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Everything posted by John

  1. Excellent Mark I get a real thrill from observing these very distant objects even if the view through the eyepiece is often very faint and challenging. When I finished last nights session I had a touch of "aperture fever" and started looking at 16 inch and over dobs that I could get if I ditched a refractor or two. If I had somewhere better to store scopes and a wider open aspect to my garden I think I could become a "faint fuzzy" hunter with a whopping light bucket The image I posted above of the 4 Markarian's Chain galaxies was the newtonian orientation. Flip it the other way
  2. I agree that the APM XWA 20mm would be an excellent alternative to the 21mm Ethos and at considerably lower cost. Originally I had the Explore Scientific 20mm / 100 then had the opportunity to obtain a 21mm Ethos at a very reasonable cost so could not resist. The differences between the ES 20 / 100 and the Ethos 21 are small - mostly that I can take in the full field of the Ethos without rolling the eye cup down. I imagine that the differences between the Ethos 21 and the APM XWA 20mm are even smaller. Hey, ho, I have the 21mm Ethos now so I'll stick with it. I deliberately try not t
  3. I had a couple of objectives this evening: - Have another look at Nova V1405 Cas - Try and locate and observe supernova SN 2021 hiz in the faint galaxy IC 3322A in Virgo The first objective was achieved with my 4 inch Vixen refractor. The nova looked to me to be still around magnitude 8, which is where it's been for the past week or so. I used my 12 inch dob to try and find the supernova and managed that as reported here: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/375004-three-new-bright-supernovae-to-look-out-for-ic3322asn2021hiz-ngc3310sn2021gmj-ngc5018sn2021fxy/?do=findComm
  4. I've managed to see supernova SN 2021 hiz this evening with my 12 inch dobsonian. I used Stellarium plus @davhei's very helpful sketch to nail the position. My (inexperienced) estimate is that the SN is very close to the same brightness as a nearby magnitude 13 star. Once I was dark adapted the SN was reasonably easy to spot at 122x. At 199x I was just getting suggestions of the edge on host galaxy IC 3322 and it's orientation relative to the star field. I think IC 3322 lies at a distance of around 81 million light years ? The somewhat brighter galaxy NGC 4365 is in the same field of
  5. "Praesepe" - not a name that's used often enough IMHO Apparently it means "manger" in latin.
  6. My solution for the 130 f/9.2 is alt-azimuth with no power / alignment requirements.
  7. Me too. "Clear Outside" forecasts a few clear hours later this evening. Thanks @alanjgreen and @davhei
  8. Me neither. All my setups have to be reasonably portable and quick to setup / tear down. With hindsight the Istar 150mm F/12 on the EQ6 / Meade Giant Field tripod was not my smartest decision
  9. My skies are around bortle 5. With my 12 inch F/5.3 dobsonian I have a couple of low power / wide field options: - 31mm / 82 degrees which gives 51x, a true field of 1.6 degrees and an exit pupil of 5.84mm - 21mm / 100 degrees which gives 76x, a true field of 1.32 degrees and an exit pupil of 3.96mm Most of the time I find the 21mm is the most effective eyepiece for picking out faint deep sky objects. I've had a number of galaxy hunting sessions where the 21mm is the only eyepiece I've used in fact.
  10. Very interesting report Mark. Aperture does tend to "win" with globular clusters. When the seeing is steady you should get a nice split of Zeta Herculis with the 130 LZOS I think. The ED150 should do this as well of course. It does take a bit of practice to get used to mounting these scopes using the Losmandy fitting, I agree. Hope you get lots of great observing with your refractors over the coming months
  11. My earliest telescope views were through a Charles Frank telescope but in my case it was the 8 1/2 inch newtonian that my school owned and I got to use by joining the school astronomy club. This would have been around 1971 / 72: This image was posted by @paulastro a while back: Back then, the best that I could do personally was to borrow my mates Tasco 60mm refractor. I later saved enough to buy a used one of my own, which I still have:
  12. The Panoptic 24mm does pretty well too but a number of those galaxies were right on the limit for the aperture / conditions and I found that the additional magnification of the 14mm Delos helped to tease out their faint glows. The 10mm or 7mm XW's would probably work similarly for the 76mm F7.5 Sometimes you've just got to play around with eyepieces and see what does the trick. It's not always the one you might think would do the best !
  13. Occasionally I put my 13mm Ethos in the diagonal of my FC100 - it looks a bit ungainly but the views of DSO's are pretty spectacular at 69x / 1.4 degrees true field When I was galaxy hunting in Leo with the 100 a few nights back, the Delos 14mm seemed the ideal tool to pull those fainter fuzzies from my moderately LP affected skies. It seemed the most effective EP on that occasion. Don't know if that experience translates to the FC76 though
  14. A F/6.3 focal reducer used with the widest field 1.25" eyepiece will give you a true field of about 1.3 degrees I think. Not enough to fit the whole of the Pleiades in, unfortunately.
  15. Some great Astro Physics related information and stories folks - thanks very much
  16. That's an interesting point. I know of someone (not a member here) who purchased a couple of Takahashi scopes but very rarely uses them because of concerns that they might get damaged in some way. He has gone to the lengths of also owning Skywatcher ED scopes in the same aperture as well and those are the scopes that get used. That's his choice of course but I think these really nice scopes are meant to be used. I certainly use mine as often as I can !
  17. I have the Naturesport 10x50's and 8x40's. They seem nice performers The 7x50's will make great astronomy binoculars. 8x50 is a good spec too !
  18. I agree re: a UHC filter showing the Veil when it may have been more or less invisible before but the O-III turns it into a spectacle
  19. My 130 F/9.2 has the Kruppax 50 tube. I think the model is the 130/1200 LW. I believe the tube material is the reason that the scope optics do not seem to dew up at all. Even when the outside of the tube is running with it. It is quite hard to track the model history and specs of the TMB/LZOS/APM triplets. Quite a lot were made to bespoke specifications or have been later modified by owners.
  20. @StuF/6 is quite a bit easier to mount steadily I think. The Rowan AZ100 should handle either focal ratio quite easily though. I was strongly considering buying a used Astro Physics Star 120 ED (doublet) a few years ago. It was good nick and priced around £800 I recall. I had recently bought my Skywatcher ED120 though so I was a bit skint and let my "head rule my heart" on that one. It's one of those "I wonder ......" things that I look back on occasionally. My guess is that a used Star ED would now set me back at least twice that amount.
  21. If anyone wants to know more about the company there is an interesting piece on Astro Physics on the Company 7 website: http://www.company7.com/astrophy/index.html
  22. Over the past 5 years Takahashi scopes have been more and more frequently discussed on SGL and I've seen more mention of LZOS optics over the past couple of years as well. Very little discussion of Astro Physics scopes though. On the CN forum, unsurprisingly as AP are a US manufacturer, we see much discussion of their scopes but very rarely do they get a mention on here. Is this because the brand is rarely encountered on this side of the pond I wonder Over the years that I've been in the hobby, Astro Physics is certainly a name that has been prominent and that has always piqued
  23. If you search around the web there are older versions of Stellarium, such as 0.15, are still available which work with Windows XP. There is also "Cartes du Ciel" which I think is XP compatible: https://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/start
  24. My mate used to have the Prinz version. His was the same as mine except that it was 800mm in focal length. I'm not an expert in these vintage Japanese scopes but I think there were 2 or 3 manufacturers in Japan making scopes that were sold under a wide variety of brandings around the world. Prinz, Tasco, Royal Astro, Greenkat, Swift, etc, etc. This archived webpage is fun - it has links to the catalogues and manuals for a lot of scopes of that era: https://web.archive.org/web/20160131042244/http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/classics/ Not sure all the links work but some ce
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