Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
Having waited in vain for the clouds to clear on Tuesday night, it was great to get out and finally see some stars last night!
I'd picked out a new spot to try on the South Downs just outside Winchester, on a well made farm track that runs due South just across the A272 from Cheesefoot Head viewpoint car-park. In the daytime this is an airy downland spot filled with wild flowers and Skylark song, by night it offers a super horizon from SE. round to NW. with the pretty but invasive lights of Southampton port and Fawley refinery 15 miles or so S - SW. Lightpollutionmap.info says it has an SQM of spot on 21, a worthwhile improvement for a ten minute drive over my rugby pitch site at 20.27 and only a fraction lighter than Farley Mount - and minus the third of a mile carry through slightly eerie Yew woodland!
I got up there about 11.45 - just in time for an ISS pass which I caught to the NW along with my first definite noctilucent cloud sighting to the N.
Seeing was quite steady and transparency good outside of bands of thin high cloud that cleared as the night wore on. There was some haze that mingled with LP over the coast causing extinction below 10 degrees or so.
I'd planned a recce session in the Sagittarius area using an ST80 and a couple of new filters - Baader O-III and ES UHC to try on the nebulae. After aligning on Arcturus and Altair I toured the region finding the UHC really helpful in cutting through the low-down murk. Many first views with the Lagoon Nebula M8, Eagle & Swan Nebulae M16/17 and Trifid Nebula M20 the standout highlights, the first of many visits I'm certain. All observations were made with a Baader Hyperion 24mm (21x) and Baader Classic Ortho 18mm (28x) and interchanging filters and natural view to tease out the detail. Later I switched to 2 inch mode and used a 31mm Hyperion Aspheric (16x) for some panoramic views. All stunning stuff!
M16 elongated cluster, Hercules like shape, double upper L of “keystone”. UHC brought out dark lanes crossing.
M17 prominent orange star above, glowing nebulous area below right of faint trapezium asterism. Dark tendrils with AV.
M8 - epic. Bright clusters multiple dark areas and glowing patches. O-III enhanced the cloud to 20% width of fov in 18mm
M21- arrowhead cluster
M20 - stunning star spangled glowing nebula with dark lanes. Fuzzy cloud wider with O-III.
M22 - bright compact glob. Triangle with centre star asterism to L. Diagonal pair to upper R. [RACI view]
M4, 6, 7, 19 too low in murk over Southampton to pick out.
Widefield (31mm Hyperion, 2-inch) on M8, 20, 21 stunning field.
M24 bright blue beehive like
M16/17 In same field. Wow.
M18 - rich field, pronounced "V" to R.
It was after 2 by this time, so I took a quick tour around M57, a squint at part of the Veil Nebula with the O-III filter (warrants much more time!) and grabbed a great view of M31 which was easily visible naked eye at this point. With the 18mm I was for the first time able to pick out M32 & M110 - bonus!
I resisted the temptation to switch to Jupiter & Saturn, by now quite high to the South, packed away and enjoyed a last sweep of the Milky Way naked eye and with 10x50s - vertical and almost visible to the horizon (barring those port lights!).
Rolled back down the hill after a lovely shirtsleeves session in a super new spot. Mainly today I am drinking coffee...
I wasn’t able to get out to the park last night but once the smaller of the children was abed & the teenagers uploaded to their games I popped on a hoodie (cunning anti-security light plan) and decamped to the garden, wine in hand, for an impromptu after dinner tour with the ST80.
After wrestling with the old wooden tripod on my “new” Prinz 330 60mm earlier in the week, the Manfrotto 55 and full height viewing position made this feel quite the luxury experience!
Wide-field views weren’t bad either...
15.4, 9.30 PM
ST80 & Baader Zoom.
Seeing good, transparency patchy at Zenith, murky below 30 degrees.
Castor - almost split @50x low over rooftop
M44 Beehive - great view, put the red dot right on it. Was above the houses & enjoyed the soundtrack to a neighbour’s party whilst lost in space.
Melotte 111 - lovely view. Super round pin points & some good colour contrast with white & a smattering of orange stars. ST80 loves these slightly fainter clusters. No hint of CA. This cluster now firmly on my highlight list.
Chertan & 73 Leonis - but no triplet (well it was worth a try)
Algieba - Split (just) at 50x, nice yellow headlights.
Had a look for anything apparent in the Virgo galaxy field but lots of white LP to SE so no chance.
Cor Caroli - beautiful view in the ST80. White primary with smaller fainter white secondary - nice round stars.
Mizar - again a super field, Mizar A&B look a close pair at 50x with size contrast - easy to imagine as an orbital system. Alcor a way off and a couple of other faint stars making a nice little asterism.
M81 & M82 - yes! From the garden, a first outside of M31! Hoodie over the EP. Dropped the red dot carefully in line from the diagonal across the bowl of the plough/dipper. Galaxies popped with a slight nudge from original guess. See an oval and a stripe & that fantastic orientation - obviously no detail but a rewarding view from among the security & streetlights!
Enjoyed for ages with a glass of wine!
Civilised galactic travel...
This is a lens that does not need an introduction, it's simply a fantastic budget lens! I've been using it for astrophotography with great results and satisfaction (see pictures). Just selling it becuase I'm upgrading to the 135mm version. Any questions please ask. Asking £160 which includes P&P to UK mainland.
I have recently acquired a Vixen Polarie with the intension of doing some wide field imaging,
I will be using my modified Canon 600D with it, Currently the only lens i have are a standard kit Canon 18-55mm and a old carl Zeiss Jenna 50mm , so i am looking at purchasing alternative lens to use,
The ones i am looking at for now are the following,
Canon EF 135mm f/2 L USM
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM
Samyang 135mm f2 ED UMC
Samyang 14mm Ultra Wide-Angle f/2.8 IF ED UMC
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 APO EX DG HSM Macro
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX
So my question is, has anyone used any of these ( other than the Samyang 135mm f2 ) for wide field and if so how did you find them, would you recommend any of them?
from the ones listed (other than the Samyang 135mm f2 ) would you say there are better ones to look at or any other i should consider?