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Observing with Small Apertures: 130mm and Below

Discussion in 'Telescopes and Mounts' started by Ray of Light, Jul 26, 2016.

Observing with Small Apertures: 130mm and Below

Started by Ray of Light on Jul 26, 2016 at 5:34 AM

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  1. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Would you have a schematic of the lens' arrangement of the DeLite EP's?
     
  2. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so, they're probably a trade secret lol.
     
  3. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Leave it to Al himself then...



    AlNaglerAsAKid.png.616848103d138a517767b725976ab9fd.png
     
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  4. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    The Sky-Watcher ED72/AZ5 combination was all set up before midnight, Wednesday, September the 12th. The BBC regional weather forecast indicated ‘partly cloudy’ until around 05:00 BST, although that can often mean anything (and usually does lol). The transparency was below average, and with no clouds in sight, I thought I might get an hour or two observing in if I was lucky. As the humidity was around 80%, and it’s September, I thought it prescient to take the dew control gear out although it was nearly an hour before I fired up the two heaters (OTA and reflex sight). I had five eyepieces with me: a 31mm Baader Hyperion Aspheric, 19mm TeleVue Panoptic, 14mm Explore Scientific 82°, 7mm Sky-Watcher UWA and a 4mm TS Optics HR. The only filters were a 1.25“ Astronomik UHC-E, a 2“ Baader UHC-S and a 2“ Explore Scientific OIII, S/N0906.

    hi1.jpg

    The Veil Nebula was good at 13.5x with the Aspheric plus the S/N0906 filter. Even though I’m losing almost an arc degree of TFOV with switching from the 36mm Aspheric. I moved on to M39, M29, Albireo, M56, Brochii's Cluster and others at a leisurely pace even though I expected the sky to cloud over at any minute. Eventually I swapped the Hyperion for the 14mm ES 82°. With no sign or hint of immediate clouds I felt bold enough to switch the 2“ diagonal for a 1.25“ prism and split the Double Double at 150x. I even caught a glimpse of a hazy M57 at 105x with the 4mm TS Optics HR.

    hi2.jpg

    Switching to a rapidly rising Cassiopeia and Perseus I found M103, M52, Caldwell 13, Stock 2 and much more. I dropped down to 22x with the 19mm TeleVue Panoptic as the transparency was worse than it initially looked. The Perseus Double Cluster appeared very nice with the Panoptic. M31 and M45 were magnificent in both the 19mm Panoptic and the 31mm Baader. The dew heaters were coping with the humidity admirably, although the ‘Christmas tree’ LED’s surrounding the powertank needed to be angled away from my line of sight. It’s quite dark where I observe from and the dew controller 'Blackpool Illuminations’ can be a bit distracting. As Cassiopeia was heading towards the zenith I needed to raise the tripod slightly. I’m getting used to the gymnastics of looking through a reflex sight pointing straight up, but manoeuvring the alt-az in that direction is definitely a distinct skill set all of its own.

    ss62.png

    It was now around 03:15 and it suddenly dawned on me that I could see Bellatrix and Betelgeuse slowly rising. This was a bit of a revelation at this time of the year. I was convinced I’d have to be observing at around 05:00 on my other lawn several metres away. Very probably sitting underneath my apple tree facing east to catch a rising Orion (as usual). Still no cloud and as I waited Orion’s Belt came into view. This was just too much to hope for! Excitedly and a bit nervously I easily managed a low Cr 70 with the 31mm Aspheric. This included the serpentine ‘S’ asterism that appears to ‘connect’ Alnilam with Mintaka. By 03:40 the icing on the cake was a beautiful M42 at 13.5x (with a UHC-S filter) and at 22x and 60x (unfiltered). The Trapezium stars were easily seen, with a lot of other detail, despite the comparatively low altitude. Just before the clouds came in at about 04:25 I even had a view of 21P/Giacobini-Zinner with and without the Astronomik UHC-E. Well, the BBC regional weather forecast was right eventually.

    ss61.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  5. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like we have the same meteorologist! :p

    Maybe they could even be on the right track for this Hurricane Florence. That's all we have for the weather at present.

    Yipes!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  6. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    A hurricane named Flo?

     
  7. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I didn’t expect much to be happening astronomically Monday evening and I’d resigned myself to watching a Freeview repeat of BBC’s excellent television drama ‘Life on Mars?’. They aren’t repeats for me however as I never watched the first season when it was originally broadcast. The weather seemed to be bright around 18:00 and a clear sky was predicted until at least 23:00.

    pan.png

    So, I thought I might have a stab at Mars as it’s been a bit disappointing for me so far this year. By 20:00 in a pleasant twilight my 150mm Newtonian was sitting on the EQ5 cooling nicely. The seeing was about A~II with average transparency. I had a decent look at the low Moon and Saturn (60x, 100x and 150x) and by 20:40 I caught sight of Mars through the finder. I decided on a 4mm Astro Hutech orthoscopic giving 225x for the entire session. A variety of filters were used, including a TeleVue Bandmate BPL-0125, Baader Neodymium, Baader Contrast Booster (thanks for the idea Don) and a Baader Blue 470nm Bandpass.

    mars2.jpg

    The phase was quite apparent and there was even surface detail! To my astonishment and delight I could actually make out the dark Terra Cimmeria, Hesperia Planum and Tyrrhena Terra areas. I could discern Syrtis Major without difficulty. Even the white, low plain, albedo feature of Hellas Planitia was visible. The small southern polar cap was visible with the BPL-0125 although the Blue 470nm really showed it well. I observed until 22:40 when the chimney on my own house became an obstacle.

    SYRTIS MAJOR.jpg

    I packed up feeling quite satisfied with a couple of hours of successful Martian viewing. Plus, I still had time to watch ‘Life on Mars?’ on Freeview. I suppose I could always have streamed it, but where’s the fun in that? Trust the Gene Genie lol!

    Images from SkySafari 6 Pro, CdC and VPA



     
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  8. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    More Atomic Rooster ...



    Does anyone know the funky chicken?
     
  9. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    Great report, Mak. All of the hype was about the opposition but I believe we are just beginning to have the best views of the Red Planet. I still have the urge to image but even more to just observe. That "Life on Mars" drama sounds like it might be interesting :)
     
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  10. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Reggie. I was really happy about seeing surface detail.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_on_Mars_(UK_TV_series)

    LOM is a cult show in the UK, it's quirky and typically British in the fact that it is very self referential and postmodern.





    I doubt it would translate well to a non-UK audience as it's full of British cultural references.
     
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  11. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    If it were an American show, they'd be having shoot-outs and dropping bombs there. And they'd title it: Mars! Red Planet of BLOOD! :eek: :mad:

    I much prefer British TV. We do (or at least where I am) have a BBC channel. But I'm disappointed they pulled the Al Jazzeera channel. They have excellent news! It was based in Qatar. Science is greatly diminished, too. :(
     
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  12. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    There was a US version of LOM. I doubt they mentioned Camberwick Green, Buster Gonad and his unfeasibly large testicles or the test card girl though. I bet there wasn't a tanned Mk III Ford Cortina in it either.
     
  13. Orion25

    Orion25 Well-Known Member

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    I like British TV, too, Dave, and news from other cultural perspectives. American TV is too violent and gory for the sake of being violent and gory :eek:
     
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  14. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, there was no mindless violence in The Sweeney or Ashes to Ashes lol.

     
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  15. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    American Viewpoint: "Run-down by a car? What is this 'pussy-crud' you are showing? That's not violence! He needs to get out of that 'pussy car' and empty at least 2-magazines of bullets in that twit to even BEGIN to be violent!"

    That's my P.O.V. and I'm stickin' to it!

    (Not really, of course!)


    R & D
     
  16. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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  17. Dave In Vermont

    Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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    I can see that if you and I shared a house - we'd never argue you over the remote for the boob-tube. You'd be blissfully locked-away in your room with your TV - never to meet. You'd be welcome to it!

    We obviously have vastly different tastes. I'm news & history - and only highest quality at that.

    'MUTE!'



    Vicar of Dibley c.jpg
     
  18. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I figured you weren't the artsy drama type.
     
  19. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    I had all these plans for seeing Orion and the comet and everything.

    orionbollox.png

    Unfortunately the weather had other ideas. It looked so promising earlier on. So I binge watched Killing Eve on my Nexus 7.

    Screenshot_20180922-123323.png
     
  20. Mak the Night

    Mak the Night Well-Known Member

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    Monday's looking good weather wise.



    Hopefully I can get out, otherwise plan b is binge watch Ashes to Ashes ...
     

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