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About grjsk

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    Oslo, Norway
  1. I’m looking to get a 72 mm frac in the near future. F6, 2.1 kg. I’m planning to use it on my manfrotto 410, but I’m not sure if my current tripod is up to the task. I have this one: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p8275_TS-Optics-Optics-A284FMO-Aluminium-Tripod---Height-145-mm-to-1670-mm.html it says 15 kg, but I think it has be pounds. Its only 1.7 kg, so very lightweight. It might serve as backpacker tripod, but I think I want something a little sturdier as well. I’m thinking about one of these: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p3554_TS-Optics-Aluminum-Tripod-with-Centre-Column---up-to-178-cm-Height.html 2.8 kg, stated capacity is 15 kg. Aluminium. https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p4593_Berlebach-Report-222-tripod---central-column---53-cm-to-166cm.html Also 2.8 kg and capacity of 15 kg. Made of wood. More expensive, a bit shorter, and it has nothing that holds the legs together. anyone have any experince with any of these? What would you prefer? Thanks.
  2. excellent report! Very nice to hear that you found some inspiration in my own report; makes it a lot more satisfying to make them!
  3. I was using my TS-Optics ED 102 mm f/7 refractor
  4. Three new observations in Perseus yesterday. Bortle 8, - 4 degrees C. Double Cluster: I chose to start at the double cluster again this night. Very pleasant in the 32 mm Plossl, framing both of them as two fields of tiny diamonds. Switching to the Baader Zoom, a bit more details reveals itself. NGC 869 is the densest of the two, while NGC 884 has a few more stars with a bit of color; both yellow and orange stars appear when you get a bit closer. Both 90x and 120x works fine if you want a bit more details. Miriam (Eta Persei): A very nice double star, often compared to Albireo, since the colors and size of the two components are quite similar. The main component is a big K3 star, standing out as deep orange. Its fainter companion doesn’t look very blue to me, it’s mostly white, but perhaps with a very delicate blue aura. It’s splits at very low magnification, but I prefer it at 60x I think. Theta Persei: The main star is a F7, and appears as light yellow. Separating is not really a problem, but its companion is very faint to me. For a while I wasn’t sure my eyes where playing with me or not, but when you first notice it, its easier. Looking the best at 120x I think. Melotte 20: I have grown fond of very big open clusters. I’m not even close to framing the whole thing in the 32 mm. Quite a few white stars around. I enjoyed the southern parts quite a bit, using the yellow Mirfak and the slightly more orange Sigma Persei as anchors on each side of the eyepiece. M34: Im almost getting a bird vibe. It looks like a predator bird in full attack mode, swooping down. A nice cluster, looked the best at 90x, but perhaps not the most eventful object out there.
  5. Thanks for the feedback. A mak is certainly an option, but I'm really enjoying low mag/wide field views, so I am not sure a mak would satisfy me. A smaller refractor is therefore on the top of my list at the moment.
  6. Had a few minutes available, so geared up out on my tiny balcony. I few points: Even the 102 mm on the twilight 1 is a bit too big on my balcony. Maneuvering around out there is a bit of a hassle, and I constantly have to change position just to avoid bumping into things. I am considering getting a small 70 mm f/6 or something simply to have something easy to use out there. I’ll become a father for the first time in 6 weeks time, so I’m guessing there will be far more 30 min on the balcony than there will be trips to a dark site in the future. I have yet to really enjoy 178x. I’m not sure if it’s just the seeing that is bad, my eyes can’t handle the exit pupil, the fact that I am using a barlow, or what it is, but it always looks a bit hazy. Perhaps it’s a combination of several factors. Orion Nebula: Even in Bortle 8 skies with horrible glare from pretty much all directions, this one doesn’t disappoint. Nice and vibrant. A good start. Sigma Orionis: I have yet to split the A and B components here. I guess it should be possible at 178x, but that isn’t working out for me at the moment. D and E splits easily even at 44X. In combination with the wide STF 761 this is a pleasant view, even though they all look fairly similar with a very light blue color. The B component is a B0,5 star, and is reported to be whiter, so I’ll keep trying to get that one as well. Collinder 70: a fairly large open cluster. Switching to the 32 mm plossl I’m getting everything into view at the same time. It’s fairly loose, with an even spread of stars. Mostly blueish-white colors, but a little bit of light orange is possible to pick up in HR 1874. Epsilon Orionis Nebula is supposed to be here, but no hint of it at all unsurprisingly. Mintaka: A and C splits a fairly low magnification. No sign of the B component. Uranus: I was about to pack up, but I wanted to see if I could get a glimpse of Uranus. Because of all the light pollution star-hopping was a bit of a challenge though. Trying to maneuver around caused me to breath on the finder, fogging it up, so I’m not really sure if I found it. I’ll put this one in the “not viewed” list, and try again later.
  7. The whole evening was spent in the Cassiopeia neighborhood. This was my first time in this region of the skies, so all observations were first-timers! I was unable to travel to my dark site (Bortle 5) this evening so I walked over to my “local” dark site in the woods right by my apartment (Bortle 8). Clear skies, about 0 °C. For this session I only used a 32 mm Plossl (22x) and the Baader Zoom with a barlow attached throughout the night (60x – 178x). With only two pieces to swap between, I maximized time spent at the eyepiece. I am considering purchasing a 5 mm eyepiece though. The zoom with a barlow gives me a jump from 120x to 178x. 178x often feels too much, and I think I would like something in between. Another option is the purchase the Baader Barlow which gives 2,25x, which in turn would give me 101x, 135x and 202x. We’ll see. Achird (Eta Cas): Striking double star. The main star is a yellow G3V, and the smaller companion an orange K7V. A nice pair, clear separation at 60x. Both stars stand out nicely in its surroundings. Looks good at 72x and 90x as well, but I think I preferred it at 60x. Struve 163: Another double. Wide split at 60x. The main star is a K4 star, with a light orange tone. Owl Cluster: Very nice at 60x. The eyes (Phi Cas and HD 7902) both looked more white than yellow to my eyes. V466 Cas (M1.5lb) stands out as bright eye-catching object. The whole cluster actually looks a lot more interesting than it does in Skysafari. Highly recommended. M103: Preferred it at 120x. There is less going on than in the Owl Cluster, but still a nice view. I was hoping the red supergiant SAO 11826 would stand out more than it did though. Double Cluster: Wow. Just wow. Now we’re talking. Nicely framed in the 32 mm Plossl. Truly magnificent. I think this perhaps is my favorite object so far in my amateur astronomy career (6 months give or take) so far. I’ll definitely get back to this one. Iota Cas: In my notes I have written that I spilt the C component at 72x, and that I split all three at 90x. This seem to be rather good! It looked very nice at both 120x and 178x. Not a whole lot of color though; the primary looked white, the second had the smallest hint of yellow, while the last one was simply a light dot. NGC 633: A fairly small open cluster. I must admit that this one was a bit of a disappointment, but I think the wow factor of the double cluster was the reason for this. I need to visit this one at another time. And a few phone pictures at the end:
  8. Clear sky, no moon, and hardly any frost at all. Let's hope the forecast doesn't change!
  9. The forecast showed a clear sky and no moon for a few hours this evening, so I chose to drive to my local dark site. I had decided to concentrate on the constellation Orion, and had a list of several objects. I used a 102 mm f7 refractor and the Baader zoom + 2x barlow, giving me 30x to 178x magnification. 178x didn’t look good this evening. Everything seemed a bit hazy, and it was almost liked I couldn’t reach focus. A combination of poor conditions and low exit pupil? I really need to learn more about these things. Because of this I mostly stopped at 120x or 143x. I really need to begin to write down at what magnification I was able to spilt the double/enjoyed the view the most, because I’m pulling everything from memory now. Orion Nebula: Impressive as always, both with and without a UHC filter. Snapped a few pictures with my iPhone at both 30x and 72x, and they clearly showed green and purple colors. Trapezium: Cranked up the magnification, and concentrated on the Trapezium. I can’t remember at what magnification I managed the split. No sign of E and F even at 178x, but I wasn’t expecting that anyway. Rigel: Managed the spilt, but it was harder than expected. I don’t think the viewing conditions where optimal this evening. Especially 178x didn’t look very good. Betelgeuse: I always enjoy doing Rigel and Betelgeuse after each other. It’s such a nice contrast between the cold, pale and white Rigel, to the warm orange Betelgeuse. Sigma Orionis: Unable to split the A and B components, but D and E was easy enough. Collinder 69: A nice open cluster without too many objects. I enjoy the contrast between the yellow outlier Phi2 Orionis (not really a part of the cluster?), and the rest of the stars that all look fairly pale white/blue to my eyes. Lambda Orionis: zooming in, I squeezed out separation. From reports I’ve gathered that this one shouldn’t be all that difficult, so either my inexperience shows or the conditions really were bad. I might have to do a star test the next time I take the scope out. I ended the evening just panning around at low magnification. I really do enjoy operation at low mag. Splitting doubles are fun enough, but everything just looks better with a bit of surroundings and context. I think I will concentrate on “easy” doubles next time, to be able to look around the neighborhood at the same time.
  10. I purchased the 705 as my first scope back in august for next to nothing. It was an excellent first scope. Super light, can be used on pretty much any mount, simple to use, ready to go in seconds, no need to think about collimation or cooldown. I just sold it a few weeks ago, simply because I upgraded to a 102mm ED refractor. The biggest difference between the two scopes where actually the focuser. The smooth and solid dual speed focuser on the 102 is just so much better than on the 705. But than again, you can probably find a used 705 for almost nothing, so you can't really complain. Here in Norway the 705 seems to be a popular first scope, because I found a ton of them on the used market. I paid about £40-45 for mine, including a az-3 mount. Dirt cheap. Hope that helps!
  11. My new TS Optics 102 mm f7 ed scope had just arrived, and even though the moon was big and threatening, I just had to give it a go. This was an evening of firsts; I also chose to check out a local dark spot about 25 min away from me. It's bortle 5, which is a lot better than Bortle 8 sky I live under. It was also completely free from any man made light! When I arrived there where no need for any red light, the moon gave me all the light I needed to set up. Oh well. Up until now I have only used a red dot as a finder. This evening I tried out a 6x30, and star hopping was so much easier! Point with the red dot, star hop with the finder, and boom, the target right in sight. I very nice combo indeed. Even the M42 was dangerously close to the moon I had to start there. I have previously been a bit dissapointed with the view of it in my 70 mm frac back home, but this time it was a marvel to look at, even with the moon creating a lot of light. No need for averted vision, I could clearly see alot even without it. I took a snap shot with my iPhone, and I was surprised I actually saw colors! To moon glow is very visible though. I went on to M31. I was expecting much, but at least I could clearly see it. Snapped a picture here as well. I roamed around a bit, enjoying the freedom I felt the 6x30 gave me. M45, the Hyeades, all around Orion, before I turned to the moon. My scope was frosting up, and I started to get cold, so I wrapped it up. I'll certainly invest 25 min driving to this spot again another time!
  12. I apologies for resurrecting this old thread, but since it is a related issue I figured it was better to continue this one, than starting another. I just received the TS 102, and the focuser had made a dent in the packaging just as you experienced. However, because I ordered a few other things as well in the same order, the scope was in a box that was in a another box, and there where lots of foam in between. The focuser cap was intact, and the focuser actually feels quite good. I havent tested it alot though. My question is about the misalignment of the screws: mine are just like that as well. Does that have to be a problem? Or is it just something that happens when the scope is put together? I hoping to test it properly tonight, but I am still a rookie in this hobby, and I fear I might miss a defect simply by beeing to unexperienced..
  13. Finally upgraded my Mercury-705 to a TS-Optics 102mm f7. Got the SW 100ED case for it. It's a nice fit, just needed a little trimming to fit the focuser. Got room for all the important accessories as well: 6x30 finder, diagonal, 32mm plossl, Baader zoom and a barlow. Since the case fits a f9 scope, I got room for a red dot and the few filters as well. Can't wait for the clouds to clear!
  14. Thanks alot for the pictures; really helpful. It seems like the case they sell today is quite a bit different. The interior has a different layout, and for instance the handle looks much more robust now. Because of the price, and the fact that I simply need something to store the scope safely, and carry it for 200-300 meters, I guess the SW version should do. Thanks again.
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