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Davesellars last won the day on October 27 2016

Davesellars had the most liked content!

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About Davesellars

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  1. For galaxies my most used with the same scope is 10mm and 14mm (depending on the object and sky transparency). For PNs I will always use the 7mm and alot of time my 5mm. If you were only going to get one eyepiece at this time I would choose the 10mm. If you want narrow field then for budget the Baader BCO 10mm would be difficult to beat with its excellent performance for these type of objects.
  2. The field edition of Interstellarum deep sky guide to go with the atlas.
  3. Oops! Sorry Doug!!! Not sure where I got the name Neil from.... Brain not engaging this morning with the late night!
  4. Hi Mark. I'm not sure that it's available for Android but worth checking.... Good to hear you got out as well for a decent session! Hopefully I'll have another opportunity soon to see if I can catch the Rosette with the bins or the 120ST from the park as it's much better situated than my house for viewing. Ursa Minor is a great judge for NELM it has several stars from mag 5 to 6. 19 Umi is mag 5.5 I forgot to mention... I need to see if I can get 24 Umi (mag 5.8) although its proximity to the much brighter 4.3 mag Delta Umi (Yildan) may make it a tougher target. I think the nebulae around Cassiopeia are perhaps too low at the moment. While in the region of the Double Cluster I headed over to the Heart & Soul nebulae which I've seen clear the brighter portions of these before on a very transparent night without any filter using the 120ST. However, it was unsuccessful this time. I've only seen the Flaming Star nebula when positioned much higher up.
  5. OK... It cleared (sort of). We've had rain with high wind pretty much solid for the last 2 or 3 days and everything was deeply wet. As I popped my head out at 10 for a gander I could see the stars (sort of) - there was soup and lots of it as the obviously very humidity level was just killing it. I checked again at 11pm , 12pm... and 1am. It had gotten much better. I was pretty much done from the day's activities however I didn't want to completely waste a night... So binoculars it was taking them to the nearby part away from any local light sources and took my iPhone for taking the SQM measurement using the Dark Sky Meter with my iPhone It looked nice and dark. Several measurements were taken around different areas and noting any brightening above the horizon: West: Very dark indeed visually which is not surprising as there are no real populated places for quite a distance (approx 35 miles) with hills anyway and zero light pollution from the visible horizon. Pointed somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees with he iPhone and the measurement was 20.8 to 20.9 taken 3 times. North: Very little brightening on the immediate visible horizon. Major city is approx 20 miles distance. Again nice and dark just a touch less than West. Very good! SQM taken multiple times around 40 degrees was always around 20.7 to 20.8. East: Major city is approx 15 miles away however there's a big hill between me and that and so the first 10 degrees realistically is out of view. I can see some local brightening from Belper's lights but it's well controlled and not much LP going above the line of houses. SQM reading taken multiple times was around 20.5 taken at approx 40 - 45 degrees South - This is the worst by far visually - at least the first 20 degrees going over the bulk of Belper and some clouds in the distance are quite lit up possibly by Derby which is only 9 miles away. Still, it quites quite rapidly dark and from 30 degrees is not bad at all. At least there's no horrible orange glow that I used to experience from Oxford. SQM readings taken multiple times around 35 to 45 degrees yielded in 20.2 to 20.4. Taken at the zenith the reading was always around 20.6 to 20.7 OK, so visually what does this translate to? The transparency was so-so - certainly not completely clear although some areas were better than others. Looking at Ursa Minor the 7 stars to mag 5.0 were easy to spot at 60 degrees Alt. After some time and dark adaption and using a breathing technique I was able to distinguish the 5.7 mag star (HR 6034) and becoming more obvious with averted vision, 19 Umi was also seen. To the North-West, The constellation Auriga was shining brilliantly even though it was now quite low down. As to was Lyra in the NE, also low down. Extinction from LP was no-where near as a problem unless it was directly to the South. So, with the binoculars I had a bit of a tour around the sky: Double Cluster although low down looked amazing with the bins. I thought that I could just M13 was very bright and large. M57 I could just make out a faint small smudge. Directly above me was Ursa Major - M51 was really bright the two cores were still obvious with the bins which surprised me rather than seeing one extended fuzz-patch. M101 was really easy - amazing how large this is!!! Although this was giving me (literally) a pain in the neck trying to view it with craning the neck so much with the bins so I didn't spend too much time on it. The Milky Way realistically is too low to view at the moment naked eye but with the binoculars showed up nicely scanning around this area. Particularly the region around Auriga which is a riot. I didn't have any atlas with me though and forgot the positions of M35 to M38 so I didn't spot these. I'd like to see another night also if these are visible naked eye. I wrapped up the session as it quite brutally cold and getting very late. It was nice to get out though albeit for a short session and mainly testing the sky out.
  6. Nice report Neil! It's been quite some time since I last observed M78. I actually tried a couple of weeks ago with my 120ST but the transparency was no good at all. For me, the optimal exit pupil for obtaining the maximum detail from a DSO is somewhere between 1.5mm and 2.5mm depending on the transparency of the sky. Some objects will happily take even higher powers - M42 and some planetary nebulae for example will happily take an exit pupil of 1mm and show even more detail.
  7. Wow, that's pretty productive for 2 hours! Sounds like you had a nice transparent sky to work with. Thanks for the great report.
  8. Well done! That's a really good list and cross section of objects for a session and good to see that 5" reflector performs nicely. Goes to show that a transparent and dark enough sky works wonders. Must have been good to see NGC 3628 which very easily gets washed out as it's so diffuse. Many thanks for the report!
  9. As the storm passed it cleared although there was a thick haze early evening so didn’t even think about getting a scope out. After a nap and waking up at 1am the sky certainly looked considerably better and dark although looks can be deceiving... So I popped out the AZ4 and the 120ST and gave it a go. Well I was glad I didn’t bother getting the dob out! It was wet, the air was wet and soon my scope was sopping with the humidity. I could tell the transparency wasn’t good either... However, I managed to get a few in though to at least call it productive of sorts. I started with the Leo to gauge the transparency. Both M65 and M66 were visible but very washed out apart from the core. NGC 3628 wasn’t visible which wasn’t surprising. On to brighter things and visiting some old friends... M13 - my, it’s been a long time since I observed this. Very bright at least and reasonably resolved the best view being with the 14mm Delos. I went to the 5mm Pentax however the conditions weren’t exactly supportive of this power and it looked exceedingly washed out and the seeing really not giving a good sharpness. The nearby galaxy NGC 6207 could not be seen which was definitely an indicator of bad transparency. No more galaxies tonight! M92 - nice and bright and surprisingly small after M13. Good view with the 14mm Delos. M57 - The little ring was lovely and bright with the 17.3mm Delos and resolving the ring an not just a fuzz. With the 7mm Pentax the shape of the ring and became evident giving some detail. I took a quick look at the Double Double near Vega and then noticed incoming high level clouds coming in so called it and packed up. I’d installed Dark Sky Meter on my iPhone and it had given readings of 20.5 and 20.6. No idea how accurate it is but at least should give me a reference for other nights after using it for a bit.
  10. Well done Doug for your persistence!!! M97 is certainly one of those objects that can be made "visible" with OIII filter if it's not visible without one. I think though that if you cannot see M97 without a filter you've got no chance at M108 which has given me a kicking on several occasions before with the sky has not been sufficiently dark or the transparency is not high enough.
  11. A great selection of objects and lots of doubles! I don't know what dark site (I don't have car to lug astro stuff anyway) but looking over the valley from the top of Belper there looks to be some really great locations itself towards Shottle. What's the NELM for the dark site?
  12. If it's clear I'll be out!!! Besides, this looks like the last night for some time if the weather forecast is to be believed so I can have a rest tomorrow night!
  13. Nice one Geoff! Good list of galaxies there. The C8 is a great scope for galaxies.
  14. Aargh. That’s annoying. I use Sky Safari and found it to be very accurate generally. I wonder how that star didn’t get included in the catalog.
  15. Thanks! I was using the 12” dob.
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