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Everything posted by Ags

  1. Good point, but I had an appointment in the morning so probably a good thing I went for a quick binocular session instead!
  2. Due to cloud, I put the C6 back indoors after the frustrating experiments with the Q Turret - only to find beautifully clear and dark skies around midnight. It would take too long to re-cool the telescope, so I had a quick tour with binoculars - just the obvious ones: M42 (lovely), M45 (lovely) and clusters in Auriga (lovely, clouds of stars on show, which I have never seen a from a city before). I also did a tour of the first magnitude stars, inspecting their color contrasts. With binoculars you can change targets very quickly so the color differences are far more apparent. Very good skies - my kingdom for a cooled scope and widefield eyepiece!
  3. I have almost persuaded myself to get a Svbony 102/f7 ED, as this seems the cheapest of the clones in this range. The alternative would be a 102 mm Mak, but the image should be a little brighter in the refractor, and star images that little bit better. I don't use 2" eyepieces, but I would be tempted to try a Speers WALER 30mm 90 degree eyepiece in the Svbony - 4 degree true field at 4mm exit pupil.
  4. A short, frustrating and cold session, trying out the Baader Q Turret with my C6. The last time I tried out the Q Turret (in a refractor) I saw lots of astigmatism, so I have given it an overhaul (tightened its central screw) and now trying it on the C6. Possibly the tightening will improve the astigmatism, or alternately the astigmatism will be less of an issue in an F10 SCT than an F6 'frac? Still a lot of astigmatism unfortunately, but image quality wasn't that great without the turret either - just a little better but stars were soft. Collimation looks OK inside and outside focus. I think my adventures with the Q Turret are at an end. As for the C6... when the Moon is back next week I will give it a test on that.
  5. I am very pleased to say the Southern Hemisphere and all-sky flavors of Discovering Double Stars have been completed and published. This completes the project, and I will come back to it toward the end of next year to update position angles and separations based on the latest data. Download the Discovering Double Stars books here
  6. I find Delta Cep very strongly colored. One of my firm favorites when i can find it. I would enjoy this region of sky more if there were brighter stars in the area - all of the main stars in Cepheus are borderline naked-eye for me. So navigation is quite tricky on many evenings.
  7. I've had both ES and Nirvana EPs, and felt strongly that the ES eyepieces were somewhat better. That opinion was based on use in F5 Newtonians, fast refractors, SCTs and Maks. Never tried the Luminos, but was put off them by the reports I read.
  8. I think I see where we differ. I don't see the AZT6 Alt cluch as a clutch, but just as variable friction. I adjust it at the beginning of the session then I leave it alone.
  9. Nearly the same here. When I let the dog out for his midnight sniffing in the herbaceous border I did briefly spot Capella in a fleeting gap in the clouds.
  10. Are you using a counterweight? I find adding a counterweight makes the AZT6 smoother in both Alt and Az. What tripod are you using? Mine is on a Berlebach Report, which seems pretty solid.
  11. The AZT6 seems to hold my C6 pretty well - I am surprised it's not up to holding an ED80? I do plan to get an AZ5 eventually, but the AZT6 does so well I don't really need a replacement. I think I have settled on getting an ED 102 eventually, although I will see what comes up on the second-hand market.
  12. @John your report gives me some hope of catching Triton with my C6. But just finding Neptune would be an achievement for me!
  13. I thought the books were about Deep Scotland Objects too?
  14. I think I always need a scope to daydream about. Having got the small Apo, the 102 mm is the new mirage on the horizon!
  15. The advantage of printing on demand is you minimise upfront costs, and you don't carry inventory. The printing quality is very professional, with plenty of options. I have experience of Lulu and Amazon printing services - Lulu has better print quality and many more print options (why not make a calendar?) but Amazon has the better marketplace of course.
  16. I have noticed that many refractor owners seem to become refractor collectors, having a range of scopes in various focal lengths and ratios. I can't imagine going to those extremes, but whenever I look at my lovely little Zenithstar 66, I think about getting another one. A 100 mm ED doublet would be nice. But then I would need to keep the ZS66 for travel, so maybe an F6 ED80 would maximise aperture while retaining travel capability? But that's a compromise, and astronomy is NOT the art of compromise (you only have to look at the ELT to see that). So assuming I go for 100 mm option, is the Altair Ascent really that good? Price is no way to judge a scope, but it is a lot cheaper than a Tak, and there has to be a reason?
  17. Are you sure there seems to be one in your photo?
  18. Are you using a USB 3.0 port? And do you have enough fast storage space?
  19. After last night's session I was left craving a little aperture so I set up the C6 tonight and repeated a few of the doubles, using a widefield eyepiece giving 75x. Polaris - very easy to resolve this in the C6 compared to the borderline impossible in the ZS66. The C6 is well collimated now and the star shapes are OK (but still a little SCT-messy). Gamma Ari was impressive but I would say no more so than in the ZS66. For brighter doubles, aperture does not have much of an advantage, and the neater stars of the little refractor can win out over the brute force of the C6. Struve 872 was much brighter and enjoyable with the C6; the faint companion was now easy in the larger scope. 26 Aurigae was very difficult last night in the ZS66, but easy in the C6. M36 was a very impressive sight tonight. The mount I am using (AZT6 travel mount) seems to work better with the C6 than the ZS66, which is surprising given how much bigger and more narrowfield the C6 is. The sky background was much lighter tonight, both in the finder scope and in the C6, and this detracted a bit from the view of M36. If course I was using a larger exit pupil tonight (2 mm vs 1 mm last night) so that didn't help, maybe next time out I will try my 13.4 mm widefield eyepiece. EDIT: Went out again for Orion. The nebula was stupendous with mysterious whisps and whorls visible. Strangely the ZS66 showed M43 more clearly last night. Tried to split Rigel without success, perhaps more magnification is needed. Tried Alnitak too, I did not split it (I didn't push the magnification) but it did seem elongaed in the right direction at 75x magnification. Moved on to Lambda Ori (the hunter's head) and was a lovely split with a brilliant primary with a bright little point nearby. Finished with Castor, easy split needs more magnification! Hoping to pick up a zoom in the new year.
  20. @John Just wondering as I don't think I understand your point, wouldn't a UHC filter bring out the lime green in basically anything? I know mine would, thats why I never use it - too many green stars! Specifically for spotting dim stars in the trapezium, will anyone produce a minus-UHC filter? Now THAT would be a specialized filter!
  21. Has anyone mention the ST80 yet? Doesn't matter when it was made, it's still a classic.
  22. I had a leisurely session with several pauses for white clouds to blow over. Between the clouds the sky was Bortle 7-8 tonight, so quite good by my standards. I started with a Gamma Arietis, a lovely pair of fierce white stars, nicely separated by my 66mm scope at 60x magnification. I switched to star clusters starting with M37. The many twinkling stars are a favorite of mine in other scopes, but the 66mm doesn't have enough aperture to show it well. M36 is sparser but with much brighter members, and put on a better show. I briefly changed to a widefield eyepiece for the Pleiades. Back to doubles with Struve 872 near Theta Aurigae. A fairly close, fainter pair - another one for more aperture. I must resist the urge to shop! 11/12 Cam was next - it features on the cover of my book so I was keen to see it, but it was too far away from brighter signposts so it eluded me. 26 Aurigae is quite unbalanced, and I would say the 8.0 magnitude companion was at about the limiting magnitude for me tonight. Thinking about faint companions, i took a brief excursion to Ursa Minor to have another go at Polaris. I think I got it this time, an occasional twinkle at the right position angle. Finished off with Castor, 2.2" separation but clearly split at 60x. Not the best view as it was over houses that were emanating florid thermals. Scope is still out, hoping for a shot at some doubles in Orion later. EDIT: I did manage the Orion nebula and four Trapezium stars, but then got definitively clouded out.
  23. It is an art to satisfy myself that X or Y is a good purchase based on reviews and actual use of the thing when I get it! As long as I can remain persuaded I am happy!
  24. Personally, I think stargazers tend to be highly critical of their telescopes and eyepieces, rather than being easily persuaded of their merits by the price tag or brand name. I don't buy the top end stuff, but by buying the best I can I am really buying peace of mind that I am getting the best view I can.
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