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In preparation for the upcoming "galaxy season", I have been busy re-organising my eyepieces across my eyepiece boxes.
I am expecting to be using a mix of traditional and a-focal night vision observing. Therefore, I have put together a "mixed" case of eyepieces. There is a little space remaining just in case I need to swap in a couple more (but I don't tend to go outside will all my eyepieces in one go as they only get cold and unuseable, I prefer to leave a couple inside for a mid-session warm eyepiece swap-in!
I have also created a new Sky Safari "brightest galaxies" observing list so I can target these larger/brighter galaxies with the night vision to hopefully tease out some views of unseen spiral arms? (most likely with the 55mm TeleVus Plossl) as focal speed is key to getting the arms. I may need to swap in the TeleVue Panoptic 27mm for more scale (but we will see)...
[Here is the Sky Safari Observing List that I will be using Galaxy High Brightness.skylist should you wish to try it too…(you can import it into your Sky Safari - just email it to yourself then when you try to open the file in the email app it should offer you the chance to "open with Sky Safari") ]
Having learned last year that night vision is not much help on the smaller galaxies (they just get overpowered by the super bright galaxy cores), I have the TeleVue Ethos 21, 13, 10 ready for some "traditional viewing" (with the option of swapping in the Ethos 8 as needed) on the smaller galaxies. I am eagerly awaiting the heavenly widefield views of endless galaxies as seen in Leo with the Ethos21 and the big dob!
Last year turned out to be a "Supernova Marathon" with seemingly weekly supernovas occuring over the UK (and I managed to bag EIGHT of them with the Big Dob).
NGC 3941 - SN2018pv UGC 5049 - SN2018pc NGC2746 - SN2018iq NGC3367 - SN2018kp NGC6217 - SN2018gj NGC3158 - SN2018aaz NGC2146 - SN2018zd NGC4151 - SN2018aoq I can't see that happening two years running but I did bag SN AT2018ivc (in M77) on December 1st. Tonight I will be targeting SN2019np in NGC3254 so here's hoping...
Either way, I will need a good supply of clear sky, so lets hope our luck is in.
Wishing you the best for Galaxy season,
I was lucky enough to get a 12" Skywatcher Dobsonian (305mm/1500mm) for Christmas. It shipped with a 10mm Plossl and a 25mm Plossl, both 52° AFOV. Finally had a clear enough night to try it out and I absolutely loved it. I researched a bunch over the last year so I knew this was the scope I wanted should someone want to get me a really sweet gift before I grabbed it myself. What I didn't research at the time was accessories and equipment, something I've been doing relentlessly over the past few days.
I'll primarily be viewing in the backyard until I find a great viewing spot (and a good way to safely transport). Light pollution isn't terrible but I haven't fully gauged its impact on seeing fainter objects. I'm not interested in imagery/photography at the moment. Not foreclosing on the idea by any means but everything I'm looking to add is purely for visual gratification at this point. Hoping the experts out there can lead me in the right direction. Here's what I'm trying to figure out:
1. What eyepieces should I pick up?
I've read that, generally speaking, you want 2-3 premium pieces in over to cover low, medium, and high magnification. I'm currently looking at the following "sets": 5mm Nagler, 13mm Ethos, 35mm Panoptic or 6mm Ethos, 13mm Ethos, 21mm Ethos. I'm not overly concerned about price. I recognize that there's going to be a premium associated with a brand like TeleVue and with squeezing out that last drop of performance; however, I don't want to throw away money unnecessarily if I'm not going to see a benefit from pulling out the stops. I'm not beholden to TV by any stretch but everyone says they're the gold standard so I figured I'd look there first. I'm not looking to grab everything at once either. Was thinking of starting with the 13mm Ethos since it would fill the mid-range gap between my 10mm and 25mm.
2. Should I grab a Paracorr?
I've read many comments that go back and forth on this but the consensus seems to be that, while it's not crucial at f/4.9 like it would be with a faster scope, it's something I should probably have in the arsenal if I'm using wide field eyepieces, which the ones I'm contemplating are. I couldn't detect any coma with the two eyepieces I currently have but I suspect I probably wouldn't given the FOV and my beginner status. I also think that once I see it I'm not going to be able to unsee it.
3. Should I pick up a Barlow?
This question assumes I'm not getting a Paracorr. I like the idea of essentially doubling the number of eyepieces I have but I'm not too sure of the ultimate utility/necessity of it.
4. Any other crucial accessories I should have?
I'm looking at a Cheshire collimator for when the time comes. Aside from that, is there anything else I should absolutely have?
5. Finally, any suggestions on transporting?
It goes without saying but this baby is heavy. I don't have a garage, and I'm hesitant to store it in the shed, so what I've been doing is removing the OTA from the base and transporting them separately to the backyard for setup. It's not bad but I can see it getting old after awhile, especially with numerous viewing sessions in a row. After all, I didn't get this scope so it could collect dust; I want to use it as often as the weather lets me. I do plan on replacing the feet with wheels so I can at least roll it, but I'm trying to figure out a good solution to getting it in and out of the house (down 3 small steps) to the backyard without damaging it or breaking my back.
I think that's all I have for now. I appreciate any help you all can provide. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can so I can have a great experience and eventually show my little guy all about the joys of astronomy. Thanks everyone!
For Sale: TeleVue Ethos 3.7mm SX eyepiece
Looking for a used TeleVue Ethos 3.7mm SX eyepiece. It must be in excellent condition and have the original TeleVue box and end caps.
Willing to pay up to (excluding postage) for the right example.
I would also need to see photographs of the actual eyepiece before agreeing a deal.
Send me a PM if you have one that you want to sell...