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First proper outing with 16 inch dob (and NV)


GavStar
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Its basically been continuously cloudy since I got my new 16 inch skyvision dob last month. But tonight there was some breaks in the cloud this evening and I was determined to test out the dob. The skies were pretty horrible and dewy and light polluted but I managed to setup, collimate, use a coma corrector, align the nexus dsc and servocat and control the scope via sky safari with WiFi. So quite a successful night from the perspective of getting to know the scope and I should be much quicker at setup next time.

I was shocked how bad the star shapes were when I first looked through the scope given that I had carefully collimated it. However this was due to the scope not being cooled down. After around 30 mins with the fans running continuously they looked much better. I was also very pleased that the fans and the secondary heater meant that the mirrors didn’t dew up despite the conditions and the scope being outside for around 4 hours (most of which was cloudy!)

I even managed to take some (not very good) phone photos through the night vision monoculars in my dob. Pics attached of rosette, horsehead, flame and crab nebulae. It was actually the first decent look I’ve had at the crab since it’s a smallish object which I’ve struggled to get suitable image scale on with NV. The crab is an object that I was excited about as a child so it’s great to be able to see it reasonably well at last.

Looking forward to getting this beastie out under much darker skies. 

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Edited by GavStar
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Nice report. I was interested to hear the practicalities of setting up and cooling down the telescope. This is all useful knowledge for my consideration of a larger dob in the future. The first picture of the Rosette Nebula looks very similar to the view that I had from a dark sky sight last night using an OIII filter. It's going to be amazing under dark skies.

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36 minutes ago, Paul73 said:

???

Eye popping, jaw dropping!

Were your images shot in normal mode without processing?

Paul

Thanks Paul. I’m hoping I can get much better phone pics in due course (and particularly at a dark site).

These images are unprocessed, 10 second exposures iso 100. The tracking feature of the dob means that I can do shortish exposures in alt az mode. The views at the eyepiece are very similar to the phone pics. However the light pollution means that the sky background is bright in the pics above. At the eyepiece this is not so much of an issue. At a dark site the sky background would be inky black in phone shots.

 

Edited by GavStar
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4 minutes ago, sloz1664 said:

Great images for such short exposures on a phone and considering the conditions. However, the swings hang off the focuser will not help with the tracking ???

Steve

Ha ha! I needed the swings for balancing the eyepiece stack - probably the heaviest I’ve ever done - that 41mm panoptic is weighty?

Edited by GavStar
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Just now, GavStar said:

Ha ha! I needed the swings for balancing the eyepiece stack - probably the heaviest I’ve ever done - that 41mm panotic is weighty?

That scope is certainly a beast. I would consider balance weights on the top of the tube. Your current set-up is creating a lot of strain on your focuser.

Steve

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What a setup! Looks fantastic :headbang2:

Great images - the HH is amazing!  NV does indeed look spectacular.

Congrats & enjoy. Clear, dark and transparent skies! -Niall 

Edited by niallk
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