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 Post subject: Back at the eyepiece!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 1250
Location: Bolton
With all the testing of imaging systems over the last few months, it's ages since I actually looked through my Celestron C8 telescope - so last night I decided to have a go (it was too gusty to do any imaging anyway).
I'd borrowed the weighty BAS Astro-Tech Titan 38mm eyepiece to try, and found that it was so heavy I had to re-balance my scope tube on the mount!

I set up my tripod near the bottom of the garden, so that I could see over the house towards Orion, and called up the Last Alignment on my Celestron CG5-AGT mount. Then after I'd Sync-ed to Betelgeuse, I had the M42 Mebula in view. Although this eyepiece has around the same field-of-view on my f/10 'scope as my 26mm with the f/6.3 focal-reducer, the view seemed much more spectacular through this "large window"! The trapezium stars were pin-sharp and there was a fair amount of nebula visible even through the considerable light-pollution.
Next I had a look at Jupiter, and ended up using my 20mm eyepiece to get the best view (it wasn't as sharp with my 10mm).
I then went back to the Titan eyepiece and had a look for the Crab Nebula (M1), but I could only make out a vague fuzzy shape.
Next I had a look at some open clusters: M35, 36, 37 & 38, which all look best in a field wide enough to show some "empty space" around them.
Ursa Major was hidden by the trees, but the M81 & 82 galaxies were high in the sky, and I was able to fit them both in the field of view of the big eyepiece.
Then moving round to the West, I had a look a the Double Cluster (always spectacular in a wide-field) and the M31 & 32 galaxies in Andromeda. I also had a look at the colourful double-star Gamma Andromedae (as illustrated in the recent BBC Stargazing Live programme).

I was getting quite cold by then, but still had enough enthusisam left to fit my Orion broadband LPR filter and try looking through that - it does give all the stars a "blue rinse", but certainly takes down the sky background (from orange to black!) to give better contrast. With this fitted, I could see rather more of the M42 nebula and could make out the M1 supernova remnant properly too.

I also saw a couple of meteors - caught one out of the corner of my eye as it flashed through Gemini, and then later whilst I was observing the Orion nebula through the telescope, one streaked through my field of view!

Then I'd packed away and got indoors in time to catch a call from Dean, enthusing about the tracking performance of his C8 on its mini-pier!

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