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Everything posted by jetstream

  1. Great point and I don't waste time collimating like this either. The tools available to collimate a newt are fast, easy and accurate- even my 300+ lb 24" f4, after wheeling it down a ramp and across a gravel pad is easy and fast to collimate.
  2. Did I forget to mention the Spider and Fly when talking about the Flaming Star area in Auriga? Welcome to the world of IC 417 and NGC 1931! Theres a bunch of goodies in Auriga, congrats for a fine session. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180129.html
  3. I'm curios about how everyone does the star test? The only accurate way I know of is using very high mag that needs VG seeing to do. I don't think using the secondary shadow is that great a method.
  4. There is the 25mm Televue plossl that offers 17mm of eye relief and is a sharp eyepiece, with great build quality. I own two and they are very versatile- from seeing the Horse Head, to binoviewing to sharp low power views on the moon and planets. To this I would add a quality barlow such as the Baader VIP,or any other good 2x barlow. The barlow benefits things in a couple of ways including pushing the eye relief out a bit, possibly useful for your son. Down the road a 2" APM 20mm HDC or the TS equivalent tsxwa 20mm is a super low power eyepiece. The 25mm TV plossl is sharper, with less scatter and will show less perceived coma in the f4.7 newt however.
  5. The other night using the 24" at 287x there is a bright not quite complete inner ring (annular ring?) that is surrounded by the fine radial filaments. If am Eskimo hood is looked up on the computer there is a nice resemblance with the inner hood the ring and the fur the radial filaments. This one is sensitive to seeing as poor seeing will limit the mag where features are seen or not and a filter brightens the object but kills the fine features (to my eyes). Just found this from NASA: "This stellar relic, first spied by William Herschel in 1787, is nicknamed the Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392) because, when viewed through ground-based telescopes, it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka. In this Hubble telescope image, the 'parka' is really a disk of material embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects, with their tails streaming away from the central, dying star. Although the Eskimo's 'face' resembles a ball of twine, it is, in reality, a bubble of material being blown into space by the central star's intense 'wind' of high-speed material. This object is an example of a planetary nebula, so named because many of them have a round appearance resembling that of a planet when viewed through a small telescope. A planetary nebula forms when dying sun-like stars eject their outer gaseous layers, which then become bright nebulae with amazing and confounding shapes. The Eskimo Nebula is about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Gemini and began forming about 10,000 years ago." Image Credit: NASA
  6. lol! Yes I've been nosing around this area- so many to see but so hard to identify individuals, now I just find the clusters and stare in amazement. @mdstuart we need your expertise on these galaxies.
  7. No laughing, you have a very good start JOC! Being able to split the double double tells much about your optics, cooling and collimation- its all good. Excellent. I must also point out that it was @John who helped me first find the Veil, again many thanks to him. I still like to observe objects near constellations for ease of finding and when the DSC froze up the other night I was driving the 24" @ .7deg TFOV around manually, a challenge indeed, but the basics carried me through. Your goto should work well if you have a stable base and use very tight FOV (high mag) to align, my SynScan is like this on the AZEQ6. Right now M81/M82 are VG, M108 is so easy to find and is a nice taste of things to come for you. One last and important thing to our observing plan:dark adaptation- you need 30mins in darkness to fully adapt for the Veil,galxies etc. Vogel is an expert on this. http://www.reinervogel.net/index_e.html
  8. Thanks Damian, I just put it on the list with Copelands Septet. Looked up some Abell clusters- gonna go for the Abell Leo cluster soon, weather permitting.
  9. For me astronomy has been a process and still is as I venture into different areas to observe. Extended objects vs points sources...when does an extended object act like a point source? look at Hickson 55 for example. I have recently learned about some of this with help from others. The Veil is an extended object with much light in OIII. In order for our eyes to work well with the OIII we should have an exit pupil between 4mm-5mm (or more), but under less than dark skies the 4mm gets the nod. So the 31mm gives about 5mm exit pupil. Your 26mm plossl gives about 4.3mm. We know have a plan- try them both. No need for expensive eyepieces to view the Veil ie the 25mm SW Super plossl works very well. However, filter choice can make a huge difference. The only one I would buy now is the Astronomik OIII (or TV, same thing). Lumicon had big issues that I'm not sure theyve overcome. So a plan overview might include: Practise observing 52 Cygni naked eye View the Veil when high in the sky Try your current OIII with both the 26mm and 31mm Purchase an Astronomik OIII, try again If no luck, its off to darker skies. JOC you will see the Veil, but it is a process. Out of curiosity what are your favorite objects to observe?
  10. I didn't want to come right out and say this. but we share the same thoughts on this.
  11. Just in from a sauna, the Harvia works great- may as well as it is starting to snow. Commission? I wish lol! its cost me a lot of money sorting through things and I do relate what I find. I can see why they are out of them, they work, plain old work and for such a low price. Congrats for pulling out some galaxies under challenging conditions- the Leo Triplet is such a great target. There are places to observe- galaxy clusters- that will boggle your mind, they boggle my mind.. Seyferts Sextet should be on your list! another mesmerizing set of galaxies set around a pile of them, also known a Hickson 79- check out nearby ARP 172 aka IC 1178 the number your 20" will show in the EP will amaze. Of course we have to wait for this one to come around. But, UMa is climbing.....
  12. From Vogel: Hickson 55 "22" f/4: one of the highlights of the Hickson catalog, though not easy. Starting from NGC 3735, the chain is quite obvious with indirect vision, though difficult to split into single galaxies. After extended observation three, sometimes four knots could be separated with averted vision, but could not be held steadily. Very difficult group that is nevertheless worth the effort of trying to get to your limits " This one showed really well for me and I have viewed it repeatedly, now a favorite goto object, conditions considered. @Ships and Stars get that 10BCO/VIP on this one IMHO.
  13. Just a heads up... if you have serious trouble seeing the Veil with either set up your filter might not be up to par. I had an Orion Ultrablock that was a very poor sample, it turned me off UHC type filters for a couple of years. Bottom line- the filter needs to be good. How dark is your location? For perspective, the Veil is easily seen with no filter in truly dark skies as is Pickerings Wisp. JOC, your pursuit will be well worth the while on this object. How many stars can you see around the 4 stars of the Little Dipper bowl? Any?
  14. I feel this is a group effort, many interesting things have been recommended to me by @estwing and @mapstar including the MUST see Hickson 55 in Draco. I absolutely love this one. It needs piles of mag and I use orthos and now Delos. I now use the SC to maximize observing time, star hopping works and I respect those that do. Reiner Vogels site has great charts/Info as does Alvin Huey on FaintFuzzies. I got the Pn nebs suggestions from one of these by Massimo Zecchin. Eagerly waiting reports! ps try the Jellyfish in Gemini tonight...
  15. Welcome to the world of collimation! Every instrument should agree if the instruments are accurate. Try pulling the cheshire back out a bit to see the clips. Your correct about tightening the focuser screws vs sec alignment. In loose focusers I note how the laser/crosshairs go and tighten in that order. This function of collimation centers the collimated light beam in the exact centre of the eyepiece. If off you might notice a sharper lunar view off center for instance, depending on the speed of your scope. Note that the cheshire primary function is NOT affected by focuser slop but un barlowed laser primary collimation is. You can use your accurate laser for sec collimation and then the cheshire for primary alignment. Works for me down to f3.8... Gerry
  16. Yes, for sure try it once its up high again and right now Gemini offers some VG objects- the Eskimo nebula, which takes very high mag and also the Monkey Head nebula-perfect with the OIII/31mm again. Swinging over to UMa and the super pair of M108, found with your 31mm and enhanced with your excellent 14mm Morpheus and the Owl nebula, again the 31mm/OIII works. There is just so much to see- everywhere. When I got serious about astronomy (finally the resources) I studied the constellations for a long time which is extremely rewarding in itself. I still sit in my lawnchair to take it all in at the end of the obs sessions. To the OP @Kronos831 sorry to go off topic, however in my mind tossing ideas around is a vg thing and feel free to in my threads. Your 130mm will show M31 superbly- from dark skies. We use the ES 24mm 68 for this and shows all 3 galaxies and the dust lanes in M31. In order to see M31 very well the object needs to be easy naked eye, if its weak or not showing the core + a bit will be the most you can get IMHO.
  17. Oh no! I'm under the gun lol! If it does not handily beat your widefields on galaxies I will be shocked. My copy of the 10 BCO is deeper than my Docter 12.5mm UWA and also the Delos by a bit. It also gives "brighter", deeper views than my other orthos, including Taks and Circle T's. I have one excellent copy of a KK Fuji 7mm that offers similar performance. My 10 BCO is the eyepiece I compare others to in terms of faint galaxy performance and using the Baader VIP results in no detriment at all and extends this eyepieces range. BTW, last night I had another good look at M108- I think those "knots" I saw in it were just that, knots but I did get an averted flick off the end and over a squeak of a faint, possibly lenticular looking glow. More time needed here though.
  18. Look for a huge cross! A great start in Cygnus is Albireo, a beautiful gift of the sky. There is so much in and around this constellation it is staggering. If you can see 52 Cygni naked eye the Veil will show with an OIII and proper eye illumination, 4mm-5mm exit pupil. Your 200mm dob is perfect with the 31mm Baader/ OIII.
  19. A recent interest is observing the odd galaxies in Halton Arps catalogue so tonight I targeted three of them, Arp6, Arp 155 and Arp 280. These are all very easy actually even if their unique features don't open up. The favorite tonight was Arp 6 or NGC 2537 the Bear Paw galaxy. Easily seen using the 24" and HDC 20mm the object showed the bright sections defining the "paw" using 287x, quite unique. The others wanted more mag but the -30c temps made frost on my primary so a heat gun got rid of it....and this did not allow high power viewing, which some of these galaxies need to show some of their features. 410x was tried and the galaxies were more easily seen but no more features appeared tonight. IC 443 was also targeted and in this scope was really easy, zero challenge and the nod goes to the Lumicon UHC in this scope. The Jellyfish was bright tonight. I got the Sky Commander figured out and its encoder for cold weather use- turn the SC on before venturing out in the cold and the heaters will keep up and a quick blast with the heat gun on the AZ encoder kept it working for an hour and a half in -30c. Much much more observed and the highlight was Arp 6 a peculiar looking galaxy, almost planetary nebula like.
  20. The 10BCO is a must for serious galaxy observing IMHO, forget the 6mm .... and you don't need the18mm. You most likely won't best the10BCO ( FOV excepted) unless you but a ZAOII or Pentax XO.
  21. Yes, what a rich place to observe. After reaching a couple of goals last night the scope decided to take me on a galaxy safari- shed loads of galaxies were observed in UMa however I just enjoyed the views and didn't note their identifiers, no need really, just lots of fun observing. I did observe more PGCs near the mentioned 5 galaxy area- they were part of my safari though lol!
  22. Not really, just lots of trial and error - and there is a reason I bought Delos again... well, IME the zooms even top one like the Leica or Zeiss have a downfall and that is transmission, at least to my eyes. On the brighter objects it doesn't matter but when doing the "Marty Feldman" I need all the help I can get lol! My copy of the 10 BCO is top notch on faint galaxies with and without the VIP barlow and the Delos come close to it with a much wider field and so much comfort. The 10 Delos with Paracorr gives 8.7mm for 287x at a bright 2mm eye illumination. This scope easily goes down to 1mm exit pupil for 600x but I prefer 1.2mm as a max at 500x on galaxy cores and PN. To recap and in my humblest of opinions, eyepieces do matter on very faint galaxies.
  23. I just came in from observing M1 and can say that the 24" does show vg lines of structure in it. Similar but not as extensive as Steves great OIII image. Alan you might want to keep observing this one as it can show very well. Your scope will show the main bright spike and a short spur I believe. The 15 f4.8" wants to but is not quite there and your f4ish 18" will I'm sure.
  24. I must be getting soft (old)- only managed 2 hrs out there tonight under some nice but crisp skies @ -31c/-38c wind chill. Transparency is avg. The 24" AZ encoder froze up so searching was done the old fashioned way with pretty good luck. UMa was targeted and a favorite set of galaxies explored. The 15' shows 5- NGC3977,3972,3982,3990 and 3998. I'm rather pleased to pick up a 6th with the 24"/10mm Delos- PGC 37532 at 15.4 mag or so- I got hints of something in my 20mm HDC, not sure but the 10 Delos made short work of this galaxy in direct vision but faint. Another favorite is M108, showing nice structure- thing is I saw 2 "odd" sections near the end, faint round and small. There are 2 faint galaxies listed as "in" M108- PGC 4096870 and PGC 4550815- has anyone seen these? or is it possible @mdstuart? M97 was really nice showing its central star very easy, love this object. Much more observed including a blue/green mix in M42 core and the Running Man showed photographically. There are sure lots of galaxies out there.....
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