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Knighty2112

Ready for 9th May Mercury transit

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Well, got my Skywatcher Startravel 120 frac all kitted up to observe the transit of Mercury on Monday 9th May. Whilst I normally use my smaller 70mm frac to observe the sun, I wasn't happy with the quality of the image I was getting when doing any solar views; there seemed to always be a lot of haze always surrounding the sun when viewed with the smaller scope, so thought I'd see how the larger frac coped with solar views, which after flocking all internal areas of it a few weeks ago, and also the inside of the end cap, thought it might produce less hazy images. And that is indeed the case.

Rather than do a full size filter for the whole 120mm aperture, I rather opted just to put some Baader solar filter in the smaller aperture opening on the lens cap. I also made a small filter to go on the finder scope too. All in all took it about 45 mins to make both filters. Fixed the lens cap filter in place by glueing it inside the lens cap itself permanently. The finder scope filter is just held in place by just three elastic bands around the tube of the finder scope. Tested it out for a few hours today to make sure all work well, and that the glue I used didn't melt in any heat from the sun, so just now need a nice sunny day on Monday to sit and enjoy the views! :) 

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Nice one. Like you say all ready to go just need some decent weather. I have the Evostar 120 with a full aperture filter which I am very pleased with. Xtremechaos gets some good images with the ST120.

 

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1 minute ago, David Smith said:

Nice one. Like you say all ready to go just need some decent weather. I have the Evostar 120 with a full aperture filter which I am very pleased with. Xtremechaos gets some good images with the ST120.

 

Fingers crossed for the weather for sure, along with every thing else too! Hehe!  Even using just a smaller aperture the views of the sun were good. Got the best views using my 15mm EP with the scope, with a grey filter in the EP too to tone down the sun a little. :) 

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Brightness can still be an issue even with the Baader ND5 in place. I use a #56 Green planetary filter pretty much all the time when observing visually with my 120. If you have some coloured planetary filters it's worth experimenting to see what suits you best.

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1 minute ago, David Smith said:

Brightness can still be an issue even with the Baader ND5 in place. I use a #56 Green planetary filter pretty much all the time when observing visually with my 120. If you have some coloured planetary filters it's worth experimenting to see what suits you best.

Yes, got a red, blue and a yellow filter, along with the grey one too. The best views I got were with the yellow and the grey filter. I've just bought some more filters from a member on here, and there is a green one in the set I am getting, so if they arrive in time I'll see what the green one works like too. :) 

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Nice timing! I find the green helps clear up areas of faculae, just helps me to see more.

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Great post - you are all set!

I've got my Mak127 and 9x50 finder set up with solar filters plus a filter wheel ready to go!

Fingers crossed for the weather!

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49 minutes ago, Paz said:

Great post - you are all set!

I've got my Mak127 and 9x50 finder set up with solar filters plus a filter wheel ready to go!

Fingers crossed for the weather!

Even crossing my toes too! Hehe! :) 

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Nice one and all ready to roll by the looks of it :happy6: I have booked the time off work and I will travel to wherever there are no clouds after all the next transit is quite a few years away

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3 hours ago, Pig said:

Nice one and all ready to roll by the looks of it :happy6: I have booked the time off work and I will travel to wherever there are no clouds after all the next transit is quite a few years away

I've got all of next week off. Monday of course for the transit, the rest of te week just to chill and sort out the garden and stuff. Good idea of travelling to a location if the weather forcast is bad for where you are. Cheers! :) 

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The weather look good for many areas except perhaps the SW and parts of the S.  The Astronomy Centre (nr Todmorden in Lancashire) will be having a public open day for the event.  All are welcome to attend - particularly those who have to flee North to avoid any cloud :icon_biggrin:.

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Just checked the forcast for Hull for Monday, and it's sun all the way it seems! Yippee! Hope it stays like that, and for the UK as a whole too! :) 

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2 minutes ago, paulastro said:

The weather look good for many areas except perhaps the SW and parts of the S.  The Astronomy Centre (nr Todmorden in Lancashire) will be having a public open day for the event.  All are welcome to attend - particularly those who have to flee North to avoid any cloud :icon_biggrin:.

 

2 minutes ago, paulastro said:

The weather look good for many areas except perhaps the SW and parts of the S.  The Astronomy Centre (nr Todmorden in Lancashire) will be having a public open day for the event.  All are welcome to attend - particularly those who have to flee North to avoid any cloud :icon_biggrin:.

Yep, hopefully most will have a good view. Hope the day goes well for you too! :) 

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When I look at the Sun with my 120mm achro I do what knighty does and observe through the 60mm opening in the dust cap. However this plays havoc with the Dawes limit so I'm wondering is it better to have the full aperture available to get better resolution seeing as Mercury displays a tiny disc. 

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21 minutes ago, Dave Lloyd said:

When I look at the Sun with my 120mm achro I do what knighty does and observe through the 60mm opening in the dust cap. However this plays havoc with the Dawes limit so I'm wondering is it better to have the full aperture available to get better resolution seeing as Mercury displays a tiny disc. 

I would go for the full 120mm if I were you Dave, aperture (up to a certain point ie around x120 to 150 depending up seeing) really helps with the detail.

A UHC filter is also worth trying in place of a green one, narrower band pass so it sharpens things up more.

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33 minutes ago, Dave Lloyd said:

p.s That focusser looks the biz on your startravel Knighty.

Yeah, looks good and works a treat, but it did cost over half the price I paid for the OTA itself so if it didn't I would be sorely miffed! ;) 

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Looking very positive...

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 20.59.38.png

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 21.02.17.png

:grin:

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1 hour ago, DRT said:

Looking very positive...

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 20.59.38.png

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 21.02.17.png

:grin:

Thumbs up for sun! Yay! :) 

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6 hours ago, Knighty2112 said:

Yeah, looks good and works a treat, but it did cost over half the price I paid for the OTA itself so if it didn't I would be sorely miffed! ;) 

I did the same thing with my ST80 - which is also soon to be doing duty as my designated solar-scope for Monday, etc.

Dave

Orion ST80 with Crayford-Focuser d.JPG

 

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Plenty Sun here to test my shoe string solar finder, £1 shop food container lid and a bit of leftover Baader Astro film. All on an ancient Vixen 90, it works,

hurrahz in Worzelese,

Nick.

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9 minutes ago, cotterless45 said:

Plenty Sun here to test my shoe string solar finder, £1 shop food container lid and a bit of leftover Baader Astro film. All on an ancient Vixen 90, it works,

hurrahz in Worzelese,

Nick.

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Very nice Nick. Love the sun finder scope! :) 

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It looks like I will have cloud cover in Hereford throughout the Transit. Checking various weather sites I need to travel North possibly East Midlands which is between 1.5hours and 2 hours away. Any suggestions on a suitable site because I might have a few people with me.

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