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Thread: Partly Cloudy

  1. #1
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    Default Partly Cloudy



    The Sky-Watcher ED72/AZ5 combination was all set up before midnight, Wednesday, September the 12th. The BBC regional weather forecast indicated ‘partly cloudy’ until around 05:00 BST, although that can often mean anything (and usually does lol). The transparency was below average, and with no clouds in sight, I thought I might get an hour or two observing in if I was lucky. As the humidity was around 80%, and it’s September, I thought it prescient to take the dew control gear out although it was nearly an hour before I fired up the two heaters (OTA and reflex sight). I had five eyepieces with me: a 31mm Baader Hyperion Aspheric, 19mm TeleVue Panoptic, 14mm Explore Scientific 82°, 7mm Sky-Watcher UWA and a 4mm TS Optics HR. The only filters were a 1.25“ Astronomik UHC-E, a 2“ Baader UHC-S and a 2“ Explore Scientific OIII, S/N0906.

    The Veil Nebula was good at 13.5x with the Aspheric plus the S/N0906 filter. Even though I’m losing almost an arc degree of TFOV with switching from the 36mm Aspheric. I moved on to M39, M29, Albireo, M56, Brochii's Cluster and others at a leisurely pace even though I expected the sky to cloud over at any minute. Eventually I swapped the Hyperion for the 14mm ES 82°. With no sign or hint of immediate clouds I felt bold enough to switch the 2“ diagonal for a 1.25“ prism and split the Double Double at 150x. I even caught a glimpse of a hazy M57 at 105x with the 4mm TS Optics HR.

    Switching to a rapidly rising Cassiopeia and Perseus I found M103, M52, Caldwell 13, Stock 2 and much more. I dropped down to 22x with the 19mm TeleVue Panoptic as the transparency was worse than it initially looked. The Perseus Double Cluster appeared very nice with the Panoptic. M31 and M45 were magnificent in both the 19mm Panoptic and the 31mm Baader. The dew heaters were coping with the humidity admirably, although the ‘Christmas tree’ LED’s surrounding the powertank needed to be angled away from my line of sight. It’s quite dark where I observe from and the dew controller 'Blackpool Illuminations’ can be a bit distracting. As Cassiopeia was heading towards the zenith I needed to raise the tripod slightly. I’m getting used to the gymnastics of looking through a reflex sight pointing straight up, but manoeuvring the alt-az in that direction is definitely a distinct skill set all of its own.

    ss62.png

    It was now around 03:15 and it suddenly dawned on me that I could see Bellatrix and Betelgeuse slowly rising. This was a bit of a revelation at this time of the year. I was convinced I’d have to be observing at around 05:00 on my other lawn several metres away. Very probably sitting underneath my apple tree facing east to catch a rising Orion (as usual). Still no cloud and as I waited Orion’s Belt came into view. This was just too much to hope for! Excitedly and a bit nervously I easily managed a low Cr 70 with the 31mm Aspheric. This included the serpentine ‘S’ asterism that appears to ‘connect’ Alnilam with Mintaka. By 03:40 the icing on the cake was a beautiful M42 at 13.5x (with a UHC-S filter) and at 22x and 60x (unfiltered). The Trapezium stars were easily seen, with a lot of other detail, despite the comparatively low altitude. Just before the clouds came in at about 04:25 I even had a view of 21P/Giacobini-Zinner with and without the Astronomik UHC-S. Well, the BBC regional weather forecast was right eventually.

    ss61.png
    Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M, EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe, SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, ST80, ST102 (modified), Vixen Porta II/Vixen SXG Hal-130, Orion 90mm StarMax , Orion ST80 (modified), Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25", TS Optics/GSO: SVD series 150mm, f/6. A load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of. William Optics: Binoviewer.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Partly Cloudy

    Nice session SB, and you got your later summer view of M42.
    Shorty Barlow likes this.
    Scopes: Celestron: 8" SCT F10, Omni 150R Achro F5, Onyx 80ED F6.3; ES: 127mm CF F7.5 APO. Mounts: ES Twilight I, Bresser EXOS2, SW SkyTee2, UA MicroStar. Binos: Orion 10x50, Celestron 8x42. EPs: TeleVue: Delites, Plossls & barlows; ES: 82os & 68os; Vixen: SLVs, LVW & NPLs; Baader: BCOs & Aspherics; Meade: UWAs & Plossls; Celestron: X-Cel LXs, Luminos. Filters: Astronomik: UHC; Lumicon: OIII, H-beta, DeepSky; Baader: UHC-S, M&SG, CB; Orion: UltraBlock, SG. DSO tally: 1039 (H400-1: 400, H400-2: 205, H300-3: 67; M110: 110, S110: 73). Doubles: 615, Comets: 8, Asteroids: 42
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Partly Cloudy

    An excellent report SB, some very nice views though it still feels to early in the season for Orion
    Shorty Barlow likes this.
    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102XL f/13.2, Celestron 102 f/6.5, 2-150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
    Mounts: Manfrotto 055PRO, Celestron SLT, Celestron CG-5/ Argo Navis, Vixen SXP Binoculars: Celestron Eyepieces: A-Z

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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

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    Default Re: Partly Cloudy

    Outstanding night/morning out SB!
    You really viewed a lot of targets and quite a variety!

    Did you see any tail on 21P?

    Thanks for sharing your night with us.

    Jim
    Shorty Barlow likes this.
    Scopes: Explore Scientific 102ED Triplet APO, Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT.
    EP: 12 and 32 mm Plossl, 5 mm Celestron X-Cell, Agena Starguider ED8mm & ED12mm, ES 32mm 2” 62 degree, 2x Barlow
    Mounts: Celestron AVX, SLT; Binoculars: Bushnell 10X50; Camera: Nikon D3300
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    Default Re: Partly Cloudy

    A very pleasant evening, Shorty, with a fine finish too!
    Shorty Barlow likes this.
    Bryan
    Scopes: Apertura AD12 f/5; Celestron C6-R f/8; ES AR127 f/6.4; ES AR127 f/9.4; ES AR102 f/9.8; iOptron MC90 f/13.3; Orion ST80A f/5; Celestron Premium 80 f/11.4; Celestron C80 f/11.4; Meade NG60 f/10
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    Binoculars: Pentax PCF WP II 10×50, Bresser Corvette 10×50, Bresser Hunter 16×50 and 8×40, Garrett Gemini 12×60 LW, Gordon 10×50, Apogee 20×100
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    Days since last observing session: 2; Sessions in last 30 days: 13; Last Night's Excuse: Clouds, clouds, and clouds..

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    Default Re: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigzmey View Post
    Nice session SB, and you got your later summer view of M42.
    Thanks. It was a nice surprise.
    Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M, EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe, SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, ST80, ST102 (modified), Vixen Porta II/Vixen SXG Hal-130, Orion 90mm StarMax , Orion ST80 (modified), Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25", TS Optics/GSO: SVD series 150mm, f/6. A load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of. William Optics: Binoviewer.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    An excellent report SB, some very nice views though it still feels to early in the season for Orion
    Thanks. It is a bit early lol.
    Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M, EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe, SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, ST80, ST102 (modified), Vixen Porta II/Vixen SXG Hal-130, Orion 90mm StarMax , Orion ST80 (modified), Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25", TS Optics/GSO: SVD series 150mm, f/6. A load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of. William Optics: Binoviewer.

  9. #8
    Shorty Barlow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Juno16 View Post
    Outstanding night/morning out SB!
    You really viewed a lot of targets and quite a variety!

    Did you see any tail on 21P?

    Thanks for sharing your night with us.

    Jim
    Thanks and you're welcome. The comet was more of a faint blob in the 72mm refractor.



    The Astronomik UHC-E passes some of the Swan bands so is useful as an ersatz comet filter.
    Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M, EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe, SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, ST80, ST102 (modified), Vixen Porta II/Vixen SXG Hal-130, Orion 90mm StarMax , Orion ST80 (modified), Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25", TS Optics/GSO: SVD series 150mm, f/6. A load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of. William Optics: Binoviewer.

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    Default Re: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    A very pleasant evening, Shorty, with a fine finish too!
    Yes, I enjoyed it immensely. It was exciting in as much as I expected clouds any second. If I'd have known I'd get four and a half hours observing I'd have set up my ST102. The AZ5 has changed things for me. I only have it as it was included with my 127mm Sky-Watcher Mak. I only wanted the Mak OTA initially as it will fit my Porta II/Hal-130 combo.



    I couldn't buy the OTA separate so I ended up with the AZ5 as well. For me, it's too light for the 127mm Mak and the ST102, but ideal for refractors 80mm and under or smaller Mak's.



    Even with a physical disability I find this fairly easy to carry and set up. What helped with viewing Orion though is how light and easily moved it is combined with the OTA. So quickly moving a couple of metres to a better vantage point has become something quite achievable.
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    Sky-Watcher Explorer 130M, EQ5 Deluxe, AZ5 Deluxe, SkyMax 102mm, SkyMax 127mm, Evostar 72ED DS Pro, ST80, ST102 (modified), Vixen Porta II/Vixen SXG Hal-130, Orion 90mm StarMax , Orion ST80 (modified), Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25", TS Optics/GSO: SVD series 150mm, f/6. A load of eyepieces including: Antares, Astro Hutech, Baader, Bresser, BST, Bushnell, Celestron, Explore Scientific, GSO, Kokusai, Meade, Orion, Sky-Watcher, Solomark, SvBony, TeleVue, Vixen & one or two I'm not sure of. William Optics: Binoviewer.

 

 

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