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Keener_7

skywatcher 8" Dob First light

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This past week I purchased a "New" second hand 8" skywatcher Dob and just could wait to try it out. Friday came and the clouds managed to stay away. So at about 9:30 I took my scope into the yard, set it up and sighted in my red dot and 9X50 finders using a distant cell tower. I was already impressed with the views of the tower using my 7mm X-cell EP, Now I just had to wait for darkness.

For the next hour spent my time between my garage where I was looking at stellarium and out in the yard where I was looking for darkness. Finally I saw it, Could it be? yes it was, Arcturus was out! pointed my red dot on the old girl and looked through the 25mm EP, adjusted the focus and there it was a nice point of light very clear, I was happy. I then put in my 7mm EP, made some adjustments to the finders and got them bang on. Now Come on Saturn!!

A few mins later I spotted the ringed beauty starting to appear. I pointed the finder and and looked through my 25mm EP, wow, nice and clear and could make out the the rings. Then came the big moment, time for the 7mm, WOW, double wow, I could clear see the space between the rings and planet and there was even contrast in the colours. I have saw Saturn before when using my 70mm refractor, but this was like seeing it for the first time. I started shouting for my wife to come see, but she was inside and couldn't hear me. I looked at Saturn for a while longer until i finally had to go and get my wife, I needed to show somebody this amazing site!! The wife came out and had a look through the EP and was amazed as well. I then tried my TV X2 barlow with my 7mm and the view was larger but not a sharp, so Just continued viewing with the 7mm.

When Saturn went behind some trees I noticed that I was really getting dark now. I decided to have a look at the easy target Mizar and Alcor. Very nice indeed Mizar was split very easily, something that I had some trouble to achieve with my 70mm travelscope. By this time the moon was staring to come up and ruin my fun. Started to try and locate M3, after about 15 mins I finally found it. I was expecting a little more, It was just a faint fuzzy. Should I be able to resolve points of light in m3 with this scope of was it just a faint fuzzy do the the fact that the moon was up and its a short summer night? still happy that I found it.

At this point one of my friends dropped over to have a look through the scope, since the moon was up we had a good look at that and we were both very impressed. Was hard on the eyes though, guess I should have used the moon filter. Then we looked at m31 and saw a decently bright fuzzy. Went back to moon and then he was trying to take pics with his phone through the EP. ( got some half decent pics). So that gave me the Idea to try my cannon 1000D at prime focus. I put the camera into the focuser and it was a no go, couldn't focus. So then I tried it using a barlow and it worked! I could achieve focus. So I took a few quick snaps and they turn out pretty good. Then I packed up the scope and went inside since It was 3:00am.

Very happy with this scope and can't wait to view again, and again. Wow, that's a lot of words, didn't realized that I had written so much!

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great report keener. read with interest as i replaced my small refractor with a 8" skyliner too. ive not seen saturn with it at high power as yet. but did notice nebula stand out a little more and clusters come alive.

im curious regarding m3. you should at least see individual stars at the outer areas of the cluster, perhaps there was thin cloud up there or something, im sure theres an explanation as to why iy wasnt a good view. probably not collimation as saturn was sharp and focused. m13 blew my socks off, as did the wild duck cluster.

congrats on first light and look foward to more reports soon .

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Great first light report. I have an 8" scope as well, and it has provided 16 years of fun so far. Saturn is always great, and shows very good detail in scopes like this. An 8" should resolve stars in many globulars, but moonlight and the grey light of summer nights do reduce contrast. Going for a higher magnification helps. M13 was my first target (clear, dark, October night), and it was dazzling.

Clear skies!

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Great first light report Keener. They are a great scope and will give you plenty more sessions like that. I miss mine. I wanted a tracking mount for the planets, so downgraded aperture wise. Really miss it on those dark nights.

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great report, I remember taking my 6" out for the first time and i was amazed by everything I saw and i too replaced my old 60mm refractor and the difference is astonishing. Cant wait for the fact I might save up for a 10" skywatcher and if so I cant wait to take that out. Hope the weather clears up.

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Congratulations on your scope's first outing!

M3 might look a bit better on a moonless night. Eight inches of scope should resolve quite a bit.

The same will apply to all fuzzies. The Moon can wash the sky out a bit. Winter will bring much darker nights..... and hopefully a few clear ones too!

Happy hunting!

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