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Observation log continued; IV

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#26 Studly

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 02:38 PM

Might be just my eyes, but I get bit of green???   

 

Your images show the A, B & C bands.  Near the edge of the A band, I can just see a bit of difference in brightness.  I always assume that is where the Enke's gap is when I can see that in the telescope (which has been a long time).   I see that best in image 2 &3.   If that isn't an illusion on my part, that's a pretty cool capture.   Especially as seeing seems to have knocked the black right out of the Cassinni Division. 

Yeah, it's not your eyes--the green tint is a little too prominent in some of these. Number 2 is probably the one that most accurately reflects color. Most of the captures were also too dark, and should have had slightly longer exposure times. For some reason, the preview image on my laptop always looks much brighter than the captured images actually are. I'm always fearful of overexposing the images and losing detail. I will have to try lengthening the exposure times.

 

The Seeing was not great during the captures. I only used 1% of the captured frames. I was actually surprised that the stacks turned out as good as they did.

 

Tony


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#27 Nankins

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 11:10 PM

My first post in this thread.
Mon Aug 22, 2022. 9:30 - 11:22 p.m.
Apertura AD10 10" reflector Dobsonian and Bushnell 10x50 binoculars.
Multiple eyepieces used

Started out with Saturn, both because it was already just above the nearby woods and also because I needed
to make sure some new eyepieces worked. I was very happy with it in my Barlowed 8-24mm Celestron Zoom EP,
with banding visible (even though my stuff was already fogging up and the transparency and seeing are not
the best), and I was able to see the Cassini Division much of the time. First time I know I have seen it.
Iapetus, Rhea, and Titan were identified. C-ring hinted at.

After some more collimation and Saturn admiration, I looked around a little. But unfortunately I could
not find familiar targets such as M57, so I moved on and began attempting my list for the night. But I
ended up bagging the Silver Nugget Cluster (NGC 6441) for the first time, using my Barlowed Zoom EP. This
little globular cluster sits right next to the star Fuyue (G Sco), making a nice pair. Small and fuzzy,
appears to live up to its name. I then went in search of a few more targets, but could not quite get them.
I was able to get the telescope on a few more new objects, such as M54, which was completely resolved in
my unBarlowed Zoom eyepiece at nearly its highest magnification, and was the best DSO of the night. M22
just did not give up enough stars to look impressive, but it still showed nicely in the eyepiece. M51 was
attempted with the Zoom EP, but everything was fogged up and the galaxy pair just was nothing more than a
large galaxy-shaped smudge. I've seen it much better from here.

Jupiter was a completely unexpected treat. While I knew it would be rising soon, I did not anticipate how
soon, and was able to get a quick look in through some tree branches. Ganymede was identified on the far
left, and all the other moons were grouped on the right. No Great Red Spot visible. Equatorial bands were
visible.

With the 10x50s, I was able to stumble on the Double Cluster (not yet impressive in the evening), and was
able to locate M31, which was not much more than an elongated smudge in both telescope and binoculars, due
to being washed out in my light polluted eastern sky. I was able to locate M27 with the binoculars, looking
a little like a bloated and dimmed star. M8 and M20 also lent themselves to the binos, providing a nice
view. I then popped across M28 for the first known time, on my way to settle the binos on M22, which also
presented nicely. I later took them to M51 to see what I could see in them (First time with the 10x50s),
and was able to make out a small smudge. I have found that M7 tends to look the best in binoculars, so I
also took a look at it. One of my last observations with the binoculars was M54, which was a first for me.

I also like to see what I can see naked eye. M7, M8, M24, and M31 are all visible with direct vision,
although there are plenty of times when it can be hard to see them. The Double Cluster is quite obvious,
and tonight it caught my eye even through the nasty light pollution in the northeastern part of the sky.
I also noted that despite the non-ideal conditions, I could sort of make out the North America Nebula in
Cygnus.
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#28 wxcloud

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 02:06 AM

8/22/22

It's been a while since I've done some visual. The astrophotography bug came back and pestered me a little bit, but I managed to shoo it away, likely only temporarily. Anyway day started off clear then clouded up in the afternoon and got a late start breaking up, but finally did enough to look through the scope. Initially had the idea of the dob + binoculars of some kind but ended up with the ol creaky slightly mis collimated XT 10.

Once the clouds in the south cleared out enough I went to work in the core of our galaxy. Wanted at least another crack at things with the light bucket before it sets for the year. Spotted one small open cluster in the area before needing to retreat for a while then got back to work doing the old pan and scan until something caught my eye in the 24mm pan, I'd then swap out eyepieces for something a little more magnification. Took a bit of doing but managed to find a round dim fuzzy patch. A pretty large one, I'm taking to think is m22. Once found, I placed the 13mm nagler I'm trying to still get used to (and I actually might be) and it really started to fill the fov. A few pin pricks of light stood out against the fuzzy grainy patch. Kind of started to resolve but just wouldn't. I tried the 7mm Pentax and got a little more grainyness but not much would resolve. Spent a little time trying to coax details then moved on.

Back in with the 24mm and I finally came across another fuzzy patch, had a bit of a bar going and did a good job trying to hide in the background murk. Just barely saw the slash, m17 had to be due to it's shape. I had an idea to try the UHC filter. I threaded the filter in, took another look and, well it was obvious! Nebula did a good job standing out against the pollution. Instead of just a slash, a few more details became noticable. Took on more of a checkmark. I didn't try swapping eyepieces at the time as I didn't want to change out the filters and my hand ended up catching the attention of some mosquitoes which made things distracting for a bit.

I ended up removing the filter to try and find m8 which took a little longer than I'd like and I think I eventually did find it. The UHC filter kind of worked, brought out a slightly brighter area with a little more nebulosity, a bit of a fan shape. I'd almost wonder if it was actually m8 but the cluster nearby. Still not totally sure. Ugh danged light pollution.

Did a little more scanning around the area, a couple nice star fields, possible the star cloud then moved on to Saturn as it was placed decently.

The 7mm Pentax gave an ok view but the breeze made itself known. Couldn't make much out in terms of details but think I saw a couple moons.

M31 was on the list, found beta And and probably should have looked at the star a little bit more, it's orange color, but I went to work looking for the galaxy. Found it, well the bright core without features and I think m32 nearby. Wasn't a whole lot to look at unfortunately so off to Cassiopeia I go. Came across an interesting looking cluster, two bright stars and almost a stick figure like smattering of stars and two dimmer stars at the feet I suppose. I think this is the ET cluster, NGC 457. I think I'm going to have to check this one out again, it was a neat one! Spotted a few other things, then onto Mirfak which in the dob, I didn't quite get the view I was hoping for due to the focal length but I remember something else in the area, the double cluster.

Just wow! When I saw it, barely fit in the panoptic. Did wish I had a little bit wider view. I put the 13mm nagler in to give me a little bit more details. Was an impressive sight overall.

I took a little break and went back out to see Jupiter getting pretty high in the sky so I pointed the dob to it. I started off with the 6mm baader Ortho, I mean might as well go for it. View seemed a little pale and flat. But it was Jupiter, it's two main bands visible, one more prominent than the other. I ended up swapping out the Ortho for the Pentax, to help with the very quick drift that the Ortho barely gave me time to adjust for, focus and dampening of vibrations. In the 7mm penny, once the view settled down I started to notice some details. I started to think I could make out the great red spot. This side of Jupiter has been a bit rare for me. The scopes optics slightly out of whack but I could still get hints of things. The more I watched, the more I thought I was looking at the GRS and I noticed something else too when things where calm. A dark round dot right next to the spot. Took me a bit to convince myself that was what I was seeing. Could this actually be the GRS and a shadow transit? Not a dust note and my imagination from slightly whacked collimation? I looked some more and got really curious....

I ran back inside pulled up Cartes found Jupiter in the program, zoomed in and it was. The GRS and a shadow transit of Io! Not only this, I think I could tell the shadow was moving in relation to the GRS. The shadow seemed to have moved during the time I was watching. Not in real time but during the session. Wow! Did not expect that. This might have been the session right here, the double cluster a close second.

Wish my optics where better aligned or I actually did take the mak out but wow! That shadow transit was very cool what I could make out of it!

I did call the session a short time later. What a session!
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#29 therealdmt

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 04:24 AM

8/22/22
What a session!


Fun report to read cool.gif

That cluster you came across in Cassiopeia sounds like the Owl Cluster, NGC 457/C13, to me (looks like 'ET Cluster' is another name for it, so you already got it!). Definitely a favorite.

Congratulations on the great session smile.gif
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#30 Jehujones

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 07:43 AM

My first post in this thread.
Mon Aug 22, 2022. 9:30 - 11:22 p.m.
Apertura AD10 10" reflector Dobsonian and Bushnell 10x50 binoculars.
Multiple eyepieces used...[Snip]

 

welcome.gif  Good report. Sounds like you have some decent skies in spite of your light pollution.


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#31 TayM57

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 08:58 AM

I'm still deciphering my notes from last night but I gotta say that we had some great conditions here.
There was no discernable twinkle at all. The only limits on my seeing was the quality and available selection of my optics.
Transparency was great here too. By 3am stars were visible to mag 4.95 in Cassiopeia (Phi) and averted to mag 5.4 (Lambda)

I wish I could say M31 was visible but I think it was my imagination after viewing it so long in the scope.

I hope conditions repeat tonight, it would be worth the hour long drive to darker skies.

If you're in SoCal I suggest you get out there tonight.

The core of M31 should be visible, at the very least. Even in the brightest of skies, the core of M31 can be seen through a telescope. Just not naked eye.


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#32 Nankins

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Posted 23 August 2022 - 03:16 PM

welcome.gif  Good report. Sounds like you have some decent skies in spite of your light pollution.


Thank you! We do. Lafayette, IN creates quite a nice diffuse light dome in roughly half our eastern sky,
and Attica, IN and Williamsport, IN also create a smaller but more compact light dome in our southwestern
sky, but its surprisingly dark overhead. Rural skies. Also I have excellent vision.
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#33 wxcloud

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 01:13 AM

8/23/22 gas giants and stars.

Actually got another outing in tonight but ended up needing to improvise a bit since I got a later start than I was hoping. Clouds with a slight possibility for rain moved in close to dark which kept me from setting up the AVX. Then the flood light next door came on for a bit so actually didn't think I'd be observing at all.

Had thoughts of setting the dob out but with planets on the menu I wanted the tracking. So the idea was the skymax 127 on the AVX to see how much I could push the optics before the atmosphere said nope. Had to box that idea, was a little late in the evening to set up once the light went off next door so just set the uncooled maksutov up on the twilight mount. Probably should have just used the dob...

Anyway first up was Saturn, used my 24mm as a finder and finally located the ringed gem. A while back I picked up an astro tech 4mm 82° eyepiece for planetary just to check out as I was curious and wanted something else to throw in the box along with the flattener for the at80edt. Finally decided to open the box up and try the eyepiece tonight. Got to say, initial views with the hundred dollar eyepiece seemed good. Got me nice and close to Saturn. Detected some nice banding across the planet, a relatively new view for me. Seemed nice and sharp. Could sort of make out the cassini division and slightly darker outer ring but did have a problem and that was I needed to consistently adjust the mount to keep the object in view. Slight breeze along with tube currents and seeing, things would blur here and there. Think a couple moons where visible. A bit hard to count while constantly making adjustments.

However wasn't a bad view as a whole. Just didn't get more than a few seconds before things drifted.

On to Jupiter, still a little bit low. It too was a fairly decent usable view, though it did look as if it was simmering in a frying pan around the edges and details did blur out some. No GRS tonight but did catch 3 of the 4 moons. Spent a little less time here then decided to change out to the at80edt.

Surprisingly, since the mount was already pointing roughly at Jupiter after switching out scopes, I had another look. Again, while the disc was smaller, still had some good details and color. Not bad at all! Actually thinking the coloring was slightly better in the refractor.

I did spend a little time in the murk and tried to coax out something near the core of the milky way, found a couple small open clusters I can't ID, a hazy patch maybe that I'm really not going to count, a fuzzy ball representing a probable globular cluster m22 then gave up. Think milky way core season is done for me. Actually from Cygnus to Sagittarius is probably done for the year :( at least for the small refractor.

Really missing the dob right now. I didn't set it up because I figured it needed to sit for a bit to get around ambient temperature. Probably wouldn't have mattered...

Did a quick look for M31 and while I found the small faint slight elongated smudge I didn't stay long. Over to Cassiopeia. Hit up the double cluster again, spent a little bit there, tried out the 13mm nagler and I'm slowly leaning this eyepiece. It did pick up a hazy glare reflection I think from the local surroundings, I used my hand and it seemed to go away. The cluster was slightly underwhelming after the session with the dob last night. It was also a little lower in the sky. Still, not bad.

Found a couple small open clusters I can't identify further in Cassiopeia, one had a little haze around it, I'm not sure was nebulosity, maybe just haze from unresolved stars.

I called the session. Think it was about an hour or a little less. Think Saturn was the gem this session and think if I was tracking it'd been better.

Think last night's session with the dob kind of spoiled me, still, it was a decent session and I got out :)

I also tried my Celestron nature dx ed 8x42 binoculars and I think they are just a little too small for night time use especially in my light pollution. Found m7 or m6 but almost overlooked it. Didn't catch much else with them.
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#34 MP173

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 10:27 AM

After about 18 months of inactivity, I have been out twice recently.  I took a break and spent time doing other hobbies.

 

On Monday, August 22nd I went out for a short session just to test drive the AT102ED, concentrating on Cygnus.

 

Started at Deneb and moved west to the wide visual double Omicron 1 and 2.  

 

Moved north and east to Omega 1 and 2, another fine wide visual double.  Nested inside those two stars are a true double S755 which  was very easily resolved with 60-" of separation.

 

Moved to Sadr and then dropped down to M29.  Despite the evening twilight it was easily spotted with about 10 stars.  To the south were two doubles - one of which was later identified as SEI 1116 - 9.2/10.0, 30" separation at 342 degrees.

 

Inside after 45 minutes.

 

This morning (August 24) my adult son spent the night and was up at 4am to go fishing on Lake Michigan.  I arose and was outside at 430.  He took a quick look at Pleiades ("wow that nice").  Used my 32mm eyepiece which provides a 2.3 degree FOV.  After he headed out, I returned and sketched Pleiades and then used 12mm and later 5mm to view certain (unknown) doubles within the cluster.  The 5mm is obviously overkill for the big cluster, but I wanted to use it.

 

Moved down to Hyades and the "triple triangle, one of my favorite views.  With the 32mm Aldebaron was squeezed into FOV.

 

Mars was next...big and red!  No polar caps visible.  Eastern glow beginning to show at 500 as sunrise is scheduled for 606am.  Used the 5mm and estimated the disk size at 10"-15".  Actual size was 9.2".

 

Next was Jupiter to the southwest.  Three moons to the west - Callisto, Ganymede and Europa with Io to the east.  Again used the 5mm for stunning view.  No Big Red Spot showing, but two nice bands.

 

Finished with the rising moon just below Gemini which cleared the pine trees.  

 

Then enjoyed the morning with coffee and the birds coming to the feeder.

 

Great sessions in the summer and late fall skys.

 

Ed


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#35 Migwan

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 08:21 PM

8/22/22,  00:00-02:25,  67-59°,   NNW Calm,   RH 82>94%,   (Clear Skies) Trans 3/5 , See 3/5,  0 Jet, 0% moon,   NELM 4.75 Cep,   PS 6/10,   LP Map SQM 20.4,  755’,   Home,  C11&ST120

 

Continuation of less than optimal conditions, so didn’t leave the yard.  Per NELM (direct vision), CS Transparency seemed hopeful, yet the Milky Way was readily visible.  

 

Deb dragged me out (willingly) to see the Starlinks go by.   We watched 50 or so go NW to SE close to zenith at around 10PM.    I retaliated by pointing out some constellations afterwards.   How can anyone be sure of such things, but she at least acted interested.   I pulled the scopes out and escorted her in.

 

Inspired by Don's NV session, I stayed with Ceph and had a warm up session for hopefully better conditions and a trip to a dark site.   You never know.

 

NGC7380 was not too hard to find, but very hard to see.  Filters helped in the ST120 @20x, but injured the view in the C11 @136x.  While looking at the nebula, I could not make out the Wizards face whatsoever.   Rather, I was only able to see a smattering of very feint undefined nebula amongst the stars.  After a good half hour of swapping EP s, filters and staring, I noticed I could just make out some of the nebula’s dark lanes.  In particular, much of what that in the pic below.   So not great for the amount of time spent, but significantly better than I managed last year. 

 

I moved on to IC1396, but after expending so much effort on the Wizard, I was no longer in the mood and failed to even see it.  I left for easier targets.  Worked some globs down to M2.  Checked Saturn.  Only three moons visible.  

 

Ended the night on Jupiter at 02:05.  Io was a bump on the edge, just about to transition.   It’s shadow  was already doing so, just a short ways in front of a GRS that was just coming around the corner.  As the moon began to transition, it did so injuring the view of the GRS by tailgating it.   This made it somewhat difficult to see and also made the GRS look deformed.   I could also make out a white barge in NEB in front of all the action that was going on in the SEB.   The barge was only visible in averted vision and could only be held for a short while, but was seen a number of times.  Overall, this was not the greatest view of the big gassy.  Still, lots going on.

Attached Thumbnails

  • wizard2.png

Edited by Migwan, 24 August 2022 - 10:25 PM.

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#36 Jehujones

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 09:00 PM

The core of M31 should be visible, at the very least. Even in the brightest of skies, the core of M31 can be seen through a telescope. Just not naked eye.

My bad... I guess I wasn't very clear, I was talking about naked eye visibility.

Yes, I spent at least 45 minutes just admiring our neighboring island.

Only the brightest 20% at most could be seen from my location in the scope without detail.


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#37 Jehujones

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 09:32 PM

The AT28 came today, I guess I wasn't prepared for the size. Gonna have to throw another brick on the bottom of the dob.


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#38 Studly

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 09:04 AM

Despite feeling like crap, I made it out last night for a quick look at Saturn:

 

 

2022-08-24
Time: 21:50 local time (EDT); 01:50 UTC (08-25)
Cloud Cover: None
Wind: None
SQM Measurement: 20.81
Temperature: 17C/63F
Transparency: Fair (2/5)
Seeing: Good (4/5)
Length of Observing Session: 50m
Instrument: Celestron C6-A SCT (fl 1500, f/10)
Mount: SkyWatcher AZ4 Alt-Az
Eyepieces: Baader Hyperion

 

Summary: Despite a somewhat hazy sky with slightly below average Transparency, and feeling bad due to continued asthma problems, I went out for a quick look at Saturn.

 

Saturn: At 24mm (62x), the planet’s rings were obvious. The planet appeared to possess a deep, bright beige color. Occasional glimpses of darker planetary cloud banding could be seen as well. Several tiny moons could also be seen. To the planet’s west, Tehtys, Rhea, and Iapetus could be seen, arranged in a crooked line. To the east, Dione appeared closer to the planet, while distant Titan shone brightly farther out. The moons were on the edge of visibility (except Titan), and were blinking in and out of the view. At 21mm (71x), the dark banding on the planet was a little easier to see. At steadier moments of Seeing, the Cassini Division in the rings became barely visible—a razor-thin dark line in the outer rings. The northern equatorial band displayed a subtle but definite brown color. At 17mm (88x), the cloud bands on the planet appeared more pronounced. The equatorial zone appeared bright beige, with everything located north of it appearing brown or tan in color. The presence of the Cassini Division was confirmed. At 13mm (115x), some small striations were beginning to appear in the darker northern hemisphere. The southern edge of these northern bands took on a rich, dark brown color. The moons continued to appear very dim, and remained only intermittently visible (except Titan, of course). In the rings, the Cassini Division was more consistently visible. At 10mm (150x), the Cassini Division finally became steadily visible. However, details in the planet’s cloud bands began to soften. Some of the subtle coloration noted earlier now appeared washed out. At 8mm (187x), some of the lost coloration was restored to the planet’s cloud bands, though not all. The Cassini Division remained a constant, thin line in the ring structure. The view of the planet was very steady, even if the detail was slightly lacking. At 5mm (300x), the image degraded considerably.

 

Conclusion: The mediocre Transparency contributed much to the inability to push the magnification without losing detail. Still, the view wasn’t terrible. The scope was much more stable on the AZ4 mount than on the ES mount previously used.

 

 

Until next time!


Edited by Studly, 25 August 2022 - 09:07 AM.

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#39 wxcloud

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 03:59 PM

The AT28 came today, I guess I wasn't prepared for the size. Gonna have to throw another brick on the bottom of the dob.

 

Could always grab a 31mm t6 nagler for counterbalance lol.gif wink.gif


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#40 Jehujones

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 08:17 PM

Could always grab a 31mm t6 nagler for counterbalance lol.gif wink.gif

(... checking the classifieds...)



#41 BrentKnight

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 09:23 PM

8/22/22,  00:00-02:25,  67-59°,   NNW Calm,   RH 82>94%,   (Clear Skies) Trans 3/5 , See 3/5,  0 Jet, 0% moon,   NELM 4.75 Cep,   PS 6/10,   LP Map SQM 20.4,  755’,   Home,  C11&ST120

 

Continuation of less than optimal conditions, so didn’t leave the yard.  Per NELM (direct vision), CS Transparency seemed hopeful, yet the Milky Way was readily visible.  

 

Deb dragged me out (willingly) to see the Starlinks go by.   We watched 50 or so go NW to SE close to zenith at around 10PM.    I retaliated by pointing out some constellations afterwards.   How can anyone be sure of such things, but she at least acted interested.   I pulled the scopes out and escorted her in.

 

Inspired by Don's NV session, I stayed with Ceph and had a warm up session for hopefully better conditions and a trip to a dark site.   You never know.

 

NGC7380 was not too hard to find, but very hard to see.  Filters helped in the ST120 @20x, but injured the view in the C11 @136x.  While looking at the nebula, I could not make out the Wizards face whatsoever.   Rather, I was only able to see a smattering of very feint undefined nebula amongst the stars.  After a good half hour of swapping EP s, filters and staring, I noticed I could just make out some of the nebula’s dark lanes.  In particular, much of what that in the pic below.   So not great for the amount of time spent, but significantly better than I managed last year. 

 

I moved on to IC1396, but after expending so much effort on the Wizard, I was no longer in the mood and failed to even see it.  I left for easier targets.  Worked some globs down to M2.  Checked Saturn.  Only three moons visible.  

 

Ended the night on Jupiter at 02:05.  Io was a bump on the edge, just about to transition.   It’s shadow  was already doing so, just a short ways in front of a GRS that was just coming around the corner.  As the moon began to transition, it did so injuring the view of the GRS by tailgating it.   This made it somewhat difficult to see and also made the GRS look deformed.   I could also make out a white barge in NEB in front of all the action that was going on in the SEB.   The barge was only visible in averted vision and could only be held for a short while, but was seen a number of times.  Overall, this was not the greatest view of the big gassy.  Still, lots going on.

During my 10th session with a telescope ever, I observed NGC7380, but only the open cluster (October 1983).  If it ever stops raining, I think this object is worth another look.


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#42 Migwan

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 09:07 AM

During my 10th session with a telescope ever, I observed NGC7380, but only the open cluster (October 1983).  If it ever stops raining, I think this object is worth another look.

I was interrupted twice while trying to post, so I'd like to add some description.   As mentioned, I could just barely see the nebula.  No way to make out any real shape.  However, when I took the whole area in averted vision, I could see the one edge of the dark lane quite clearly.  (Line in the picture.)   

 

Within the added circle I could the three stars, but in a dark void rather than a pocket of nebula.   The only nebula I saw within that was immediately around the bigger star in the middle.  What really gets me is that the smallest star seems oddly bright in my memory, as compared to the pictures I've seen since, which show a star I doubt I could even see.    I tried to get a magnitude and/or ID for it in WikiSky, without success.  

 

I'd be crossing my fingers for a break in your weather. 

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#43 Migwan

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 10:04 AM

8/22/22

It's been a while since I've done some visual. The astrophotography bug came back and pestered me a little bit, but I managed to shoo it away, likely only temporarily. Anyway day started off clear then clouded up in the afternoon and got a late start breaking up, but finally did enough to look through the scope. Initially had the idea of the dob + binoculars of some kind but ended up with the ol creaky slightly mis collimated XT 10.

Once the clouds in the south cleared out enough I went to work in the core of our galaxy. Wanted at least another crack at things with the light bucket before it sets for the year. Spotted one small open cluster in the area before needing to retreat for a while then got back to work doing the old pan and scan until something caught my eye in the 24mm pan, I'd then swap out eyepieces for something a little more magnification. Took a bit of doing but managed to find a round dim fuzzy patch. A pretty large one, I'm taking to think is m22. Once found, I placed the 13mm nagler I'm trying to still get used to (and I actually might be) and it really started to fill the fov. A few pin pricks of light stood out against the fuzzy grainy patch. Kind of started to resolve but just wouldn't. I tried the 7mm Pentax and got a little more grainyness but not much would resolve. Spent a little time trying to coax details then moved on.

Back in with the 24mm and I finally came across another fuzzy patch, had a bit of a bar going and did a good job trying to hide in the background murk. Just barely saw the slash, m17 had to be due to it's shape. I had an idea to try the UHC filter. I threaded the filter in, took another look and, well it was obvious! Nebula did a good job standing out against the pollution. Instead of just a slash, a few more details became noticable. Took on more of a checkmark. I didn't try swapping eyepieces at the time as I didn't want to change out the filters and my hand ended up catching the attention of some mosquitoes which made things distracting for a bit.

I ended up removing the filter to try and find m8 which took a little longer than I'd like and I think I eventually did find it. The UHC filter kind of worked, brought out a slightly brighter area with a little more nebulosity, a bit of a fan shape. I'd almost wonder if it was actually m8 but the cluster nearby. Still not totally sure. Ugh danged light pollution.

Did a little more scanning around the area, a couple nice star fields, possible the star cloud then moved on to Saturn as it was placed decently.

The 7mm Pentax gave an ok view but the breeze made itself known. Couldn't make much out in terms of details but think I saw a couple moons.

M31 was on the list, found beta And and probably should have looked at the star a little bit more, it's orange color, but I went to work looking for the galaxy. Found it, well the bright core without features and I think m32 nearby. Wasn't a whole lot to look at unfortunately so off to Cassiopeia I go. Came across an interesting looking cluster, two bright stars and almost a stick figure like smattering of stars and two dimmer stars at the feet I suppose. I think this is the ET cluster, NGC 457. I think I'm going to have to check this one out again, it was a neat one! Spotted a few other things, then onto Mirfak which in the dob, I didn't quite get the view I was hoping for due to the focal length but I remember something else in the area, the double cluster.

Just wow! When I saw it, barely fit in the panoptic. Did wish I had a little bit wider view. I put the 13mm nagler in to give me a little bit more details. Was an impressive sight overall.

I took a little break and went back out to see Jupiter getting pretty high in the sky so I pointed the dob to it. I started off with the 6mm baader Ortho, I mean might as well go for it. View seemed a little pale and flat. But it was Jupiter, it's two main bands visible, one more prominent than the other. I ended up swapping out the Ortho for the Pentax, to help with the very quick drift that the Ortho barely gave me time to adjust for, focus and dampening of vibrations. In the 7mm penny, once the view settled down I started to notice some details. I started to think I could make out the great red spot. This side of Jupiter has been a bit rare for me. The scopes optics slightly out of whack but I could still get hints of things. The more I watched, the more I thought I was looking at the GRS and I noticed something else too when things where calm. A dark round dot right next to the spot. Took me a bit to convince myself that was what I was seeing. Could this actually be the GRS and a shadow transit? Not a dust note and my imagination from slightly whacked collimation? I looked some more and got really curious....

I ran back inside pulled up Cartes found Jupiter in the program, zoomed in and it was. The GRS and a shadow transit of Io! Not only this, I think I could tell the shadow was moving in relation to the GRS. The shadow seemed to have moved during the time I was watching. Not in real time but during the session. Wow! Did not expect that. This might have been the session right here, the double cluster a close second.

Wish my optics where better aligned or I actually did take the mak out but wow! That shadow transit was very cool what I could make out of it!

I did call the session a short time later. What a session!

Great observation on the shadow transit GRS relationship.   Never noticed that before.   


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#44 Migwan

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 10:23 AM

8/23/22 gas giants and stars.

Actually got another outing in tonight but ended up needing to improvise a bit since I got a later start than I was hoping. Clouds with a slight possibility for rain moved in close to dark which kept me from setting up the AVX. Then the flood light next door came on for a bit so actually didn't think I'd be observing at all.

Had thoughts of setting the dob out but with planets on the menu I wanted the tracking. So the idea was the skymax 127 on the AVX to see how much I could push the optics before the atmosphere said nope. Had to box that idea, was a little late in the evening to set up once the light went off next door so just set the uncooled maksutov up on the twilight mount. Probably should have just used the dob...

Anyway first up was Saturn, used my 24mm as a finder and finally located the ringed gem. A while back I picked up an astro tech 4mm 82° eyepiece for planetary just to check out as I was curious and wanted something else to throw in the box along with the flattener for the at80edt. Finally decided to open the box up and try the eyepiece tonight. Got to say, initial views with the hundred dollar eyepiece seemed good. Got me nice and close to Saturn. Detected some nice banding across the planet, a relatively new view for me. Seemed nice and sharp. Could sort of make out the cassini division and slightly darker outer ring but did have a problem and that was I needed to consistently adjust the mount to keep the object in view. Slight breeze along with tube currents and seeing, things would blur here and there. Think a couple moons where visible. A bit hard to count while constantly making adjustments.

However wasn't a bad view as a whole. Just didn't get more than a few seconds before things drifted.

On to Jupiter, still a little bit low. It too was a fairly decent usable view, though it did look as if it was simmering in a frying pan around the edges and details did blur out some. No GRS tonight but did catch 3 of the 4 moons. Spent a little less time here then decided to change out to the at80edt.

Surprisingly, since the mount was already pointing roughly at Jupiter after switching out scopes, I had another look. Again, while the disc was smaller, still had some good details and color. Not bad at all! Actually thinking the coloring was slightly better in the refractor.

I did spend a little time in the murk and tried to coax out something near the core of the milky way, found a couple small open clusters I can't ID, a hazy patch maybe that I'm really not going to count, a fuzzy ball representing a probable globular cluster m22 then gave up. Think milky way core season is done for me. Actually from Cygnus to Sagittarius is probably done for the year frown.gif at least for the small refractor.

Really missing the dob right now. I didn't set it up because I figured it needed to sit for a bit to get around ambient temperature. Probably wouldn't have mattered...

Did a quick look for M31 and while I found the small faint slight elongated smudge I didn't stay long. Over to Cassiopeia. Hit up the double cluster again, spent a little bit there, tried out the 13mm nagler and I'm slowly leaning this eyepiece. It did pick up a hazy glare reflection I think from the local surroundings, I used my hand and it seemed to go away. The cluster was slightly underwhelming after the session with the dob last night. It was also a little lower in the sky. Still, not bad.

Found a couple small open clusters I can't identify further in Cassiopeia, one had a little haze around it, I'm not sure was nebulosity, maybe just haze from unresolved stars.

I called the session. Think it was about an hour or a little less. Think Saturn was the gem this session and think if I was tracking it'd been better.

Think last night's session with the dob kind of spoiled me, still, it was a decent session and I got out smile.gif

I also tried my Celestron nature dx ed 8x42 binoculars and I think they are just a little too small for night time use especially in my light pollution. Found m7 or m6 but almost overlooked it. Didn't catch much else with them.

Pretty descent seeing for you to use that 4mm with the 127mm on Saturn.  Good deal.


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#45 BrentKnight

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Posted 26 August 2022 - 06:50 PM

I was interrupted twice while trying to post, so I'd like to add some description.   As mentioned, I could just barely see the nebula.  No way to make out any real shape.  However, when I took the whole area in averted vision, I could see the one edge of the dark lane quite clearly.  (Line in the picture.)   

 

Within the added circle I could the three stars, but in a dark void rather than a pocket of nebula.   The only nebula I saw within that was immediately around the bigger star in the middle.  What really gets me is that the smallest star seems oddly bright in my memory, as compared to the pictures I've seen since, which show a star I doubt I could even see.    I tried to get a magnitude and/or ID for it in WikiSky, without success.  

 

I'd be crossing my fingers for a break in your weather. 

 

I think this is close to the field you show in the picture (rotated with north up).  Magnitudes were from SkySafari 6 Pro with the GAIA extension installed.

 

Scan2022 08 26 181622
 
From the Webb Society's Atlas of Open Star Clusters.  The 14.8m star is actually multiple (next brightest is 15.9m).  In your picture it appears that the 14.8m (multiple) star is dimmer than the 15.9m star, but I think that is due to the sensitivity of the camera/filters used.
 
From SkySafari:
GAIA 2007419855346029440 (15.9m)
GAIA 2007419820986293504 (11.8m)
GAIA 2007419820986293248 (14.8m)

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#46 CBM1970

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 09:16 AM

Well, I haven't posted one of these in a long while, but it's not for lack of observing. Most of my observing nights in the past couple of months have been Jupiter and Saturn sessions (though I've had a few nice views of Sagittarius and Scorpio objects, along with Scutum and M11 during this time).

 

I've managed 8 or 9 sessions with the giant planets since July 1 (with Mars thrown in a couple of times when I woke up, rather than stayed up, to view the planets).

 

My most recent session was Thursday night into Friday morning - August 25-26. I observed from my back porch in Southern, Maine. The temperature was around 66 degrees, and, as I would discover, skies were partly cloudy. According to Astrospheric, seeing was 4/5 and transparency was poor.

 

After re-aligning my red dot finder on Jupiter (which had gone quite out of whack, probably thanks to my cats), I moved over to Saturn, which was just crossing the southern meridian and a hair over 30 degrees in altitude.  This is the highest it is getting from my latitude, so I try to take advantage of it when I can.

 

I stayed at 83x and then bumped up to 125x with a 6mm eyepiece. I quickly realized that things were quite a bit dimmer than usual. I went back to the 9mm eyepiece to see if I could spot Titan, and to my surprise, I could not.

 

I have unusually poor night vision. This is a big part of why I do a lot of lunar/planetary/double star observing, though I enjoy the brighter DSOs a great deal. Still, Titan is usually easy for me, even with the indoor lights I usually leave on when observing the planets. 

 

After another couple of minutes, Saturn itself began fading in and out of view.  I looked directly southeast into the Portland light dome, and I could see a number of high clouds which explained the problem.

 

I moved over to Jupiter which seemed to be above the muck, but after another 5 minutes, Jupiter was affected as well. 

 

I almost packed it in at this point, as the conditions seemed to be worsening, if anything. However, I decided to give it a little more time, as the clouds looked spotty. I returned to Saturn, and after a short time, it began to brighten. With continued improvement I barlowed my way up to 166x. The Cassini division was pulsing in and out of visibility as it often does for me, but the central eq band was nicely contrasted against the rest of the planet, and the rings were clearly defined and separated from the planet's surface. (In poorer seeing, I find that the rings will "blend" with the disk, such that it becomes difficult to discern planet from ring). This night was at least  better than that.

 

By now, Jupiter was nearing 40 degrees altitude and seemed to be out of the "cloud zone" so I returned to it. My mediocre session was about to turn great.

 

At 83x, the four Gallilean moons were well placed, with two moons on each side of the planet, almost looking like mirror images of one another. Unexpectedly, I could also see the 2 Equatorial bands quite clearly at 83x. No one here would dispute that good seeing allows one to see fine detail at high power, but I have come to find that good seeing ALSO allows one to see detail at LOW powers that might be largely invisible and require more magnification in poorer seeing.

 

I went up to 166x with the barlow, and views were very good. The great red spot was very prominent and approaching the meridian. I had not checked in advance for a GRS transit and I was very happy that I'd stumbled upon it. Some of the structure of the eq bands was visible along with some subtle banding poleward in the north and south.

 

Emboldened by my recent experience with 5/5 seeing (according to Astrospheric) on the night of the Io/Ganymede shadow transit (Aug 16-17), I tried 250x with my barlowed 6mm eyepiece. It worked really well on the 16-17th, so I thought it worth another try.

 

Unfortunately, the seeing on this night did not support this. The image was truly clear only for fleeting moments, and the loss of contrast and color that was almost negligible on the 16-17th seemed much more limiting during these brief moments of clarity.

 

I went back to 166x. The view was great, but I wanted a bit more image scale. I pulled the eyepiece out a bit, and it was ok, but then I remembered that my 2x barlow can be made into a 1.5x barlow. I don't do this very often, because I get nervous fumbling around with lenses in the dark, but I decided to go for it this time.

 

With the 1.5x on the 6mm eyepiece, I had about 188x and a 0.8mm exit pupil. THIS did prove to be the sweet spot for the night!

 

For the second time since buying this telescope (the first being the night of August 16-17th) I saw really nice detail in the space between the two Equatorial bands. The bands themselves showed undulations at their borders and darker and lighter regions. Festoons or long wisps of clouds were faintly visible in the Equatorial region between the bands. The colors I saw were white, cream, tan, gray, various shades of brown, and the dull rusty red of the GRS. ALSO - in this "equatorial in-between" I saw a rather distinct light yellow. I have gone online to try to find a name for this color with limited success. It is whiter and creamier than canary yellow or lemon yellow, but a good deal yellower than pancake batter or even egg nog. I have seen this mild yellow color behind ice cream counters sometimes, but as I am not in front of one as I write this, I cannot name the flavor associated with it.

 

My observations of this color were a bit fleeting and it did not cover a wide area. I have since found it in some professional pictures of Jupiter. I have only ever seen it twice in Jupiter's bands - on this observing session, and on the night of August 16-17th. It is sublime.

 

I spent about half an hour nudging and looking at Jupiter with this set up/magnification, and tore myself away at around 1am, as the clouds were re-grouping under Jupiter, and I had a full day of work the following morning.

 

It was, all in all, a very fine night.

 

**EDIT - In looking at several Jupiter pictures from the last few days here on CN, I am wondering if the light yellow color that I'm fawning over in my report above, might be the blending of bluish festoons with the tan background in the area between the two Equatorial belts. Maybe this is due to limited resolution and contrast. I love it anyway and I hope to see it again.**


Edited by CBM1970, 27 August 2022 - 09:47 AM.

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#47 Jehujones

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 09:45 AM

CBM1970

"...For the second time since buying this telescope (the first being the night of August 16-17th) I saw really nice detail in the space between the two Equatorial bands. The bands themselves showed undulations at their borders and darker and lighter regions. Festoons or long wisps of clouds were faintly visible in the Equatorial region between the bands. The colors I saw were white, cream, tan, gray, various shades of brown, and the dull rusty red of the GRS. ALSO - in this "equatorial in-between" I saw a rather distinct light yellow. I have gone online to try to find a name for this color with limited success. It is whiter and creamier than canary yellow or lemon yellow, but a good deal yellower than pancake batter or even egg nog. I have seen this mild yellow color behind ice cream counters sometimes, but as I am not in front of one as I write this, I cannot name the flavor associated with it..."

 

Great report, it's not even 8am and I want Ice Cream! waytogo.gif


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#48 BrentKnight

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 09:55 AM

An Orion Starblast 6 isn't what most would consider a planetary scope, but it certainly seemed to work very well for you.  Great report!


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#49 Migwan

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 01:01 PM

 

I think this is close to the field you show in the picture (rotated with north up).  Magnitudes were from SkySafari 6 Pro with the GAIA extension installed.

 

 
 
From the Webb Society's Atlas of Open Star Clusters.  The 14.8m star is actually multiple (next brightest is 15.9m).  In your picture it appears that the 14.8m (multiple) star is dimmer than the 15.9m star, but I think that is due to the sensitivity of the camera/filters used.
 
From SkySafari:
GAIA 2007419855346029440 (15.9m)
GAIA 2007419820986293504 (11.8m)
GAIA 2007419820986293248 (14.8m)

 

Thanks.  Was at a dark site last night and couldn't see the small star, at all (no filter).  14.8 seems low on the other star, but @230x it's not quite pinpoint.  Anyway, I'm certain I didn't see 15.9.  ?Artifact in eye or neurons?

 

I could see a much greater extent of the nebula with an OIII than at home.   It's a lot larger than I thought.   Try to log later.  Again.  Thanks. 

 

Oh, bookmarked your thread on the Atlas. 
 


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#50 BrentKnight

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 01:41 PM

Thanks.  Was at a dark site last night and couldn't see the small star, at all (no filter).  14.8 seems low on the other star, but @230x it's not quite pinpoint.  Anyway, I'm certain I didn't see 15.9.  ?Artifact in eye or neurons?

 

I could see a much greater extent of the nebula with an OIII than at home.   It's a lot larger than I thought.   Try to log later.  Again.  Thanks. 

 

Oh, bookmarked your thread on the Atlas. 
 

 

Day started out pretty clear (what's that blue stuff up in the sky anyway), but it's clouding up again now.  I was hoping to get a chance at this one...




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