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Olli

Unplanned First Light: Race Against the clouds

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Since getting my first scope (130p on a az pronto mount)  last Tuesday  I haven’t had much luck with clear skies as it seems to be a curse when you get new astro equipment.  I kept checking the weather forecast and today they said that it was going to be cloudy for tonight ( again ) . But when I  looked out my window at around 7pm I could see Orion in all its glory. So as quickly as I could I grabbed my scope and mount in one hand and the eyepieces in another. Wasn’t that cold out  for once so didn’t need my bobble hat or gloves! As this was an unplanned session I didn’t read up on what targets I should be looking for and also I forgot my torch which is never a good thing.

However  as Orion was very clear and detailed tonight I thought I would look at the Orion Nebula. Managed to locate it through the red dot finder that came equipped with the scope, the finder was roughly aligned slightly out of place but good enough and then I used the slo mo controls which  are very easy to use to center it in the eyepice. I’ve never seen Nebulae through a scope before and was worried I would be disappointed after seeing all those Hubble pictures with incredible detail and  colour.However I was very wrong. I would never have thought a grey smudge  would be so amazing to look at. Through the 25mm eyepice it looked liked grey wings covering the FOV of the eyepice  with three stars in the middle of it. So after spending about 10 minutes looking through the 25mm I thought I would swap it for the supplied 10mm. Again the view was very good though not as sharp of view that i had with the 25mm and I think I may need to buy a better replacement.

Anyway after being in awe with Orion I’d thought I would have a quick look at The seven sisters. I’ve seen m45 before with my binoculars but wanted to have a look with the scope. The view was much better in the scope I could see more starts in the cluster then I could with the binoculars after spending about 10 minutes looking at the cluster I saw a satalite quickly move across the FOV which seemed to have an orange light ( would of liked to know what it was) . So after taking my eye off the eyepice I could see that the clouds were starting to role in and was starting to rain so called it a night. I have to say Astronomy is probably one of the most relaxing and most fascinating hobbies that I’ve gotten into.

so far I’m very impressed with this scope it’s extremely portable which I wanted for reasons like tonight it’s a perfect grab and go scope and easy to use however the supplied 10mm could be better but I can upgrade that. Has been a very good purchase for £200.

 

Thanks for reading if you’ve gotten this far and hopefully many more enjoyable nights and reports to come :) 

 

Edited by Dinoco
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Excellent. :happy11: It reads like you're well on your way.

Re. satellites, there are so many. Phone apps like Stellarium can show which one is where in real time (ish). I sometimes have that setting turned on so whenever one passes through my view I can check its name.

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4 minutes ago, iPeace said:

Excellent. :happy11: It reads like you're well on your way.

Re. satellites, there are so many. Phone apps like Stellarium can show which one is where in real time (ish). I sometimes have that setting turned on so whenever one passes through my view I can check its name.

Unfortunately when I went out my tablet/phone didn’t have any charge so was unable to use them but next time I know it’s going to be clear I’ll remember to use that feature on stellarium would be useful :) 

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An excellent report. The Orion nebula is always top of my list in winter. 

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congratulations on you'r purchase.glad you'r enjoying this amazing hobby.i was lucky enough to have had a scope bought for me as a birthday present,after a year or so i was so in to it i up graded the scope.now i am imaging with some reasonable result's.

good luck and clear skies.:icon_biggrin:

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6 minutes ago, domstar said:

An excellent report. The Orion nebula is always top of my list in winter. 

Thanks :). It was at the top of mine as well after seeing so many photos of it. Very rewarding when you first find it.

Edited by Dinoco

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Pre-mounted scopes you can grab in one hand must be the ultimate chancer scope!

Before a better 10mm, an UHC filter for more nebulosity maybe?

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6 minutes ago, 25585 said:

Pre-mounted scopes you can grab in one hand must be the ultimate chancer scope!

Before a better 10mm, an UHC filter for more nebulosity maybe?

I did think about that as well, will have a look at more nebulae first then illl probably decide what my first purchase should be :) 

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Great report. Good job your phone was flat it would have ruined your night vision.

If you make a note of the time etc. of the satellite you can look them up later when back inside.

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11 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

Great report. Good job your phone was flat it would have ruined your night vision.

If you make a note of the time etc. of the satellite you can look them up later when back inside.

Thanks :), I just had a quick look on stellarium, didn’t know the exact time wish I made note of it but after looking I think it wa either Iridium 18 or 42 as they had a similar path to the one I saw . But not 100%.

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1 hour ago, Dinoco said:

Thanks :), I just had a quick look on stellarium, didn’t know the exact time wish I made note of it but after looking I think it wa either Iridium 18 or 42 as they had a similar path to the one I saw . But not 100%.

Does Stellarium have a night vision setting?

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11 minutes ago, 25585 said:

Does Stellarium have a night vision setting?

It's the eyeball with a star in it on the toolbar.

Dave

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Sounds like you've got a winner there Dinoco. Great first session, many more to come. With the 10mm you should see all four stars in the Trapezium nicely.

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Nice work.  With good, clear conditions, the Orion Nebula would appear a bit more detailed than a smudge, so keep trying!  You're right about smudges being amazing to look at, so have a go at one outside our galaxy - M81, Bode's Galaxy in Ursa Major.

Doug.

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Great report! M42 was my first grey fuzzy too in a very similar scope. I replaced the 10mm with an 8mm BST starguider as my first eyepiece upgrade. There’s lots of different options though. Looking forward to more reports :) 

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2 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

Nice work.  With good, clear conditions, the Orion Nebula would appear a bit more detailed than a smudge, so keep trying!  You're right about smudges being amazing to look at, so have a go at one outside our galaxy - M81, Bode's Galaxy in Ursa Major.

Doug.

Thanks, yeah it was clear but the conditions still weren’t  great. Making a list of targets  so I’ll put that on as well 

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53 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

Great report! M42 was my first grey fuzzy too in a very similar scope. I replaced the 10mm with an 8mm BST starguider as my first eyepiece upgrade. There’s lots of different options though. Looking forward to more reports :) 

Thanks :) .I’ve been looking at the bst eyepieces they look good for the money. I was going to buy an 8 mm with the scope but decided not to will probably get the bsts.

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7 hours ago, Stu said:

Sounds like you've got a winner there Dinoco. Great first session, many more to come. With the 10mm you should see all four stars in the Trapezium nicely.

Thanks Stu. next time i go out out I’ll have another look. Want to get some sketching going as well.

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1 minute ago, Dinoco said:

Thanks, yeah it was clear but the conditions still weren’t  great. Making a list of targets  so I’ll put that on as well 

The famous M31 Andromeda Galaxy is another relatively easy one, although you'll not see its full extent (just the core).

Doug.

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28 minutes ago, cloudsweeper said:

The famous M31 Andromeda Galaxy is another relatively easy one, although you'll not see its full extent (just the core).

Doug.

Yep that’s near the top of my list as well. But unfortunately from my garden I  have a limited view from where it’s located. But if I know it’s going to be clear there’s a few big fields a minute away from my house so will go there when conditions are right, wanted to find the Rosette nebula as I think it is near betelgeuse but didn’t know exactly where to look.

Edited by Dinoco

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Great stuff!

I remember my first time seeing M42 - i thought at first that the grey smudge was a result of my breath on the eyepiece!

I had read a curious statement here on SGL- that in time you 'learn to see'.  How very true!!... and I'm still learning.

With that same scope (10" dob) I now see incredibly delicate wisps of detail in the dust, and a strong green colour.  One night it took on a remarkable scooped out 3D 'scallop shell' like effect around the Trapezium stars.  I've learned that it pays to keep revisiting the same targets time and again: every night is different, and if you hit on an excellent night of transparency, steady seeing and darkness, and your scope is cooled, then it can be truly breathtaking :)

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