Old 23-07-2011, 12:39 PM
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Obs Report 23/7/11, with 8" dob

Being the first clear night in ages, It was an opportune time to get a bit of observing in after work.

Checked the jetstreams earlier in the day, looked shocking for Vic, but you never know, it could well be good seeing. Got back from work at 10:30pm and took the 8" dob outside to cool. Love the ease of setup with this scope, light weight and takes 5 minutes to be up 'n running. While the scope was cooling, spent the next 3 hours watching Family Guy, King of Queens, South Park, The Simpsons and Wife Swap. This lineup of Poxtel's finest was a good omen for the night ahead. A bag of Doritos sealed the deal

Started observing at around 2.30am. Temp was pegged at 1C, perfect clear sky with a nice 3rd quarter moon. Was planning to observe Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter.

Seeing was okay, not great but doable. The night also gave me a chance to give the scope a thorough workout. As some of you may know, I had the original base replaced with a new one at SDM. This new base was a quick job that Peter and I whacked together in one afternoon with the intent of it being only a temporary solution. hence, no trademark SDM fine glossy woodgrain here! However, the base is so effective, it has a nice smooth azimuth motion and is infinitely more stable than the original, that I intend to keep it permanently. Focusing with the new Moonlight focuser is essentially vibration free. I did find myself missing the dew heaters, as this night was one of the most dew-ish nights I can remember...both finders rendered useless within 10 minutes The good news though.... I'm getting the 1000 Oaks dew system fitted.... which IMO is essential.

Now for the obs....

47 Tuc
Despite moonlight from the 3rd quarter moon, 47 Tuc in the 5mm lVW (240x) was spectacular. The outer tendrils of the cluster spilt beyond the FOV, with the inner and core regions taking on the appearance of sugar crystals in a bowl. There was this fine, delicate clarity to the view.

NGC 362
Numerous outer halo and outlier stars resolved at 240x, strong granularity towards the blazing core.

NGC 253

Showed mottled texture in the 8mm LVW at 150x, and also to a lesser extent in the 13mm at 92x. I was impressed considering that there was strong moon light present.

Excellent, I have NEVER seen contrast and colour saturation of the level I saw with this scope tonight. Both the NEB and SEB were hard-etched into the cream coloured globe of Jupiter, with the NEB a vivid brown with some scalloping and undulation visible at 240x. In moments of good seeing, several faint low contrast bands presented themselves, but seeing was too rough to really get the best of the planet. Nevertheless, the contrast seemed better than in any scope observed Jupiter with. The view at 240x was very good considering the fairly rough seeing.....

I was treated to a shadow transit of Io, and a transit of the moon itself with ingress at approx 6.30am. Io was a clear pale 'dot' against the rusty hue of the SEB during the initial stages of the transit, but seeing deteriorated rapidly thereafter.


Just as morning twilight was beginning to wash out the brightest stars, a thick fog suddenly appeared to the north....transforming a clear crisp morning into a grey oblivion in the matter of minutes! Gotta say, great timing

Last edited by pgc hunter; 23-07-2011 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:06 PM
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DavidU (Dave)
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Great to see you could try the 8" Sab, it to must have a fine figure.
I was out earlier between 9-10pm but seeing was bad and couldn't get Saturn to focus.
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Old 23-07-2011, 07:21 PM
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Lovely descriptions Sab. A very enjoyable read and sounds like a top mirror in that scope.
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Old 23-07-2011, 10:49 PM
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Thanks Dave and Paddy. David, the seeing here has been an absolute crock lately. Last week I had two mornings when I couldn't focus Jupiter at all. Looked like a blurry blob, and faint stars were smeared to invisibility.

Last edited by pgc hunter; 24-07-2011 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 25-07-2011, 10:26 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)

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Ditto Paddy's sentiments about the descriptions. I'm glad to see a true photon junkie come out to play too, moon or no moon!
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