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May (The Fourth be with You)

Discussion in 'Observing Celestial Objects' started by Mak the Night, Jun 1, 2022.

May (The Fourth be with You)

Started by Mak the Night on Jun 1, 2022 at 5:57 AM

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  1. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    May: Bingo, X-Rings, Knobs & the Northern Polar Hood

    May hasn’t been too bad and in bingo parlance I managed a ‘leg’s eleven’ of sessions. Exactly the same as last year. Although in May 2021 the 60 EDF got out eight times with the remainder of the sessions being observed with an ST80. This year the observing started on Star Wars Day, or ‘May the Fourth’ to non-anoraks. I took the 72ED out to view the Petavius Rille and later I managed a rising M57. May the fifth was equally as good and it was nice to observe the rising Summer Triangle again, which made me feel, well, summery. From the eighth I got a series of dedicated lunar observations with the 127mm SkyMax. Notwithstanding, I also got to test my new ADM slow motion knobs on the Porta II.

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    Definitely an improvement on the unreliable cables which had a tendency to fall off. On Friday the twentieth, and Saturday the twenty first, I had two consecutive extremely enjoyable Summer Triangle sessions viewing with the 72ED DS Pro. Highlights included: M57, M27, M29, Collinder 399 (Coathanger), Struve Σ 2470/2474 and Epsilon Lyrae. Izar, 17 Draco, Arrakis, Mu Bootis and Iota Cassiopeiae, among other doubles, were relatively easily split. I also found both Hercules Clusters without difficulty. The last three sessions of May were with the 60 EDF.

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    Since last summer I’ve been using the 72ED as my main grab and go. I discovered that I could transport it in a small hand luggage bag.

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    This suddenly made it a fair bit more portable than carrying it in its bundled Sky-Watcher ‘Jason Statham’ hard case. This case swap didn’t bode well for the ‘Titchy Sixty’. I’d originally acquired the 60mm Altair ED doublet deliberately for its compactness and potential ease of carrying. It is a tad rear heavy however and requires a heavy dovetail for balance, especially with 2” accessories. This necessitates a heavier mount and tripod. Which essentially obviates it as a viable lightweight grab and go for me.

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    Saturn, Mars and Jupiter are starting to become visible early in the morning. I planned to catch Saturn with a lightweight scope and mount combination that could be easily repositioned on my back lawn. With the possibility of additionally seeing an early dawn Jupiter and Mars. The logical choice would have been a small Maksutov and I intended to use my 90mm Orion StarMax. It fitted the bill perfectly; it was compact, light, and had a reasonable aperture size. However, I recalled that I had great views of Jupiter around this time last year with the 60 EDF. I actually witnessed an Io transit with it in early June 2021. I had a rare brainwave. I could remove the short and very light Altair ‘X-Ring (fighter?)’ dovetail from its rings and handle.

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    Then replace the heavy dovetail with it on the Titchy Sixty and use light 1.25” accessories. 'Simples' as the little furry chaps claim.

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    The 60 EDF is now super light and could probably do the Kessel Run in under twelve parsnips. As Obi-Wan would say “May the force be with me” or something equally Hollywood pithy.

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    On the twenty sixth I got to view Saturn, Jupiter and Mars with it. Utilising a Tele Vue 5x Powermate and an 11mm Plossl I achieved 163x on Mars. I am pretty convinced I observed the northern polar hood. Beat that, ewoks!

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    Bingo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2022
    Orion25 likes this.

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