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Was about to turn in tonight when I noticed it had finally cleared so I headed out into the garden planless for a quick look around with my recent eBay Hilkin 60mm f13.3.
Seeing was actually pretty steady & transparency up high improving all the time.
I’m still waiting on the Vixen converter which will allow 1.25 eyepieces so took out the array of .965s which are in varying stages of disrepair.
There is something satisfying about the way they slot into the split-cut diagonal with no thumbscrews - shame most of the higher powers seemed borderline unusable.
The 25mm though gives a nice crisp view and I congratulated myself on my bargain looking at some lovely tight concentric rings either side of focus on Vega before hopping up to Epsilon Lyrae.
Stepping down the focal lengths I was just about splitting the more southerly pair with a 12.5 mm (64x) and not a bad view. The 9mm (89x) on axis confirmed this lower pair & showed some elongation in the fainter, more northerly pair. Kind of dim view though.
The 6mm & 5mm were hopeless.
Popped the 25mm back in and took a pot shot at M57 which to my delight showed as a tiny but crisp circle. Tried to step up the magnification but it was not happening.
Enjoyed a nice contrasty view of Alberio for a while - really do like the tight pinpoint stars, good colour and inky background in this scope.
It’s a lovely still, warm night but the town clock striking two reminded me I have work in the morning so I took one last sweep around the rich centre of Cygnus.
I landed on a pretty little cluster a bit like a micro-Pleiades & realised I was looking at M29 - a thrill to have tracked down a new-to-me Messier object with this lovely old instrument.
I’ve hatched a plan to see how many of the lunar 100 I can observe with the Hilkin - seems a fitting task for it!
As I packed up a huge Skytrain of 20+ satellites went N-S behind Deneb - biggest one I’ve seen and amazing in its way.
Lovely all-analogue couple of hours well spent.
Messier 57 is is just coming into a position for a decent look around 11 30 pm. IT is a colourful object and I thought it would give me a good target with which to practice my colour developing in PS/Lightroom. I have read so much about how to produce a LRGB image from the four stacked/calibrated luminance, red, blue and green images, a lot seems contradicatory and some, when followed, gave me colour yes, but not as we know it. I am sure a fair chunk must be put down to me. Anyway, I now have a work flow which gives me colour, sometimes resembling what other people have obtained. Progess of sorts.
This images is based on 114s subs at gain 139, offset 21.
L 39, R 20, G 20, B 19
Calibrated and stacked in DSS (flats, dark flats and darks)
Messier 57 Ring Nebula in Lyra
NASA: M57, or the Ring Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a sun-like star. The tiny white dot in the centre of the nebula is the star’s hot core, called a white dwarf. M57 is about 2,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra, and is best observed during August. Discovered by the French astronomer Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in 1779, the Ring Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.8 and can be spotted with moderately sized telescopes.
Equipment: Celestron 9.25 XLT at F10, Skywatcher EQ6 Pro GEM, ZWO 1600MM Pro, ZWO EFW with ZWO LRGB filters, QHY5IIC guide camera on Skywatcher 9 x 50 finderscope, Celestron Focus Motor
Software: Ascom 6, Eqmod, Cartes du Ciel, AstroPhotography Tool, PHD2
By Victor Boesen
Tonight was the best night out in a long time. The last couple of days the sky has been crystal clear, and today is friday, which meant nothing was on the schedule for tomorrow.
Scope, filters and eyepieces:
Today, I was using my one and only Skywatcher 10" dob, with my collection of explorer scientific 82 degree eyepieces. For the first time in a long time, I also used my CLS filter.
Before I headed out, I decided to have a look at skysafari 5 to see what I should have a look at this clear evening.
Tonights list ended up including:
M13 looked fabulous as always, but I can't quite bag the propeller. I was resolving stars nicely, even a couple in the center, when using averted vision. I think M13 looks the best at 136x and sometimes at 255x, however most of the times I think the image is too dark when observing at 255x.
M92 was a surprise. Locating it was surprisingly easy, as I through the finderscope could just see it as a little faint dot. Looking at it through the scope was amazing. It was not as big as M13, but at 136x it looked very nice, and sometimes, it almost looked like the stars formed a smiley:-) Surprisingly I was also able to resolve a good amount of stars in this cluster, but not as many as in M13.
Now I know this wasn't on the list but I thought I had to give it a go when I saw it on skysafari. NGC6229! Also located in Hercules, and via starhopping also easy to find. This was the smallest one of them all, but the most rewarding since this was my first object from the New General Catalogue (NGC). I was also using 136x at this target, because this is the most comfortable magnification in my opinion. I was only resolving one or two stars in this target, but it was easily visable, just as a bright smudge.
M57 is by far my favorite object (out of the few objects I have seen). The contrast and shape of it gives me the WOW feeling everytime I observe it. Now this target I was observing comfortably at 255x and it looked amazing! Now this was where it popped in the CLS filter which almost made it look like the red outer-part of the nebula was visable, but this faded soon after. While observing this target for about 20min I was thinking if a UHC or a OIII would give me better or the same views?
M27 was kind of disappointing, but I just think I have overestimated how it would look like, but it was still a very nice view it gave me at 136x and 85x. The dumbbell shape became more visable over time, but I think the thing I like more about M57 compared to M27 is the contrast between sky and nebula.
In the end it was one of my best nights I have had with my new (5 months old) scope. I have yet to try it at my grandma and grandpas' where the milky way is visable, and I am very excited to do just that.
By Red Dwarfer
Evening everyone ,
Does anyone know the magnitude of the faint star just outside the Smoke Ring of M57 . Before the clouds rolled in tonight I was trying a new ES 8.8mm in the 200P and M57 looked really well at X 136 magnification , then the thought occurred to try it in the X 2 Barlow which gave a magnification of X 273 and , lo and behold , the Nebula was still clear but this time I could detect a faint star just outside it ( about 1 pm position )
Initially , the reason for trying this high magnification was to try and see the faint centre star but this was not possible tonight ... If I knew the magnitude of the peripheral star compared to the central star , then I`d know if it was possible to see the central star at all ( maybe in darker Winter skies )
By Red Dwarfer
Hello SGL , this is my first new topic and it is in relation to M57 in Lyra ... I have tried to see this Nebula in different scopes since starting " telescope astronomy " a couple of months ago but to no avail so far ... Might it just be the time of year with no truly dark skies in Midsummer ? I have had much more luck with DSOs in the form of star clusters , like for example the M29 in Cygnus last night while trying to find the Nebula near by ( again to no avail ) ... The equipment used last night was a Meade Infinity refractor 90mm 600mm f/6.7 and a 40mm Plossl for wide field views .