Back at the eyepiece!

Blog the previous nights viewing. Link to images on the gallery or simply describe what you observed the night before. Leave the technical and howto in another forum.
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
Location: Bolton

Back at the eyepiece!

Post by rwilkinson » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:36 am

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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