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About Gavster

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  1. Yep I think it's probably the last bit of Astro kit I would sell! Really really nice
  2. Thanks Stu. I've had a quick look into Zeta Herculis (you've got me hooked now!). From the information I've found, it seems that the separation of this double star is 1.3". Apparently the first diffraction ring of the primary for a 140mm scope is also around 1.3" which makes it even more difficult to spot the companion star. It should show as a little spot that disrupts the diffraction ring and I think that's a very accurate description of what we saw last night. With a 130mm scope the companion should sit on the edge of the first diffraction ring making it easier to see. Sounds like a job for my AP130GTX!! I think I'm going to get my 3.5mm eyepiece out of mothballs for this task to get 235x magnification. EDIT from further reading to make this double obvious it's suggested to use up to 500x. Gulp! Powermating my 4mm eyepiece may be needed.... I'd be interested in hearing other people's success (or not) stories with this double and what they used to see it?
  3. Just remembered we also had great views of the ring nebula which took magnification well and had good definition with largish scale. I prefer the views of the ring to the dumbbell - more distinctive imo. Jupiter was a bit bright at times so I should have tried my baader moon and sky glow (annoying I forgot to do that) I'm sure there's other things I've missed as well. Quite a long night...
  4. Hi Marcus, 22nd post on the attached link
  5. Despite the light evening, we had a really fun club observing session last night. Being nice and warm also helped (but not the midges that were out earlier on) We had four scopes out (a 10" dob, a nice large Ritchey Chretien, Stu's Tak FC-100DC, and for the first time at the club my TEC140) and there was also an imager so a varied mix. Started at around 9pm finding Jupiter in the light skies. Immediate nice views with a big festoon in the NEB and three roundish white objects in the SEB. This tallied up nicely with Neil's image posted last night. Great views in all three scopes, with the Tak showing all the features that the TEC showed. The RC showed an excellent live feed of Jupiter with lots of detail through the attached camera. Eventually stars started appearing, and my first target was the double double, a current favourite. A clear split in the TEC but I personally preferred the view the Tak showed, the stars seemed just a shade crisper to me, maybe it was the magnification or the eyepieces being used? Next was M13, which is where the TEC started to show the aperture advantage. Nice granular view at around 90x. The highlight for many of us then followed which was surprisingly for me M5. It took magnification really well and at 200x showed both the inner core clearly and a beautiful sprinkling of stars around it particularly to the bottom left. Stu decided to instigate a few double star challenges. First off was I think Epsilon Bootis (Izar), which at 200x showed clear split of the much fainter second star. At this stage I got out the 4mm delite for 250x and the extra magnification definitely helped. We had a quick look at Porrima. Then Stu got us looking at one whose name I can't recall (Stu?) where the split was very tricky. We managed to convince ourselves that we did see the second star at 5 o'clock but it was not conclusive. By this time Saturn was rising. Initial views when it was at 7 degrees high were horrible, lots of CA and unstable viewing. However, later when it was higher, the rings were much clearer and we saw 3 moons (plus one rogue star pretending to be a moon). Finally I had a quick look at one of my favourite doubles, Albireo, which in the 4mm delite took up most of the fov of the eyepiece - a clear split The blue and gold of the two stars always excite me. We packed up around 12.45am. So despite the skies being quite light, a very pleasant time and it showed me that there was plenty to look at even in not that dark skies. (Lesson for next time is to bring mosquito repellent...) Many thanks to Peter for his help using the E-Bomb (ethos 21mm) to find several objects over the course of the evening.
  6. I use my Leica zoom with the Leica 1.8x extender permanently attached - effectively turns the eyepiece into a compact 5-10mm zoom which gives 100 x to 200x for my 140mm frac - great for planetary viewing.
  7. Hmmm just read one of my first posts on SGL from 2013 and I was nattering on about seeing m27 with no problem in my tv85 so I have viewed it before! I guess it must have been higher in the sky so relatively easy to see - it was down in the murk last night and I found it v difficult to find the less bright guide stars. When I did find it the views were nice and big though.
  8. So it was clear tonight and I had another observation of Saturn starting around 1am once it had got high enough to be visible from my garden. Nailed Cassini this time! Using 180x the black gap was obvious particularly at the left and right hand edges. The outer a ring was also clearly less bright than the inner b rings. The main body of Saturn did show some cloud bands. The views wobbled a bit partly I guess because I am viewing over houses. Overall though I was very pleased. I had a good session of around 4 hours and had excellent views of Jupiter early on in the dusk. I also had a look at current favourites M13, double double and Albireo. After a good bit of searching I saw the dumbbell (m27) for the first time - the dgm filter worked well for me on this target bringing out the bow tie look.
  9. Just been practising for said club night on Thursday. Picked up Jupiter quite late at around 9.30 but some really nice views. I counted 3 barges on the NEB all in a line on the edge. After reading the great posts earlier about the Veil observing im going to give it a go when it gets a bit darker. Stu, the towel is ready...😉
  10. About 2.30am. But I'm looking forward to more socialable viewing in the coming weeks. I've spent a good bit of time with Jupiter over the past few years but very limited with Saturn. I was concerned that it would be too low for me to see from my back garden so I'm very pleased this isn't the case. I really want to see the Cassini division clearly but I was v tired last night. At least I have a target to go for. Having done a bit of googling it seems Cassini is not that easy to get.
  11. And the best I've personally seen (but that's not saying much!) Seeing was not great (based on the views I had of Jupiter where the shadow transit was just ok). Nice to go from one of the big planets to the other on the same night. I haven't spent much time viewing Saturn in the past - it's always been quite low in the sky for me. Again very low but high enough to get decent views tonight. In my 130mm frac I was surprised how difficult I found the Cassini division to see - i think I just saw it but it was on the edge of my perception. Two moons were visible to me and some slight banding on the planet itself but nothing else - very different to Jupiter. But with the rings so open Saturn really did look magnificent at 160x. Now I know it will peek above the horizon I can see from my back garden it's going to be a key target over the next month or two. I hope I can get some better views.
  12. Of course you're right John - I forgot about those imaging people!!
  13. Dave, yes I did wonder why short focal fracs are so much more popular than f9+. However even the FC100DL I have I find a bit of a handful particularly when looking near zenith. The flexibility of the 130gtx just zipping around all areas of the sky easily on the mount without having to change observing position is rather nice. 😊
  14. I notice that the 30mm Pentax has now been sold!
  15. Alan raises an excellent point about mechanical aspects of binoviewing. I've found the systems can easily get too large and heavy if I'm not careful and create issues even for best feathertouch focusers. I have very different criteria for my eyepiece choices for mono and bino. Im like Alan - for bino I aim for small eyepieces that have good eye relief and medium fov (65 degrees or so) and decent but not necessarily top end optical quality. On the original topic of matched pairs, I've not had any issues in this respect!