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Blessed with another night of super stable skies allowed some extreme high power viewing with sharp as a tack features shown. The first try after the 15" was collimated and cooled came with the 18mm UO ortho and the stable view indicated more mag could be used so in went the 7mm KK ortho (261x) and yet still exceptional skies. Over to the binoviewers we go and an hour or so of observing using the 32mm TV plossls,18mm Tak orthos, 12.5mm Tak orthos and finally the 9mm Circle T orthos at 487x or there about with the powerswitch.

When the binoviewers support this high mag I know from experience mono will go more- in goes the Vixen HR 2.4mm for 761x and the scope/sky easily supported this tonight. The combo can use more, maybe the incoming 2mm HR will work, but I wont hold my breath as this is a huge jump in mag. So far I have not reached the limit of this scope and seeing however-761x is used frequently at certain times of the year.

Now Copernicus and its batlike shadow that presented itself tonight. The mass of ejecta surrounding this crater is amazing, with its fine cut radial pattern all around. The crater's inner ledge of material was a standout and the Vixen pulled out some very small "boulder like" features on the smooth side of the central "mountains". The other side had much more material and was much more detailed but the HR 2.4mm pulled out those really small features on the other side, what a nice find actually. That shadow was impressive tonight, hopefully it comes round again like that someday.

Tonight was a great observing night indeed!:thumbsup:

Edited by jetstream
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Wow! 761x magnification? That’s some hike there! Well done! 

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Nice report Gerry. Have only once been able to view at over 700X in the UK, and that was on a 24" driven dob. The stars were a mess but the small planetary nebula showed some nice detail. Without a hands off approach we couldn't have gone that high, and it was that experience that started me hankering after a driven telescope. I'd put the idea to bed for now but your report has just roused it a little :)

Tim

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SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE TIMES :shocked:

That's longer than my scopes focal length! :D The moon must look quite impressive on a steady night with that much zooming in. Spotted any American flags yet? ;) 

John

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Fantastic Gerry, I bet it seemed as though you were actually on the lunar surface 😀

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4 hours ago, Pig said:

Fantastic Gerry, I bet it seemed as though you were actually on the lunar surface 😀

Thanks Shaun, one of the effects is to feel like your flying over the lunar surface at these mags, staring right down in the craters. I love this :cheesy: Another effect is the feeling that you can crawl right in the crater...

For this kind of viewing a must have is a good structure with smooth movement and minimal "springback" and I'm lucky that the Astrosystems scope is excellent for this. The unconventional mirror cell allows for optimal cooling and also the control of thermals - both a must for really high mag. Everything needs to be right to squeeze out these views and I can't wait to try more. I might have problems once the ice is gone though...

Hey Shaun, you wanna walk out there and check the ice for me?!:grin:

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Amazing stuff Gerry! Would love to have seen that.

It seems slightly counter intuitive that single eyepieces work better at higher power than binoviewers, but I guess with the 15” aperture you still have a 0.5mm exit pupil even at x761! That Vixen is something else by the sounds of it!

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6 minutes ago, Stu said:

Amazing stuff Gerry! Would love to have seen that.

It seems slightly counter intuitive that single eyepieces work better at higher power than binoviewers, but I guess with the 15” aperture you still have a 0.5mm exit pupil even at x761! That Vixen is something else by the sounds of it!

I think that my bino set up is not optimized for really high power viewing yet. The powerswitch is great but the large range of focus difference and the binoviewer weight plays havoc with collimation when racked out. For really high power viewing I should play with the OCS spacing to get the focuser racked in to about 1/2 or less travel in the 2.3(4)x mode. I made a weight to test my collimation and after around 2/3 travel the collimation moves, affecting high power views.

AND :grin: using low focal length eyepieces might induce issues into the equation as well, I can merge the 9mm's easy but I've heard that some get worse views at the same mags with lower fl EP's in binos..

AND lol! Binoviewing at high mags seems more affected by thermals or seeing, not sure which yet- the mass of the binoviewer itself? unequalized air trapped in the EP holders?

I'm not sure-yet... Yes the Vixen is my best eyepiece to date, besting my Zeiss zoom last night, which is quite a feat.

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Gerry I am amazed at how good the Vixen HR  eyepieces are ...... I keep checking the FLO order pages to see if the TOE has been dispatched .....  btw I was stopped by security from taking any images of the Shiva Logo outside the CERN HQ !!!!

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Superb stuff Gerry, as always!  :thumbsup: 

And if you need more image scale for Copernicus... 24" + HR 3.4mm would be interesting! :D 

 

Edited by Piero
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3 hours ago, Pig said:

Gerry I am amazed at how good the Vixen HR  eyepieces are ...... I keep checking the FLO order pages to see if the TOE has been dispatched .....  btw I was stopped by security from taking any images of the Shiva Logo outside the CERN HQ !!!!

Oh no! I don't get a picture of it now :embarrassed: I am eagerly waiting your report on the new Tak eyepiece Shaun!

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2 hours ago, Piero said:

Superb stuff Gerry, as always!  :thumbsup: 

And if you need more image scale for Copernicus... 24" + HR 3.4mm would be interesting! :D 

 

I think that mirror cooling will be my biggest struggle with the new 24" but I hope to have a temp controlled space for it someday that will pre cool the scope to anticipated night time temps. Regardless of the mag these bigger scopes show things just not possible in my smaller ones. I really was surprised at the mag needed for those "boulders" to appear though, so mag is still an issue. I like observing on sand or gravel if possible as it seems thermal friendly for some reason- my driveway is sand and gravel mixed.

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Great report and huge magnification! I have sometimes tried up to 526x with the vx14 and a paracorr and 3.5mm Delos, although the seeing has never genuinely supported it here it is good fun. 

Maybe I should try my 2.5mm slv sometime?!  😮

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3 hours ago, BGazing said:

761...wow...what kind of seeing did you have there?

Excellent seeing- as far as using a scale-I don't. The mag used tells the tale.I have made 5 observing locations on this property, some better than others and one of the keys to the seeing is the lake ice and then cool ice out temps. Once the lake thermals start I move up to the new obs spot on the ridge. We are still going below 0c at night a bit and it was -5c last night.

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Nice one Gerry, that is some serious magnification. Great report, and great details you saw!

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