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Misty Autumn Evening Mix


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A neighbourly tree-removal at the weekend meant I was keen to get out and explore my “new sky” last night. 

On the whole I don’t like seeing trees come down but this huge sycamore was way too close to foundations, extremely dense,  the source of a triffid-like bloom of saplings from its helicopters every year as well as obscuring a huge chunk of sky to my S & SSW.  With it gone I can watch Jupiter & Saturn pretty much all evening from the back garden . 

I put the Mak127 out to cool at about six & was out from 8-9:15, all very civilised. 

Seeing was good & after some quick but detailed planetary views, I went in search of a couple of neighbouring objects. M72, M73 & NGC 7009 The Saturn Nebula. 

Although seeing was good, transparency was less so, especially low down. I could see slight misty cones around the streetlights which explained why of my faint fuzzies there was absolutely no sign. 
 

I took a quick peek at M15, M2 & M13 with at the time M15 showing best, M13 close to rooftops and LP. 
 

Thought at this point about packing up but elected to go for a couple of doubles first (stars, not whiskies!). 
 

Almach- all of sudden my evening improved. Beautiful golden headlight and a white companion - split with a 32mm Plossl at 47x and enjoyed it for a while through BCOs at 18mm, 10mm & 6mm - all the way up to 250x. The mist was apparent at that level but the image was very steady.  
 

I remembered reading about Iota Cass on here & the W was well placed to the NE. I wasn’t sure at first that I was on the right star but at 150x in the 10mm this split to an amazing triple.  The primary bright white with diffraction rings and two dimmer, ball-like secondaries at 11 o’clock and “half-past” (RACI).  This picture held well at 250x in the 6mm Ortho. Enjoyed for a while. 
 

On round to Polaris which split beautifully from 47x on up, with probably the best view I’ve ever had of it at 150x, really noticing a contrast between yellowish primary and white secondary. With a nice steady picture the separation looked huge. 
 

Rude not to check out the Double Double -Epsilon Lyrae. The southerly pair splitting from 47x up, the more Northerly taking 150x to split cleanly. Again the best view I’ve ever had of this with the 6mm BCO at 250x. Amazing.  

I realised that with my spring & summer Messier quest followed by lots of gas giant viewing, this is the first time I’ve gone for any doubles since upgrading to a Berlebach report - the stable platform makes a huge difference especially at higher mags, the BCO 6mm becomes a useful tool where I’d not really had much joy with it before. 
 

Was about to pack up as electrical things were starting to look a bit too damp but took one last squizz at Jupiter & there was a shadow transit &, even that low down, good seeing! 
 

All in all a really rewarding improvised session - highlights Almach & Iota Cass. 
 

 

 

Edited by SuburbanMak
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Great report. How useful do you find the 127 mak for planetary? I keep toying with that idea as a grab and go but then fighting the urge to go all out on a frac next year.

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3 hours ago, Stardaze said:

Great report. How useful do you find the 127 mak for planetary? I keep toying with that idea as a grab and go but then fighting the urge to go all out on a frac next year.

Thank you!
Short answer is it works for me :) 

I don’t have a lot of experience to give a comparative view but have had what for me are some super nights in my first Mak yesr.  

Optics can be very crisp, the limiting factor more often is seeing. Image is not huge but I’ve been pleased with the level of detail that can be pulled out when conditions allow - 6+ bands on Jupiter, barges, festoons, transits and the GRS with good contrast and what little CA there is seems atmospheric. 
Saturn I’ve seen A&B rings, Cassini division, some banding, crisp shadows of planet on rings & vice versa + 3 moons. 


On the best nights have successfully pushed magnification above 250x - more usually 150-180x is the sweet spot. 
 

It’s also very sturdy and quite small enough to backpack to the park - run mine on an AZGTi and Berlebach Report and it’s very steady. In the garden I can be up running in minutes - my experience has been cooling time is 20 mins or so, (usually put mine out early). 
 


 

 

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12 hours ago, SuburbanMak said:

Thank you!
Short answer is it works for me :) 

I don’t have a lot of experience to give a comparative view but have had what for me are some super nights in my first Mak yesr.  

Optics can be very crisp, the limiting factor more often is seeing. Image is not huge but I’ve been pleased with the level of detail that can be pulled out when conditions allow - 6+ bands on Jupiter, barges, festoons, transits and the GRS with good contrast and what little CA there is seems atmospheric. 
Saturn I’ve seen A&B rings, Cassini division, some banding, crisp shadows of planet on rings & vice versa + 3 moons. 


On the best nights have successfully pushed magnification above 250x - more usually 150-180x is the sweet spot. 
 

It’s also very sturdy and quite small enough to backpack to the park - run mine on an AZGTi and Berlebach Report and it’s very steady. In the garden I can be up running in minutes - my experience has been cooling time is 20 mins or so, (usually put mine out early). 
 


 

 

Thanks for that. I wouldn’t say that the image is large in my dob even at 250x but it does sound like there’s enough detail from the mak. Which model do you have? I nearly bought an SW version last year. 

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Great report, and it sounds as if you're Berlebach tripod has transformed your Mak's performance!👍 A solid platform is just so important for getting the best from any scope.

Those BCOs really are great eyepieces for the money..very small, light and simple but the Ortho optics really deliver pure images, and on a still misty night Maks really come into their own on doubles.

Dave

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3 hours ago, Stardaze said:

Thanks for that. I wouldn’t say that the image is large in my dob even at 250x but it does sound like there’s enough detail from the mak. Which model do you have? I nearly bought an SW version last year. 

No worries - its a good piece of kit.   Mine is last year's SW model - the black & cream finish.  My understanding is that SW, Orion and Celestron 127 Maks are all the same Synta OTA.  

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3 hours ago, F15Rules said:

Great report, and it sounds as if you're Berlebach tripod has transformed your Mak's performance!👍 A solid platform is just so important for getting the best from any scope.

Those BCOs really are great eyepieces for the money..very small, light and simple but the Ortho optics really deliver pure images, and on a still misty night Maks really come into their own on doubles.

Dave

Thanks Dave - yes the Berlebach (Report 312) has a made a big difference - hadn't realised how much slop was in the supplied SW aluminium tripod until I upgraded the AZ GTi clamp with one from ADM. That improved things but highlighted that there was quite a bit of flexing going on in the tripod. 

On the BCO's I have become a huge fan, I bought them as a "minimum glass" solution for classic refractors that I picked up on eBay, but have ended up using them more and more. Good contrast, colour fidelity and sharp across most of the field.  FoV is not wide, but not an issue for so many targets.  

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