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Nyctimene

15 minutes with 18" grab-and-go

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Posted (edited)

A few weeks ago, I moved the 18" Obsession from it's shed to another room inside of the large barn, for easier access to the paved yard. The view is more restricted now, but I can wheel out the scope (wheelbarrow handles already attached) and start observing within three minutes. No slippery grass, dew or white frost. This was convenient this morning, when I woke up at 04.35 CET and noticed, that the nightly clouds had  mostly gone, and the nearby street lights were still off. With the 18mmf/82° Maxvision, giving a TFoV of 0.72° and 114x mag, I started eight minutes later with M 35, already deep to the west. It's stars filled the whole field of view. More fascinating was the nearby oc 2158, a very remote cluster (16500 Lyr). It was well resolved into tiny 13 and fainter mag stars - a really "stardust"-impression, and aesthetically very pleasing. Over to the Leo triplet, M 65, 66 and NGC 3628. The former two showed readily as oblong 3:1 galaxies, and the fainter 3628 revealed even the slightly asymmetric located central dust line. All three were in the same field of view. The oc M67, again filling the field of view, finished the 15 minutes session, that was accompanied by two bright Quadrantid meteors (about -1 mag), heading south with rather high velocity. - The illuminated street lights (at 05.00) terminated the observation, but were helpful, when I pushed the scope back into it's at least temporary new housing. A nice and rewarding start of 2020; and so to bed for additional two hours of sleep.

Thanks for reading

Stephan

Edited by Nyctimene
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Nice impulsive session Stephan, good read, worth getting up and motivated for, particularly when as you had finished, you can go back to bed content from the encounter, for another two hours sleep. Cloudy skies seem to be a dominating presence currently, short 'opportunist' sessions are the way to extract something from the winter sky.  

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, scarp15 said:

Cloudy skies seem to be a dominating presence currently, short 'opportunist' sessions are the way to extract something from the winter sky.  

Cloudiness in winter was the reason, why I never saw the Quadrantids meteor shower for almost fifty years. Ok, it's maximum is very pointed, with a window of about 14 hours, but with a ZHR of 110 it rivals the Perseids in August or the Geminids. The two meteors this morning were the first ones, that I could clearly identify as Quadrantids, with the virtual origin in northern Bootes (just rising). Quite a success!

Stephan

 

Edited by Nyctimene
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Congrats for a fine session Stephan, these dobs with the handles attached really are fast to use. I do the same thing.

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Nice report Stephan...I too have the wheelbarrow handles but rarely use as once set up i don't move at dark sky sites...unfortunately this has spoiled me and i don't observe from home, so no quick wheel out here!..clear skies 

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Posted (edited)

An 18" grab and go for sessions on a whim sounds just great ;)

Nice report,

-Niall

Edited by niallk
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+1 for the wheelbarrow handles! My 12" f6 has them too. It is a pleasure to take the cannon outside and inside easily.

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