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#2026 laurelg9

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 08:34 AM

I'm enamoured with the trio of globulars to my east - M3, M13, and Hercules.  I had both my dob and the refractor out last night and got  to try the new ES 82/4.7 eyepiece and basically spent an hour just looking at these three clusters over and over again.  When I can get my eyesight to get them to resolve into faint, sparkly star fields, it blows my mind.  

 

Does anybody else get focused on just one or two objects and look at them over and over again for sessions at a time? 


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#2027 chrysalis

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 09:47 AM

I'm enamoured with the trio of globulars to my east - M3, M13, and Hercules.  I had both my dob and the refractor out last night and got  to try the new ES 82/4.7 eyepiece and basically spent an hour just looking at these three clusters over and over again.  When I can get my eyesight to get them to resolve into faint, sparkly star fields, it blows my mind.  

 

Does anybody else get focused on just one or two objects and look at them over and over again for sessions at a time? 

I will, on nights of special seeing conditions, often come back especially to globulars with different magnifications and AFOVs to appreciate the magnificence of the object in different settings.

 

Some nights if I've affixed my DGM NPB to the EP, I'll just tool through whichever emission and planetary nebulae are available. On special nights I'll place the filter onto the 2" to 1.25" adapter and use different magnifications/AFOVs on these objects.


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#2028 Studly

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 09:39 PM

I managed to catch a glimpse of Venus and Mercury this evening:

 

2021-05-01
Time: 21:15 local time (EDT); 01:15 UTC (05-02)
Cloud Cover: Approximately 3%
Wind: Brisk
SQM Measurement: Not measured
Temperature: Approximately 70F
Transparency: Fair (2/5)
Seeing: Poor (1/5)
Length of Observing Session: 25m
Instrument: Orion Explorer 10x50 Binoculars
Mount: None
Eyepieces: NA

 

Summary: I stepped outside just after sunset to see if I would have any chance of catching the two inner planets. Though some light clouds were clinging to the extreme horizon to the west, and there was a strong wind blowing, it appeared I might have a shot at it. So, I grabbed the 10x50 binoculars and headed outside.

 

Venus and Mercury: I couldn’t see either target with the naked eye; the sky was still quite bright in that direction. Using the binoculars, I spotted Venus, shining brightly but already very low to the horizon. Its light was flickering and showing a kaleidoscope of colors in the binoculars as it fell deeper into the light clouds. This imparted an overall reddish coloring to it. No phase could be discerned either, but the wind made holding the binoculars steady just about impossible, even when braced against a tree! Positioning Venus in the bottom of the field of view, I could *just barely* fit Mercury into the same field at the very top. The smaller planet appeared as a bright, steady, colorless point of light. No details were visible of course, but its light remained steady and strong as it continued to fall lower in the sky. Venus now had fallen deep into the clouds, and disappeared minutes later. With Mercury positioned at the bottom of the field of view this time, I could see the brighter stars of the Pleiades struggling to shine through the twilight at the top of the field. The stars appeared very weak, but I could just make out their pattern. I continued to watch Mercury as it fell closer and closer to the horizon, until its light began to flicker and it began changing colors also. At no point was I able to see either planet with the unaided eye.

 

Conclusion: I was impressed with how strongly Mercury appeared in the sky with the binoculars, considering the wind and nearby clouds. Very nice. I would very much have liked to use one of the telescopes, but the wind was atrocious and would not permit it.

 

 

Until next time!


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#2029 brentknight

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 10:02 PM

I'm enamoured with the trio of globulars to my east - M3, M13, and Hercules. I had both my dob and the refractor out last night and got to try the new ES 82/4.7 eyepiece and basically spent an hour just looking at these three clusters over and over again. When I can get my eyesight to get them to resolve into faint, sparkly star fields, it blows my mind.

Does anybody else get focused on just one or two objects and look at them over and over again for sessions at a time?


M42 is like a giant light bulb and I'm just a lonely little bug...
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#2030 brentknight

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Posted 01 May 2021 - 10:10 PM

Hey Studly,

I'll have to wait till they both get a little higher, or find someplace with a better western horizon. I work on an old naval air field that's been converted to a solar farm and has an unobstructed western view. But I'm not hanging out there till 9pm...


Edited by brentknight, 02 May 2021 - 09:59 AM.

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#2031 chrysalis

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 02:54 AM

I do have  what I believe will be an adequate W-NW horizon, but we are having a weather change right now, so it'll be touch and go before I can see Venus and Mercury.

 

I am somewhat hopeful for the May 12 super-young crescent Moon  - Venus conjunction though :) !


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#2032 jc482p

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 09:18 AM

wow, at 21:15 EDT, SkySafari says Mercury was below the horizon for me.  I suppose that's the difference between being on the eastern side versus the western side of the same time zone.

 

2021-05-01, 9:46-10:20pm

55 degrees, below avg transp, below avg seeing.  Started out clear, but got cloudy at the end.  102mm F/6.5 refractor.

 

At darker site.  Using the Dark Sky Meter app, if I pointed my phone towards the north, I got a 20.93 SQM reading.  If I pointed it south (towards the light dome), I got 20.33.  I don't get such a wild swing between readings at home.

 

Ghost of Jupiter (NGC 3242) - planetary nebula.  Turn Left at Orion says to start at Nu Hydrae because it's brighter, but it was dark enough even with the light dome that I could begin star hopping from Mu Hydrae and just go down a bit to NGC 3242.  At 20x (31mm) and 36x (18.2mm) it looked like a out of focus bluish star.  At 72x (18.2mm, 2x barlow) and 120x (5.5mm), it was a larger bluish fuzzy fat dot.

 

Cor Caroli (Alpha CVn) - double star.  At 20x, the secondary was a small but bright yellow pinpoint NE of a big bright yellow-white primary.

 

Messier M94 - galaxy.  At 20x and 36x it was a round fuzzy dot.  At 72x it was a bit bigger fuzzy dot core, and I think I could make out that it was extending SSW to NNE not because I suddenly saw light areas but because those places were a bit less dark than the surrounding inky black sky.  I was gonna try 120x, but I had to abandon the session because at that point clouds filled the sky everywhere.


Edited by jc482p, 02 May 2021 - 09:19 AM.

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#2033 brentknight

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 10:03 AM

I miss dark site observing JC.  Hopefully next weekend will be the next trip to Munson for me...

 

Enjoyed reading your report!


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#2034 chrysalis

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 11:08 AM

Super fast capture on the fly of an arc above the sun this morning, 5-2-21, at 10:45 AMEDT. So fast in fact that it is not oriented properly - the arc should be directly above the sun ;) !

 

5-2-21 1045 AM EDT Solar arc sml.JPG


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#2035 jc482p

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Posted 02 May 2021 - 01:26 PM

I miss dark site observing JC.  Hopefully next weekend will be the next trip to Munson for me...

 

Enjoyed reading your report!

Thanks!  I like reading your reports and others too.  It's like being able to observe using other people's equipment when you can't do so at star parties, at least not recently.


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#2036 chrysalis

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 04:15 AM

Super fast capture on the fly of an arc above the sun this morning, 5-2-21, at 10:45 AMEDT. So fast in fact that it is not oriented properly - the arc should be directly above the sun wink.gif !

 

attachicon.gif5-2-21 1045 AM EDT Solar arc sml.JPG

Later (12:13 PM EDT, 5-2-21), stronger arc.

 

5-2-21 1213 PM EDT Solar Arc sml.JPG



#2037 Alvin435

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 04:11 PM

Hi everyone, I got set up this morning at midnight with my AD12 very good seeing conditions. Looked at globular clusters m5,10,13,63,3,5917 a couple I don't remember. Also saw ring, dumbell, veil but highlight was the swan with 20mm 100°and oiii it was low but was stable very beautiful stayed with it until the moon started to pop up around 2:30 excellent session. My 16" is finished just waiting for mirror. Hopefully everyone can get under some dark sky

Alvin 


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#2038 chrysalis

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 04:17 PM

Hi everyone, I got set up this morning at midnight with my AD12 very good seeing conditions. Looked at globular clusters m5,10,13,63,3,5917 a couple I don't remember. Also saw ring, dumbell, veil but highlight was the swan with 20mm 100°and oiii it was low but was stable very beautiful stayed with it until the moon started to pop up around 2:30 excellent session. My 16" is finished just waiting for mirror. Hopefully everyone can get under some dark sky

Alvin 

Swan Nebula (M17) is a superstar with NPB or OIII filter :waytogo:!



#2039 chrysalis

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 03:36 AM

Yesterday, 5-3-21, we had rain all morning but it "cleared" in the middle of the day and by early evening, the skies were filled with glorious light phenomena.

 

Wave over the below for details. It's fascinating how quickly these apparitions change!

 

5-3-21 617 PM EDT Halo IMG-5229 sml.JPG

 

5-3-21 621 PM EDT HaloIMG-5230 sml.JPG

 

5-3-21 622 PM EDT Halo and CZ Arc IMG-5231 sml.JPG

 

5-3-21 624 PM EDT Halo and CZ Arc IMG-5232 sml.JPG

 

5-3-21 627 PM EDT Halo and CZ Arc IMG-5233 sml.JPG

 

5-3-21 629 PM EDT Halo and CZ Arc IMG-5235 sml.JPG


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#2040 desertstars

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Posted Yesterday, 07:36 PM

The wind finally died down in the Old Pueblo, and seeing conditions last night were predicted (CSC) to at least be average. So for the first time in longer than I care to admit, the Three-legged Newt gathered some starlight. The night had its moments.

 

It took longer than usual for the GPS attached to the AVX mount to get a fix. Pesky satellites – never there right when you need them. Fortunately I have the alignment process down pretty well, so the delay didn’t crowd the time I had available. The purpose for the session was to make sure everything is in working order. I have a dark sky trip planned for next week, and I don’t want to get out there and only then realize something needed tweaking, or new batteries. So I just sort of slewed around and looked at objects at random. A stellar shake-down cruise.

 

Started with M44, and was reminded of how little fits in the field of view of the average eyepiece. So I put the 2” 40mm Paragon eyepiece in the Paracorr to do the cluster justice. It did, revealing a loose scatter of stars in pairs and trios, with subtle colors of pale blue, white, and a few that seemed faintly golden.

 

After enjoying that sight for I while, I called up M67. That was a different experience. Light pollution over my backyard site has increased in the 17 years since I bought this telescope. The lower in the sky an object is, the more that glow effects the view. It did so big time, on this cluster, leaving it washed out and unimpressive in the 21mm Stratus eyepiece I used.

 

The degree of change that has crept into the skies here was further revealed when I went to the Leo Triplet. Higher in the sky, a darker sky – but not what it once was. In 2004 when the Newt and I were just becoming acquainted, I could see all three galaxies. Last night they were entirely invisible. The recent winds that have kept me from observing – telescopes being all to effective as weather vanes – have surely put a lot of fine dust in the air. It’s possible some of tonight’s trouble was due to light scattered especially well by that dust, which I’ve seen happen. So I’ll try again some time. Not as much of a loss as it might seem, since I focus on lunar and double star observing when working from home.

 

And speaking of binaries and their ilk, I put the list of such in the AVX hand controller to use last night. It was as close to an observing plan as I had this time, which is not my usual habit. It worked out well, all the same. I went first to gamma Virginis. It remains a tight but eminently splitable pair in an 8” Newtonian. The best view came using the 5mm Stratus, revealing a matched set of stellar diamonds. They always look bright white to me.

 

Xi Bootes is another close pair, but the 8mm Stratus did the job well. I seem the primary star as white with a hint of gold, and the companion as ruddy, almost orange. One of those color-contrasted doubles I go back to using the Newt on a regular basis.

 

24 Comae Berenices was a wide and easily split duo in any of the eyepieces I used. I thought the 8mm Stratus did best in showing the pale wash of yellow in the primary star, and the even more subtle blue tint of its companion.

 

35 Comae Berenices required very little magnification to split; the 13mm Stratus did just fine. Another pleasing sight, with a distinctly yellow star accompanied by one of sapphire blue. I left the same eyepiece in place for the last two of the night.

 

54 Leonis was a pair of off white stars of noticeably unequal magnitudes, the brighter on the yellow side of white, the fainter blue-ish white.
Alpha Canes Venatici is an old favorite, one I always see as a bright off white star with a fainter companion with a hint of blue in it.

 

It was a beautiful and rewarding spring night, and now I know the Newt is ready for a visit to Catalina State Park.


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#2041 chrysalis

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Posted Today, 04:30 AM

Here is an iPhone capture this morning, 5-6-21, at 5:13 AM EDT, of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. also visible to the right of Jupiter is Delta Capricorni aka Deneb Algedi (on original, also Gamma, but it doesn't reproduce here...)

 

Click to enlarge.

 

5-6-21 513 AM EDT Moon-Jupiter-Saturn with Gamma and Delta Capricorni IMG-5253 5400.JPG


Edited by chrysalis, Today, 04:32 AM.


#2042 chrysalis

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Posted Today, 04:35 AM

Here is an iPhone capture this morning, 5-6-21, at 5:13 AM EDT, of the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. also visible to the right of Jupiter is Delta Capricorni aka Deneb Algedi (on original, also Gamma, but it doesn't reproduce here...)

 

Click to enlarge.

 

attachicon.gif5-6-21 513 AM EDT Moon-Jupiter-Saturn with Gamma and Delta Capricorni IMG-5253 5400.JPG

Close up from original showing Gamma Capricorni (aka Nashira).

 

5-6-21 513 AM EDT Moon-Jupiter-Saturn with Gamma and Delta Capricorni IMG-5253 close up.JPG


Edited by chrysalis, Today, 04:36 AM.


#2043 Migwan

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Posted Today, 08:26 AM

Excellent report Thomas.  Hope to hear one on the dark site trip.   I log my report on my computer and then copy and past it here.  I happened to read your report before pasting and then added this note at top.  Just coincidences regarding mention of light pollution and prepping for hopeful dark site visit.    

 

5/5/21,  23:00-01:00,  40°,   Calm,   RH 52%,   (Clear Skies) Trans 3/5 ,  See 3/5,   NELM 5.6,   IR Band Delta 13,   Astronomical Seeing fluctuated between 3/5 & 4/5 @ 750x,   SQM 20.4  Maybe

 

Power switch                            Reducer        Barlow  
1100    30mm     100x  .72°      70x     1°       200x  .36°
            22mm     136x  .60°      95x   .86°      272x  .3°
            13mm     239x  .42°     181x  .55°      461x  .22°
              9mm     333x  .23°     233x  .31°      667x  .11° 
           6.5mm     461x  .17°     323x  .24 °     923x  .08 °


120      30mm     20x    3.6°
            22mm     27x    3.0°
            13mm     46x    2.2°

 

Went out to see Mercury and Venus at sunset with with 8x40, ST80 @25x and sweet cheeks.  Clouds obscured Venus, but gave us approximately 10 minutes on Mercury.  Seemed to be full phase, surprisingly bright and an estimated 10° above the horizon.  Should have brought the 80ED on the SV M1, but wimped out on the 80 yard carry thinking the cloud bank might not allow a view.  Thinking Mercury must be about as far from the sun as it gets.   Quite a bit farther than the last time I looked.


Back out with C11/ST120 with main objective to check collimation as hoping to go to dark site on 5/6/21.  Collimation spot on, so had a look at NGC2903, 2403, M51, 101, 92, 13 & 97.

 

The home light pollution has suffered over the last year from so called progress.  A commerce park has put up some partially shielded lighting a quarter mile to my east and a mile to the south one of the local trucking/construction magnates has constructed his own private commerce park with lots of lighting.   Where I had Bortle 6 the SE , Bortle 5 at zenith and Bortle 4 to the NW, I’m probably Bortle 6 to the E to S and Bortle 5 every where else.  Oh well.


NGC2903 managed to see that its barred, but could not hold the two long arms in averted vision.  NGC2403 could only make out the core and the larger HII region at off the E end.  M51 gave up much of its arms and surprisingly, could see the interacting arm in averted vision almost to it’s mate.  Could not see any of the debris lane there.  I kinda lost interest with M101 and 92.  Just couldn’t dark adopt. 

 

Able to get back on track with the brighter M13.  The image was quite stable at 461x with foreground stars well split from background stars.  Took it to 750x with 6.5mm and 1.5 barlow lens and really got lost in moments where seeing stabilized.  It was almost as if my eyes would suddenly focus and I could wander deep into the cluster, if only for a few seconds at a time.  Definitely the highlight of the night.   Gotta love them Globs.


Edited by Migwan, Today, 08:27 AM.



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