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Everything posted by glennbech

  1. Thanks! I've checked weather forecasts, and weather data. The air is very humid in most of Norway nowadays, with Relative humidity reaching 100%. I think that with light pollution kills the sky. I did some observing from a more secluded place last night. The sky was still "blue", but a lot better than home. The Double cluster, naked eye visible is a good sign for me :-)
  2. Baby in the back seat on our way to a darkish site nearby.
  3. Hi, I took a chance today and paid up about 110 GBP (60 + 50 in shipping) for this little scope. I have no need for it, but I seem to have been bitten of some kind of bug after my Carl Zeiss bargain last month. This purchase was also an act of mercy. The seller wanted 40 GBP for it, and was about to sell it to a guy that was going to throw the scope and use the box. I had to convince the seller, putting more money on the table, to make it worth the extra trip to the post office for an international package. I know the Polarex and Unitron scopes were made by the same company, and that they are nice scopes. This one seems to be very well preserved. It was handed over to the seller in 1994 by a couple who had already been holding on to it for some years. It's beeb collecting dust in a storage room instead of light :-) Are there anything else you guys can tell me about the scope from the pictures? I'll post unwrapping and first light as soon as possible!
  4. Even with the moon well below the horizon, my sky has been washed out lately. Is this what is called "transparency" ? With low contrast, I have selected mainly open clusters as targets. The 90mm refractor is not the right tool to "brute force" the fainter objects. The M81/M82 pair is also pretty bright. At magnitude 6.9 and 8.4 I suspected I would be able to, at least, locate them. I started the hunt for Bode's nebula at Dubhe, and had to hop four full fields of views through my 33mm/72 WO. This was pretty straight forward with Stellarium in "night mode" as a guide. Both galaxies popped into view and from my observation plan, I knew that my 15mm Vixen SVL would make both galaxies fill the field of view. The contrast increased with the 15mm And after some study with both direct and averted vision it was clear that my "upper left" target was M81 and my lower right was M82. It was M82 with an elongated shape that told them apart. This was, of course, not a spectacular view, by any means, but I was very happy with detecting them, and the experience of the rather long star -hop. I finished the night by browsing through the M35, M36 and M37 clusters. M35 is an easy find in my 33mm. I just found 1 gem in the foot end of the twins, and it was clearly visible as a patch of stars a bit to the north. I observed it with my ES 4.7 mm and it was a nice little cluster. M36 was just a few hops north of Alnath. I have always thought of Alnath as the "bottom of Auriga", but according to Stellarium its acutally B-Tau. I'm learning new things every day :-) The cluster itself was not very interesting, so I moved over to the highlight of the evening M37. I hoppped west directly from M36 to M37, a lot less work than starting from Alnath again. When it came into view I though I saw a globular cluster! Its is incredibly dense and packed into a relatively small area. It was also well framed in the fov of my ES 4.7mm. I will definelty go back and observe it more another time. I was so cold at this point that even a small hop over at M38 seemed like another day The forecast, and view out of the windows says clear skies and good transparancy tonight. Maybe some fainter targets will reveal themselves Clear skies!
  5. Can you guys help me identify a couple of scopes for sale in my area? I don't need anything right now, but I can't stop looking at the classfields! I am very curious about this scope because of the eyepiece revolver. Any idea what this is? Here is another scope or sale that I find interesting. It is listed as Jupiter 114, and it sits on a charming GEM that seems to be of good quality. I love the wooden tripod :-) I read somewhere that the Jupiter is an old Meade scope. Is that right? Any info on these scopes?
  6. Hi! The sky is like the sky is nowdays, with the moon high at night and near full illumination. I had an hour or so last night between nursing kids and going to sleep and decided to fill in a few holes in my 2016 observation list. M103 & C13 (NGC 457) I have seen the open clusters in Casseiopeia before but only by goto, and and in low quality eyepieces. So I picked up my prepared observation plan and went for this pair. By centering my WO SWAN 33mm (19x) on Ruchbah and moving the scope slightly south and east I get both M103 and C13 into the 3.7 degrees of view. I moved over to M103 first and switched to my ES 4.7mm (132x). My conclusion is that cluster is not very exciting visually, but it's now on my list C13 or the "ET cluster" is another story! I am sure the ES 4.7 is made with the ET in mind. Two bright eyes (Phi-1 and Phi-2) a full body, arms and legs could be imagined easily and stretched the entire field of view. I could see nebulosity in the "body" area, coming from unresolved stars and as I observed dim stars came into view and vanished as seeing changed. Many stars in the body region could also be teased out by averted vision. That experience can only be had at the eye piece. A photograph will never to it justice! C1. I found the location easily slightly below Polaris, but found nothing in the area where the open cluster should have been. I must wait for darker skies I guess. I spent a couple of minutes on Jupiter but it only gave away the two usual bands, but I think I saw some structure in them. I am also having fun, learning new skills. I have only been looking at the sky for a few weeks now after years of DSLR wide field photography. For instance, I think I will save the money and not buy a finder. I can easily point the Megrez 90 in the general direction of a star, and hop to the target from there with my 33mm WO 72. Clear skies!
  7. I am a restless viewer and a bit of a "seen that, whats next?" observer. (Except when it comes to the moon, jupiter, mars and saturn that seems like endless enigmas). What I have done, and that works for me, is to make observation lists. The list is based on catalogs, Messier and Caldwell for now. I have scanned for objects that I think is possible to see from my dark site location or back yard. I use Stallarium where I have entered my telescope and eye pieces. For each object I want to see I create a new entry in a document I keep in google docs, one for caldwell and one for messier objects. I take screenshots in stellarium of how I can Star hop from a visible star/known object and paste it into the document. Making plans like this keeps me busy on clody nights, and ready to go when the sky is clear. I almost panic If I have my scope ready, the sky is clear, and I have no clue of what to do. I "reset" my list on 2016 and you can see in my signature how I am doing so far this year.
  8. Another advertising "trick" is to focus on magnification. This is often done on the cheap, low end scopes. You will see the usual family, holding hands around a scope, galaxies and huge planets in the background and the text will say "200x magnification" or something silly like that. I went into astronomy with pretty realistic expectations in 2007 with a 8" Newtonian. But I had no clue that many of the interesting DSO's were larger than the moon in size, only faint. I thought I had to hunt them down in a tiny piece of sky and that the magnification power of my newt would some how bring them into view This belief also extended to planets for me when I started out. I had noe Idea that many of the planets are naked eye objects.
  9. Sold my last link to Astro photography (The HEQ5 pro Synscan mount). I paired it up with my Skymax 150. I considered to not sell the Mak, but to be honest, I never liked it much. At 1800mm f/12 I found it a bit too specialized. So, now I have taken a leap towards a 12" dob that will pair nicely with the 90mm super portable megrez 90 A last goodbye to a faithfull companion (the mount), paired with the best image it ever produced. About 36 hrs of 10 minute exposures of elusive Soul Nebula
  10. I ended up on on the ES 82, and received it yesterday. My initial reactions are mixed. First of all it gave me a "sick" Lunar image with my refractor. It stretched the entire nearly full moon to the full 82 degrees. A real "holy c*p" moment for me, used to stock Skywatcher eye pieces After playing around with it for an hour or so I realize that it is an eye piece that takes some practice. Head and eye placement is important to avoid kidney beaning and eye lashes in the fov. After some time I got a lot better at it. I am a novice observer and no EP expert. Is this is an inherent problem with short focal lengthis and large fovs?
  11. With the full moon up yesterday, and jupiter so close, I could not resist the tempation to drag my Megrez 90 out of the shed and try to get them in to the same field of view. And guess what, it worked! With my 72 degree 33mm WO SWAN I could see the western rim of the moon, jupiter and all it's companions. The total fov is 3.7 degrees. Probably one of the finest views so far at the eyepieces for me! Do Jupiter and the moon come even closer? It would be cool fo be able to frame them both fully
  12. Nice read. It's always interesting and sometimes confusing to look at the sky when you travel
  13. Thanks! I think I will re-use my thread "getting started with the moon" for further Lunar 100 observations.
  14. I was a bit worried that an object that early on the list was going to be that hard
  15. Thanks ! It's all about clothing :) I have even dragged an office chair out as you can see from the picture. I am real comfortable! I am still learning how much of the tripod legs to extend to get the right eyepiece height based on what I want to look at. Last night went pretty well.
  16. Moving on with my Lunar 100 project I manage to steal some light last night. The weather forecast gave no hope of visual astronomy, but the moon was moving in and out of clouds, so I decided to give my Carl Zeiss Jena Telemator a try. I have not used this, very recently acquired scope, much yet, so I was eager to get some views! With the 6mm Ortho eyepiece, Mare Imbrium fills the entire field of view, and I could easily check off Sinus Iridum. This "bay" This is the Lunar 100 #8. I discovered that the Carl Zeiss Jena eyepieces that came with the scope (25mm ortho, 10mm ortho and 6mm ortho) all need some careful cleaning, so I changed scopes to my Megrez 90. The sky also cleared up in a very rare event of a weather forecast going wrong in my favour. I got to test out my new Vixen Flex Handles for the first time, and I must say that it's a huge upgrade for the Vixen Porta II mount! Motion was super smooth, and they feel well build. I inserted my 10mm Vixen NPL that frames the moon entirely at 60x and started to hunt down Schöter's Valley, The Lunar 100 #14. The crater Aristarchus was super bright tonight and almost demanded attention. So, the valley was an easy find. For closer looks I switched between the Vixen 10mm barlowed and a 6mm "Baader Planetarium 6mm genuine ortho". I also barlowed the 6mm down to 3mm, pushing the 3.5" Megrez 90 to over 200x. The seeing was steady and I think it held up pretty good. The "hard" problem this the evening was Rupes Recta, Lunar 100 #15. I found Mare Nubium and used the Pitatus crater and Birt as guides. No matter how hard I tried, I could not see the lunar fault. I think I will just go back later with less "flat light". The virtual moon atlas lists one day after first- or last quarter as good times. I also spent more time than usual on Jupiter, but it only gave away two equatorial bands and it's moons as usual. Great evening. 1-2 hours at the eyepeices. What's not to like?! :-)
  17. Virtual moon atlas can also flip the image both horizontally and vertically to match any combination of mirrors and glass and lenses. Nice software :
  18. Thanks! I do not wear glasses, so that will not be a problem for me. Thanks for the heads up on the dew! The 4.7mm will give a 132x with my Megrez 90. It leaves some margin to the 175x rule of thumb, making it quite useful i think. Glad to hear that you got to try it right away
  19. My efforts to "scale down" the hobby, has taken me from this to this I have sold off my Astro modified DSLR, guide cam, Shoestring Astronomy guide interface, shutter control, guide scope, 8" newt. I have bought Vixen flex handles for my Porta II, cleaned the scope with wonder fluid and invested in an affordable range of eyepieces that will get me started. WO 33mm 72 degree 2" not shown in the picture. I also "side tracked" a bit and got a great bargain on a 1970/80's Carl Zeiss Scope that I now play around with. I want to sell my HEQ5 Pro Synscan, and will probably bundle it with my Skymax 150 Mak. I don't know If I can justify having it around for the moon and planets. It does not work very well with the porta mount either. Now all I need is some clear skies!
  20. Hmmm. That Es 4.7 looks a bit tempting. Here is the field of view for M42 in my Megrez 90. That looks like a pretty good fit!
  21. The televue radian 4mm is also above my price point, and "only" has 58 fov. Does anyone have experience with that one?
  22. The FL of my My Megrez 90 is 621mm and I am looking for a good 4mm to get close to the upper magnification limit. Can anyone recommend a good eyepiece in the price range 100GBP give or take some? I just discovered the fun of wide fov's than 50 that I am used to. So, a larger FOV would be nice!
  23. I just started doing the Lunar 100, and had my second session today, bringing me up to 8/100. I just took my scope out and had a 30-minute moon session between clouds. My previous session was on the 14th of February, and today I was feeling proud and eager of my newfound skills in lunar geography. I added Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina to my list on the 14th but today, the craters were hard to find! Then it dawned on me that an important factor of moon observation is when to view what. You all probably know this, I just found out :-) The light today made the surface seem more "flat" than yesterday. It also seems, that the overall contrast goes down when the moon grows fuller. More light blinds the eye and makes it harder to separate the lighter shades from each other. I found it more difficult today to tell the "mares" apart from the surrounding areas. I had tremendous problems finding Petavius, even when I knew where to look. Any suggestions on guidelines regarding timing would be great!
  24. Hei, I look forward to learn about your progress. I feel somewhat inspired and are starting a lunar, Caldwell and Messier list in my signature a well. This fits me super as I just switched to visual from Imaging :-)
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