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Thread: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

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    Default More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube



    Despite Sunday (2-10-19) starting out cloudy and wet, things cleared up by dusk, so I was able to get another session in last night with the 5”. Transparency was excellent; the waxing crescent moon was a non-factor.

    Collimating the scope the day before however, had the unintended effect of changing the point on the focuser tube where images reach focus (on all of my EPs), so this spot is now where the focuser teeth are ground down and unable to catch the focuser wheel (i.e. rack and pinion no longer works):



    Now I have to physically pull/push the focuser tube for images to reach focus. Need to find a new replacement for this Meade 2” focuser.

    All 5 objects are identified/plotted in the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas (IDSA). The first three objects were located way down south:

    1. HD 31688 or Spano 2 (Cae, Ast, size=33’, RA=4h 56m 51s, DEC=-39° 6' 12", IDSA=#97) – IDSA shows one 8th mag. star. Using 58x, managed to detect four stars between mag. 10-11 forming a line resembling an inverted hockey stick in the center; also picked up one 10.4 mag. star to the left of the IDSA star. Faint, but this was expected given its location; one of the asterisms I “missed” two sessions back. This completes my observations of all the Caelum asterisms identified in the Deep Sky Hunters List, which IDSA uses as a reference.

    2. NGC 2220 (Pup, Ast, size=22’, RA=06h 21m 11s, DEC=-44° 45' 32", IDSA=#96, #97) – IDSA shows 3 stars of 8-9th mag. Even pushing the mag to 113x, I could not pick up any additional stars. Discovered by John Herschel in 1834; hence the NGC number.

    3. HD 49259 or Alessi J0644.7-4658 (Pup, Ast, size=56’, RA=06h 44m 44s, DEC=-46° 58' 12", IDSA=#96) – IDSA shows 12 stars, the brightest being mag. 7.6. Initially this group was hidden behind a telephone pole and lines; had to wait about 10 minutes before it fully revealed itself. Using 31x, managed to pick up only 6 of the 12 IDSA stars, but satisfied with the view. Might be worth another look using higher magnification.

    4. GSC 6546-3662 or Alessi J0725.2-2717 (CMa, Ast, size=9’, RA=7h 25m 14s, DEC=-27° 17' 24", IDSA=#84) – IDSA shows no stars. Using 170x, managed to pick up 7 stars between mag. 11-12; appears as two groups of 4 and 3 stars each. Faint; able to detect this asterism because of its much higher altitude (compared to the previous 3).

      Also made a second stab at Alessi J0710.3-1826 (HD 54977) in Canis Major (RA=7h 10m 21s, DEC=-18° 26' 0", IDSA=#72). Besides the mag. 8.4 anchor star HD 54977, could only spot an additional mag. 11.7 star. C2A shows 3 more slightly dimmer stars within the mag. 11.8 – 12.0 range, so I decided not to log it and try again on another night.

    5. GSC 5987-1934 or Karhula 19 (Pup, Ast, size=6.5’, RA=7h 33m 11s, DEC=-20° 10' 0", IDSA=#72) – IDSA shows no stars. Using 170x, managed to see 5 stars between mag. 11-12. Faint; again, high altitude helped visibility.

    Good session overall (5 out of 6 targets hit); no fun having to physically pull/push the focuser tube, however.
    Terry
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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    Thanks for the link Gabrielle!

    My Meade uses a 2" focuser - I'm currently using a 1.25" adapter on it.
    Terry
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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

    I would send Don an email, I would be surprised if he does not have one.
    https://astronomy-mall.com/astro.parts.outlet/
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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabby76 View Post
    I would send Don an email, I would be surprised if he does not have one.
    https://astronomy-mall.com/astro.parts.outlet/
    Thanks again for this link Gabrielle!
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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

    Great report Terry!
    That focuser looks like it has seen some better days. Hope you able to find a replace soon, it doesn’t sound like fun having to push and pull to focus.
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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

    Pretty awesome night, Terry! Congrats!

    I think I may get an opening tomorrow evening. Been raining all day here so the backyard will be mush again. Might be a driveway lunar imaging session. Might try to scare up some doubles too. We shall see. A clear sky means only thin clouds nowadays.
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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler75 View Post
    Great report Terry!
    That focuser looks like it has seen some better days. Hope you able to find a replace soon, it doesn’t sound like fun having to push and pull to focus.
    Thanks Craig!

    Yup, the sooner I get a replacement the better. In the meantime, I might try using another scope of similar aperture - my 5.1" F/5 Newt - although I don't like using Barlows to get the high magnifications that the F/8 could reach.

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Pretty awesome night, Terry! Congrats!

    I think I may get an opening tomorrow evening. Been raining all day here so the backyard will be mush again. Might be a driveway lunar imaging session. Might try to scare up some doubles too. We shall see. A clear sky means only thin clouds nowadays.
    Thanks Bryan! Glad that I was able to pick up 2 of the 3 objects that I "missed" two sessions prior.

    Clear tonight, but I don't feel like going out again.

    Super - looking forward to your next observing report! It's been awhile.
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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

    Quote Originally Posted by terrynak View Post
    Despite Sunday (2-10-19) starting out cloudy and wet, things cleared up by dusk, so I was able to get another session in last night with the 5”. Transparency was excellent; the waxing crescent moon was a non-factor.

    Collimating the scope the day before however, had the unintended effect of changing the point on the focuser tube where images reach focus (on all of my EPs), so this spot is now where the focuser teeth are ground down and unable to catch the focuser wheel (i.e. rack and pinion no longer works):



    Now I have to physically pull/push the focuser tube for images to reach focus. Need to find a new replacement for this Meade 2” focuser.

    All 5 objects are identified/plotted in the Interstellarum Deep Sky Atlas (IDSA). The first three objects were located way down south:

    1. HD 31688 or Spano 2 (Cae, Ast, size=33’, RA=4h 56m 51s, DEC=-39° 6' 12", IDSA=#97) – IDSA shows one 8th mag. star. Using 58x, managed to detect four stars between mag. 10-11 forming a line resembling an inverted hockey stick in the center; also picked up one 10.4 mag. star to the left of the IDSA star. Faint, but this was expected given its location; one of the asterisms I “missed” two sessions back. This completes my observations of all the Caelum asterisms identified in the Deep Sky Hunters List, which IDSA uses as a reference.
    2. NGC 2220 (Pup, Ast, size=22’, RA=06h 21m 11s, DEC=-44° 45' 32", IDSA=#96, #97) – IDSA shows 3 stars of 8-9th mag. Even pushing the mag to 113x, I could not pick up any additional stars. Discovered by John Herschel in 1834; hence the NGC number.
    3. HD 49259 or Alessi J0644.7-4658 (Pup, Ast, size=56’, RA=06h 44m 44s, DEC=-46° 58' 12", IDSA=#96) – IDSA shows 12 stars, the brightest being mag. 7.6. Initially this group was hidden behind a telephone pole and lines; had to wait about 10 minutes before it fully revealed itself. Using 31x, managed to pick up only 6 of the 12 IDSA stars, but satisfied with the view. Might be worth another look using higher magnification.
    4. GSC 6546-3662 or Alessi J0725.2-2717 (CMa, Ast, size=9’, RA=7h 25m 14s, DEC=-27° 17' 24", IDSA=#84) – IDSA shows no stars. Using 170x, managed to pick up 7 stars between mag. 11-12; appears as two groups of 4 and 3 stars each. Faint; able to detect this asterism because of its much higher altitude (compared to the previous 3).

      Also made a second stab at Alessi J0710.3-1826 (HD 54977) in Canis Major (RA=7h 10m 21s, DEC=-18° 26' 0", IDSA=#72). Besides the mag. 8.4 anchor star HD 54977, could only spot an additional mag. 11.7 star. C2A shows 3 more slightly dimmer stars within the mag. 11.8 – 12.0 range, so I decided not to log it and try again on another night.
    5. GSC 5987-1934 or Karhula 19 (Pup, Ast, size=6.5’, RA=7h 33m 11s, DEC=-20° 10' 0", IDSA=#72) – IDSA shows no stars. Using 170x, managed to see 5 stars between mag. 11-12. Faint; again, high altitude helped visibility.

    Good session overall (5 out of 6 targets hit); no fun having to physically pull/push the focuser tube, however.
    Very well done Terry!

    First off - that focuser. That thing looks like an old man who has been trying to eat too many jaw breakers! Agree, it needs replacing ASAP.

    For the objects you list, I logged the first three, but have not targeted the last two as of yet. Here are my notes for comparison:

    Spano 2: Covered in previous thread More Misses than Hits

    NGC 2220: two years ago from 5° S latitude with ED80

    NGC 2220 (Puppis, Open Cluster or Asterism, mag=7.0 per one source while most don't list one, size=anywhere from 5.0' to 22.0' depending on who you believe):

    John Herschel discovered this grouping in 1834 during his observations from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. In my 80mm I found it nothing more than a scalene triangle of three stars (7th, 8th & 9th) pointed northwest. This was at 26x and 40x. Due to the encroaching clouds I never did get to view it at 71x. However, given what I've read about it, I likely wouldn't have gained much. Its dominate star is mag 7.7 HD 44737 along its southeastern side. Depending upon which angular dimension one accepts for it, one might include a fourth star of magnitude 8.8 that I noted positioned about 1.5' southeast of HD 44737. Suffice it to say that the cluster/asterism dovetailed nicely with the general theme of the evening - poor.



    Alessi J0644.7-4658: two years ago from 5° S latitude with ED80

    Alessi J0644.7-4658 (Puppis, Asterism, brightest star=7.5, size=56.0’):

    Sighting in on Canopus I swept NNE just west of a line of three stars (4th, 5th & 6th), and continued on for about 5° to a NE-SW pair of stars of 4th and 6th magnitude. Passing over them I easily swept up this interesting grouping. When viewing at 26x I immediately picked up eight stars dominated by five of 7th and 8th mag that, to my eye, formed a small scorpion shape, with curved body and pinchers. The anchor star of this group, HD 49259 (mag 7.5) was the middle star of the curved tail. Using 40x I noted about 11 or 12 stars peppering the field, and at 71x there seemed to be another one or two stars pushing through. I found this an attractive grouping, with enough brighter stars to catch one’s attention and make it stand out well from the field.


    The other two I have not targeted as of yet. Obviously the ones I have seen are much higher here for me and without horizon extinction. I mostly have to contend with poor seeing and transparency frequently as well as constant glaring from security lights. Good work buddy!


    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Pretty awesome night, Terry! Congrats!

    I think I may get an opening tomorrow evening. Been raining all day here so the backyard will be mush again. Might be a driveway lunar imaging session. Might try to scare up some doubles too. We shall see. A clear sky means only thin clouds nowadays.
    Grasping at straws are we? Hopefully something will shake loose before you have a seizure!
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    Default Re: More Southern Targets - Pulling/Pushing the Focuser Tube

    Hi Terry,

    Nicely done, I appreciate the interesting targets that you like to go after. I went through the site that Gabby mentioned... I get the same feeling as I used to when putting together old vehicles in my undergraduate days. Lots of selection and mix and match! Good luck to you finding a new focuser. They also do come up on CN classified, I've found good stuff there.

    Kind regards,
    Ian
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