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Little report and long time no see


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Hello all and good to be back. Due to real life and and temporary lull in interest I have not done any real viewing for a good few months but tonight I really had the appetite for a session. Ok it was only the garden but it was a very useful little session, more below.

Usual suspects to start with, Jupiter, Pleiades, Orion and a few other messier clusters in what was a slightly fuzzy sky then in for some dinner at 7.30, back out at 8.30 to find the scope had stayed nicely on Jupiter and it duly stayed there for the next hour.

The main difference from my pre-dinner session is the skies had really settled down and the skies were as still and clear as I had seen for a long time so perfect conditions for some planetary. I should also mention the LP in my garden has got worse since the council lopped the trees just by my fence that I purposely kept slightly long to shield out the neighbouring hotel nuclear powered floodlight system  :mad:, so planetary was by far the best option anyway.

Sorry I digress  :rolleyes:. Ok so Jupiter was looking so beautifully and clear tonight, started off at 60, 100, 125 all the way up to 250x, hmm still very good image although not as sharp as you might expect so dropped back to 200 where I settled in and viewed for what seemed like ages. Just watching and waiting for those extra clear few seconds when the fainter bands seemed to jump out a little more, then I remembered I had a filter I wanted to try out, a UHC-S from Baader. 

Not strictly a planetary filter but I recently read on here a short while back a thread regarding planetary filters (cant remember who makes them but they were around £110 or maybe more) and from the information I was able to obtain re: filter curves it seemed like they were very similar so I thought it was worth a try. Also I know some people use a standard UHC for Jupiter and to be honest it was this that made me think.

Ok so what happened when I used it, first there is a very slight pinkish halo around the planet but that didn't bother me at all, read on and you will find out why. Oh wait the planet itself takes a slight blueish hint to it which is great, improves contrast superbly without killing the view so yes, so far so good. Oh and yes focusing seems easier for some reason, just seems to fall into the sweet spot that bit easier.

(GET ON WITH IT) Ok best til last though, the planet bands are definately more pronounced and easier to pick out. What I had previously been getting fleeting glimpses or hints of were now much easier to pick out, a more semi permanent than occasional sight if you get my drift.  I also watched a row of barges which I had not noticed prior the filter slowly transit the planets surface although in all fairness, when I tried without the filter again i could see them but only because I knew they were there.

Ok to summarise, the skies were near perfect for cranking it up tonite which I duly did, the UHC-S filter is excellent for teasing out, actually no it doesn't tease, it lifts out very noticeably greater detail than without a filter. It seems to make focusing a little easier, I think its the blueish tint that gives the planet a sharper apearance thinking back. Lastly and very importantly the Baader UHC-S filter is considerably less expensive than the Televue version (I remember the other make now) £50 versus £110 for the 1.25" version. I would like to make further tests and preferably compare with a TV planetary filter but initial thoughts are they sound like very similar bits of kit.

Anyway thats it for now, looks like I have a new best friend for Jupiter  :grin:  :p


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Nice to hear you had a good session out, Steve and hopefully nights like this one will rekindle your astro-mojo :smiley: It's curious you mention the UHC filter. I have also read that some observers find it useful on Jupiter but I've never found that. Funny how different eyes react in different ways :smiley:.

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Cheers Rob, yes I thoroughly enjoyed last night, my astro flame was very much re-ignited. Ref the UHC filter, a std UHC filter will colour everything green, I tried with my skywatcher version, however the Baader UHC-S has a much broader bandpass and the colour is much more natural. In the report above it says there is a blueish tint to the planet, it is not a strong colour that takes over and the bands remain a brown in colour which appear darkened by the filter which leads to greater contrast and everything appearing more pronounced. What I would say is that if you can get a borrow of one do so, I think a lot of people would be surprised by the result.


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Nice report Steve, it only seems a couple of weeks since I have seen you on site when you were selling the crown jewels, is it really that long ago?


Funny you should mention this Alan as In was going to put into this post about the new Vixens but decided not to bother. Howeever the vixen ep's along with the ultrascopic barlow are working superb. I cant be honest in a comparison with the now gone Delos but the quality of the Vixens is at least excellent.

Nice to hear about your UHC test. 

Likely a silly/obvious question.. have you tried your polarising filter on Jupiter? 

I have and feel the views are better with the UHC-S, but thats just me. I just find the contrast seems better with it over the polare filter.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words all you guys, it was good to get a session under the belt although next PLan is to get a drak sky session under my belt


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