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We saw Saturn for the first time last night! WOW! (Star hopping, M51, Dampness)

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#1 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:14 AM

Well, the first time through a telescope. 

 

From 10 to 11 we tried to do some star hopping to find M51, but that was very frustrating. Afterwards I read more about it and will be trying again soon. 

 

Saturn revealed itself over the trees a little after 11 and we started acquiring it, then we zoomed in. Awesome! Jupiter caught up about a ½ hour later. Saw 4 moons, AWESOME! Then the wait for Luna. Finally after 2 hours it was peaking through the trees. By then, everything was wet!

 

What a mess! We wrapped up, brought everything in and laid it out on some towels to dry. How do you keep the middle-of-night dew from ruining your viewing? Throw a towel over the scope when not actively using it? I've seen heaters. I looked down the tube, the mirror appeared clear, but looking through the eyepiece showed a lot of splatter.

 

Oh yes, we saw a few shooting stars too! NICE sideshow!

 

TYYL, Phil.

 

Changed M59 to M51. No sleep.


Edited by CRAZYeye29325, 29 July 2021 - 01:45 PM.

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#2 jerahian

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:24 AM

Great stuff!  Who's the we?  Friends, daughter, wife?  Enquiring mind(s) want(s) to know :)

 

If you can power it up, a blow dryer works well.  Dew heaters are a bit more subtle at 11pm at night, but also more expensive.

 

CS, Ara


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#3 havasman

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:25 AM

Yes, a towel over the scope can help slow dew formation. Primary mirrors seldom dew up but secondaries very commonly do in some locations like ours. Active dew control is the solution - heaters and controllers. For a demonstration of their effectiveness and a temporary solution you can use rubber bands to attach a chemical handwarmer pad around the stalk of your secondary right behind the mirror.

Be careful about breathing on the eye lens of your eyepieces too. This one's worst in the colder months.

I use heaters and controllers from R-Sky as they are effective and relatively economical. Dewbuster and Kendrick are other top suppliers. Reading info on their websites can be informative.

 

But there's nothing like your 1st view of Saturn. I still hold it as one of the most beautiful of all celestial objects and it still stops me and demands my attention when it's out.


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#4 Jon_Doh

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:27 AM

Sounds like you had a great night of viewing.  Saturn is nearing opposition so the show should keep getting better.  I don't know what to tell you about dealing with dew with an open dob, but I know some learned dob owners can offer advice.

 

There's a lot more stuff in the sky now that will wow you, so download the free Stellarium and make a list.



#5 charlieb123

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:27 AM

$20 usb dew heaters work fine until you want to go down the rabbit hole.



#6 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:42 AM

We= with daughter and her neighbor. I decided I was going to take a vacation day and stay up real late last night.

 

Stellarium is awesome, but still trying to find M51. I could see the Big Dippers handle and was trying 'triangulation' but just couldn't find it. ALSO, the cellphone would blind me every time I had to jump around the screens! That was bad, even with dark mode turned on and at the dimmest setting.

 

AND OMG Saturn was BRIGHT!!! Unbelievable that it could be so bright, even too bright...

 

I'll check out the dew heaters.


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#7 Asbytec

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:50 AM

I feel ya. I first saw Saturn back in the mid 70's. I remember it like it was yesterday, even though I don't recall what I had for breakfast yesterday. :)

Edited by Asbytec, 29 July 2021 - 08:51 AM.

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#8 BrettG

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:59 AM

No matter how many times I view Saturn and Jupiter - I am still awed.  Wonderful objects and I will never forget the first time (hopefully).

 

I will be of no help as far as the anti-dew solutions go - In the summer my area is pretty humid and "dewey", but I generally do not do anything about it.  When there appears to be a layer of water on everything, I pack it up for the night, put the scope away, and leave my accessory case open to dry out lol.gif


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#9 Migwan

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 09:07 AM

waytogo.gifwaytogo.gif



#10 wrvond

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 09:43 AM

With a table top Dob, an electric hair dryer will be more than enough. For more sustained dew control without having to stop to dry everything off, a couple Hot Hands (from WalMart) held onto the eyepiece and secondary stalk with rubber bands will last for more than eight hours.


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#11 TheUser

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 10:00 AM

was the primary mirror dry?

 

was the dew on the inside walls of the tube? only near the open part or all over the tube?


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#12 xvariablestarx

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 10:01 AM

Even better than seeing the wonders of the universe yourself, is seeing somebody else finding out what they look like for themselves, for the first time.


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#13 TheUser

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 10:01 AM

before fighting the dew you need a some sort of climate sensor (temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure etc).



#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 10:07 AM

It's a bit late in the year for observing M59 in the Virgo Cluster.  It's only 22 degrees in altitude at 10:00 p.m. EDT from my latitude of 40 degrees north.  There are a number of other galaxies such as M51 that are brighter and easier to locate and are also better placed in terms of altitude early in the night.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • M59 7-29-21 Stellarium.JPG

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#15 barbarosa

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 10:28 AM

Assuming that the answer to the question above is that you do not have dew on the primary mirror, then a simple heater for the secondary should do it. If condensation forms on the eyepiece, a similar strip sized for the eyepiece.

 

I live in a costal area where condensation is a problem more nights than not. If the forecast low is is with 3-5 degrees of the forecast dew point I turn on heaters for the corrector plate on the RASA8 and the objective of the refractor. Both scopes are wrapped some form of aluminized bubble wrap, or material salvaged from an aluminized car windshield shade. There is some controversy about wrapping optical tubes. I do it insulate the  slightly underpowered heaters I use and to keep moisture from forming on the optical tube. I do not employee temperature sensors, humidity sensors, or any sort of controller. The heaters are on or off normally for the entire session.

 

Before going with the fancy bubble wrap or foam I used to either keep a towel handy or use a hair dryer. I have a permanent setup now and there i a hair dryer hanging in arm's reach, or use when condensation is especially heavy or to help dry things when I shut down. 

 

One thing you should try to avoid is bring a cold scope and accessories directly in to the house as condensation may form immediately. Some people cap and cover before bringing in equipment.

 

Enjoy your table top Dob. It will work well on the larger bright summer time objects. Do not expect too much though with many deep space objects (DSOs), many of them will look like gray fuzz, and none of them excepting the Orion Nebula are going to show color.

 

Enjoy the scope for what it can do, and later if you want color and details from DSOs wander over to the EAA forum.


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#16 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 11:32 AM

The cheapest way to keep dew off the optics is to build a tube extension. For my bigger scopes, I use sheet plastic taped together so that it fits snugly over the tube. You might need to tape it to the tube. For my smaller scopes and the finder scopes, I use cardboard tubing that just slips onto the dew shield.

Saturn is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I saw it for the first time way back when I was 11 through a 60mm refractor. Although it was tiny at 60x, I'll never forget that amazing view.
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#17 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 01:48 PM

It's a bit late in the year for observing M59 in the Virgo Cluster.  It's only 22 degrees in altitude at 10:00 p.m. EDT from my latitude of 40 degrees north.  There are a number of other galaxies such as M51 that are brighter and easier to locate and are also better placed in terms of altitude early in the night.

 

Oops, corrected title to M51.



#18 AstroVPK

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 02:29 PM

Well, the first time through a telescope. 

 

From 10 to 11 we tried to do some star hopping to find M51, but that was very frustrating. Afterwards I read more about it and will be trying again soon. 

 

Saturn revealed itself over the trees a little after 11 and we started acquiring it, then we zoomed in. Awesome! Jupiter caught up about a ½ hour later. Saw 4 moons, AWESOME! Then the wait for Luna. Finally after 2 hours it was peaking through the trees. By then, everything was wet!

 

What a mess! We wrapped up, brought everything in and laid it out on some towels to dry. How do you keep the middle-of-night dew from ruining your viewing? Throw a towel over the scope when not actively using it? I've seen heaters. I looked down the tube, the mirror appeared clear, but looking through the eyepiece showed a lot of splatter.

 

Oh yes, we saw a few shooting stars too! NICE sideshow!

 

TYYL, Phil.

 

Changed M59 to M51. No sleep.

 

What happened to Jupiter? While Saturn is very pretty and all that, Jupiter is when things really start getting interesting. On a good night, it's possible to follow Jupiter's belts from the equator to the poles & observe how its weather system works. If you want a cool prject to work on over many months/years, you can follow the dynamics of the weather system from night to night.


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#19 Noto

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:00 PM

AND OMG Saturn was BRIGHT!!! Unbelievable that it could be so bright, even too bright...

I felt the same way the other night; almost seemed too bright to make some of the details.

 

I recently purchased an Orion 1-40% polarizing filter for lunar viewing, and decided to use it on the lower settings for Saturn. There are no click stops, but I'm sure it was in the neighborhood of 1-5%. It definitely took a slice of brightness away, which made the view much more pleasing.


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#20 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:28 PM

I felt the same way the other night; almost seemed too bright to make some of the details.

 

I recently purchased an Orion 1-40% polarizing filter for lunar viewing, and decided to use it on the lower settings for Saturn. There are no click stops, but I'm sure it was in the neighborhood of 1-5%. It definitely took a slice of brightness away, which made the view much more pleasing.

 

You would think there would be a video on "how to use" the Orion Variable Polarizing Filter, but all I can find is the features. So, does it screw onto the bottom, then you take a peak, remove eyepiece to make an adjustment then take another peak... or does it screw onto the top of the eyepiece somehow? (Sorry, I feel so ignorant asking these simple questions)

 

Thanks, Phil.



#21 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:30 PM

What happened to Jupiter? 

It was so bright it looked like a white blob.



#22 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:33 PM

was the primary mirror dry?

 

was the dew on the inside walls of the tube? only near the open part or all over the tube?

Yes, it looked dry. Didn't notice the inside walls.



#23 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:36 PM

With a table top Dob, an electric hair dryer will be more than enough. For more sustained dew control without having to stop to dry everything off, a couple Hot Hands (from WalMart) held onto the eyepiece and secondary stalk with rubber bands will last for more than eight hours.

Ugh! Running a drop cord out to the telescope...



#24 sevenofnine

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:45 PM

The dew question is pretty well sorted. As far as not seeing M51...join the club. My best so far has been pretty disappointing and  that's with an 8" Dob. I'm hoping for a better view someday maybe under ideal seeing conditions. My best so far is just two very tiny soft dots next to each other. One slightly larger blackeye.gif



#25 Noto

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 07:05 PM

You would think there would be a video on "how to use" the Orion Variable Polarizing Filter, but all I can find is the features. So, does it screw onto the bottom, then you take a peak, remove eyepiece to make an adjustment then take another peak... or does it screw onto the top of the eyepiece somehow? (Sorry, I feel so ignorant asking these simple questions)

 

Thanks, Phil.

Hi Phil,

 

It's actually a 2-piece filter - here's the manual from Orion that shows the parts and such. I actually screwed mine into the bottom of my Barlow, so I was able to quickly switch out eyepieces without having to screw/unscrew the filter each time (I used it for Jupiter as well, as it's much brighter than Saturn). What I like about it is the range from 1-40%; if you keep it at around the lowest "setting" it seems to take away a bit of glare, and if you increase the filter, you can definitely make things "darker" without losing too much of the details.

 

Hope this helps!


Edited by Noto, 29 July 2021 - 07:06 PM.

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