[Chaos-l] Ready to go
mhrivnak at hrivnak.org
Sat Sep 6 14:50:28 EDT 2008
We had a great night on Thursday. Kumar, Terry, and Julia (my girlfriend)
came out. We also met a nice young couple who brought out a scope, but
didn't know about CHAOS and just happened to be there at the same time.
Hopefully by now they've had a chance to get on the mailing list.
The observing was great. I think the conditions were about as good as you
could ask for coming out of Summer. Even while I was waiting for dark
between 8 and 9pm, Jupiter looked great. It didn't have that typical
waviness around it from unstable air at sunset.
Kumar had a great binocular setup. He had his huge binoculars (12x85?) on one
of those parallelogram mounts that suspends the binoculars right in front of
your face while you lean back in a lounge chair. We discussed plans for a
few improvements including a personal heater for the winter, a
binocular-mounted straw connected to a tap line with your tasty beverage of
choice, a side-mounted cooler with sandwiches and backup tasty beverages, and
possibly a masseuse.
Ok, on to the objects. I focused a lot on Saggitarius, since it's slipping
away for the season.
M17 (Swan. We noticed that a UHC filter improved contrast by quite a bit
without dimming everything. An OIII filter yielded tremendous contrast, but
had more of a dimming effect, especially on stars)
M20 (Trifid Nebula)
M22 (spectacular globular, which in some ways is more impressive than M13.
It's much more expansive, and still quite bright.)
NCG 6642 (small globular)
NGC 6520 (open cluster) & Barnard 86 (giant dust cloud that blocks part of the
M11 (Wild Ducks. I hadn't seen it since upgrading from my 8" scope, so I
didn't even recognize it. I thought "Whoa! What is THAT cluster, and how
did I never noticed it when looking for M11!?" It was truly spectacular, and
perhaps the best object of the night. The star density was incredible. With
a Nagler 17 at 121x, it nearly filled the field of view.)
M27 (Dumbell Nebula. Hour-glass structure was very evident. Adding an OIII
filter made the ellipse around the hour-glass shape completely clear.)
M96 (the core had a concentration of distinctly golden stars)
NGC 6960 (Veil- spectacular as always)
NGC 6888 (Crescent Nebula, very faint, but interesting.)
M56 (small globular)
By this point, it was a little after midnight, and a few clouds were starting
to roll in from Hanna. We called it a night.
This was my first time using a Cheshire eyepiece for collimation. It made a
big difference. Before, I'd been using a laser, which is great. BUT, there
is no way with the laser alone to know if the secondary mirror is square with
the focuser. And on my scope, it is easy to accidentally rotate the
secondary while trying to adjust its tilt. I probably need a locking nut for
the secondary's bolt to reduce that problem.
I can't wait to get this scope out to our dark site, and especially to MASP.
Jordan is great, but there is still a fair amount of light all the time.
On Thursday 04 September 2008 19:57:33 Michael Hrivnak wrote:
> She has great collimation, thanks to my new Cheshire eyepiece. Come
> on out! Scope optional. I have a long list of targets for tonight.
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