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First Light For My New Explorer 200p, And UHC Filter

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Hi everyone!

I was lucky enough to get a clear night last night, and have the first chance to test out my new Explorer 200p.

Some of you may remember me posting a topic about how people lift such heavy things, and I got a huge amount of replies. In the end, I decided to split the scope into four parts:

1. Tube

2. Counterweights - to lighten the load as I move the mount

3, Accessory tray - So I could fold the tripod legs in

4. Mount + Tripod

In the end, it took me about 15-20 minutes to set everything up, then I had to wait about 20 minutes for the sky to darken. In that time, I looked for an iridium flare, which the iflares app predicted. In the end, it never happened (Though I saw one at Magnitude 0 later on).

Because it was nowhere near dark, I just pointed the scope at Vega. After that, I took a look at Albireo, looking as colourful as ever.

I then looked for the double-double, but I struggled to split it - possibly because of seeing.

After that, it became sufficiently dark to start DSO hunting. My first target was the Ring Nebula. I'd seen it with my old 150, but it was quite hard to spot. With the 200p, it jumped out at me! I added more zoom, and the nebula filter, and the ring shape was clear as day!

My next target was M13, an old favourite. It was easy to see, with a somewhat mottled surface at low zoom, but when I cranked up the power, the stars were easy to see - much more so than in my old 150.

After that, I looked at the Andromeda galaxy. It was a lot lower down, in hazy sky, so it looked little more than a hazy blob. Hopefully, it should be better when it's better placed in the autumn.

Finally, I found the dumbbell. It was easy to see at low power, without the filter, but when I zoomed in, and added in the filter, it showed some good detail. However, even with all this, the dumbbell shape was still quite subtle. Still, even in photos, it's not as contrasty as the Ring.

After that, it was getting on for eleven, and if I was up any later, my parents would kill me (not literally of course), so I came in. It took me about half an hour to bring my scope back in, and in that time, I let a couple of large moths in.

Overall, it was certainly a good first observing session with my new scope!

Thanks everyone for the advice you've given me with carrying my scope, as well as other things!


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Also, if anyone has other DSOs they'd recommend, it'd be quite helpful to know - as I don't know of many other things to see in the summer (Note: I won't be able to see anything in the Sagittarius/Scorpius region as it's too low for me :sad:)

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Hi David

I find the dumbbell shape easier without a filter. With a filter you start to pick up the faint rugby ball shaped envelope surrounding the dumbbell and contrast for the shape gets a bit lost.

I tend to observe the dumbbell shape first, then, add the filter to start checking out the structure within the nebula itself.

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Good collection of targets you hit there. Much better than my last session where I managed to find the worst spot ever and injure my hand in the process. Really giving me second thoughts as to swap my 150 for something larger for visual and a frac for AP. Keep it up!

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Can I make out the ring nebula with the 80ED? Kind of lazy to take the C11 out tonight, and I'll just settle with a portable kit...just wanna make sure it's worth it :)

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Emad,I can see this object well with my 90mm so the 80mm should be no problem.Even in light skies it is easy to see,but in these conditions I up the mag,exit pupil of 1-1.5mm.....

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