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Thread: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

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    Default One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP



    March 10, 2019

    9:30 - 9:50 pm; 10:17 - 11:45 pm
    Location: My backyard
    scopes: Towa 60 mm, XT10
    EPs - KZ Jena 25mm; 25 mm TV plossl, 4.7 mm ES82 (for the run for the Pup).
    Seeing wasn't great. The city has just installed high intensity street lights in my part of the city.
    My dark sky meter showed an SQM of 19.02. Suburban/urban transition.


    Very clear this evening. I decided to keep it simple and use the backyard to try my luck with the TV 25 mm plossl and the UHC filter in my small refractor (Towa), as Orion was hanging in the southwest skies.

    After using Sirius (alas, no pup with this frac ) to line up my finder with the main tube, I swung everything over to M42/M43. Very pretty views at first light with the small cluster of stars near the Trapezium. I couldn't pump up the magnification much, I was just reacquainting myself with the little frac. I enjoy using it - so fast to set up. Best of all, no cool down.

    Before and after the UHC filter showed some improvement in the FOV of nebulosity. M43 in particular looked better in these suburbian skies, the comma stood out.

    At 9:50 I pulled the refractor inside and set up the XT10 to cool. The scope was nicely collimated after a few minutes. Just for laughs I tried it but the views were super soft.... this scope needs its cool-down, especially with the Paracorr.

    10:17 - I took another look at M42/M43. Much better!

    Flame nebula near Alnitak - fail. Nothing at all. Too much LP I think here in the city.
    NGC 2023 - nothing, nada.
    IC 431 - Fail.
    Horsehead nebula - not even the faintest sniff of this one. Fail.
    Seagull nebula - I couldn't say that it made itself clear, perhaps something there, but not definite. Fail.

    To cheer myself up I headed over to M50, M48, M47, M46 and M50. M92 was buried behind my neighbours house.

    Then I tried the Pup again. I stayed at the same mag (48x), and held it there, UHC filter in place, and I played with the fine focus. I imagined some red speckle in the FOV to the northeast of Sirius A. It was bright red, but this must be an aberration? I saw it consistently, but I doubt at 48x I could actually put any space between Sirius A and B. So, I conclude that this speckle is just a trick of the eye, and optics with the filter in place. The diffraction spikes were present, and as I moved my head ever so slightly, they bobbled around. Sirius A itself was a super bright greenish blob with the filter. I plopped in a 4.7mm ES82 (255x) and tried again. The brightness of Sirius A was overwhelming, and I tried to block out most of the big boy by putting it down in the four corners of the FOV. Still nothing. Fail.

    Ah well, I think sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.

    Thanks for reading to the bottom.

    Ian

    EDIT: I was happy to see first light through my home-made finder this evening, spotting a couple of Messiers with it. This one has a 35 mm Pentax objective and a plumbers pipe body.
    Ian
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    A good effort, Ian!

    I'd be inclined to stop the aperture down on the XT10 to go for the Pup. You'd lose the diffraction spikes, kick up the focal ratio considerably, and gain some APO-esque views.

    Small fracs are enormous fun. I can sit behind my long 80's most of the night and leave my 12" sitting there. Of course, that depends on the transparency and the targets. Good transparency with galaxies available, the 80 is just going to have to sit and watch.
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    Nice to see you get your scopes out Ian, even from the city! At least you have darker home skies (urban/suburban transition) than mine (city sky around Bortle 8.5).

    Small refractors are fun to use - easy and quick to take out. I've been using my 70mm ones lately, just to test the optics even in average/poor transparency conditions.

    I could never see the Flame Nebula from suburban skies and using a narrowband filter. Only when I went to slightly darker suburban/rural skies did I finally see it, visible even without a filter.
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    A good effort, Ian!

    I'd be inclined to stop the aperture down on the XT10 to go for the Pup. You'd lose the diffraction spikes, kick up the focal ratio considerably, and gain some APO-esque views.

    Small fracs are enormous fun. I can sit behind my long 80's most of the night and leave my 12" sitting there. Of course, that depends on the transparency and the targets. Good transparency with galaxies available, the 80 is just going to have to sit and watch.
    Hi Bryan, and thank you for your always-certified-cool/practical advice. Stop down the aperture on the XT10 - what a great idea. Why couldn't I think of that?! I'm thinking a leap in focal ratio to f8 or 9 might get me there. I'll research this today.

    The small 60 throws up some amazing views. At f15 with the 25mm Zeiss Jena EP (originally set up for a Zeiss microscope and only 23mm in diameter) it has buckets of sharpness for splitting stars, its just amazing. Talk about punching over its weight. For star sharpness, its actually better than the big dob. I tend to underrate it, but it keeps trying to tell me - hey! I'm good.

    Thanks again for the idea,
    Ian
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    Quote Originally Posted by terrynak View Post
    Nice to see you get your scopes out Ian, even from the city! At least you have darker home skies (urban/suburban transition) than mine (city sky around Bortle 8.5).

    Small refractors are fun to use - easy and quick to take out. I've been using my 70mm ones lately, just to test the optics even in average/poor transparency conditions.

    I could never see the Flame Nebula from suburban skies and using a narrowband filter. Only when I went to slightly darker suburban/rural skies did I finally see it, visible even without a filter.

    Thanks Terry. I rarely bring my scopes out in my suburban digs. I should do this more, there are a huge number of doubles and asterisms to take advantage of.

    Nebula chasing is a different kettle of fish. At least in my case, I have learned that LP will kill nebulosity despite optimized exit pupil and band pass filters.

    I have been reading your adventures with the 70 mm scopes, thats very cool. I enjoy it when folks get the most out of their stuff, which also underscores that a guy doesn't always need a 130 mm triplet with the finest crown and flints known to science. Although that would be nice.

    Thanks
    Ian
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    Ian
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    Hello Ian,

    it's better to observe the popular nebulae than just nothing, and your outing has not been bad at all.

    The red spot close to Sirius might be a spurious reflection from the UHC filter, who knows.
    The Seagull is not easy for the northern observers, I can't see it in Germany better than you.

    The Carl Zeiss Jena K may be an interesting eyepiece, I used to have the complete PK series,
    and they have been Abbe orthos (3 - 1), overcorrected in blue and undercorrected in red (red ring around the field stop).
    You can check the lenses inside with a green laser pointer to see if it is also the (3 - 1) Abbe.
    Later, I have replaced all Carl Zeiss Jena eyepieces with the Leitz Periplan GF, dual use for my microscope and frac.
    Just keeping the old CZJ A (Kellner) as a sort of nostalgy.

    Thank you for sharing your nice report,

    JG
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    Glad that you could get out there Ian. Sometimes the LP does makes things too darn difficult. I'm hoping for a session tonight, but will have to wait and see how it pans out.
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    Very nice session and report.
    It looks a bit like self torturing trying to find some of the objects you mentioned in your LP skies. Happily some good old Messiers were around. I liked the description of your Pup-quest. Very recognizable, those little tricking speckles. Sometimes they are very convincing..
    Thanks for your report!
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    Quote Originally Posted by John Baars View Post
    Very nice session and report.
    It looks a bit like self torturing trying to find some of the objects you mentioned in your LP skies. Happily some good old Messiers were around. I liked the description of your Pup-quest. Very recognizable, those little tricking speckles. Sometimes they are very convincing..
    Thanks for your report!
    Self-torturing? Yes, definitely thats the right call, but I plead my case by saying its in the quest. I had an inkling that this pursuit was going to be fruitless, but there's nothing like the experience.

    All the best... I
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    Default Re: One quick try for the Seagull through heavy LP

    Hit and miss, that's how one learns the craft! Since you are really into nebulae it is probably the time to get more aggressive filters (OIII and H-beta). They cut better through LP and you have enough aperture for lower throughput.

    I caught Seagull nebula from my LPed home location with 8" SCT, 32mm TV Plossl (64x, 3.2mm exit pupil) and Lumicon OIII filter.
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