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What did you see tonight?


Ags
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9 minutes ago, cloudsweeper said:

Although it's a faint pair (border of Cyg/Vul), quite well matched, and seen with 12" of aperture, that's some achievement.  Well done!  (I've yet to get below 0.9".)

For the 12", 0.8" is an easy split with dark sky between the two; 0.6" is starting to get tight and they have to be even. You have to have good seeing conditions and good optics though :wink2:

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Tonight is a no. The sky is clear of low cloud, but there are variable amounts of cirrus. Would be a good night for planets, but, my faint double star hunt would be a waste of time.

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Posted (edited)

I spent some time in a sun lounger scanning for Perseids, I only saw one through the light pollution and moonlight, but it was a good one, very fast with subzero magnitude.

I stopped for my first view of Jupiter for the year. Seeing and contrast was very poor (viewing with a C6), but Io was showing a strong yellow color. Nice to think that little dot is yellow with sulphur frost and marked with huge seas of lava!

Edited by Ags
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11 hours ago, Ags said:

Nice to think that little dot is yellow with sulphur frost and marked with huge seas of lava!

I think this is one of the most fascinating  aspects of viewing targets like moons - just knowing some of phenomena occurring on (or below) the surface as you observe and note the colours- in this case condensation of volcanic gases. Always thought provoking. 

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Nice sharp views of Saturn at medium power using the 10” inch Dob but struggled to make out any detail features. Seeing not ideal. The rings have noticeably brightened over the past views days leading up to tonight’s opposition. The sky was fairly washed out due to nearby moon - so Saturn moon hunting proved challenging too! 

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Was out until quite late last night but it clouded out pretty much completely before the planets were sufficiently high enough to get a scope out.  Managed to see a couple of bright Perseids early on though.

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Looked out last night around 11pm BST, my NE to SE viewing area was covered in clouds. Decide to retire for the night and read. Literally less than ten minutes later looked out the bathroom window and the stars where shining brightly.

Out with DOB for a good 90mins +.

Poor viewing of Jupiter and Saturn, could only get a solid focus with the 15mm, any higher and Jupiter 'boiled' and Saturn became wishy washy.

M57 and M71 located without any issues, last time out could n't get either. Was able to take the mag up with the 8 and 5mm. Finding that I am getting better at averted vision.

M31 M32 double cluster

Almach double.

Albireo; tried again for M56 moving diagonally up from Albireo towards Sulafat. To my utter surprise there it was, my first viewing of M56 initially just a very faint smudge but as I played around with different EPs and averted vision I was able to discern some stars within the smudge. Result.

Finished off with a look at the moon and Mars as it just cleared the rooftops but too low down and volatile to see anything.

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I work rotation and was up at 0400 for a 12 hour shift.  It was starting to get light by 0430 when I dragged the 127slt out with the svbony zoom.  The seeing was not great, but I like widerfield views so all good there and largely left it at 24mm

Didnt get much time viewing and no cool down time but slapped my eyes on Jupiter, always a worthwhile.  Not a huge amount of detail, but everyone often the seeing improved enough to make out some banding.  Not a huge amount of contrast but very nice.

I love watching the moon's.  Poor Ganymede felt like it was being left behind whilst Europa, io and calysto ran on ahead.  Is it my imagination or can you sort of see the position change relative to each other?

I then slapped eyes on Mars.  It was orange.

Edit:. Should be clear again tomorrow so I'm going to just break out the binocs.  They're 10*50 and have a nip of fungus, but I think they might be nice for a change.  Not done binocular astronomy yet

Edited by Ratlet
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Taken just now in almost darkness (amazing this D500). Complete with my comfort mat. Rarin' to go! :biggrin:

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That erigeron is creeping into my observing space. Snippers will be out tomorrow 😜

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Really clear here and have the 102ED out with the binoviewers and the new 18mm BCOs (at 3x with the barlow).  Seeing a bit iffy, but nice details viewing Saturn coming through...  totally sold on the binoviewers!

Edited by Davesellars
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Just having a pause in my head of Draco doubles challenge. Set my self a target of all the doubles on my 20° x 14° map for the 102mm. 9 down, 12 to go... last one seen β 627 at 4.8 and 8.5, 2.0". Lovely clean split at x264.

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Saw the Veil properly for the first time tonight! 🥳

Have been playing with some of the big 2" EPs that I picked up this week. I found a Baader 2" Oiii filter in the treasure box too!

I used the SWAN 40mm 72° and the Nirvana 28mm 82°. Both showed the veil without filter but with it, the view was quite impressive. The exit pupils were 6.7mm and 4.7mm respectively, which is good for the filter, I guess. The skies were brightening with the rising moon  and the neighbour's lights were on, so I was hardly fully dark adapted. The contrast appeared better in the Nirvana, which is a nicer eyepiece all together. I tried the Celestron Axiom LX 19mm 82°, but the contrast was poorer.

At some points however, I was having problems with the view through the filtered Nirvana. I eventually realised that I was seeing the reflection of my eye being thrown back at me by the mirrored surface of the filter!

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My skies were cloudy last night, except for a large gap surrounding Saturn! I had my 10 inch out cooling earlier so it was ready to go. I had some excellent views, the globe had a light band around the equator and a prominent large darker area surrounding the north pole ( I believe we are currently seeing the northern hemisphere of Saturn?) Cassini Division was sharp and I saw Dione, Rhea, Tethys, Titan and Iapetus. Titan and Iapetus formed a lovely triangle with the star HD 205470.

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Just spent a couple of hours on the planet's (mostly). Somewhat impromptu since the forecast wasn't promising, so I only had out the Heritage 114P Virtuoso.

Saturn looked better than of late and I bagged more moons than ever before. Checked afterwards and it was Titan and Hyperion that were easy spots but maybe three others were popping in and out of visibility. Stellarium showed them later to be Rhea, Dione and Mimas (if I didn't imagine that one*). Hints of Cassini division at times, which was equally as unexpected in the little dob as the moons I seem to have ticked off.

Jupiter was accommodating too, three moons with what I thought would be Io hiding but Stellarium put me right that it was Ganymede. I thought I might have *just* detected the GRS and once again a later check confirmed it in the right place, another first even if it was rather vague.

Next I put Neptune into Synscan and was rewarded with a tiny blue dot. I adjusted in and out-focus to confirm it wasn't a random star. Pushed my luck with a 5mm + 2x FE and got a bigger and blurrier dot, not unexpectedly! Still, I've seen it.

Lastly I stuck a 16mm Nirvana in and had a look at the double cluster, amazing as ever.

Then the inevitable, gobs of wispy and not-so-wispy clouds came over. Mars was just coming over rooftop level but the little dob wouldn't have made much of it and the conditions (and time) were against me anyway so I came in.

* edit...further checking suggests it probably wasn't Mimas, hey ho.

Edited by wulfrun
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Draco challenge complete and all targets seen. As usual for my light polluted skies anything below mag 10 was difficult with 10.5 right on the limit and needing averted vision. 

Had a brief look at Saturn. Just a fuzzy mess as usual :sad2:

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18 minutes ago, Mr Spock said:

Draco challenge complete and all targets seen. As usual for my light polluted skies anything below mag 10 was difficult with 10.5 right on the limit and needing averted vision. 

Had a brief look at Saturn. Just a fuzzy mess as usual :sad2:

Curious, what is the Draco challenge? Google is not helpful here.

Sad to hear about Saturn being a miss, but also somewhat ensuring to hear that my eyes are not wrong solely on this one, since a mess it what i usually see of Saturn at 14 degrees elevation 🙄.

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8 minutes ago, ONIKKINEN said:

Curious, what is the Draco challenge?

 

2 hours ago, Mr Spock said:

Just having a pause in my head of Draco doubles challenge. Set my self a target of all the doubles on my 20° x 14° map for the 102mm.

One of my own. The chart has 21 doubles in the range of my 102mm. That's a separation greater than 1.14" and a secondary brighter than 10.75.

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7 hours ago, Mr Spock said:

 

One of my own. The chart has 21 doubles in the range of my 102mm. That's a separation greater than 1.14" and a secondary brighter than 10.75.

Is there a way to work out what should be visible for a given scope in theory or is it through experience?

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Just now, Ratlet said:

Is there a way to work out what should be visible for a given scope in theory or is it through experience?

If you put your scope into something like Astronomy Tools, it gives you all the information about your scope. My sky is heavily light polluted and I can rarely see below mag 4-4.5. So I knock off 2 mags from the limit to give me 10.75; for my 12" I use 13.0, though I have picked up 13.5. The separation of 1.14" depends on seeing conditions more than anything; uneven magnitudes make it more difficult though, so β 627 at 4.8 and 8.5, 2.0" was very pleasing as it was an easy split. OΣ 344 at 6.5 and 10.3, 2.3" was extremely difficult and I think I only had glimpses of it - I'll be recording that as an 'unsure'.

ASTools.jpg.1c029dab9959aef0c97f35398f87d1fd.jpg

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Good to be back out with the 10”. Relatively  clear skies so an opportunity to find a few planetary nebulae, and some for the first time. All viewed at various magnifications using the 7-21mm zoom in conjunction with a Baader OIII. 

First up was The Saturn nebula (NGC 7009) close to Saturn! I couldn’t discern any of elusive blue hue, but the distinctive Saturnesque form was there to see - much like a very out of focus Saturn. 

Next the Dumbbell (M27) - impressive  as always and with the subtle green hue apparent. 

The ring (M57) was very clear and really popped this time - nicely showing its grey/ green colours. 

Finally another new one for me, The Blue Snowball NGC 7662. Very impressive object here and one I’ve been keen to see for some time - a gem of a target with a very distinctive pale blue colour with the OIII. 

After squinting at some DSO’s I then turned to the planets for some razer sharp views - seeing was good. 

Jupiter looked probably the best I’ve seen it so far through the big Dob with lots of subtle banding on display. I was able to push the magnification up more than in recent sessions, and the four Galilean moons showed a little more depth and colour. 

Saturn was impressive and as noted elsewhere on this thread more moons were visible than usual and with that interesting triangular formation. 

Edited by Astro_Dad
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