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Everything posted by chiltonstar

  1. Some nice targets - all we need now are clear skies! Chris
  2. Indeed not - always an interesting challenge, even for those of us with small scopes which are not capable of splitting the pair! I noticed last night that Procyon was barely twinkling, so I got my 180 Mak out and had a look to see what it actually looked like. The seeing was excellent++, so there was a stable diffraction pattern visible even at x450, with 5 rings or so as though some celestial arachnid had been at work . As the scope cooled, there were three radial bright zones which gave artefacts on the outer diff rings which looked like secondaries and could have been mistaken for the
  3. Imaged last night (30th March 2021, 22.30 UT) with a 180 Mak/AS1220 mono camera. Image processed in Autostackert and PS. Best 20% of 5000 frames. Chris
  4. Just had my 102mm Vixen objective f13 'frac out for a brief spell between clouds - brief, but glorious! As with the Scopetech above, no visible CA. I also found Bailly, I think for the first time. Chris
  5. I finally got to have a look at it last night. Excellent seeing, no wind, a little haze and not too cold, so generally good! At x200 and x300 the feature was exquisitely sharp and defined (more contrast at x200), with the added feature of the little pin sharp craterlet in the centre of the main crater next door. Although the lighting conditions were past optimum to show Hesiodus at its best, still well worth a look - thanks John for the heads up. Chris
  6. One to try for! Clear here last night until I started to set up, then thick murk. Still, "tomorrow is another day" if I remember the quote correctly...... Chris
  7. Some lovely pairs there! Interesting that you see Izar B as white - I tend to see it as "electric blue". Must be an aperture thing I suppose. Chris
  8. Algieba is a superb pair indeed, with an amazing gold colour. As Stu says, you get diffraction rings as well - you should see sharp diffraction rings around a bright star if your scope is fairly decent optically, and in focus. Difficult with some scope designs I believe which can be a bit mushy. The size of the Airy disk, and the brightness of the diffraction rings around can set practical limits to resolution of double stars. This is an example ring pattern. Chris
  9. I had a look last night as I had clear sky to the N and W before cloud took over again. Scope was a 180 Mak with a Hyperflex 7.2 to 21.5 mm zoom EP. Immediately after setting up, the B component was a fuzzy ball in the right position, well clear of the A component. After 10 mins scope equilibration, the fuzzy ball shrank to a diamond point - a very pretty pair. Seeing was good or better, with nearly complete stable diffraction rings for most of the time. The C and D components were very obvious (orientation in the Mak is the same as in the sketch by John Nansen in John's post above.
  10. Our cats have usually helped with my observing, sitting alongside my chair and protecting me from attack by any mice etc, even at -2 degrees. There was that clip a year or so ago showing a cat fending off the attack by a dog on a small child - proved it for me that cats are really mans best friend, despite what doggy owners say.... Chris
  11. Good stuff - sub arcsec can be a challenge unless the seeing is excellent! I'm still waiting for someone to come up with a triple-triple! Chris
  12. Good seeing here, but haze plus Moon wiped out all but the brightest stars. Good to see Vega rising in the NE, even if it was twinkling madly. Mr and Mrs Fox seemed to be enjoying the nearly full Moon, or maybe it was one of my neighbour's hens. Chris
  13. ...and of course Castor is itself a triple, one of the most spectacular in some ways. Chris
  14. There probably isn't a sufficiently good word to describe the view that you sometimes get on those magical evenings when the sky is clear, the air is still and the mozzies have gone to bed. Several years ago, I watched Saturn for nearly an hour through my 180 Mak as it was one of those evenings, with Hubble-like detail and stunning soft banded peach colours of the disk. That's why we all continue with this hobby, despite the long cloudy periods and the neighbour's security lights! Chris
  15. The best view I've found with my 180 Mak for looking at DSOs is with the 38mm Panaview 70 degree FoV eyepiece. If there is vignetting, it's certainly not obvious to me and the view is glorious. The eye relief is not the best, but certainly ok. Chris
  16. I tried a few doubles in Orion, but the seeing here was barely average, at least to the W. Transparency was pretty good though, so I spent some time on M1 before the -5 degrees got to me. The elongated shape with a hump in the middle was fairly obvious at x70 (180 Mak) but more detail eluded me last night because of the relatively light sky. When it's higher in the sky I often see a bit more detail. The joy though of having a clear night........ Chris
  17. This is of course true, but I don't think you can beat the laws of physics - agreeing with @Vlaiv in an earlier post. Coming back to the original theme, for much of the recent Mars season, I had my 4" f13 (Vixen objective) frac out alongside my 180 Mak and there was a consistent benefit in using the larger scope on nights with good to excellent seeing. On poor nights, the frac gave a better (more contrasty) view but when the seeing was good enough, extra detail was apparent with the Mak even though the contrast was slightly less. When I bought the Mak it was after using a long focus frac
  18. Some interesting comments on OOUK, and certainly the first horror story has been seen on this forum before. Was there ever a reply from them giving their side of what happened? If at all true, it will not exactly encourage sales I would have thought, so an explanation or a denial would seem to be in order? Chris
  19. I have a large tablet with SS6 Pro on it - I use it inside a darkened electronic component bag to cut the brightness further. Chris
  20. The Cambridge atlas is good & I love the charts which work well in conjunction with SkySafari. Chris
  21. Very nice detail! Chris
  22. I was looking at Sirius last night (180 Mak) as I too had noticed that Sirius wasn't twinkling as much as usual at 52 degrees N. The reason of course is that the air was still (good seeing) with very little movement due to thermals - I doubt if air pollution has much influence. Through the scope, Sirius' companion (the Pup) was easily visible, as were stars E & F of the nearby Trapezium and details on the Moon (Plato's craterlets) were visible. A rare night of excellent seeing. Mind you, it was bloody cold. Chris
  23. Brilliant here as well last night for Orion and Leo doubles - trouble is, the wind was still strong and it was below zero. An hour was all I could take.... Chris
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