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David Levi

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About David Levi

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    Star Forming

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  1. I don't have a solution to the problem but I just wanted to say that it was a good effort to try and get out and observe. I was being buffeted by the wind with my 8" reflector on Tuesday night. Luckily the wind died down after an hour and the session was a good one. But there's nothing more frustrating than looking through an eyepiece at stars jiggling about, especially when the atmosphere is really clear.
  2. Yes, I saw the lightening in the background just behind the top of the rocket before launch. The sea was really choppy for the landing as well.
  3. Well, that was a great way to start a Saturday. I still find the landing of the first stage rocket incredible.
  4. I was out in the Brecon Beacons last night with Barnard's Loop being my first priority target. Armed with two new second hand long focal length eyepieces and an Astronomik 2" H-beta filter to fit them, I was hopeful that I would be able to see this elusive emission nebula. The eyepieces in question are the TeleVue Nagler 31mm and the Vixen LVW 42mm. In my 100mm refractor these give respectively a TFoV of 3.2° and 3.6°, an exit pupil of 4.2mm and 5.7mm and magnifications of 24x and 18x. Using the Vixen LVW 42mm eyepiece and moving up from the star Alnitak in Orion's belt to M78 I looked to the north and east (right in my scope view using a star diagonal). I could just make out some cloudiness arcing around M78. As my eyes became more accustomed to the view the nebulosity became more obvious and more extensive. I could move further away from this location up and down Barnard's Loop almost tracing out it's whole length. It was not as prominent further away from the initial search location and often I lost the track of it and had to go back to the densest part to start again. I spent at least half an hour doing this, changing between the two eyepieces before concluding that the 42mm Vixen gave the clearest views. The wider field meant that it was easier to see the nebula in context against a larger area of darkness.
  5. Hi Mike. Very enjoyable thread. I was wondering which model Berlebach tripod is that?
  6. Philolaus certainly caught the eye with a shadow interrupting the rim and the mountain ridge running south from it making it appear as if it was an unravelling coil. Gassendi was terrific as well, with lots of floor detail. I also enjoyed Schiller, Hainzel, the bright ridge on the terminator side of Mare Humorum that starts with Liebig Scarp goes faint but then joins up with Gassendi, the top of an infilled crater near to Maestlin that was casting some jagged shadows onto Oceanus Procellarum, the Harbinger Mountains and J. Herschel. J. Herschel was fantastic, appearing like some gigantic motte and bailey. Disappointingly the clouds arrived just before Krieger was about to be revealed.
  7. My 8" reflector travels in the box it came in. I use the three polystyrene cradles underneath the tube and one over the mirror end. The tube rings and focuser prevent the use of the remaining two upper cradles that were originally holding the tube. I remove the finderscope and put it in the bottom of the box at the side of the tube. Due to the size of the box, I put the back seat down in the car and put the box into the boot. The secondary mirror collimation is fine travelling like this and I always check/tweak the primary mirror after setting up. I bought an aluminium case with foam insert for my 100mm refractor.
  8. That's good of you to take the time to do the write up. Like the others I am also considering the Interstellarum Deep Sky guide. I already have the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas, which is my favourite for those who already have Turn Left At Orion. But perhaps more useful would be a tablet to run Sky Safari Pro. I don't have a smart phone and I can see that this software would be excellent for use at the eyepiece.
  9. Just got back from Pont-Ar-Wysg in the Brecon Beacons where I counted 22 stars. The seeing was very poor with a lot of moisture in the atmosphere. High magnifications, above 106x, produced fuzzy, fast twinkling stars and the E and F stars of the Trapezium were nowhere to be seen. Unfortunately I have arrived back too late to look at the stars in Orion from my back garden. The constellation is low in the west in the murk now.
  10. I had a look at this double star, 15 Mon, last night and what a lovely sight it was. As you say, the 3 pairs of stars below it made a very pleasing view.
  11. I used to use a Baader 0,9 ND-Filter to view the Moon. I still have the filter and it is more comfortable (brightness) to view the Moon through it. However, I stopped using it when one night looking at the craterlets in the crater Plato, I found that I could see more of them and the views were sharper without it. I suppose this comes down to the quality of the filter? Or is putting any filter in the light path likely to detract from the view?
  12. Excellent report Victor. Your view of the comet matches mine earlier this month in that there was no dense core to be seen. It was just one fuzzy patch.
  13. I know what you mean. I don't think that I will ever get to be at their level especially with the experience they have from the use of different equipment. I aim to have one reflector and one refractor. I intend my first refractor, which I bought 3 months ago, to be my only one. It was bought with old age in mind (mainly size and weight considerations). With regards to a reflector, I intend to get one with a larger aperture probably a 12" (Dobsonian mount) and that will be the end of my telescope purchases. That reflector will only be my second one.
  14. Those are good questions Dom @domstar. It can be good to review an achievement especially to strengthen memories. I have my atlases out in front of me now and I have realised that it would take quite a while to review all the Messier objects. I don't take notes and in the Messier list case I used to underline the objects at the back of Sky & Telescope's Pocket Star Atlas after each session. Therefore to answer your questions I am going to go with the objects that immediately spring to mind. Toughest to see for me was the Seashell Galaxy M83, low down in Hydra. It was also probably the one I found hardest to find. A special mention on hard to find has to go to the open cluster M29 in Cygnus. At the zenith when I was looking for it, it was a physical effort to get under the EQ5 mounted Newtonian and there were so many stars visible at the dark sky site that it was really difficult to find. First one without a famous name? I can't remember. Probably something like the globular cluster M56 in Lyra. I was using Turn Left At Orion as my observing guide when I started observing in August 2016 and this would have been well placed for me to view after looking at some famous ones like M13, the Ring Nebula M57 and The Dumbbell M27. The non famous ones that I found brilliant are the globular clusters in Ophiuchus, M10 and M12. They struck me as spectacular from a dark sky site and I remember thinking that they should be lauded more. They were really nice and grainy i.e. individual stars could be resolved. I think I read someone on Stargazers Lounge saying that they were in the 90's on their way to completing the Messier list. When I then counted the ones that I had seen it came to about 70. I realised that completing the list was a possibility especially as I had started to go to the Brecon Beacons to observe quite regularly. What about you Dom? How about answering those questions for my and others interest.
  15. That's the area that I have been concentrating on following your and others suggestion.
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