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Bino Session This AM - 16 Oct 2010


asteria
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Hi - I was up early this morning and the sky was very clear. I reckon probably mag. 4, maybe mag. 5. Very steady seeing and excellent transparency. Some highlights from the session with the Meade 9x63s.

Taurus

M45 - Pleiades: great view with brilliant white/blue stars, some real details with threads of stars. Almost as good as a telescopic view

Hyades - can't be taken in with one field of view but bright clear images

Gemini

M35 - very distinct patch of starlight

NGC 2158 - close neighbour of M35

Cancer

M44 - Praesepe: brilliant view of this great cluster

M67 - very subtle, low key cluster

Orion

M42, M43 - Orion Nebula: brilliant nebulosity, with colour

Andromeda

M31 - Andromeda Galaxy: good view, with bright central core and some spreading light

Triangulum

M33 - Pinwheel Galaxy: a first sighting from the backyard. Just visible in the binos, faint patch of starlight, just brightens with averted vision

Perseus

Mel 20 - brilliant chains of stars around the alpha star

M34 - Spiral Cluster: good view of this slightly dim cluster, some individual stars visible

NGC 869, 884 - Double Cluster: excellent view, tight bright twin clusters showing well in the binos

NGC 1528 - clear haze of stars

NGC 1545 - nearby 1528, similar haze of stars, first time for these two

Auriga

M36, 37, 38 - all very clear, high in the sky overhead, patches of dim starlight

Cassiopeia

NGC 457 - open cluster, just picked out with the binos

M103 - very clear, diffuse starlight

NGC 654, 663 - neighbouring, dim clusters, just made out

Ursa Major

Mizar, Alcor, Ludwig's Star - this is a very good test of conditions. I'm pretty sure once the binos were steadied that the the very faint Ludwig's Star could be made forming the triangle with Mizar and Alcor

Thanks for reading. Ed

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Thanks for the nice feedback Paul. I'm lucky where I am because although I live close to a city centre, light pollution is not too bad. It is only really a problem to the east. I am not overlooked by any direct street lighting, security lights etc which makes a major difference.

One of the reasons for these early morning sessions is that domestic light is not added into the equation, and although I guess it only makes a small percentage of the overall amount of LP, every light that's off makes a small difference.

The binos that I use were bought on SGL a while ago. They are Meade 9x63s, roof prism. I used to use 10x50s, also Meades, but I dropped them! Ooops.

The extra aperture is very useful for this deep sky work. The relatively low magnification means they can be hand-held without too much shaking. Although they are physically much bigger than 10x50s, I use them hand-held. I don't know much about them apart from that.

What I've found with bino viewing is that working out the first few reference points is quite difficult. However, the more reference points that one has, the easier it is to find more and more objects in the sky.

The trick to locating clusters that works best for me is to systematically scan the sky with the binos in the area that the object is located. At the right place, the sky suddenly seems to go out of focus, like a faint fingerprint in the sky. This is generally the first sighting of the cluster.

At this point, averted vision (looking away from the object so the edge of the retina is used) generally brightens the object, and confirms its location. Once you've got used to it, the method seems to work well. At first, looking away from the object to see it more clearly seems bizarre, but it's a very useful strategy.

Hope that helps. Ed

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Hi Ed

thanks for the info.

I have just got some Vixen Ultima 10 x 50's that are much brighter than the Tento 10 x 50's I was using.

The limiting factor where I am is due to the light pollution (Lancashire) , I also wait till everyone has gone to bed but there is no getting away from the orange glow !

9x63's may help so I will keep my eyes open for some . Just looked at a review of them , much larger than I imagined, do they not need a mount ?

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/index.php?id=76,319,0,0,1,0

cheers...Paul

Edited by Polar Bear
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Hi Paul - I do handhold them, and I'm not particularly strong. They could be put on monopod or tripod which would give stability. I sometimes rest them on the fence or similar which helps.

I think the review is fair. The only real issue I have with them is that the focuser could be better. It's usable, but not ultra-smooth or precise. It's true these binos are best on deep sky, which is what I mainly use them for.

Ed

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