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Everything posted by Littleguy80

  1. Sounds like you need an ADC I have a Contrast Booster which I’ve gotten into the habit of using on Mars. I quite like it. I should do a comparison with the Neodymium really. It’s just another tool in the box though. I think they can help with certain features but once you’ve got a bit of experience then you see it all anyway. The seeing, as you’ve described, is the key factor without going into collimation, cooling etc.
  2. Ace report, Iain. So glad you got out for a good session. Very inspiring for my session tonight. One thing that jumped out was the UHC on the NAN. I normally use an OIII. Will try the UHC to see if it draws out any new features.
  3. Great report, Gerry. I’m really looking forward to having a crack at the Butterfly neb and LBN 208! It’s ace to hear how you’re still finding new features in these targets.
  4. Thanks Dom. The Quintet needs good transparency, even under dark skies in my 10” dob. I suspect it’s a stretch in a 100mm frac but then I’m constantly surprised at what’s possible Triton is great to observe. Seeing a moon that far away is mind boggling. It’s another target that has taken years for me to get my observing skills good enough to see! Just gotta keep practicing!
  5. Thanks Gerry. I now have the TV OIII made by Astronomik. I use an OIII more than anything so decided it was worth splashing out on the TV. I have an original Lumicon UHC right now. I may replace this with the TV Nebustar II at some point. I’ll definitely give those both a try. I’ve found the big exit pupil with the 40mm to be really good for getting a first look at the large fainter targets. Forecast is looking good for tomorrow and Friday so should be able to get another dark site trip in
  6. Thanks Mark. I came away a happy man. Always worth a try with these targets. I’ve picked a few up at home against expectations
  7. Thanks Paul. They’re both positioned quite well at the moment. Hope you get some clear skies soon
  8. Thanks Iain. Only my second dark site trip since lockdown. Starting to get my eye in again. NGC 7354 is a nice PN and well worth looking up. Fingers crossed for Thursday.
  9. Thanks Baz, glad you enjoyed. It was a fab night. I was looking at the Milky Way last night from my garden. It really highlighted the difference between dark skies and suburban skies and why dark site trips are special.
  10. Thank you. I enjoy your reports The 9mm XWA is a great eyepiece but for the Quintet, I think you’ll be reaching for the BCO. They compliment each other well.
  11. Thank you, John and thank you for the repot on NGC7354. Really enjoyed the report and the PN itself
  12. The perfect tonic to a busy weekend is a relaxing evening under the stars, which is precisely how I spent my Sunday night. Arriving at my local dark site around 9pm, I looked up and was immediately taken with the bright Milky Way over head. With so few dark site trips in recent months I'd forgotten just how good it could look. I got the 10" dob out, collimated it and aligned the finders. I had an initial look at Jupiter and Saturn. Despite tube currents from the still cooling scope and some average seeing, the Cassini Division showed up in Saturn's rings. I hadn't arrived with any kind of plan as to what I wanted to observe so my eyes wandered across the sky seeking inspiration. Altair caught my eye and I decided on my first target. Barnard 142 and Barnard 143 are dark nebulae in Aquila. Together they are known as Barnard's E. Using my lowest power EP, a 40mm Aero, I moved across the star field until I found what I was looking for, a curved dark section in the star field, conspicuous for its absence of stars. This forms the lower part of the E with a straight section further up creating the top. The 40mm EP framed this perfectly. These dark nebulae are great in binoculars too. Next I moved onto a large planetary nebula down low in Aquarius, the Helix nebula. The TeleVue Bandmate OIII was a lockdown purchase and was destined to get a good workout during this session. The Helix responded really well to the TV OIII, I picked this target early on in the session as I knew it would quickly be lost behind the trees. The 13mm APM HDC gave the best views. I decided to try the 40mm Aero for its large exit pupil which showed a bright Helix nebula just about to reach the trees. Good timing! The TV OIII now went on a tour of nebula in Cygnus, starting with the Veil. One of the benefits of experience is you're prepared to slow down with your observing, a slow study of a well known target can reveal new details. This is how I felt observing the Veil last night. I used the 13mm APM and slowly worked my around, becoming aware that there was nebulosity in areas that I'd never noticed before. Subtle variations in the density of the thicker nebulosity. I'm not sure if it was the TV OIII or good transparency but it made for some memorable views. Similarly, the Crescent nebula, which had been a little disappointing on my last trip was superb. The full crescent could be seen, including what I think of as the barb in the centre. I tried to pick up some of the finer nebulosity stretched across it but it was beyond me. The North American Nebula and Pelican followed and we both excellent. During this time I also saw a couple of bright meteors shoot across the sky near Cygnus. It was now a little after 11pm and the intense concentration was taking its toll. After several yawns, I decided to take a break and have a snack bar and some water. The next half hour was spent with the Saturn nebula, M2 and M15. Some easier targets to rest my eyes a little. Feeling a bit more rested, I hunted down Neptune. Using the Vixen HR 3.4mm, I let the little blue disc drift across the eyepiece. I adjusted position so it would drift further down the FOV. This time I caught a fleeting glance. The next time I looked in the same area with averted vision and it became clearer. Now I had the position nailed, I kept going and I was rewarded with consistent views of Neptune's moon Triton. This was by the far the best I've even seen Triton. Seeing the little moon has been a goal of mine for a long time so I was really excited to have finally had a proper view of it. Feeling bold after my success with Trition, I moved into Pegasus. My starting point was the galaxy NGC 7331 with an intention to observe Stephan's Quintet. This was to be the big test of my other lockdown purchase, a 10mm Delos. Previously I've found with the fainter targets that my 100 degree Lunt XWA 9mm was being consistently beaten by my 9mm Baader Genuine Ortho. The BGO is just so much more effective at pulling those faint galaxies out. I'd seen the Quintet with the BGO but never the Lunt. The 10mm Delos was bought as an eyepiece to give ortho performance but with a 70 degree AFOV. There's a useful triangle of brighter stars around the Quintet and then a dimmer pair that sits below the galaxies. Using these markers I set about trying to spot the galaxies. I was getting two brighter galaxies for sure and maybe a third above. I switched to the 9mm BGO and felt it had the edge on the Delos but only just. I was more confident of the third galaxy with the ortho. Two of the galaxies are very close but I can't say that I could definitely see two cores so I decided that I had most likely seen 3 of the 5. Not bad at all! Inspired by a recent report on the planetary nebula NGC7354, I headed over to Cepheus. I observed the Garnett star and the lovely triple star of HR 8281 before finally hunting down NGC7354. I found it quite challenging to find but eventually spotted it. Increasing the magnification showed some nice detail too. A new target for me and a really good one too. It was now after 1am and I was all too aware that I had work in the morning. However, I couldn't leave without observing Mars. The Nagler zoom was coupled with the Baader Contrast Booster filter. The polar ice cap was bright and well defined and brought the same sort of joy that seeing the GRS on Jupiter does. What struck me was how much more detail I was seeing in the other surface features. I don't have much experience observing Mars so I'm not familiar with the names but the longer I looked the more that I could see. Really stunning detail and the perfect footnote to a lovely September night.
  13. Just took another look at the SN. I can comfortably hold it in direct vision at 120x. Maybe a little brighter than previous viewing but hard to judge with sky conditions etc playing into it. Well worth a look!
  14. The skies were unexpectedly clear this evening so I went in search of this Supernova. The host galaxy UGC 6930 is an easy star hop from Al Kaphrah. I used my 10mm Delos in the 10” dob. The SN was quite an easy spot. Using the nearby mag 11 star as a reference point, I could see the dimmer SN right where the host galaxy should be. The galaxy itself was too faint to be seen. Only the fifth SN I’ve observed but the third one of 2020. A good year for SN’s it seems. A couple of SkySafari screen shots to help others find. The view in the second screen shot is flipped to match the view through the eyepiece in the dob. Many thanks @michael.h.f.wilkinson for the heads
  15. Thanks Barry. It’s well worth the effort of getting to a dark site. It’s like getting a load more aperture for the price of the fuel to get you there
  16. Thank you. That night with the Swan sounds amazing. I bet the 15” really helps to bring the detail out.
  17. Thanks Iain. I was really pleased with how it turned out. Weather looks hopeful here too. With any luck another dark site trip will be on the cards. I hope you manage to get out. I’m sure a good session will get your observing mojo back.
  18. I had one for 2” eyepieces, one for RACI and a separate dew heater designed specifically for the Telrad. Don’t have anything on the secondary currently.
  19. Thank you. I think we’ve been lucky in Norfolk and have generally had a pretty decent run weather wise this summer. I had a problem with an Astrozap heater tape which blew my old dew controller. I got a replacement 4 channel controller and heater tape from here: https://www.dewcontrol.com It’s been very good so far. The heater tape is an improvement on the Astrozap one.
  20. Hi Niko. My first telescope was a SkyWatcher 130M on a EQ2. I loved it but it had quite a steep learning curve, mainly due to the EQ Mount. I agree with Gerry’s (@jetstream) recommendation of the 200P. It has the right balance of aperture and ease of use for visual astronomy.
  21. Thanks Slingshot and welcome to SGL. It was a great evening I got my first telescope for Christmas in 2016 and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. This forum has been a fantastic source of information and advice. Ask all the questions you want and soon you’ll be seeing all sorts of fabulous sights
  22. Thanks for kind comments everyone I’ve edited up an image from Wednesday with a few Perseids against the Milky Way.
  23. I had my first trip to my local dark site on Wednesday. Set my unmodified Canon 250D up with my 14mm F2.8 Samyang Lens at ISO 6400. Just pointed the camera at Cygnus and left it clicking away untracked. To process, I used Siril to stack 18 of the better images and then used Affinity Photo to stack the based stack image with some of the images that contained Perseids. I then did more processing in Affinity Photo to try and bring the Milky Way out more. I still consider myself a bit of beginner and am pretty much making my process up as I go along with some Googling. I think it's come out pretty well though. Any feedback and suggestions greatly appreciated.
  24. Thanks Dom. Completely agree. Just feels nice to be back out and visiting old friends
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