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Quick session 06/05

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    Star Forming

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  • 175 posts
  • Location: York

Thought I'd share some notes from a very quick and unplanned stargazing session which I've just come in from...

I hadn't been out with the scope for over 4 weeks, so tonight was a (surprising) chance to quickly revisit some popular objects.

I was also using, for the first time, my new eyepieces and x2 barlow (details in sig) so I can also report on those too.

After setting up and cooling down, I first viewed Mars. This is where the quality of the eyepieces and barlow really showed. Using the TMB 6mm with the TAL barlow, I had really sharp views of Mars, shadowed surface detail included. It was also the contrast that made this a really nice view. Stayed with it around 10 mins to see if I could tease any more detail out.

Then I searched for Saturn. Luckily at this time of year it is well above the horizon at 10.30. Even with quite a light sky it was a real peach of a view. At maximum magnification the EPs again showed their quality. i was amazed to see such clarity - feint cloud belts, sharp rings and even a hint of the cassini belt that went as quickly as it came. That was a true wow moment.

Finally, after a short drinks break I came out to find a lovely orange full moon low on the horizon. Like a lot of people I prefer the quarter moons with terminator detail, but still this was nice to view (especially with the orange glow).

As the moon rose the sky became unbearably bright. I was pleased to find M81 and M82 easily again, however very difficult to make out due to the moon. That was the signal to pack up and move indoors.

Hope this has been of interest - my main positive from the evening has been confirming that the BST and TMB series of eyepieces are worth their every penny, and that a decent barlow lens is just as important. I can't wait for a clear moon-less night which will really show the EPs potential....
Skywatcher 130p Reflector 6mm TMB Planetary II - 25mm BST Explorer - 2x TAL Barlow Lens
Messiers: 23/110 | NGC: 663, 2244, 2264
Others of note: Coma Berenices, ß Monocerotis, π Cassiopeiae, e Bootes, y Andromedae
Favourites: M42 Nebula & Perseus Double Cluster!



    Hyper Giant

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  • Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Nice report. Better EPs can really make a scope shine, can't they. Getting detail on Mars this late in the season is really good.

Clear skies!

Scopes: Celestron GP-C8, APM 80mm F/6 Triplet APO, Lunt LS35THa B1200, SkyWatcher ST80, home-brew Alt-Az mount, 4.5" F/4.3 MiniDOB (for the kids)

EPs: Pentax XW 7mm and XW 10mm, Televue Delos 8mm, Naglers 12 mm,17mm, and 22mm T4, and 31mm T5, Vixen LVW 42mm, 2x MaxVision 24mm 68°, William Optics Zoom 7.5-22.5mm, William Optics 2" Dielectric diagonal, Orion Optics 2" 90° Amici prism Denkmeier filter-switch star diagonal with O-III, H-beta, UHC and moon filter

Imaging stuff: Meade S5K TeleXtender 2x and 3x, TeleVue PowerMate 2.5x, TeleVue TRF-2008 0.8x reducer/flattener, ZW-Optical ASI130MM and ASI120MC, The Imaging Source DMK 21AU618.AS, Brightstar filter wheel, LRGB+IR filter set, modded Canon EOS 450D.

Bins: Helios Apollo 15x70 HD, TS 15x70 (repaired, for kids), Bresser 10x50, home-made P-mount Mk-III

Observation summary: Messier: 110/110, Caldwell: 97/109, RASC Finest NGCs: 93/110, Herschel: 306/400, Brightest Planetaries: 60/100, Planets: Mercury to Neptune (inclusive), Minor planets: 2, Lunar: 55/100, Comets: 12, Supernovas: 9, Novas: 1, Quasars: 3

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