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Observation log continued; III

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#676 BFaucett

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 06:08 PM

Studly,

 

Two very nice reports. I always enjoy reading your Lunar observing reports and descriptions. waytogo.gif I was out last night (9/17) enjoying a little Lunar observing with my AT60ED for about 45 minutes. I didn't take any notes so no detailed report for here. Still, it was nice to be out on my patio for a little while just enjoying looking at the Moon.

 

Cheers! Bob F. smile.gif

 

 

sml_gallery_AT60ED.jpg

My little AT60ED. (fl 360mm, f/6.0)


Edited by BFaucett, 18 September 2021 - 06:10 PM.

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#677 Migwan

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 08:45 PM

9/15/21

2100-2230

Skies clear with seeing and transparency average to above average

No wind as I was in my garage

Temps around 65°

 

I picked up a 14" Sky Watcher Goto dob....

 

Summary:

New telescope, don't know how to work the electronics quite yet.

Views are stunning.

First time seeing Cassini division and more than two bands on Jupiter.  Extra light gathering really brings out the moons of the gas giants and the details on our own moon.

 

I can't wait to take it to a darker sky site.

 

Thanks all,

 

Mike

Congrats on the big 14".  I'll try not to let my aperture envy show.  bow.gif 

 

I've been thinking about your viewing from within a garage.   I've backed into the pole barn for a darker view before, but never to observe anything where seeing was important, such as planets or tight double stars.   Even with the door left open, there is bound to be a temperature difference between the inside and outside.  

 

Then there's the driveway.  Paved driveways, especially asphalt, are known to be bad for seeing.  At the end of that is the street, not to mention the roofs beyond.  Yep, cities aren't good for seeing.  

 

What made me ponder this, is that the 8" SCT I had never failed to show the Cassini Division.   Even on a cement driveway in the middle of Palm Springs, CA, when I  showed a friend the planets.  

 

Just thinking that if there is any way you can pull your scope out of the garage, you might squeeze a little more juice out of those planets. 

 

 

 

 

 

  
 


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#678 M_t_G

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 09:14 PM

Cloudy nights have been a regular occurrence for me for id say a week or more. Last time Moon was almost full same thing happened. Clouds rolled in and stayed in for days so i didnt get the chance to observe Moon last time it was at this phase. A few days ago Angeleyes 7.5-22.5mm zoom eyepiece came and i didnt had a chance to test it.

7Timer forecast finally started showing a slight improvement in seeing conditions but only when its really cloudy and rainy. My thought was that mother nature is having a joke at my expense. 

Tonight it was the same story as i was checking 7Timer earlier in the day but a regular forecasting site showed how after 10pm clouds would disburse and ClearOutside was showing 13% cloud coverage.

 

Ive decided that i will take my chances, and just test my new zoom eyepiece on the Moon.

Scope was taken out at 7pm for cool down and checked for collimation. 

10pm came and passed but clouds were still covering Moon, Jupiter and Saturn which i could see from the window of my room.

Just before 11pm i think i saw a break in clouds so i got out and prepared for some observing.

 

I must say how strange it felt to look at the bright sky light up by the Moon, with just a few visible stars. I got used to seeing a bunch of them.

Zoom was in the focuser and i started looking at the moon. The concept of a zoom EP is really cool, the quality of the one ive got was not as cool hehe, but you get what you pay for and ive only paid like 16USD for this one plus shipping. Maybe 25% of the center of the image is what you will get before you start noticing chromatic aberration. Also when zoomed in, there is some orange colour on the edge of the FoV.

Maybe i need to get used to it a bit, in regards to the eye relief and such but it was really fun being able to zoom in on a target and zoom out.

 

Clouds kept rolling in so i was watching over clouds and in between cloud gaps. Those clouds were moving pretty fast but sky looked... i dont know, calm?

I guess seeing was indeed one notch better than it was for the entirety of September. 

 

Then ive decided to take a look at Jupiter even though that was not my initial plan, but Moon, being almost full was too bright and kind of featureless.

Oh how glad i am i did. I am pretty sure this was one of the best if not the best viewing session of Jupiter i have ever had.

 

GRS was there, at the center of the planet, which i didnt notice straight away. Zoom EP was great way to watch Jupiter thro since it gave me the opportunity to fine tune and dial up or down in magnification, finding the "sweet spot".

I guess this was exactly the time when 7Timer predicted the improvement in seeing. Now GRS was so clearly visible, with its nice dark orange prominent shape and colour. It seemed to me like it was a tad bigger than the last time i have seen it, but that might be due to me not seeing it in good conditions before.

Two barges above NEB were showing up clear as well. How pretty Jupiter looks with all these features facing you. Belt between NEB and SEB was so rich in colour as well. I think i was able to count 7 or 8 bands overall.

And all this was observed thro the occasional gap in between clouds or with light clouds over the planet.

 

Then really thick and big cloud came by and i had to wait it out until it passed.

Before it covered the planet, i took a few videos in hope of capturing planet in better seeing conditions.

 

Just below the bottom edge of that cloud Saturn sat. Ive had a few glimpses of it thro zoom EP. Again, its pretty cool how zoom is utilized. Too bad Saturn was quite low at this point.

 

After cloud passed, it was midnight, just when 7Timer said that seeing will deteriorate to its usual level, and i was disappointed to discover how they were spot on correct in predicting it. Views were pretty bad and the play of the atmosphere was really bad on both Jupiter and the Moon at this point.

 

Ive figured ill wait a bit longer in hope of things improving, but both Moon and Jupiter were descending, Jupiter being at 26 degrees in altitude, and when i have had the best views of it, it was at 31, so ive decided to pack up and end my session there.

I took accessories and OTA inside but as i was going in, ive looked up and noticed the eastern portion of the sky, which i usually dont look at because of the street light and it being blocked by the house from my observing location, to be significantly darker and full of stars. Pleiades got my attention, but since ive taken the OTA inside, i took off the finder scope and looked up at it. 

It was magical. All seven brightest stars were showing up along with so many less bright ones. 

Aldebaran was shining bright so ive looked at it as well (not knowing which star it was at that time, i am not that familiar with eastern part of the sky yet, i thought it was Rigel)

Andromeda was spotter thro the finder scope as well, but it was dead ahead so it wasnt comfortable viewing for my neck.

Did not see double cluster since i didnt know where to look for it without Stellarium guiding me. Ive only saw it once before when i was looking at that part of the sky.

 

This is where my session ended. 

Jupiter was the main star of the night and i can say that this was another one of those WOW sessions when i am packing up but i am extremely happy with results and things i have seen.

And it was suppose to be just a test night on a really cloudy night.

 

Ive made a single albeit poor pic from one of the videos just to show what i saw. Just now i have noticed these white clouds south of the SEB, i did not really see them in the EP rather i didnt look at the poles. Now i know that i need to pay attention to poles as well

hehh.jpg


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#679 MarMax

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 01:33 AM

I was reading the thread by Tulloch on pinched secondary optics and it sparked my interest in checking the C11. Here is my Post #22 in that thread for some background.

 

I can't say that anything changed but I'm sure the collimation is not worse. So after an R&R of the corrector and reducing the tightness of the collimation screws the views of Jupiter tonight were fabulous. Lots of detail in the bands and a very clear Io shadow.

 

This says a lot about the simplicity of the C11 design. If you maintain the corrector centering and position, you can R&R it and the collimation does not go out. I also wondered about the Fastar and removable seconday. Even with the detent to keep the correct orientation it has a tiny bit of play but this also does not seem to matter.

 

After rolling the C11 back in the garage I brought out the 92mm and revisited Jupiter at 102x. Again fantastic detail and a very small but clear Io shadow which was almost dead center. I should have set up for some Jupiter imaging but was too lazy, plus I wanted to type up a couple of posts.


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#680 CowTipton

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 07:58 AM

Congrats on the big 14".  I'll try not to let my aperture envy show.  bow.gif

 

I've been thinking about your viewing from within a garage.   I've backed into the pole barn for a darker view before, but never to observe anything where seeing was important, such as planets or tight double stars.   Even with the door left open, there is bound to be a temperature difference between the inside and outside.  

 

Then there's the driveway.  Paved driveways, especially asphalt, are known to be bad for seeing.  At the end of that is the street, not to mention the roofs beyond.  Yep, cities aren't good for seeing.  

 

What made me ponder this, is that the 8" SCT I had never failed to show the Cassini Division.   Even on a cement driveway in the middle of Palm Springs, CA, when I  showed a friend the planets.  

 

Just thinking that if there is any way you can pull your scope out of the garage, you might squeeze a little more juice out of those planets. 

 

 

 

 

 

  
 

Thanks!

 

I’ll definitely be taking it out.  My driveway is sloped a bit (not too bad) so I need to use some adjustable feet to get the base levelled.  I have one I made with plywood for the 8” but it’s a little small for the wide and heavy 14”.   Almost all of my viewing will be from my driveway facing south and my back deck facing north.


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#681 NYJohn S

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 10:58 AM

I also managed a somewhat better Lunar session Friday evening:

 

 

2021-09-17
Time: 22:20 local time (EDT); 02:20 UTC (09-18)
Cloud Cover: 10%
Wind: Very Light and variable
SQM Measurement: 18.72
Temperature: 18C/65F
Transparency: Average (3/5)
Seeing: Average (3/5) to Fair (2.5/5)
Length of Observing Session: 1h 30m
Instrument: Orion 120mm Refractor (fl 600mm, f/5.0)
Mount: Orion VersaGo II Alt-Az
Eyepieces: Meade PWA and UWA, with 2-inch Orion Moon Filter

 

Summary: The Moon again presented a fine target. However, there were a few clouds in the area, and at times I could make out a faint atmospheric haze to the target’s south. Still, I grabbed the ST120 and headed out to get in some observations.

 

Moon (Waxing Gibbous): At approximately 11 days old, the Moon stood at about 85% illuminated. I started the session with the 28mm ocular (at 21x) with the Orion 2-inch Moon Filter installed.

 

~Snip~

 

Very nice. North of Prinz, the crater Krieger stood out very well. The angle of the sunlight striking the feature made its outer wall appear very thick for a crater of its relative size. At 5.5mm (109x), the outer eastern rim of Aristarchus could now easily be seen to sweep upward from the lower-lying surrounding lunar floor. Aristarchus’ floor remained completely dark; its interior western wall continued to shine very brightly. The rougher terrain to the northwest of the crater appeared pockmarked, almost resembling sandstone. At 4mm (150x), Aristarchus’ rim gained some additional detail. The exterior eastern rim appeared to have a step or ridge running parallel to the crest. The interior western rim also displayed a similar ridge. Thinking this might be observer error, I double-checked the observation by refocusing the scope and waiting for moments of steadier Seeing—these were indeed confirmed. The area to the west and northwest of the crater appeared incredibly detailed, showing mountain peaks, valleys, cliffs and other details. Awesome view!

 

Conclusion: Though the conditions were not perfect, they were good enough to gain some decent views of Luna. I was frankly surprised that the 4mm Meade PWA ocular performed so well in this scope. I will definitely have to keep that in mind.

 

 

Until next time!

Tony, those were 2 very nice and descriptive Moon sessions. I see that you were using the ST120 at some fairly high magnifications. On my last trip I was mostly using it as a low power wide field scope. On the last day I started experimenting with some higher magnifications on some of the smaller dso. I went as high 218x on M71 with the Meade 5.5mm + 2x barlow. 109x was used quite often on some other dso. It did ok on the smaller objects you really don't notice the CA. 


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#682 Studly

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 03:28 PM

Studly,

 

Two very nice reports. I always enjoy reading your Lunar observing reports and descriptions. waytogo.gif I was out last night (9/17) enjoying a little Lunar observing with my AT60ED for about 45 minutes. I didn't take any notes so no detailed report for here. Still, it was nice to be out on my patio for a little while just enjoying looking at the Moon.

 

Cheers! Bob F. smile.gif

 

 

attachicon.gifsml_gallery_AT60ED.jpg

My little AT60ED. (fl 360mm, f/6.0)

Bob,

 Thanks! Appreciate the comment!

 

Tony


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#683 Studly

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 03:31 PM

Tony, those were 2 very nice and descriptive Moon sessions. I see that you were using the ST120 at some fairly high magnifications. On my last trip I was mostly using it as a low power wide field scope. On the last day I started experimenting with some higher magnifications on some of the smaller dso. I went as high 218x on M71 with the Meade 5.5mm + 2x barlow. 109x was used quite often on some other dso. It did ok on the smaller objects you really don't notice the CA. 

John,

 My ST120 hasn't been getting much attention lately, so I decided to take it for a drive. The CA present with brighter objects generally doesn't bother me too much. I am more focused on what details I can see rather than defects in the view. I have used the scope for planetary views sometimes as well. I've probably spent the most time using it in the Sagittarius area to drink in the copious numbers of DSOs in that vicinity.

 Obviously, it isn't a perfect scope--none are. But, for its price it performs very well in my opinion.

 

Tony


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#684 Studly

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Posted 19 September 2021 - 03:35 PM

Last night afforded me the third consecutive night of lunar viewing. After so much clouds and haze, I can't help but be very suspicious of this.....

 

 

2021-09-18
Time: 22:15 local time (EDT); 02:15 UTC (09-19)
Cloud Cover: 5%
Wind: Moderate to Light, Variable
SQM Measurement: 18.29
Temperature: 18C/65F
Transparency: Average (3/5)
Seeing: Fair (2.5/5)
Length of Observing Session: 1h 45m
Instrument: Celestron C6-A SCT (fl 1500, f/10)
Mount: Explore Scientific Twilight I Alt-Az (Modified)
Eyepieces: Baader Hyperion

 

Summary: For the third consecutive night, the sky was relatively clear, with a bright Moon available for observing. I decided to head out with the C6-A to make use of the higher magnification it affords. I was a little unsure how the scope would cope with the winds, though.

 

Moon (Waxing Gibbous): At approximately 12 days old, the Moon stood about 95% illuminated. I equipped the 21mm eyepiece (at 71x), along with the Neutral Density Filter to reduce the glare, and began a survey of the terminator areas. Starting at the north polar region, the first feature to capture my attention was the large crater Pythagoras. The body of the crater appeared as a large black oval. Its interior western rim was lit by the first rays of the Sun, while its floor remained pitch black. In the center of this blackness, a single tiny point of light could be seen—the rising Sun catching the highest peak of the crater’s central prominence. A very cool view! Northeast of Pythagoras, there appeared to be another crater sitting between Anaximander and Anaximander-B. However, no such crater was indicated in the Atlas. The Atlas showed a system of elevated topographic features in that area, adjacent to both craters, but no crater. This illusion must have been caused by the angle of the incident light hitting these features in just the right way to create this impression. Farther northeast of this curiosity, the crater Carpenter was prominent, situated on the northern edge of Anaximander. This crater, sitting a little farther from the terminator, displayed a well-lit rim. The bottom of the depression was still quite dark, but the contrast with the feature’s southern neighbors afforded a very nice view. Adjacent to Pythagoras to its southeast lay the crater Babbage. Babbage’s fully-illuminated floor was easy to see. Its main central crater, Babbage-A, was obvious in the view. The internal eastern rim of the main crater could be seen casting a small shadow onto the floor—nice. The floor of Babbage-A remained in shadow, but its internal western rim was well-lit. Continuing southward along the terminator, the line of darkness cut through Oenopides. Only the crater’s southern and southeastern rim crests could be made out, while the rest remained shrouded in darkness. Just south of Oenopides, the terminator bisected the crater Markov. The incomplete illumination made the crater appear strange, showing a shape similar to what one would expect from an inner tube lying on the floor of Sinus Roris. A very unusual impression. Following the terminator farther southward, the line of darkness continued to cut through Sinus Roris, until running a bit west of Mons Rumker. The dark elevated mountain was easy to see—quite a distinct feature. A definite shadow could be seen stretching westward onto the plain of the Sinus below. Very nice! Continuing south along the terminator again, the path led into Oceanus Procellarum. Here, the line of darkness passed west of the crater Schiaparelli. The small crater stood a short distance from the darkness, but appeared as a conspicuous rimmed black mark against the Oceanus floor. The small crater looked positively lonely sitting out there! Back to the east of Schiaparelli, the bright white floor of the crater Aristarchus could not fail to capture the attention. Now farther removed from the terminator than the previous evening, the majority of its interior caught the sunlight, making it easily the brightest feature on the entire face of the Moon. Breathtaking! Tracing the terminator southward again through Oceanus Procellarum, the next feature of note was the crater Reiner. This one was a little farther from the terminator and a little larger than Schiaparelli. The crater’s floor remained blackened by shadow, while the internal western rim was catching the light nicely. This slightly larger crater also resembled a black pit in the surface. To its northeast, the crater Marius stood out well. This crater’s floor was well lit, and a small shadow could be seen from the light hitting the eastern rim. Continuing southward along the terminator brought me to some light-colored rough terrain on the southwestern shore of Oceanus Procellarum. This terrain lay right on the terminator line, and resembled a jagged, broken wall of mountains adjacent to the smooth Oceanus floor. The contrast between these two was striking. South of this, the terrain appeared pitted with small features. A line of three craters were conspicuously arranged, seemingly in a line leading away from the terminator and increasing in size. These were Henry Freres, Henry, and Cavendish (in order of west to east, and increasing size). Cavendish-E could also be clearly seen interrupting its parent crater’s south-southwestern rim. The impression imparted was that these three main craters were a “set” of some sort, like plates arranged in order. Very neat. Southwest of Cavendish, another prominent crater could be seen—Vieta. This one lay very close to the jagged terrain at the terminator. An uneven internal shadow cast upon its floor by the eastern rim could be made out as well. A small, higher-albedo section of the crater’s floor could also be seen just north of center. Intriguing. South of here, the terrain highlighted by the terminator appeared jumbled and broken, but beyond this lay the crater Schickard. The large floor of this crater was well lit, and appeared mostly uniform in albedo. The crater’s rim was prominent around its entire circumference, completing the excellent view. Continuing south again along the terminator brought me to a pair of overlapping craters—Nasmyth first and then Phocylides overlying part of it to the south. Phocylides was easily the more prominent of the two, and showed two distinctive internal shadows. Neat. Pursuing the terminator southward finally brought me to three craters arranged close to the terminator near the south pole—Wilson, Kircher, and Bettinus (from east to west). The contrast in appearance for Kircher and Bettinus compared to the previous evening was profound.

 

Pythagoras: Removing the NDF, I proceeded to reexamine Pythoagoras in the hope of getting some better views of the internal western rim wall and the prominence. The Seeing was not great, and the wind hitting the scope would surely make this problematic at higher magnifications, but still I was resolved to try. At 17mm (88x), the crest of the western rim clearly gained some apparent complexity, appearing layered. The central prominence (where it was catching the sunlight) appeared small but steady. I noted that approximately one-third of the western crater rim appeared brighter than the rest, resembling a bright arc covering about 120-degrees of the rim in that direction—a very cool effect! At 13mm (115x), the uneven nature of the western crater rim was confirmed. The bright arc around the crater’s western rim continued to provide a fantastic view. Already the wind was causing the scope to shake enough to affect the view, but at calmer moments the central peak looked possibly triangular in shape. This could not be positively confirmed, though. At 10mm (150x), the uneven/layered nature of the internal western rim appeared obvious, resembling layers of sand washed up on some shore. Again, the light hitting the central prominence at times seemed triangular, but the unsteadiness of the view prevented positive confirmation. The exterior eastern rim also began showing some texture, resembling haphazardly piled dirt at the foot of the rim. At 8mm (187x), no new details were visible due to the scope shaking in the wind (which appeared to be picking up). At 5mm (300x), the view softened considerably, and much of the previously noted detail was washed out.

 

Conclusion: By session’s end, I was exhausted. I had to work that morning, and then did some yard work afterwards that afternoon. After the session, I was pooped. Still, the session was rewarding. I don’t usually seem to get many observing opportunities for the Moon at or near this phase, so it was effort well spent.

 

 

Until next time!


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#685 Speedy1985

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 04:22 PM

With conditions here looking to be the best in months, I was able to get out last night for a fairly brief work night session.

Seeing was above average and transparency average

Temp at the start was about 68°

Scope and eyepieces in my sig, but I'll note chosen ones for each observation.

 

 

I had intended to try and do the scotch tape and moon trick to check my Paracorr 2 setup, but the moon was just too low in the sky at the outset. Based on previous observations, I know I am close and I didn't want to lose much time in the small amount I had. The moon was nearly full and extremely bright, so I knew I was going to limit my DSO hunting to just a few objects away from its location. My wife was out with me last night and got to see a few different varieties of objects.

 

NGC 6543, Cat's Eye Nebula- This took a couple of minutes to find, not surprising considering it's small size. Once located with the 20mm and UHC, it was obvious. At this magnification, the blue hue was already apparent. Stepping up to the 9mm and then the 5mm didn't reveal the central star though. My wife, seeing a DSO for the first time, immediately noted the blue color as well, so that's a nice confirmation. 

M11, Wild Duck Cluster- I had seen this recently, but with my wife present, I wanted to find something readily apparent and different. I started with the 20mm again and let her have a look. She immediately said they look like scattered diamonds. There seemed to be so many more visible versus my last time, so I stepped up to the 9mm and the cluster just seemed to explode. We were both in awe of the sheer number of stars. 

 

M92- Now that I had shown her the open cluster, I felt the next object to find would be a globular cluster. A quick look at the observation planner list I generated in SkySafari showed M92 to be at a high altitude and away from the moon. A short turn and rise of the scope had it in the 20mm in no time. I quickly moved to the 13mm and my wife had a look. She had previously asked why they called it a globular cluster, but once she looked through the EP, it became clear. If I recall, I think she said it looked like dust. I stepped up to the 9mm so that more stars were resolved. She found it hard to believe that it contained hundreds of thousands of stars. 

 

Jupiter and Saturn- The conditions being what they were, I was hoping to be able to push up the magnification on these 2. Previous attempts just had too much turbulence in the atmosphere. I set up on Jupiter first and started right out with the 7mm. Both the NEB and SEB were very prominent, displaying nice colors. A couple of the other zones were slightly visible as well. 3 of the moons were very clear, with Ganymede and Europa very close by on the same side. Callisto was distanced on the opposite side. Dropping in the 5mm enhanced the bands more and I thought I could see hints of the GRS as it looked to be close to rotating out of view. My wife was absolutely stunned by the detail you could see. Saturn was a treat last night at 300x as well, offering up views of the Cassini division like I hadn't experienced yet. Hints of colored bands behind it's rings were evident as well. Based on looking at the positioning in Stellarium post-session, I'm fairly confident that I saw the 4 moons, Dione, Titan, Rhea, and Tethys, the last which seemed much fainter. What really seemed to throw me was that at times, while looking at the planet and rings directly, I kept thinking I was seeing another faint dot in the area of Dione with averted vision. I could not pin it down with direct vision. It's difficult to confirm if this was Enceladus or not, but it's position at the time of observation last night seems to say it was possible. My wife was just awestruck when she saw Saturn and immediately insisted we try to get a picture on our phones. I explained to her how difficult, if not impossible that would be, but nevertheless we both tried,lol. I'll let you all figure out how that went!  

 

At this point, with the temp dropping, I started to notice things seeming to dew up a bit, so I called it a night. 


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#686 M_t_G

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 07:22 PM

Great report Speedy. What i am left wondering is what is the trick with scotch tape you were refering to?

 

Also, taking a pic with hand help phone is quite doable, ive done im myself plenty of times and they were okay.


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#687 Speedy1985

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 08:19 PM

Great report Speedy. What i am left wondering is what is the trick with scotch tape you were refering to?

 

Also, taking a pic with hand help phone is quite doable, ive done im myself plenty of times and they were okay.

Thank you. The trick with the tape is in this thread https://www.cloudyni...r-2/?p=11342864. Don Pensack describes how to do it, and I've seen it mentioned in other threads about the Paracorr 2 when you're not using TV eyepieces. 

 

So what is the trick with using a handheld phone for taking pics? We made several attempts and got nothing but bright blobs. Of course we were trying with the 5mm in the focuser too, so that doesn't help any as far as keeping it centered. I do have a Celestron NexYZ holder, I just haven't experimented enough with it yet.


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#688 kjkrum

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 11:21 PM

I've been telling my kids how Jupiter and Saturn are moving into a position where we can see them before bedtime. Tonight was clear and beautiful so we gave it a go with my MK67. My wife and 6 y.o. came out, but my 4 y.o. wanted to watch Odd Squad.

Seeing wasn't great. I mostly used an 18mm Kellner (100x). I could see Titan and Rhea easily and Dione often. Tethys popped in a few times. On my first look, I thought I saw something where Enceladus should be, before I looked up where Enceladus should be. But I never saw it again in about an hour and a half of trying with 15, 18, and 25mm EPs.

Toward the end I looked at Jupiter again and noticed that Ganymede and Europa were very close. I watched them get so close that I could no longer resolve them. I tried 100x to 225x. Sky & Telescope's calculator page didn't say they were occulting, so I assume they were just very close.

At 9 PM I started getting eaten alive by something that was not mosquitos. Maybe ants...
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#689 M_t_G

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Posted Yesterday, 05:10 AM

Thank you. The trick with the tape is in this thread https://www.cloudyni...r-2/?p=11342864. Don Pensack describes how to do it, and I've seen it mentioned in other threads about the Paracorr 2 when you're not using TV eyepieces. 

 

So what is the trick with using a handheld phone for taking pics? We made several attempts and got nothing but bright blobs. Of course we were trying with the 5mm in the focuser too, so that doesn't help any as far as keeping it centered. I do have a Celestron NexYZ holder, I just haven't experimented enough with it yet.

I have seen in your signature that you do have phone holder. Its good for taking steady videos. But pictures are easily taken by hand help phone.

Check out my post https://www.cloudyni...iii/?p=11309690 and a few after in which i explain how i do it.

Aiming at the edge of the eyepiece will help with planet being dimmed down and u wont end up with a white blob.


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#690 CowTipton

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Posted Yesterday, 10:24 AM

Thank you. The trick with the tape is in this thread https://www.cloudyni...r-2/?p=11342864. Don Pensack describes how to do it, and I've seen it mentioned in other threads about the Paracorr 2 when you're not using TV eyepieces. 

 

So what is the trick with using a handheld phone for taking pics? We made several attempts and got nothing but bright blobs. Of course we were trying with the 5mm in the focuser too, so that doesn't help any as far as keeping it centered. I do have a Celestron NexYZ holder, I just haven't experimented enough with it yet.

I use the Nexyz holder and have an iPhone 12 Pro Max.  It's big and heavy enough that it creates some sag in the Z-axis of the adapter.  The easy way to remedy this is simply to add some felt or loop-side velcro to the bottom of the holder where the phone sits.  It then keeps the phone parallel to the eyepiece as it should so your camera can point straight into the center of the eyepiece instead of at an angle.  Lighter phones may not have this issue.


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#691 MarMax

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Posted Yesterday, 10:51 AM

I use the Nexyz holder and have an iPhone 12 Pro Max.  It's big and heavy enough that it creates some sag in the Z-axis of the adapter.  The easy way to remedy this is simply to add some felt or loop-side velcro to the bottom of the holder where the phone sits.  It then keeps the phone parallel to the eyepiece as it should so your camera can point straight into the center of the eyepiece instead of at an angle.  Lighter phones may not have this issue.

Even the TV FoneMate adapter has some sag in it. It's a nice design but not 100% solid. The way the adapter clamps to the eyecup recess has a bit of play in it that allows the heavy end of the phone to sag a bit.

 

Sadly, the only way to get a positive and square connection to an eyepiece is with a custom adapter. I had a pretty good system going with an ES 18/82 eyepiece but I sold that EP in-lieu of the 17T4.

 

I had high hopes for a PhoneSkope adapter but it's even worse than the others. They failed to account for the eye relief "Z" distance so the adapter clamps way too close to the EP lens. Many of my EP's are 15-20mm eye relief and the phone camera needs to be this far away to get a full field of view.

 

It's possible to take really good pictures with a cell phone but you do need a solid and square connection that is spaced correctly in the "Z" direction. I've been spending too much time with the IMX464 camera and need to get back to some cell phone imaging.


Edited by MarMax, Yesterday, 12:06 PM.

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#692 Migwan

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Posted Yesterday, 03:56 PM

OK, I've been sucked into the wormhole, too.   Ordered the Celestron YZ after trying to handhold a daytime shot with the ST80 with 24ES68.  I was totally unable to hand hold the cell phone and get a shot.  Nope, not going to happen.

 

I did get around my failing by cutting a 3/4" piece PVC pipe and using a sander to level and square the cut end.  Not sure if it was 2.5 or 3" PVC, but it fit over the eyepiece eye guard in the down position snugly.   I could then hold the phone on top of that and center the lens.   Whala!

 

Weather vain at 100yds. 

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#693 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted Yesterday, 05:32 PM

NGC 6543, Cat's Eye Nebula- This took a couple of minutes to find, not surprising considering it's small size. Once located with the 20mm and UHC, it was obvious. At this magnification, the blue hue was already apparent. Stepping up to the 9mm and then the 5mm didn't reveal the central star though. My wife, seeing a DSO for the first time, immediately noted the blue color as well, so that's a nice confirmation. 

 

Like others have said, that was a great report! I very much enjoy it when my wife joins me.

 

Did you continue to use the UHC with the other EPs also?

 

Thanks, Phil


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#694 M_t_G

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Posted Yesterday, 07:02 PM

I got a simple chinese phone mount of off aliexpress for 3 dollars. It works like a charm tbh 

Same one is sold in the only astronomy equipment store in my country for 20 dollars so that was a sweet deal.


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#695 PKDfan

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Posted Yesterday, 07:04 PM

Hi all!
I was'nt planning on adding another post so soon but my observation of the very near full moon eastern terminator was so amazing yesternight.

I felt it needed to be shared.

Mare Frigoris was in a favourable libration.

De La Rues crater wall was in view and seen as in profile along with some of Endymion.

It was just beyond the very slightly humped floor of Mare Frigoris and was in a shadow trough before the bright profile of De La Rues and Endymion crater walls were seen as brightly lit fascinating shapes beyond that shadow.
A profile so very complex in detail with the view exactly matching what you'd see approaching a mountain range from far away, a multitude of heights and topography.

I have observed the moon often but that was the first time seeing the profile of such a large craters wall in such amazing detail!
A view that literally had me going Oh Wow constantly!

Also caught a nice shadows feature on a crater near Mare Crisium, 4 little peaks casting shadows with the tallest three shadows seen on the crater wall beyond.

Could'nt determine which crater.
Condorcet??

I really need a moon globe that I can reference when in doubt.

A cell phone app just does'nt work well at all.


Who says the nearly full moon is boring!
Me thinks not many have bothered to setup in conditions like that, but not me!
I setup the night previous too and was treated to the western full moons barely there terminator and was impressed with details seen but seeing that craters wall profile and the nearby geography was so very interesting and dramatic as observed with my 4" F9 apo at 135× 6.5mm Morpheus last night.

A great couple hours out!

But Jupiter was a mostly failed experiment with only good views at its culmination and only for a couple of minutes. So concentrated on the fullish moon.

There has been a really great stretch of good weather for me lately.
I have had 11 good nights out of 25 and when I could get out the seeing generally cooperated.


Very happy observer here!!





Clear skies & Good seeing

Edited by PKDfan, Yesterday, 07:12 PM.

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#696 Speedy1985

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Posted Yesterday, 07:44 PM

I have seen in your signature that you do have phone holder. Its good for taking steady videos. But pictures are easily taken by hand help phone.

Check out my post https://www.cloudyni...iii/?p=11309690 and a few after in which i explain how i do it.

Aiming at the edge of the eyepiece will help with planet being dimmed down and u wont end up with a white blob.

Awesome, I'll give that thread a read and see if I can do a better job in the future. I'll probably have to wait and dedicate a night where the seeing is just ok to just getting it worked out. 

 

I use the Nexyz holder and have an iPhone 12 Pro Max.  It's big and heavy enough that it creates some sag in the Z-axis of the adapter.  The easy way to remedy this is simply to add some felt or loop-side velcro to the bottom of the holder where the phone sits.  It then keeps the phone parallel to the eyepiece as it should so your camera can point straight into the center of the eyepiece instead of at an angle.  Lighter phones may not have this issue.

Thank you for that tip. I'll have to tinker with it and see if I can get it set up right. 


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#697 Speedy1985

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Posted Yesterday, 07:48 PM

Like others have said, that was a great report! I very much enjoy it when my wife joins me.

 

Did you continue to use the UHC with the other EPs also?

 

Thanks, Phil

Yes it was nice to have her out there with me, and her amazement at the detail of the 2 big planets was awesome to see. 

 

I only used the UHC on the Cat's Eye to help darken the background, so it went into the 9mm as well as the 20mm. I didn't note if I used it in the 5mm, but I don't think I did as I was trying to switch EP's quickly for my wife to get a view. 



#698 MarMax

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Posted Yesterday, 09:32 PM

OK, I've been sucked into the wormhole, too.   Ordered the Celestron YZ after trying to handhold a daytime shot with the ST80 with 24ES68.  I was totally unable to hand hold the cell phone and get a shot.  Nope, not going to happen.

 

I did get around my failing by cutting a 3/4" piece PVC pipe and using a sander to level and square the cut end.  Not sure if it was 2.5 or 3" PVC, but it fit over the eyepiece eye guard in the down position snugly.   I could then hold the phone on top of that and center the lens.   Whala!

 

Weather vain at 100yds. 

Nice weather vain!

 

All this cell phone adapter discussion got me off my chair to see if I can take what I have and make it better. I like the FoneMate adapter for the way it easily connects to the TeleVue eyepieces and I like the custom molded S10 case part of the PhoneSkope adapter. It's the old you got chocolate in my peanut butter scenario.

 

I removed the FoneMate eyepiece connector from the adapter which has three small threaded fasteners and installed it on the PhoneSkope molded case. I was careful to line up the connector center with the camera, drilled three holes and that was it. Even the length of the fasteners worked and what are the chances of that.

 

I now have a FoneSkope adapter wink.gif


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#699 Voyager 3

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Posted Yesterday, 10:04 PM

Nice weather vain!

 

All this cell phone adapter discussion got me off my chair to see if I can take what I have and make it better. I like the FoneMate adapter for the way it easily connects to the TeleVue eyepieces and I like the custom molded S10 case part of the PhoneSkope adapter. It's the old you got chocolate in my peanut butter scenario.

 

I removed the FoneMate eyepiece connector from the adapter which has three small threaded fasteners and installed it on the PhoneSkope molded case. I was careful to line up the connector center with the camera, drilled three holes and that was it. Even the length of the fasteners worked and what are the chances of that.

 

I now have a FoneSkope adapter wink.gif

You forgot the ® . wink.gif


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#700 CBM1970

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Posted Yesterday, 11:23 PM

I think I'll add to the many obsserving reports prompted by good seeing in the eastern US over the past couple of days.

 

My session ran from 8:30 pm on 9/19 to 12:30 am on 9/20. Temperatures were in the upper 50s F in the beginning and around 50 F at the end. Seeing on Astrospheric was 4/5 for the duration, and that seemed accurate.

 

I micro-adjusted collimation before going outside (a smart move) and began with some looks at the full moon at 60x while waiting for the scope to cool. The views were nice, but my attempts at pictures and videos on my phone were not good. For some reason, I have real trouble getting a sharp lunar photo/video at low power. I do very well at high power, and I am still trying to solve this mystery. I briefly went to Jupiter to see where the moons were positioned and then moved on to Saturn. About 20 minutes had now elapsed since I went out with the scope.

 

Saturn was a little over 25 degrees in altitude and was just clearing a nearby roof that sometimes gives me trouble.

 

Saturn was, in a word, amazing. I slowly began moving up to high power. The first thing I noticed was that everything looked more still and steady through the eyepiece thanks usual. While the Cassini division still seemed to blur in and out of view from time to time, the contrast between the rings and the large yellowish Equatorial band was among the sharpest and most well defined that I've ever seen on any night.

The shadow cast be the planet on the rings was also clearly discernable. I was able to use up to 214x (the maximum available with my current set of eyepieces) to good effect.

 

After a while, I moved on to Jupiter and found that I was in the middle of a GRS transit with the storm close to the meridian just a little after 9pm EDT when I began observing it.

 

The "partial" band near the GRS (that almost looks as though it is draining/unraveling the GRS) seemed very prominent, and had a deep gray color to my eyes. Unlike Saturn, this was not the finest and steadiest Jupiter I'd seen all year, but it was very good nonetheless. I spent a lot of time viewing and taking pictures until the GRS was almost gone behind the planet. At that point, Europa began a transit of Jupiter - something I hadn't expected, but found in S&T's Jupiter moon locator/tracker while at the eyepiece!

 

Once the transit began, I spent a good deal of time trying to perceive Europa's presence in front of the planet. I didn't succeed, but I found three tiny barges just below the NEB (reflector view) surprisingly easy to spot (and even better through a smartphone video).

 

At this point, it was about 10:45 local time. I wanted to wait for Europa's shadow to begin transiting, but that was 90 minutes away.

 

I looked at the moon for a bit to kill some time. It was full, and less blessed by the seeing than the planets on this night for some reason, but nice all the same. I even had a go at the double-double which was fairly easily split as I approached 200x with my barlowed zoom, though a bit more jittery than I'd hoped. From my viewing position, it was over my own roof, and I think a bit compromised as a result.

 

I had a view more looks at Saturn (still outstanding though even lower in the sky) and then went indoors for 45 minutes to warm up.

 

When I returned, I had many fine views of Europa's shadow beginning its March across Jupiter's face. I also got some great "through the eyepiece" videos of this, with Europa's shadow being much easier to quickly detect on video than in the eyepiece.

 

Though my maximum of 214x was feasible on both giant planets at various times throughout the night, I found that my steadiest and highest quality videos were shot through they eyepiece at a setting of about 135x. These videos have helped prolong the mesmerizing views.

 

What an amazing observing night!


Edited by CBM1970, Yesterday, 11:32 PM.

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