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First Light with the Orion XX16G


Mike Q
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Here in Ohio, November is usually a cloudy month so when we get clear skies I go for it.  

Last night everything we had was out.  The 10 inch Skyline, the 16 inch Skyquest and the Stellina.  Temp was in the low 30s and the humidity was around 60% and a steady 5 to 10 mph wind, which eliminated the need for dew heaters.  That is something that almost never happens. 

The process was find it with the 10 inch and then use the Sweet 16 and find it manually.  If you are interested in how the go to and tracking works, stand by and once i figure it out i will let you know.

Jupiter is always a easy target to begin with.  In the 10 inch you see the bands and colors, with the 16 you see more of everything.   Saturn was next, still beautiful in the 10, but with the 16 the divisions between the rings and the moons are very evident.  Off to M31, the Great Galaxy of Andromeda.  As we all know in a 10 inch its a fuzzball.  In the 16 inch its a bigger fuzzball, but a fuzzball with details, including 1 of the two companion galaxies.  It is worth noting that was still early in the evening and it was not full dark at this point.

Took a quick break to warm up and have some coffee and resumed the efforts.

The Pleiades were in a handy spot and they easily filled the ES 30mm.  Nebulosity was visible without filters using the 16, not a huge amount, but it was definitely visible.  Then back to M31 now that it was darker.  At this point i am sitting on the top of a ladder to get to the eyepiece and finder. Now that it was darker the detail was better.  Unfortunately the skies were also starting to change for the worse.  Never fails.  Since i was now starting to run out of time i decided to hit some old favorites.  First up .... The Ring Nebula.  In the 10 inch you see it just fine but some averted vision is required.  With the 16... No averted vision required and you can see the neutron star in the center.  It is definitely VERY blue. Next up was M13.  The best way i could think of describing it with the 16.... I can see clusters in the cluster.  Finally i wrapped up the evening with Caroline's Rose.  Now while the 16 obviously got me in closer, i think the image with the 10 was more appealing using the 20mm vs the 30mm in the 16.  Now while all this was going on the wife had the robot taking pictures.  She ended up with the Pleiades, Caroline's Rose and the Horsehead Nebula.   By the time we wrapped up the transparency had completely gone down hill and i was actually seeing the turbulence in the air.  Thats a pretty good time to quit. 

The main eyepiece used in the 16 was a 2 inch ES30mm 82 degree.  I did also run Long Perng 14 and 20mm LHD and Orions Q70 eyepieces.  They all performed well.  The 10 inch mostly had the 20mm Long Perng in it as it is exceptional eyepiece and works well in the 10 inch.   As a eyepieces side note the other 2 ES eyepieces that came with the scope, an 8.5mm and 14mm 1.25 inch eyepieces are really not much use in a 16.  The amount of light lost using them makes them less them optimal for DSO, planetary work sure.  

All in all a good first light for the 16 and a good learning experience for me. 

 

Edited by Mike Q
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Nice first light Mike. The go to is a straightforward synscan which is relatively easy to master. If you run into any problems just holler. I can see the ring nebula with direct vision in my 4” frac pretty clearly. It just needs the magnification.

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13 minutes ago, bosun21 said:

Nice first light Mike. The go to is a straightforward synscan which is relatively easy to master. If you run into any problems just holler. I can see the ring nebula with direct vision in my 4” frac pretty clearly. It just needs the magnification.

Yeah it does seem pretty basic now that I have read the manual through.  I will read it again just to make sure I understand it all.  My buddy Jason has this scope and is planning on coming around sometime and learn me up on all the tricks and hacks that you can do with it.  I figured I would learn to use it manually first and then get into the go to part of it.  I have to admit there is a certain awkwardness to handling a scope this size, but it is more from unfamiliarity then weight or size.  I don't remember which eyepiece I had in for the Ring, it was either the ES 30MM or one of the Orion branded Long Perngs.  Either way the image was just beautiful.  I had to promise my 10 inch that she would still be used and that she is still my forever lover, which she is.  I will have that scope forever lol.

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Great report, Mike. It's interesting that the Q70s were ok in such a demanding scope. It might save you a lot of money having to replace all of them! 👍

Note for anyone interested: the Long Perngs that Mike.mentions are the same as the 2" 80° StellaLyra range.

Edited by cajen2
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9 minutes ago, cajen2 said:

Great report, Mike. It's interesting that the Q70s were ok in such a demanding scope. It might save you a lot of money having to replace all of them! 👍

Note for anyone interested: the Long Perngs that Mike.mentions are the same as the 2" 80° StellaLyra range.

I was quite happy with how the Q70s worked with it. I was told they would be fine and they did just great.  I will play with them some more in it and take notice of what i didnt notice the first time lol. 

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1 hour ago, Alan White said:

Excellent first light and demonstrates the step up to a much larger mirror.

I am sure that the 16 will show some real gems in the right condition.

I am certainly hoping so.  

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I was promted to add a picture that illustrates the size difference between the 10 Skyline and the 16 inch Skyquest.   This is the only photo I happen to have of the two.  The 10 inch at apex is no problem with feet on the ground.  The 16 inch at apex....even being a F4.4, unless you are 7 feet tall you are going to need a ladder. Also as you can see the Beast rides on a cart that lifts it about 3 inches off the ground, then i lift it even more to level it.  

IMG_20221122_172257107.jpg

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