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jetstream

200mm f3.8 first light

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The temp tonight is a brisk -30c, no wind and the sky offered below avg transparency- it was still good enough to get M33 in averted vision however.

And now the little newt... I was stunned by its first view which was the Pleiades. I have observed the nebula in this object many times with various telescopes but the view through the little dob surpassed any previous views. With all the little reflection nebula shining away in their stars the Merope stood out as a huge fan of nebulosity. I also observed a strange thing, the Pleiades looked as if it was sitting in a blotchy dark hole with an outer edge of nebulosity that extended into the rest of the sky and the large Merope fan seem to connect with it on its outer edge.

M42 showed pink in it tonight with the 30 ES 82 which is another shock, previously my 15" only showed it to me and not as extensive. The lower loop was easily visible as was M43 and a lane through the Running Man. Not much time was spent on the Running Man tonight because....

I had to see M31 through this scope. Who would think that a telescope like this would show very mottled structure in the galaxy and with 2 dust lanes carved out of the object and its 2 satellite galaxies were highly contrasted as well. I will be visiting here often with this scope. M33 showed its spirals VG with the wide TFOV of this scope offering great edge contrast to this large ( in the EP) object.

I can't wait for the sky to get to its crystal clear winter transparency.

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Excellent stuff Gerry, sounds like this new scope has given you a different perspective on certain objects, enjoy! 

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Sounds like s great session! This scope sounds very interesting.

P.s. how do youkeep your toes warm in those temps?! I really struggle with numb toes! 

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Fabulous Gerry, I'm really pleased that the scope is doing exactly what you had hoped it would. You've spent a long time getting it specced right so it must be a relief when it works as planned.

I think this is the sort of spec which will only work well under really dark skies, so I'm looking forward to hearing all about it when you get the best conditions!

Enjoy!

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It would be great to see a picture of this scope Gerry, had you created an additional plinth for the dob mount, or is it just fine without? Very interesting first light report, looking forward to more and perhaps the nebula fields around Orion and the Rosette. Whilst mine is F6, I should take my VX8L to a dark site more often. 

Oh and yes and just to add that I (and no doubt other readers) have become so accustom to reading your winter reports Gerry, that those temperature readings you include are taken for granted, but blimey that is cold. 

How do you feel that the scope performed in terms of coma?

Edited by scarp15
After thought
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Sounds interesting Gerry, I don't think I have ever heard of a scope that fast in that size, yes I have seen 18 inch plus in sub F4 format but never 200mm. Nice report BTW.

Alan

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Great report Gerry, looks like the scope does the job as it's intented to:thumbsup:

Some curiosities about the pink color in M42, have you tried 32mm or 25mm in the scope? Or 42mm in f4.8 VX?

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23 minutes ago, YKSE said:

Great report Gerry, looks like the scope does the job as it's intented to:thumbsup:

Some curiosities about the pink color in M42, have you tried 32mm or 25mm in the scope? Or 42mm in f4.8 VX?

Thanks Yong, as soon as I looked at M42 with the 30ES the color grabbed me, the 21E showed it diminished, but more obs required. No 32 TV or 25 TV tried yet but soon. Yes the 42mm LVW works well in the 15"...very surprising really but no try on M42 with it so far. The NAN with this set up gives an eye opening view through a larger scope though, its very good.

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2 hours ago, scarp15 said:

How do you feel that the scope performed in terms of coma?

Yes it gets in your bones cold here lol! The coma is there but it is not as bad as I thought it would be, look sideways off axis can really provoke it but straight much better. If you have a chance throw a widefield 40+mm eyepiece in your VX8L Iain at one of your excellent dark sites.

The Flaming star et al showed very well in the mini dob...

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5 hours ago, Stu said:

Fabulous Gerry, I'm really pleased that the scope is doing exactly what you had hoped it would. You've spent a long time getting it specced right so it must be a relief when it works as planned.

I think this is the sort of spec which will only work well under really dark skies, so I'm looking forward to hearing all about it when you get the best conditions!

Enjoy!

Thanks Stu!

Yes dark skies are a must for this type of telescope, a regular spec dob would be better for people most often and this f3.8 is primarily a nebula grabber. It really surprised me on M33 as well though :icon_biggrin: and M31...

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6 hours ago, CraigT82 said:

P.s. how do youkeep your toes warm in those temps?! I really struggle with numb toes! 

Hi Craig, in the cold we must keep the body core really warm, I wear wool longjohns- 1 piece-, a hoodie and then very warm windbreaking snowmobile bibs. Over this goes my snowmobile jacket.

I also have a snack before going out, a couple of cookies or a muffin, the sugar helps out too.

Of course there is the Kamiks to round things out...

http://www.kamik.com/b2c_ca_en/men/men-shoes/men-winterboots-w16/blackjack2.html

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2 hours ago, jetstream said:

Thanks Yong, as soon as I looked at M42 with the 30ES the color grabbed me, the 21E showed it diminished, but more obs required. No 32 TV or 25 TV tried yet but soon. Yes the 42mm LVW works well in the 15"...very surprising really but no try on M42 with it so far. The NAN with this set up gives an eye opening view through a larger scope though, its very good.

Thanks for the info, it'll very interesting to find out the impact of these minor change of exit pupils.

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2 hours ago, jetstream said:

Yes it gets in your bones cold here lol! The coma is there but it is not as bad as I thought it would be, look sideways off axis can really provoke it but straight much better. If you have a chance throw a widefield 40+mm eyepiece in your VX8L Iain at one of your excellent dark sites.

The Flaming star et al showed very well in the mini dob...

I think that I will throw a 31mm nagler into the VX8L, which will grant a 5.1mm exit pupil, x39 and a potential 2.12 degree field (provided that with an f6 secondary there is no vignetting) and It will be interesting to try on the Flaming Star. I like the look of those snow boots. Look forward to more nebula accounts Gerry. 

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fantastic gerry - 30 thats cold. -18 is the coldest i have observed in which i only managed for around 8 hrs but that was because the milk froze in my car and i was 2 hrs away from home :icon_biggrin:

glad your scope is good,as planned. amazing coma is so small. brilliant report, as iain says look foward to your winter reports :icon_biggrin:

Edited by faulksy
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That descriptive nature of the nebulosity within the Pleiades as apparent surrounding the outer regions with dark blotchy internal regions is very intriguing, a feature that undoubtedly this scope is highly capable of exploring further. Also been reading this account on the cloudy Nights thread Gerry. So yes again look forward to further deep cold clear sky observations on the Pleiades.

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I am really enjoying reading your reports, Gerry. 

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