#1  
Old 21-01-2022, 03:20 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Refractor shoot out in far southern skies

A group of five friends met last night for a refractor shoot out observing evening just outside Hobart.
We had our scopes set up and ready by 7.00pm and then sat back in easy chairs to enjoy some dinner and good conversation waiting for darkness to arrive at about 9.30. We had been waiting a while for a good evening to share the visual experiences through the four refractors on offer. The skies were clear and very steady.
The scopes were my 140mm Vixen NA140SS, two 4” ed triplets (Stellavue and William Optics) and a Skywatcher 80 Esprit.
The observing plan covered various double stars in and around Orion first up before the near full Moon rose above the horizon. After that we turned our backs on the Moon and observed a list of open star clusters in the southern skies.

Those on the list that we managed to cover before running out of time were:

Rigel as a starter to check quality of seeing - the companion was clear and sharp confirming some good viewing ahead
Iota Orionis (Saif) and STF747 in same field
Sigma Orionis
Trapezium
Beta Monoceros
HJ3945 in Canis Major - the colour contrast was truely on show
Mu Canis Major
32 Eridani

With the Moon just above the horizon, we turned to the south.
The Pleiades - a quick stopover
Jewel Box
NGC4609 - a cluster sitting behind the Coal Sack
Lambda Centauri
Pearl Cluster
Wishing Well Cluster
Gem Cluster
Sprinter Cluster
Southern Pleiades
M101 sitting behind the Southern Pleiades.

Finally a view of the Moon. The Terminator was spectacular with Mare Crisium half in shadow and the surrounding peaks and ridges throwing long shadows across the lava plain.

There was much sharing and discussion of the views on offer across the scopes. In the end we agreed there was very little difference between the scopes; all offering pin point sharp views and high levels of contrast. The Stellarvue appeared to have a slight edge on contrast but is was marginal. Of course the 140m scope had more reach and resolution and the 80mm scope struggled to resolve the very tight doubles as expected.


A thoroughly enjoyable evening.
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  #2  
Old 21-01-2022, 03:31 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
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Great report Steve! Some nice and interesting targets you guys observed there. Sounds like a good night with great seeing. Wishing you clear skies!

Joe
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Old 21-01-2022, 09:53 PM
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The Mekon (John Briggs)
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Some great targets Steve. Wish we had your weather, it has been total cloud for weeks here, I got to see the comet one night after Christmas, nothing since. I am pleased somebody is having a great night under the stars!
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Old 21-01-2022, 11:41 PM
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Bobbyoutback
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Love to see such posts , keep them up please .
Beta Monoceros has been a great favorite ' what a triple hey !

Cheers & beers
Bobby
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Old 22-01-2022, 09:29 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
I can see clearly now ...

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Thanks Joe. It turned out to be a cracker of a night. And another good night last night. First clear nights since last December.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EpickCrom View Post
Great report Steve! Some nice and interesting targets you guys observed there. Sounds like a good night with great seeing. Wishing you clear skies!

Joe

Last edited by Tinderboxsky; 22-01-2022 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 22-01-2022, 09:42 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
I can see clearly now ...

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Thanks John. First clear night for us since last December. It turned out to be a good selection - the other observers were experienced Astro imagers with very little observing experience. They were totally surprised to discover these gems hiding in plain sight when they do their imaging.
I managed a good view of Leonard just before Christmas and the nothing since. Last night was clear too and I took my EAA rig out to a site with a low western horizon and managed some good views of Leonard. Probably my last ones as we have cloud again for the next week at least.

Cheer
Steve.

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mekon View Post
Some great targets Steve. Wish we had your weather, it has been total cloud for weeks here, I got to see the comet one night after Christmas, nothing since. I am pleased somebody is having a great night under the stars!
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Old 22-01-2022, 11:14 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
I can see clearly now ...

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Yes, Beta Monoceros is a favourite of mine.

I have not posted reports for a while. The last 12 months have been very poor with few good opportunities where I was not already committed elsewhere.
I have set up an EAA rig for observing and have been experimenting with it when nights have been clear. The deeper detail one can see is extraordinary. I will try posting some of these observations shortly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbyoutback View Post
Love to see such posts , keep them up please .
Beta Monoceros has been a great favorite ' what a triple hey !

Cheers & beers
Bobby
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  #8  
Old 22-01-2022, 04:37 PM
Hemi
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Very nice report Steve,

Im currently traveling, around Tassy with the family. Alas no telescope, but the skies around Frecynet have been amazing these last few nights! A nice break from hot and sweaty Darwin!
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