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Old 07-11-2010, 10:53 AM
Rob_K
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Obs report, 6 Nov 2010

Not much to report - after (roughly) collimating the local club's 8" 1000mm (f5) Saxon dob, I gave it a test last night. Sky conditions were a bit off, with some light cloud making & breaking and a bit of milkiness to the rest. This affected the contrast of the views a little I think. It wasn't helped by a big floodlight on next door (but can't complain, they're great neighbours & the floodlighting is very rare). Still, they were skies that the average light-polluted city slicker would die for!

No charts, so checked out a number of favourites with 21mm Celestron X-Cel EP (48x). First up the Tarantula Nebula in the LMC - nice but not great, and I think the lack of contrast on the night severely affected this one. I did notice stronger mottly nebulosity in the field around it than I'm used to in the 4.5".

Moved to galaxy NGC 253, almost at the zenith - very nice, strong, and extended more than half way across the field of view. Mottling was easily visible, brighter core stood out with effort - much better than views I'm used to. Went to NGC 1365 & the big cluster of galaxies near it. 1365 was very disappointing and I've seen it much better in the 4.5" on a good night. Moved down to the rich galaxy field and all the little galaxies I'm familiar with were instantly there, no averted vision needed. However, no more detail was visible than in the 4.5", as would be expected given the magnification used and the size of the galaxies. As I had no charts, I didn't attempt to pop previously unseen dimmer galaxies into view. Tried for the Grus Quartet but light cloud thwarted me.

Both the Great Nebula in Orion & the Eta Carinae nebula were behind trees but I did cruise the little of the denser Milky Way I could see and there were some wonderful open clusters. NGC 3114 just over the treetops was lovely!

Had a look at 47 Tucanae, but it was pretty underwhelming at 48x. However, I tried an 8mm eyepiece (125x) and the view was probably marginally better than I'm used to at that mag - better resolution & brighter, although still let down a little by contrast.

Finished off with Jupiter at 125x - very bright, LOL, colour good, 4 moons showing. Reasonable detail visible but the seeing wasn't flash. Didn't have a Barlow handy to test at higher mags, and not sure if the conditions would have allowed it anyway.

All in all, this scope will perform very nicely in better conditions - just dreaming of one of those crystal clear dark nights out at the Porepunkah airstrip!

Cheers -
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:52 AM
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Some nice objects seen there Rob, looks like we were kinda looking at similiar targets last night. Using a Dob .... and you were missing your 4 1/2".
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:04 PM
Rob_K
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Quote:
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Some nice objects seen there Rob, looks like we were kinda looking at similiar targets last night. Using a Dob .... and you were missing your 4 1/2".
Thanks Liz - the 4.5" is not happy with me, thinks I've sold out to the evil aperture! Quite happy to return the 8" to the club now - the worst thing is that in a normal viewing session I'm moving the scope constantly to get gaps in trees & open horizons. With even an 8" dob, that becomes tedious and frustrating. How do you people do it? Very happy to go back to my little scope!

Cheers -
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:00 PM
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Great to see a report from you Rob! I love your description of NGC 1365, my impressions of this objec match yours exactly it is veeeeeeeeeerrry underwhelming from my place. It sounds like you might need more magnification on the Tarantula, looks awesome at ~200x or more especially with a filter. Btw, have you noticed that NGC 3114 resembles a swastika?
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:01 PM
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Paddy (Patrick)
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A good effort on what sounds like a fairly ordinary night for Victorian astronomers. The contrast sounds like it was pretty poor everywhere. We'd looked at 1365 through Alex's 22" at SV on Friday night and it was stunningly crisp, last night it was very ordinary indeed.

Thanks for the read!
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:08 PM
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A good effort on what sounds like a fairly ordinary night for Victorian astronomers. The contrast sounds like it was pretty poor everywhere. We'd looked at 1365 through Alex's 22" at SV on Friday night and it was stunningly crisp, last night it was very ordinary indeed.

Thanks for the read!
I know what you mean, Thursday and Friday nights were extraordinarily transparent here, but had work till midnight both nights so no obs Saturday ofcourse turned to clag quick smart, but still happy to have gotten some good viewing in.
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Old 14-11-2010, 12:04 AM
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Rob, at least you had a good night out there all the same, despite the weather. Thankyou for the report.
We dob users are hard workers aren't we... nudge, nudge, nudge. But I enjoy it and it makes me feel like I'm in control on my vehicle.
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