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HOW GOOD IS THE STARSENSE EXPLORER APP AT FINDING OBJECTS IN BRIGHT MOONLIGHT? - EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD IN MY VIEW!!


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Last evening I went out to observe Mars and the Moon.  After observing these two objects, I thought it was a good opportunity to really test how well the StarSense App finding system on my Celestron 8 inch StarSense Explorer  Dob is affected by bright Moonlight.

It was a frosty night, -3 deg C, with the Moon at an altitude of 52 degres and 98.7% illuminated when I finished the session at a little after 1am.

Mars was 15 deg to the E of the Moon, and the SS located the Moon easily,.  I noticed on the phone's screen that the Pleiades were only 5 or so degrres NW of the Moon.  I replaced my binoviwer, x275 mag, I had been using with my 17.5mm Morpheus - x68, 1.1 deg field.

854780604_Screenshot_20221207-000921_StarSenseExplorer.thumb.jpg.7eb8b7866af8aa993f3fd46c87b93a20.jpg

The SS had no problem pointing me to the Pleiades, which I couldn't even see with the naked eye with the Moon's glare.  I then went to several objects to test its accuracy further.

From the Pleiades back to Mars.

Mars to M42.

M42 to HR2764 - my first view of the wonderful 'Winter Albireo' in Canis Major, only 10 degrees above SE horizon. It really is like a fainter version of Albireo, wonderful!

HR2764 to Double Cluster.

Double Cluster to C13, ET/Owl Cluster.

ET Cluster to M44 The Beehive Cluster.

M44 to Pleiades.  This required the scope to go within less than 5 degrees from the Moon to arrive at its destination.  No problem at all.

Despite the bright moonlight, the StarSense App successfully navigated all these maneouvers.  In fact the sky had thin cloud covering the Cass area and when I located the Double Cluster and the ET Cluster I couldn't see any stars in that area with the naked eye..  When I arrived at the ET cluster, in the scope I could only see two odd stars.  I was a bit puzzled until the cloud thinned in patches and ET's eye and then the rest of it came into view!!

In summary, the SS had no difficulty finding any object with an 87% illuminated Moon and some hazy patches of cloud as well, even when objects were close to the Moon itself.  Significantly, I really couldn't have found some of the objects with a finder, it just wouldn't have been possible. 

Use your StarSense Explorer telescope when there's Moonlight, you shouldn't have any problems at all - I didn't!

 

 

 

Edited by paulastro
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1 hour ago, paulastro said:

Last evening I went out to observe Mars and the Moon.  After observing these two objects, I thought it was a good opportunity to really test how well the StarSense App finding system on my Celestron 8 inch StarSense Explorer  Dob is affected by bright Moonlight.

It was a frosty night, -3 deg C, with the Moon at an altitude of 52 degres and 98.7% illuminated when I finished the session at a little after 1am.

Mars was 15 deg to the E of the Moon, and the SS located the Moon easily,.  I noticed on the phone's screen that the Pleiades were only 5 or so degrres NW of the Moon.  I replaced my binoviwer, x275 mag, I had been using with my 17.5mm Morpheus - x68, 1.1 deg field.

854780604_Screenshot_20221207-000921_StarSenseExplorer.thumb.jpg.7eb8b7866af8aa993f3fd46c87b93a20.jpg

The SS had no problem pointing me to the Pleiades, which I couldn't even see with the naked eye with the Moon's glare.  I then went to several objects to test its accuracy further.

From the Pleiades back to Mars.

Mars to M42.

M42 to HR2764 - my first view of the wonderful 'Winter Albireo' in Canis Major, only 10 degrees above SE horizon. It really is like a fainter version of Albireo, wonderful!

HR2764 to to Double Cluster.

Double Cluster to C14, ET/Owl Cluster.

ET Cluster to M44 The Beehive Cluster.

M44 to Pleiades.  This required the scope to go within less than 5 degrees from the Moon to arrive at its destination.  No problem at all.

Despite the bright moonlight, the StarSense App successfully navigated all these maneouvers.  In fact the sky had thin cloud covering the Cass area and when I located the Double Cluster and the ET Cluster I couldn't see any stars in that area with the naked eye..  When I arrived at the ET cluster, in the scope I could only see two odd stars.  I was a bit puzzled until the cloud thinned in patches and ET's eye and then the rest of it came into view!!

In summary, the SS had no difficulty finding any object with an 87% illuminated Moon and some hazy patches of cloud as well, even when objects were close to the Moon itself.  Significantly, I really couldn't have found some of the objects with a finder, it just wouldn't have been possible. 

Use your StarSense Explorer telescope when there's Moonlight, you shouldn't have any problems at all - I didn't!

 

 

 

Brilliant tonight is looking favourable so I will be getting out I want to see M42 if I could stay up late I want to see if I can get the Leo trio I've never seen them from home. 

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