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

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#2126 MarkCosmos

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 03:52 PM

I hear a good fan is helpful to keep you cool and the bugs away but I haven't gotten there yet. Two targets out there right now that won't suffer too much from poor visibility are Cor Caroli and Albireo. The planets look OK but again they'll look much better when it cools off. Speaking of the Moon sometimes when you go out just to see the night sky it will cast that big halo in the humidity. The other morning I saw that and it was a pretty amazing sight. Anyway good luck getting through the summer!
 

Thanks for the tips, and good luck to you as well, weathering our lovely summers down here! That halo does sound cool to look at, man I sure do wish winters lasted far longer down here though. Those perfect temperature cool, crisp nights with dry air are perfect. 2 months and we might start cooling down, around the end of October or so.. after Halloween it usually starts getting more comfortable. Can’t wait!


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#2127 radiofm74

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Posted 08 July 2022 - 12:56 AM

 

Congrats! But you might be trying too many things at once. Tackle your difficulties sequentially:

(1) Locating objects (and enjoying them): maybe do a few nights in a row with just one of your scopes so you get good at manual or GoTo then move to the other (I'd probably suggest to get good at manual star-hopping before you switch to GoTo, but that's just my hunch). As suggested above, start by easy bright ones so it's easy to confirm them. M8 and M17 are wonderful and not hard to locate, same for M5. Returning to ones you've found is also good training… I mean, M81 is not banal to find manually. 

(2) "Manually guiding": you mean tracking? That's as easy as turning the RA knob but if you're having difficulty you probably need to improve your polar alignment. Remember that for visual, all you need to do is to approximate the position of Polaris. Even though you don't have a polar scope (why not get one? the CG-4 one is cheap), just remove the polarscope caps and look through the hole. If Polaris is there, you're more than good for visual. When time comes for astrophotography, you'll have to get a lot better than this, but for now… 

(3) Astrophotography: with the gear you have, start by just doing some lunar photography. Get a nice used DSLR if you don't have one, the appropriate T-Ring, and a 20$ intervalometer. I suggest using your Newton on the manual mount (the C6 needs a reducer to frame the whole moon). And shoot. The pic below has been taken with the exact same set as yours: the good ole Omni 150 on the CG4 and it's my best full-disk Moon so far. Long exposure deep-sky AP? Leave that for when your basics are solid (polar alignment, finding, framing) and you have some money for new gear (yes, I'm afraid…). Thinking of it now may be the one factor that is holding you back.

 

 

Good tips! I know I don't have the gear for AP, but just dipping my toes in the water. Yes, I misspoke,  I meant finding anything by turning the knobs. It doesn't matter how much I study a star chart or picture, as soon as I'm on the finder scope I'm lost. I'll keep plugging away at it, as I learn something every time I take my stuff out. My polar alignment skill is absolute trash, but I keep breaking my knees and back trying. but the big thing for me is, that I'm having fun failing. Frustrating, but still fun.

 

Forgive me if I allow myself to give two more little unsolicited bits of advice on using your CG-4 because my impression is that you're suffering needlessly, and I've been exactly in your shoes:

1. Polar alignment: that's the easiest part. I used to go crazy with it to the point that I drift aligned for visual. Sheer madness. Let me emphasise it again: for the purpose of visual observation, polar alignment means "pointing your mount at Polaris". Make sure that the altitude knob on your CG-4 corresponds to your latitude, then point the "N" leg of your mount to Polaris. It's good enough like that. If you want to confirm, just peep through the hole where the polar scope should go and see if Polaris is in there somewhere (yes sometimes the alt knob is off… if so, trust your eyes not the knob). If you don't have the luxury of having Polaris in view, you need to use a compass but it's essentially the same process. Done!

2. Finding stuff manually… that's a little more difficult so some patience and practice are required. I see you have a 9x50 finder and that should be good enough for any sky. Possible causes that come to mind: (1) your finder is not RACI and you get confused as to what's where… basically you just have to turn your chart upside down (and yes, a RACI finder with a red dot make life easier I think); (2) you do not adjust for the direction you're pointing at when looking in the finder… for instance if you look East (naked eye), down is East, up is West, left is N and right is S; if in doubt, I typically try to see star patterns in the chart and recognise them in the finder's eyepiece before I move, so I'm sure about where West, North… are; (3) if Polar alignment is WAY off, star-hopping with a chart becomes difficult because your RA knob will not move your scope E-W and Dec will not move it N-S; (4) you're not yet good at figuring out practical star-hops to a target: in this case, just get a copy of Turn Left at Orion at it'll teach you. Other causes could be possible: try and troubleshoot.

 

Tonight, if clear, do a rough polar alignment, pick an easy hop and try to do it. Re-find M13, for instance: center your finder on bright Zeta Hercules, then move your Dec knob North until you see the iconic "fuzzy dot between two bright stars" in your finder. Get this one, and you'll be well upon your way!!

 

Clear skies, good luck, and apologies for the unsolicited advice!


Edited by radiofm74, 08 July 2022 - 01:28 AM.

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#2128 Mr Smith

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 03:16 AM

Last night I saw Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Andromeda. 

 

I found the 32mm eyepiece better on the planets than the 25mm is there any reason for this?

 

Andromeda was also much better with my 10x50 binoculars than my telescope. 

 

Jupiter also seemed too bright would a moon filter have helped? Two bands were just possible with the 32mm



#2129 jiblet65

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Posted 10 July 2022 - 05:44 AM

Went out Friday night and this morning with the Dob. sweaty.gifViewed Cor Caroli and Chara. If you haven't read my other post(s) about these two the former is a binary star and the pair move around a common center of mass. Moving down to Chara you might think it's just another star and nothing special about it but it's very similar to our own Sun. Chara is about 27.5 light years away so if there are any aliens out there with telescopes looking our way that's about the same view they would have of our lone star. Also checked out Albireo, Jupiter, Saturn, M57 and M31 along with M32. This morning Jupiter's moons were in an interesting alignment. In my eyepiece the two to the left were lined up but the two on the right were off from each other a bit and I don't think I've seen them like that before.

 

Last night I saw Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Andromeda. 

 

I found the 32mm eyepiece better on the planets than the 25mm is there any reason for this?

 

Andromeda was also much better with my 10x50 binoculars than my telescope. 

 

Jupiter also seemed too bright would a moon filter have helped? Two bands were just possible with the 32mm

Way beyond my pay grade but I do know the 32mm EP will give a brighter view than the 25mm EP. A Moon filter might help take out the brightness but maybe too much. I don't use the color filters I have much anymore but I think a yellow or green filter would help to tame Jupiter and Saturn as well.
 


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#2130 jiblet65

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Posted 16 July 2022 - 07:53 AM

Last night my wife and I went out to see if we could find Comet PanSTARRS (C/2017 K2). Sabik is easy enough to locate and then we worked off Zeta Ophiuchi to try to find it. We thought we could see something that looked a bit like a blurry star but not positive if that was it or not. Skies weren't clear enough to drag out the telescope but it was nice just to view with the binos. I think moving the telescope outside, switching out eyepieces and moving it back inside makes for a much hotter session than just browsing with the binos. We're headed for darker and cooler skies soon so we should have a much better shot of viewing it there. We also got to see M6, M7 and the Lagoon nebula.


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#2131 MarkCosmos

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Posted 16 July 2022 - 10:13 AM

Last night my wife and I went out to see if we could find Comet PanSTARRS (C/2017 K2). Sabik is easy enough to locate and then we worked off Zeta Ophiuchi to try to find it. We thought we could see something that looked a bit like a blurry star but not positive if that was it or not. Skies weren't clear enough to drag out the telescope but it was nice just to view with the binos. I think moving the telescope outside, switching out eyepieces and moving it back inside makes for a much hotter session than just browsing with the binos. We're headed for darker and cooler skies soon so we should have a much better shot of viewing it there. We also got to see M6, M7 and the Lagoon nebula.

The last time I was able to get the scope out at night, I came back in with a drenched shirt..so no kidding about being a hotter session. Down here where we get 80°+ night time temps there is no escaping the heat for us it seems. Sounds awesome that you got to see some M objects, and the Lagoon nebula. Still impatiently waiting for clear skies around these parts to put in a proper observing session. If I can get my butt in gear early enough, I think I’m going to put some effort into  Solar viewing while I wait, seems like early AM is the best/only time the skies are clear here at the moment!


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#2132 jiblet65

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Posted 31 July 2022 - 01:37 PM

Just got back from Montana and had some cooler weather at night but still pretty warm during the day. My in-laws were able to get an Orion StarBlast and an Edmund Astroscan from the local library and I really liked the Astroscan. Got outside several nights and the first night I got to show my father-in-law M31 and a few other sights. I saw something out of the corner of my eye and it was a Starlink launch at least that's what I think it was. It was a string of about 30 satellites moving from south to north and my father-in-law was impressed by that more than anything. I was also able to pick out M101. The last night out we got a good view of M31 as it got darker. Albireo was nice and the Double Cluster. Saturn rose over one of the mountain peaks and that was a cool sight to see. My father-in-law went to bed and then my wife and I laid on a blanket in the yard with binoculars and finally my wife was ready for bed so I moved the table by the porch and set up the Astroscan there for a solo viewing. I glanced down at the Sky Safari app at one point and then saw something out of the corner of my eye again. This time it was what I believe was a meteor. It was shining hot blue and very low moving south to north. As it went by to the left it disappeared behind the trees but its vapor trail must've lasted a good 2-3 seconds and definitely made the session.

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#2133 Goose900

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 09:45 AM

Hi. Newbie to CN, but have been doing this for a few years.

 

Weather/clouds in Edinburgh have been poor this summer. Well, the whole UK has been, in fact. There was a clear spell at midnight last night, so I just got the old 10x50 binos out. At 56deg N, the summer skies are light and full astro darkness doesn't arrive here for another week, but the sky was certainly clearer and darker than I've seen it for a while. My backyard sky is supposedly Bortle 6, but nearer 5 looking North and East (out to sea).

 

The usual (for me) bino targets: M31, double-cluster, Dumbbell, M13, Albeireo, Coathanger, Wild Duck cluster, M52.  Ended with the gas giants.

 

Cheers

Neil.


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#2134 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 10:56 AM

The usual (for me) bino targets: M31, double-cluster, Dumbbell, M13, Albeireo, Coathanger, Wild Duck cluster, M52.  Ended with the gas giants.

 

Cheers

Neil.

 

Neil,

 

That's awesome! I need to start using my binos more.

 

Phil.


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#2135 truckerfromaustin

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 11:41 PM

After weeks of clouds, dust storms, smoke from wildfires, fog, and incredibly high light pollution, I'm catching Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and several Messier Objects. I'm hitting the open clusters, and the California Nebula. 😁
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#2136 mlyoung83

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Posted 28 August 2022 - 08:43 PM

I finally found the Lagoon Nebula (M8) for the first time last night. It has been able to hide from me for the past few years ever since I got back into astronomy. Quite an amazing sight under decent skies and some aperture.
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#2137 SouthernMeteor

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Posted 30 August 2022 - 04:56 PM

Last night I got a picture of the Jewel Box Cluster! It's the first DSO I've seen.
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#2138 dlwmacgregor

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Posted 30 August 2022 - 06:09 PM

Last night I got a picture of the Jewel Box Cluster! It's the first DSO I've seen.

I love to be able to see that.

What area of the world are you in?



#2139 Nankins

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Posted 31 August 2022 - 04:57 PM

I finally found the Lagoon Nebula (M8) for the first time last night. It has been able to hide from me for the past few years ever since I got back into astronomy. Quite an amazing sight under decent skies and some aperture.


Nice! I am also pretty new, but have been observing M8 with binoculars since last summer. It's also a great
naked eye object. I can usually tell how good the viewing, etc is based on how much the Lagoon stands out
against the rest of the Milky Way. Try this sometime, I think you may be surprised. You may have a hard time
seeing it at all if you are in the city.


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