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  1. #1
    Mike Fitterman's Avatar
    Mike Fitterman Guest

    Default Forget the Aurora, this morning's sky was the best I've seen it!

    I've been sick on and off the last week and about the worst I've been
    yesterday, but having a clear sky night was worth getting sicker
    for. So I lugged my scope out and couldn't believe the aurora
    outside. What's really weird is, that wasn't the wow I mentioned in
    the subject. The aurora was fine for 5 minutes and then I got cold
    and came in and went to bed, leaving my scope out all night.

    Got up this morning at 4 am with Saturn transiting. WOW! I was up
    to 344x in my DGM Optics 6.5" Off Axis Newtonian without the
    image breaking down. What a pain in a dob mount
    using a 5mm ortho but still worth it. By far the best view of Saturn
    I've ever had. At 344x I was able to get different shades of
    darkness in A-ring itself, most notably around where the Encke Minima
    should have shown itself (I wish I had my powermate out there, I
    definitely would have gone higher in power!) The C-ring was obvious
    and clear and varying shades, the B-ring had the effect of being
    multiple rings due to different colors. The shadow on the back of
    the rings was clearly visible, so was the planet through the C-ring in
    the front. I won't even mention the Cassini division as that was
    just a duh!

    Saturn itself showed it's very bright equatorial belt and a host of
    other shaded areas. I really didn't spend as much time looking at
    the planet as I normally would have (I was cold and still not up to
    par), but it was incredible. I'm definitely going to have to get out
    a few more mornings this fall.

    Jupiter also was up and over my tree line at this time. Still too
    low in the sky to say it was spectacular, but I'm looking forward to
    a similar experience once it gets above 50 degrees or so.

    The Orion Nebula showed the E and F stars in the trapezium. This is
    the first time I've ever bagged both in the same night clearly since
    I've moved to Harvard MA (I used to study variables in the Orion Neb
    with a big scope when I was a kid). Not only was I able to see them,
    they didn't flutter in and out. They were rock solid. The nebula
    itself was the brightest and clearest I've ever seen it. I could
    have sworn I had a filter in the eyepiece because of the detail the
    nebulosity was showing. What an amazing sight!

    Incredible morning, even more incredible than the aurora!


  2. #2
    Stephen Paul's Avatar
    Stephen Paul Guest

    Default Forget the Aurora, this morning's sky was the best I've seen it!

    "Mike Fitterman" <> wrote in message

    Thanks for sharing.

    I finally succumbed Thursday afternoon. Been feeling like crap ever since.
    Last time I share an eyepiece with you, rat bastard. <vbg>

    I did enjoy your report though. I was out until 10-ish and the sky was
    beginning to calm just before I decided to put everything away. No way I
    was getting up at 4AM feeling like I do, but I'm not at all surprised to
    here it was good for planets.

    FWIW, I split Almaak in the XT10 and it looked better than in the Ultima 8,
    as expected in light of the recent thread on the subject.




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