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Observation Log continued: Join Us.

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#1 csa/montana

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 08:39 AM

Continued from here.


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#2 sunnyday

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 09:51 AM

thanks csa cool.gif


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#3 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 11:44 AM

This is a slightly edited repeat post from the previous thread with photographs added.

On Monday evening, June 1st, I viewed the waxing Moon with my 6" Orion SkyQuest XT6 Dob and a 24mm Explore Scientific 68-degree (50x).  I also took a number of afocal iPhone photographs and some  hand-held shots with my Canon PowerShot SX720 HS camera.  At one point, two airliners deposited contrails close to the Moon and above and below Spica.
 

Using my 6" f/10 Celestron NexStar Evolution SCT, I observed 61 Cygni, Albireo, Algieba, Collinder 399, IC 4665, IC 4756, M5, M11, M13, M22, M27, M57, M92, NGC 6572, and NGC 6633 using a 24mm Explore Scientific 68-degree (62x), a 17.3mm Tele Vue Delos (87x), and a 10mm Tele Vue Delos (120x).  My wife joined me later on and saw many of those objects.

 

I saw the waxing gibbous Moon, Alcor-Mizar, Omicron Cygni, Epsilon Lyrae, Collinder 399, IC 4665, M39, and Melotte 111 with the help of my 12x50s.  In addition, I tracked an excellent pass by the ISS and one by the Terra satellite.

 

Before I went to bed, I took a few hand-held shots of Jupiter and Saturn with the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS camera using the Night Scene mode.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Moon June 1 IMG_8948 Processed Cropped Resized 2200 CN.jpg
  • Moon and Contrails June 1 IMG_8951 Processed Resized 2000 CN.jpg
  • Jupiter and Saturn June 2 IMG_8961 Processed Resized 2000 CN.jpg

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#4 Szumi

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 12:05 PM

I woke up at 3:30 am, checked astrospheric on my tablet, wrestled with going out to the garage or staying in bed.  The bed won for five minutes, the scope for an hour. 

 

50% clouds, not what I expected.  Most of the clouds were to the south where I can view  a bit of sky by just rolling up the garage door.

 

A few days ago I played with the alt/az display on my cgem ii along with a level and did my best to get RA and DEC aligned.  I must have done good as when I selected Saturn to go to, I only had to rotate the mount on the base a bit.  So my goto function is working  close enough to use my telrad to zero in.

 

I played peek-a-boo with Saturn, Jupiter, and the moon.  Between tall pines and clouds, all three winked in and out.  I got some good views of Saturn and Jupiter.  I was trying to set backlash on my celestron focuser using the moons of Jupiter but the clouds kept thwarting me.  The moon, I got a glimpse, and I realized that I didn't have my 13% ND filter with me.  Speaking of filters, do you use a ND filter with Jupiter and Saturn? 

 

Oh well, I had fun and went back to bed afterwards.  Tomorrow is supposed to be better.  I'll be out there.

 

Szumi


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#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 02:42 PM

Here's one of the afocal iPhone shots that I took on Monday through the 6" Orion Dob.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Moon iPhone June 1 IMG_5338 Reprocessed Cropped Resized 1600 Large CN.jpg

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#6 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 03:33 PM

And here's a Canon PowerShot SX720 HS camera photo of the ISS that I took as it passed over the Moon.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Moon ISS Arcturus June 1 IMG_8932 Processed Labeled Resized 2500 CN.jpg

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#7 chrysalis

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 06:13 AM

Here's an iPhone capture at 6:58PM EDT on 6-6-20 of the the sun in some impressive looking clouds taken in my backyard.

 

Sun-Clouds 6-6-20.JPG


Edited by chrysalis, 07 June 2020 - 06:14 AM.

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#8 musicengin

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 06:44 AM

I sat out in my Adirondack chair for a little while last night with the 10x50 binoculars, keeping the peak of my small barn roof between me and the moon, and poked around the top of Ophiuchus, looking at Cebalrai, a very dim Summer Beehive, an ex-constellation called after a king, Taurus Poniatovi, and tried to find Graff's cluster, but doubt I did, I'd've needed the scope to pick it out. 

 

No scope: work night, need sleep.


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#9 aeajr

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 07:09 AM


Weather here has been crummy so I haven't been out observing for a while. 

I am really excited about the sky right now as we are coming into globular cluster season and GCs are my favorite. They are so rich in color and shapes. In my 8" scope I could resolve a lot of stars and even more in the 12".

I was out with friends about a week ago, all socially distant of course, and was just enjoying the view of the GCs rising into the sky.

If you have not pursued GCs I highly recommend them. To me they look like exploding fireworks.


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#10 chrysalis

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 09:19 AM

Weather here has been crummy so I haven't been out observing for a while. 

I am really excited about the sky right now as we are coming into globular cluster season and GCs are my favorite. They are so rich in color and shapes. In my 8" scope I could resolve a lot of stars and even more in the 12".

I was out with friends about a week ago, all socially distant of course, and was just enjoying the view of the GCs rising into the sky.

If you have not pursued GCs I highly recommend them. To me they look like exploding fireworks.

Big GC fan here too!! Each one has its own personality. And each one truly looks different in the EP. One of my favorite things to do on nights of reasonably good seeing is to pump up the magnification to around 300x and watch the given GC march across the filed, its little soldier stars all in lock step.


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#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 02:23 PM

On the night of June 2nd, I took a look at the 89.4%-illuminated waxing gibbous Moon, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, and Melotte 111 with my 12x50s.  I also took a few photos of the Moon with a hand-held Canon PowerShot SX720 HS camera.  

 

I've included a screen capture from the Virtual Moon Atlas.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Moon IMG_8980 Reprocessed Resized 2500 CN.jpg
  • Waxing Gibbous Moon June 3 VMA Processed.jpg

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#12 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 02:40 PM

I observed the Starlink 1378 and Starlink 1379 satellites, the Atlas Centaur rocket body, the ERS-1 rocket, the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, Collinder 399, Melotte 111, and M39 with my 12x50s last night.  The Moon was shining brightly by the time that Collinder 399 and M39 were no longer blocked by the red maple tree in my front yard.  They were quite faint as a result.  

 

It was a shame that it was so "moony" since the transparency was very good.

 

I'm including shots of the 99.9%-illuminated, just past Full Moon that I took with a hand-held Canon PowerShot SX720 HS camera and of the Moon and Jupiter on Saturday morning.  I could see Saturn through the thin clouds with my 12x50s but it didn't show up in any of the normal photographs that I snapped.  Saturn can be seen, however, to the left of Jupiter in a shot that I took using the Night Scene mode.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Full Moon June 6 IMG_8991 Processed Resized 2400 CN.jpg
  • Jupiter Moon June 6 IMG_9003 Processed Labeled Resized CN.jpg
  • Jupiter Saturn Moon June 6 IMG_8999 Processed Resized 2200 CN.jpg

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#13 Andrey24

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 04:51 AM

https://youtu.be/t__4rzB8a4A

Starlink-7 from windows(zwo178mm+2.1mm lens)


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#14 musicengin

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 05:33 AM

Stepped out in the middle of the night to admire Lyra, for a few minutes.  Moon well down in the trees, in a conjunction with Saturn and Jupiter, but between the Moon's bright light, the trees, and needing to go back to sleep I didn't go looking for it. 


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#15 ETXer

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 06:01 AM

Good morning all, I did an abbreviated session last night as I'm transitioning to a morning work schedule. Being in a little bit of a hurry after a quick decision to go out, I thought I'd try to just place my ETX-105EC directly on the patio table vs. mounting to the tripod; lo and behold it works great. I was set up in a couple minutes from taking it out of the case.

 

49984179887_c5b76139f7_c.jpg

 

Being a globular cluster fan as well (they're still my overall favorite), I started off with my Big 3, M13, M92, and M3 that I visit nearly every session. Of these, M3 is now my overall favorite, even though a little smaller than M13, to me is at least as bright as M92 and significantly larger. But all looked excellent in a night of above-average transparency and seeing at 57x with the 26mm Plossl. And the Autostar's go-to function was working flawlessly, nailing each object within the eyepiece field every time.

 

Next up were open clusters NGC 6811 and NGC 6819 in Cygnus, both observed at 46x with the 32mm Plossl. Both clusters were bright and spectacular, with the entire clusters within the field of view. NGC 6811 revealed about 13 primary stars and an additional dozen or so more with averted vision. There was a noteworthy off-center void, hence the "Hole in a Cluster" nickname. NGC 6819 was next, this cluster being very spread out with about 17 primary bright stars and another 6 or so visible with averted vision.

 

Not having been able to see any galaxies for a while, I tried my luck with M81. I was quite surprised to see its hazy patch in my Bortle 7 skies; although there wasn't any real detail, I could at least make out the difference between its core and dimmer fringe.

 

Back to globulars, since I was able to just make out M53 in my ETX-125 last week, I thought I would repay the visit tonight with a better sky. Sure enough, M53 stood out nicely this time. Although there was very little detail to speak of, this time it was more than a dim patch, being able to squeeze out some detail from the core to the fringe. Its overall size seemed comparable to M92.

 

M81 and M53 were the highlights of the evening, not that they looked all that spectacular in the views, but that I was able to see them in my environment and with a minimal amount of detail.

 

For the finale, I revisited M3, which looked even more bright, big, and beautiful than at the beginning of the session with a significant amount of granularity.

 

Although short, it was a great session, being able to just pick up the scope and carry it inside before retiring for the evening.

 

Cheers, Allan


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#16 MP173

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 07:26 AM

June 7, 2020 - session 25

SS 821pm, Moon rise 1033pm

T 72  DP 52 H 49%

Scope - AT102Ed

EP:

32mm       22x    2.3 fov

20mm       36x    1.4 fov

16mm       44x    1.1 fov

12mm       59x    1.0 fov

9 mm        79x      .6 fov

 

I had not been out since May 31st and the sky had shifted dramatically in that time as the sunset continues to occur later.  Went outside at 905 and used 7x35 to search Hercules to bright stars which I could identify.

 

Target star Beta Her was finally located in the scope around 920...I am not familiar with Hercules and the twilight didnt help locate this star.

 

 Beta Her, aka Komephoros a 2.8 mag which Burknham indicates is about 105 light years away. If accurate I was viewing light from 1915.

 

North from Beta Her past a 5th mag star to a tight visual double and then made a turn to the east and located STF 2079 with the 32mm (22x).  Better view at 36x - a nice triangle was formed with the system and two stars to the west.  DAta - 7.6/8.1, 17" @ 91 degr, nearly due east.  This direction was noted and apprx north, south, and west directions mentally noted in eyepiece.

 

North 1/2 deg and then slightly east to STF 2087  which was sketched using 12mm (59x).  This is a fine double of nearly equal components (8.8/8.9) in a near east west alignment.  In the same FOV is STF 2094 which I was unable to view even at 158x due to the 1.1" separation.  

 

From STF 2087 I dropped due south 2 degrees to tight and unequal double STF 2085 - 7.4/9.2, 5.9" @ 302.  An "x" was formed in the fov with the double and four other stars.  I used 9m - 79x on this.

 

Back to Beta and moved south west to bright star Gamma Her then continued south and west thru 16 Her to STF 2010 - Marfix and stunning view at 44x (16mm).  The primary appeared yellow with the comnpanion white.   A 6th mag unrelated star is adjacent.  5.1/6.2, 27" @ 14 degrees.  Wow.  Put this one on your list to view.

 

Backtracked to Gamma and then moved east and slightly east 2 degrees to STF 2052 - touching at 79x and split at 158x.  This near equal double is best viewed at high power due to the 2.4" separation of the 7.7 and 7.9 mag A and B stars.  An 11.8 mag C star is out there, but unavailable in my suburban skys.   11.8, 141" @ 41 deg.  I was hoping with the excellent conditions that I could pickup the C....no luck.  

 

Over to the wide bright double - Webb 6 -  is this a double or not?  Cambridge Double Star Atlas says "yes" and lists it as 6.4/7.3, a wide 2.6' which computes out to about 156" of separation on my slide rule.  The B star sits at 359 degrees, almost true north.  While CDSA lists this, STelle Doppie does not.  Either way, worth a look.

 

I had the fine double Alpha Her - Rasalgethi on the list and attempted to star hop to it and got lost.  By then in was 1020 and knowing I would arise at 5am to bike, decided to call it a night.  Hopefully tonight I can return outside and start with Rasalgethi and tour that area. 

 

Vega and Lyra are lurking nearby...

 

Ed


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#17 vdog

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 09:04 AM

Forecasts of "bad" seeing, some fairly strong breezes, and a limited time window before moonrise meant a good night for low-power observing.

 

I started with the 130 reflector.  It's a surprisingly powerful instrument.  I was able to resolve a lot of M13 at 100x and even got a pretty good look at M27 and M57.   I also observed M39, Omicron Cygni,  Albireo, M29, Stock 1, and the Coathanger as I swept through the Milky Way.

 

I also spent a good bit of time in my gravity chair, alternating 10x50 sweeps through Cepheus, Cygnus, Aquila, and Ophiuchus with just taking in a nice clear night sky naked eye.  I used to struggle to see the glow of the Milky Way in my skies, but on clear nights like last night dense parts like the star cloud in Cygnus are fairly obvious.

 

Weather looks promising.  This may be a good observing week.


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#18 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 01:28 PM

Here's a Stellarium screen capture (click to enlarge) displaying the planetary lineup on Saturday night.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Shallow Sky June 6 Stellarium Resized 2200 CN.jpg

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#19 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 02:07 PM

I spent five hours at the orange-zone Naylor Observatory last night.  Unfortunately, it was not as clear as it had been on Saturday night, at least not until the Moon became a problem.  I took my 8x42, 12x50, and 15x70 binoculars, as well as my 80mm f/5 Orion ShortTube 80 refractor.   ASH members are encouraged not to use the telescopes at the observatory, if possible, due to the ongoing pandemic.

 

As it so happened, I started out with the 8x42s, since I was tracking satellites, and never used the other two binoculars.  I observed the 94%-illuminated waning gibbous Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, Omicron Cygni, Collinder 399, Melotte 111, and M39.  Moonlight made Collinder 399 and M39 difficult targets.

 

I viewed over a dozen Starlink satellites, the NOSS 3-4 (A) and NOSS 3-4 ( C ) double satellite, the Atlas 2AS Centaur rocket body, and the Russian Cosmos 2455 electronic intelligence satellite.  Seeing the third generation Naval Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS) doublet was the highlight of the night for me.

 

http://www.satobs.org/noss.html

 

The Starlink satellites for the most part emerged from Virgo, passed near or through Bo├Âtes and Corona Borealis, and headed towards Lyra.  They did not appear as an obvious "train" but were fairly close together.  Clouds made seeing some of them difficult.

 

I observed the following objects with my Orion ST80 achromat: the waning gibbous Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Albireo, Alcor-Mizar, Epsilon Lyrae, Omicron Cygni, the Jaws asterism, the Stargate asterism, Collinder 399, IC 4665, Melotte 111, M4, M27, M39, M57, and M80 using a 24mm Explore Scientific (17x), a 17.3mm Tele Vue Delos (23x), a 10mm Delos (40x), and a 7mm Pentax SMC XW (57x).

 

I also took some photographs of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn with my Canon PowerShot SX720 HS camera.

Attached Thumbnails

  • ST80 Naylor June 7 IMG_9031 Processed Resized 2200 CN.jpg
  • ST80 Naylor June 7 IMG_9034 Processed Resized 2000 CN.jpg

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#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 02:09 PM

(continued)

 

The sunset was quite colorful.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Naylor June 7 Sunset IMG_5112 Processed CN.jpg
  • Naylor June 7 French Dome IMG_5113 Processed CN.jpg

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#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 02:25 PM

(continued)

 

I took the first shot when the waning gibbous Moon was very low in the eastern sky.  The second photo shows the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn besides the French Dome.  Mars was below the horizon at the time.

 

I've included a screen capture from Stellarium.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Rising Gibbous Moon IMG_9052 Processed Resized 2100 CN.jpg
  • Moon, Jupiter & Saturn June 7 Naylor IMG_9065 Processed Resized 2200 CN.jpg
  • Moon, Jupiter & Saturn June 8 Stellarium Processed.jpg

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#22 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 02:31 PM

(continued)

 

Here's an afocal hand-held iPhone image of the Moon that I took later on through the Orion ST80 refractor and a 24mm Explore Scientific 68 degree eyepiece.  Even though I reduced the saturation quite a bit when I processed the photo, some chromatic aberration can be seen around the limb on the left.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Naylor June 7 Moon IMG_5483 Processed Cropped CN.jpg

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#23 ETXer

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 06:09 AM

Yesterday was another occurrence of a 2-day stretch of great weather here in the DC area. It was mostly clear all day, and from the daily solar summary of spaceweather there is finally a sunspot after a 122-day stretch of spotless days. I mounted my ETX-90 on its equatorial tabletop tripod legs along with my Thousand Oaks Optical solar filter. The eyepiece was a 25mm Meade Series 3000 Plossl.

 

49985554838_f5bf2bf632_c.jpg

 

The sun was totally featureless except for sunspot AR2765. It's active with relatively weak (B-Class) solar flares. I grabbed an afocal shot with my ancient Galaxy 6 smartphone held up to the eyepiece:

 

49986075076_bb003e589b_c.jpg

 

The spot, appearing about the same size as Mercury from what I remember from the transit last November, has a relatively circular dark center (umbra) surrounded by a penumbra that is slightly offset to the right of center. Occasionally I enjoy solar observation and it was nice to finally see something that I can observe after such an extended hiatus.

 

Since I had the scope set up, in the evening I went out for a quick look at the same objects from the night before (when I used the ETX-105).

 

The seeing wasn't quite as good as Sunday night, but still above average. The 3 globulars (M13, M92, M3) all stood out nicely at 50x, although obviously slightly dimmer than the night before. I tried again for M53, and though it was visible, it was devoid of detail except for what could be gained from averted vision. M81 was pretty much nonexistent, lost in the slight haze.

 

NGC 6811 and 6819 all showed up nicely at 39x in the 32mm, about a dozen primary stars plainly visible, many more dimmer stars with extended views.

 

I tried for M57 and although visible, it was just barely, still being fairly low in the sky for now. I finished up with another spectacular view of M3; being close to the zenith, it put on a nice display of central brightness and granularity.

 

It was a great day of observing overall!

 

Cheers, Allan


Edited by ETXer, 09 June 2020 - 06:14 AM.

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#24 NYJohn S

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 09:34 AM

The transparency last night was terrible but I wanted to try out the Porta II mount I picked up mounted on one of the heavy Manfrotto tripods I had. The stars looked subdued and I had a hard time making out the keystone in Hercules. Once I spotted it I set up on M13. I located it at 30x then took the magnification up to 130x. While the view was disappointing with the haze the mount was nice and steady. With the combination of the smaller scope and hazy skies only stars on the edge of the cluster were resolved. 

 

Looking for a better test of the mount I went to Vega and then Epsilon Lyrae - Double Double - At 130x I had both pairs split. There was a haze coming and going from the thin veil of clouds that was passing through. I used a 2x barlow with a Meade 5.5mm for 260x to test the mount. It was still stable enough for me to fine tune the focus and get a nice wide split of both pairs. The seeing was good and the view very stable. I think this will be my new setup for the AT102. 

 

After that I just worked my way through Vega to open cluster Stephenson 1, then M57 - Ring Nebula. It was easily visible but washed out with the poor transparency. I viewed it at 260x to test the mount but it looked best at 130x under the conditions. 

 

From there I moved to M56. I was surprised I was able to see it at all with the hazy sky but it was easy to detect at 30x and looked best at 130x. I continued SE to Albireo. It was split at 30x as a vibrant orange and blue pair. 

 

I continue S to Collinder 399 - Coathanger. This was bright enough to punch through the haze and filled the eyepiece at 30x. To the E I located Sagitta and then found a very faint M71. The light pollution and haze really killed this globular but I was able to detect it at 130x. A few stars resolved with averted vision but it was tough. 

 

M27 - Dumbbell Nebula - This was just to the NE of M71 and actually showed a little better. Still a washed out version of what I normally see. 

 

Looking around The sky seemed to be getting worse and soon the Moon would be up so I packed up.

 

The conditions were terrible but it was clear enough for me to test the mount which was the goal of the night. 

 

Here's a few photos of the setup. The Tripod is a Manfrotto 058B. I had to make an adapter by drilling some holes in the top plate of an old ball head I had laying around.

 

Vixen Porta II Manfrotto 058B Tripod
Vixen Porta II Manfrotto 058B Tripod

Edited by NYJohn S, 09 June 2020 - 10:21 AM.

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#25 vdog

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 09:40 AM

I had intended last night to be for tweaking coma corrector spacings and parfocalizing, but that took far less time than I thought, so I had time for fun before the moon came up.

 

I recently rigged a shroud for my 16" truss, and now I wonder why I didn't do that sooner. What a difference.  M57 just popped, even without a filter, in an inky-black field with bright stars.  One of these days, I'll see that central star in this PN.  I also took a long look at M5.  M13 gets all the glory, but I think M5 has more personality to it.

 

I still had a lot of time, so I went after some new targets in Vulpecula.   Starting at Albireo, I moved south to a series of open clusters, starting with NGC 6800, a rather large, sparse, cluster.  Moving west from there I observed 6823.  Surrounding this cluster is an emission nebula (6820) that looks spectacular in photos, but it was just faintly detectable with a UHC filter in my skies.  I then moved further west to 6830, another bright cluster.

 

My challenge target of the night was NGC 6894, a planetary nebula that doesn't even appear in my atlas, which made for a much more difficult starhop.  A stop along this hop was the confusing NGC 6882/6885, which, depending on the source, is either one cluster and Herschel messed up, or there's really two clusters there.  I don't know; it looks like one to me. Anyway, even with the O-III, I was not able to acquire 6894, but I'll take another shot some other time.

 

I finished up by doing some sweeps through the Cygnus Star Cloud with my new toy, the 27 Panoptic.  Ok, why did I wait so long to put a shroud around the truss again?  Wow.  And that eyepiece is something else.

 

Speaking of atlases, the S&T JPSA has been a faithful companion, and it shows it, with the entire outer cover and several outer pages missing and most of the remainder worn, stained, and marked up.  Rather than just replace it, I upgraded by ordering the latest edition of Uranometria and the accompanying Field Guide.  These should give me some good resources to resume my Herschel 400 hunt and are a good long-term investment.  Thanks, brentknight, for putting this idea in my head.

 

I think it's also time to get a true RACI finder.  I'm getting tired of dealing with three different sky orientations (naked-eye, finder, eyepiece) and there's just been too many times I've started hopping in the wrong direction because of this confusion.  That will be another good investment.

 

Thanks for reading, and clear skies to all!


Edited by vdog, 09 June 2020 - 09:42 AM.

  • Dave Mitsky, ETXer, BFaucett and 6 others like this


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