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Had three sessions last night, the first the CPRE Orion star count with my 11 year old daughter, magic.
The second was from the light-blighted garden mid evening - successfully picked up M41, M35 and M67 all for the first time - then a neighbour put on more lights so had a go at Polaris, nearly, almost sort of resolved as a double this time.
After a tea and warm break I managed to convince myself that the Mak 127 carry over to the park at 11:30 pm constituted allowable lockdown exercise (body AND mind officer...) so headed out to a wider and, it turned out, reasonably darker viewing spot in the park.
I haven't yet much comparative experience of conditions but I would say seeing was quite steady while transparency a bit milky. Winchester sits in a river valley and I suspect this may be a local feature until I can get up & out of town. Anyhoo, what started as proof-of-concept of some grab & go bag & padding ideas, turned into a really super session of clusters and doubles, most of which I had never seen before, & fruitless searches for fainter things.
Technique-wise I brightest star aligned on Sirius and Arcturus & did have a few accuracy niggles with the GoTo , however a combination of the Telrad + 10x50 Bino sweeps got most of the bright targets quickly in the Finderscope and centred. Highlight has to be the Beehive, M44 which I found breathtaking & can't believe I have never looked for before, Beta Mono triple-star which was amazingly 3D and set me off on a Tatooine sunset imagination-trip and M67, dim & red the kind of place where Klingons might hang out! After much reading on here over all these starless nights I had made a list and although I deviated a bit from it and failed to find ANY galaxies or planetary nebula, the list was a great idea and reminded me that I wanted to go and hunt down the targets in Cancer which I would otherwise have forgotten and missed two of the highlights of the evening. Eventually my phone battery gave out and as I was wi-fi tethered to the AZ GTi this ended my session shortly before frost-bite ensued.
That dew shield was a good buy
For what its worth, here are my notes, all observations made on SW Mak 127 on AZ GTi, Baader Hyeprion 24mm 68 degree fixed for most & occasional higher mag on Baader Hyperion 8-24mm Zoom. Telrad & SW 9x50 finder, supplemented by Celestron Nature DX ED 10x50 Bins.
Messier 57 is is just coming into a position for a decent look around 11 30 pm. IT is a colourful object and I thought it would give me a good target with which to practice my colour developing in PS/Lightroom. I have read so much about how to produce a LRGB image from the four stacked/calibrated luminance, red, blue and green images, a lot seems contradicatory and some, when followed, gave me colour yes, but not as we know it. I am sure a fair chunk must be put down to me. Anyway, I now have a work flow which gives me colour, sometimes resembling what other people have obtained. Progess of sorts.
This images is based on 114s subs at gain 139, offset 21.
L 39, R 20, G 20, B 19
Calibrated and stacked in DSS (flats, dark flats and darks)
Messier 57 Ring Nebula in Lyra
NASA: M57, or the Ring Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a sun-like star. The tiny white dot in the centre of the nebula is the star’s hot core, called a white dwarf. M57 is about 2,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra, and is best observed during August. Discovered by the French astronomer Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in 1779, the Ring Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.8 and can be spotted with moderately sized telescopes.
Equipment: Celestron 9.25 XLT at F10, Skywatcher EQ6 Pro GEM, ZWO 1600MM Pro, ZWO EFW with ZWO LRGB filters, QHY5IIC guide camera on Skywatcher 9 x 50 finderscope, Celestron Focus Motor
Software: Ascom 6, Eqmod, Cartes du Ciel, AstroPhotography Tool, PHD2
Hello fellow gazers
I want to share a little project of mine I started a few days ago.
Last week I opened another thread regarding a new EP which I ordered and @YKSE commented on it (again thank you for that! ). I saw his awesome signature and blandly copied it into my signature thinking to myself that I as of now had a Mission... a Mission to see and log all those beautiful clusters, nebulas and galaxies! As a well known sitcom actor would say... "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!"
Then I ran into a few problems... first of all... where the hell would I find all the information I would need and secondly, the more pressing problem, how would I keep track of this huge amount of everything?! I really don't know how YKSE is doing it, or even others, but I thought to myself that a good ol' classic excel table would do the trick. I promptly started to gather the four catalogues in question, copied them into an excel tabel an HEY! there are MANY dublicates... Filtering them out isn't that easy since the information I found isn't completely to the point I would need it to be. So after a few days of manual crunching NGC numbers, here the actual result.
The list includes a general number of the whole list, NGC / other number, the four catalogues, common name, type, distance, constellation, apparent magnitude and a "best to observe"-tab.
To make things a little easier I included the NGC / other number to almost completely eliminate the duplicates. I also included a "best to observe"-tab to simply filter the catalogues by months. This way I can grab the list, filter it and promptly see what I could potentially see and what not. And the most important thing of all? A small cell where I can put an "x" if I've seen whatever I wanted to see. This goes allong with a date and location tab to round everything up.
In some separate sheets I created a General Overview, the four separate catalogues and a Constellation sheet where I'll put some valuable information.
The General Overview will be a sheet holding the logs information. For example I can immediately check how many objects I've seen of the Messier Objects or the Collinder Catalog and so on. I'll display a simple number like 56 / 110 Messier Objects and include a percentage diagram. To make things a little funnier I'll also add a general counter for the four catalogues, hence the previously mentioned general number of the whole list. After the list is complete I could se myself linking every entry to an online catalogue with more information and pictures for further research.
If someone wants this list I'll gladly share it
Have a great evening everyone,
for long I have been browsing the internet to find a suitable 10in dob and despite lack of reviews, I have decided to take the plunge with the Bresser Messier 10in Dobsonian. There was some doubt at first, especially when considering the popularity of similar scopes from Skywatcher, Meade and GSO. Even though Bresser is relatively new to the market, it has some clever features:
1. The massive 2.5in hexagonal rack and pinion focuser is very solid and the movement is smooth. Despite being only single speed, Bresser sells an a dual speed 10:1 extension. However, I find the movement precise enough and do not need the extension at the moment.
2. Optical finder scope feels a bit cheap but it is a nice upgrade over the red dot finder I had on my previous scope.
3. Rocker box style base allows disassembling the scope into two pieces (OTA and base).
4. Tube rings allows the scope to be easily balanced when adding weight + after adding a suitable dovetail plate, the OTA can be used on an equatorial mount (if you plan to upgrade to an eq mount, I would consider the 8in model, as an eq mount for the 10in would be expensive).
The only negative comments I can give about the scope is the production process. There were some minor issues with the assembly with the scope as parts did not fit properly. First problem was with one hole drilled deeper (loosening the particular screw fixed the issue). Another problem was with the altitude wheel as it made the OTA to pop out from the rocker box. (A loose screw on one of the plastic pads between the box and altitude wheels was causing this. Make sure all these screws are tightened and below the surface of the pads).
Lastly, I assume there must have been a mistake in the quantity of items included (I got twice as many screws for the rockerbox and 2 eyepieces instead of one, both were 25mm super plossl but the standard was a 1.25in advertised on the bresser webpage, while the other was a 2in wide angle)
I did not have the opportunity to test the scope outside properly due to clouds.
Had the chance to try it out on the moon and jupiter to a max magnification of around 160x. The results were very sharp and detailed views. Unfortunately, clouds rolled in before it got dark enough to observe DSO's. I am waiting for clouds to clear and a package with a 42mm wide angle eyepiece and a 2in GSO 2x ED barlow to arrive next week.