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With the extra time I have at the moment, and the weather being so good, I’ve been catching up on a few jobs I’ve been meaning to do. One of these is the re-spotting and recollimation of the mirror on my newt. I found I didn’t have any ring binder re-enforcers but made something similar by hole punching a self-adhesive label and carefully cutting out.
With the collimation done and the sun setting I was keen to see whether my time had been well spent. I think it was November when I last had a proper evening of astro, my efforts earlier this week got hazed out, so I was looking forward to this!
First up was Venus in the early twilight. Using my binoviewers and a couple of filters in combination (a ND0.9 and the baader neodinium) I got some encouragement with some good sharp views. I could almost swear I could see a little detail but I’m sure that was just wishful thinking. I also tried a UHC and O111 filters as I had some, but they didn’t show anything better. In fact, the O111 had the peculiar effect that after a few minutes observing a bright green target, when I came to look up at Venus by eye, it appeared a bright and angry orange colour, like Arcturus on steroids.
After Venus I chose M45 and then the open clusters in Auriga and this was where my earlier work really showed its value. So many pin sharp little stars, far more than I recall when I last viewed these targets. I always feel surprised at how good these targets are though with M37 and 38 the best of them, being a bit more compact.
I also had my new TS80mm frac out to see what I could catch and to compare views of the same targets. All were pleasing, albeit smaller in scale. I was also glad to be able to spot M65 and 66 in Leo. Obviously not as good as in the bigger newt which will show the triplet of galaxies in the same field. Still, I’m happy to know I can pick those up in my local skies with this little scope. It bodes well for darker sky trips in future.
I followed up with some globs and ended with M13 in Hercules. Always a favourite, but by now a thin film of ice was settling on the scopes and my chair so it was time to call it a night.
I’ve been really cheerful today as a result of getting some scope time in, which just shows the value of a good hobby in times like these.
Thanks for reading.
I recently purchased a new celestron telescope and set it up last night to use for the first time. I live in UK, around 8/9pm-ish I took my telescope outside to view Venus in the western sky as it was v bright, perfect opportunity.
After finding Venus and increasing the focus I realised that there was something like a large black circle in the centre of the bright blue/white ring of light. Before focussing, it appeared to be just v bright light.
I am wondering if anyone can explain to me why this black circle appeared on / in front of Venus. I thought it looked like a moon, which is obviously incorrect but it looked that way. Is it possibly sulphuric clouds of Venus absorbing light?
Any information/help is much appreciated
happy observing, all!
Hey guys. Thought about starting this thread. I feel like we all should inform eachother and newer members alike about the magngifications that can be achieved on planets,that provide the best sharpness/size ratio,depending on the scope and seeing. After this thread has grown a bit, i feel like this should be pinned,as to provide a little guide to newer members that are not experienced with planetary observing,as many will be fooled with the typical 50x per inch of aperture and get disappointed when they find that that image will be dim and blurry.
For my 8” F/6 Sky-Watcher Dob
For Saturn i like to use 150x in medium seeing and if i want something a bit bigger , switch to 240x ,which will give me a bigger,but blurrier image.iBut In good seeing, i found that 240x was very usable.When we have perfect conditions, i m certainly trying 300x.
Mars, isnt very big in the sky right now,so even at high magnifications like 300x it still appears as a small orange dot. For observing mars,I suggest waiting for it to reach opposition.It benifits hugely from it! However,this happens once every 2 years....But 5ere are other planets to keep you occupied until then, such as jupiter,saturn and Venus.
For Venus, i use 50-100-120 depending on its phase.
For Jupiter, i like to use 150x, as it provides a very sharp image,with key features of the planet such as bands being very detailed.Waiting on my 6mm UWA Skywatcher to bring it to 200 and see how that plays out. Be careful! Don’t magnify jupiter too much, as it will loose much of its features and sharpness.
Neptune and Uranus: These two will not impress, but are certainly have a nice colour to them. Even ar high magnifications, such as 300x and 400x, they will look like small discs with color in them.Uranus will look be colored green and Neptune a fainter blue.
Mercury About mercury...Havent gotten the chance to observe it ,so the guys will have to inform you about that?
Feel free to give your own opinions as to give members a wider source of information to help them observe better !
Cheers and clear skies.