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Quick session with the 16”


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I posted elsewhere about a bit of a revelation I had with my 16” truss dob this evening, namely switching to my other eye which seemed to instantly ‘fix’ the astigmatism I had been blaming the scope for! Combined with a tweak on the collimation it really gave the stars much more of a pin point definition, with six beautiful diffraction spikes radiating around. If anything I prefer six spikes as each is less dominant than with four brighter ones.

Anyway both before and after that moment, I spent a little while with the scope, observing a few different objects. Nothing even vaguely out of the ordinary, but fun to see the different perspective of the dob.

First up M42/43 of course. Extensive and detailed nebula on view, really nice, and better contrast/detail with an OIII. Using my left eye, the trap was ok, but using my right it sharpened up and the E star was much easier, and I caught glimpses of F. The Running Man nebulosity was visible, though again no detail, not sure this is possible?

I tried Sigma Orionis and again, it was sharper with the right eye and the faint fourth component was very obvious. Rigel was a delight, secondary nice and clear with a 12.5mm Morpheus.

I then tried for the Christmas tree cluster which I found after some careful placement of the TelRad. Nice cluster, filling the fov and very Christmas tree like, with faint hints of nebulosity, darker skies need on this one I think.

Rosette nebula next. Again, it filled the fov and would be better with more space around but still the nebulosity was clearly visible with a darker hole in the middle with the star cluster embedded.

Then a trawl amongst the Auriga clusters. Best was probably M38 with NGC1907 nearby in the same field. The additional image scale and additional stars visible really blows these clusters up and gives them impact. 37 and 36 were each different in character but equally rewarding, as was M35 in Gemini.

That was pretty much it really. I packed the scope away fairly quickly, and with the counterbalance weights remove the base and mirror box are quite manageable for me, even with my dodgy back! I shall get much more use out of this scope in future, of that I’m sure 👍

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I too am a “leftie” eye-wise, very much so: all my recent eye tests have shown my left eye to be more sensitive, but with much more complex astigmatism than my right.

Nonetheless I tried a switch the other night, on a bad Mars, and I didn’t immediately reject my right eye. Interesting, I plan to persevere…

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