Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Newbies - what did you see in the sky last night? Come say hello...

  • Please log in to reply
1825 replies to this topic

#26 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 04 April 2020 - 04:52 PM

I can see what I believe is Venus(?)
In the West with just my eyes.
I have my late father's 10x50 Swift binoculars (at least 50 yrs old) but my hands are no longer steady enough to see any more than disco lights.
So I need a tripod. Any recommendations please?

I think its best to ask that in the binocular forum.  There may be tripods that are particularly good for people with stability or vision issues.
And yes, if you see a very bright 'star' and its not the moon :D then its Venus  - its in the West (there are no other planets obviously visible in the evening in NA right now. 


  • Furryfred99 likes this

#27 chantepierre

chantepierre

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 377
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2020
  • Loc: France

Posted 05 April 2020 - 03:08 AM

Hello hello.
The night before yesterday, I went on the roof with my two current scopes, a ST80 on a lightweight photo tripod and a 114/900 reflector converted to a dob mount. Currently grinding a 8 inch F/3.5 but that’s for later.

I have had the pleasure to have the steadiest sky I had ever seen in my 8-month practice, with Venus taking magnification up to 225x with a clear, well-defined phase on the reflector. That was nice.

I then moved with the night (and the unhelpful moon) to find some Messier objects in this sequence : learn their position with the ST80 and its wide field, find them and study more detail in the reflector, then go find this newly learned detail in the view provided by the small scope.

I did that with M37, M38, M42 (again, best view I ever had despite the moon : shapes were well-defined at  » high « magnification), and went to chase some globulars, mainly stayed on M3.

After an hour my back hurt a lot. The dob is too low and the ST80 is too high for my chair. This sadly cleared most of the views.

Yesterday night, seeing that the seeing was still very good, I spent the evening reading a Jack London novel then putting my alarm clock at 3:15 AM (South of France, N43, Bortle 8 with some far direct lights).

I spent an hour outside with a wooden stool to elevate the dob, and learned to find the ring nebula. However, I’ve been unable to see it other than with an overview eyepiece because I have to fix balance : altitude seems to drift a bit when I remove my eyepiece. Then, I moved to the fantastic M13, never seen before, and found it just by pointing to where it should be with my straight-through tube, confirming in the RA finder, and going to the eyepiece.
I spent half an hour observing this marvel, sometimes resolving stars, sometimes not, but it had a distinct grain that I chased in the last months in others globular to « train » me for when I’d get to M13. It was fantastic, I could magnify by blocking the alt bearing when I changed eyepiece and also went to 225x on it to get contrast.

Despite the back issues, the moon and the bortle 8, I’m lucky to have this rooftop (and to have built a ladder just when lockdown started). It’s a nice place, and I’m really eager to get to dark skies for the first time.

 

Enjoy the skies,

chantepierre


Edited by chantepierre, 05 April 2020 - 03:15 AM.

  • REC, river-z and jiblet65 like this

#28 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 05 April 2020 - 07:40 AM

What a thrill Chantepierre!  Amazing that you can see all that with your skies.  Did you have trouble finding your targets?  I hope you enjoyed Venus at wide field too.  When I caught it (binoculars, occasional gap in the clouds) it was on the end of the Pleiades, positioned perfectly to look like a tiny Big Dipper with a well-insulated handle!  Actually, I viewed it from the hot tub while listening to 'spring peepers' in our trees (tiny frogs that call out in chorus this time of year) - so it was quite the experience!

 

How about looking for an astronomer's chair?  The are specifically made to be highly adjustable and could improve your evenings no end.


  • SeaBee1 and jiblet65 like this

#29 Howdy 523

Howdy 523

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 31
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2017
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 05 April 2020 - 07:34 PM

Last night I just cleaned up the new telescope that I purchased Celestron orange tube and I took in the moon and Venus with the one lens that I have which is a 40 mm and a two times Barlow I had clean the telescope lens and mirror and put it back together and watch videos on how to do that and it turned out great and-the Collimation is good
  • Eliserpens likes this

#30 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 06 April 2020 - 09:31 AM

Tried to get the galaxy, M101.  It was an attractive target because there is a clear trail of stars from Mizar - and Mizar is easy to identify as a multi-star.  Everything went very well - I found Mizar easily, followed my trail of bright stars and branched out onto the fainter stars but then nothing.  The sky is not so clear tonight I fear.  On the other hand, it was a success in that I wasn't wandering aimlessly in the deep blue yonder :D  And for the first time the equatorial mount movements and the views in the finder and scope seemed to make some sense.

 

This morning I was up at 4.15 to look at the summer constellation, Sagittarius with binoculars.  I did find it but DSOs were very hard to see because of the bright moon.  Best I could do was the M24 star cloud and a very faint M25 open cluster - and Jupiter, saturn and Mars were all low but very bright.   That was sufficient I guess  smile.gif


  • SeaBee1 and jiblet65 like this

#31 tommm

tommm

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,018
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2015

Posted 06 April 2020 - 10:17 AM

I can see what I believe is Venus(?)
In the West with just my eyes.
I have my late father's 10x50 Swift binoculars (at least 50 yrs old) but my hands are no longer steady enough to see any more than disco lights.
So I need a tripod. Any recommendations please?

Check your thrift stores. I found a camera tripod for $10.00 at one.


  • jiblet65 and Eliserpens like this

#32 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 06 April 2020 - 02:11 PM

Check your thrift stores. I found a camera tripod for $10.00 at one.

But check first that your binoculars are compatible with a tripod.  You could ask in a camera shop - they may even have a used one...


  • jiblet65 likes this

#33 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 08 April 2020 - 09:10 AM

Last night was cloudy and raining.  However the night before I got up at 4.45 and took my binoculars out.  The full moon was unbelievably bright - which was actually a bit of a nuicance since it was hard to scan the sky.  Cygnus was high above and I was able to find two doubles: the one close to Cor Caroli in Canes Venatici (this constelation is pretty easy nestled as it is under the handle of the dipper) and 32/33 in Coma Bernices.  That was hard both because there are no really close markers and it was fairly close to the moon.  I also saw the coathanger in the growing dawn light - continue along cygnus past the swans head and a bit south.

 

Looks like this may be last star gazing session for a while as we have dreary clouds forecast.  I hope your weather is better.

 

Please drop us a line to tell us what you saw.  Venus is great - now leaving the Pleiades on its orbit...



#34 rhetfield

rhetfield

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,901
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2019
  • Loc: Suburban Chicago, IL, USA

Posted 08 April 2020 - 10:00 AM

Latest outings included Venus in Pleaides, daytime nearly full moon through a polarizer, and a couple checks on the sun in an unsuccessful attempt to see spots and flares.  Lots of clouds here, so not much viewing.


  • Eliserpens likes this

#35 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 08 April 2020 - 01:10 PM

Latest outings included Venus in Pleaides, daytime nearly full moon through a polarizer, and a couple checks on the sun in an unsuccessful attempt to see spots and flares.  Lots of clouds here, so not much viewing.

What difference does the polarizer make to the view of the moon?


  • SeaBee1 likes this

#36 SeaBee1

SeaBee1

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,252
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2015
  • Loc: Under the DFW light barrier

Posted 09 April 2020 - 09:00 AM

Hello Elise!

 

 

What difference does the polarizer make to the view of the moon?

 

Primarily to reduce the brightness of the full moon. Many observers find the full moon through an eyepiece to be overly bright. I use a variable polarizer to adjust that brightness. On a less than full moon, I do not use a polarizer. And then again, I rarely observe a full moon as I do not find it as interesting as a gibbous or crescent moon.

 

Others will recommend reducing the exit pupil to curb the brightness, or using an aperture stop. It all depends on your tolerance for that massive wash of photons coming at you. Adjust accordingly...

 

Keep looking up!

 

CB


  • DC869 and Eliserpens like this

#37 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 09 April 2020 - 10:48 AM

Thanks!

 

"Keep looking up!"

 

[But watch out for pot-holes ;) ]


  • SeaBee1 likes this

#38 SeaBee1

SeaBee1

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,252
  • Joined: 19 Mar 2015
  • Loc: Under the DFW light barrier

Posted 09 April 2020 - 11:14 AM

Ehhh... I have had a couple near misses when driving home from work and gazing at the moon... I don't look up during the drive now... well... not as often... lol.gif


  • Eliserpens likes this

#39 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 12 April 2020 - 07:06 AM

Ehhh... I have had a couple near misses when driving home from work and gazing at the moon... I don't look up during the drive now... well... not as often... lol.gif

That is exactly why I don't take either my camera nor my binoculars in the car.  The temptation is just too big (I also do wildlife photography, and those hawks...).


  • Kimbo_2112, SeaBee1 and David Mercury like this

#40 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 12 April 2020 - 08:10 AM

Beautiful sky last night - no moon perhaps near as dark as we can get.  Took the MN190 out and tried again to find M81 galaxy.  The vagaries of the EQ mount are still a challenge and though I did not spot it I do feel its getting easier.  After 30 minutes or so of trying (I think I spotted it as a very faint object through my binoculars) I thought I had better go for something easier so that I didn't get totally frustrated.

 

Thus, moved over to Auriga which is ideally positioned for my current telescope location.  And after a bit of getting lost finally found one of the open clusters with my wide field EP.  It was very lovely.  I sketched it and by comparison with the three main clusters in Auriga (and my guess at its location) identified it as M36.  The (copied) sketch: M36 v tiny.JPG

 

So not a total disaster smile.gif  Actually, I feel quite encouraged.  The EQ mount is sort of beginning to make sense.


  • Kimbo_2112, brentknight, SeaBee1 and 1 other like this

#41 rhetfield

rhetfield

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,901
  • Joined: 14 Aug 2019
  • Loc: Suburban Chicago, IL, USA

Posted 12 April 2020 - 09:45 AM

What difference does the polarizer make to the view of the moon?


I used only one half of the variable polarizer to see if contrast on a daytime moon improved.
  • Eliserpens likes this

#42 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 12 April 2020 - 10:28 AM

... and?



#43 PNW

PNW

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 455
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Lummi Island, WA

Posted 12 April 2020 - 12:13 PM

I have a single Neutral Density "Moon Filter" (13% transmission). I find it not only decreases the glare, but also enhances the contrast of the shadows making for a more pleasant view. I also have this single filter marked "Polarizer" that seems to be a ND filter that transmits more light.


  • Eliserpens likes this

#44 river-z

river-z

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 444
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2019
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 12 April 2020 - 01:33 PM

Here in LA we had a little break in the clouds so I got to do some backyard observing for an hour or so.  I've got a goal to see 100 pairs of double stars this year, and I'm up to 20 or so.  Last night I saw several more, with Algieba in Leo being my favorite.  I had to put in my highest power eyepiece to get the split, but when I did it was beautiful.  Love the gold color of that double.


Edited by river-z, 12 April 2020 - 01:35 PM.

  • SeaBee1 and Eliserpens like this

#45 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 12 April 2020 - 02:00 PM

Its truly magical when they split - I'm wondering if its a good idea to get a zoom lens just to be able to watch the splitting happening.

 

Great goal on the 100!  I guess you've done sigma orionis too?  Just wow when they split into a whole star system! 


  • SeaBee1 and David Mercury like this

#46 river-z

river-z

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 444
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2019
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 12 April 2020 - 02:17 PM

Its truly magical when they split - I'm wondering if its a good idea to get a zoom lens just to be able to watch the splitting happening.

 

Great goal on the 100!  I guess you've done sigma orionis too?  Just wow when they split into a whole star system! 

I haven't seen that one yet but it's on my list now.  Thanks


  • Eliserpens likes this

#47 JedF

JedF

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 80
  • Joined: 26 Feb 2020
  • Loc: Northern California

Posted 12 April 2020 - 05:41 PM

Its truly magical when they split - I'm wondering if its a good idea to get a zoom lens just to be able to watch the splitting happening.

 

 

For me, that’s definitely a yes. 


  • Eliserpens likes this

#48 Dave Mitsky

Dave Mitsky

    ISS

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 98,925
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2002
  • Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth

Posted 12 April 2020 - 07:28 PM

Tried to get the galaxy, M101.  It was an attractive target because there is a clear trail of stars from Mizar - and Mizar is easy to identify as a multi-star.  Everything went very well - I found Mizar easily, followed my trail of bright stars and branched out onto the fainter stars but then nothing.  The sky is not so clear tonight I fear.

M101 has a fairly high integrated magnitude but a very low surface brightness, the lowest of all the Messier galaxies, which can make it a rather difficult target under less than pristine skies.

https://www.cloudyni...ur-astronomers/



#49 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 13 April 2020 - 01:01 AM

M101 has a fairly high integrated magnitude but a very low surface brightness, the lowest of all the Messier galaxies, which can make it a rather difficult target under less than pristine skies.

https://www.cloudyni...ur-astronomers/

 

Hi Dave - thanks for the feedback.  I did wonder about this having learned about surface brightness recently.  Despite being one of the hightest total brigtness Messiers out there, the galaxy is large and that shine tis distributed over a large area.  Indeed, I actually thought I saw it with my binoculars by non-direct vision. 

 

Do you know if there is a galaxy (other than Andromeda) with high surface brigtness that I might spot by eye despite our suburban skies? 
 



#50 Eliserpens

Eliserpens

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Near Guelph Ontario

Posted 13 April 2020 - 01:15 AM

Its OK - I found this great list with the Messiers in order of surface brigthness.  Seems the second one is the Whirlpool in Triangulum.  Too bad I have to wait till fall!

http://www.messier.s...rg/dataMag.html


  • Rajput and bigbangbaby like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics