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About scarp15

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    White Dwarf

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  • Interests
    Astronomy , cycling and hill walking
  • Location
    Newcastle Upon Tyne
  1. The VX12L is lighter than the VX14 by 4kg. This is significant as the VX14 weight is comparable to lifting a Skywatcher Flextube 12", which I had moved from and in your intro considered too heavy. The VX12L F5.3 is also a little shorter, I feel that as like others have suggested, that this would make for a better choice. The aperture gained from an 8" reflector will be significant and no need for a paracorr, therefore maybe less complications perhaps applied to using your binoviewers. The VX12 focal length might had become appealing if perhaps you required a slightly wider true field if using ultra wide field eyepieces.
  2. the 12" F4 will be more critical requiring attention collimating, though not a concern really and will be both lighter and more portable for transporting into a vehicle. A paracorr will increase focal ratio / length, magnification by 15% and create a slightly narrower TFOV. You may decide that you would like a paracorr, it may be best to get the scope first and try with your eyepieces for a few sessions and perhaps look out for a used one. I cannot comment on the type 1, the type 2 though is quite straight forward to use and cleans up any concerns over coma and filters are easy to attach. Panoptics will be fine, I do not use a binoviewer, again perhaps have to try out to determine focusing issues, with either option this ought to be corrected using applicable extension tube(s).
  3. scarp15

    Evening 16/2/2019

    Thanks Alan, your account places clarity confirming those features seen and knowledgeable details have provided myself with a deeper understanding for this particular phase. Set up with my refractor on the allotment for what became a fairly short observation period, I enjoyed this region to, until cloud cover had also taken over. Even a brief encounter is good and as Mike implies, escaping the Saturday TV to be outdoors always welcome.
  4. Include the variable friction brake and option at a small additional cost for the angled 50mm finder. Consider including a Telrad and a riser base 4" would be best, 2" though is fine. The stock focusers function very well on current models. As with Paz, I have a VX14 and can manage it OK and for your stated reasons, it will haul into the car and out to be quickly set up. I check the collimation at home and do not bother especially when dark at an intended location. At the end of the session, it is a quick manoeuvre to haul back in once more and head off. I have a paracorr and do use it, but I also use it without, a lot depends on the type of observing targets I plan for. A VX12 or VX 12L will be excellent taken to a dark environment, the Dobsonian mount functions very well, consider a ground mat for level support. OOUK at retail will offer a 5% discount, occasionally they do appear S/H. If ordering new, be prepared to be patient and ongoing friendly phone calls or email will help with communicating the order process. The mirrors are excellent with great contrast.
  5. scarp15

    A quick session with the 72ED

    Good report a lot accomplished with your 72mm frac. The Medusa nebula is a diffuse object, I have seen it at a dark sky location in a 14" dob, fairly large, just distinguishable from the sky background and yes an OIII filter.
  6. A wide field or rich field refractor set up alongside a medium size dobsonian, becomes a really nice combination Neil. I can understand when you say that you'd enjoyed the view through a 3" Tak, but happily returned to the dob, I kind of felt the same when comparing in a similar way my first 3" refractor. And yet I think that you will very quickly grow accustomed to and appreciate fully the many particular virtues that a small refractor can provide. Combining within dark sky sessions, creates diversity in TFOV, exit pupil / sky darkness, star fields look exquisite, large diffuse objects contained fully in the field of view, perhaps easier to track some dark nebulae. Image scale is interesting to, brighter galaxy groups make for a nice sharp defined presentation. Lunar, planetary, crisp and full of contrast many double stars are defined as pin points, I have never got into solar so cannot comment further. Also you can use each of your filters in a dark sky environment. So wide field in a 70-90mm configuration is a highly versatile instrument. Look out for a good used, my first had been a TV Pronto purchased off e-bay and shipped from France, followed by a TV76 (part exchanged for the Pronto) and currently TV85 each quite someway short of your £10000 budget. Each had been special, I particularly would have liked to have kept the Pronto, they occasionally come up for sale and can be bought at a very reasonable cost, I cannot remember exactly, I think I paid £300 or just a little over.
  7. scarp15

    EP collection is complete... or is it?

    I enjoy using DeLite eyepieces, 7mm and 4mm (with a 5XW in the middle) for Lunar, planetary, doubles, in my TV85 and consider occasionally a 3.5XW. Perhaps though as said, 5XW any more, if a 3.5mm is a little too much, maybe 4mm DeLite.
  8. scarp15

    Mare Nectaris & Environs - Good Now

    It has been good here to, started to observe when west of south, a walk to my allotment worth while. Much as you describe with particular attention towards Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina and the Altari Scarp. Interesting trying to figure what precise features are lit up to the west towards the Descartes mountains.
  9. scarp15

    Tell us your sky quality

    On my recent session, attention was centred on a variety of subjects that included planetary and emission nebulae. I had also intended to pursue a few dark nebulae, which became a challenge. Periodically taking sky brightness measurements was informative firstly clarifying periods where transparency was more favourable and to confirm that for particular subjects such as dark nebulae, would not be the most applicable conditions. Readings also vary between different locations that I use and it is useful to log and be aware of. My location on Saturday is a very good place accounting for convenient distance from home, an 360 vista and peace of mind. There is sky glow in the S/E which on nights such as my recent encounter can become more magnified. Another location I head to can gain 21.4 and potentially more and anywhere is determined by weather such as snow or wind. So its not at all about whether its worth getting the scope out, you can of course make that judgement easily enough. But it will inform you how much fluctuation there is in transparency, whether or if certain targets are a struggle and it will highlight any distant light pollution if this is magnified on a night of high humidity. Most importantly it will convey a true and accurate reading and not an overly generalised and overstated one such as the online map implies. Feeding the information on here such as in reports can be valid and enough collated data and information on localised sky brightness might be relevant in the challenge to protect what there is of dark sky quality. Which is not just for our own indulgence and wellbeing but for the protection of wildlife habits.
  10. scarp15

    Tell us your sky quality

    You do simply need a SQM - L. I have just checked the actual coordinates on the light pollution map based on a dark sky session last Saturday: 55' 13' SQM 21.73. The reality is that for this session based upon a frequency of readings, periodically taken throughout, the average reading and repeated log concluded decisively at 20.96, the top reading on this particular night was 21.1. This is based on the circumstance for that given night, which was very cold with snow and ice, its probable that a combination of ice crystals, some moisture resulted in good but not excellent transparency. It is not the darkest area I could get to, but this particular location is convenient, being less than an hours drive from home, visited frequently over a number of years when occasionally gaining readings of 21.3. A SQM-L will record readings at a 40 degree point of sky you observe in. Logging the variations becomes quite addictive, it is not a chore more so a pleasurable task that is complementary to the outcome of your deep sky observing session. The online map resource as said, is just about OK as a rough guide indicator, but it is on a specific night that counts, we should each of us have a Unihedron SQM-L in our tool box.
  11. scarp15

    Mare Crisium Lovely Right Now!

    Yeah just noticed this, will nip out with binoculars, too windy here to.
  12. scarp15

    Cone Nebula Anyone Observed?

    A starting point and what you might accomplish is nebulosity around the star S (or 15) Mon in the Christmas Tree Cluster. This was reasonably straight forward when I had made a concerted effort to glimpse the Cone two or three years ago. Drifting downward to position along HD47887 and close to where the Cone is located, the nebulosity had disappeared absolutely no chance of the dark notch. This was applied using a 14" dob, H beta filter dark sky NELM 6+ very good transparency i.e. observed the Horse Head and a feature of Barnard's Loop. The cluster NGC 2264, had also culminated. If you explore this area it maybe that you could settle for nebulosity around S mon. Far better would be to pursue the California up in Perseus, use your widest field lowest power, H-beta also M43 as well as M42.
  13. scarp15

    Show us your setup in the snow.....

    Hi Alan not snow, ice as the air temperature was -9c, hardly a breeze though so no wind chill to add to that.
  14. scarp15

    Into the dim distant past

    A good impressive trio of sessions Neil conveying much diversity of subject. Interesting to read and learn of. Couldn't agree more, familiarity pays dividends as you say in returning to observe particular subjects that initially were a degree of effort to detect and comprehend. This becomes even more of a factor when based on your comments, coughs n' colds work weather family life et all, getting out at all can seem to require a combination of both luck and determination. So going back to a particular object can transform your perspective of it. This applied to my session on Saturday with the California nebula, optimum time period for observing it, I enjoy this as a quite wholesome, substantial observation target no less than The North America, considered a much brighter object. Great that you are gaining successful observations for aspects of nebula structures in Auriga and credit to yourself and anyone who has the drive and motivation to get up at 3.40am!
  15. scarp15

    Favourable Conditions, Large Exit Pupil

    Thanks for all the comments. Dark nebulae, there are a few of us on the forum who have taken to pursuing some of E.E. Barnard's list of famous dark nebulae. Mel Bartels conveys a good account that can be sourced online for approaching and pursuing dark nebulae and the conditions required. Belt of Venus: beltofvenus@perezmedia.net (sorry for some reason I cannot seem to upload these websites onto the page) presents some very interesting selective observers sketches and detailed accounts. There is also a wealth of information for the observer, upon specific observations on the Cloudy Nights forum. The session on Saturday I was interested to discover B34 near to M37. I think that I was searching for an oval dark patch and I was unsure if I was looking at it or something else. I hadn't become fully informed in terms of scale which did not help. Since looking at a drawing of B34 and account on Belt of Venus, it does appear familiar. B34 is considered to be one of the easier dark nebulae observations, but they are highly sensitive to transparency, which really has to be very good. I think that I had also misjudged on eyepiece choice, opting for a widest field largest exit pupil, I recall that to successfully observe Barnard's E (B143, B142 in Aquila) this was accomplished with a 21mm eyepiece in the F7 refractor, 3mm exit pupil. I passed on B37 in Monoceros and B29 (which I believe requires some aperture) in Auriga, thinking that transparency wasn't quite up to it, I now think that exit pupil / contrast might play a role to. Apologies for rambling on a bit, if anyone has anything to add concerning winter dark nebulae observing, that would be great.

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