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    Default Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller



    February 9, 2019

    Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    Locale: Farm -> 51 km south of Winnipeg
    Temp: -30*C, no wind
    Seeing: very good from 7:30 to 11:30, good from 11:30 to midnight
    Transparency: very good
    Equipment: Orion 10, 28 mm Explore Scientific; TV Paracorr I, setting 3
    Note: batteries for Telrad and push to Intelliscope were dead within 10 minutes, this outing was full-manual.

    The goal for tonight was simply to get out there, and to perhaps bag a comet and get in on some nice winter galaxies and nebula. I don’t care how cold it is, I have some serious cabin fever, ha ha. This is a new moon, and I was spurred on by AF with recent discussion of Iwamato C/2018 Y1 - the reverberations of these discussions were bouncing around between my ears. C/2018 Y1 is a 10th mag comet in Leo. It orbits the sun every ~ 1360 years at an average distance of > 120 AU.



    Dostoevsky's writing and I would guess, his view of the world is founded not in absolutism (fuelled for example, by repeated discovery of illuminating facts) but rather in a reliance on shadowy ambiguities - superstition, and its offspring, dead and dying batteries. This evening, I felt the old lad peering over my shoulder, ha ha. Why did I forget the hotpacks to keep them warm? Only Dostoevsky would be able to piece that together.

    I loaded Frosty into the truck and headed out, arriving in no time. The temp was a fairly harmless but nasty sounding -28*C in the city and by the time I arrived at the dark site, it was bottomed out at -30*C. Too cold (even with no wind) to keep batteries in the Intelliscope alive with no heat source – so I was bummed to see the Telrad cough its last. I’m a Telrad junky and there was no solace in sight (I had forgotten my hotpacks at home). No matter.

    Beautiful night! I declined to try my usual spot in the field, as the snow is getting close to a metre deep… I did try by flipping the differential selector into crawl mode 4WD but even with the winter compound tires, the truck was not enthusiastic. In fact that was probably a dumb trick. After getting mildly stuck, I rocked myself out of a particularly tough drift and followed my blazed trail back to the access road, then just took the traditional path into the yard. The night was still – so still I could hear a fox yapping and yipping from somewhere across the river, and several owls set up a brief cacophony about a klick from my position.

    I felt enthusiastic, despite the dead batteries in everything. Not a breath of wind, very pretty evening, and I had my overalls, fleece hoody, Woods parka, and some homemade mitts, good to go.



    The pup: I stared at Sirius at low power (1200/28 = 42x) for a while to try my luck at the pup. I had a lot of sparkles and speckles, but nothing I felt that I could call definitive. Perhaps I need to know what I’m looking for to generate that confidence. I ramped up the mag with an 11 mm 82* and so at 109x I waited for the speckles to resolve. Lots of diffraction around Sirius with my standard straight 4 spoke spider! Would like to install something less intrusive. I will call that a fail.

    M41 - Dropping a few degrees south, triangulated with Sirius and Murzim, I spotted M41 in all her glory. A dusty patch in the finder, revealed a gorgeous blorting of open cluster stars in the 28 mm EP. M41 presented me with about 75 stars. Some star chains provide interesting asterisms (backward question mark).

    M42 and M78 – Hand-pointing the Orion 10 by essentially sighting along the finder scope, I quickly found big O’s belt and dagger, with lovely M42/M43 and the trapezium. Very full and extensive nebula tonight in M42. The 11mm did a great job on the Trapezium, lots of detail, but again not perfect seeing. Transparency was very good, no question, but not excellent. The waxing crescent was still up but this was no big deal. M78 was lurking just 2 or 3 degrees northeast of Alnitak… this evening provided me with a great look at this Messier, and I have never seen it finer than it was this evening – a lovely jewel of a reflected nebula. Bright asymmetric patch easily picked out with a generous portion of nebulosity. Very obvious and beautiful this evening. This evening it looked somewhat comet-like and had a double nucleus "head".



    Filter question: Visually, I wonder if the horsehead is possible with something allowing me to pick up more in the red spectrum, eg, H-alpha -> is there any such filter? Apologies for my ignorance, I am not expert in matters of filters. And it shows.

    Moving to Leo to find the elusive comet, near C Leonis. I toured around some familiar sites in Leo, and manually located M66, M65 and NGC 3628. Better looking than when I found them last year during my M110 quest! Fun too, as I felt myself beginning to feel more and more comfortable searching out galaxy targets by simple star-hopping (although my Telrad would have been awesome for this).



    I used Zosma, Denebola and Chertan as the landmark triad stars to help me manuevre around Leo. I took a quick look at M105, M95 and M96 -> then south to c Leo. Could I find the vaunted comet – no, I was uncertain of my target, and may have brushed by it… but couldn’t be sure, and will not call that a win. The nice part of the placement of this comet is that possibly I can see it even in the presence of a swelling moon. I will try again hopefully this week or next.

    I feel much better about my bearings in Leo as a result of this fully manual star-hop, and hope to develop better similarity with the rich galaxy stores in Virgo later this year.

    Thanks for reading,

    Ian

    EDIT - enclosing a crappy afocal cell phone pic of the moon... I wish someday to capture the unbelievable clarity and rich detail that I can see visually.

    Ian
    Scopes Celestron - Vixen 80 f11.3 on a Vixen alt/az mount and an Orion dob XT10i f4.7
    Binoculars Asahi Pentax 7x35 and 7x50, Beck Kassel 8x30 and Celestron 15x70 Camera Nikon D90 with Rokinon 10mm
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    M110: 110 Herschel 400: 90 Comets: 2 Planets: 6

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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    A nice evening even with Dostoevskyan batteries and struggles with the stickies on the vehicle. Brave too!
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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    A nice outing, Ian!

    A good way to get intimate with the area you are looking in by manual star hopping. Amazing how much more familiarity is gained by doing that.

    Still cloudy here. Been two months since my last visual session. Ouch.

    Sorry for the delayed reply. Took me a bit. I now measure report length by the number of spammers I had to ban during the course of my reading. Yours is a 17 spammer report.
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    Bryan

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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    A nice evening even with Dostoevskyan batteries and struggles with the stickies on the vehicle. Brave too!
    Thanks not_Fritz.. mercifully the real lack of wind kept it a very good time. My presence on the road attracted my farm neighbour. She saw the lights in the truck flick on and off as I went in to warm up sporadically, and she decided to come over and see if I had car trouble. Bless her, what a sweetheart.
    Ian
    Scopes Celestron - Vixen 80 f11.3 on a Vixen alt/az mount and an Orion dob XT10i f4.7
    Binoculars Asahi Pentax 7x35 and 7x50, Beck Kassel 8x30 and Celestron 15x70 Camera Nikon D90 with Rokinon 10mm
    Eyepieces: Leitz Periplan GF, ES68s, ES82s, TV Naglers, Meade 4000 super plossl, Nikon CFI, Olympus FK, Paracorr I, Abbe Orthos: Carl Zeiss Jena K7x (35mm), K10x (25mm)
    M110: 110 Herschel 400: 90 Comets: 2 Planets: 6

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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    A nice outing, Ian!

    A good way to get intimate with the area you are looking in by manual star hopping. Amazing how much more familiarity is gained by doing that.

    Still cloudy here. Been two months since my last visual session. Ouch.

    Sorry for the delayed reply. Took me a bit. I now measure report length by the number of spammers I had to ban during the course of my reading. Yours is a 17 spammer report.
    17!! Thats crazy! You and all the other mods are heroic people.

    Thanks so much Bryan, this place is an oasis.
    Ian
    Scopes Celestron - Vixen 80 f11.3 on a Vixen alt/az mount and an Orion dob XT10i f4.7
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    M110: 110 Herschel 400: 90 Comets: 2 Planets: 6

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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    Quote Originally Posted by kanadalainen View Post
    Thanks not_Fritz.. mercifully the real lack of wind kept it a very good time. My presence on the road attracted my farm neighbour. She saw the lights in the truck flick on and off as I went in to warm up sporadically, and she decided to come over and see if I had car trouble. Bless her, what a sweetheart.
    Now THAT'S a nice neighbor. Mine just says "Release the hounds!!!"

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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    Good to see you get back out with the scopes Ian, despite the cold and the dead batteries. Manual star hopping is a good thing, although I'd like to try using a push-to Intelliscope one of these days. Nice star charts too!

    Now I need to go back out and set up my scope...
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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    Quote Originally Posted by terrynak View Post
    Good to see you get back out with the scopes Ian, despite the cold and the dead batteries. Manual star hopping is a good thing, although I'd like to try using a push-to Intelliscope one of these days. Nice star charts too!

    Now I need to go back out and set up my scope...
    Thanks Terry! Yes, the evening was a blessing in disguise. Its the same feeling as one gets when you start studying something in earnest, and begin to learn it with some authority. To the point where you could explain it yourself. I love the push-to scope, its great for bagging lots of targets, but I must say that bagging something tough using charts and scopes only gives you much more satisfaction.

    Clear skies Terry.
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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    I have enjoyed reading your post Ian, but it made me shiver....
    Thank you for sharing here.
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    Default Re: Dostoevsky lives in my Push-to controller

    Thanks Mark,

    It wasn't bad - I was pleased just to get out of the house. I was so bundled up I could hardly walk.

    I wanna go back and get that comet!!!
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    Scopes Celestron - Vixen 80 f11.3 on a Vixen alt/az mount and an Orion dob XT10i f4.7
    Binoculars Asahi Pentax 7x35 and 7x50, Beck Kassel 8x30 and Celestron 15x70 Camera Nikon D90 with Rokinon 10mm
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    M110: 110 Herschel 400: 90 Comets: 2 Planets: 6

 

 
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