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Everything posted by Jon65

  1. Hi George, Thanks for posting this thread and your sketch. I had my SW 250PX out last night for the first time in a few weeks after some very poor seeing conditions over this last week or more. Conditions were good last night and estimated around mag 5 overhead at around 2300UT. I started looking for NGC 3998 with about x60 magnification and a LP filter and was pleased to find it fairly quickly along with 3892 in the e/p view.I switched to higher power x150 and with a lot of studying in the area soon teased out 3972,averted vision showed it best but the Supernova showed really well. Really pleased as this was my first real time view of a Supernova through the telescope. Amazing view through the eyepiece especially as it is recorded in the Ursa Major North group of galaxies at about 55 million LY away. Jon
  2. Hi Martin, i have seen this company selling at various internet suppliers around the country but have had no experience with them. There is nothing attached to the blurb with these bins that mentions spec or night sky viewing,I would check with the vendor and confirm they have BAK-4 prisms and are multi coated on all glass surfaces,this is nearly essential for astronomy use. Let us know if you purchase them and the field of view and weight. Jon
  3. After setting up at dusk last night I was hoping conditions would improve as the hours ticked by,usually by midnight the skies have improved greatly but by 1am no change,as you say, very strange seeing conditions. For the past three to four nights of clear skies when I've had an opportunity for some deep sky object viewing the hazy conditions have blown it.Objects can be seen but little or no detail can be made out. Last night Saturn was good when there was momentary lapses in the stillness of the air so all was not lost. I think we need a daytime downpour :eek:and a blast of wind to improve seeing conditions. Jon
  4. Thats a great sketch.:icon_salut:A truly beautiful NGC Spring galaxy.I hadn't viewed this galaxy for some time but found it last night,used x60 and deep sky filter in place with my SW250mm but seeing conditions were very poor,too much haze unfortunately for picking out any detail even with higher magnification. Cheers Jon
  5. Thanks Guys, The SW250mm is a true gem,as for splitting tight doubles I have yet to have a good go at it but a few weeks ago I had 6 stars showing in the Trapezium and that was a first for me. Cheers Jon
  6. Hi, Pleased to hear you are happy with the SW 300 dob,I've recently puchased the 250 version,as stated galaxy hunting season is upon us . If you can centre around M84-M86 in the Virgo cluster at x40-x60 mag you should be able to pick out loads of galaxies, a LPR filter will help if you have some light pollution but transporting to darker skies is probably the best bet. If seeing is good and using about x250-300 mag you may still have time to split the Trapezium in the Orion Nebula before it gets too low in the west.6 stars are possible with the SW.
  7. Chris, Good nights viewing there and a nice haul of galaxies,when the sky finally improved after midnigt bagged a few in the Virgo cluster as well,the M84-M86 area producing 5 galaxies in the eyepiece with 250mm SW. Cheers Jon
  8. This is my first observing report with my new SW 250mm the old homemade 250mm I had now retired off and broken up for parts.(all sold).It was 14yrs old and served well but having got back into astronomy at the start of the year I hankered after some new eqpt. and another 250mm dob was the best buy for my needs. Last night I had a very fruitful 2 hour session mainly with with the SW 250PX and a 21mm eyepiece with deep sky filter attached. Telrad now attached to the dob for even faster finding of DSO objects. I did not get set up until 11pm,only a 5 min job with the dob as high wispy cloud and only average seeing had me in two minds to get the scope out at all. I was just planning to have a scan around with the 15x70 bins for a 1/2 hour. In the end it was a good choice as every 15 mins or so gradually improved the seeing conditions but by no means very good to excellent for DSO's. I started off in Leo picking out NGC's 2903,a very bright galaxy and surprisingly not listed by Messier.Moved onto NGC 3190 and its companion but failed to see a further two galaxies in this grouping. Thought I would have more succes with M95,96 105 in Leo but seeing conditions or my lack of patience hunting them down made me give up after only 5 mins and decide to move onto the Leo triplet.Both showed well and NGC 3628 could be seen with averted vision,unlike a few weeks ago where it was clearly visible in excellent seeing. Spent about 15mins on Saturn which was now in a good positon from my garden.Dark banding showed well and Cassini division easy on the planet. Titan was picked out along with three additional moons.At x240 Saturn showed some impressive when the atmosphere briefly settled. It was now time for the main reason for setting up,the Coma-Virgo cluster, and now seeing had improved greatly.Spent about 20mins galaxy hpopping with the best view of the night centred around the M84-M86 grouping.I picked out 5 galaxies in one eyepiece view centred around M84-86,better seeing conditions will show 8 galaxies with a 8"-10" scope at x 50-60 with a deep sky filter. I then spent a few mins. on each of the brighter Messiers,using higher mag x240 without the filter M3, was the only globular I decided on in this session and concentrated on galaxies M81 & M82,M51, M64 (the black eye feature was easily seen) all showed some great detail.By now conditions were good and about mag 5 stars could be made out overhead.Finished off with an old favourite I hadn't viewed for a few years M104 the Sombrero galaxy,at the time still a little low in the sky but it still showed its distinctive shape at x240. Wished I could have spent longer but by 1am I packed up,unfortunately viewing this lot in a short time takes it out of my neck/back these days . I may get back into sketching at the eyepiece again ,a much slower pace to enjoy the objects and move around the sky. I've posted some old sketches in my SGL album from the days of using the old 250mm dob but I believe its way behind in what the SW250 is capable of,at a guess I would say the SW 250mm "appears" to be almost 1.5"-2" ahead in the views and light gathering ability to what the homemade scope/mirror was cabable of even when the homemade mirror was at its best new. Focusing with the SW is a lot easier with the crayford,everything snaps into focus quickly and the collimation hold very well on the SW,tonight I did not even check it,once a star test looked good I just got on to vewing. The SW 250 does have an excellent mirror and when perfectly collimated its hard to beat as an allround scope for one person set up visual viewing.Really pleased with this purchase. Clear Skies All Jon
  9. Darren, Excellent sketch hope to see some more in the future. I take it you are using a Watec 120N+ Astro video-camera. Please can you enlighten us all on this set up and how it works. Cheers Jon
  10. Hi Ray, I take it your scope is an Orion truss version,in which case it would have to be an EQ platform to carry out any tracking. I am considering an EQ platform in the future for my Skywatcher 250 dob. The EQ platform gets some mixed reviews and is probably only suitable for visual or short exposure imaging using low to medium magnification only. equatorial-platforms-uk Jon
  11. 8-10" Mak. Is that a 12 or 14" reflector. Jon
  12. Thanks for that.I'm still quite keen to mount my SW150 F5 on this type of set up. Cheers Jon
  13. John, Great set up you got there,planetary/lunar and widefield views on hand with only a few steps to the side of each scope. What height would you say the combined unit of the pillar and skytee is. Cheers Jon
  14. Thanks Guys, It was worth the wait for this to arrive as the skies had cleared by 5pm after a bleak week. Set up and got some great views of Jupiter at x 120,when the scope had cooled down,though Jupiter was getting low and just above neighbours houses by then. After that, and when it had got dark enough I started in the western sky on DSO's working my way around to the east.Must have viewed in the region of a couple of dozen DSO's altogether. The seeing conditions were okay and best view of the night was the detail picked up on the Orion Nebula using a UHC filter also picked out 5 stars in the trapezium at a higher magnification without the filter.This was something I never achieved with my old homemade 10" Dob. Andromeda Galaxy and companion M110 were good views in the eyepiece but conditions were not good enough towards the west to see M32 & M33 with the scope. I then spent a while on a few Winter open clusters including the Double cluster,M34,35,36,37,38,Beehive and Pleiades. Moved onto M1 and favorite Winter PN, the Eskimo nebula, it took high power very well,(x240) before I started on the galaxies in Leo that was by now risng high in the east and seeing conditons had improved. In Leo had good views of galaxies and with the help of a LPR filter and at x57 managed nine in total. M65,66 and NGC 3628 (Leo triplet) were a fine view in the eyepiece and with high power on M65 &66 individually some hints of detail was seen in the structure. Didn't get to see M81 & 82 due to were I had set up but did finish off with M97 Owl PN and M108 galaxy. Also failed to see Saturn, even though it had risen, it was still obscured for me. Probably the longest viewing session I had undertaken since the days of my old dob in the late 90'' and early 00's. Since then, it had been short sessions with binoculars or the Tal 100RS on the planets/moon. The SW 250PX dob has been worth the wait and every pound spent on it.I'm glad to say it is more manageable than I had expected with early concerns I had of weight issues. Its the right choice for me over the SW 300mm /Meade LB 300mm I originally had planned to purchase. Roll on Spring for the Virgo Galaxies. Jon
  15. Hi All, Over the last few weeks I have sought and received great some advice regarding the purchase of a 10 or 12" Dobson reflector. The decision on a SW 250PX was the choice I made with regard to weight of everything and cost. Since ordering a week ago, it finally arrived lunch time to-day. Just finished putting it together,collimation was almost spot on as well.Still a bit stiff on the azimuth movement and have not over tightened the central bolt but it shoud hopefully break in nicely. Very impressed with the altitude bearing handle for controlling the scope in declination. Fingers crossed it will see first light this evening,the clouds are finally giving way. Thanks again to all for your words of wisedom. Here's a few pics of the scope. Jon
  16. Tac, I'm in favour of the Dob too,ordered one early last week and was told the SW 250PX was finally been dispatched yesterday,(should have arrived Monday,but its a long story and a mix up with either the outlet,OVL or Fed Ex). The tubed dob still has the potential for tracking (and maybe goto) via a Watch House EQ platform in the future even though this is a more expensive way to achieve it.Raises the scope eyepiece by about 5" too. 250PX tubed dob & EQ platform=£855 delivered. 250PX flex tube auto & purchased shroud(£60)=£720 delivered. 250PX flex tube auto and GoTo & purchased shroud=£1030 delivered. I'm not bothered with goto but there are threads on SGL regarding adding setting circles to the dob base. You could still do some imaging on the EQ platform (check the website link) with this set up but probably not in the league with what can be achieved with the 250mm on a EQ6. equatorial-platforms-uk Jon
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