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Tonight the temp was -12c with a -16c wind chill and very clear. Out  I go with the Heritage 130 to try to nail down a focal length for galaxies. The 24 ES 68 is just made for this scope so first explorations were with it. Up first were M81/M82, 2 very nice bright streaks and not surprisingly they responded to an 8mm over the 10mm. Ngc 2403 seemed to like the 10mm and M51 the 10mm. M51 was very contrasted with faint hints of small short brighter streaks where the arms glow was. I could see the 2 galaxies connected but not with a distinct bridge, just a diffuse glow.

A real surprise was M101! The 24 ES 68 showed a small, easy in direct vision cotton ball but more mag killed it in this scope. Can't believe it showed this well at such low mag.

Auriga... I had to take a quick galaxy break so over to the Flaming Star I go. With no filter a very faint, light and delicate liquid grey shade difference was seen around the pattern stars. Back into the house for the DGM NPB- and yes there it was, showing its small V shape in this scope, a real treat and again the 24mm came through. It sure helps to have observed this object hundreds of times before.

Well, embarrassing to say, I got lost in the stars looking for Leo lol!:dontknow::grin: My first attempt at the Leo triplet was a failure. Of course I had to move the scope off the generator to the ground to get past the pines but still. Standing up and retreating a bit I found Leo... Once found the triplet fell into the 24mm, all in easy direct vision. The 12.5mm Tak ortho was best on this set.

To finish the evening Markarians Chain was pursued and with great success! Back on the ground to observe revealed 5 easy ones in the chain and a possible 6th. The 12.5mm Tak was used and I didn't try more mag as I was getting cold and the EPs were a ways away.

Very pleased to get some of the chain with this diminutive but excellent telescope.

So, the EP's- it seems that overall the 12.5mm was the best performing focal length across the board in general. Higher mag was better on some things but I'm thinking the Morpheus 12.5mm will be a great addition if and when i can get my hands on one.

The main thing,however, is dark transparent skies to observe from, like the one I was blessed to have tonight.

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Lovely report Gerry. Amazing what can be done with these little scopes in the right hands and under lovely skies. I bet it is very easy to get lost in all those stars!

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