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Thread: Monday 7th Sep

  1. #1
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    Default Monday 7th Sep



    Picked up the telescope and set off to our favourite place, some 20km NW of Leon (Spain). The short version of the report could be: perfect night + utter Astronomy incompetence.

    Let's start with the good. The night was really beautiful, by far the best I remember at this same location. The Milky Way was clearly visible, almost from horizon to horizon, though we had some light pollution due West. The Big Dipper was a nice sight, laying down on the horizon. Cassiopeia was for me the most conspicuous constellation, as it usually is, and Aquila was nice too; it was easy to see an eagle there, accompanied by many smaller birds (more on this later below).

    Setting up the telescope was very quick, but collimation was another issue. As soon as I loosened the locking knobs collimation went off so much that it took me a long time to get it back with a laser collimator. I didn't bother with the secondary mirror this time (I've tweaked the secondary before on day light, wouldn't know how to do it at night without seeing the main mirror centre mark).

    After aligning the mirror and finder, we realized we didn't have a plan. With a toddler and a baby in full control of my mother’s house, my brother and I didn’t have a minute to even make a list of DSOs to hunt, only to guiltily escape the mayhem. Also, some sky map apps seem to have stopped working, at least the sensor-based rotation. We were a bit lost, so we started with objects that were visible to the naked eye. The Pleiades were visible due East; they initially looked like a fuzzy patch, and only after they rose a bit in the sky I started noticing the individual stars. They were rather unimpressive with the low power EP. I didn't bring my binoculars, which give far better views of them. The next most obvious object was (as we learnt later back home) the Double Cluster. Again, it was too wide for our equipment.

    After that, I tried my favourite object: M11. Unfortunately it was low on a slightly polluted section of the sky, so the finder didn't help a lot. Eventually we found something... but it didn't look right. Later at home I realized it had to be M26. It was very nice on both 26mm and 6.7mm eyepieces, but I was still slightly disappointed.

    With my brother running out of sleeping hours before work, we just tried an "easy" target: Andromeda galaxy. We started looking for it from Cassiopeia and the Triangulum, which cannot be the best route to
    Andromeda even if you knew where the Triangulum is: my brother and I spent a while discussing which three stars form this constellation (he was right). We then recalled looking for Andromeda from Pegasus, and finally found it. While it didn't show any detail, it was beautiful under the 26mm EP, a large white sphere surrounded by a fading ellipse. With that, we packed the scope and headed home.

    A few afterthoughts: Sometimes I wish I didn't know any constellation shapes, just stars, just to see what shapes I’d come up with. I noticed that the mount on my Lightbridge behaves very nicely most of the time
    but not close to the horizon: the altitude movement becomes very stiff on low altitude. I'm getting tired of the red dot finder: the light is far too bright even on lowest power. Finally, I think at times a reclining chair may be the best equipment for visual Astronomy; I certainly missed one on this night .

    The naked eye view was well worth the trip. Using the telescope however, this time I felt overwhelmed by the difficulty of it. I really need to get a second telescope in the UK, where I can use it more frequently so I get better at finding objects.
    Under the sun: Meade LightBridge 10'', QX 26mm
    Under the rain: Rev Astro 8'', 30mm 70* Erfle, 9mm Plossl
    ES 6.7mm

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to evilfer For This Useful Post:

    bladekeeper (09-10-2015),Harshil Patel (09-10-2015),helicon64 (09-10-2015)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: Monday 7th Sep

    Great observation report sir.

    Thank you for this report.
    Harshil.

    Telescope>> celestron power seeker 76az reflector.

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    Default Re: Monday 7th Sep

    Hi Eloy! It sounds like you experienced an amazing sky.

    Yeah, being a bit out of practice can get a little frustrating, but it doesn't take long to get back into the groove. All the extra visible stars at a darker place like that can overwhelm too. And I agree that just sitting back in a reclining chair and taking it all in naked eye can be the most relaxing aspect of the hobby.

    Thanks for the report Eloy!
    Bryan

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    Default Re: Monday 7th Sep

    Thanks for the nice report. Hope you really enjoyed the evening!
    Michael
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    Default Re: Monday 7th Sep

    nice report , i bet the MIlky way looked great horizon to horizon, the only place i can see it is Burton Dasset hills, in warwickshire, like you a 25mile drive away
    sanity in an insane world is insane

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    Default Re: Monday 7th Sep

    Trying nights are good, you learn from the experience I like your description of M31.
    To find M11 quickly, remember it's in the corona asterism that involves the tail end of the Eagle.
    Raymond Howard
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    Default Re: Monday 7th Sep

    Nice report. Sometimes, it's fun just to wing a session. No plans. Just cruise around the sky.
    I agree the red dot finder is too bright. And sometimes a pain to star hop with it. I suggest you pick up a RACI, and put both on your scope. It works like a charm for me.
    Raymondhow likes this.
    Jim



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    Default Re: Monday 7th Sep

    An interesting and well written report- thanks for posting!
    Lea

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