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Old 30-06-2011, 09:33 AM
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Quick observations with the 8"

Been getting a fair stack of clear nights lately and have been out viewing Saturn a fair bit. Last night was the first time I got to use 8 inch dob after whipping together a new dob base and attaching a Moonlite Focuser during yesterday afternoon up at SDM. Had it out last night for a bit of Saturn and a few winter objects. Also gave me a chance to see how the new base improved the scope's usability.


The seeing was very good early in the evening, before rapidly deteriorating to mush a couple of hours after sunset.

Saturn

Very clear and crisp with the 5mm LVW at 240x. Cassini Division easily seen around the ring's ansae as was the Crepe Ring. Some faint banding was seen on the globe. Using a barlowed 8mm for 300x, I was still getting a good, crisp view during steady moments with all of the aforementioned features in clear view as well as the shadow of the rings on the planet.

M20
The dark lanes in the Trifid were readily seen with the 13mm LVW at 92x. The reflection lobe was fainter, being hindered by light pollution.

Omega Centauri

Excellent in the 8mm LVW at 150x. Hundreds of tiny pinpricks covering 3/4s of the FOV, or the entire FOV if you count the outliers. The "owl eyes" were seen.

Centaurus A
because this was a quick session I had no charts with me so no way of star hopping to Centaurus A. So, I used Omega Cen as my launch pad and swung the scope to where I estimated Centaurus A would be. I look through the 13mm EP and what do i see? The galaxy nicely centered! The dark lane was clearly visible but beside it and the two lobes, not much else. Really need to get to some darker skies already!

Eta Carina
Very nice and contrasty in the 13mm at 92x. Seemed to stand out better than usual without using a filter. Tried for the Homunculus at 240x but barely seen...probably washed out due to seeing and maybe not enough aperture to really resolve it.


Antares
Seeing was now quickly going bad, but at 240x was just able to make out the companion amongst the primary's glare.



Initial impressions are positive...the new mount has significantly improved the scope's stability, and the Moonlite focuser is superior to the Astrosystems that preceded it. Very smooth and I gotta say that red is beginning to grow on me Optically, the scope I think will perform very well, I think it'll be capable of handling it's theoretical limits of magnification on planetary subjects in excellent seeing. And being lightweight 5 minute setup job it'll be used a fair bit methinks

a few pics after its visit to the SDM shop...
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  #2  
Old 30-06-2011, 02:42 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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Some nice obs there Sab. Certainly better with Saturn than I've been getting of late - it's a bit too close to some trees for good seeing.

I know what you mean about a Moonlight. I swapped the Astrosystems focuser on my dob for a Moonlight - no comparison!
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
Some nice obs there Sab. Certainly better with Saturn than I've been getting of late - it's a bit too close to some trees for good seeing.

I know what you mean about a Moonlight. I swapped the Astrosystems focuser on my dob for a Moonlight - no comparison!

This year has been a disaster for seeing, this was the first night I got a something that I can actually call good. Those Astrosystems focusers really aren't great, the single speed crayford on my Skywatcher refractor has a more fluid motion.

After the session I found out I wasn't properly collimated...I didnt have the secondary correctly aligned with respect to the focuser and primary, so consequently the laser dot was a good inch or so from the primary centre....which upon further reading those collimation threads on CN, I discovered that translates into an error equivalent to the primary being misaligned by up to 12mm!!!!

So, I fixed that... now really itching to see what this scope can really do!
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:28 PM
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michaellxv (Michael)
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Sounds like you have yourself a very nice little scope there.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by michaellxv View Post
Sounds like you have yourself a very nice little scope there.
Yep, this one I don't have to think twice about setting up Lightweight and 5 minutes from contemplating observing to actually being outside...without sacrificing aperture


Tried to observe Jupiter this morning....gods sake I've never seen such horrendous seeing....at best focus Jupiter was literally a blurry blob with a BARE HINT of the two main cloud bands. Disgusting.
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