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The Spectacular return of The Sphinx

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Well, I was finally able to put the newly repaired Sphinx through its paces over the weekend, Saturday night turned out a bit of a bust weather wise, however it gave me the advantage of already being set up for the following evening which was a completely different story.

Sunday...?   Transparency not all that great, (perhaps NELM variable 3 to 5) and with a half moon shining, not ideal conditions for deep sky observing, however was still able to bag a few  old favourites, including M53, M13, M92 and M51, M81 & 82.  Then spent the next two hours exploring some galaxies in Canes Venatici, Coma And Virgo.  Managed to pick up M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy, NGC 4565 - The Needle Galaxy, M64 - The Blackeye Galaxy, M104 - The Sombrero Galaxy, NGC 4631 - The Whale Galaxy, NGC 4559, M84 and M86 from Markarians Chain, The Leo Triplet and M87 - Virgo A, plus  a whole host of other NGCs.  Not much in the way of detail, (mainly due to variable conditions), they pretty much all lived up to their names as ‘faint fuzzies’, but nonetheless a most rewarding couple of hours.  The Sphinx performed spectacularly, with each goto resulting in the target well within the FOV.  The most gratifying aspect of the evening was the integration of the Avalon X-Guider into the ensemble, getting the main scope and finder dialled in is just so much easier now.  Also the laser pointer performed its function perfectly as well, that being to improve efficiency of initial star alignment.  All in all a most enjoyable two hours or so of observing.


Date: 2018 03 25 22:00 to 00:00

Wind: None
NELM: Variable 3 to 5
Seeing: II Antoniadi
Restrictions: 1/2 Moon to SW
Scope: C8 EdgeHD with modified longer focal length due to 2” Crayford and Diagonal.
Aperture: 200mm
FL: Approx 3200mm
FR: F16
Eyepiece: 22mm T4 Nagler:
Mag: 3200/22 = 145
AFOV: 82 Deg
TFOV: 34’
Exit Pupil: 22/16 = 1.3mm


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