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About Froeng

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    St. Albans
  1. Amazing, Vixen used to make an 80/1200 in the 80s - it was their “planet-killer”. Can’t wait for the first reviews... CS Frank
  2. Welcome to SGL! CS Frank
  3. Excellent report! Hope the weather stays nice over the summer, and one can - legally - go out to a favourite observing spot to view the planetary spectacle that’s unfolding this year... stay safe Frank
  4. ...just came in after a very short but fruitful observing session. I took my little Vixen 60l on a photo tripod out of the garden and sat it up a quick walk away on a lawn in the nearby park. I saw Venus in a bright and beautiful crescent shape and , ... (!) for the first time in my life.... Mercury! Saw it naked eye just S/W of Venus and then as a tiny disk in the Vixen. The whole expedition only lasted 20mins as Mercury was then disappearing behind the trees. Well worth it though! The 60l is an f/15 Fraunhofer, I used 26mm Plössl and 15mm LV eyepieces. Venus and Mercury have a close conjunction tomorrow night. Highly recommended! CS Frank
  5. Brilliant report! shows what’s still possible even under today’s light pollution! clear skies Frank
  6. Sounds amazing! Glad you can use the brilliant mid-week skies... also great to have a lovely companion to share the experience with! Best Regards Frank
  7. One important accessory when observing the faint fuzzies with medium aperture in light pollution is also an observation cloth. This can be any piece of black-out fabric large enough to cover the eyepiece and the observer’s head. Stay under there for 15min, then ramp up the magnification, so the sky background in the eyepiece gets dark enough to bring out the galaxies. This method works very well as it allows your eyes to be better dark adapted and hence increases visibility of faint nebulosity... Best Regards Frank
  8. Very nice report! Nice variety of objects. M3 is definitely one of the highlights of the spring skies. Best Regards Frank
  9. Hi Mark, very nice session you had there! sounds like you managed a good haul of fuzzies. What Bortle category is your sky? Regards Frank
  10. Thanks Nick, as you say, its better to use lightpolluted skies than not go out at all! The rain is on its way.... Frank
  11. Hello All, after spending the last few clear nights of this amazing clear weather period (when was the last time we had weeks of sunshine/clear nights during a new moon period?) dabbling in imaging, I decided to use the last opportunity before the clouds and the moon return to actually look through the telescope rather than at it! Being in St Albans and not really being able to go to darker skies with the Covid-19 lockdown in place, it was the back garden for me, including all of the dreaded London light-pollution, plus glaring local street lights. A black observing cloth does absolutely do wonders if you are trying to view faint objects. As always, using my trusty C8 on Vixen SP-DX, steered via Sky-Safari. Here goes: All objects galaxies, apart from where noted. Started in twilight at around 22.00 Algieba – nice golden double M81/82 – M81 seen as elliptical shape, M82 starting to show slightly mottled structure NGC2976 – very faint NGC2841 – clear oval shape with non-stellar bright core area NGC3184 – extremely faint glow in 20mmLV eyepiece (100x) M65/66 – Leo triplett only a duett tonight, NGC3628 invisible M97 – PN very good with Lumicon OIII Filter, at 78x the eyes were starting to become faintly visible M108 – very faint M109 – only a faint glow at 135x M106 – comparatively bright and big. At 78x faint hints of oval shape visible M94 – very bright, circular with non-stellar core, appear almost like an unresolved GC M63 – compact, but bright, elliptical shape at 100x NGC4631 – the Whale, very big and clearly elongated streak of light. No sign of companion and hockey-stick... NGC4725 - small, bright, stellar core M64 – very bright, dust lane appears to be floating in and out of view at 135x M53 – GC small and bright, but unresolved at 193x Virgo Cluster: M84, M86, NGC4435/4438, M87, M99 all very faint due to extended light-pollution from London M3 – amazing view, nicely resolved, very bright M51 – the two cores clearly shown, disk surrounding visible. Quite good considering the location/light pollution. Sketched with using an artistic license... I packed up everything at around 1am. All in all a very nice evening in a mild 8-10degrees... I am very grateful having had the opportunity, although not being optimal in terms of light pollution, but still. what an amazing spring time this has been for SE England so far. Let's hope the summer will have some good views, too. Can't wait for the Veil and in particular, my old favourite NGC7008... Clear Skies Frank
  12. The Vixen AXJ should be an excellent mount. I have no experience with it but the current models from Vixen seem to have excellent finish and quality in general. I have had a SP-DX since the 80s from new and it still performs like on the first day - okay, I had to have it re-greased once. Also the AXJ encoders are fully build in, even if retrofitted... Frank
  13. Nice setup of classic kit there, Michael! There is nothing as versatile and portable as a C8 on a “low-tech” equatorial mount. By low tech, I mean it is not strangled by cabling... Very nice photos also! These days most people seem to specialise in either visual only or astrophotography only. Good to see some one still enjoying both Frank
  14. Very nice scopes on show here! Below my vintage 1980s C8 in action on my Vixen SP-DX...
  15. Well done! Nice little report. it is quite true. The last time I was thinking of a bigger scope, I said yo myself: “I don’t need a bigger scope - I need darker, less cloudy skies!” AND “ If I had a bigger scope, I would use it less under dark skies due to the inconveniences of transporting it”. under a bortle 2-3 sky an 8” is a wonderful instrument which will show more objects than one will ever have the time to observe. Of course a bigger aperture under dark skies will show even more... Aaaaah
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