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First Light Report and Observing Globular clusters

Discussion in 'Observing Celestial Objects' started by aeajr, May 12, 2019.

First Light Report and Observing Globular clusters

Started by aeajr on May 12, 2019 at 6:27 AM

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  1. aeajr

    aeajr Well-Known Member

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    Apertura AD12 Newtonian/Dobsonian – Aperture 12”/305 mm FL 1525 mm FR F5

    Finder 8X50 RACI Apertura Laser collimator, Angle Gauge for ALT coordinates. AZ circle that I integrated into the mount for coordinates

    Eyepieces used – Agena Astron 38 mm/70 degree AFOV, Explore Scientific 82 6.7 mm Meade UWA 82 degree 5.5mm, Baader Hyperion 8-24 zoom

    This was my first observing session with the new 12" Dob.

    Started at Arcturus - tested focusing and aligned finder scope with eyepiece.

    M3 Globular Cluster– First target. This is a globular cluster I have observed with my Orion XT8i many times. It has always appeared at a gray fuzzy with a somewhat circular shape. I have never been able to resolve any stars or any structure in M3 from my Bortle 8 home location.

    Using the AltAz coordinates I was able to find it fairly quickly. It was just barely visible in the 8X50 RACI finder. I then moved to the 38 mm/70. Next I went to the BH 8-24 Zoom, 63.5X to 190.6X.

    I was very pleased to see that I could take the view all the way to the limit of the eyepiece, 190X where I was able to resolve some stars and could see some structure in the cluster, something I had never seen at home before. This was reminiscent of views of M3 that I had at an Bortle 6 location with the 8”. But I could not take the mag any higher than 180X with the 8”.

    Explore Scientific 6.7 mm 82 degree for 227X. More detail was seen and more individual stars were resolved. I had a hood over my head to block out local light and as my eye adjusted, more detail was revealed. This is higher then I can ever recall taking M3 even at a darker site.

    Meade 5000 5.5 mm Ultra wide Angle 82 degree for 277X. I was quite surprised that the image was able to accept this much magnification. Additional stars were resolved and the arms of the cluster were easily seen. I did not attempt to go higher. I spent quite a while on this image. I was very pleased.

    Messier 53 Globular Cluster – Second Target – I have attempted to view M53 from home with the XT8, but to the best of my recollection I was never able to identify it much less see any detail. Tonight I was able to find it and even apply some magnification.

    I could not see it in the 8X50 RACI so I went to the 38 mm and located the globular cluster. I then went to the BH zoom. I was able to take it up to about 160X but could not resolve any stars or any structure. This was a gray fuzzy, but it was a gray fuzzy that I had never seen from home before.

    Cloud layer coming in – Around 10 pm - Spent a little time on Polaris, then packed it in.

    I am very pleased with my first experience with the Apertura AD12. It feels like it took my Bortle 8 site and give me views similar to what I might have seen at a Bortle 6, maybe a Bortle 5 location with the 8”.

    This was an excellent choice for me. Pleased with my purchase and first experience.
     

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  2. aeajr

    aeajr Well-Known Member

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    I have the scope fitted to a hand truck. At 90 pounds, as I have it configured, I just did not want to have to deal with carrying it, even in pieces. So it lives in the garage on the hand truck.

    And it is easy to slip into the car. I used the foam blocks that came in the shipping carton to fit it to the hand truck and to carry it in the car.

    Integrated an AZ circle into the mount.
     

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    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  3. sickfish

    sickfish Well-Known Member

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    Good report Ed.
     
  4. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good Ed. Interestingly I saw M3 at 16.6x last night with a 36mm Baader Hyperion Aspheric. TBH I'd forgotten it was between Arcturus and Cor Caroli, and was just sweeping the general area basically giving my Altair diagonal a first light testing, when I clocked it. I had to think to recall what it was.

    kRySNUT.jpg

    It seemed quite bright considering I was only using an 80mm doublet.

    QN0zU5L.jpg
     
  5. coopman

    coopman Member

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    Congrats on the new light bucket, Ed.
     
  6. Ed D

    Ed D Well-Known Member

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    Happy to read you got your large scope and are enjoying using it. I like how you set it up, too.

    Ed D
     
  7. BBQedIguana

    BBQedIguana New Member

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    Great report Ed! I find globulars are great for taking high magnifications and rewards doing so. I went from a 10" SCT down to a 4" APO at one point, and I was still able to view M3, M5, M13, etc and resolve stars and see the structure although much dimmer. That's why I went back to an 8" SCT. With your 12" Dob, the clusters should be wonderfully bright sights!
     
  8. Gabby76

    Gabby76 Well-Known Member

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    A great report Ed, good to hear the new telescope is performing well for you.
     

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