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Old 25-10-2009, 10:56 PM
mac (Matt)
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Observations - first dark sky test for 10" Dob

I finally managed to get out of Auckland City tonight, and drove for 45 minutes to a beach where there are some fairly dark skies. The Moon is in its first quarter, of course, so the skies weren't completely dark.

To re-calibrate my finder scope, I locked onto Jupiter. The telescope hadn't cooled down, so it was a struggle to get good focus. However, it was so bright that I don't think much detail could be seen anyway without a filter. That's an object that I'm better off viewing from downtown.

Next was 47 Tuc. Oh my gosh... a kajillion stars were visible as pin pricks all the way into its core. My wife really loved this one.

Then I looked around the SMC and LMC, but I forgot to bring a chair so moved onto the next object: M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy. I'd never seen it through a scope before, and it was the main reason I chose my observing site - views northeast all the way to the horizon. It was easy to find, using Mirach and HIP4436 as 'pointers'. It appeared as a clear fuzzy oval. With averted vision, it stretched further across the eyepiece's field of view.

By this time, Pleiades had come up so I took a look at that - it didn't even fit into my 26mm EP's field of view! Time for a wide angle, me thinks!

Then onto the Orion Nebula, M42. The nebula was very bright and wonderful to look at. Four stars were tightly packed together in its core. Averted vision made some darker areas and structure in the nebula easily visible.

It was a good night. Unfortunately observing on a sandy beach is hazardous to telescope equipment, so I didn't stay out for more than a couple of hours. I wish it had been possible though. So much to see...
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Old 26-10-2009, 01:39 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Hi Matt,

Sounds like a beautiful night's viewing. 47 Tuc under dark skies is indeed a wonderful sight. Looking forward to further reports.
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Old 26-10-2009, 06:32 PM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Hello Matt,

Good to hear you had such an excellent session. I wonder, though, what the salt spray will do to the scope's metal components and optics? It might be worth giving the mirror a look over for residue.

Yes 47 Tuc is wonderful, even in surburbia. It was the first thing I looked at with the new Nagler 7mm - absolutely stunning, almost 3 dimensional. Very jealous of your northern horizon, I have no hope of seeing the Andromeda Galaxy from my yard. Hope to see more reports. All the best.
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Old 26-10-2009, 10:04 PM
mac (Matt)
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Yep, I was a bit worried about the salt too Paul. It all seems okay though (although I haven't been able to check the secondary mirror yet).

I'm envious of your 7mm Nagler - that would be fantastic to own. Planets must look good through that too.
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Old 27-10-2009, 08:54 AM
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Lismore Bloke (Paul)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac View Post
Yep, I was a bit worried about the salt too Paul. It all seems okay though (although I haven't been able to check the secondary mirror yet).

I'm envious of your 7mm Nagler - that would be fantastic to own. Planets must look good through that too.
It excellence surprised me because I'm used to my old Celestron Orthoscopics, made in the 1980's. As magnification increased, the image quality always seemed to deteriorate. Not with the Naglers. If the exchange rates in NZ are favourable, I'd be getting a couple.
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