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About Nyctimene

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    Star Forming
  • Birthday 27/07/52

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    Stargazing, music (lute, harpsichord, early music), reading, gardening, cooking, travelling, scuba diving, sailing
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    Germany, Odenwald

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  1. You can find some distinct green/blue-green/turquoise colours when you observe some planetary nebulae, e.g. the Saturn nebula NGC 7009 in Aquarius, the Cat's Eye nebula NGC 6543 in Draco , or the Blue Snowball nebula NGC 7662 in Andromeda. The colours can be seen best when using a UHC or O III filter. Carbon stars, as R Leporis (Hind's Crimson Star), or W Orionis show a vivid orange or red colour. Otherwise, not much colour can be found when observing DSO's. Stephan
  2. If eye relief is not an issue, how about some Baader Classic Orthos? They come with 18, 10 and 6 mm focal length; cost about 65€ and get very good reviews. There is also a "turret" available, which allows you a fast switch between the different eyepieces. The 18 mm could be a good start; if it does not please you, the resale value will be good. Stephan
  3. JOC, yes, it was Spica. To find Spica reliably, just follow the old stargazer's adage: " Arc to Arcturus, then speed to Spica". That means, you start from Ursa Major's tail (the Big Dipper's handle), and follow the curved line it is forming in an arc away from Ursa Major - so you will arrive at Arcturus. Extend the curved line further downward, and you'll land at Spica. Quite easy, if you've done it once; give it a try! Clear Skies Stephan
  4. Hello, Nathan, and a warm welcome to the friendly bunch of members here. Enjoy the further steps into maybe a lifetime hobby/interest, and take your scope to a dark sky area, to make the best out of deep sky objects: Clear Skies! Stephan
  5. Spica about 6 degrees south adds to a nice triangle, that fits well into the 7° field of view of my 7x50; thanks for the hint! Stephan
  6. Absolutely the right attitude to get most out of visual observing! Reading your post, I've admired your patience and determinedness. Both will lead you to many satisfying celestial targets. At any rate, you have already learned a lot about the star regions surrounding your specific objects; you will be astonished when you observe these galaxies with no moon up. Enjoy, and Clear Skies! Stephan
  7. Hello and welcome, Veronika! A 5" Newtonian scope is an excellent beginner's instrument, that will give you years of pleasure, especially under rural skies. Nice avatar picture - went to the painter's website, and found some other appealing paintings.
  8. Spot on. Looking at your several posts here during the last weeks concerning choosing a telescope, I guess, you really have to get hands (and eyes) on several scopes of different types and sizes to find your way around. The Astro club's members will help you with this; take yourself some more time. A 6" to 8" Dob might be the best solution; or the 130/650 Heritage, if transporting is an issue. Stephan
  9. Counterweight accident no. 3: Walked into the steel counterweight of a 18" Newt on a heavy German Equatorial mount (in the dark observatory dome) and had to seek surgical treatment at 3.30 am to stop the bleeding. A scar in my left eyebrow reminds me of that night. Might have been the reason why I switched to the Dob mob many years ago! Neck contortion lying on the floor of a professional observatory dome (Heidelberg, Königstuhl) to observe some objects near the zenith with a 12" refractor guidescope. There was no 90° prism/mirror available (perhaps regarded as a non professional item). Neck and head ache for several days. Picture of the Heidelberg Bruce Telescope (40 cm double astrograph) below. Stephan
  10. How about your sky conditions? Perhaps you can find a sufficiently dark sky area nearby; have a look at this: In a 150/750 scope, M 81/82 are visible quite well even in moderate skies (naked eye limiting magnitude = NELM of 4.7 mag to 5.0 mag), in the same field of view. There are some good hints from the Binocular section: Don't give up - the two are worth seeking; and look for a dark sky area! Clear Skies Stephan
  11. A lightweight travel dobsonian might be a solution. Sumerian Optics Alkaid 10" f/5 weighs just 12 kg in total, the 8" f/5 only 7,5 kg. My 8" f/4 Hofheim Instruments traveldob (8kg) serves me as a grab-and-go, that can be taken out in one haul. No goto and rather expensive, but excellent build quality. Is there a possibility to put your scope on a trolley, or attach some wheelbarrow handles to it? Stephan
  12. Considering weather conditions, full moon periods, months in early summer , when it does not get really dark, observing time will be limited anyway. Add professional and familiar responsibilities, and you will find, that you can make use of about 50 to 70 decent nights in a year for observing. So take every chance to get out, when it is somewhat clear(ish), observe moon and planets, when the sky is too bright for Deep Sky objects; you can do also some solar observing (white light, with precautions). Get a small grab-and-go set (binoculars, small frac) to make use of 10-30 minutes observing occasions. My favourite observing times are spring (March/April) - galaxy time; and August - October for Milky Way objects. Stephan
  13. Just found this on the CloudyNights forum concerning Messier marathons with small apertures: Very encouraging! Stephan
  14. The two Leo galaxy trios aren't easy in small scopes. As an experienced observer, under moderate skies, Jan. 29, I could make out M 95 and 96 as faint smudges only with averted vision in my 80/400 frac. M 65 and M 66 were a bit brighter and could be seen with direct vision, but far from spectacular, NGC 3628 about 20% of the observing time with AV. But don't give up. Really helpful in light polluted areas is a piece of dark cloth, that you put over your head and the focuser/eyepiece to eliminate stray light (think of some ancient photographer's arrangements). As far as I know, the Messier Marathons have been completed by observers with 60 mm aperture scopes (dark skies needed). I'd start with the easier ones, e.g. M 81/82; or, in Leo's head, NGC 2903 (not Messier, but a nice sight). Good luck and Clear Skies ! Stephan
  15. There's an old rule: if you are just considering cleaning the primary, don't clean it. You should be really convinced that cleaning (washing) is absolutely necessary (e.g. grease, spoiled liquids). Then follow the hints you'll find on this forum; or have a look at the numerous Youtube clips on that. The blower/artist's brush approach of ronin above sounds promising. If that should not work, leave it as it is. It will not harm your viewing. Stephan