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First experience with 6" Dob


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Last night I was impatient, spent an hour looking up at the moon.  Overall results were pretty good, I've only got a 10 and 25mm eyepiece, also a 2x Barlow.  I wasn't really sure which to use, but the moon filter was a good buy. 

At first I kept thinkning I was knocking the scope, the moon kept moving to the right, then remembered that the earth spins. 

I was a good experience, just need some practice on using the eye lens and finding a more comfy viewing position, as bending over can be quite uncomfortable in a short time. 

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Glad you had a positive 1st experience.

Sitting down when observing can help hold the eye position steady. Some people use a ironing seat or even a drummers stool.

 

 

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On 22/01/2021 at 16:34, John said:

Sitting down when observing can help hold the eye position steady. Some people use a ironing seat or even a drummers stool.

 

 

A drummer friend of mine would grumpily tell you it's a drummer's throne. 😉

Yeah, I have similar problems – I have a pretty hefty picnic table at the end of the garden which is the perfect to put my scope on, and doesn't wobble much at all. Unfortunately, you can only see a small part of the sky from there (and I don't relish lugging the picnic table around the garden), so if I want to view anything else then ithe 'scope goes on the floor and I hunch over it. I'm on the hunt for a smaller table, but at the moment, I have two large breeze blocks and a piece of carpet on top for sitting on.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Bongo said:

A drummer friend of mine would grumpily tell you it's a drummer's throne. 😉

Yeah, I have similar problems – I have a pretty hefty picnic table at the end of the garden which is the perfect to put my scope on, and doesn't wobble much at all. Unfortunately, you can only see a small part of the sky from there (and I don't relish lugging the picnic table around the garden), so if I want to view anything else then ithe 'scope goes on the floor and I hunch over it. I'm on the hunt for a smaller table, but at the moment, I have two large breeze blocks and a piece of carpet on top for sitting on.

 

 

Have you tried a water butt stand to put the Dob base on to raise it up a bit?

Waterbutt Dobmount.jpg

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On 25/01/2021 at 22:45, Louis D said:

Have you tried a water butt stand to put the Dob base on to raise it up a bit?

Luckily for me, my Dad is a bit of a DIY ninja and was looking for a lockdown project, so hopefully I'll be getting one of these eventually...

https://eyesonthesky.com/tutorials/diy/2x4-tripod/?fbclid=IwAR1-mCs8fhaQKrUZwc39Zvp9vts3sTwBhTpwjABLif6qq9XorLl61s6fpaM

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On 02/02/2021 at 16:49, Sunshine said:

First night is all about getting acquainted with your scope, session will only get better, enjoy!

This is very true. I've only had my first (half-decent) scope since late last year and still, every time out I get a bit better at using it, see a bit more and enjoy it a bit more too. I assume this will plateau at some stage, but stick with it and have fun improving!

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On 25/01/2021 at 22:45, Louis D said:

Have you tried a water butt stand to put the Dob base on to raise it up a bit?

Waterbutt Dobmount.jpg

I used a water butt stand, worked really well, just need to be careful as it is a little top heavy, but I can weigh the stand down.  Thanks

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On 05/02/2021 at 10:55, Bongo said:

This is very true. I've only had my first (half-decent) scope since late last year and still, every time out I get a bit better at using it, see a bit more and enjoy it a bit more too. I assume this will plateau at some stage, but stick with it and have fun improving!

You will find that there won’t be a “plateau” as in your enjoyment of the hobby will begin to diminish afterwards. Just like every one of us you’ll find it just as enjoyable spending a night under the stars in ten years as it is now, that is the wonderful draw of this hobby, the beauty of the night sky never gets dull. M13 will be just as breathtaking on your thousandth time seeing it.

Edited by Sunshine
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2 hours ago, Sunshine said:

You will find that there won’t be a “plateau” as in your enjoyment of the hobby will begin to diminish afterwards. Just like every one of us you’ll find it just as enjoyable spending a night under the stars in ten years as it is now, that is the wonderful draw of this hobby, the beauty of the night sky never gets dull. M13 will be just as breathtaking on your thousandth time seeing it.

I will aim to find M13, I did read that this is only visible between June and October.  What type of magnification is best.  I have both the 10x and 25x eyepieces with the 2x Barlow.

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Yes you are correct, M13 is best enjoyed in summer in the constellation Hercules, I can't recall what magnification i enjoy this object most with. When referring to M13, i was just picking one object of many which one can go back to 

every season for a lifetime and enjoy just as well. Your dob is well suited for such an object as M13 as it is faint and your 8" has good light grasp for a fine view of it.

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14 minutes ago, Andy350 said:

Thanks Brown Dwarf, I'm not sure if it makes a difference but, my scope only has 6", very inadequate 🙄

 

Absolutely not inadequate,  a 6" dob will provide beautiful views of such an object, even in my previous 4.5" refractor, on a night of good seeing it is beautiful and contrasty. 

Edited by Sunshine
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I have to agree with Sunshine that a 6" dob can give you a whole lot of lovely things to look at!  Last night I found the Clownface Nebula (aka Eskimo Nebula) and Crab Nebula, loads of open clusters, found the Leo Trio for the first time, took another peek at the Andromeda Galaxy and enjoyed the colourful "winter Albireo" and Almach double stars.  All with 6" dob, after about 1 month or less of practice.  If I can do it, you can too.

Have fun!

 

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1 hour ago, Andy350 said:

Thanks Brown Dwarf, I'm not sure if it makes a difference but, my scope only has 6", very inadequate 🙄

 

P.S. I think "Brown Dwarf" is a forum status rather than the name of the contributor. ;)

 

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Just chipping in here with a thumbs up for the drum stool. I wouldn’t be without one 👍
Also, M13 looks amazing whatever the magnification, be it with 10x binos, or at 200x and higher with a scope. It’s when you consider what it is that it really comes to life, a dense ball of in the region of 250,000 very old stars, possibly the stripped down core of a long gone satellite galaxy ... in more basic terms, with my dob I like using my 8.8mm, 82 degree eyepiece on it, the contrast is lovely, the field of view enough to also see the nearby galaxy ngc6207 as well, and the magnification of around 130x resolves the stars nicely 🙂

Edited by kev100
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Sorry Sunshine, hope I didn't offend.  Thanks for the help all.  What kind of an image could I get of say Mars with perfect conditions.  Happy with what I found of the moon 😀

Regarding star Nebular, how much detail can you see.  I haven't picked up the recommended books yet, on my to do list.  But will be looking at the drum stool.

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The amount you see will very much depend on the viewing conditions on the night and the objects you're looking at.  I've not spent a lot of time looking at planets (at least not with my 6" dob) so can't really comment on that, but at the moment I think Mars is quite far away.  You'll clearly be able to tell that it's a planet and not a star as it's a disk rather than a single point of light, but other than that I've not made out a lot of detail yet.  Orion nebula (M42) looks amazing, especially with a nice dark sky.  I've been really enjoying looking at double and multiple stars - if you have a low horizon to the south you should be able to find the "winter albireo" just below Sirius - lovely colour contrast.  My other fave is Almach - a beautiful blue/yellow combo.

 

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8 minutes ago, Orange Smartie said:

The amount you see will very much depend on the viewing conditions on the night and the objects you're looking at.  I've not spent a lot of time looking at planets (at least not with my 6" dob) so can't really comment on that, but at the moment I think Mars is quite far away.  You'll clearly be able to tell that it's a planet and not a star as it's a disk rather than a single point of light, but other than that I've not made out a lot of detail yet.  Orion nebula (M42) looks amazing, especially with a nice dark sky.  I've been really enjoying looking at double and multiple stars - if you have a low horizon to the south you should be able to find the "winter albireo" just below Sirius - lovely colour contrast.  My other fave is Almach - a beautiful blue/yellow combo.

 

I need to concentrate and find objects that will be viewable at the correct time of year.  I remember being out last summer when we had a lot of clear nights and saying "Wish I had a scope right now".  Hopefully soon.  I think I will aim for M42 on a good dark evening.  I did manage a few pics of the moon with DSLR, nothing great.  We don't really have a low south horizon where we live, but I could get the car onto some elevated areas in the summer.  I'm in Stroud, Gloucestershire so we have a few hills.

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42 minutes ago, Andy350 said:

I need to concentrate and find objects that will be viewable at the correct time of year.  I remember being out last summer when we had a lot of clear nights and saying "Wish I had a scope right now".  Hopefully soon.  I think I will aim for M42 on a good dark evening.  I did manage a few pics of the moon with DSLR, nothing great.  We don't really have a low south horizon where we live, but I could get the car onto some elevated areas in the summer.  I'm in Stroud, Gloucestershire so we have a few hills.

If you can't make it out to a high spot, there is plenty to see looking up.  I'd recommend something like Turn Left at Orion, or alternatively (for free) you could look at the Loughton List, shared by @Tiny Clanger recently:

https://las-astro.org.uk/docs/Loughton_List_v2_0.pdf

If you get something like Sky Safari (basic version is free) for your phone, you can see what should be easy to find now from your location.

Pete

Edited by Orange Smartie
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The darker sites will improve viewing no end but being exposed make sure you wrap up well

+1 for the turn left at orion book- also get hold of a star chart , I use Deep Sky Hunter Atlas by Michael Vlasov- Ive copied each page and laminated it. I am (slowly )going around the sky -I choose a laminate and learn how to find my way around.

I use an ironing chair, its magic- ultra variable height and easy to move about and comfy.

as a general guide to using your eyepieces- the 25mm for searching and finding your target- then depending on seeing conditions you can try to increase magnification with the 10mm EP- using the barlow with either will increase magnification but I find more often than not its just becomes more mushy and doesn't help. My 25mm is my goto EP

Search this site and ask your questions , its a goldmine

 

J

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