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Scooot

First Light- Terrible Conditions- Sumerian Canopus 16"

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Clear skies were forcast for this evening so I was keen, to say the least to try my new toy. I was out early, about 6pm, so it wasn't really dark, and it's not really that dark anyway but I was determined to make the most of it. Unfortunately it took me a bit longer than I wanted to align the finder. Therefore I didn't get long, the edge of the cloud belt stopped proceedings at 6.45pm until later in the evening. When I did eventually settle on Polaris I could immediately see the benefit of the extra inches. The star looked much larger, and was burning bright with sharp defraction spikes. It's counterpart was parked next door nicely, both were in good focus looking exactly as I'd hoped. I had a quick look at a few things conscious of the incoming clouds. Andromeda and m32 were large in the same FOV, I could still only see the core but it was much brighter, in fact there looked is if there was a small white dot in the centre. I got a great view of Mirach and Mirach's Ghost was also staring at me with no straining to see it necessary.

I didn't come out again until just after 8pm, the wind was howling at around 20 mph and the seeing was awful. I looked at lots of things until about 10 when I packed up. I can't say there were any Wow moments, because the seeing was so bad and I've come to the conclusion I definitely need a shroud.

I was using my 17.3mm all night with my Paracorr, mag 80 which was a good fov for most things, but when I looked at clusters, although everything was pinpoint across the fov, the contrast didn't seem good enough. Had I used a bit more power it would have improved, but the wind was buffeting, even without a solid a tube, so I could tell if I upped the mag i'd just introduce a lot of wobbliness so I didn't bother.

Before it got too bad I looked at a couple of doubles which were very good so the optics seem first class which they should be as the mirror is an OO f4.5 1/10pv. I also got a fabulous view of the comet

Anyway, I was hoping for a better night first time out, but I'm over the moon with the scope. It's easy to use and set up and I'm sure in better conditions, and once I have a shroud, the views will be tremendous. A lovely Dark Sky would be good as well ! :)

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Sorry to hear it wasn't a great night, Richard but I figure it was probably better than a night watching TV :grin: No doubt you learnt something more about yourself, your gear and the night sky, which is no bad thing. You mention the need of a shroud which is a good idea for a truss dob but curiously, if it is windy you're better off without one, otherwise it ends up actiing as a sail :p . Hopefully the next few days will pick up and you can really put that gorgeous scope of yours to test.

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Sorry to hear it wasn't a great night, Richard but I figure it was probably better than a night watching TV :grin: No doubt you learnt something more about yourself, your gear and the night sky, which is no bad thing. You mention the need of a shroud which is a good idea for a truss dob but curiously, if it is windy you're better off without one, otherwise it ends up actiing as a sail :p . Hopefully the next few days will pick up and you can really put that gorgeous scope of yours to test.

Thanks Rob, yes I learnt a lot, it certainly wasn't wasted and I did have a good time trying it out. I will be out again tomorrow hopefully.

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Still exciting to get it out for the first time! I couldn't believe how much the wind can disrupt proceedings with a large scope. Hopefully you'll get a still night with better seeing very soon and can then play a bit more.

Paul

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Great you could have a 'trial' run for that special first light dark sky trip!    :)  :)

I rarely set up at home, usually to sort out the kit.  Saves so much frustration if you're under a clear and dark sky.  No faffing about.

From your pics on the equipment thread, the scope does look the business!

Cheers

Paul

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Unlucky mate the shroud is a bit of a sail in the wind and it gets to a point where it's just not worth the bother with a bigger scope but the sound of something bouncing off that mirror sure does make the heart sink;)... Hope you have a better night soon, clear and steady skies!

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Go careful Richard ! winds & dobs don't mix well at all.   Would be awful to do some damage just for the sake of waiting for more favorable conditions.  

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Unlucky mate the shroud is a bit of a sail in the wind and it gets to a point where it's just not worth the bother with a bigger scope but the sound of something bouncing off that mirror sure does make the heart sink;)... Hope you have a better night soon, clear and steady skies!

It was good fun really, I wouldn't have normally bothered going out with it like that but I wanted to try it out. Where I normally observe is quite sheltered so from a wind viewpoint it mostly wont be a problem but should help a lot with the light scatter. I'd like to know if anyone has any experience of the difference it might make.

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Hi

My understanding is that unless the area around the primary is illuminated (and the secondary can 'see' this) and there isn't any unwanted light directly entering the focuser from the opposite side of the UTA...

...a light shroud has no impact, apart from turning the scope into a sail.  Hope that makes sense.

I tend to observe from dark sites and don't use a light shroud.

I do recommend a hood covering the eyepiece and head though.  Can make a world of difference and really isolates you from the surrounding reality.  Becomes a real spacewalk :)

Cheers

Paul

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Shame about the conditions Richard. Shrouds can serve a few purposes. To keep stray light out, to prevent things inadvertently falling on ones primary, and dressing up ya scope like an utter poser (guilty :D )

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Shrouds can help keep the observers body heat out of the light cone too. You are standing right next to the tube with a dob. Apart from keeing warm this is another reason to wear insulating clothes too.

Good report Richard. With a new scope it's too much to expect you not to want to have a go even if the conditions are less than ideal. I certainly have when I've new toys to try out :smiley:

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Richard,

A real pain, that's British weather :confused: , still at least you did get out which I guess is something. I was in the observatory tonight with a lovely sky and I was wishing the same for you. I have just had an internet connection fitted via radio link to the house, I was going to log on the SGL but I could remember my password, for a Mod that's a public flogging :mad: .

I was just a little bit concerned with the line about contrast, at X120 you should be OK but much is down to local conditions. I showed my wife the pictures and all she could say was what a lovely house you have, sadly the little privets just gave her more ideas for work for me, Oh the scope " they all look the same to me" :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: , women!

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Richard,

A real pain, that's British weather :confused: , still at least you did get out which I guess is something. I was in the observatory tonight with a lovely sky and I was wishing the same for you. I have just had an internet connection fitted via radio link to the house, I was going to log on the SGL but I could remember my password, for a Mod that's a public flogging :mad: .

I was just a little bit concerned with the line about contrast, at X120 you should be OK but much is down to local conditions. I showed my wife the pictures and all she could say was what a lovely house you have, sadly the little privets just gave her more ideas for work for me, Oh the scope " they all look the same to me" :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: , women!

I'm pretty sure it's the surrounding light affecting it. I get very good contrast with my 10mm in the 10" most of the time so given the mirror quality is the same I can't think it's anything else. Should be able to get out again later tonight to have another go.

Thank your wife, you'd better not show her the pic of the box I posted in the summer just after we'd cut them. :)

Edited by Scooot

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