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  1. #1
    Widespread's Avatar
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    Default Friday Night (Star) Lights



    Until last night, I had been having a lot of GoTo problems with my new NexStar 8SE, and in fact had thus far only had one really good night where the scope didn't go haywire.

    As it turns out, I think the problem may have been the excrescent power cord that came with my Power Tank. I purchased a new (25 ft.!) cord, and its maiden voyage last night was copacetic.

    The moon was bright, so while waiting for the sky to get darker, I decided to try my moon filter. I spent about 5 minutes viewing with my 25mm Plossl, then popped in the Barlow and viewed a bit more.

    Auto 2-star alignment went flawlessly (Vega and Regulus), and I started by looking for objects I'd viewed in my single previous good session. The moon was too bright to see galaxies well, but double stars and clusters were generally fine, although not quite as clear as last time.

    I reacquainted myself with Polaris, 19 Lyncis, Saturn, Castor, Iota Cancer, the Crown Cluster, Albireo and Algieba. Everything went well (although I definitely need to adjust my backlash settings), and I played around with different eyepieces. Saturn showed clear banding, and I there were occasional hints of the Cassini division.

    I decided to try some new objects. Due to the moon, I quickly gave up on galaxies, and concentrated on doubles and clusters:

    Blinking Planetary (NGC 6826): This was the highlight of my night. I couldn't understand what made it blink; turns out it was my own eyes. According to Wikipedia, the bright star at the core forces you to use averted vision to see the nebula, and so it blinks on and off as your eyeball moves!!!

    Stargate Cluster: All 3 stars in outer triangle clearly visible, 3rd star in inner triangle very dim. Really cool!
    Coma Cluster: I looked at star fields in the EP, but I'm pretty sure I didn't see any mag 12 galaxies.
    24 Comae Berenices: Beautiful double.
    Algorab: Another really pretty double with good size/ color contrast.
    Porrima: Couldn't split it.
    Coathanger Cluster: I could see the line of stars, but couldn't discern the entire shape. Now that I've googled the image, I should be able to make it out next time.
    Nu Draconis: Pretty double with components of similar color/ magnitude.
    W Cluster: No misrepresentation here.
    Wild Duck Cluster: I could see some stars, but the view was not very rich.
    17 Cygnus: Very pretty double!
    Spiral Cluster: I think I was looking at it, though it didn't look that spiral to me.

    I've still only had one night with the new cord, but here's hoping I've solved the problem!
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  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Widespread For This Useful Post:

    Dublin sky watch (06-11-2011),GRB1984 (06-11-2011),samgray1 (06-15-2011)

  3. #2
    GRB1984's Avatar
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    Default

    Great report! I hope that the problem is solved too. Gets pretty frustrating when you just want to observe and not mess around with BS.
    Josh L.

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    8" Traditional Dob, TeleVue X2 Barlow, ES 82* 14mm, Baader Hyperion 17mm, GSO Superview 20mm and 30mm, Antares w70 25mm, Antares variable moon filter

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  4. #3
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    Default

    Great report! You picked some nifty stuff to look at!

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  5. #4
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    Default

    It is always such a confidence booster in the hobby when you crack an on going problem.
    Great work on the cord front...
    You got of some good targets as well.
    Wild duck cluster perplexes me....it looks nothing like a duck even to my imagination.
    17 Cygnus....lovely job...really like that one.
    Great report..
    Declan.
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    Two men sat behind prison bars,One saw mud, the other saw stars. It's not where you are, it's what you see!!!

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    Widespread's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks a lot, folks. It was a blast. Let's hope that licked the problem.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't see the duck!
    If I can get a few more nights like that under my belt, I want to try taking the scope to a darker sky site.
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    Default

    Thanks for the report. I'm with you guys on the wild duck cluster. The best duck-like thing I could immagine was a flock of ducks.
    Name: Sam
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