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Of course it’s far from really being “first light” - this thing is about 120 years old!
Having managed to get this really quite large scope riding on an AZ GTi through the highly scientific means of shoving some foam rubber into some 80mm Skywatcher rings, I was eager to get out for a quick first look last night.
For now I have only the terrestrial tube which is a very long compound affair that rights the image and based on the size of the moon image I’d say is delivering around 60x magnification - am quite sure I’ll get better performance with more suitable eyepieces.
I have ordered a RAS - 1.25” adapter which is being made by Barry at Beacon Hill Telescopes (who is btw a lovely fella with whom I had a fascinating chat along the way) . I have a couple of RAS thread eyepieces on the horizon too & will spend many happy hours combing the auctions for more (there’s a widefield called “the Comet” that was made for the 1910 Halley apparition that I’d love to get my hands on) along with an approprIate finder scope (which is much needed as this is a major pea-shooter), period diagonal and even a brass Herschel wedge, though not sure I’d be brave enough to actually use that one…
Meantime the signs are very promising however. Great views of the moon and not a hint of CA to be seen (this thing is about f16 and 4 feet long!) Although a bit cumbersome due to length, at 3.7 kg it’s surprisingly light for all that brass. The tube reminds me of those WW1 shell casings you see turned into umbrella stands.
Focussing is pretty smooth with a draw tube for rough focusing then a lovely brass R&P for fine.
Saturn looked magic, tiny but clean separation of the rings and occasional hint of the Cassini division. A couple of moons visible.
Jupiter was showing both equatorial bands with the N more prominent and the 4 Galilean moons were gratifyingly sharp.
I was glad of the relatively low altitude of the moon & planets as straight through viewing is a bit tough on the back with this length!
Did try a star test - round but fuzzy rather than rings. I’ll reserve judgement until I can do this with a reference modern EP (Baader Classic Orthos will go nicely with this scope I think). I have a suspicion that the objective is a gem.
Overall it’s great fun to use and looks amazing!
I’ll add to this thread as I observe & build this fabulous old OTA out into a period rig. I may have to grow a giant moustache and observe in tweed plus fours whilst smoking a pipe to complete the experience.
Messier 57 is is just coming into a position for a decent look around 11 30 pm. IT is a colourful object and I thought it would give me a good target with which to practice my colour developing in PS/Lightroom. I have read so much about how to produce a LRGB image from the four stacked/calibrated luminance, red, blue and green images, a lot seems contradicatory and some, when followed, gave me colour yes, but not as we know it. I am sure a fair chunk must be put down to me. Anyway, I now have a work flow which gives me colour, sometimes resembling what other people have obtained. Progess of sorts.
This images is based on 114s subs at gain 139, offset 21.
L 39, R 20, G 20, B 19
Calibrated and stacked in DSS (flats, dark flats and darks)
Messier 57 Ring Nebula in Lyra
NASA: M57, or the Ring Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a sun-like star. The tiny white dot in the centre of the nebula is the star’s hot core, called a white dwarf. M57 is about 2,000 light-years away in the constellation Lyra, and is best observed during August. Discovered by the French astronomer Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in 1779, the Ring Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.8 and can be spotted with moderately sized telescopes.
Equipment: Celestron 9.25 XLT at F10, Skywatcher EQ6 Pro GEM, ZWO 1600MM Pro, ZWO EFW with ZWO LRGB filters, QHY5IIC guide camera on Skywatcher 9 x 50 finderscope, Celestron Focus Motor
Software: Ascom 6, Eqmod, Cartes du Ciel, AstroPhotography Tool, PHD2
My first attempt at M57. I attempted to capture the extended halo by gathering some OIII and Ha data and then blending these into Blue and Red channels, respectively of an LRGB image. The image below represents about 21 hours and was taken with my Esprit 150.
LIGHTS: L:13, R:13,G:8. B: 10 x 600s; Ha:13, OIII:14 x 1800s. DARKS:30, BIAS:100, FLATS:40 all at -20C.
Image captured 15th April 2018 from my back garden in Birmingham
Multiple 130s exposures at ISO 800 - Canon 200D with CLS filter.
approx 20 mins exposure in total.
Darks and flats applied.
Telescope : SW ED80 DS pro
Mount : HEQ5 pro - belt modded unguided
stacked in DSS and processed in Star Tools