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Walking on the Moon

Fine Lyra Red Giant (Instead Of Hercules Doubles)


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The 10" Bresser was in place, and before observing, I did a quick collimation check using the cap: a small tweak was needed, dead easy.  Jupiter appeared at 9.50, with his usual entourage.  Four belts were very clear x115/127, less clear x144.  In twilight, the clarity and detail are  more pronounced I think than with the 8SE, even though the transparency was not the best.

As per title, Hercules doubles were the intended targets, but while waiting for more "guide stars" to appear, I took a look at Vega.  In the same 2 deg FOV was a very clear orange star, readily identified as XY Lyrae, magnitude 6, a pulsating variable red giant.  If it replaced the Sun, it would extend beyond the orbit of Mars.  (The Sun itself will eventually get to almost that scale.)

The Double Double was spotted a bit further out in the 5 deg finderscope, so again, while waiting, I decided to split the members of the visible pair.  This was quite easily done at x144, although it was not very clean/sharp, on account of poorish seeing.

By 11.15, high cloud had rolled in, so my plans were frustrated, but I had seen some interesting objects, new and old, and yet again had a pleasing performance from the 10" Dob - planetary detail, and sharp stars and moons (as long as mag was not high with the prevailing seeing), plus ease of use.  I had hesitated before getting this 'scope, but now have no regrets whatsoever!

Doug.

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Nice catch with XY. As my sessions are now almost exclusively imaging, I do rather miss the "stumbling across" aspect of visual sessions ... meaning I have to get my "jollies" vicariously through reports like this. Thanks for sharing.

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1 hour ago, Demonperformer said:

Nice catch with XY. As my sessions are now almost exclusively imaging, I do rather miss the "stumbling across" aspect of visual sessions ... meaning I have to get my "jollies" vicariously through reports like this. Thanks for sharing.

My pleasure DP!  At the time I spotted it, there was little other than Vega plus another star (mag 7) forming an "L", so it really stood out.  Beautiful!

Doug.

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Nice report Doug. Have to check XY Lyra next time I have a scope out. I split the double  very cleanly the other day with the 120mm ‘frac, but the seeing was very stable so they all stood out as sharp points of light. Best I’d seen ‘em for a while. 

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23 minutes ago, Littleguy80 said:

Great stuff, Doug. I love an accidental find. How are you finding the sharpness of stars in the dob compared to your fracs? I’ve read many times that fracs give much sharper stars. 

Well Neil, my Dob, frac, and cat all seem to give sharp images, although brighter stars are perhaps a tad less so with the Dob due to extra diffraction I suppose.  And collimation has to be spot on for best results of course, but that is easily done.  

Doug.

24 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

Nice report Doug. Have to check XY Lyra next time I have a scope out. I split the double  very cleanly the other day with the 120mm ‘frac, but the seeing was very stable so they all stood out as sharp points of light. Best I’d seen ‘em for a while. 

Thanks Gus.  Having relied on GoTo - or the wide views with the frac - I'm now getting fairly competent at finding my way round with the Dob (2deg at best, greatly helped by the 5deg RACI).  It's a different experience, and I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Doug.

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8 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

very clear orange star, readily identified as XY Lyrae

Nice report Doug, and thanks for sharing I'm going to take a look at XY Lyrae next time for sure. Is the 10"dob becoming your nr 1 telescoop?

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Great report and glad you are enjoying the dob. Thanks for the tip on xy Lyra - never heard of it before so will look out for it next time. Found some info on sky safari and posted for others to read. 

XY Lyrae is a 6th magnitude Variable Star appearing in the constellation Lyra. It is 1717 light years from our solar system. It is a orange-red star of spectral type M4.5-M5. Its energy output is 829 times the Sun's luminosity.

XY Lyrae is a pulsating long-period variable star of type LC. Its magnitude varies from +5.8 to +6.3, with an irregular or unknown period.

I had the mak out last night and stared with Jupiter at mag about 100 in the binoviewers  - looked ok but would take much more mag. Mars was just a mushy red ball as it was so low on the horizon and the seeing was not great due to thin cloud. Old favourite Albiereo was stunning I thought. Also found the double Achird in Cass which was nice. Owl cluster in cass was also good last night, one of my favourites. Finished on M13, the ring nebula and the dumbbell nebula. The best views I have had of the ring and dumbbell have been in the 12 inch dob, the 5 inch mak is great on planets but tbh you can't beat a great dob - as  Doug has already said. 

Steve 

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4 minutes ago, Eastman said:

Nice report Doug, and thanks for sharing I'm going to take a look at XY Lyrae next me for sure. Is the 10"dob becoming your nr 1 telescoop?

Thanks Gert.  I like all of my three 'scopes:

frac - wide views, dead easy to use

cat - good aperture, and GoTo is a great time-saver

Dob - it just feels good and natural to use, and the wider aperture reveals that bit more in terms of detail and faint objects

So Yes, the Dob gets most use right now!  (Maybe it's still the honeymoon!!  ?)

Doug.

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16 minutes ago, Trikeflyer said:

Great report and glad you are enjoying the dob. Thanks for the tip on xy Lyra - never heard of it before so will look out for it next time. Found some info on sky safari and posted for others to read. 

XY Lyrae is a 6th magnitude Variable Star appearing in the constellation Lyra. It is 1717 light years from our solar system. It is a orange-red star of spectral type M4.5-M5. Its energy output is 829 times the Sun's luminosity.

XY Lyrae is a pulsating long-period variable star of type LC. Its magnitude varies from +5.8 to +6.3, with an irregular or unknown period.

I had the mak out last night and stared with Jupiter at mag about 100 in the binoviewers  - looked ok but would take much more mag. Mars was just a mushy red ball as it was so low on the horizon and the seeing was not great due to thin cloud. Old favourite Albiereo was stunning I thought. Also found the double Achird in Cass which was nice. Owl cluster in cass was also good last night, one of my favourites. Finished on M13, the ring nebula and the dumbbell nebula. The best views I have had of the ring and dumbbell have been in the 12 inch dob, the 5 inch mak is great on planets but tbh you can't beat a great dob - as  Doug has already said. 

Steve 

Thanks Steve - glad you had a good session!  The sky was clear at low altitudes for me at the end, and I fancied another look at Saturn, but the garden fence got in the way, and the Dob can't reach over it even with the 12.5" rigid stand!

Doug.

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18 minutes ago, cloudsweeper said:

Thanks Steve - glad you had a good session!  The sky was clear at low altitudes for me at the end, and I fancied another look at Saturn, but the garden fence got in the way, and the Dob can't reach over it even with the 12.5" rigid stand!

Doug.

Yes, that's the only thing with the dobs from a back garden, the trees, fences and houses can get more in the way than with a tripod.  Glad you are enjoying the dob though, they are fairly effortless if you have a reasonable idea where things are and you can easily sweep lots of sky area quickly to find stuff. 

Steve 

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Managed a brief glimpse of XY Lyra tonight Doug between clouds. Very redy/orangey indeed. Was hoping to view Saturn too, but crud on the horizon wasn’t shifting at all so called it an early night with more cloud piling in. 

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