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RobertI

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Everything posted by RobertI

  1. RobertI

    Mars 20th Sept

    Another quick session with my new 102ED-R mounted the altaz SkyTee2 and my second attempt at a sketch of Mars. I found #12 filter helped to improve contrast a little....possibly. The rough sketch was from around 30 minutes of observing with Mars at an altitude of 35 - 40 degrees. I think with a driven mount and more time I would have been able to tease out a lot more detail. I've rotated the sketch to compare against a map from Mars Mapper - I can see a vague similarity between the two! Magnification was upto x200. I think the 'notch' in my sketch is the area between Sinus Margaritifer and Sinus Meridiani. These sketches are certainly making me learn the features of Mars but I am finding it quite difficult to find a Map which allows me to clearly identify them. I am also finding the naming conventions for features a bit counterintuitive (eg: unlike the moon, a sinus does not look like a 'bay' at all to me) and the names are slightly different on different maps. Also it's not always clear whether the feature label is referring to the bright feature or the dark feature. I've read a lot of resources on observing Mars, but still no clearer to a solution, although Mars Mapper is probably the best I've come accross so far.
  2. Poised for action...it’s a lovely looking setup. Would love to have a look through that.
  3. Ps: there was a very nice handle at the Telescope Service website, but it came in at £45 including delivery, this one was a mere £15 including delivery. It pays to shop around.
  4. Handle finally sourced from link kindly supplied by @johninderby, there was only one that fitted in the end, but it does the job perfectly! They delivered next day. Thanks for all the help.
  5. Well done Magnus! It's definitely one of those objects that becomes easier to see once you have bagged it IMO. You'll be going back to it again and again. Should be superb in your 12". I tried it tonight with my 120ED + 38mm Panaview e/p + 2" UHC filter, giving a 3.8 degree field of view - the first time I have tried with this combination and I could see the whole complex in the field of view, although not very bright as the transparency was awful. Still some time to get some dark skies for better viewing, but I shall be sad to see it leaving for another year.
  6. Interesting experiences Ian. I can’t think of an obvious reason either. I shall test this out on the moon where the eye strain at higher mags might be more obvious. I’ll let you know the result.
  7. Something like this might be an excellent compromise - ED glass, manageble focal length, well specced, well made and nice price. TS do an identical version. I can confirm the practicality of a 4" F7 scope!
  8. Crikey those Vixens are expensive! The Helios may be worth a punt for £90, I can't imagine the experience is much different to the Vixens. I have something similar (I made my own from two Nikon tele-extenders) and they work really well and are great fun. It's odd when you first use them to realise that you are getting entire constellation(s) in the field of view. I would say they work at their best in really dark skies though. I'm not sure that I would pay any more than £100 for that experience .
  9. Thanks everyone, looks like I’ve found my answer, cheers John The handles look very nice on those scopes.
  10. Thanks Robin, I did look on the Altair website, but the hole spacing on the ”180mm” handle is 129mm! There doesn’t seem to be one with the correct spacing.
  11. I am trying to source a new handle for 102ED refractor. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good supplier? The holes need to be 180 mm apart. @johninderby I think you have had some success with sourcing handles? Thanks all
  12. Sounds very well specced Chris. Smart move to make the control software open source I think. Look forward to seeing how it goes.
  13. Exos-2-PMC-8.....interesting....
  14. Thanks Mark, yes the FPL-51 is very good value and would probably have been fine for my visual needs but I wanted to treat myself to the full fat version!
  15. I’ll try to make I as interesting as possible! Yes, I think I was unlucky with the conditions for my first light(s) with the ED-R. Looking much better now.
  16. Finally managed to get the new Altair Astro 102ED-R out alongside the Tal100RS for a comparison of ED versus achro performance. I've had some very helpful suggestions of targets for this comparison from fellow members and will be doing these over the coming weeks (and probably months!). But tonight the parget was Mars and fortunately seeing was excellent. Just for information the achro cost me £100 (used, not sure what the new equivalent would be now) and the ED cost me £900 (new), so an unfair comparison on the face of it! But the Tal has a good reputation so should be close for visual. The first difference was that focussing the Tal induced much more wobble than the shorter-tubed ED102-R, making fine focus more tricky. Also it was much easier to reach the slow motion controls when using the shorter ED-R. The view of Mars through the ED-R was excellent, much better than in recent sessions with a clearly defined south pole, well defined dark areas along in southerm hemisphere and another dark region to one side of the top of the nothern hemisphere. At 200x plenty of detail visible in moments of calm. In the Tal at x200, the view was clearly not as good, with the maria looking much darker against the much redder looking disk, and the subtle detail not showing through so well. Also there was a red and blue fringing very apparent through the Tal - this may be due to the cheap prism diagonal used - I'll try and swap for a mirror for a better comparison. The purple halo was there, but subtle and only visible when I remembered to look for it! Another plus for the ED-R it was that it was easier to see when Mars was in focus. But floaters were a bit of a problem in the ED-R at 200x and strangely in the Tal at 200x, floaters were less of a problem despite the same exit pupil! But overall the ED-R was a better experience all round, with better views and easier to handle. However I am suspicious of the cheap prism diagonal in the Tal! Next instalment soon.
  17. Great session Nick! And with a friend too. The seeing was good here also and Mars was impressive - will post a report later.
  18. Two nice suggestions there to include over the winter, thanks. These are of particular interest to me as I have never seen the flame or Barnard’s loop. I also have a nice 2” 38mm EP which works in both scopes, but sadly much smaller FOV in the Tal. Looking forward to trying
  19. Nice report Stu, well done for getting out at such an early hour. I find these late nights exhausting!
  20. Beautiful scope - that setup looks rock solid.
  21. Thanks! Apart from the Orion Neb, there are plenty of other nebulae visible without filters including the Lagoon, The Swan , the Trifid, The Ring, the Dumbell and the Crab Neb. Most of these brighter nebulae will show up better with a OIII or UHC filter, and there are a host of fainter nebulae which are only really visible with one of these filters. So I'll be using one of these two filters.
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