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A quick observations with SW 100/500

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Recently, I became the owner of the small achromat 100/500, I bought it as a fast traveler not requiring much involvement in preparation for observation. Two words about the telescope itself.

I do not know who invented hanging it on AZ3, this can not be balanced and after adding a jar like 24 UWA Meade, the AZ adjusting screw must be practically turned to the maximum so that it does not fly backwards. Contrary to bad reviews, focuser have no slack, it runs smoothly and is enough to sharpen at low powers. But I take the whole set in one hand and a suitcase in the other, low weight is a big plus.

Just today I had a 1 hour clear sky window so I dressed warmly, put a Meade 24 mm 82 degrees in my pocket, in the other Orion UB filter, in one hand 100/500 and in the other high chair.

A moment later I started observations, without eyesight adaptation, without preparation.

Parameters: 21x magnification, exit pupil 4.8 mm, field of view ~ 3.9 degrees. + UB filter.

At first M71 - nice fluff, my favorite globular, you can see that it is a cluster of stars but could use more light and resolution.

M27 - without a filter, a large nebula surrounded by a swarm of stars, the density of sparks is boiling over. With a glance I can see darker areas on the outermost parts of the nebula. With UltraBlock, the stars fade out and the nebula itself comes out more from the background, the dark parts are easier to see.

M57 - I was close so I looked in :) a tiny nebula, moderately attractive at such a low magnification, I didn't see a darker hole but I didn't look too much.

Veil's complex - at the beginning I used a filter, the field of almost 4 degrees allows you to fit the eastern and western parts in one field of view. The broom is visible as a delicate streak, from a wider side, where in a larger mirror splits into two streaks, in a 100 mm lens you can only see as the wider part after proper focus. "Feather" is beautifully visible, you can already catch a few details, several brighter parts of the nebula, especially from the south. The view without a filter is devoid of any detail, the nebula itself is barely visible smudge, something like in 10x50 binoculars.

The Heart and Soul Nebula - it always seemed to me that these are vast objects, typical for photographs from wide frames ... and so they are but I wanted to check if I would see something with a small lens. The "soul" with the filter showed me that it was there :) sometimes it seemed to me that I could even extract this dark area from the eastern side but most of the time it was as an elongated brightness surrounding more or less a few groups of brighter stars. The heart turned out to be more difficult, the area of IC 1805 stars was bathed in the light of the nebula, and it seemed to me that something was also south. Moreover, only NGC 896 showed signs of brightening. The rest was too weak for me to register.

Stock 2 - practically next door I came across this open cluster, a nice cluster of fairly bright stars, definitely not to be missed even for a casual wanderer.

Double Cluster - such telescopes are being created for such objects. A great view, two super bright and dense clusters in a wide field looks fenomenal. Cat's paw in NGC 869 visible and separated all despite only 21x magnification.

NGC 457 Owl Cluster - on the way north I came across this pleasant cluster, its nice density is noticeable, I wish I had taken Barlow 2x with me, I would look deeper but deliberately did not take anything else so that I would not waste time on changing eyepieces.

NGC 281 Pacman Nebula - I did not expect much from this object in such an aperture and I was surprised because the nebula in the clear, moonless sky jumped eagerly with the Orion UB filter. I even tried, but unsuccesfully, to see the darker area of the mouth. Nice object for this aperture and zoom.

M76 - Little Dumbbell Nebula - the filter nebula appears easily as a rectangular object, in this small magnification it actually looks like a smaller M27, has a homogeneous brightness and is not very bright. Without a filter it is a very volatile mist, barely visible, peeking a little better but under a weaker sky than mine, I think it would be unavailable without using the filter.

M31, M32, M110 - at the end I looked at the queen of the sky, all visible in the eyepiece together with the neighbors, but M110 was quite difficult. Then I looked up and saw a cloud that slightly dimmed the view. I remember that just a few days ago the M110 was clearly visible along with the M31 dust belt.

Since the clouds came again, I packed my stuff and threw them into the barn ... maybe at night I will wake up on M42? Who knows.

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Very nice session and some great objects picked out, I agree about the Double Cluster - brilliant for these wide field scopes ... Yea, the AZ3 can be annoying but if you change the Nyloc nut on the altitude setting and tighten it up nice and tight when you replace it, it should hold that scope well enough...

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I have the Startravel 102/500 and I think that its a great little scope and punches above its price tag.

I have larger, longer and more exotic scopes to choose from but the ST102 is always called on for a "Quick Look" on my Giro GR-2 Mini.


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Lovely report and great descriptions. You bagged some challenging objects with that modest scope and filter, well done! 

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