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MartinB

Kelling Heath Observations

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Well we've seen some of the images from Kelling but there was lots of observing going on as well so what did people see. The highlight of the Kelling week end for me was the chance to have a look through a number of very nice scopes and EPs. Steve FLO brought along a the mouth watering WO 110 FLT with the TMB triplet lens, a megrez 90 and a C11, along with a range of superb wide field EPs including the Burgess/TMB Paragon 40mm and a Meade 5000 30mm UWA. I had a good chance to have a look through my newly acquired Nagler 17mm.

Very quick daylight check on the 110 FLT and the first impression was of remarkable colour correction looking at some black chimney flues against a bright white cloud background. I'm not at all interested in how a scope looks but I have to say this one's pretty! Later on the double cluster looked superb with the 40mm Paragon - pinpoints of light showing a beautiful range of star colour. On Saturday evening Daz had it tuned into M82 and and M81 with, I think, the Meade 30mm. Both galaxies showed up more clearly than I have ever seen them, a beautiful paring. I now have the loan of this scope to do a more detailed and impartial review (trouble is I'm partial to it already!) so images and more reports to come.

The C11 astounded me with the quality of it's views. Saying that M13 was resolved to the core would understate the quality of the view through the 17mm Nagler - the core stars were as distinct as the peripheral ones with star colour showing through. Beats any image I've seen for vibrancy and resolution. M27 showed full detail in the "ears" and a tinge of OIII colouration. Other delights observed with the C11 were the double cluster and the Alberio double. It was very rewarding panning the scope from target to target to show an elderly couple what could be seen. They were genuinely in awe of what they were looking at.

At around 4.00 on Sunday morning I had the chance to view the Orion neb through a 16in Lightbridge and a Pentax 20mm EP. I have tried to dig into my dictionary of superlatives but I don't have words to do justice to the sight. All the swirls I am used to seeing in images stood out with superb contrast and the nebula glowed like no image can. I don't know if Ian had chance to look through similar kit but the E star in the trapezium was clearly visible and the bulge of the F star stood out but not quite split. Would have loved a bit more time with this scope but the owners were about to pack away and go to bed.

I didn't get to look through any of the big Obsession dobs or the 300mm mewlon cos I was too busy struggling with my imaging gremlins.

Anyone else got any reports?

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Martin, what little I remember of my night at Kelling I scribbled down on my Stargazrs blog (newest entry entitled: 'The best one night stand ever!'). Have to say your Nagler made my WO ZS110 shine on everything, notably the double cluster. Plenty of 'Oooh's' coming from people ;). Thanks for loan mate!

Tony..

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Great report Martin.....really enjoyed reading it. Took me back to 2004 and the jaw dropping skies we had at Kelling then.

Be interested to hear how the FLT110 fairs under normal skies. I could see things in the 50mm finder at Kelling that i couldn't see in the C8 from home :shock:

Tony, superb blog entry.

For once i've actually enjoyed the reports rather than the images. I must be really losing the imaging bug now.

Russ

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Russ, my last few blog entries have been using the WO ZS110 which is optically identical to the FLT so that may give you some idea what it's like under 'normal' skies.

Tony..

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You about said it all Martin ;)

I did look at the Veil with the FLT and without filters they were clearly visible. The OIII just had the edge over the UHC-S but either gave a stonking view. The OIII reduced the starlight by a fair amount, as you would expect, which made the nebula much more defined and the UHC-S simply improved the contrast between the stars and gas.

Andromeda, with the 32mm Meade, filled the FOV wonderfully and I have never seen as much detail visibly. I swear I could see dust lanes, but perhaps my memory is playing tricks having seen Martins image.

I also saw M42 through the same LB as Martin, and yes, I also lack the superlatives to do it any justice at all. I reckon I only get around 30% - 40% of the nebulosity that I saw on Sunday morning, not just the overall shape, but the depth as well.

Who didn't get a look at Alberio? A pair of jewels if ever I saw one, and M13 looked as it does in the pictures - no, seriously it did!

M51, M101 and M33 - all targets that are very difficult from home were rediscovered and they were a joy to behold. Spiral arms and details were clear and distinct, not the blob that we are used to normally.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, Venus rose and my what a fine sight that was. Really bright and through the FLT, showing a magnificent crescent phase. I grabbed some footage of it that I'll get round to processing tonight hopefully.

SGL was invited (and we accpeted) to be part of the Tour that the Loughton Society organises - they the public and indeed anyone who is interested - around and point out various telescopes and tell them about the instruments. Unfortunately, Greg and I were playing hunter-gatherers and missed it, but people seemed impressed with the range of kit we had displayed. Heck, WE were impressed with the range of kit we had displayed!!!!

I did mean to look through the infamous huge reverse binos that the Bolton group bring along, but it was a struggle to drag my eyes away from the FLT!!!!

Hate to wish my life away but roll on Spring, Autumn, Spring, Autumn, ..........

:wink:

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