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Special K

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Everything posted by Special K

  1. Those small cluster in Cass can be a lot of fun. I’m with you on M52.....it’s a very faint bunch. With averted you’d never miss it as a fuzzy but doesn’t yield many stand out points of light when looking directly at it.
  2. That’s a handy list of doubles I must try for. Small constellation too! I had a look at M15 the other night and it sure is dense. Nice one!
  3. The field sounds like a winner. One man’s solitude is another man’s peace and quiet! It’s good to share and the moon is a real crowd pleaser that’s for sure.
  4. That Crescent is one faint object! Thanks for posting
  5. That's a hefty, chunky looking scope!!! Bet the views are grand, and of course the moon is in the way at the moment. Wishing you many more happy trails across the sky
  6. That looks like a great deal for someone skilled enough to clean those lenses. Sorry it cannot be me!
  7. That’s a great report and I have to agree using bins is effortless and rewarding. I looked at Zeta Lyr at 44” separation in the scope s week back and didn’t linger. But looking at them in 10x50s a few nights later and Wow!!!
  8. Excellent one Peter!!! Just reaffirms what I was seeing at just that time. The tail in your image is very distinct. That’s a picture to be proud of and grateful for!
  9. I’ve heard this quite a few times now and looking forward to LED! We’re still on the orange ones here but my tshirt-on-a-stick trick works a treat for the worst lamp across the street!
  10. Great report! Some nights just seem to stand out. Ouch, I didn’t know that dark adaptation also deteriorates with age! I hope that’s not the case as there are enough things to struggle with as it is. A delaying of dark adaptation by a few extra minutes is not going to have a functional impact on observing over several hours. I choose to ignore it! Let’s face it: age will have an impact on our sight. But hopefully, experience in observations can overcome some of these handicaps. On the topic of measuring quality of skies, there’s a lot of layers to the onion. Some methods are useful for different things, e.g. the Bortle Scale seems to get very detailed at the highest levels where a key factor is whether you are detecting Zodiacal light or Gegenschein. I also find NELM indicative of the base conditions of the location being observed from and add to this the factors of local seeing and transparency. Just to make things more confusing, there are SQM measurements too
  11. Great report! The fog is a kicker. Towards 4am this morning I was packing it up and skies were closing in. When I woke around 8:30 there was a heavy ground fog being illuminated by the rising sun. A beautiful scene in its own right!!
  12. This morning offered the best view yet! 21P was not shy and retiring any more, and I'm gonna go out on that limb and claim I could see the tail fanning out from the coma a little bit. I did the sketch below around 3am and then tinkered around other objects. I came back about 45 mins after the sketch and it had shifted half the distance of the last void toward that huge pack of stars!!! It's not often you can visually observe the cosmos moving and what a delight!
  13. @Wyvernlooking at that picture, all of the stars look dimmer so it's hard to tell. Atmospherics must have really had an effect. This was the morning I missed and should have been out looking! It was bright as anything Weds morning and would have been a great view. There was no chance today due to cloud, so I slept through
  14. That sounds like a smasher @Patbloke!! 120 is a good size all round and f/7.5 is handy for all sorts of observing pursuits. Nice report on targets from the field test too!! My last attempt with Theta Aur wasn’t a success. I must try harder
  15. Great report! Skies sure are dark out there and that’s an excellent result with The Lagoon.
  16. Great hunt around the sky!! We’re all learning our way around and picking up new things so you are amongst friends!! I agree that M92 is a fantastic globular and it’s pretty cool that M13 is yet to come. A nice bright Nebula is M57 in Lyra which will look really nice in your 200P.
  17. We’ve been clouded out here until now. Missed the flyby around M37 but hopefully there’s another chance to see it before the weekend. I’m keen to see if it has brightened any more! good luck
  18. This seems a good time to take stock of a recent burst of activity! The following is a collection from the past weeks mostly. The common denominator was a clear spell lasting quite a few days punctuated by leaving the EQ5 out on the deck throughout. I was surprised how much easier this made observing at the drop of a hat without having to lug that out every time! Comet 21P/Giabobini-Zenner figures high on my list of activities: I first picked this up in Cassiopeia in mid-July just north of the Heart Nebula. At that point, the comet was fairly dim with no hint of a tail, but still very exciting to get it in the 6" refractor! It was more of an averted target than direct vision. 3 Sept, spotted next to Capella with 10x50's but this was best guess. Consulting the chart confirmed the blotch I'd seen was it, which was a little gratifying! Experience in looking for obscure galaxies comes in handy at the eyepiece. 6 Sept wee hours, it has travelled down Auriga and is a much easier target to find with the bins. 102x with a No.12 Yellow looked pretty impressive. A diamond asterism, likely FSR761 cluster was nearby, adding to the appeal. The moon was still waning around 25% in the vicinity which washed the comet out somewhat. 7 Sept wee hours, earlier rain cleared the air, transparency sublime and the moon had dropped a lot of intensity! 21P had moved about 2 degrees SSW and pleasing to view in a rich field with M38. Comparing the magnitudes of this cluster with the comet they looked fairly similar but obviously much smaller. Signs of a fan-tail still playing with my mind, I continued using the No.12 to revealed a few extra details. The seeing on 7 Sept might have been poor but I was running an uncooled 6" scope straight out of the house, so that didn't matter much! I reckoned the NELM was much closer to 5.5 than 5.0 which happens from time to time from home. M31 was a naked eye, averted glow. M33(!) was even visible in the bins, which is rare here indeed! M45 Pleiades were a smashing blue at 19x. Capping the session was a lovely, thin crescent moon with remarkable Earth-shine glowing in the pre-dawn sky. Simply exquisite! I had two good sessions on double stars: one in Camelopardalis: Webb 2 is a smasher of contrast: Σ389 is a 2.7" separation of 6.4 and 7.9 which is pleasing Σ384 escaped me this time but is sub 2" with mag 8 stars. ….and the other in Lyra: Eta 1 and 2, of course the Double Double...……..say no more! Σ2470 & Σ2474 make up the Little double double and as an interesting variation, both sets are in parallel. Excellent target to hunt down Σ2390 I resolved in the 6" but not the ED80 Σ2333 was a nice split Zeta 1 and 2 are a huge 44" separation but with a bright yellow primary Thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to leaving the mount out for a week again sometime soon
  19. Great piece of kit!! I like the sound of travelling light and the trade off between aperture, weight, etc seems the right mix. Beautiful writeup! Glad you got in a clear sky session and interesting to hear what looked different in the new rig.
  20. Thanks for posting, it's brilliant! I started observing quite late (after 4) with a mere 6" frac. Visually it was not far off what we see here but the tail wasn't nearly as obvious as your time lapse. Nice to see it tracking across the star fields!!!
  21. Great one @GavStar!! Tenerife can be great up on the volcano though the Colima can be a pain. That’s a huge amount of observing done on your trip. If you ever take a car up there again across from the visitors center is a popular place amongst likeminded folk...many of them imagers. I didn’t like the look of pulling over at a lay-by either but think it would have been fine.
  22. Excellent!!! I’ve not finished it but would be nice to round them all out for completeness’ sake. I was looking at the Herschel 400 Cambridge atlas today. That’s a large undertaking!
  23. I thought the same John, and noticed some haze here and there as I was observing. The moon had an extra fogginess to it at times. It’s brightness even in waning condition might have been a factor too. Let’s see how things look as it glides past those clusters! If you’ve got a #12 Yellow filter I would be curious what your findings on observing the tail are.
  24. The Moon is safely tucked away now and 21P looked very nice this morning at 102x. The core is a shining nugget with a huge gaseous coma. With a yellow filter I still struggled to see a tail beyond my imagination. Looking forward to it’s flyby’s of those clusters!!!
  25. Massive report and full of useful info, thanks! The Sharpless catalogue is in my difficult-box due to LP but that doesn’t stop me trying from home all the same! Great list!!!
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