula was also nicely visible, I will have to revisit this object to figure out more details.
I did a quick detour to view M15. This cluster is magnificent! raised magnification to 135 and the cluster could be resolved nicely.
With magnification of over x200 which is reserved for such objects, I could easily distinguish stars almost to the core.
Andromeda Galaxy showed two dust lanes, one very distinct and the other is fainter. I never saw so many details in the arms before.
Both companions - M110 and M32 also fit the FOV.
Pinewheel Galaxy, another showpiece object also provided much details.
In Orion, I saw the bubble nebula for the first time.
M42 is majestic as ever, all the details are just fantastic, the nebula is closing full circle, wings full of details. With filters, different details emerge.
The 20" collects so much light that even a cellphone camera could yield details (I had to try...)
Horsehead nebula was not visible when it was 30-40 degrees but when reaching over 50 degrees altitude, provided a lots of details.
The nebulusity from Alnitak towards HD 37806 was visible with the horse interrupting it like a finger obscuring the view.
Last area covered was Ursa Major - galaxy hunting.
Finding galaxies with this huge field of view is fun and easy.
This session yielded many objects, over 50 were documented, many were not viewed enough and will be revisited to get more details.
My impressions so far:
I am very happy with my new telescope.
The difference in view from my 12" is everything I expected and more, some objects are actually visible and others show so much more details.
Views are wide, crisp and sharp, especially when conditions allows.
Transportability and the ability to handle it by myself is exactly why I opted for NMT in the first place.
Mechanically this is a wonderfully constructed device. Movement is smooth in both axis but firm enough not to shift when switching eyepieces.
Balance is the same without eyepiece or with Paracorr-2 + Nagler 31mm. I guess Binoviewer will require some counterweight - Ryan provided rails for counterweight, just in case.
Collimation lasts in full movement range and during the session - I did not check, but felt no view degradation - will test it on the next session.
Edited by ilan_shapira, 30 November 2019 - 06:02 AM.