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Everything posted by clarkpm4242

  1. Hi I've observed it several times from up in the caldera on Tenerife, but only once from the Elan Valley, Wales. This was through a 92mm TMB APO at very low mag ~x16, using a 31 mm Nagler. Filters do not help. This gives about 5 degree fov. Appears as the palest white stain. Obviously, the clearest and darkest skies are a must... ...good luck. Paul
  2. Excellent view naked eye from the dark NE Yorkshire Dales last night. Also through 15x50 Canon IS binoculars. Didn't have to get out of the car... ...good hunting! Cheers Paul
  3. I note you say that weight isn't a problem however... ...I would go for a GEM option as they do break down into lighter components. The larger CPC and LX options are bulky. YMMV Cheers Paul
  4. Hi there I am very short-sighted (no jokes) -11 and 2 dioptres of astigmatism. This is what works for me, plus a few comments... - using thin, high refractive index glass long distance specs - using eyepieces with an eye relief of 15+mm e.g. Delos - trying to remember to fold down eye cup if required - a unit power RDF or Telrad (with specs) - a tablet with planetarium program of choice (Sky Safari), zooming in an config. can make it bigger (night mode & screen filters retain dark adaptation) - DO NOT have surgery - a short trial of contacts without fully dark adapted eyes (wide pupil) will not give you an accurate feel for there good/bad points - DO NOT have surgery - varifocals will not work owing to varying correction and scope/eye positions - DO NOT have surgery There are still occasions of frustration however, using familiar specs that stay on all the time gives you a good base to observe from. Hope this helps, others may have differing opinions... ...good luck. Cheers Paul
  5. Yes, great report and piccie Mike! I uploaded a couple of GoPro vids to Youtube recently, there is a public/private setting..? Cheers Paul
  6. I always attempt to optimise the viewing of any object: - catch them before they start getting to low in the west - wait for them to rise high in the east - avoid the light polluted parts of the sky - wait for circumpolar objects to be high in the north - look at bright objects last (retaining dark adaption) ...enjoy the journey Paul
  7. Lovely report and sketches! Thank you for sharing. Paul
  8. Well, I have my daughter's boyfriend bringing an 8 mm Ethos from the US So, I guess I'll be sticking with that. I'm fortunate that with small lenses on my specs. and the rubber eye guard collapsed down on the EP, I can happily use the Ethos range. Early Xmas pressie Cheers Paul
  9. Previously 18" Obsession (Classic) & Takahashi TOA 150 however, times change, and via various SCTs and Maks... ...Sumerian 16" Alkaid dobsonian & TMB SS 92 APO (non GOTO) Much more portable Garnished with Canon IS 15 x 50s Cheers Paul
  10. Hi Paul M I first saw the Gegenschein from the Canaries. Makes seeing it from the UK 'easier'. Have seen it from mid Wales, Northumberland and Dumfries & Galloway. All within the last 4 years, we may yet survive light pollution!
  11. A selfish report, written to help remind me of an excellent observing session during the last dark moon. Date: Sunday 23rd Nov. Locn: Elan Valley Vis: NELM ~6.5 Gegenschein visible Kit: Sumerian Optics 16” f4.5 Alkaid and Astro-Physics 130mm f6.3 ‘Gran Turismo’ EPs: Televue Nagler 31mm, Ethos 13mm, Paracorr Type II, Astronomik OIII & UHC 2” filters In summary, a very rewarding first light, the ‘scope performed as well as any 16” that I’ve looked through. The conditions were excellent!! Scope set up and initial collimation as the skies cleared around midday. The mirrors were well cooled by the time observing started at 18:30. Nascent dew on the secondary and a fogging 31 Nag that some idiot had left in the focuser Put secondary heater on and the EP indoors for warming. Seeing was a bit soft over the nearby building where M13 lurked so kept the power off and admired an excellent view. M92, slightly higher sparkled with pinpoints into its relatively tight core. A try with the 2” UHC filter gave one of the best views of the Crescent Nebula. Fully formed with tendrils and detail clearly visible all the way round and ‘inside’. Easily found with a rough pointing with the RDF and sweep. The OIII was the filter of choice for the Veil. Excellent detail was visible along the brighter eastern arc. Pickering’s Triangle stood out as a major element of the SNR with the Witch’s Broom (western arc) overpowered 52 Cygni. Centre star visible in the Ring Nebula. Dropping right down to Aquarius and a sweep from M30 brought the Helix Nebula into view. An overlapping incomplete double ring structure was seen with the 31 Nag and UHC filter. Not seen this one better from the UK. Well resolved M2 and M15 were followed by a detailed look at NGC7331 and half a dozen ‘Fleas’ along with Stephan’s Quintet. Using the 13mm Ethos it darkened the background nicely and seemed to be the sweet spot for the fainter galaxies under the sky conditions. Nice mottled oblique spiral detail (helps when you’ve seen images…) in 7331. Stephan’s was as good a view I’ve had except for the sight through a 25” Obsession. The tight central pair easily separated and hinted spiral structure. A quick brew and warm up was in order whilst the ice started to form on the scopes. I then used my new TeleVue Type II Paracorr for the first time. I don’t think I’ll be using any reflector faster than f5 without one of these in the future!!! Stars were tighter and brighter, contrast improved and the pin cushioning that you can get, (it really bothers me as I get tired) disappeared. Wonderful J OC, NGC 7789 (Caroline’s) was stunning. Huge, pinpoint stars that you could fall into forever… …NGC 6946 (Firework Gx) and NGC 6939 OC in Cepheus provided contrasting views in a great star field, faintly swirling face-on galaxy and a finely grained cluster. A dig down into Cetus and a bit of perseverance found NGC 246 PN (Skull) with some great detail using an OIII filter. There was extensive gawping at the detail in M31, dust lanes and star associations. M33 (nice to see naked eye) was lovely. The great swirl of arms with lots of brighter knots visible. M74 Gx, gave up some delicate face-on spiral detail. Now, NGC 891, a quick look at the position on a mates darkened tablet, point and view. The assembled were astounded at the detail visible. The knotted central dust lane was so obvious. Sky transparency and darkness were excellent. It was about this time I noticed the gegenchein, an oval glow south and west of M45. The Astro-physics refractor had a stunning view of the ‘Subaru’ stars embedded in a fine cotton wool. The Merope (Thumbprint) nebula stood out in the 16”. Damn, forgot to look at the Perseus A cluster… Orion became high enough for a good browsing. The first view of this season and the usual superlatives were uttered. The Running Man was nice J B33, The Horsehead was not difficult using the UHC filter and was visible without. The Rosette blossomed with the UHC and was also visible ‘naked-eye’ when blinked with the handheld filter. Numerous other Messiers and brighter galaxies were viewed before the eyes and brain hazed over after an 8 hour session. Just like now… …if you've read this far, thank you, cheers, Paul.
  12. Hi I have quite bad short-sightedness (-11 and 2 dioptres astigmatism) and wear specs (high refractive index glass) for observing. I thought that the 100 AFOV of the Ethos would be a problem but am fine with my 13 mm and have an 8 mm being brought over from the US. The 15 mm eye relief is fine. Cannot read a star chart though Paul
  13. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/231537-huge-naked-eye-tail/ Rocket booster fuel dump.
  14. I've observed from Donna Nook (some years ago). Seems as good as anywhere in that area. Good luck!
  15. Hi All it is Friday afternoon, time for a few ramblings on the Sumerian Alkaid? I cannot comment on the flex experienced by Dan. The 'scope that I have appears rigid enough to hold a decent collimation with all my EPs including the 31 Nag and TV Paracorr combination. Movements are precise and vibration damping was not an issue at x160 (excellent views of Stephan's Quintet and NGC 891). I haven't gone to higher magnifications yet. It is a lightweight and extremely portable scope and does (will) not have that truly solid/rigid feel of the heavy weight dobs. An equivalent is the Obsession 15" UC. The cost of this, with box and optional(!!) secondary dew heater this is ~ $5500 => £5500 after shipping, VAT, duty etc. This is about £2000 more for a 'scope of 1" less aperture. BTW, the mirror spec. I have is from Orion Optics and the Zygo gives 0.984 Strehl (Obsession guarantee >0.9). I sincerely hope that there are more, positive experiences of Sumerian being recounted in the near future This maybe the end of my Friday ramblings...or not. Cheers Paul
  16. A lovely EP I would recommend the UHC filter with smaller apertures. Others may have differing views on this Cheers Paul
  17. Hi Telescope mirrors can go through an almost daily cycle of condensation if stored in a shed... ...lots of ventilation, some sort of low power greenhouse heater? I'm lucky enough to keep my dobsonian in the house. Cheers Paul
  18. Hi Paul Might be worth noting that, Mr O'Meara has done much of his observing under very dark skies. Fast, wide field refractors are wonderful under those conditions. Any contrast increase is minimal with LP. Your 20x80s would give similar views to a small frac. when on a tripod? I wouldn't go too big with a cheap dob. They are usually very heavy (MDF) and bulky. Keep it cool to avoid cool down issues? Maybe a 10 - 12" collapsible SkyWatcher? You may find that it is a compromise whichever route you take... Good luck Paul
  19. Just a couple of changes that could be a direct result of the problems that Dan experienced. Wider hole positioning and mirror safety/lid bolts. The 16" is new to the range.
  20. Hi Sure Dan. To reassure anyone with a 16" Alkaid on order. I've had a look at mine and can see a couple of design changes. The holes for the poles down at the mirror are much, much further apart to prevent the splitting of the wood. The safety clamps/mirror cover bolts are also in the gap rather than against the wood. The wooden clamps are also all cut correctly. The secondary damage could be during transport? The Canopus has been part of the Sumerian range for a few years so hopefully no problems there... ...regards Paul
  21. Hi All I have only just found this section of the forum. Am glad I hadn't whilst I was waiting for my 16" Sumerian Alkaid! I've had the opposite experience with my 'scope. The only issue was dealing with the supplier of the optics - Orion in Stoke. The scope arrived well packed, well made and assembled very easily, despite the outdated instructions. The poles are substantial and the scope holds collimation and balance for a range of eyepieces from light weight 1 1/4" through to the 2" 31mm Nagler with a TeleVue Type II Paracorr. First light was a couple of weeks back under dark, rain washed skies in the Elan Valley. I, and my experienced astro colleagues have never had a 16" dob. perform that good before. It was excellent and then it packed away into 'nothing' to go back in the car. Michael is great to deal with and I am at a loss as to how the two experiences could be so different. Maybe you were at the 'bleeding' edge of his development cycle Glad you have yourself sorted with another 16!! Cheers Paul
  22. The Adventures website has loads of good stuff under the 'What's Here' link. http://www.astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/ They also have a FB page. Paul
  23. ...and when you've ticked G1 http://www.astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/gcm31.htm Well worth having a go at a few more M31 features. The Plates from the on-line Hodge Atlas enable location/identification. http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/ANDROMEDA_Atlas/frames.html Good hunting Cheers Paul
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