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PaulM

First light - 350p Skywatcher flexitube

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Well after around 2 weeks of torrential rain after buying my used 350p Skywatcher flexitube the clouds dispeared around 10pm last night

Last year I was using an 8" sky watcher and then bought a 12" flexi goto both of which I sold earlier this year to fund the purchase of the 350p 14"

Relocating the scope is pretty hard work, the base can be lifted in one piece (just) and then moved around awkwardly, however splitting the base via the screws is quick and easy. I've attached two velcro handles to the actual scope itself which makes moving that around quiet easy and manageable

Once I moved the scope out of the conservatory into the garden I aligned the finder scope and was ready to go

Sky was clear of clouds and viewing looks good with dark skies away from the light pollution and clear stars

 

M13 Hercules Globular Cluster : easy to find in the finder with no charts. Appeared nice and bright in the 15mm EP and could clearly see the central mass of stars in the 8mm EP. Also used the 2x barlow on both these EPs to get in more closer. Had a final look through the Meade 24mm to get some perspective of how it looks in a wider FOV

M57 Ring Nebula : again easy to find in the finder without any charts. Started with the Meade 24mm to see it handing amonst nearby stars and then swapped this over for the 8mm EP and then 8mm with barlow, filled up the view nicely - slightly fuzzy around the edges - unable to see the central star. Removed the barlow and kept in the 8mm EP and viewed through the OIII and UHC filters, looked better through the UHC filter

M27 Dumbbell nebula : star hopped starting from Albireo in Cygnus. Filled up the 15mm EP nicely - discernible dumbbell fuzzy shape and again looked best in the UHC filter compared to the OIII filter.

Epsilon Lyrae : the Double \ Double : headed back to Lyra to view the double double. Could easily split the double doubles in the 8mm and more so with barlow, great sight

M31 Andromeda : decided to end viewing M31 and had to relocated to the other side of the garden so more huffing and puffing when moving the base. Started with the 2" 38mm EP and was impressed whith the view. Previous scoped have shown a fuzzy blod but the core seems to be much brighter and able to see faint hints of a much wider structure. Could also see M110 with a bright core and surrounded by faint fuzzy light.

 

Overall a successful and enjoyable first light session of viewing. Definite improvement in detail and light gathering between the 12" and 14" especially with respect to viewing Andromeda and quickly got back into swapping EPs and navigating the sky for familiar DSOs. Next is to go to a dark sky location in North Wales.

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I’ve just acquired a great quality second hand 10” Newtonian and get great views with that even from my LP polluted gardens, so I can imagine what the extra 4” will show you. Enjoy! 👍🏻

Edited by Knighty2112
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It is a growing trend with an apparent increase in members acquiring large aperture Dob
Scopes. No  wonder of course,  when one reads the reports of excellent visual  results on night sky targets.
A  14"  is a large light collector, and it will render some superb views through your eyepieces.
I'm sure you will enjoy the big eye Paul, and look forward to the accounts of your future observing sessions.
Ron.

 

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Welcome to the 14" club!

I've had mine for 18 months now and love it a little bit more with each session. Mine's an Orion USA model, but I'm pretty sure it will have come out of the same Synta factory that yours did and will be optically pretty similar. They are heavy beasts- once mine is put together (it's a truss design) I need another person to move it even in two pieces. Aside from that inconvenience it's perfect: loads of light gathering power but completely comfortable to use without a ladder and will happily fit in the boot of a Ford Focus without dropping the back seats.

I look forward to hearing more of your adventures with yours! 😁😁

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Great, good intro to this extent of aperture, look forward to your dark sky report.

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On 02/10/2019 at 13:44, PaulM said:

Last year I was using an 8" sky watcher and then bought a 12" flexi goto

Hi Paul, a great report. I bought a 2nd hand 8" SkyWatcher Flextube GoTo a few years and liked that so much I sold that for the 12" version I now own. So I was reading your views with interest. I'm pleased to hear in a way that you couldn't make out the central star in the ring nebula as I've never been able to make that out either. I'll have to ask "Ships and Stars" in a moment if he can see it through his 500mm Stargate. 

I remember wondering whether I'd gone a but mad when I saw my scope standing in my Office in the cold light of day, but as Barkis says, there pleasingly, seems to be quite a few people now getting scopes even larger than 12".

I look forward to hearing more. Cheers!

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