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Some Good Seeing - at last!!


F15Rules
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Have been waiting for ages for some decent seeing conditions here in West Leicestershire...although we have had a few transparent nights during the very cold weather, the images would wobble like a jelly...not ideal for the Moon, planets or double stars, some of my favourite viewing targets!:D

The last couple of nights have been very cold, but misty/foggy, but last night was a very "quiet" night, no wind, a touch of mist, and very cold. So even though it was a working day next day I decided just to get my Lomo Maksutov 6" out just for half an hour.

Unlike many Maks, the Lomo has Astro Sital glass which cools down really quickly, so that you can use it right away..also, as it's stored in my garage, it starts off well cooled anyway.

I first turned to M42. Although the Moon was still around 85%, past full phase, and it was really bright, M42 was stunning. I have a lovely old Brandon 16mm EP which gives x135 on the F14.4 Lomo..I centred on the Trapezium and to my delight could see the E component with direct vision, with F suspected with averted vision-and all in really bright Moonlight! So I just wonder how this new (to me) scope will perform in a dark site with no Moon??:)

I then swung around to the Moon, and the view, although dazzlingly bright, was stunning, as it was so calm a night, with virtually none of the boiling effect which has plagued our skies recently...I went up in magnification with an 11mm TV plossl at x196, and the view was totally sharp, totally without false colour, totally calm. So, just to be silly, I went into the garage and got out my Volcano top 4mm Ortho - in this scope this gives x560! Madness! And would you believe it, the image held up:eek:..at the terminator, the crater details were still sharp and well defined: the actual problem was that I wasn't using a drive so the image was racing across the FOV at a rate of knots..

As this was just a very short session, I had a quick look at Castor in Gemini. Always a favourite in my Tal 100RS, I wanted to see how "frac like" an image these good conditions would show in the Mak. I wasn't disappointed: at 135x the image was stunning, so beautiful with the twin components like miniature headlights as described in a recent post with a super sketch of the view.

It was one of those nights where I could have happily stayed out for hours..sadly work next day with an early start put an end to that thought, but, I'd say if you can get your scope out even for half an hour, in the right conditions, the views can be well worth it.

Here's to some more quiet nights of calm and steady seeing!:evil1:

cheers

Dave

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Hi Dave, really enjoyable read, looks like you have got quite a handy scope there! I would agree about the conditions, been much the same here, N Lincs.

560x mag is really pushing it! :evil1: Good to see you had a favourable view.

Had a nice view of Castor myself a few weeks back, 13mm Nag on the 925, I was really impressed with how it appeared, it was in fact quite stricking, as you describe, both stars shone with great clarity against the blackness of the sky.

Hope you have more nights ahead like that :D

Edited by Nexus 6
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Great report Dave !

The russians really know how to make quality scopes don't they ?

The performance if your Lomo sounds rather similar to my Intes MN61 - which perhaps should not be a great surprise :evil1:

560x - crazy but wonderful :D

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Cheers Alan...as I write, my wife is looking at "I wish" retirement type houses in Lincolnshire! My daughter is a Uni College in Lincoln and we got a first visit to the Lincs Wolds last summer...lovely area.

Hope you get some more decent skies soon:-)

regards

Dave

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Hi Mark, thanks for your kind remarks, hope we can get to meet in person some day..there are so many great people on this forum, and I've never yet been to a star party! I've been thinking seriously about Kelling in the spring, just as a visitor..I understand it's quite a "process" to get a proper pitch there?

John, good to hear from you...I'd love a look through your Intes Mak Newt..did you see the little Lomo Mak Newt for sale recently on UKABS? Was very tempted and in fact emailed for pictures...I thought it was a steal at £140 for the OTA, even though it was only 4" aperture, the reviews say they're like Apo fracs..needless to say, it sold quickly!

I decided not to go for it as I've just sold a couple of items and bought a Celestron ED100R OTA...had one last year and regretted selling it, a great "budget" apo refractor. Hope it will arrive soon..:-) (no scope addiction there, then!).

cheers

Dave

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Hi Dave

Nice report.

I was out last night too but here in Derbyshire the seeing was not up to the quality you were experiencing. Try a bit of webcam imaging of the moon but boiling was not the word for it, more like steaming. I was only going out for and hour but ended up out there 3 hours. But despite the moon it was still thoroghly enjoyable.

No such luck tonight though.

Cheers

Dave...

Edited by Dave S
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Hi Dave,

I went out Friday night late (midnight) just to look at the Moon again...there was a lot of wispy cloud to begin with, but it was still very calm and this time I used my Tal 100RS. Using my volcano top 4mm I could get to x250 at 1000mm FL, and the image was very clear and very "calm", much better than I would normally get here, I guess I can't be much more than 50miles max from you as the crow flies..

The sky did then start to clear a bit more so I turned to Mizar, always a favourite and the Plough by 12.30am was now rising well. Mizar at x63 with my Brandon 16mm was a lovely sight, just like a photo. and the Tal showed very little false colour at all, with tack sharp airy discs.

Andy, good to hear that you're getting some decent seeing too, which scope did you have out?

cheers

Dave

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Hi Dave, enjoyed your report. Although a keen refractor man I too have an F12 mak and love the views it gives. Did you catch the other component of Castor by any chance? MAkes a lovely multiple system.

Phil

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