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Was about to turn in tonight when I noticed it had finally cleared so I headed out into the garden planless for a quick look around with my recent eBay Hilkin 60mm f13.3.
Seeing was actually pretty steady & transparency up high improving all the time.
I’m still waiting on the Vixen converter which will allow 1.25 eyepieces so took out the array of .965s which are in varying stages of disrepair.
There is something satisfying about the way they slot into the split-cut diagonal with no thumbscrews - shame most of the higher powers seemed borderline unusable.
The 25mm though gives a nice crisp view and I congratulated myself on my bargain looking at some lovely tight concentric rings either side of focus on Vega before hopping up to Epsilon Lyrae.
Stepping down the focal lengths I was just about splitting the more southerly pair with a 12.5 mm (64x) and not a bad view. The 9mm (89x) on axis confirmed this lower pair & showed some elongation in the fainter, more northerly pair. Kind of dim view though.
The 6mm & 5mm were hopeless.
Popped the 25mm back in and took a pot shot at M57 which to my delight showed as a tiny but crisp circle. Tried to step up the magnification but it was not happening.
Enjoyed a nice contrasty view of Alberio for a while - really do like the tight pinpoint stars, good colour and inky background in this scope.
It’s a lovely still, warm night but the town clock striking two reminded me I have work in the morning so I took one last sweep around the rich centre of Cygnus.
I landed on a pretty little cluster a bit like a micro-Pleiades & realised I was looking at M29 - a thrill to have tracked down a new-to-me Messier object with this lovely old instrument.
I’ve hatched a plan to see how many of the lunar 100 I can observe with the Hilkin - seems a fitting task for it!
As I packed up a huge Skytrain of 20+ satellites went N-S behind Deneb - biggest one I’ve seen and amazing in its way.
Lovely all-analogue couple of hours well spent.
Over the winter I got into playing with a phone mount on my telescope eyepiece and got some pictures of the moon... But not much else as there are always limitations on what a phone camera can do (and how well I can align the camera to the eyepiece).
If I was to upgrade to a camera to mount onto my scope, what should I be looking for? I have been tempted to give it a go with whatever I can find on ebay or similar, but don't want to buy something only to discover that it's lacking something important. The only thing I know to look for at the moment is to make sure there is a suitable mounting ring for the camera (a T ring I believe they're called).
My targets will probably be: Orion nebular, Jupiter and Saturn to start with. This is purely because these are targets I know I can find.
Scope: Skywatcher Explorer 130P (650mm focal length, 130mm diameter)
For sale 450D camera modified for astronomy, the IR filter has been removed to allow the important red emission nebula to come through. The price is £140.
This camera has a very low shutter count of 1588, in very good condition, comes with 1 battery and charger (connects via USB to computer or smart phone socket ect ), I don't have the original box, but will pack, very well. The price includes special delivery. This is for the camera body, no lens. Any questions please email me any questions......clear skys.