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JOC

A box of (lesser) green and black - or what you can achieve with SGL classifeds

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Nice set of Morpheus EPs! ;)  Baader products are solid in general, and the Morpheus line in particular seems to be a brilliant line of EPs. The 17.5mm is my go-to EP for the Horse Head when I'm lucky enough to get out to a dark site.

The 17.5mm Morpheus is brilliant and I wish they did the Morpheus line in 2" EPs, I'd be very interested. 

This is my 'field case', c.90% second-hand from ABS, SGL or less frequently these days, ebay. I also worked my way up, but ended up going 'back down' a bit by selling two Ethos (21mm/13mm) and a Leica WW ASPH wide-angle zoom which hurt, but money was tight and it let me buy the three APMs and a Unihedron sky-quality meter plus some Helios 15x70s and Quantum 20/40x100mm obsy bins. 

My case sees a lot of internal padding around EPs and other items when travelling in a vehicle, but has pretty much everything I need to get the party started. The WO binoviewers and plossl pairs now live in their own box and a plastic tub holds 2"/1.25" adaptors, Nikon adaptor, hex keys, screwdriver, LED headlamp. Power cables and Synscan controller live in a Tesco bag 🤣 and stay at home if I'm using the 300p flextube.

The closest thing I have to a complete set of EPs are three of the Lunt/APM XWAs 9/13/20mm in the lower right frame which are great, but the rest is a bit of a hodge-podge, though I also have three Baader EPs, a 31mm asph, 17.5mm Morpheus and 10mm BCO. The Seben zoom was dirt cheap and I was going to sell it, but for the money decided it's handy to test seeing conditions/max mag for different targets.

I'm pretty happy now with what I have now except my widefield EPs - a 42mm Revelation and a 31mm Baader Aspheric, which I'd like to sell and replace with a single EP for fast scopes in that range, probably the 30mm APM UFF, but it wouldn't get used a lot probably. 

BTW, if you want a cheap 'contrast booster/dark adaption helper' for every eyepiece you own, as Gerry mentions, a parka hood, a dedicated observing hood or even just a towel can improve any EP from a £20 Revelation to Tele Vue and even binoculars, especially with external filters. My mil-spec Arctic snorkel hood (£12) is a little over the top perhaps, but the ears do stay warm 🤣

IMG_20200329_171831483_2 (1).jpg

Observing Hood_mil surplus.jpg

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Somewhat to my surprise, it was five and a half years ago that I took this photo of my own "Still Life in Green and Black"

green-black.jpg

I do have the full set of BGOs still.  Lovely eyepieces, particularly the 12mm and 18mm, but for people who like a bit of eye relief, especially in the shorter focal lengths.

James

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You certainly don't need a case full of Tele Vue, Pentax, Zeiss, Nikon etc eyepieces to get some fantastic views in astronomy :icon_biggrin:

 

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53 minutes ago, JamesF said:

I do have the full set of BGOs still.  Lovely eyepieces, particularly the 12mm and 18mm, but for people who like a bit of eye relief, especially in the shorter focal lengths.

Doh!  I did of course mean "NOT for people who like a bit of eye relief".  The shorter focal length BGOs you almost have to climb inside.

It seems rare to see them for sale though, so I assume they must still be well-liked by their owners.  One day I fancy trying binoviewers and I'd be quite tempted by a pair of 12mm or 18mm BGOs as eyepieces.

James

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1 hour ago, JOC said:

I guess a hood might help if I was settled down for a good spell at a single target, but I still tend to charge around like a bull in a china shop chopping and changing and every time I get up the stray lights nearby probably ruin any dark adaptation that I have achieved.

Anything you can do- light shields, position behind something, hoods will help. When dark adapted you will be able to easily see in open areas even in true darkness. Anyway, all these things will compliment your fine scope and eyepieces and bring out the best in them.

Btw, M82 is a great place to play around upping the mag in stages and M81 goes opposite (unless you want to emphasize its core) with the goal of eventually seeings its spirals, IMHO. M81's spirals are fickle.

Even here, under dark skies and with large dobs I can make features disappear if wrong eyepiece choices are made. You will not be lacking with those Baaders and their top notch coatings...

Eagerly waiting reports!

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1 hour ago, JOC said:

I guess a hood might help if I was settled down for a good spell at a single target, but I still tend to charge around like a bull in a china shop chopping and changing and every time I get up the stray lights nearby probably ruin any dark adaptation that I have achieved.

You haven't made much progress with the observatory yet then?

James

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Just now, JamesF said:

You haven't made much progress with the observatory yet then?

Not yet, the shed is still in its box in the tool shed.  Though I have been giving it serious thought as a project whilst we are all locked up - the problem for projects like that is getting hold of the concrete for the flooring at the moment.  I'm the same with my fencing - I've used the last bale and can't get any more.  I've also not worked out where it can go yet.  Its a square plot, with the house right in the middle and garden around all four sides.  With the scope mobile I can move it to where the stars are, deciding on a fixed location for the observing shed is more difficult esp. as I can't put it where I often put the scope as this is on the car driveway!

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1 minute ago, JOC said:

Not yet, the shed is still in its box in the tool shed.  Though I have been giving it serious thought as a project whilst we are all locked up - the problem for projects like that is getting hold of the concrete for the flooring at the moment.  I'm the same with my fencing - I've used the last bale and can't get any more.  I've also not worked out where it can go yet.  Its a square plot, with the house right in the middle and garden around all four sides.  With the scope mobile I can move it to where the stars are, deciding on a fixed location for the observing shed is more difficult esp. as I can't put it where I often put the scope as this is on the car driveway!

I understand the issues regarding building supplies.  We can't get much to keep the barn conversion moving forward even for work I can do myself.  Our nearest builders' merchant has closed completely and the other one we have an account at has seriously cut back on deliveries.  They will at least deliver if we make it worth their effort, so given today's press coverage I'm trying to work out what I might realistically get done on various projects over the next two or three months to see if I can get it all here in one hit before any more restrictive measures are brought in.

James

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2 minutes ago, JOC said:

 I've also not worked out where it can go yet.  Its a square plot, with the house right in the middle and garden around all four sides. 

Do you have a chainsaw and some tarps, and how are you with roofing? 🤣 

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11 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

Do you have a chainsaw and some tarps, and how are you with roofing? 🤣 

LOL! Yes and Yes and I'm half adequate up a ladder 🤣

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19 hours ago, Geoff Barnes said:

That would simply be "Morpheuses". :) 

I've seen them called "Morphei" quite a bit.. Also see "Ethoi" used as the plural form of Ethos, but I just keep it simple with an apostrophe [i.e. Morpheus' and Ethos']

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14 hours ago, John said:

You certainly don't need a case full of Tele Vue, Pentax, Zeiss, Nikon etc eyepieces to get some fantastic views in astronomy :icon_biggrin:

 

 

Totally agree John. Get yourself into the middle of know where at a true dark site, and on a clear night it can be magical. All for the cost of Mark 1 eyeballs 

 

 

 

14 hours ago, JamesF said:

 The shorter focal length BGOs you almost have to climb inside.

It seems rare to see them for sale though, so I assume they must still be well-liked by their owners.  One day I fancy trying binoviewers and I'd be quite tempted by a pair of 12mm or 18mm BGOs as eyepieces.

James

 

Don't let the secret out 😉. I have had a set of BGOs for years. Just Love them in my frac🔭👍

 

 

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14 hours ago, JamesF said:

Doh!  I did of course mean "NOT for people who like a bit of eye relief".  The shorter focal length BGOs you almost have to climb inside.

It seems rare to see them for sale though, so I assume they must still be well-liked by their owners.  One day I fancy trying binoviewers and I'd be quite tempted by a pair of 12mm or 18mm BGOs as eyepieces.

James

I still have a full set of BGOs. Other eyepieces come and go, but these will always be with me. With a Nag Zoom and a 24mm Panoptic they cover most bases in a very compact set.

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8 minutes ago, Timebandit said:

Get yourself into the middle of know where at a true dark site, and on a clear night it can be magical. All for the cost of Mark 1 eyeballs 

The darkest place I've been recently was a camp site in the middle of the Kent coastal marshes last year.  The nights were as clear as a bell, the stars in quantities I'd not seen for many years and as I had not been there previously I didn't take a scope with me.  However, just to drink in the whole atmosphere the old Mark 1 eyeballs did stirling service and I didn't even deploy my birding binoculars.  I don't know if counted as 'astronomy' but I spent many trips back from the wash-block late at night just stopping and looking in awe at was was up there. 

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14 hours ago, JamesF said:

One day I fancy trying binoviewers and I'd be quite tempted by a pair of 12mm or 18mm BGOs as eyepieces.

Great eps for binoviewing natively if you can (ie without an OCS/Barlow), in those lengths. A pair of winged eyeguards really help keep out stray light, too!

Dave

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16 hours ago, Ships and Stars said:

The 17.5mm is my go-to EP for the Horse Head when I'm lucky

Maybe I can try to find that too.  I don't know what other kit you've got, but if you can find it using purely visual astonomy with a 17.5mm I must have a combination with my 8" F6 that will provide similar 'magnification'.   I've also just found a zoom in on the ESA Hubble pages that show where it is.  I had heard it was part of Orion, but assumed that it was within the same nebula area as the trapezium, the ESA website shows that it is actually closer to the left hand belt star than that.

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25 minutes ago, JOC said:

Maybe I can try to find that too.  I don't know what other kit you've got, but if you can find it using purely visual astonomy with a 17.5mm I must have a combination with my 8" F6 that will provide similar 'magnification'.   I've also just found a zoom in on the ESA Hubble pages that show where it is.  I had heard it was part of Orion, but assumed that it was within the same nebula area as the trapezium, the ESA website shows that it is actually closer to the left hand belt star than that.

The Horsehead is just underneath Alnitak. And darn hard to see I might add !!!:

http://heritage.stsci.edu/2001/12/hhnebula/orionfujiiwlg.jpg

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1 hour ago, John said:

And darn hard to see I might add !!!:

I won't hold my breath then.  I've used the astronomy tools in the SGL links to check out the view I could achieve and the 17mm seems a fair bet - I've often seen the enhanced photos of it and wondered if it was a 'visual' target.  It holds an interest purely as I like horses and would like to see the horsehead nebula if I could. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, JOC said:

Maybe I can try to find that too.  I don't know what other kit you've got, but if you can find it using purely visual astonomy with a 17.5mm I must have a combination with my 8" F6 that will provide similar 'magnification'

JOC, S&S is at about f4, you are at f6- IMHO an exit pupil of a very minimum of 4.3mm to 5.5mm + is needed. In your scope a 30mm-32mm plossl is a good bet, you also need scatter control and a narrow FOV to keep Alnitak at bay.

S&S large focal length naturally narrows the view (controlling Alnitak) even with widefields and his f4 gives a 4.3mm exit pupil with the 17.5mm. On top of this, the image scale in his 20" allows more flexibility.

My 10" dob likes a 25mm TV plossl and the much needed Astronomik Hb on the HH.

Of course these are just my thoughts on things but the HH notch is visible in an 8" with all ducks in a row. Over on S&S NGC 3003 thread there is good info on dark adaptation etc, all critical to see the HH.

Good luck!

 

Edited by jetstream
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55 minutes ago, JOC said:

I won't hold my breath then.  I've used the astronomy tools in the SGL links to check out the view I could achieve and the 17mm seems a fair bet - I've often seen the enhanced photos of it and wondered if it was a 'visual' target.  It holds an interest purely as I like horses and would like to see the horsehead nebula if I could. 

I finally managed to spot it with my 12 inch scope a while back. No "horse head" shape I'm afraid - just the vaguest slightly darker "bite" out of another very faint strip of nebulosity.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, jetstream said:

JOC, S&S is at about f4, you are at f6- IMHO an exit pupil of a very minimum of 4.3mm to 5.5mm + is needed. In your scope a 30mm-32mm plossl is a good bet, you also need scatter control and a narrow FOV to keep Alnitak at bay.

Ah, so it's a fairly big target, but, if I understand above, we can't go too wide field or the brightness of the nearby star gets in the way.  I've got the following in that size range

Celestron Omni Plossl 1.25" 32mm;

Baader 31mm aspheric modular (used at 1.25")

S&S is obviously very much more dedicated than me if he has 20" to play with!!  However, maybe I will be lucky to see it with what I have - would a filter help?  I've got a  SW UHC, SW Light Pollution and Optics O-III

1 minute ago, John said:

I finally managed to spot it with my 12 inch scope a while back. No "horse head" shape I'm afraid - just the vaguest slightly darker "bite" out of another very faint strip of nebulosity.

Def. won't hold my breath then - I am a meer novice in comparison and if you've only recently found it at 12" I suspect I am being a bit over ambitious

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Just now, JOC said:

Ah, so it's a fairly big target

I sure hope I don't come across as a know it all, I just try to relate my experience that has been built on the help from others.

The HH notch will not really show as "big" in your scope.

It is an empty "thumbprint" in the funnel of IC434. Seeing IC 434 is an absolute must to first see the HH. I would practise seeing this first, which will then up your chances on B33, a dark nebula aka the Horse Head.

Your 32mm plossl is right in the strike zone but you need a good,tight high transmission Hb.IMHO.

I truly enjoy seeing others advance their observing skills.

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4 minutes ago, jetstream said:

I sure hope I don't come across as a know it all, I just try to relate my experience that has been built on the help from others.

You don't 🙂 

In fact I find the hardest thing in astronomy is knowing how big/small the object is that I'm looking for.  I've found there are clusters out there that you can nearly miss for individual stars without sufficient power, then there are targets like the spiral arms of Andromeda or the Veil which I'll never see with, for example, a 6mm deployed.   There was also a cluster, I forget which now which I which I was convinced I was 'on', but I had to look through the scope at it for several long moment before it kind of split before my eyes in the most amazing dense area of stars, but again I was up to about 6mm before anything 'interesting' happened.  I've often thought a useful thing would be a novices list of say 20 interesting things to see up there (and roughly the right time of year to view - say before midnight) and the sort of magnification that they support to get the best view - most novices could then do the maths for their own F/L and work out what their best EP's would be to get close to that 'magnification' out of what they own.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, JOC said:

Maybe I can try to find that too.  I don't know what other kit you've got, but if you can find it using purely visual astonomy with a 17.5mm I must have a combination with my 8" F6 that will provide similar 'magnification'.   I've also just found a zoom in on the ESA Hubble pages that show where it is.  I had heard it was part of Orion, but assumed that it was within the same nebula area as the trapezium, the ESA website shows that it is actually closer to the left hand belt star than that.

Hi JOC,

No need to reply to any/all of this! I've written a small book here and you probably know a lot of this, I didn't realise how many posts you had until I hit enter!

Barnard 33 or B33 Horsehead is a dark nebula and can be a very tricky one. Some astronomers have spent quite a lot of time trying to see it, sometimes years. It's kind of the 'crown jewel' of faint nebula and has an almost mythical status amongst many visual astronomers. It's so faint, unless you have a massive scope, it's more of a case of 'detecting' the silhouette, rather than actually seeing a nice dark cloud in the shape of a horse's head. 

To imagine a dark nebula, simply think of a cloud of black coal smoke from a old steam engine or an old diesel belching out a trail of black smoke, that's pretty much what a dark nebula is like. Most of the time we just can't see them in space (someone please feel free to correct me here anytime I talk cobblers please!) 

But in this case, B33 happens to stick out in front of IC434, an emission nebula that produces its own faint glow from ionized gasses, kind of like the principal behind the workings of a neon light, but much, much fainter. So that's the only reason we can see it is because it's silhouetted or backlit by IC434 pumping out this very faint glow. Astro photos are amazing and clearly show this in vivid colours we visual astronomers can only dream about. I have a 20x30" print of it and Barnard's Loop hanging on my wall in fact.

To imagine it though a telelscope, think of looking at a randomly shaped bit of matte black paper lying atop an almost 90-95% matte black background, and that's sort of what the HH looks like, there is not much contrast at all.  Then try doing this under starlight, lol.

I've read somewhere it's possible with an 8" dob, but you will need really dark skies and get your eyes as dark adapted as possible and pick the right eyepiece magnification as Gerry mentions above, or just take a few different ones and try them. An observing hood or a parka hood is a big help for these really hard ones. I don't think an expensive eyepiece is needed, I've seen it through a cheap £25 plossl, but that was with a 20" f4 dobsonian at a dark sky site in the Cairngorms, which I recently measured at 21.80 to 21.85 SQM, so very dark. 

A decent Hb filter is pretty much mandatory.

I have a 12" dob as well and just detected the HH with it from a 21.6 or 21.7 site, though I knew right where to look as I'd just seen it a few nights prior with the big dob.

So I've observed it directly with a 20" dob, and 'detected' it with a 12" scope using averted vision. Try tapping your scope or moving it side to side very gently, the movement can tease out these very difficult nebulae, but that's all part of the fun and thrill of the chase even if you don't get it the first time, or the fifth. Either way, it's going to be a challenge with an 8" scope I think, but who knows, your own fully dark adapted pupil could be better than most folks whatever your age, and if you get a really perfect night, then it's game on. Another idea is to go to a star party or a local astro club session and see who has the biggest scope there and say hello and ask them if they've seen it (Hopefully they will say 'Sure, you want a bash?) Alternatively, you could make us all jealous and use a £4000 night vision tube with your scope and look at it plain as day from central London, haha. 

Either way, it's a fascinating nebula to talk about, and being able to see it is a real milestone for many observers.

PS the Flame Nebula near Alinitak is a good indicator of whether or not conditions are good. If you can see the Flame Nebula, then you stand a very good chance. BTW, the Flame Nebula is arguably more interesting to look at than the HH! 

Cheers.

 

Edited by Ships and Stars
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PS JOC apologies if I was explaining things you've known for ages, I get excited talking about the Horsehead and that's it, I'm away with the fairies 🤣 

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