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Everything posted by John

  1. Not necessarily Paul ! I've been out with my Vixen ED102SS this evening and I've managed to see SN 2021 hiz with that scope as well. The view is similar to the Tak in terms of the challenge but having achieved it last night with the Tak did make it that bit easier tonight with the Vixen at a similar magnification. When I say "easier", not really easy of course - still more or less at the limit of what the scope would show. Tonight the SN, at times, seemed a tiny bit easier to see than the magnitude 13 star close to it but at other times they were both of a similar brightness (or dimn
  2. Almost certainly a scam. There are lots on e.bay and the one thing they have in common is that they feature ultra top end equipment.
  3. Well worth a few tries I think I've spotted Titania and Oberon with my 12 inch dob but not, as yet, with a smaller aperture.
  4. Your sketch has provided me (and others I think) with some excellent observing over the past few sessions
  5. Thanks Mark - I think @mikeDnight has glimpsed the Horsehead with a 100mm
  6. Thanks Stu and it's a bit of a relief to read that - most of the ones that I tried said mag 12.8-13.0. I do wonder if the SN is around 13.0 rather than 13.3 though ? The transparency was good tonight though - I saw 11 galaxies in Leo without much difficulty.
  7. Great stuff Neil - I found the transparency good tonight as well. Just the one SN for me tonight - SN 2021hiz but I was just using my 100mm refractor. I will have a look at 2021hpr another night - sounds a good one !
  8. As above. Your 6mm eyepiece will be about as much magnification as will be useful most of time so you don't really need a barlow lens. Some lower power eyepieces will be very useful though. Something around 12mm - 15mm focal length and 25mm - 30mm as well.
  9. I'm slightly nervous about posting this but I'm amongst friends so here goes. I've been using my Tak 100 refractor to observe double stars this evening but I noticed that the sky transparency was quite good so I've also been challenging the scope and myself to see how many galaxies I can spot. I thought I was doing well in finding 11 in Leo, and quite a few in Coma Berenices, Virgo and Canes Venatici. The brighter ones were looking really quite contrasty for a small aperture scope. I was going to have a look at the Markarian's Chain of galaxies on the Virgo / Coma B border but m
  10. I'd go for a 100mm / 102mm if possible. I've seen 11 galaxies in Leo with my 100mm this evening. Plenty more elsewhere too, including M81 / M82 looking nice and bright.
  11. I find the moon very interesting. So much to see. A book that I've found has fired my interest in lunar observing is the 21st Century Atlas of the Moon by Charles A Wood and Maurice J S Collins. Far from being just another atlas of the Moon Mind you. I'm not a particularly avid solar observer while others spend a lot of time (and money) observing it so there you go ! Transparency is not bad again tonight - even the little 100mm refractor is showing plenty of galaxies in the Leo / Virgo / Coma area.
  12. My house is to the west of my patch of the garden but the moon was been just above the roofline for a while. And Mars above it too. Mars very small disk now. I can see the phase and suggestions of dark features at 300x but it's darned hard work !
  13. Solid cloud cover about 30 minutes ago but just cleared so I popped the 100mm Tak out to have a quick look at the moon. Lovely phase with superb and delicate "beads" of illuminated terrain at the southern cusp leading on to the darkened disk faintly glowing with earthshine. Bad mobile phone snap but it was hurried and I'm no imager (obviously) Much sharper through the eyepiece though
  14. It's just cleared here as well ! Popped a refractor out to look at the moon
  15. The odd thing about last night was that the transparency did not look that promising to the casual view. Indicators such as the visibility of Ursa Minor stars were not that good and the sky generally had a slightly milky / yellow look to it. When I actually started to observe with the scope though, things were somewhat better The distant galaxies in Coma B that I picked up had a surface brightness of around magnitude 13 I think, which is not too bad from my back yard. Clouded out tonight so no observing
  16. That's odd. On my version of Stellarium (0.21.0) the object in the position highlighted in your screen shot is NGC 4435, the 2nd of "The Eyes" galaxies. No star shown there
  17. I get on fine with binoculars but not with binoviewers, unfortunately I've owned 2 or 3 of the latter items but found that they were just not "my cup of tea" so let them go to new homes. I've no explanation as to why this is though This ought to have been a wonderful observing experience
  18. Thanks for the "heads up" on SN 2021 hpr @davhei I shall have a go at that one with my 12 inch dob at the next opportunity. The faintest point source that I've managed to see with that scope is magnitude 14.7 so I should be in with a chance. I also agree re: observing close to a zenith for very faint targets. As an object gets closer to the horizon atmospheric extinction takes it's toll. Stellarium gives an estimate of the impact of this on an objects brightness.
  19. I've just realised that by "large dob" you mean your 20 inch ! Having observed M13 and M51 with a 20 inch under dark skies a few years ago I can appreciate the impact that such views have - unforgettable
  20. Just a short report tonight. Better transparency than last night. 12 inch dobsonian in use. I won't list all the targets but I observed 40+ galaxies including a great run of 16 along the Markarian's Chain ending with M88. Some 350 million LY's off in Coma Berenices. A slew of the brighter favourites as well. Added to that a couple of planetary nebulae, a half dozen globular clusters and a supernova 81 million LY's away and it's been a satisfying session. Most of the time the 13mm Ethos eyepiece has been the one in the drawtube. It's proving a very effective eyepiece for winkling
  21. Yes, I've just been looking at it with my 12 inch dobsonian and it seems around magnitude 13 still.
  22. Nice stuff ! I have my 12 inch dob out as well. I've picked out a few nice things and the supernova in Virgo but there are some ominous clouds coming over from Wales so I don't know how much longer I've got. Hope your clear skies continue
  23. Just picked it up with the 12 inch dob. Seems the same brightness as last time - similar to the nearby mag 13 star.
  24. Last night it was plainly milky. Many of the dimmer stars in constellations were simply not showing. I find the visibility of the stars that form the rectangle of Ursa Minor a reasonable quick guide. If I can see all 4 clearly then the transparency is quite good for here. If I can see Theta then it's better still: Last night, most of the time I could only see 2/3 of these stars and a quick look at Messier 51 confirmed it - barely visible at all. It did get better later on though.
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