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Shocked and stunned !


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I do wonder if this may also back up the recent CPRE survey analysis, for a slightly improved star count outcome compared to last year, based upon the 'lockdown effect'; a fewer lit urban buildings, very significant reduction in air travel, lesser road use, so a reduction in air pollution particles. Therefore when there are those periods of good transparency, it has a yet little extra gain.

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I'm slightly nervous about posting this but I'm amongst friends so here goes. I've been using my Tak 100 refractor to observe double stars this evening but I noticed that the sky transparency was

Not necessarily Paul ! I've been out with my Vixen ED102SS this evening and I've managed to see SN 2021 hiz with that scope as well. The view is similar to the Tak in terms of the challenge but h

Glimpsed being the operative word John. It was on the absolute limit of discernibility, and was to date the most difficult target I've ever seen through a 100mm scope. Like you I'd spent quite some ti

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20 minutes ago, paulastro said:

Your observing feats will probably cause a shortage of Tak 100mm refractors John 🙂.

Not necessarily Paul !

I've been out with my Vixen ED102SS this evening and I've managed to see SN 2021 hiz with that scope as well. The view is similar to the Tak in terms of the challenge but having achieved it last night with the Tak did make it that bit easier tonight with the Vixen at a similar magnification. When I say "easier", not really easy of course - still more or less at the limit of what the scope would show.

Tonight the SN, at times, seemed a tiny bit easier to see than the magnitude 13 star close to it but at other times they were both of a similar brightness (or dimness !).

At 140x I had enough true field of view to be able to see NGC 4635 off to the west of the SN as well.

The Vixen is a 20+ year old scope now so I'm pleased that it's glass and coatings are still working well :thumbright:

I ought to also add that for these observations (last nights and tonights) I've been using primarily Ethos eyepieces. The mainstay was the 6mm last night and the 4.7mm tonight. Despite the number of lens elements these eyepieces have, they don't seem to get in the way of being able to push these smaller aperture scopes towards their limits.

I did compare the Pentax XW 5mm with the Ethos 4.7mm and found that they were both delivering essentially the same results on this task, the much larger true field of the Ethos was beneficial in keeping more comparison stars in view and showing the NGC galaxy in the view as well.

Challenging but satisfying observing again :smiley:

 

 

 

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I had a look at the supernova yesterday. Very similar in brightness to the mag 13 star nearby.

Not the most transparent night. I certainly could not see the host galaxy.

Mark

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11 minutes ago, mdstuart said:

 

Not the most transparent night. I certainly could not see the host galaxy.

 

I agree. Galaxies generally were not as clear as they were the previous night. The dim point sources seemed to glimmer though OK though.

 

 

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I checked out the SN again last night and it was the same brightness as the nearby star. I agree the transparency was not as good as the previous night. However it did not stop me trying for the SN in NGC 3147. The galaxy was easily seen in the 12 inch but could not see the SN - estimated mag 14.4

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

I checked out the SN again last night and it was the same brightness as the nearby star. I agree the transparency was not as good as the previous night. However it did not stop me trying for the SN in NGC 3147. The galaxy was easily seen in the 12 inch but could not see the SN - estimated mag 14.4

 

 

Thanks Mark.

I'm going to try for the NGC 3147 SN with my 12 inch at the next opportunity.

 

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Hi John, great report and what a fantastic description of the observing process, and the effort that goes into pushing your skills to new limits - which you seem to have hit! Well done! Thanks so much for sharing.

Limiting magnitudes have a lot of variables and it sounds like  you've been tweaking a few them to your advantage: 

I don't know if you've come across this tool before, but with a few assumptions I've made it seems 13.3 is just possible in the right conditions.

image.thumb.png.59e70cb2c41b8f55e339b28439539a3e.png

Edited by Andrew*
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What a great read.  I'm always interested to hear about what can be done with a 4-inch. I spent many hours last Autumn trying for a glimpse of Stephan's Quintet. Your report has encouraged me and made me question my own observations.

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