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One of my best nights ever

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#1 Binofrac

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 04:15 AM

I'm not sure it gets much better than this. I've just had a night when I didn't want the dawn to come. I set the alarm for 2:30 am so I could have a good chance of seeing comet Neowise. It's been a real problem in the past to find some comets with my not great star hopping skills and so I was a little sceptical that this would be any different. There were a few moments as I turned the alarm off that the bed felt excessively comfy, but not quite working morning comfy. I got out and thought it would be a quick look through binoculars and then back to bed. That idea changed instantly when I looked through the window to check on the conditions and saw the comet bright and clear. I had no idea it would be so good.

 

As I went to get the binoculars I noticed how clear the atmosphere seemed and saw Jupiter and Saturn bright and sparkling. The last remnants of sleep immediately left my brain and I soon had my scope set up in a field with my new binoviewer which I'd had little chance to try, and my 10x50's. I spent a good while viewing the comet through the binoculars while the scope cooled a little. It's a long time since I've seen a comet like this. It was not hard to imagine it streaking through space with the tail jetting out behind.

 

Next it was time to view the other delights of the sky. There was the moon, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus all waiting for me. I'd had the binoviewer for a few weeks with very little chance to try it out and was excited to have such a lot to see with it. I really wanted to see more detail in the planets than I had with a single eyepiece. The scope was fitted with the binoviewer and stayed that way for the session. I didn't observe in mono this time as I wanted to play with my new toy. I used it on everything, the comet, moon and planets.  The seeing could've been a little better for this magnification (140x) but it was as good as I was going to get for this time of year.

 

The comet looked great but I preferred the binocular view for its wider angle. As hoped for I saw more detail in the planets than I ever had previously. Mars had generally been a uniform red dot but now showed colour variations on its surface. I could see a belt in Saturn but the seeing obscured the Cassini division. Jupiter had a lot more detail in the cloud belts. Although blurry I could make out the swirling where they meet each other. The moon was just spectacular. Flying over the terminator was mesmerising. The binoviewer experience was everything I hoped it would be.

 

Of course all this happened without freezing temperatures, no wind, and the moon lighting everything up nicely so there was no fumbling around in the darkness and nearly tripping over various obstacles. I sat nicely relaxed in my deck chair and took in the wonders of the heavens. I don't think I've ever had a night's observing as good as this.


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#2 MalVeauX

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 05:17 AM

Wonderful report Martyn!

 

Very best,



#3 rigel123

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 05:35 AM

Nice report!  I got up at 4:30 to image the comet and was not disappointed!  Once I found it I was able to see it naked eye from within my Red Zone!



#4 bruceosterberg

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 06:43 AM

What a very nice post Martyn.  And a pleasure to read.  I also took the time to read your PDF. of from the Garden to the stars, and thought what a wonderful introduction it was to the astronomy hobby.  Well done and much appreciated.  Bruce



#5 Bagwell

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 07:02 AM

I can feel the excitement in the first post and responses and it makes me happy.   smile.gif


Edited by Bagwell, 13 July 2020 - 07:03 AM.

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#6 Spikey131

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 11:44 AM

I had the same experience Sunday AM.  Up at 3:30, I observed the moon and all the planets except Mercury and Pluto. Then the comet put on the show as dawn approached.  Then after the Sun arose, put on the Quark and checked out the H-alpha view.  It was a Solar System smorgasbord!


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#7 Binofrac

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 03:27 AM

What a very nice post Martyn.  And a pleasure to read.  I also took the time to read your PDF. of from the Garden to the stars, and thought what a wonderful introduction it was to the astronomy hobby.  Well done and much appreciated.  Bruce

Thanks Bruce. As an update to the PDF I eventually settled on the 12mm BST eyepiece as the ES range reportedly had a more restricted eye relief and I never got to see one for myself. Another project has also been completed- a mono/bipod binocular stabiliser shown here if you wish- https://www.cloudyni...lar-stabiliser/ The next project is something I've been keen on for a a couple of years but is stretching my skills and available time. I'll post when complete in about a year. And lastly after these few years that 4" refractor is still my ideal scope. Although now I'm experimenting with binoviewing it could change. 




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