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First Light


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Last night I finally got to see some stars from here in North Devon. It has been weeks of cloudy skies and general grimness. While last night's observing conditions were far from ideal stars were visible and so I seized the moment. This area is class 4 Bortle. My telescope is a Takahashi FC100 DC and I was using a Pentax XW 40mm and then a Celestron Luminos 10mm eyepiece. Mounted on a Scopetech Mount Zero – the plan is that one fine night I will lug this lot up to Exmoor.

The seeing was ok but with some turbulence rippling across. Fast moving clouds kept the session from being a long contemplative experience, but I'll take anything at the moment. I decided to concentrate on Orion as there is so much going on in that area and it is well placed at this time of year. Specifically I wanted to try seeing the Trapezium as my first target. I have done some reading so I had a rough idea of what I would be looking at.

Starting off with a 40mm eyepiece for a general overall view I then changed to a 10mm in order to try to see the Trapezium in M42. With my setup this gives 74x magnification. This gave me a good view of the nebula … and there it was! The four main stars clearly visible in that distinctive form. Seeing one of those tiny points of light, BM Orionis, and at the same time realising that it is a double, between them twelve times more massive than and 100 times brighter than our Sun. OK, I'm hooked.

I was finally defeated by the clouds but tonight is forecast to be similar and I will be ready. I was dead chuffed with last night's session after a very long wait during which time I did start to question the whole enterprise. I bought the telescope and accessories some weeks ago and was beginning to wonder what the point was. Well, I think I get it now. The frusrtation is more than offset by the moments of clarity and wonder.

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Nice first light report and you have a great scope, eyepieces and mount for a lifetime of observing 😀

I had my Tak 100 on M42 last night as well and it's amazing the detail that can be observed... the nebulosity particularly looks great and even more so when you "avert" your vision very slightly 👍

Look forward to hearing more...

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You have a lovely scope there @Dogstar45, I’m sure you will have many happy sessions with it going forward. Under a dark Exmoor sky it will be amazing.

I was doing similar things with its little brother the 76DCU last night, on a Scopetech mount just like you. 😀

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