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Everything posted by SimonfromSussex

  1. Good luck Mike, I shall be watching with interest!
  2. I'm not sure if I can make it this year Dave , our daughter is off to Uni so there is no one at home to dog watch and they don't allow dogs on the camp site sadly. Might pop down for the evening if the sky is clear in which case you are more than welcome to a gander again. I don't think aperture is the be all and end all for this though, I think sky conditions are the key.
  3. I'm sure it's doable in the 16" Beulah. 16" is definitely not weedy in my book.
  4. No, more feather on the nose than fist Alan! I too have spent many an hour looking for it. What mag does the 8mm give you in your 18? I think the mag (as Mike says) is quite critical. Having said that, Stephen O’Meara in his book says he has seen it at x1000 times!?
  5. good luck Peter, should be a breeze with that amount of glass!!!
  6. Lol, I don't think he managed it in the 120mm ? I will have to re read his report and double check but if mag 16 is correct that would be pushing it!!
  7. I have heard whisper of the central star in M57 (the ring nebula in Lyra) for some time now and attempted to spot it on numerous occasions to no avail. It always seemed quite legendary to me and one of those things that you heard could be seen through a telescope but until you actually see it with your own eyes you don’t quite believe. Spoken of fondly in hushed circles and a rite of passage for any budding astronomer but, no matter how hard I tried, using every telescope I have owned, at varying powers of magnification, it has always alluded me, until last night……. Unlike (to my eyes) the easier central star of M27 (the dumbbell nebula in Vulpecula) I think the central star in M57 is fainter. It’s also somewhat more obscured by the glow of the nebula itself which doesn’t help matters. Stephen O’Meara in his deep-sky companions “The Messier Objects” says: “many veteran skywatchers have estimated it be as bright as 14th magnitude (putting it within the range of a good 4-inch telescope under a dark sky). Yet Burnham notes that the star was fainter than a 16th magnitude when he looked at it in 1959 through the 40-inch reflector at Lowell Observatory.” Like a lot of things things in life, my observation happened when I wasn’t looking for it really. Alan and I had even debated earlier that night if it was worth a meet up at all as although pretty clear, the sky was full of white wispy cloud that could hinder much deep sky work. We persevered and were rewarded with a super sky for the evening. My garden is relatively dark (not Brecon Beacons Wales standard but pretty good for the south east) and I was using my 22” Dobsonian. Our initial viewing concentrated on the galaxies overhead but at about 12.30am we noticed Vega was climbing high in the east so I thought, the Ring Nebula is pretty high now, worth a quick look. I started with my 10mm Ethos which gives about x188 in my scope. The beautiful smoke ring of M57 hovered in the expanse of dark sky around it that the 100 degree field gives and it truly was an amazing site. There was also a hint of blue to the ring and a varying glow surrounding the outer shell. Keen for a closer look I changed to a 7mm naglar x269 and as I edged the dob over to reposition the target in the center of the field I caught a bright glow in the center of the ring as the scope settled. My immediate reaction was to look straight at the centre of the ring and there, then, nothing. Was it? Had I seen it? Surely not? I must have imagined it? But I repeated the wobble in the eyepiece by tapping the side of the scope and bling, there was the glow again. The trouble was as soon as you tried to look directly at the glow it was gone but definitely with averted vision I was seeing something! Keeping a hold of my excitement I called Alan over and he had a go. “Yes”, he said; “there is something there but it’s very tricky”. Keen for another look I went back to the eyepiece and soon found the key seemed to be my wobble technique and resisting the temptation to look directly at the center. Every time I did this I was rewarded with a white glow in the ring’s center so I was convinced I was seeing the star now. When it popped into view it was surprisingly brighter then I was expecting and Alan noted the same. We tried higher power by adding a x2 barlow = x538 but this proved unsuccessful. So I returned to the 7mm and saw exactly as I had before So there you have it, Alan and I can join those whispering circles now. The central star in M57 can be seen……….honestly it can……………
  8. Anyone on a horsehead hunt should try tonight if your skies are clear. It's the clearest I've seen it tonight. No averted vision, bam, it's just there tonight! Admittedly I'm throwing 22" at it but it's the best ive seen it so a great night to try if ur skies are like/near mine in the south. Hope others get some luck too!
  9. Super report Calvin. Glad to hear you survived the tyre episode unhurt! I've found the horsehead elusive some nights and really clear and obvious on others, really depends on conditions in my experience. The h beta does make a huge difference though. Nicely done bagging it without!
  10. Great report John, really glad you are enjoying the scope now. I was at herstmenceux star camp last month with my scope observing and this guy comes over and ask to have a look through the eyepiece. He has a gander and then says "that's a nice mirror". I said "cheers, I'm very very happy with it". He then says; "that's a John Nichol mirror if I'm not mistaken?" "It is!" I reply surprised, "how can you tell?" He then comes away from the focuser, shakes my hand and says "John Nichol, pleasure to meet you!" When I ordered the mirror it was done via email and phone so I'd never actually met the man. In the dark it was obviously difficult to recognise him! Anyway meeting him in person only reinforced my opinion on what a nice guy he is and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend his mirrors. So glad you have a similar opinion!
  11. Hi Paul, I have 21 & the 13 ethos and love them. Obviously we are all different so one person's eyepiece range might not suit another but I tried and tested quite a lot of eyepieces and differing ranges of power before settling on these numbers. I use the 21 ethos as my main go to eyepiece for lots of the deep sky stuff and then crank up the power occasionally when needed. However my focal length is longer than yours (1880) so the 21mm gives me x89. For my widest view I have a 31mm nag which give x60. With your new set up I think you would be similar to my spread though. The 21mm in your scope would be x56 (similar to my 31mm) The 13mm in your scope would be x90 (similar to my 21mm) The 8mm delos in your scope would be x145 (similar to my 13mm) Perhaps get the 13mm first and try it. As I say the 21mm for me (equivalent to 13mm to you) is by far my most used eyepiece. I then drop to the 13mm (and sometimes a 10mm) on globs and galaxies when conditions allow. Hope that helps a bit?
  12. Thanks again Gerry, at least I know I'm in the right place!! I shall revisit that area now and see if I can tease some more detail. The lobster claw sounds interesting and one I haven't tried. I visit the bubble quite a bit so a scan down should be easy peasy................... It was from my bark garden YKSE, my skies are pretty good (no major towns or cities too close) but it's not rural wales quality which will be a great place to see this better I think! I've never measured my skies by nelm before but I'll give that a go next clear night and report back.
  13. Ok, I think I might have seen something last night but my word it was faint! I followed that little line of beautiful stars Gerry and they point (I think) almost directly to it? So if you follow their path down, you go through the bright star and then the nebula runs underneath that at 90 degrees? If the little path of stars carried on they would form a T with the nebula? I've highlighted what I think is the star chain in blue, is this right? I could only really "see" it with averted vision though, as you moved down it popped in for a second but then as you naturally tried to focus on it it was gone. To my eyes it's about ten times fainter than the crescent nebula and quite a bit fainter than the horsehead too I would say. Of course I could be looking at a different fainter patch and as yet haven't stumbled on the brighter bit?!! Bearing in mind I'm throwing 22" at this, hats off to you Gerry nabbing it with 10, top work!!!
  14. Ahh, many thanks Gerry, I think I have been scanning above that little chain around another brighter star. I will try moving below it slowly and see if I can pick it out. I'm gonna find this or die trying!!!!!
  15. Nicely done Gerry, great result. I've tried three times now with no joy :-( I know the little chain of stars you are talking about, is it far from them? Which direction did you move from them?
  16. Awesome pic Dave, really great shot!
  17. Excellent pics, amazing you could do this with a full moon! It always seems to be clear when the moon is out and it washes out any visual work :-( This is very inspiring as a way to make use of those nights.
  18. Super shots, what a place! Def on my "to do" list!
  19. I'm no imaging expert but your collimation looks ok. When I used the Asa in a 10" ts newt I remember the spacing was key, I.e. Distance from ccd chip to the reducer, have you had a play changing the spacing?
  20. Lovely report, you can't beat these summer evenings for a session, when it's clear! Surprised you could not see the lagoon, from the trifid it's just a small nudge down and left and it should be there? The two are very close and actually I think the trifid is fainter of the two to see? From your description I wonder if you were on the lagoon actually? It's much bigger and has a bit of a cluster in the centre? Throw the 10" at that area, should be amazing!
  21. These work fine for me Mark but then I guess it might be a personal thing as to how close your eyes are apart? They are obviously more chunky then the plossls and so the binoviewers sit wider open but my nose fits neatly between then and once I got used to the eye relief position (which did take a bit of trial and error) they were great. Just had a go with them on the sun with the lunt and I'm really chuffed. The wider view really helps take in the finer detail bizarrely (two humongous proms at the mo) , perhaps it's because my eyes feel more relaxed?
  22. Cheers Peter, Interstellarum is on my wish list but I haven't taken the plunge yet. I've searched online for a better sky map of it but had no joy sadly.
  23. I tried Sh2-91 last night Peter too with my 22" dob and really struggled to see anything. You were not wrong Steve, this is faint! That or I was not in the right place? My skies at home are pretty good, not deepest Wales quality but naked eye Andromeda, M13, the normal veil and the crescent are like b&w photos in my dob. Last night was pretty good here on the other Cygnus targets. From Albireo moving up the cross of Cygnus there was a naked eye brightish star which I'm pretty sure is 12cygni, I scanned around that area for ages with the 21 ethos and oiii but no joy. There was maybe a hint of something in front of a small chain of stars which seemed to flick in and out of view as I scanned up to it but certainly couldn't say I bagged it, even if this was it? From the linked article it seems quite easy though which makes me think I was off it? http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/celestial-objects-to-watch/summers-overlooked-deep-sky-objects-08072014/ "Maybe you'll share my "where have you been all my life" reaction when I first trained my 15-inch reflector at 64x on the wispy streak. While dim, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to see." - not for me, lol!!!!! Unfortunately my star charts don't show it? Be great to find a detailed more zoomed in star chart that shows it's location so I can be sure I'm in the right place?
  24. Big thank you to Dave for the heads up on these! I've been using two 25 televue plossi in my binoviewers since getting them but wanted a wider field of view. I couldn't quite justify two 24 pans but for just over £150 for two 24 68deg ex sc these are a true bargain! Quick delivery and nicely packaged the retailer was very good for me. Tried them last night on Saturn and the moon through my OMC and they were excellent, so one very happy camper. The wider view with the binos makes a big difference over the plossis. I didn't notice any loss of view at the edges but then I was using a very slow scope. Hoping to try them today on the sun through the faster lunt and see how they perform.
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