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JOC

I actually went out (in the garden) last night!

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We've got my daughter's BF with us for the duration and I'd been promising him a look through the telescope so last night I made the effort and we took the Dob out to play.  I added the power so she'd track and remembered to put it outside an hour or two before I wanted it, then I actually remembered everything I wanted in one hit (which is little short of a miracle) - the dual finder setup, the focus adapter from 2" to 1.25" (though I guess with my Baader EP's this isn't strictly necessary as it just occurs to me in typing that they will seat in the 2" holder too) , the box of smart EP's, the cable from powerpack to mount, oh yes and an essential warm coat.  

I didn't really have a plan for what to look at, but thought that as it was so long since last viewing the old staples would be good cannon fodder.  I started with Venus - that was exceptionally bright and at a sort of hemisphere state.  I tried adding in the plastic baffle to the top of the Dob, but even then that was still on the bright side - I read somewhere tonight that a filter would have helped - that of course didn't occur to me, and I did have a polarising filter that I expect would have done the trick - always next time - 4.5mm  was over the top and adding nothing to this subject, but the 6.5mm worked well.   There was no moon whatsoever to look at, but we got M42 up good burst of nebulosity even with no filters.  We had a go and finding E and F and I even just about got the trapezium going with the 4.5mm, but even our younger set of eyes could not pick out the two feint additions to the trapezium regulars.    In order to show the sort of thing we were looking for I pulled up to Polaris and we easily split that and saw the less bright double next to it - again this was working best in the 6.5mm.  Surprise was expressed that Polaris did not appear more prominent in the sky and I explained that unlike some other stars it stays still relative to our posiiton whilst the others don't and this is why it is useful for navigation.  I also showed off Pleiades, but even with 14mm in we were still too close.  In the finish I went back to the original SW 25mm that I find is best for callibrating with and that showed the wider star field much better.

Then I asked if there was anything else he fancied looking at and he pointed to Sirius 'that twinkling star over there'.  Despite the difficulty in viewing it, Sirius (the monster raving party star) is always good fun to see and last night it was doing the multicoloured twinkle thing for all it was worth - again its anothe bright object and the 6.5mm was best on it.

I think like the Pentax XW 5mm the Morpheus 4.5mm will lend itself to specific objects, but the 6.5mm will be useful for lots of things.  

Anyhow after a couple of hours we were getting cold so knocked it on the head, but it was quite nice to have finally got out observing again and nice to share it with someone.  I just wish that I could have thought of some more things to view - I guess that's where I should have done some quick homework before I went out.  However, BF seemed happy with what he had seen and the lack of the moon did make the sky fair glisten with lots of stars.

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Good session and a nice way for sharing with members of your household. This isolation period could well become a long haul, beyond three weeks, the globs are on their way, weather permitting opportunities for some garden action. The prolonged household isolation, this might be a great way to involve my daughter in some stargazing; she did when younger like to look at colourful doubles. So long that is that she does not expect me to partake in Zumba in return. 

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Bravo ! Sharing views brings rewards to all. The double cluster always goes down well. Great for showing folk we're not wasting time and money in the dark !

keep safe , Nick.

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3 hours ago, cotterless45 said:

The double cluster always goes down well

Found that on my Stellarium NGC 869 and NGC 884 - that wasn't far from where were if I'd have know about it.  I looked up the name on the SGL search and found the NGC numbers, I also found in the same search someone had imaged M81 and M82 - they seem up off the end of the plough in the rough vicinity of Polaris - so they ought to be doable too.  The goto app on the phone likes the catalogue numbers rather than the names, but with these I'll find them next time.

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