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Excellent viewing tonight (27th)

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20 years 5 months ago #1698 by Seanie_Morris
Excellent viewing tonight (27th) was created by Seanie_Morris
Hi there everyone,
hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying the holidays.

I took the SkyLux 70mm f10 refractor out tonight for a good proper test, as the air is very frigid, and in pristine winter condition!
Anyway, Saturn is a fine target. In the 6mm (116X magnification) eyepiece, the disk was quite easily seperated from the rings, showing the gap between planet and rings.
The Orion Nebula (M42) showed up very well too, with the blue haze almost engulfing the whole field of view.
Mars is an excellent solid orange disk.
And the Moon is very impressive. If anyone else was/is out observing tonight with any relatively powerful instrument, you can see the moon 'quaver' under the air movements. Tall peaks stood out from the shadows along the terminator, and the whole 'nightside' was clearly seen. Also watching it occult 2 faint background stars was nice to see!
The Plaeides were a fine sight in the 32mm eyepiece, and the 'bowl' just about fit into the field of view in the 6mm.

Eyepieces used: Celestron 32mm (22X), 15mm (47X), 9mm (78X), and 6mm (116X). No Barlow. Time spent: from 19:35 to 20:05. I used all 4 available eyepieces to view each of the above targets.

A bright (estimate +1 Mag) Geminid was seen passing to the right of Saturn at about 19:48hrs.

Also, Venus and the Moon made a nice sight about 30 degrees apart this evening around 16:45hrs. It was a shame not to have been able to see them paired off on Christmas Day. :?

I cant wait to get my 8" reflector back up and running to see all these and more in all their glory!

Clear Skies,

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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20 years 5 months ago #1699 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Excellent viewing tonight (27th)
Hi Seanie,
How are things, hope you had a good christmass.
the sky is particularly transparent here in Limerick tonight, all the rain over the last week must have washed all the dirt out of the atmosphere.

Just had a glimpse at Mars, and wasn't the moon and Venus particularly nice tonight, Venus is just so much brighter then any other "star" out there.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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20 years 5 months ago #1702 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Excellent viewing tonight (27th)
Yep, terrific viewing tonight Dave (in Offaly). Its not often when you're off, and you get a nice sky worth making the effort late at night to go out and observe. I only wish I had the bigger scope fixed!!

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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20 years 5 months ago #1707 by gnason
Replied by gnason on topic Re: Excellent viewing tonight (27th)

Hi there everyone,
I took the SkyLux 70mm f10 refractor out tonight for a good proper test, as the air is very frigid, and in pristine winter condition!
The Orion Nebula (M42) showed up very well too, with the blue haze almost engulfing the whole field of view. Seanie.


Hi Seanie,

Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year!

I was out last night with my 5" SCT - it certainly was a clear frigid winter sky but I did not think the seeing was particularly good. Anyway, despite the cold, I thoroughly enjoyed myself touring around to observe a number of favourite Messier and NGC objects for a couple of hours.

I'm puzzled by your comments on a blue haze surrounding M42. I've looked at M42 hundreds of times through a wide variety of scopes and aperture but have only ever seen green and on one rare occasion using large aperture, a red tinge. I can only surmise that the blue hue is due to scattered light through the Skylux optics.

Gordon

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20 years 5 months ago #1708 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Excellent viewing tonight (27th)

[
I'm puzzled by your comments on a blue haze surrounding M42. I've looked at M42 hundreds of times through a wide variety of scopes and aperture but have only ever seen green and on one rare occasion using large aperture, a red tinge. I can only surmise that the blue hue is due to scattered light through the Skylux optics.

Gordon


Hi Gordon, Many Happy returns to you too!

Long ago, Santa brought me a 3" Tasco reflector. When I took it out to use it, I often noticed that things weren't always as they seemed! The Orion nebula often would appear as a bluish white colour at best. Then, when I got the 8" done, I saw more definition and range of colour, and with the same eyepieces (but of course with a bigger mirror!). I suppose in lower aperture instruments, it just looks that way because not as much light is being collected and passed through the lens on a small instrument, as oppose to the much larger one.
Therefore, I reckon (if I'm not wrong) that the bluish haze surrounding it was the actual nebula, just in this small scope, thats how its going to appear at best.

I think as well Gordon, that the Skylux compares to a 5" in terms of max magnification etc (the old rule of a smaller refractor being the same power as its larger reflector cousin).

Plus I hope its not the optics! I used all Celestron eyepieces instead of the SkyLux ones! By the way, anyone reading this, would any of you (out of curiosity) not use or not recommend Celestron eyepieces? Just wondering... :wink:

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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20 years 5 months ago #1714 by gnason
Replied by gnason on topic Re: Excellent viewing tonight (27th)

Seanie Morris wrote:

[
Therefore, I reckon (if I'm not wrong) that the bluish haze surrounding it was the actual nebula, just in this small scope, thats how its going to appear at best.Seanie.


Hi Seanie,

Although I have never heard of a reference before now to the Orion Nebula appearing blue (other than in photos), it looks like your eyes are seeing blue! I did a little research and came up with this from the Florida Star Gazer forum:
"Last night, I observed the Orion Nebula for the first time with my ETX90-RA. I had seen it many times in the past with my 10.1" Dob, but this was the first time with a small scope. With the Dob, the nebula looks definitely blue. I have heard that with a 13" reflector, it looks lime green, but in my Dob it is blue. I have verified that by asking my wife what color she sees, and she also sees it as blue. Well, in the ETX90, it is gray - not a bluish gray, but just gray, like a black and white photo of what I remembered seeing in the Dob. "

Regards,

Gordon

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