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  1. #1
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    Default Views from the Desert



    I finally got back out to do some observing tonight and while I didn’t look at a lot of things but what I looked at I looked at a lot. The heat and wind did affect seeing tonight as did the smoke along the horizon up to about 30 degrees.
    The Moon: I started off with the waxing crescent moon and used the full range of magnifications on the Zoom EP including the Barlow. The seeing was very clear and I could examine the craters in detail even at 300x.
    Saturn: Saturn was up high and seeing was good. I went up to about 200x and I was able to make out cloud bands in the northern hemisphere but could not discern the Cassini division, I could also see Titan and Rhea.
    M95: I spent quite some time looking at this DSO. I got a good focus at 150X and the stars were clear and sharp. This was a great view.
    M4: This was too low to horizon and washed out very badly due to city glare and smoke. It took me forever to find it
    M51: This eluded me once again.
    The Virgo Cluster: The laptop battery died just as I was starting in this area. Without Stellarium I knew that I wouldn’t be able to indenify anything using alt-az coordinates so I just slowly scanned the area at low power and I was rewarded by finding three galaxies. I don’t know which ones they were and I really don’t care. I am just happy that I found them. My confidence is way up now when it comes to finding those faint fuzzies.
    Technical Issues: I compared the 9mm Orion EP with the Zhumell Zoom EP set to 8mm and there was no real comparison. The Zoom was clearer, greater FOV and the quality was just better. I tried using the Skeye phone app again tonight and I think with a stable mount it will work. The app was jerking around quite a bit but I think that was due to my phone. You have to move slowly for it to work. I need to do some work on the scope itself. The alt Teflon bearings need to be replaced as there is a severe backlash issue now. I also need to tighten up the bolts holding the bearings to the OTA and I can’t reach into the tube to hold the nuts.
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  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to neal_mlc For This Useful Post:

    admin (06-08-2011),dmbryan (06-06-2011),GRB1984 (06-05-2011)

  3. #2
    neal_mlc's Avatar
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    Default

    My reference to m95 should read m92. I also apologize for putting this in the wrong forum as it should be in the reports forum.
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  4. #3
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    Default

    Looks like we are in the Reports Forum Neal! Glad you found M92 - agree the description of the object does fit a globular better than a galaxy. I am sure you would have found M95 as well being out there. Keep trying for M51, you will snag it yet. A few thoughts on the laptop battery running out of juice at a bad time; you could carry a spare battery (fully charged) with you, or use one of those jumpstart units that you carry in the car (I always have one for emergencies) as most have AC outlets on them, or what I have done is to get an outboard power inverter, which plugs into the cigarette lighter and converts the DC to AC so you can plug the laptop in. I envy you being able to get into the desert. Happy viewing.
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  5. #4
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    Normally I have a convertor that I use to keep the laptop going but a certain daughter of mine took it out of my van and put it in her car to run her laptop.
    We do have some great skies out here but right now we have a wildfire problem and the smoke is really reducing the transparency.
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    Default

    Great report. Keep trying for M51, you'll get it. Bummer about the wildfires and laptop dying, but sounds like a great night viewing.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by neal_mlc View Post
    Normally I have a convertor that I use to keep the laptop going but a certain daughter of mine took it out of my van and put it in her car to run her laptop.
    Oh why does that sound familiar on oh so many levels!
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  8. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by neal_mlc View Post
    M4: This was too low to horizon and washed out very badly due to city glare and smoke. It took me forever to find it
    M51: This eluded me once again.
    Light pollution is high concern these days, I thinks it needs fast and practical solutions.
    Have Clear Sky
    Bilal

  9. #8
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    And the sad part is here is Tucson Az we have ordinance that supposedly protect and preserve our dark skies
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    Great report Neal, I still need to get down that way and spend some time observing; if nothing else I can bring the C6 and we'll see if we can find M51 in it then try it in your dob. Probably should stop by Starizona and see if anything new tugs at my billfold
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  11. #10
    neal_mlc's Avatar
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    Sounds like a plan to me! Just let me know, I've got a couple of dark spots. That sounds like a disease doesn't it.
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