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About mikeDnight

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf
  • Birthday 04/02/62

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Lunar & planetary , binary stars & comets.
    Visual astronomy in general and an advocate of sketching as an aid to observing.
    I also have a passion for refractors and optics in general, and have a deep interest in the history of amateur astronomy, the astronomers and their scopes and observatories.
  • Location
    East Lanc's

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  1. Hi Chris, I was speaking specifically about the 3-6 zoom and iimmediately went into Victor Meldrew mode when I read that it had increased to £406, and although its a very nice eyepiece, its sincerely believe its not worth that kind of money. Its not that i feel they dont perform well, its just that there are so many better non-zoom alternatives available. Televue as a company have probably done more for the modern astronomer/stargazer than any other manufacturer ever, but they are no longer the only ones worth considering. Sadly, high end names don't always deliver high end performance. Takahashi is a case in point! Their eyepieces are grossly overpriced and their performance is mediocre. The Tak LE's are poorly designed and many suffer from stray light washing out the view when a bright object is outside the field. Their long focal length LE's and ortho's look nice but the eye lens is set a third of the way down the eyepiece body, forcing the observer to push his eye into the eyepiece so as to get the full field of view. I love Tak scopes but their eyepieces are not worth half the list price.
  2. It's a thieving rip-off, that's what it is! Its a cute eyepiece, but there are plenty of quality eyepieces on the market that will give superior performance to the Nag zoom at a fraction of the cost.
  3. It's possible that the locking screw can push the eyepiece slightly off axis which makes it near impossible to merge the images, where as the rotating lock type, at least in theory, will centre the eyepiece more effectively. If the screw type I used it may be wise to try different screw holes in the eyepiece holder (There are usually three in each), to enable true image mergance. Or, you could use three locking screws in each holder to secure each eyepiece on axis.
  4. May be they are just waiting for the right moment!
  5. That's a great observing report Gerry. It may be that the 5mm ortho was just a bit too much for the seeing conditions on that particular night, and that the 7mm was the perfect match. The upper atmosphere can play havoc with stars at high power, but its great to see orthoscopics being used for something other than lunar and planetary.
  6. From what I've read John, the Eudiascopic seems to have a very slightly narrower apparent field than the Celestron. According to First Lights old advert the Baader is 45° AF, though the difference in real field will be negligible. May be this is why the Baader boasts superior sharpness. I've ordered one as I'm intrigued by its claims, so I'll let you know about its qualities after it arrives sometime around the 26th July.
  7. Not wide field, but with top quality images, pin sharp to the edge, the Baader Eudiascopic is available to order once again.
  8. Hi Chris, To be honest I pay little attention to the number crunchers and prefer to observe in ignorance the things I can't possibly see. Of course I'm not suggesting that either I or my telescope can see beyond the physically impossible, just that the impossible is in many instances much further down the line than that dictated by popular opinion.
  9. The seeing was good but the sky wasn't truly dark, and with the transparency beeing variable due to intermittent wispy cloud, this was a bit of a challenge. The object itself is easy to find but teasing out detail within it can be difficult under less than perfect skies. In the book The Messier Album, John Mallas using his 4" F15 Unitron refractor portrayed M27 as a rectangular blur. I have to confess I've never seen it in quite the same way that Mallas did. Even in binoculars it looks like an Apple core embedded in a nebulous bubble. Last night's sketch was more than just a quick look, and represents about an hour of study under a blackout hood to help me to tease out as much subtle detail as I could given the less than perfect conditions. Like Mallas I used a 4" refractor, but if you are able to compare Mallas's drawing with mine you'll see they have little in common. FC100DC using a prism diagonal and 16.8mm orthoscopic eyepiece (X44). 16/7/17. Thanks for looking.
  10. That's a superb report David and its great to hear that, through perseverance, you had success. It certainly wasn't easy for me either, but rather than rushing from one object to another just having superficial glimpses, it pays to be patient. I'm so glad you managed to see the tiny companion after some careful study and I'm glad you could confirm my positioning. Many thanks
  11. Im looking for a 28mm RKE in good condition. If you have one lying around that you dont use, id be happy to hear from you. ☺
  12. Could be ok, but it may need some support at its lower end in the form of struts to give it more rigidity. You could buy 4" by 4" steel tube cut to the length you require from K Steels. It wouldn't be expensive and theyed deliver it. Possibly even galvanised steel, but as long as plain steel is primed and painted it will last for decades.
  13. I've just been playing with my wife's gel pens in an attempt to draw stars on black paper. I'm not sure what to think! Star colour should be taken with a pinch of salt as they are merely my own interpretation and not necessarily accurate. In fact the colours depicted may be nothing like the reality. Attached are colour versions of the stepping stones I used to get to Struve 1964. It was a pretty journey! 😊
  14. It surprised me as well Mike when I first learned about the more accurate modern magnitude survey, to find that my scope back then, which was a FS 128mm, could reach mag 13. Up until then, it was my understanding that 150mm was needed to reach down to mag 13. However, reading Leslie Peltiers Starlight Nights, it appears a 6" scope can under the right conditions, detect the central star at mag 15.2 or fainter, so for a 100mm to reach mag 13 shouldn't be too difficult to believe. It has to be said however, that although I feel the star is obvious, it isn't easy, as it flickers in and out of existence if the seeing is turbulent. My position of the star on my sketch is different from the attached image as I used a prism diagonal!
  15. Thanks John, If I remember rightly, some time around 2003 Flagstaff made a study of the magnitudes of stars using photoelectric photometry and found that the previous magnitude estimates were, in many instances, a long way from being accurate. I seem to remember the star on the periphery of M57 was thought to be in the region of 11th mag, but previous estimates were based on photographic plates and were found to give a false impression. The central star was thought to be mag 13 but was later found to be mag 15. I've never seen the central star! Perhaps the 13.2 mag star is relatively easy to see because its close to the ring, but whatever the reason its a nice test for seeing and telescope.