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Mark at Beaufort

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About Mark at Beaufort

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    Visual Astronomer

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  • Interests
    I am solely a visual astronomer and currently use a 12" f/5 Dob and an Orion VX8 f/4.5 Newt. I also enjoy solar and have used a PST for over 10 years.
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  1. I saw the Crab Neb (M1) last night using my 15x70 Apollo Binos. It was faint but I knew exactly where it was located. I did have a nice view of M1 recently with my Heritage 130P Newt so it is going to be visible in your 8SE if your sky is not too bad.
  2. Cracking skies but, my, it's windy and cold !

    John I noticed that it was clear about 10pm so took out the Apollo 15x70 Binos for a quick grab and go. Saw a few Geminids and also viewed M35, M1 (a bit faint), M36, M37, M38, Pleiades (No Merope Neb), M33 and a look around Orion. I tried to see NGC 253 in Sculptor going down from Deneb Kaitos through the two triangles but it was too misty.
  3. Defining the Cone Nebula

    Nice thread Iain. I have the feeling that members of the Dob Mob recently had a go at the Cone. Perhaps they will come along shortly and report their efforts.
  4. Graham thanks for that. I just looked at the Webb Society atlas of double stars and 40 Eridanus is mentioned with a diagram. I have not studied this constellation that much so will have a look next time around. The atlas also mentions 66, 62, 55 and 32 Eri. So a night of double stars is on the schedule.
  5. Chances for tonight??

    Set up the Orion VX8 but although clear the transparency is poor. You can see main stars but I had a job to see the Veil with Astronomik O-III.
  6. How to go blind

    Yes I heard about the fake solar glasses that were being supplied in the US. I sent my Son the detailed report because he lives in California and is an eye specialist. I also recall an incident following a Total Eclipse back in the early 2000s when a colleague's daughter went to Africa was given solar glasses that were not up to standard. Unfortunately I understand that she went blind.
  7. Brilliant report Alan really enjoyed the read. It looks like a good night to come.
  8. Observing session with 15x70 Binos and Heritage 130P

    Gerry to answer your 1st question 'I don't know because I have not studied M45 as much as I should have done'. To be honest you have motivated me to view this area some more. With regard to EPs the answer is 'No' unless I consider the TeleVue 8-24 zoom. My EP collection has been based on my 8" Orion VX8 and my 12" Dob . I use in these scope a 20mm Myraid and 13mm Ethos. Since buying the Heritage I have thought about getting something around the 15/16mm range. I have thought about the ES68 16mm EP.
  9. Really clear last night so decided to have a session with my Apollo 15x70 Binos. Set up a recliner chair and used my Observing Hood to remove any stray light although it was really dark at the end of the garden and all the neighbours were out. Following the challenge by Gerry (Jetstream) I first viewed M45 and hopefully the Merope Nebula. Well the view of M45 was fantastic but I could not detect the Nebula. I decided to place a H.Beta filter in one side and a Lumicon UHC on the other and viewed the California Nebula. The Neb was quite clear and the FOV of the Binos allowed me to cover the whole area. Filters removed so I viewed the following - M33, M1, M36, M37, M38 and 35. Replaced the filters using UHC filters and viewed IC405 Flaming Star Neb and NGC1893. Replaced one UHC with an Astronomik O-III filter and had a good view of the Rosette Neb. Really pleased with the sky quality so grabbed my new AZ5/Celestron mount and the Heritage 130P and started with M45. Eyepiece was an ES68 24mm giving a nice FOV. Again studied the area around Merope having looked in detail at Interstellarum atlas. Well I could see something, very subtle and convinced myself it was not wishful thinking. California Neb again with H.Beta filter from Skies the Limit. I could see the outline of the Neb quite well. Viewed M36, M37, M38, M35 and M1 using an ES82 11mm EP and back with the 24mm to view M31, M32 and M110. I never put on the home made shroud and noticed that the secondary had misted over. Unfortunately unable to clear so the observing session ended.
  10. Observing session with Skywatcher Heritage 130P

    Gerry here is my challenge report. Really good sky, no lights or pollution. Decided to wear my observing hood to go really dark. Before setting out I studied the area via my Interstellarum deep sky atlas which gives a very large detailed view of M45 and the Merope Nebula. Used just the ES68 24mm EP. Did I see it? - yes I think I got it - certainly something there exactly in line with the map. I don't think it was wishful thinking. I did go to other delights after the Merope Nebula - will write up another report.
  11. Observing session with Skywatcher Heritage 130P

    No carry on Gerry
  12. Astronomik or Lumicon OIII filter

    Very nice - I am envious. Look forward to your first review.
  13. Observing session with Skywatcher Heritage 130P

    Neil the Merope Nebula is a Reflection Neb so you don't use UHC or O-III filters. Some observers recommend a light pollution filter to improve contrast - I note you have a Baader Neodymium filter so you could see if that improves things.
  14. Observing session with Skywatcher Heritage 130P

    Gerry the 24 ES68 is a very good EP and works very well on the Heritage. Yes I am up for the challenge - my location is expected to have a few clear nights tomorrow and Saturday. Next week my Astro Society has an outreach event at a very dark National Trust historic venue so I will take the Heritage with me. I will let you know how I get on.
  15. Astronomik or Lumicon OIII filter

    I have owned both Astronomik and Lumicon (old version) O-III filters. I have sold the Lumicon but kept the Astronomik which tells you my opinion.