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Thread: First light for some equipment additions and a very brief session

  1. #1
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    Default First light for some equipment additions and a very brief session



    After several sessions of very uncomfortable crouching, I went ahead and bought an extension tube for my tripod. The Orion 7393 SkyView Pro Telescope Mount Extension, also known as 100 Bucks For An Aluminum Tube. But it's either put up the cash, or get crafty. I did the former. It's OK, but still not getting the eyepiece quite high enough when towards zenith, if the tripod legs aren't fully extended as well. It was a little wobbly at the base but I tightened some of the Allen screws and now it's solid.
    I took the setup out mainly because I wanted to test it, and I was a bit starved for observing. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of a couple of things, but went to the tennis court behind my house, which severely limits the horizon (surrounded by tall trees), so plans had to be adjusted. Also, I had very short windows between clouds, which is why I ended up with a very short session.
    Targets:

    M45, the Pleiades, because I was wondering what to look at, and they are mandatory viewing when visible. Nice and crisp, as always, and the 24mm EP fits almost the whole cluster in.

    I was hoping to catch 46P/Wirtanen, but it was between tress and by the time it emerged clouds blanketed the Southern quadrant completely. So I went North to M77, Cetus A, spiral galaxy in Cetus. I was actually wondering if I could see the Supernova, since S&T said it was "in the range of amateur telescopes". They meant a different range than I'm in... I think it's somewhere at magnitude 14.5 and needs much more magnitude than I can muster. Still, nice view of the galaxy. As before, the impression is of something between a globular and a bright lenticular, even though it's spiral, because the core is very bright.

    Swinging to where I had more of a window to the sky, I swung over to Cassiopeia, centered on Caph, and NW from there I went to WZ Cas, carbon star part of a double, new. Very easily split double, with one member red, although not as intensely as other carbons I've seen, it looked more orange-ish to my eye.
    And since I was in the area, I followed a line NNW from WZ Cas to catch some of the many clusters in the area, and saw NGC 7790, open cluster in Cassiopeia, new. Pretty but relatively faint cluster the stars grouped on a roughly E-W direction. Next to it I think I also saw Be 58, another open in Cas, but I'm really not sure I actually separated a cluster from the rich background. This one is supposed to be more spread out and fainter.


    That was it. Assuaged my thirst of looking through an eye piece somewhat, and it's all I could do under the circumstances, but now I want more. Surprise...


    Clear skies!
    Properly collimated cornea-lens-vitreous optical apparatus, projecting on retinal sensor slightly limited by deuteranomaly, feeding through stock optic nerves into functional primary cortex, processed through frequently misfiring and buggy integrative cortex.
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    Default Re: First light for some equipment additions and a very brief session

    Fine report Codrin. Yeah, that's the thing, what does one consider an amateur scope? That could obviously run the gamut from a small 60mm scope to something as behemoth as Jimi Lowery's 48 inch dobsonian. So its kinda all relative to where you fall along that scale.
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    Default Re: First light for some equipment additions and a very brief session

    Nice little session, Codrin. Some nice catches there. Congrats on the mount extension!
    Bryan

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    Default Re: First light for some equipment additions and a very brief session

    Well done Doc. Thank you.
    I hope the $100 aluminum tube continues to serve you well and improves your viewing ergonomics.
    I suffer the same degrading humiliation of heavy squating or laying down while viewing high in the sky with my long fracs.

    Plus the next morning my arthritic joints complain loudly. But even that I don't mind if I got a view. :-)
    I think I will investigate this new apparatus you have demonstrated.
    More clear skies to you Sir.
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    Default Re: First light for some equipment additions and a very brief session

    Nice report Codrin. I'm thinking the minimum aperture to observe the supernova is probably 10" under very dark skies. At home, well, who knows? I am going to try to observe it in the 18" once I get a clear night.
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    Default Re: First light for some equipment additions and a very brief session

    Nice report of your short session. The extension costed 100 dollars but is worth a small fortune. Adds a lot of comfort to your observations!
    Thanks for your report!
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    Default Re: First light for some equipment additions and a very brief session

    Nice catches Rocdoc! Like you I was hesitant to drop $100 on a piece of tube, but you really need one if you observing with long refractors. It also fits ES, Celestron, SW and Meade mounts, not just Orion's, so not a bad investment.
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