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Everything posted by glennbech

  1. Lol, let's call it an open space observatory .-) The title should have been "observation location" maybe. I have been granted, by parents to place a building on the site, but that will have to wait for a while.
  2. Thanks ! I have a decent 360 view from the site. My grandparents that also have a cabin in the area sold off some lumber a few years back and cleared the whole area .-) The only real problem as I see ut is the late summer mosquitos. Autumn and late fall will be absolutely super. The Irony is that I have had access to this place for a number of years, but I never bothered to drag my imaging gear up there. There is no electricity and I was not capable of running 100% of my stuff off 12v...
  3. That's where the fireplace comes in :-) It IS pretty cold to observe in -13c / 9f. Next time I need better socks, otherwise I was clothed for the job.
  4. I can use my parent's cabin whenever I want, and it is just 40 minutes away by car. There is light pollution there as well, but not nearly as much as around my home. The sky can be excellent, and I've had some pretty good naked eye session in the past! As I wrote in an earlier post, I have sold off all my imaging gear to pursue visual astronomy for a while. After over six years of owning multiple telescopes, I can count on a hand or two the times I have looked down an eyepiece. I will take more pictures in my life, probably with a permanent observatory of some sorts to reduce set up times. I park my car 100 meters from the cabin and use a baby stroller to get all my equipment with me in one go. Once there I can light a fire and get the cabin warm and cozy. The cabin is very traditionally decorated in line with my parent's taste in interior design. On my first night of observing I got cold weather -13c (9f) and close to 100% relative humidity. I had to de-ice my telescope a couple of times during the night! The sky was far from perfect but a lot better than what I have at home. With a half moon and humid air, the sky was pale blue, and I soon realized that I would not bag any faint DSOs that night! In the above picture, I think it is evident that the air is reflecting light. I was stunned by the crisp sharpness of the moon seen through my 10mm Vixen SLV eyepiece. Take into account that I have only used the stock skywatcher eyepieces before. They have not been treated well. The Vixen 20 SLV, 10 & 15 mm NLVs were a huge upgrade that did not blow my budget. The build quality and feel of the 20 SLV was exceptionally good. I got some lovely views of the Pleiades, Hyades and double cluster with my newly William Optics SWAN 33mm, 70fov 2" eyepiece. With the 621 mm Megrez 90 it covers 3.4 degrees of sky, in practice making it my finder scope. I aim in the general direction, center on a known star, and use it to star hop. Using this technique, I quickly found M51 using pre-planned sketches made with Stellarium and Photoshop stored in the Evernote cloud. Please note that I have entered telescope- and eyepiece data into Stellarium to simulate field of view. When I get to Alkaid, I can use 24 Cvn to hop to M51. The object looked like one big smudge with uniform brightness. As I said, not the best night to DSO hunt. I put some extra logs on the fire and slept a bit until 01 am in the hope that the quality of the sky would somehow be dramatically better after the moon had set. It did not, so I packed my gear and drove home. I will report more from this site, and I know I can get some "deep" views from the there when conditions are right!
  5. I got here when I googled for the seben 7.5-22.5 and just want to add a down vote for it. The fov at 22.5 is like looking through a keyhole. When looking at bright objects like the moon - there is a a very visible blue color on edges. Mechanically its also bad. The zoom is a bit hard to operate so you shake your view while zooming. Waste of 20.
  6. Interesting topic. And I have a very recent experience. I dragged my gear to my parent's cabin last night and waited for the moon to set. The night sky was vert bright compared to what I am used to at that sight and I thought it was because of the moon. The milky way use to be visible at this site, but not yesterday. I put a few logs in the fire place and dozed off until 01 am, and went back out. The sky was better, but not good even with the moon below the horizon. I suspect, like Olly says, that humidity plays a big role. The temperature was -13c (9f), and my scope iced down. Can anyone explain relative humidity and dew point and what It means for us astronomers?
  7. Lol. I made a drawing the other day of a pattern that I thought was related to a problem with my Zeiss. I was going to ask you guys about it. It's in the diagram under the label "perfect optics" :-)
  8. Once in a while these TAL reflectors show up at Norway's answer to eBay. http://astro.org.uk/buying/tal/index.html - Are they any good and are they something to have out of curiosity or as a collectible?
  9. Problems from bad seeing would not last over minutes right? Can I debug a problem with a refractor by looking at a defocused bright star, like I could with my old reflector?
  10. The Megrez 90 and the 33mm 2" gives a 3.77 field. The viewing conditions were pretty bad with well below average transparancy but it was still fun :-)
  11. Had my first view last night of the Pleiades and double cluster through my new WO. SWAN 33mm 2" eye piece. I was very excited as I have never used an EP above 20mm and 40-50 fov . I actually got into something of a childish giggle as I saw rhe The double cluster with heaps of space framing as a satellite flew past near the edge. The Pleiades was about the same size and fit just as well. After that it went down hill.I tested my 20mm vixen SLV - not very smart - straight afterwards. It was like looking down a tube in comparison. Same with the 15 and 10 vixen NLPs. Should have tested with the WO last I am sure will enjoy the other eye pieces. I am used to the stock sky watcher ones with a smear of baby porridge the few times I have tried observing anything
  12. I have finally started to look through my telescope after many years of imaging. Last night blue skies arrived on time with a package with new eyepieces. Strange?! Anyhow... When I tried to focus bright stars- they did not get round and pointy but had a tip protruding from center to 11 o clock. This effect was enhanced when I moved out of focus one way. Moving out of focus the other way gave more the shape of a 6 line cross. The pattern did not seem to flicker of change over time. Hard to explain:-) Is my refractor out of whack? The question feels stupid. I have had the scope for 8 years but never looked through it with a decent eyepiece :-)
  13. I slept an entire weekend, friday to sunday at my parents house because I had locked myself out of my apartment. Keys were gone after a night out. Or so I thought. My brother had this crazy idea late Sunday that we should check if the door was actually locked or not. The keys were on the living room table!
  14. This is what I am thinking. Ordered baader wonder fluid and micro fiber yesterday
  15. Thanks ! The plastic holder is easy to remove. I am more worried about the disassembly of the finder/extension tube. I want to remove it to correct the finer placement, and to attach a shorter extension tube that is included in my kit and the diagonal. The existing and longer extension tube is stuck and I have tried to unscrew it with a bit of force. Do you know If I am doing something wrong?
  16. Were talking about the outer surface of the lens. During long imaging session I assume dew have formed and vaporated over and over again over the last years making it rather "spotty" So is aperture the most likey cause of the brighter sky background in the Megrez / 6mm ? Where is the annoying glare coming from?
  17. I have a William Optics Megrez 90 that I bought from First Light Optics september 2008, making it almost 8 years old now. I have never cleaned it, thinking it is better to leave the optics alone. It has not impacted my imaging as far as i know, but I am curious if it matters for visual or not. I played around with my Carl Zeiss Telemator today, that I got in a ridiculous bargain using the suplpied Carl Zeiss Jena 25mm, 10mm and 6mm Ortho eye pieces. I split castor and Mizar A/B since it was the only reasonable thing I could to with limited holes in the sky. I observed with my Megrez 90 at around 100x magnification with a Baader 6mm Genuine Ortho to "benchmark" the Zeiss. What struck me right away was the darkness in the Carl Zeiss. All Eye Pieces gave a real good black background for the stars. The Megrez 90 showed a much more milky gray, washed out background. I could also see a glare around the bright stars in my Megrez 90. Is this just due to the aperture, or dew forming more easily on my WO scope? Is my Megrez dirty? And how do I clean it. if I should? Please help a confused imager in the beginning of a journed into Visual Astronomy!
  18. I finally got first light, or should I say first hands with my Carl Zeiss Telemator today. I have some things I'd love feedback on! I post this in the equipment section because visual astronomy was not actually a great part of the experience today. Seeing was horrible and the sky was washed out, I literally had to point to holes between clouds in the end. I also setup up my WO Megrez 90 on the Porta Pro mount to have something to benchmark against seeing wise. This is what I did The TM mount was assembled in GEM mode, even if it didn't make much sense. I can't adjust the latitude, because I lack a tool so I did not bother testing the motor. The person that used to own it lives far north in Norway well above the arctic circle so tracking would have been poor. I balanced the scope on both axis, this was very important because it enabled minimal force from the tension mechanism I did not fully extended the legs, something I should have. I had to bend down quite a but to observe relatively low targets So, how was it? The mechanical operation of this mount when balanced is super smooth! With correct tension you can just point the scope in any direction and operate it by small nudges to the EP socket. My porta mount seemed crude in comparison! Focus shakes the Zeiss scope up a bit compared to the dual speed of the Megrez 90. Expected. The focuser is also inconveniently placed between the scope and the finder, but this is probably a misconfiguration on the previous owners part. The users manual (and the AD image below) shows more separation between focuser and finder. On my scope, the finder is above the focuser. When I get the courage I will use some force and disassemble the rear, right now it's kind of stuck and Im chicken I was scared to death of my Eye pieces falling out of the Eye piece holder, and they nearly did! If you look at this picture you see what I mean. That design is not very robust. I think I'll get my diagonal operational! Thoughts? I will be observing from dark skies friday/saturday hope to give a more detailed report on the visuals!
  19. Man, take a look at this. Zeiss Catalog from 1895! http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/classics/zeiss/carlzeiss86.pdf Imagine getting a look through the 600mm !
  20. Hi! Im sitting here with the caldwell catalogue and are looking forward to testing out some new visual gear next time the skies clear. I just want to make sure that I don't line up a bunch of targets that will be impossible to see because of light pollution, seeing or Aperture. So, How do you get a feeling for what is within reach? Do you just do empirical tests to get an idea of what magnitude a certain sky and scope can show? I will be looking into a 150mm Mak, 90 mm refractor and a 60mm refractor. On a good night, dark adjusted, I can see the milky way with averted vision from my back yard - but more often I can not.
  21. Here is a 25mm Ortho I think? The poster says it's a 20, but it can be a typo. http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/505562-what-is-in-your-eyepiece-collection/?p=6696026
  22. Hi and thanks for all the gratulations. I wil lof course post a first light report. Looks like a hole in the sky in 6 days according to long term weather forecasts :-) I was thinking of doing the "Lunar 100" challenge with it (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/celestial-objects-to-watch/the-lunar-100/) - I am also very curious to see its performance in double splitting compared to my Megrez 90, and how it will measure up to Maksutov, double the size, in terms of image quality and sharpness That is very clever, and a shows a high level of attention to detail! This means that I can use a rubber - or plastic rod that fits? Man, did I get lucky on this one ! :-)
  23. No, I think it's a 20mm Ortho EP. It says 20-O. Lol. The german supplier is selling Eye pieces for more than I paid for the whole package :-) I think you are right, because I failed to achieve focus adding the diagonal to the tube at the end as is. The problem is that it's stuck, so I'll do some quick research before I apply more strength :-)
  24. Yes - it was an awesome purchase. I am still in shock myself to be honest. The diagonal has the Zeiss Marking on it and funny enough a text saying "Made in the DDR"
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