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Planet fest 13/09/20

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Patbloke arrived with his 120ed . We were well tooled up , Eq6 pro, C6r and a manual heavy duty CG5. 

Kicked off with Jupiter , bit blurry. That followed a heated discussion on there being no finder scope on the ed , interesting alignment ! 

Saturn was stunning. Best that I'd ever seen. I had goosebumps on my neck which spread down to my legs. The detail was amazing with a dark band outside the Cassini and plenty surface details at x216. It was rock steady and just a crystal view.

Mars as soon as it cleared the houses showed a bright polar cap and surface markings. We waited as it climbed higher . I moved the ed to the manual CG5 down the garden and told Pat to sit down and play with apertures, eyepieces and filters. 

I used a 120 aperture and an nd filter on the C6r. Best views were x240 up to just under x300. The ice cap was clearly defined with Syrtis Major dark on the surface. Seeing was exceptionally good. We enjoyed the view from both scopes and a selection of eyepieces.

It was an exceptional night shared , pat left after 2 and I carried on for another hour,

clear skies ! 


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Nice Nick! Oh I wish i’d got out a bit earlier for Saturn- it’d gone behind trees. But the seeing- amazing wasn’t it! I was down in Surrey bortle 4/5 and it was a bit strange- there was so much moisture in the air that the light dome from London to the north obliterated the big dipper! Yet looking toward the zenith i could make out the milky way glow horizon to horizon and to the south the skies were pitch black 🤷‍♂️ Air was dead still but as predicted by 1:30 everything fogged up to point of unusability.

BUT- best view of Mars yet- there were fleeting moments when I felt I could almost make out surface topology and there was sharp outline detail in the dark markings below the sharply defined but very small polar ice cap. I was able to push magnification to a crazy 640x without significant degradation for a nice sized disk and a light orange filter helped with contrast. Amazing view!

My other target the Veil was a bit of a washout though- strange given it was clear/dark enough to see the melkveg!



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Inspirational as always Nick...

That's the first time I can say for definite that I've seen the Mars polar ice cap!

I loved dropping the Equinox onto the CG5 and going 'Old Skool' just moving the slow motion adjusters, hunting for targets (without a Telrad 🙂 of course) 🙂

As usual the banter was first class.... The fact I don't usually bother with a finderscope on my own AVX set up was a great source of amusement for you 🙂  Your comparisons that followed (for what seemed like an eternity) were great... Oh Pats doing the tour de France this week - without a bike! Oh Pats going water skiing for his holiday - without a speedboat! and on and on and on..............

Can't wait to set up at home now and test out to see if the coffee grinder mount gets complaints from my new neighbours? That EQ6-Pro of yours is very quiet until it's gets to the end of the movements.... Nice kit

Thoroughly great night though Nick as always, thanks for the fun and rather superb views of those Planets again which have certainly got me excited about Astro again


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