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davhei

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Everything posted by davhei

  1. Hi @Photonic Nights, Have had that exact same scope for a couple of weeks now and had the chance to try it out on a few occasions, mostly from my fairly light polluted suburban home but once from a proper dark site. I do visual observations only and got the scope to complement my first and until now only scope, a SW 10” dob that I have used for a few years. A great scope that continues to serve me well but I found myself wanting a lighter travel setup as well as something for quick set up and tear down at home. Also found myself curious about widefield observations, my max TFOV with the dob is 1,5 degrees. Anyway, that’s some background. First impression was the qualitative feel of the thing. Solidly built, OTA as well as the robust focuser. Reassuring heft while still being very manageable. Checked collimation with the lens cap on and a cheshire/flashlight. Almost spot on which later was confirmed by the crisp views of stars and planets. I must say I was very impressed by the performance from a dark site on an SW AZ5-mount. More than I was expecting from a modest aperture scope. It should be said though that as I started out my observing career with binoculars, perhaps it influences me today still in that I am easily awed. I dont know. But it certainly beat my expectations. Honestly offered the most breathtaking view of the double cluster I have had. Just fabulous in a wide field of 3.5 degrees, the dense smattering of stars nicely framed by the background star field. The Veil readily visible with OIII-filter, both the east and west sections fitting in a single field of view. M13 resolved into many many pinpoint stars, wasn’t expecting that! Lovely. M15 less so, stars here and there and on the edges, a lot more nebulosity from unresolved stars though. M31 filled almost the entire field of view, nebulosity extending nearly edge to edge about three degrees. Never seen the Andromeda galaxy on such a scale before, really gave you a sense of the full size that you simply can’t get with my dob. Quickly picked up M81/82, M33 with the core and misty disk, M27, the Auriga clusters. So easy to find objects, no need for a finderscope, I just aimed along the tube ring screws and the wide field allowed the pick up of targets so easy just by sweeping around. A joy. Planetary performance was very satisfying, at x107 jupiter showed more vivid colour than I had ever seen before, crisp detail of equatorial as well as temperate belts and even at x160 giving a 0.5 mm exit pupil the image detail was excellent. The GRS conspicuously transiting as I was observing. Spent most of the evening with the refractor even though the dob was rigged just beside it. Really like how they offer different perspectives on classic objects. As a bonus I also did some white light solar with a herschel wedge and a baader continuum filter. Crisp views of sunspot groups with faculae and surface granulation patterns clearly visible. Have the scope and the basic kit stuffed into a plastic case meaning the time between deciding to go out and being at the eyepiece is just a minute or two. Certainly lowers the threshold. Can’t say I have found anything that has let me down yet and would definitely recommend, especially as they have it in stock at the moment. I had to be patient and wait a few months before taking delivery.
  2. I thought so too and just this afternoon finished picking and plucking to fit my travel/grab and go setup into a Peli 1525 case. Nice size that swallowed an 80mm f6 refractor, diagonal, three EPs, barlow and filter with room to spare. Perhaps for a fourth eyepiece or something. Slightly apprehensive regarding air travel. Like you said, it is just below or just over carry on size depending on which airline you choose. Oh well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I’m sure it will work well for carrying necessities for garden sessions and stowing in the back of the car for family trips where a bigger dob would take too much space. Sorry, this was supposed to be a non-Peli thread but there you go. To stay on topic I’ll add that I use an orange Nanuk 923 case for eyepieces and other kit when out with the dob. Great case, well built and sturdy while cheaper than Peli.
  3. PG 1634+706 revisited: Observed this object back in 2019 from my regular dark site and wrote a report a few posts further back. This year I packed my 10” dob into my car and took the ferry down to the island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea. Rented a room up on Fårö (a favourite of Ingmar Bergman’s) and set up for a few days of dark sky observing. Given my last try on PG 1634+706 which was a strain to say the least I was almost apprehensive. Will I really be able to see it? And if not, did I REALLY see it the last time or was it just wishful thinking? It was really on my limit then, so much so that I wasn’t entirely certain I actually saw it. Waited until close to 1 a.m. with the sun -17 degrees and started star hopping. Switched up to x267, about 1 mm exit pupil and was almost stunned at how readily visible it was. What a difference to how I remember it! Switched down to x200 which was almost better with the stars a tad sharper and easier to pick out. Using an AAVSO chart I estimated it at mag 14.4 and could even pick out a mag 15.0 star for comparison without too much effort. Limiting magnitude was probably a bit deeper still. Was really thrilled and spent some time pondering the vast scale of it all. Remains the object with the highest redshift (z=1.337) I have yet observed. Can’t beat a good dark sky!
  4. Agree, also estimated it at mag 6.6 as at 23 July 21:47 UT.
  5. @Fraunhoffer that is fantastic! I was observing the shadow transit as well, maybe a little earlier as the GRS was just about to disappear from view. Lovely to see the very same view put down on paper by a fellow enthusiast, I do enjoy this sense of community. Great work!
  6. Welcome Osvaldo. Enjoy the new setup!
  7. Had me chuckling when reading about the terrifying experience of being alone on the moor. Chuckling because I can certainly relate. It reminds me of one time when I was observing at a site quite similar to where you were, the outskirts of a nature reserve with low vegetation and open land. Very dark skies, at least by my standards. I had expected to have the company of some other amateur astronomers but for one reason or another I ended up alone. Having driven for a good many hours I was determined to make the most of it regardless and set up. Felt a bit eerie when I was ready and everything became silent, but I got to it and spent a while scanning the sky. Suddenly I heard a sound that seemed to come from close by. Jumped in my chair and looked around, to no use since I couldn't see very far in the dark. Listened intently and there was the sound again. Odd, I thought. It sounded almost like munching. Someone munching on something. Figured it was animals grazing nearby (behind fencing!) and felt relieved. Kept at it for a few hours and every now and then the sound would make me jump, but after a second I recognised the familiar munching and it was fine again. Whatever was munching stayed with me for the whole session, never saw what it was, but towards the end it felt almost comforting hearing the chewing from someone having a midnight snack. Towards the end, fog started rolling in from the sea. It looked incredible actually as the fog stayed no more than two meters or so from the ground, making it possible to see the stars but barely seeing more than one meter to the side. After a while I had enough though, packed up and said good bye to my unknown friend.
  8. Well done! Sounds like a really good evening. Wasn’t it just amazing to see the SN on the outskirts of a relatively visible galaxy? Makes you appreciate the brightness of the thing, seeing the galactic core and getting hints of the areas outside it. Glad the sketch was useful!
  9. Excellent report and it makes me glad to hear the sketch was useful. Well done!
  10. @Littleguy80 in fact, the record depth with my 10” has been the Draco quasar PG 1634+706 that I recall you and I pursued two years ago in another thread. That was really pushing it. Made quite an impression that one.
  11. Thanks! I have long thought that magnitudes beyond 14 were really hard to reach given my dark site sky conditions, but I was surprised the mag 14.2 reference star was quite readily visible at x200. I attribute it to observing near zenith, really makes a significant difference as far as depth goes. Conditions weren’t even that great with thin haze reflecting the light pollution from Stockholm a bit. Turned the telescope to SN 2021hiz afterwards. Great to see two SNs in the same session. Really enjoyed this!
  12. Observed SN 2021hpr in Draco with a 10” dob this evening near zenith. It’s on the edge of NGC 3147 which makes for quite a striking view. Estimated the visual magnitude at 13.9.
  13. Agree. Observed it this evening and estimated the visual magnitude at 13.0. Possibly slighty brighter.
  14. That is an excellent report! Thanks for sharing! Hope to manage on last dark sky session later this week to cap off the season. Skies here will start to get too bright soon.
  15. Good luck! Post a report if you manage to observe it.
  16. Caught SN2021hiz this evening and estimated the visual magnitude at 13.2
  17. Fantastic description, made me smile. Think you put it beautifully with the shared experience, that is an aspect I haven’t reflected on but it is certainly very much so.
  18. Here is an aavso-chart of the same area. Note the long chain of stars-asterism at 7 o’clock. The nova forms a nice triangle with the 90 and 91 stars.
  19. I visually estimated it at 8.1 this evening at 18:20 UT. Seems to be brightening. Will be fun to follow.
  20. A 20 min drive with a 10” dob to 21 SQM site. My driveway is SQM 19.8 and ok for brighter objects but for DSOs going to the dark site makes a big difference.
  21. It seems this long monitored asteroid is passing close to earth (five times the earth lunar distance) around March 21st 2021 at which time it is reportedly expected to reach an apparent magnitude of 11.7. Easily within reach of moderate aperture scopes. Indications are that it is in the southern hemisphere with limited visibility from the north. It would be nice to get coordinates but I have been unable to find any. Anyone else? Some info here: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/asteroid-2001-fo32-will-safely-pass-by-earth-march-21 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/(231937)_2001_FO32
  22. I have similar memories from just a couple of years ago, observing M42 with street lights close by. Noted that the nebula had a distinctly greenish hue. Can’t say I have seen it since, then again I haven’t observed it under the same circumstances. I shall have to remember to take note next time.
  23. Hi Aston, I have a Skywatcher 10” f/4.7 dob and I use four eyepieces that I feel cover my needs. 2” 27 mm x44 - Finder eyepiece for wide field views. 1.25” 14 mm x86- Low/medium magnification that is great on the moon and larger DSOs such as open clusters. 1.25” 10 mm x120 - Medium mag and a good general use performer on DSOs. 1.25” 6 mm x200 - High mag that is still usable under most sky conditions. To get more options I sometimes use a x2 Barlow with the 14 mm and 10 mm when conditions allow slightly lower or higher mag than the x200 provided by the 6 mm EP. Occasionally use it with the 6 mm EP but that is more for specialty purposes as it yields very high mag. I have tried to select the eyepieces to have adequate eye relief for comfortable viewing, an exit pupil in the low magnification range between 5,5 and 6,5 mm and and a few options around 1 mm at the high end including barlow use. Since it is a fast scope I opted for well corrected EPs from the start and have not regretted it. Being patient and buying used reduces the cash outlay and also gives the option of reselling without losing too much money if you for some reason decide the hobby isn’t for you. Good luck!
  24. Here is an aavso-chart of the immediate vicinity. Suggest you use the right ascension and declination in your favourite app or star atlas to find the location in Perseus. Cheers.
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