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cloudsweeper

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cloudsweeper last won the day on March 26

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About cloudsweeper

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  1. Steve - They are 100160, 100583, and 082293. I strongly recommend The Cambridge Double Star Atlas - it gives these numbers. I then put them into the handset and reach the targets. As I said, if they are not in the HS, I aim for something close, then "hop". The three I saw are all good to view - close (at different mags), with the fainter member at different orientations - very nice. I was pleased indeed to see the last two, as my mag only goes to x160 (until I get a focal extender on my birthday!), and I am sure I would not have seen clear splits had I been using the Cat or Dob, since they are not as sharp as the frac. (I can squeeze a bit more mag out of it without the exit pupil getting too small.) Have fun! Doug.
  2. 9.50 - sky very clear - Arcturus out on its own. I had the ES ED80 on the Celestron GoTo mount - very handy, as long as I don't go too close to the zenith! Aligned on Arcturus. (I reach targets using SAO numbers in the handset. If not included, I just aim for something else nearby.) 10.10 - Sigma1657/24Com - 1+(2) visual double, fairly close match, 20" separation. A lovely sight at x24/3.42deg - the secondary closely to the side ("left"), and nothing else in view. 10.25 - OSigma266 - closely matched binary, 2.1" separation - just split at x160, fainter one above the other. 10.40 - Sigma1639 - binary, fairly close match, just 1.8" separation - very tight at x160 (my max with the ED80) - the fainter component was diagonally above the primary (to the "left" in my view). Getting these fairly tight doubles was I believe down to the sharpness of the star images with the quality frac. It would not have been as easy with the 8SE or the Dob. (Although higher mag and resolution help there.) I finished at 10.50 with a quick look at the glob M53 - only a fuzzy patch (x24, 80) in the not-so-dark sky and with a smallish aperture. Another satisfying and successful session, with a different mix of equipment! Doug.
  3. Yes Neil - it never ends! Four 'scopes, four mounts (all of which I mix and match), 20 EPs, a focal extender, a zoom, some filters. And I've now got into simple Plossls, and am planning for a 100deg EP. Plus, I want another frac, and a solar 'scope. Into the future - an observatory at a dark sky site would be nice. Doug.
  4. It is indeed - not much change out of a kilogram. I have, as a result, set 1kg as the limit for any EP I consider. Two 'scopes on the Skytee, with counterweights - now that's a bit bestial too! Doug.
  5. So far, I've only used the ED80 on the Skytee II (great slo-mo) or the Az4 (great for rapid sweeping about the sky). Just tried it out on the 8SE's GoTo mount (with GPS). It only goes on "one way" - unless I want the finder in an awkward position. And it works a treat, as long as I don't aim too close to the zenith. (Pretty close, though!) So now I can enjoy crisp, widefield views, with GoTo and tracking. And coarse one-star alignment will be fine since at such wide fields, the target will always be in view and capable of being homed in on via Stellarium. The possible variations and combinations in this pastime certainly enhance the enjoyment! Doug.
  6. Similar here - I was using 10 inches of aperture and no filter, and was only briefly operating at low mag. Glare is not usually a worry, especially before the sky has become really dark. Doug.
  7. Although it was not as clear as in recent evenings, I nevertheless set up the Bresser Dob to view Luna - waxing gibbous, 3 days to full. After a while it was dark enough to see detail clearly. Transparency was not great however. The terminator was west of Mare Humorum, and Gassendi to the north. The Doppelmayer Rilles (130km [80 miles] crack) were clear at the western edge of MH. The view was steady between x190 and x254, being very sharp at the lower end. I noticed two close, parallel cracks, although I believe that sources indicate one main line. At x318, viewing was difficult - seeing, focusing, 'scope wobble, and drift. Three peaks in the middle of Gassendi were of course easy, but I hoped to detect some of the fractures/rilles which criss-cross its floor. I ranged between x115 and x318, and at the lower end, briefly noticed signs of these, using AV. To finish, I enjoyed some general lunar views - beautifully framed at x64; then the much spoken-of clarity, detail, and texture in the terminator region at x127/159. Two and a half hours very well spent! Doug.
  8. Try it on Jupiter - marvellous. The GRS shows up really well! Doug.
  9. The polarising filter won't help, I feel. For best results, just leave it as late as possible. I've had some great lunar views over recent evenings while it was still lightish, and before the stars came out. In fact, viewing then is arguably ideal because the lunar glare is not too strong. It's like viewing planets in twilight, which is often better than viewing in dark conditions. Doug.
  10. Splendid views of Clavius in the heavily-cratered southern highlands near the terminator yesterday - the arc of craterlets of decreasing sizes within, plus lots of very small ones. Anyway. I have occasionally seen lunar photos and thought the craters appeared to be convex/bulging, and put it down to the lighting conditions, never thinking it was in fact my perception, until that perception changed. The pic attached is one such - the effect may or may not work with this image. And last night, while enjoying Clavius and environs, I saw the effect with the Moon itself! Clavius and all the craters around it all got reversed and bulged out, changing the landscape completely. A very strange effect, and one I have not experienced before. Very odd and very interesting - at one point I was able to flip the view more or less at will! There must be lots of veteran Moon-viewers out there who have seen this (please let me know!), although I don't recall any references to it. It certainly came as surprise! Doug. (Bresser Dob, x212.)
  11. OK then - first impressions. After another good look at the Moon while the sky was fairly light, I then swapped the 20mm TV Plossl and the 20mm Meade 5000 UWA repeatedly in the Bresser Dob and the ST120 frac. Bresser: the TV was at least as good as the Meade, centre and edge (where both lost some sharpness as expected), so that in itself says a lot for the smaller, simpler TV. ST120: Generally better sharpness than before with both EPs, but I thought the TV showed faint stars better, i.e. gave slightly better contrast. These were by no means exhaustive comparisons, but I feel satisfied that the TV performed very well, and having become used to quite hefty EPs, it was good to use one weighing in at just 85g (without adaptor) for a small loss of field. I shall perhaps draw further conclusions with other 'scopes, EPs (for comparison), and targets/conditions. Meanwhile, I am pleased with my purchase. Thanks to everyone for the inputs! Doug.
  12. Just received a TV 20mm Plossl to go with the secondhand 6mm Radian (now discontinued). Why 20mm? - well, it gives decent exit pupil figures for all my 'scopes, and the eye relief is not too small. I am keen to check out the legendary sharp and contrasty views against other EPs (another 20mm and others). Report to follow. So I am pleased with my latest (and smallest) EP, but it might be some time before the collection increases by a further 50%! Doug.
  13. Just like two days ago - early Moon session, break, doubles session. This time, I used the ES ED80 Triplet rather than the 8SE. The difference with the Moon views has already been covered. So - on to Algieba (Leo) - this must rank amongst the nicest of doubles - two bright stars, fairly close in magnitude, separation 4.6". At x120, they appeared as two bright close orange lights, side by side, in the 0.68deg field. I picked up two further stars to the west, using AV - hard to spot, as the Moon was only about 8deg away. Next target - Sigma 1737 (Com). I aimed the 'scope in the region of M53, recognised patterns in Stellarium (stars appeared as beautiful, sharp pinpoints with the Apo), then hopped to target. There was a hint of the secondary (much fainter, 15" sepn.) at x24, but it was clearer at x48 and x80 and AV. Again, the Moon made it somewhat trickier. Two very different binaries, and another short but satisfying outing (no. 37 this year)! Doug.
  14. 8.25 - 9.00pm - sky clear and light - Moon just after first quarter - got the ES ED80 out for a change, with its very wide views. I used the 30mm ES 82 deg and the big UWA Meade 20mm, giving respectively 5.13 and 3.42 deg of field. Compared with recent lunar views using the 8SE with these EPs, the RoF was now far less noticeable, being way off to the edge of the wide views, and the central views were less washed out (not white/clean) than before. Indeed, in the wide view, the Moon looked lovely. Concentrating on the terminator (most detail in that light): x80 - Ptolemaeus, with craterlet Ammonius in its floor. Under that, Alphonsus, with its central peak. Next below - Arzachel, with magnificent terraced walls, central mountain, and craterlet. Up to x160 - a further tiny crater showed up west of Ammonius; ridges and craterlet to south in Alphonsus; and a couple of extra craterlets in Arzachel. The (presumably deeper) crater Alpetragius between Alphonsus and Arzachel was largely in shadow, with just a tiny white spot revealing its central peak. Different 'scope, different views, different opinions/performances of EPs. All good. And I shall return soon when it gets darker! Doug.
  15. Thanks Neil - how touching! And leading up to this session, I bought another EP (report to follow some time) and have planned for one more! (I'd say the last one, but you know how it is......) Doug.
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