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First Light TSA-102

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#1 Stellar1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:43 AM

It seems that every scope I have ever had, I acquired in the middle of the dreaded Canadian winter, this either means non stop cloud cover or, temperatures far south of freeezing. Over the past month or so I have managed two short sessions, the first came a few days ago during a waxing crescent moon and, the second was this night for an hour.The night of my moon observation it was even colder than today, around minus 10 but, weather app said it would feel like minus 20. Chilly indeed but, the sky was clear and the burning urge to try my scope was too much. After letting the scope sit outside for a good hour, I skipped the star test or the sort as the forecast said in half hour clouds were coming in with a fresh load of snow, time was short.

 

My favorite eyepiece in my Arsenal of five (quite the arsenal) is my 9mm Baader Morpheus, for lunar this eyepiece presents the moon beautifuly, almost filling the FOV yet leaving enough space to enjoy the moon against a black sky. It was obvious right away that seeing was good, the moon looked tack sharp and, details were steady with very little shimmering. What struck me first was Montes Apenninus, this mountain range appeared to be in 3D the way it seemed to leap off the lunar surface, the base of the mountain revealed what to me, looked like a rock slide, almost like jumbled rocks which came to rest at the base. This feature is one of the most striking of all lunar features and, on a night of good seeing as was this night, I was able to really take in what this range would hide on nights of not so great seeing. It was difficult to pull my eye aways from Appeninus but, as I followed the terminator and crossed paths with one crater after another, I was equally struck by the details I was seeing within them, the play of light and shadow was beautiful. Shadows were an inky black while sunlit zones were bright enough to enjoy without a filter due to its 4” aperture, the light is not overwhelming as in a larger scope like a 10” as we all know. This makes it easier to find details as they are not washed out.

 

Even at the highest powers I could muster, the details were endless, I challenged myself trying to spot the smallest craterlets, there was no shortage of them. Tiny pot marks which looked like indentations left when one pokes a finger into wet sand, a particular string of craterlets caught my attention, forming a line of equally sized tiny points was an amazing sight, I tried finding them on my moon Atlas but failed to identify them. Unfortunately, as I had such limited time, I was unable to get my moon atlas app going in order to cross reference each crater and feature, I was like a hungry animal gobbling up what I could before it could be snatched from me and, sure enough the clouds were over nearby rooftops. In the last few minutes I circled the lunar edge looking for any signs of color, there was none that my eye could perceive at any power. One thing I did notice was the color temperature comparing to my 115 Eon, the 102 seems to present a slightly warmer colour than in the 115, I enjoy this warmer appearance, I guess it is due to the coatings used? Regardless, it is pleasant.

 

Tonight is a full moon night, after giving the scope some time, I was eager to have a look at M42 but, with a ful moon I wasn’t expecting too much. Once again using the 9mm I was surprised at what I was able to see, even with the glaring moonlight evident, the Trapezium was beautiful, 4 tiny perfectly focused  pinpoints of light while structure in nebulosity was visible, I can’t wait for this target on a moonless night. While observing the trapezium, I was thinking of my next target, Polaris, a star test was imminent even though I felt as though I was insulting the scope. As expected Polaris de focused to perfect concentric rings and, watching them collapse was satisfying, remaining a perfect circle till it snapped into focus. This instrument does this very well, it leaves no doubt about whether or not you’re in focus, it is satisfying, no playing in and out, wondering if it is focused.

 

Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, Mars, has anyone noticed how wonderful they look tonight? they appear to share identical naked eye magnitudes and, color, and all in a straight line like Pew Pew Pew! laser shots from imperial guns. Betelgeuse was simply stunning, in my 5mm XW it shimmered like fire while remaining tight and, free of any spikes or boiling, it was just beautiful. Aldebaran looked almost identical while Mars was not much larger, actually. Mars is so much smaller than it was this past summer, it appeared as a clean cut disc but, a featureless one at that, it is expected, those three are something to see at this moment, they look identical, naked eye. Before heading in, I had one quick look at a double in Orion which I hadn’t seen before, labeled as V1030 Orionis. This particular double left me puzzled, there are 4 stars in the formation, the faintest of which I could not determine its magnitude via SkySafari, is this a triple or, quadruple star system?  the smallest was extremely faint, compared to the other three. Assuming V1030 is the brightest (second from left of the four, then which is the partner? it seems like a quadruple system. 

 

Time to head inside, I should mention that mechanically the scope was a joy to use, the focuser is now 10yrs old and shows signs of wear but, careful adjusting brought it back to good working condition considering the cold stiffened it up quite a bit. There will be many more sessions to come, in warmer weather, I look forward to enjoying this scope very much, it is a wonderful instrument. In retrospect, I have to award Betelgeuse for stealing the show tonight, it’s goldish bronze piercing colour was simply spectacular!.

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Edited by Stellar1, 27 February 2021 - 06:11 PM.

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#2 bobhen

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:57 AM

Congrats.

 

A TSA 102 is one of the best 4"-class refractors offered to the amateur market.

 

Enjoy.

 

Bob


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#3 mikeDnight

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:58 AM

That was a really enjoyable read and I was with you all the way, almost as if I was alongside you.  I'm sure you'll see far greater things in the near future as the milder months approach and the Moon rides high.  You have arguably one of the best 4" refractors in the world, so you can wrap yourself in that psychological comfort blanket, confident that as far a 4" refractors go, it doesn't get any better than this. waytogo.gif


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#4 payner

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:24 AM

Bravo, Stellar 1. That was a good read and I was caught up in your moment. I hope you soon get clear, calm skies to continue your adventure with this outstanding telescope.

 

Randy


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#5 donadani

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:12 PM

great scope!


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#6 samovu

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:19 PM

Thanks for taking the time to share your new experience with us, Stellar1. And congratulations on your new instrument. 


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#7 dweller25

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:24 PM

 Nice scope and writeup waytogo.gif

 

 


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#8 dweller25

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:41 PM

SNAP smile.gif TSA102 on a Vixen GP waytogo.gif

 

44FEBF33-8B1F-484A-82C0-6B06320E2197.jpeg

 

 


Edited by dweller25, 27 February 2021 - 03:43 PM.

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#9 Tyson M

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 04:01 PM

Warmer color compared to the 115 eon? I find that difficult to believe. Where you using the same eyepiece, the 9mm morpheus on the same night?

 

I found the morpheus series to give a bit of that warmer color at times and are not my preferred lunar eyepiece. 

 

Anyways great report though.


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#10 payner

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 04:46 PM

That statement struck me, too. However, everyone's physiology is different, but the TSA-102 is pretty cold tone to me. As suggested, there may have been an eyepiece change that accounts for that differentiation. Another reason for this could have been observing, then comparing a different region of the moon with each scope whence the mental note was made. 


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#11 Stellar1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:17 PM

Warmer color compared to the 115 eon? I find that difficult to believe. Where you using the same eyepiece, the 9mm morpheus on the same night?

 

I found the morpheus series to give a bit of that warmer color at times and are not my preferred lunar eyepiece. 

 

Anyways great report though.

 

 

That statement struck me, too. However, everyone's physiology is different, but the TSA-102 is pretty cold tone to me. As suggested, there may have been an eyepiece change that accounts for that differentiation. Another reason for this could have been observing, then comparing a different region of the moon with each scope whence the mental note was made. 

You both could very well be right, I just had that impression of a warmer color temp comparing to my 115, not betting any money on it. It could have been atmospheric conditions, bad memory, etc as my eyepiece haven’t changed since then.


Edited by Stellar1, 27 February 2021 - 05:41 PM.

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#12 Stellar1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:21 PM

SNAP smile.gif TSA102 on a Vixen GP waytogo.gif

 

attachicon.gif44FEBF33-8B1F-484A-82C0-6B06320E2197.jpeg

Nice! all I need is that sweet binoviewer, have yet to ever use one, I hear they’re stunning on lunar.


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#13 lookoutmtn17

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:43 PM

Great read, as mikeD stated, I felt like I was there with you. 


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#14 JeremySh

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:51 PM

Wonderful write up about a superb scope


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#15 teashea

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:52 PM

Nice telescope.  Have fun.


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#16 mikeDnight

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:44 PM

Nice! all I need is that sweet binoviewer, have yet to ever use one, I hear they’re stunning on lunar.

It's a whole new world!  A pair of 25mm and 18mm orthoscopics, and a cheapish binoviewer with a 2X barlow, will make you feel like you're looking through a spaceship window just a few hundred miles from the lunar surface. You'll likely rarely ever use a single eyepiece for lunar viewing ever again. 3D or not 3D, that is the question!? Whether it is or it isn't is irrelevant, because your brain will tell you it is and that's all that matters.


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#17 Stellar1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:48 PM

It's a whole new world!  A pair of 25mm and 18mm orthoscopics, and a cheapish binoviewer with a 2X barlow, will make you feel like you're looking through a spaceship window just a few hundred miles from the lunar surface. You'll likely rarely ever use a single eyepiece for lunar viewing ever again. 3D or not 3D, that is the question!? Whether it is or it isn't is irrelevant, because your brain will tell you it is and that's all that matters.

Now you’ve done it! I need one now.


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#18 Allan Wade

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:50 PM

Nice! all I need is that sweet binoviewer, have yet to ever use one, I hear they’re stunning on lunar.

Lucky you to own one of the finest 4” telescopes ever made.

 

With one eyepiece, I feel like I’m looking at the moon, but the sensation with two eye’s using the binoviewer is completely different and feels like I’m hovering above the lunar surface.


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#19 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:56 PM

Very nice      great report as well


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#20 Kent10

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 07:07 PM

Nice write up.  Enjoyed it.

 

You saw Sigma Orionis   https://en.wikipedia...i/Sigma_Orionis    

 

Might this be the string of craterlets you saw?  Check the pictures in this link.  https://en.wikipedia...i/Davy_(crater)


Edited by Kent10, 27 February 2021 - 07:08 PM.

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#21 Stellar1

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 07:20 PM

Nice write up.  Enjoyed it.

 

You saw Sigma Orionis   https://en.wikipedia...i/Sigma_Orionis    

 

Might this be the string of craterlets you saw?  Check the pictures in this link.  https://en.wikipedia...i/Davy_(crater)

I really cannot recall, when I see them again I’ll be sure to make a note of position and refer to detailed map, I do recall they were next to a larger crater (like that narrows it down) they were maybe 6 in a line situated on a flat area.



#22 TheFacelessMen

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 04:43 AM

You both could very well be right, I just had that impression of a warmer color temp comparing to my 115, not betting any money on it. It could have been atmospheric conditions, bad memory, etc as my eyepiece haven’t changed since then.

Great report :-)

 

TSA102 is an excellent scope.

 

The warm colour tone also jumped out to me as well, as every TSA102 and TSA120 I have looked through have been visually colour neutral/cold.  Unless something weird is going on optically with the scope (acclimatising perhaps) I'd say more likely to be EP or something else causing this.


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#23 rerun

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 04:54 AM

Stellar1 Congratulations to your new TSA102, it sounds like you very happy with  and thank you for your interesting report.  I had an observation one day before full moon and look to the some objects you did. And I enjoyed the views too. When I read your report it remembers me at my observation night and the feelings I had.

 

Clear skies Markus 


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#24 Eigen

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:48 AM

Congrats on the TSA-102, mine has quickly become one of my most used scopes, living in the mid-40's and constantly battling the jet steam and seeing, I find that I am seeing limited 90% of the time up-to about 200x, which greatly limits the added benefit of larger aperture found on my other scopes, as I am primarily a planetary observer.

 

The current high magnification sweetspot for my eyes is with a Vixen HR 2.4 which gives me a perfect 340X when seeing allows.

 

As a testament to the optics of these scopes, I was observing a very bright almost full moon several day ago, with practically perfect seeing (unfortunately by the time I realized how good the seeing was, none of my larger CAT's would have acclimated in time due to the large delta T).

 

The image remained etched at 340X, so for amusement I added a TV 2.5X barlow in front, expecting to fiddle with the focuser to get a decent focus. To my amazement, the image still snapped into focus, and I mean snapped, I was so astounded I had to try it a several times and sure enough with the same result.

 

Now granted, 850X in a 4 inch refractor isn't what I would have consider viewable before my little experiment and that certainly still applies on anything but a bright moon and the inner planets at their optimum, but, I really have to admit the image was perfectly passable and still quite sharp during brief moments of completely settled seeing (luckily floaters aren't yet an issue for me) 

 

I am not an optician, but I am positive that the only way the above is possible is through practically zero aberration throughout the entire optical system. I suppose that with a TSA-102 objective, a TV Everbrite, a TV 2.5X and a Vixen HR 2.4 I have found my small scope optical nirvana.

 

Interestingly, I replaced the TV barlow with a quite decent TAL 2X to lower the magnification and actually found the image notably softened up despite the decrease in magnification, I was certainly seeing some kind of aberration magnified by the sheer magnification, but it was a bit late in the evening for star testing (also, who would want to waste such seeing focusing in and out on a star lol.gif )

 

So again congrats on the scope, you picked a wonderful instrument!

 

Regards,

Eigen


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#25 Stellar1

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 08:33 AM

Congrats on the TSA-102, mine has quickly become one of my most used scopes, living in the mid-40's and constantly battling the jet steam and seeing, I find that I am seeing limited 90% of the time up-to about 200x, which greatly limits the added benefit of larger aperture found on my other scopes, as I am primarily a planetary observer.

 

The current high magnification sweetspot for my eyes is with a Vixen HR 2.4 which gives me a perfect 340X when seeing allows.

 

As a testament to the optics of these scopes, I was observing a very bright almost full moon several day ago, with practically perfect seeing (unfortunately by the time I realized how good the seeing was, none of my larger CAT's would have acclimated in time due to the large delta T).

 

The image remained etched at 340X, so for amusement I added a TV 2.5X barlow in front, expecting to fiddle with the focuser to get a decent focus. To my amazement, the image still snapped into focus, and I mean snapped, I was so astounded I had to try it a several times and sure enough with the same result.

 

Now granted, 850X in a 4 inch refractor isn't what I would have consider viewable before my little experiment and that certainly still applies on anything but a bright moon and the inner planets at their optimum, but, I really have to admit the image was perfectly passable and still quite sharp during brief moments of completely settled seeing (luckily floaters aren't yet an issue for me) 

 

I am not an optician, but I am positive that the only way the above is possible is through practically zero aberration throughout the entire optical system. I suppose that with a TSA-102 objective, a TV Everbrite, a TV 2.5X and a Vixen HR 2.4 I have found my small scope optical nirvana.

 

Interestingly, I replaced the TV barlow with a quite decent TAL 2X to lower the magnification and actually found the image notably softened up despite the decrease in magnification, I was certainly seeing some kind of aberration magnified by the sheer magnification, but it was a bit late in the evening for star testing (also, who would want to waste such seeing focusing in and out on a star lol.gif )

 

So again congrats on the scope, you picked a wonderful instrument!

 

Regards,

Eigen

Thank you!

 

That was something to read, what you managed that night may never happen again with that result, I would think. Then again, you must be the fifth person responding on forums with accounts of such feats with either this scope or, one of the FC100 variants. There is something to be said about their optical prowess. It seems only way this scope is ever going to leave me is if I fall on such hard times (god forbid) that I must let it go or, I can move up to a TSA-120 (which I’m kinda daydreaming about) go figure, an amateur astronomer wanting bigger, as we ever truly happy? I believe not. 
 

Once again,

thank you!

 

Clear Skies!!


Edited by Stellar1, 28 February 2021 - 08:33 AM.

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